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The Mythic Meanings of the Second AmendmentTaming Political Violence in a Constitutional Republic$
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David C. Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300095623

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300095623.001.0001

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Redeeming the People

Redeeming the People

(p.281) 9 Redeeming the People
The Mythic Meanings of the Second Amendment

David C. Williams

Yale University Press

This chapter argues that in making a constitutional organization of violence which is relevant to the Framers' view and more useable to modern needs, there is a requirement to attend to two elements—popular unity, and checks and balances—of which the latter poses a more difficult challenge. Despite the system of checks and balances established today, most private persons and groups, law enforcement organizations, and the military still hold arms and the capacity to commit political violence. That is why this chapter suggests that the balance, perhaps, should be altered. Popular unity, on the other hand, is a much less familiar concept. Politicians invoke this idea, but most Americans view it with distrust.

Keywords:   checks and balances, political unity, political violence, constitutional organization, military

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