“The Second Amendment protects modern weapons,” Judge Roger T. Benitez observed in his landmark Miller v. Bonta ruling striking down California’s so-called “assault weapons” ban. He was citing Caetano v. Massachusetts, a 2016 United States Supreme Court decision vacating a woman’s conviction for carrying a stun gun for self-defense.
“The Court has held that ‘the 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,’” the High Court, citing the Heller case, unanimously held. “In this case, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts upheld a Massachusetts law prohibiting the possession of stun guns after examining ‘whether a stun gun is the type of weapon contemplated by Congress in 1789 as being protected by the Second Amendment.’”
Aside from the obvious, no-nonsense assertions of Founding-era voices such as Tench Coxe (“every terrible implement of the soldier”) and James Madison (see “militia” observations in Federalist No. 46), it helps to understand another gun-grabber lie, that the Founders only had single-shot muskets and couldn’t have imagined technological advancements leading to more lethal weaponry.
Firearms technology from long before their time included Fourteenth Century multiple-barreled volley guns and a design by Leonardo DaVinci for a rotating triple-barrel breech-loading cannon. The Founding Era had already seen pepperbox revolvers, Kentucky/Pennsylvania rifles, cartridges to combine shot and powder, the British breech-loading Ferguson rifle, the 11-cylinder crank-operated Puckle gun, and the Girandoni air rifle, capable of firing 22 .46 caliber balls and that had actually been used by the Austrian army 11 years before the Bill of Rights was ratified. And the above is by no means an exhaustive list.
The Founders were enlightened men, schooled in classical, political, and legal history, aware of current developments (and in cases like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, innovators and inventors themselves), and visionaries with eyes toward the future, and to “secur[ing] the Blessings of Liberty to … Posterity.”
Oblivious to that, Constitutional and historical illiterates, like the head of the oxymoronically named “Texas Gun Sense,” are getting ink spreading astonishingly ignorant assertions like “There weren’t automatic weapons or 100-round magazine capacities in the guns 100 years ago.” And, like useful idiots, they’re making such moronic pronouncements for Chinese communist propagandists (who want Americans disarmed and live Chairman Mao’s maxim that “Political power grows from the barrel of a gun”).
That’s bad enough, but the grabbers then bring those arguments into court cases and equally corrupt judges then create “settled law.” As the Brady Center argued in a brief supporting the State of Maryland’s semiauto and magazine ban:
“Suppose, for example, that a new, unregulated and highly lethal weapon were developed before a statute was enacted. When first offered for sale, the weapon would not be protected because it would not be in common use. However, under Plaintiffs’ theory, if sales of the weapon grew explosively over the next year, prior to any legislation, then the weapon would, within that short time frame, become constitutionally protected, even though a ban would have been permissible had the legislature acted just a few months earlier. Such an approach makes little sense.”
That’s the crux—if new developments in weaponry can be denied to We the People, then it’s just a matter of time before the disparity between what the government has and what the people have will be as wide as if we were relegated to Brown Bess muskets and flintlocks against modern infantry. Unless “in common use at the time” is held to mean by soldiers in the field, with real “weapons of war,” as opposed to a sporting arms popularity contest, the Second Amendment will be nullified as a last-resort defense against foreign and domestic tyranny.
To argue otherwise is to argue the Founders thought sending an outmatched yeomanry to their slaughter was “necessary to the security of a free State.” That’s insane.