“The opinion of the Federalist has always been considered as of great authority. It is a complete commentary on our Constitution, and is appealed to by all parties in the questions to which that instrument has given birth...”
- The U.S. Supreme Court, Cohens v. Virginia (1821).
[note: no mention of the Anti-Federalist]
“Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice inthe course of a year.” - Federalist Paper 29, Hamilton
Further note regarding “The Militia Act of 1792” which pretty well lays out that all citizens between 18 and 45 are to own a military grade rifle as part of their membership in the militia...
“each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act. And it shall at all time hereafter be the duty of every such Captain or Commanding Officer of a company, to enroll every such citizen as aforesaid, and also those who shall, from time to time, arrive at the age of 18 years, or being at the age of 18 years, and under the age of 45 years (except as before excepted) shall come to reside within his bounds; and shall without delay notify such citizen of the said enrollment, by the proper non-commissioned Officer of the company, by whom such notice may be proved. That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of power and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and power-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a power of power; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service”
The DC lawyers will that that hamilton quote and say it was to have an ORGANIZED militia NOT individual rights.
You have to ASSEMBLE them in a unit. The lawyers will argue this means we no longer have militias like that there fore there is no individual right.
need better cites.
“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” (introduction to his discussion, and support, of the 2nd Amend) “Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution” Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 18 June 1789, pg.2
ZACHARIA JOHNSON (delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention): “The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.” (Elliot, 3:645-6)
“Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command; for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.” - Noah Webster, An Examination of The Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787
“False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty-so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator-and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the quality alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an unarmed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.” - Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in “On Crimes and Punishment”, 1764
“Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense.” - John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787-88
“if the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is no recorse left but the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramont to all forms of positive government.” - Alexander Hamilton, writing in The Federalist Paper No. 28
“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large, is that they be properly armed.” - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers , 184-8
“...if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.” - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers No. 29
Who were the ones who insisted on the Bill of Rights. Although once the Constitution was passed, the Federalists too supported the creation and provisions of the Bill of Rights.
In Federalist #29, Hamilton is actually arguing against having all individuals armed and trained to fight, saying that doing so "would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss."
Since they argued against adoption of the Constitution, and lost, their position would not be regarded as authoritative as to the intent of the Constitution.