The Founders’ 2nd Amendment exists so the citizenry can kill American tyrants

Last weekend’s attack in Las Vegas — probably conducted by people attached to the Democratic Party and inspired by the mainstream media — has, not surprisingly, sparked the usual tear-filled, moronic debate on the supposed need for gun control.

The issue on which Democrats and some Republicans have fixed their tyrannical goal is something called a bump-stock, which is a gadget that is said to accelerate the rate of fire from a semi-automatic rifle. With the vast amount of firepower that the increasingly tyrannical U.S. national government can potentially turn on its citizenry, this device is a god-send for gun-owning Americans. Banning this device — like banning machine guns in the 1930s — is a clear “infringement” of the 2nd Amendment, as it limits the citizen’s right to defend himself against domestic tyrants to the extent he desires to do so. It is, as well, another step toward what the Founders believed must never be allowed, a national government monopoly on the tools of violence.

Now, both the Democratic and Republican parties, the establishments of each, and the mainstream media have worked to strengthen centralized tyranny for at least three decades. Today, it is clear they have succeeded to a significant extent.

  • Criminal politicians walk the streets, kill opponents, ignore the Constitution, and grow rich from corruption, graft, and theft because they are above the law. Examples? Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Susan Rice, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, and Eric Holder, to name only a few.
  • Leaders and their followers in both parties have knowingly bankrupted this country; used federal agencies to persecute political opponents, started unconstitutional and unnecessary wars that never end; and refused to enforce legitimate laws passed by the national legislature.
  • Democrats have demanded the end of any place whatsoever for Christianity in the public square, and on most occasions Republicans have either acquiesced or failed to undo the Democrats’ damage to 1st Amendment guarantees after they win power.
  • Both parties have allowed the country to be overrun by unwanted, unneeded, and uneducated illegal aliens, people have shattered and criminalized American society and now staff the Democratic party’s terrorist organizations— like Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and By Any Means — as well as much of the federal civil service and the ranks of domestic Islamist organizations.
  • The republic is ruled by the nine, unelected, arrogant, and unaccountable tyrants who sit on the Supreme Court, men and women who stick their noses into every facet of American life. These paragons of injustice have facilitated the suppression of the Christian faith in America; the murder of 60-plus million unborn Americans by calling it a “right”; and empowered Democrat-favored minority groups that are obviously unable to govern themselves let alone the nation. The Founders never intended the Supreme Court to become the absolute monarchy it is today, and so left Congress the constitutional ability to limit its purview, as well as that of all other federal courts. Neither party is willing to rein in the federal courts, apparently hoping at some point to make it a complete dictatorship from the right or the left.

The foregoing realities are among the reasons the Founders gave us the 2nd Amendment. They also are the reason the Founders specifically forbid the “infringements’ to it that they knew would be advocated by would-be political tyrants seeking to incrementally erase the citizen’s right to own arms to kill tyrants. The 2nd Amendment is the most important of all the amendments to the Constitution because it is the only one that ensures Americans will always have the option of killing the politicians that are trying to eliminate the God-given rights that are embedded in and protected by the Bill of Rights, as well as those in several of the other amendments adopted subsequent to it.

After the Democrats’ highly lethal and well-planned terrorist operation in Las Vegas — with those they ran in Charlottesville and Berkeley — they and some Republicans are breathlessly eager to lawlessly infringe on the 2nd Amendment to further limit the ability of Americans to defend themselves. One can only assume that these would-be tyrants believe they govern a citizenry that has no stomach for defending their rights and faith, and will do anything to avoid a civil war. On this point, they may want to think twice.

Almost from the arrival of the first Protestant English setters in New England, the grounding of American freedom has been based on the knowledge that neither God nor legitimate law require a people to live their lives passively, silently, and submissively under the arbitrary power of either an absolute monarch or a tyrannical oligarchy wielding the same kind of arbitrary power. In January, 1750, Johnathan Mayhew, the Congregationalist pastor of Boston’s West Church, preached a sermon that explicitly made this point. The tyrant that Mayhew spoke of was England’s King Charles I, whose tyrannical behavior provoked Parliament and its supporters to overthrow and behead him. In the sermon, Mayhew defended those who removed and executed the king and, in so doing, explained that their actions offended neither the law nor the Lord.

