n8kelly asked: Wasn't it the anti-Federalists that pushed for the inclusion of the Bill of Rights with the ratification of the Constitution? Your post presumes that the Framers were all Federalists when that's completely untrue. It's not as much for overthrowing a tyrannical government but as a last ditch effort at keeping sovereignty with the people instead of a standing army. Also, it should be mentioned that gun owners as a demographic are more likely to be politically involved than non-gun owners.
I have to disagree with the notion that the Framers weren’t all Federalists. Framers specifically refers to those Founders who framed the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists opposed the Constitution, in no small part because they felt it gave far too much power to the federal government. In that sense, they might better be understood as Anti-Framers.
Of course, it’s clearly the case that the Founders weren’t all Federalists and I didn’t mean to imply it in my previous post on reading of the 2nd Amendment as providing an individual insurrectionist right against the government.
It’s also not the case that all the Federalists or Anti-Federalists felt the same way about everything; they weren’t monolithic groups. But let’s agree that the Bill of Rights was, in part, designed to mollify the Anti-Federalist complaints about the power of the federal government; given the Federalist majority in Congress, it just doesn’t make sense to assume that they would enpower the federal government and then empower individual citizens to take up arms against that newly-empowered government, especially in light of Shays’ Rebellion.
The notion that a democratic government ought to be resisted by violence rather than through the legislative and judicial processes outlined in the Constitution doesn’t fit with the work of the Federalists. And my sense is that even the Anti-Federalists, who didn’t want a standing army or a powerful federal government, didn’t support armed insurrection as an individual right.
Here’s “Brutus,” responding to Hamilton’s argument in Federalist 23:
The protection and defence of the community is not intended to be entrusted solely into the hands of the general government, and by his own confession it ought not to be. It is true this system commits to the general government the protection and defence of the community against foreign force and invasion, against piracies and felonies on the high seas, and against insurrections among ourselves. They are also authorised to provide for the administration of justice in certain matters of a general concern, and in some that I think are not so. But it ought to be left to the state governments to provide for the protection and defence of the citizen against the hand of private violence, and the wrongs done or attempted by individuals to each other—Protection and defence against the murderer, the robber, the thief, the cheat, and the unjust person, is to be derived from the respective state governments (Brutus, No. 7, Jan 1788, qtd. in Storing, Complete Anti-Federalist).
"Brutus" recognizes the right of the federal government to protect and defend the community "against insurrections among ourselves," rather than arguing in favor of a right to insurrection against the federal government.
"Federal Farmer" wrote that "state control of the militia ‘places the sword in the hands of the solid interest of the community, and not in the hands of men destitute of property, or principle, or of attachment to the society and government" (qtd. in Cornell, The Other Founders).
We can find other quotes relatively easily from leading Anti-Federalists who opposed the idea of a permanent right to revolution or an individual right to resistance. While, again, there wasn’t unanimity amongst them about this issue, it would be very difficult to make the case that, even amongst the Anti-Federalists, the common understanding of the 2nd Amendment was of an individual right to keep and bear arms against the threat of governmental tyranny.