Hunters: The Founding Fathers Want A Word With You

In 1759, before the Declaration of Independence was conceived of, and before the American Revolution began, Benjamin Franklin made what would seem to be an obvious observation: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

Old Ben knew what he was talking about, I think: The right of human beings to self-defense with arms is inalienable, given by God. The point of the Second Amendment, as so clearly stated in numerous texts attributed to Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin, is to enable a peaceable citizenry to protect itself from tyranny and oppression. It is the right of human beings everywhere to be able to stand in a militia, if needed, in defense of self and country.

Who are the militia? A Virginian put it best. In 1788, George Mason, who urged passage of the Second Amendment before he would ratify the U.S. Constitution, said: "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."

The very possibility of citizens standing in defense of self and country keeps us free. The fact that every man and woman in this country is part of the militia protects the United States of America. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself why Japan didn’t invade us during World War II. Might it have had something to do with millions of hunters and millions of guns behind every door in America in the 1940s?

It is inarguable that hunters play a key role in defense of our country. Few segments of our society handle firearms as regularly or as adroitly as hunters; next to self-defense, hunting is the primary way Americans exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Hunters were the first members of American society to stand in our militia. The arms they carried at Lexington and Concord, muskets popular in colonial America, can rightly be called the first “assault weapons.”

Of course looking back, no one would think of a musket as an “assault weapon.” So what gives now? Why is the most popular rifle in America being demonized? What makes the AR-15—popular with collectors, recreational and competitive shooters and yes, even hunters—so dastardly? Nothing, really. Its design is rooted in military history, same as every sporting arm in use today.

If you are a hunter who doesn’t own a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and never wants one, someone who thinks the present debate about banning so-called “assault weapons” doesn’t apply to you, think again. As a member of the militia you have an obligation to be prepared to use any and every arm available to civilians to defend yourself and your country. You have an obligation to fight against tyrannical calls to ban such arms as the militia may need to defend our free state.

So the next time you hear someone say, “I support the Second Amendment; I don’t have a problem with hunting; I understand many folks in America hunt and would like to keep their guns,” remember such thoughts have no relevance to today’s debate. The Second Amendment is about a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state. As such it does not mention hunting, but there is no doubt hunters play a key role in our security. The Founding Fathers knew that when they wrote the Second Amendment. American hunters would do well to remember it.

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20 Responses to Hunters: The Founding Fathers Want A Word With You

Jay wrote:
August 04, 2013

As there are many people saying companies should stop selling to federal and state agencies responsible for enforcement of various new gun laws i have a question for them. would you want those related to these officers and officials to lose a relative due to this practice??? Without these sales many departments wouldn't have access to new weapons or better performing cartridges and would be out gunned by criminals just as they were during prohibition. Do we really want that on our consciences?? No?? Then stop trying to take their access to these weapons and gear instead try voting and writing to your elected officials.

Greg Ray [(]NRA Outdoors[)] wrote:
April 01, 2013

Very well said Scott. We have read numerous time on our blog that 'the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting' your article is spot on. We shared with our own readers. Thank you

Tom Jackson wrote:
February 20, 2013

Tim Mclauglin-Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack on a US Territory. It was not an invasion.

JohnE. Booth wrote:
February 07, 2013

That's an excellent article Mr. Olmsted, however until every firearms, ammunition, and shooting supplies manufacturer exercises the Ron Barrett option and ceases all sales to every Law Enforcement and Federal agency that helped support the bans here in NY and the proposals for the nation, we will continute to lose this battle. I've made this suggestion to the NRA, NSSF, and others, and have received nothing in return. Perhaps short term profits outweigh longterm impact?

Tony wrote:
February 06, 2013

We all seem to forget that Alaska fell to Japan for a short time. None the less we need to keep in mind that I own and I'm not giving up whats mine to, foreign or domestic. So how will they take it? We the people. This I believe our government has forgot this.

BHirsh wrote:
February 05, 2013

Quite. As Justice Scalia observed, '[[]T]he Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.' - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed. Don't be a 'Fudd'. Remember that after they have come for everyone else, THEY WILL BE COMING FOR YOU.