Till people find themselves greatly abused and oppressed by their governors, they are not apt to complain; and whenever they do, in fact, find themselves thus abused and oppressed, they must be stupid not to complain. To say that subjects in general are not proper judges when their governors oppress them, and play the tyrant; and when they defend their rights, administer justice impartially, and promote the public welfare, is as great treason as ever man uttered;—’tis treason,—not against one single man, but the state—against the whole body politic;—’tis treason against mankind;—’tis treason against common sense;—’tis treason against God. And this impious principle lays the foundation for justifying all the tyranny and oppression that ever any prince was guilty of. The people know for what end they set up, and maintain, their governors; and they are the proper judges when they execute their trust as they ought to do it;—when their prince exercises an equitable and paternal authority over them;—when from a prince and common father, he exalts himself into a tyrant—when from subjects and children, he degrades them into the class of slaves;—plunders them, makes them his prey, and unnaturally sports himself with their lives and fortunes. … For a nation thus abused to arise unanimously, and to resist their prince, even to the dethroning him, is not criminal; but a reasonable way of indicating their liberties and just rights; it is making use of the means, and the only means, which God has put into their power, for mutual and self-defense. And it would be highly criminal in them, not to make use of this means. It would be stupid tameness, and unaccountable folly, for whole nations to suffer one unreasonable, ambitious and cruel man, to wanton and riot in their misery. And in such a case it would, of the two, be more rational to suppose, that they that did NOT resist, than that they who did, would receive to themselves damnation. (1)

I previously have quoted from Reverend Mayhew’s sermon and other works, and have earned some scoffing-at for claiming that Mayhew’s words could have any pertinence to contemporary America. I think that criticism is quite wrong. The good pastor used his words to describe the tyrannical rule of Charles I, but without much modification they could be used to describe the tyrannical, eight-year rule of Barack Obama and his lieutenants. The same words, without question, eventually could have been used to describe the tyranny that Hillary Clinton and her mad-feminist clique would have installed had she succeeded to Obama’s throne. In addition, Mayhew’s words are timeless in their description of the proper popular response to a tyrant.

The three people just mentioned constitute a trio of tyrants that no people would be required by God or law to forego overthrowing and executing. So far, sadly, only one member of the tyrant trio has received his just comeuppance. The other two, their party, and their Republican acolytes, given their post-election behavior, rhetoric, and funding for riots meant to kill Americans, may yet get their just deserts. To crib from what Pastor Mayhew said of Charles I, it seems fair to say that Obama and Clinton and their entourages “are black with guilt and laden with iniquity.”(2) Because the result of voting no longer seems to bring the republic tranquility and order, but rather chaos, violence, and corpses, it would be well if Mayhew’s assessment that the citizenry is bound by its duty to God and country to eliminate tyrants becomes fixed in the minds of contemporary Americans, and perhaps be acted upon before long.

As to Mayhew’s credibility, John Adams testimony out to be sufficient. Mayhew, Adams said, was “transcendent genius … who threw all the weight of his great fame into the scale of the country in 1761, and maintained it there with zeal and ardor till his death. … If the Orators on the 4th. of July, really wish to investigate the principles and Feelings which produced the Revolution .., they ought to study Dr. Mayhew’s Sermon on Passive Obedience and Non Resistance.”(3) Later, Adams would write,

Another gentleman, who had great influence in the commencement of the Revolution, was Doctor Jonathan Mayhew…. This divine had raised a great reputation both in Europe and America, by the publication of a volume of seven sermons in the reign of King George the Second, 1749, and by many other writings, particularly a sermon in 1750, on the 30th of January, on the subject of passive obedience and non-resistance, in which the saintship and martyrdom of King Charles the First are considered, seasoned with wit and satire superior to any in [Jonathan] Swift or [Benjamin] Franklin. It was read by everybody; celebrated by friends, and abused by enemies. … Mayhew seemed to be raised up to revive all their animosities against tyranny, in church and state, and at the same time to destroy their bigotry, fanaticism, and inconsistency.(4)

Then, in 1818, Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson that he had read Mayhew’s 1750 sermon “a year before I entered Harvard Colledge and I read it, til the Substance of it was incorporated into my Nature and indelibly engraved on my memory.”(5)

If that sermon’s words had such a profound and enduring impact on a man like John Adams, Mayhew’s admonitions are clearly pertinent to those Americans who still prize liberty and hate tyranny, people who are, not coincidentally, the most jealous guardians of the 2nd Amendment. (6)


  1. Jonathan Mayhew, “A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers,” 30 January 1750, See,
  2. Ibid.
  3. andJohn Adams to William Tudor, Sr., 5 April 1818, at
  4. John Adams to H. Niles, 18 February 1818, at
  5. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 18 July 1818, at
  6. The five foregoing endnotes are meant to give readers fairly easy access to the cited sources. Fortunately, however, there is now available a new, superb, and beautifully written and argued biography of Jonathan Mayhew that covers all the material in this piece and much more. The book restores Reverend Mayhew — after centuries of near total neglect — to his rightful place as a key founder of the American republic. It also places his writings where they rightfully belong, which is alongside those of the authors whose writings were most influential in convincing and inspiring Americans to shed themselves of British tyranny, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and John Dickinson. Following is the citation for this wonderful book: J. Patrick Mullins. Father of Liberty. Jonathan Mayhew and the Principles of the American Revolution. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2017.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.