Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?--Patrick Henry
The Founding Fathers were in favor of the right to revolt against tyranny. This is obvious despite widespread current attempts by progressives to suggest armed revolt and the 2ndAmendment would be opposed by the Founders today. But how logical would be the notion that Americans could own guns, but not use them to defend themselves?
Or that Americans could arm to defend their lives and liberties, but only against invaders—not against tyrants? Of course, such a position is transparent nonsense. In fact, the American Revolution itself is the most eloquent testimony illustrating the right to bear arms against government subjugation imaginable.
Consider the definition of Tyranny in Locke’s Second Treatise on Government:
BOOK II, CHAPTER 18: Of Tyranny
§ 199. As usurpation is theexercise of power which another hath a right to, so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to; and this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private, separate advantage. When the governor, however entitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule, and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.
The Founders certainly brooked no defense of tyranny. Obviously, they were brave enough to stand up to England and principled enough to create a democratic constitutional republic where there had been a kingdom. But have we in America lost our ability to oppose demagogues, bullies and tyrants?