No, George Washington Doesn't Want You Armed Against the Government: E-Mail Debunking Part II

gwdebunkUSE.jpg
This little infographic has been making the rounds on Facebook among the more pro-gun people... especially a certain kind of pro-gun people. See, there are hunters, there are people who want to own guns for home protection and there are people who want to own guns simply because they are adults who have the right to and there's no reason they shouldn't -- which is the only reason that makes any real sense.

Then there are people who honestly believe that they need to be armed in case the government comes after them. This standpoint is a little baffling, since in general people who decide to stand up to the government with a firearm usually end up as a stain, but whatever. I believe in the Loch Ness Monster and some people think that's unlikely.

To each his own, but here in the age of the Internet when the entire wealth of human knowledge is available for free at all times, there is simply no excuse for one kind of indulgence. Namely, the misquoting or misattribution of quotes to the dead who can't defend themselves. We can't let people co-opt founding fathers willy and/or nilly, otherwise it grants unlimited license to justify points with falsehood.

george-washington-port.jpg
Stop twisting his words
First off, here's the quote being used...

A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government


Since even Wikiquote lists this under the misattributed section of Washington's quotes there's no excuse. Here's the real quote...

A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end, a uniform and well digested plan is requisite: and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others for essential, particularly for military supplies.


That's from his first annual address to Congress on January 8, 1790. Reading through Washington's speech, it can clearly be seen that when Washington is talking about "a free people," he means the union as a whole should be well-prepared for any threat to the country. He wasn't talking about people being armed and ready to fight their own representatives.

My Voice Nation Help
39 comments
marcmeq
marcmeq

So let me get this straight... you are saying that the founding fathers, who they themselves just fought for years to free themselves from a tyrannical government, made possible by firearm ownership, did not actually believe that it was important for the citizens of the newly created United States to arm themselves, even possibly against their own government?

Umm... yea... right.....

Whether this quote is accurate or not is irrelevant.. any logical person, seeing as how this country was created and founded, can't seriously, after removing their agenda and ideology, truly believe that the founding fathers didn't want their citizens to rise up against any tyranny, regardless of where it came from.

Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

Too bad nothing you ever say will make any difference toward penetrating the thick skulls of people who believe this sort of claptrap. I own guns, I support other people's permission to have guns (note that I do not consider it a universal right), but I also think violence is the last refuge of the incompetent, and that armed insurrection against a fairly elected government is, well, futile. Nor does it matter to me how many people are quoted or misquoted in favor or against the notion, it remains a romantic delusion. The ballot box is where change is made.

Richard Doll
Richard Doll

You mean to tell me that things sent to me through the interwebs and email are not always true? Dammit I'm going to contact that Nigerian prince's dad, the king of Nigeria and get my money back. Anyone have his number?

Anse
Anse

I'm so sick of the gun culture of this country. It's got to change. I grew up around guns, my dad was/is an avid hunter and I hunted myself as a boy; I'm not one who is prone to paranoid hysteria around firearms. But this militant craziness is beyond the pale. We live in a country with free elections for crying out loud. If you start reaching for your gun every time your guy loses on election day, you're a crazy moron. Go ahead and keep a gun for self-defense. If you like to hunt, by all means, go for it; I'm a meat eater, and I try not to be a hyprocrite about it. But all this high-minded talk about armed revolution is bullshit. I think 99% of these idiots are actually cowards who are too afraid to fire the first shot and would rather keep up the windy talk so somebody else will.

marcmeq
marcmeq

@Anse , So somehow you think that because we had a single revolution that the same situation could never, ever , ever arise again?

You are wise.... let's ignore history...

BluMeanie
BluMeanie

I agree. Take a trip to a gun range and report back.There's a strong sub-gun culture and it's very odd, if not scary in its implications.And I love guns and hunting. But there's a part that's.....well, report in your own words.

jadedhuman333
jadedhuman333

If the government actually shuts down like it almost did recently and soldiers aren't paid, we just may not have to stockpile arms. The old geezers may think they run the military but try telling a 21 year old that hes not getting paid but the men in office are. That 21 year old is the one actually driving the tank/airplane/helicopter and possession is 9/10ths the law.

OldPete
OldPete

I think that was also a scenario that Washington lived through.

MadMac
MadMac

Yep. More than once. Really, folks need to read beyond what Ochocinco/KimK/Britney are up to.

Evan
Evan

If people want to defend themselves against an overbearing government, I would recommend starting a super-PAC and hiring a whole bunch of attorneys. That seems to be a much more effective solution than a bunch of guns. 

Dave
Dave

The part of this that I find hysterical is that there are PLENTY of good quotes on this subject for them.  Just not from George Washington.  Is Thomas Jefferson somehow no longer good enough?

B-Rye
B-Rye

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." 

GWEST
GWEST

"YOUR MOMMA needs to be refreshed from time to time!!!" - George Washington

Maxataomic
Maxataomic

I hope you would agree that a "second amendment solution" is not a patriotic response to a losing a constitutionally mandated election. 

Dave
Dave

 I was thinking "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.", but there are plenty.

MadMac
MadMac

Jefferson was also one of the most abhorrent tyrants in our history, followed closely by Jackson. So, it should be no surprise that a nation founded by pedophiles, rapists, terrorists and thieves remains paranoid and violently opposed to rule of law and order.

