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Schumer Flubs Basic American History

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), sponsor of the Brady Bill and the “assault weapon” and “large” magazine ban when he was in the House of Representatives, probably shouldn’t be the go-to guy for historical arguments against the individual right to keep and bear arms.

The Washington Times reports that Schumer said on Tuesday Thomas Jefferson was the architect of the Bill of Rights. As the Times notes, Jefferson was overseas serving as minister to France during the Constitutional convention and the congressional debate over the Bill of Rights.

Schumer can perhaps console himself that both Jefferson and a pivotal author and champion of the Bill of Rights, James Madison, had a lot in common.

(Sen. Schumer, take notes.) Jefferson and Madison were both from Virginia. Both later became president of the United States. And both supported the right to arms.

But there are some important differences, too. For example, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Madison, on the other hand, argued for ratification of the Constitution in The Federalist, commonly referred to as The Federalist Papers.

In The Federalist, Number 46, for example, Madison said that under the Constitution, the people would retain the right to keep and bear arms for defense against tyranny.

For that matter, Alexander Hamilton, from Schumer’s home state, also endorsed an armed citizenry for the same reason in The Federalist, Number 29.

But, we digress.

Since his election to the Senate, Schumer has spent a considerable amount of time trying to enact gun control, in contravention of the work of men like Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton. In particular, Schumer proposed to expand the Undetectable Firearms Act, expand the federal “armor piercing ammunition” law, impose “assault weapon” and “large” magazine bans, and expand background checks.

Instead, he might want to spend a little more time with a history book.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.