An Atlanta news anchor nails it when explaining what the actual purpose of the Second Amendment is and why the Founding Fathers thought it was so important.
Ben Swann, host of CBS 46’s show “Reality Check,” explained on Monday that the right to bear arms isn’t just about hunting or personal protection; it’s about preventing the government turning on its own people.
Swann started off the segment by quoting the text of the Second Amendment:
“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.”
He explained that much of the modern debate over the intent of the Second Amendment centers around whether or not private citizens should be allowed to own guns. At the time the Constitution was drafted, private gun ownership was considered to be an indisputable right by the Founding Fathers and their fellow countrymen.
“This may be a very foreign concept, but the first fight over the Second Amendment wasn’t over whether the population should be armed. All the framers agreed with that,” Swann said. “The fight was between Federalists and Anti-Federalists over whether we would have a standing army.”
An army is necessary to protect its citizens, but both Federalists and Anti-Federalists were worried that if a government were to become militarized, nothing would keep it from growing too strong and eventually becoming tyrannical.
“The Federalists wanted the Second Amendment because they believed a strong federal government would be able to control a standing army,” he said. “The Anti-Federalists wanted it because it would mean every able-bodied man in America would be armed in the event that the federal government or America’s own standing army turned on its own people.”
Thus, the Second Amendment has provisions for both a well-regulated militia, which consisted of pretty much every male with a pulse, and the right for private citizens to bear arms, which appeased both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.
“It was written by men who ultimately believed that governments and armies would turn on their own people,” Swann said. “The Second Amendment was written to guarantee that would never happen.”
You can read a transcript of the full segment here.