One of the most frequent arguments for ‘gun control*’ is that the Founders could not have foreseen inventions such as machine guns or other weapons of mass destruction. The problem with this claim is that they knew about machine guns and other weapons of mass destruction because they already existed. In fact, they existed long before the Revolutionary War.
The pursuit of rapid-fire weapons reaches back to the dawn of time. Before black powder, the ancients had many inventions for firing arrows or catapults in rapid succession. And before the Founders, that quest had continued into the realm of powdered weapons. The first crew-served, rapid fire weapon, the Puckle gun, was invented in 1718, and it was privately owned — by an Englishman!
This is a good summary of the history of rapid fire weapons:
There is a rather humorous way to illustrate “The Founders Couldn’t Foresee That” fallacy. Gun control advocates tend to reject it by saying it’s not the same thing, but it is — because it aims at the principle and not the specific example of that principle. The illustration goes something like this:
If we apply the gun control way of thinking fairly…
But if we applied the Founders’ principles fairly, we get this…
Do you see the difference?
Therefore, rather than getting down into the weeds by arguing this point to absurdity, let us just agree that gun control advocates should concede the facts: the Founders were well aware of the existence of rapid fire weapons, and, therefore, could easily image a time when those weapons would become more destructive. Now, by all accounts of reason, these examples mean that this objection has been defeated. So, can we please put it to rest and move on, as only the irrational will pursue it further.
[*NOTE: I use the term, ‘gun control,’ but this is not exactly an accurate description of the issue at hand. The issue at hand is — in truth — the pursuit of denying people their Natural Right to self-defense. As such, it is a form of tyranny as it is an attack on another person and actually affirms the Founders wisdom in providing us with our Second Amendment protections.]