  Mark
Mark

With history as our teacher how hard is it to believe a government won't come after you?

Thenonymous
Thenonymous

You have to imagine REALLY HARD. Most of the rest of us are too busy with real life - like paying the mortgage, remembering to pick up cat litter, and going to work - to sit around fantasizing that we're important or interesting enough for the mean old GUB'MINT to come after us.

H_e_x
H_e_x

It is pretty narcissistic of them to think the government is coming after them specifically.

Anse
Anse

How many democratic republics--I mean *real* ones, with legitimate elections--go after their people?

The South started the Civil War; they fired the first shot. Not their Northern "aggressors", as Southerners like to call them.

B-Rye
B-Rye

 For some it seems to be very hard...

It is the normalcy bias hard at work...

B-Rye
B-Rye

Didn't Washington lead the colonies against their government of the time with force of arms? Just sayin...Sometimes it will be necessary to defend yourself from a threat to your freedom, and sometimes that threat will come from your own government, and to think otherwise I believe is a bit naive.  

Buh-bye
Buh-bye

I'm glad Obama's going to take your guns away. You've proven that you're not mature enough to own one.

The B stands for bedwetter
The B stands for bedwetter

I think I see some black UN helicopters on the horizon.QUICK! EVERYBODY!!! Buy gold and seeds!!!!

MadMac
MadMac

The colonist, (read slavers, deviates and thieves) didn't have a ballot.  And, to avocate violence, (when election turn out seldom tops 50% of eligible voters) isn't naive, it's stupid. Read some history not spoon fed by Fox News, Tim McVeigh.

Jef With One F
Jef With One F

To think you can do it with civilian arms in this day  and age is lunacy. You'll be a stain.

B-Rye
B-Rye

Yet history shows that people have done it and continue to do it, even today they fend off threats by taking up arms against superior armed forces. Where would we be today if the brave civilians who were fighting one of the greatest military forces in the world (at the time - the British empire) had said it isn't worth it...we're just gonna die.

I think it is very well possible that Washington and the other founders realized that an armed civilian population is a great way to keep governments in check. State militia's, civilians with arms...whatever you call them - it is people continuing to defend their rights.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Well, to be fair, the French had a hand in it as well. The British were also busy in other colonies as well, so it was really a coming together of beneficial circumstances that really helped the Revolution. Not to say that the people who fought weren't any good, because they did show some serious guts, but there is more to it than their efforts.

MadMac
MadMac

I think Mr. F's point is the fallacy inherent to holding up a misapplied quoat or even the 2nd amendment as justification for stockpiling weapons. Applying the NRA logic--that the government WE ELECTED cannot be trusted, so we need guns and lots of 'em--I would have to have an ICBM in my backyard and a SAM system in my front yard to mount my little surburban insurrection.  I brought "those three into the mix" b/c I would give odds that if asked, they would insist they were not terrorists, that they took up arms against superior armed forces to fend off a threat.

As for the Brits, I'm betting they viewed GW as more a traitor/criminal than a terrorist.

B-Rye
B-Rye

Well I think you missed the point here.

The author here is making the point that the people who arm themselves against overreaching governments are morons b/c it is futile to do so (more or less right Jef?), and that George Washington would not want civilians to take up arms against their government. -------From the article:"See, there are hunters, there are people who want to own guns for home protection, and there are people who want to own guns simply because they are adults who have the right to and there's no reason they shouldn't -- which is the only reason that makes any real sense."

I'm guessing that Jef meant hunting, home protection, and owning b/c we have the right to are the only reasons that make sense.

What do you protect your home against? Everything except a government that has gone too far? Seems kind of silly to say its ok to take out a bad guy that wishes you harm unless he is sponsored by the state....well then he has the right to come and take everything you have and shoot you if he wants.

-----Jef says that civilians taking up arms against governments is not something George Washington would advocate, yet it is what he did. Right or wrong - that isn't what I am discussing. Just an objective observation.

Not sure why you brought those three into the mix...I don't think I advocated the killing of innocent people anywhere in my previous post. Are you equating those three terrorists to those that fought in the Revolutionary War?

Makes you think though - Did the British Empire view George Washington as a terrorist?

MadMac
MadMac

Oh, you mean like the Ted Kaczynski, Eric Rudolph and Tim McVeigh?

Championshipvinyl73
Championshipvinyl73

I love these articles Jef. The one that pisses me off the most by far are the half-assed bible thumpers who defend their bigoted point of view about gay rights by pointing out that "it says so in the bible!" Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are their fucking favorite. Never mind that on the same page of the same chapter in the same bible it also says that (paraphrasing) if I catch a man screwing my wife that they both should be put to death. So...I can hack them up like Jason Vorhees and not go to jail right? Hey it says so in the bible! Oh, and any of us who haven't been offering up burt offerings (animals, the internal organ of the dead, et al.) are also going to hell. Don't get me started, lol...

H_e_x
H_e_x

So true. I've asked them their opinions on poly-blend clothing and eating pork and shellfish, but they never give me a straight answer.

MadMac
MadMac

Yeah, those "fundamentalists" also omit that ol' time religion that defines terms of slavery and adultery, (ain't a sin if he/she is a prostitute).

Jef With One F
Jef With One F

I figured... I spend so much time arguing with people online about their misinformation, I might as well collect a paycheck from it. ;)

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...