Thoughts on Political Violence

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Thoughts on Political Violence

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads in full:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The violent protests overnight at the US Capitol building that tried to subvert the results of the November 3rd election did not involve Arms, at least generally on the side of the protesters. One protester was shot and killed by the Capitol Police. That got me thinking: what does the term free State mean in the wording above?

Volokh’s article NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE gives a definition:

In eighteenth-century political discourse, “free state” was a commonly used political term of art, meaning “free country,” which is to say the opposite of a despotism.

So, were the protesters acting against an act of:

the exercise of absolute power, especially in a cruel and oppressive way


For me, the protesters were the despots.

Despots try to override the will of the people.

Despots chase our democratically elected representatives from the House and Senate.

Despots damage the people’s property and parade it around, glorifying Auschwitz.

Thankfully, the House and Senate reconvened and Mike Pence did his duty to the Constitution and confirmed, yet again, that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take office on January 20th, 2021.

But the despots are still there, and more work is needed to defuse them.