Second Amendment fanatics (distinguished from Second Amendment scholars) often claim a right to overthrow the U.S. government by force, and use that as justification for complete, unbridled rights to own guns and threaten neighbors, city governments, state governments and federal government with violence.
Regardless the history of the Second Amendment and what it was intended to say, no scholar I can find argues that it vitiates or even touches Article III’s provisions against insurrection and violence against the government and government officers.
It may be good simply to review what that clause says.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
No commentary I can find suggests the Second Amendment confers a right to rebellion, a right to revolution, or any exemption from Article III treason.
What do you think? Comments open.
- Annenberg Classroom explanation of the text of Article III Section 3
- “Should Citizens Have a Right to Rebel?” The Atlantic, Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez Jun 6, 2014