Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker is North Dakota’s lone member of virulently anti-gun New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He’s also representative of the sort of historical illiteracy which is common among anti-gun advocates.
Despite a wealth of writings from the era of the revolution left to us by our founding fathers indicating that they supported gun rights because they wanted the populace to be able to protect themselves from the government, Walaker suggests that the 2nd amendment was only created to protect hunting.
“I don’t think that’s what the Second Amendment was. At that time it was for hunting and things like that and for bringing food to the table,” Walaker said. “It had nothing to do with what’s going on today. So to say that Second Amendment doesn’t need some revisions, I think the debate should continue until we can find out.”
The coalition sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday, urging him to outlaw high-capacity rifles and magazines, make gun trafficking a federal crime and require background checks for every gun buyer.
“Together, we urge you to put forward an agenda that is rooted in common sense and that will make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them,” the letter states.
Whether you’re for or against guns, whether you think we need more gun control or less, the simple historical fact was that our founders intended to protect the individual right to keep and bear arms because they didn’t want a society where the only people who had guns was the government.
“A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace,” wrote James Madison in Federalist 46. “A people armed and free forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition and is a bulwark for the nation against foreign invasion and domestic oppression.”
So, no, the founders didn’t just view the 2nd amendment as protecting the right of Americans to shoot deer and ducks.
These were revolutionaries, after all, who had thrown off a tyrannical government with an army made up of citizens soldiers using, in many instances, their personal weapons.
Walaker is proof of the apocryphal saying that it’s better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. If Walaker is this ignorant about the history of gun rights in America, he has no business speaking out about it.