by Alec Kohut
The United States Constitution, Article 4, Section 2 Clause 3 reads:
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
The Founding Fathers believed that escaped slaves should be returned to their owners. And the Founding Fathers were wrong. When it came to one of the most basic moral ideas in history of good vs. evil. The Founders got it dead wrong.
I don’t care what the Founding Fathers believed about slavery, or women’s rights. And I don’t care about what they said about guns.
One can argue that the Founders lived in a different time, and should not be judged by today’s standards on the issues such as slavery. To that point I agree 100%, the Founders lived in a different time. A time when slavery was accepted, women were second class citizens.
It is irrelevant to us now what the Founders believed about slavery and women. We don’t care that many of the Founders warned against standing armies as the greatest threat to liberty. Yet for some reason, we are supposed to care, and act as if the Founders were somehow infallible in there beliefs of the right to keep and bear arms.
At that time a gun was fired by tearing open with your teeth a powder and ball cartridge, then “priming the pan” by pouring some powder in the pan near the flint, then pouring the ball and remaining powder down the barrel, then removing the ramrod, then packing down the ball and powder, then replacing the ramrod, then lifting the rifle, aiming and firing. A well-trained solider could get off three rounds per minute.
Unlike opposition to slavery, and the desire of women to vote, the Founders could have never imagined the death and destruction caused by the easy availability of guns. Nor could they have imagined the advances in gun technology that have enabled a single person to kill dozens in a span of seconds.
So don’t quote the Founding Fathers to me and tell me what they believed. The Founders created a remarkable government that has served us pretty well for more than 200 years. Not because we hold on to the outdated beliefs and realities of the late 1700’s, but because of the concept of self-government and the ability to address today’s problems, with today’s knowledge, and solutions for today’s world.