Lawrence Townsend wrote:
February 05, 2013

This article is excellent. I was borne 8 days before Pearl Harbor was attacked and My uncle had gone to school with a Japaneese stutent studying in this country. Hawaii was not a state, it was a "posession", a defense vanguard. The Japaneese were fastenated by American freedoms and very well aquainted with our armed society. They even made thier own movies about the "wild west" cowboys before WWII. This article by Olmsted is the best I have seen to date regarding the Second Amemdment rights. Thanks

Rich wrote:
February 05, 2013

"All it takes for evil to succeed, is for good men to do nothing". As appropriate on this topic, as with all topics concerning the loss of Constitutional Rights!

G. Earl Brown wrote:
February 05, 2013

All over this country the law enforcement agencies have complained of being out-gunned by the criminals. They cannot afford to wait for the SWAT Team when the bank robbers have assault type weapons. They want the same type weapons in their squad car. Why should I be forced to be out-gunned by the criminals intent on invading my home. When a car load of evil, insane or mind-altered aggressors have the potential for invading my home or my grandchildrens schools or buses why should I be forced be less prepared?

John Huber wrote:
February 04, 2013

The powers that be in Washington seem to think they know whats best for us, they've forgotten who they work for and they ignor public outcry when it's not directed in their favor, just look at health care for example over 70% of the people were against it but they shoved it down our throats anyway. Remember that when they vote on the next big gun ban!!!

Tim mcLaughlin wrote:
February 04, 2013

'Why do you think Japan did not invade us in WWII.' What was Pearl Harbor?

Lawrence Dukes wrote:
February 04, 2013

Well said, hunting has nothing to the 2nd Amendment. It exist to keep "we the people" free from the politician of the day, who would be king. It is note worthy that countries like Australia tell their "subjects" (not citizens). Gun ownership is not a right and you do not have the right to defend yourself or or your freedom with a firearm. That is what the Americans have, you are not Americans.

Jack Critchfield wrote:
February 04, 2013

Every freedom we have is secured by the Second Amendment.

David Stephenson wrote:
February 04, 2013

Hunters need to understand that this whole issue is not about guns, it is about control. It is about nibbling away at our rights until we have no rights left. If we do not stand together on this issue, right now, our rights will not only be infringed but gone.

wm mcdannold II wrote:
February 04, 2013

Japanese admiral Yamamoto made the historic remark: "No nation would be so foolish to attempt invasion of the United States. "They would find a rifle hidden behind every blade of grass". AR and AK type rifles will never be my choice for hunting - although they do work for such. Ask AR and AK owners why they bought the semi-autos. Their answers will very rarely have anything to do with hunting. It will have to do with two things. In small part, they are fun to shoot. In large part, they will give us near parity should we find it necessary to bear arms against our (own) treacherous government.

Mark Chesnut wrote:
February 04, 2013

We'll said, Scott.

MitchN60 wrote:
February 04, 2013

A guy I work with was in Vietnam, and although he won't talk much about it, had decided he didn't want to be a hunter, didn't want to go to the range to "practice". But, he says he does keep a few guns handy, "just in case Uncle Sam's britches get too big."

Left Coast Chuck wrote:
February 04, 2013

If you read the Militia Act of 1782, it calls for each man between 18 and 40 to be armed with the latest military weapon, a musket with an iron ramrod and a bayonet mount together with bayonet and the necessary accoutrements to fall out ready to fight. There wasn't anything in that act about rifled hunting guns, it was a smooth bore musket with bayonet, the latest in assault rifle armament. In addition, many towns scraped enough money together to purchase a cannon, together with powder and shot for the same. Try taking up a subscription in your town for a 155 mm cannon today and see how soon you get a visit from numerous federales.

Tony Kammerer wrote:
February 01, 2013

Don't allow yourself to be the one who says the following once they have taken guns from everyone else: "When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out."

Vince Dagiel wrote:
February 01, 2013

As I am fond of telling people, 'The Second Amendment isn't about hunting.'