The US constitution famously states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”; historically, revolutionary democrats insisted on this right as a guarantee against arbitrary state power and the development of tyranny.
The pro-gun lobby and right wing libertarians tend to ignore what the Second Amendment actually says (though I note the important words are underlined in the graphic at the top of this piece):
"A *well regulated Militia*, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" (my emphasis).
Interestingly, many of these people also quote George Orwell, writing about "that rifle on the wall" of a worker's house, being a guarantee of our liberty. I eventually tracked down where this quote actually comes from, and it's from something Orwell wrote in WW2 about the Home Guard ("Don't let Colonel Blimp run the Home Guard"), which again seems to emphasise the point about being part of a "well regulated militia."
Further to my last comment:
Bernard Crick in his book “George Orwell A Life” has the following quote in Chapter 12 The Challenge and Frustration of war (1939-41).
“Even as it stands, the Home Guard could only exist in a country where men feel themselves free. The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. THAT RIFLE HANGING ON THE WALL OF THE WORKING-CLASS FLAT OR LABOURER’S COTTAGE, IS THE SYMBOL OF DEMOCRACY. IT IS OUR JOB TO SEE THAT IT STAYS THERE.”
Crick correctly attributes the quote to an 8 January 1941 article Orwell wrote for Evening Standard. The article was titled “Don’t Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard”
A smart contribution to the conversation.
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