Before America’s founding fathers wrote the Second Amendment, securing our individual right to own a firearm, they wrote the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, paving the way for the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. Becoming increasingly at odds with the British parliament, the members of the Second Continental Congress agreed to draft a declaration explaining why America was taking up arms against the British.
In the Declaration, the colonists claimed that they had come to America for a life of “civil and religious freedom,” escaping the unjustifiable “power” and “authority” of Parliament. After Great Britain won the Seven Years War and took complete control over the colonies, they decided to impose taxes and trade regulations on the colonists. The colonists felt that Parliament had been acting against the King and violating American’s rights, such as taxing them without representation in Parliament, and subjecting the new Americans to trial without jury. More so, they were suffering violence at the hand of British troops, like the deaths at the Boston Massacre. As tensions increased, British troops became uneasy and tried to disarm the colonists. The Battles of Lexington and Concord started because of the Americans refusal to hand over their guns.
In a stand for their freedom, the Second Continental Congress wrote the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms. In the Declaration the Congress did not wish to go to war, nor did they defy the King, but they believe that taking up arms to fight for their freedom was the only way to regain their liberty. “Being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves,” says the Declaration.
America’s founding fathers believed in a natural, God-given right to life, liberty, happiness, property, and the right to defend those. The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms says:
In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birthright, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it — for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.
After forming their own government upon winning the American Revolution, the founding fathers decided that the government only ruled with the permission of its citizens. If the government were to become too powerful, the citizens had a right to oust the current government and appoint a new one. That is exactly how America won its independence from the British. Without the colonists taking up arms, the values of liberty and freedom that we so strongly believe in could have been lost forever. Firearm ownership is a true symbol of American freedom.
On July 6, 1775, those brave and intelligent men of the Second Continental Congress took a pivotal stand against a tyrannical government drafting one of the most important documents in colonial history.
I used to live in a country where no citizen except military and law enforcement could have a gun. That’s not protecting your people, that’s controlling your people. What are you if you aren’t free?
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