United States of America

Americans easily and readily overlook the subtlety of how we counter an oppressive government. It is not entirely imbued by the Second Amendment, rather it is in our form of government, a FEDERAL REPUBLIC with its checks and balances that is designed to minimize centralized power and factionalism, relying on its citizens empowered with a vote to make changes. Not weapons!

Admittedly, I’m no expert on this topic, but I am making the attempt to go deeper in understanding it. The written debates embodied in the Federalist Papers, which it’s important to note are largely responses to the writings of the Anti-Federalists, discusses these problems. Federalist Paper 51 says “It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.” They thought about the “oppressive government” problem, and beyond that considered factions attempting to dominate inside the government.

In my view, these Federalist vs Anti-Federalist debates are more important than the Constitution because they reveal the context, intent, assumptions that fed the Constitution, which is an outcome, a framework. It’s not perfect, and the founders knew that. It was framework designed to evolve with changes they expected to happen and for which they had no way to predict. It foresaw problems and hoped for the best through reasonable statesmanship.

We’ve already fought the revolutionary war followed by a civil war. It’s done! If we are to truly call ourselves Americans and respect the US Constitution, comprised of way more than just the Second Amendment we must prove it! Respect its entire framework. If we want this form of government to work it cannot be done with weapons, because if that’s the direction Americans wish to go, we’ve failed.

I beg all Americans, please escape the myopic focus on the Second Amendment. Consider the Constitution as a framework and go beyond it to understand how it came to be by studying the debates. Then let’s have our own respectful debates so we learn differing perspectives. It’ll make us a stronger nation.

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