What Thomas Jefferson Might Think About Gun Control

jefferson portrait headObviously, it is impossible to know exactly what the Founders might think on a given subject, but there are often some pretty good clues.  For example, we can make a pretty good guess as to what Thomas Jefferson would think about gun control.
In a letter giving advice to his nephew Peter Carr dated August 19, 1785 (which is well worth the read in its entirety,) Jefferson writes this about exercise:

Give about two of them [Jefferson is writing of his free hours] every day to exercise; for health must not be sacrificed to learning.  A strong body makes the mind strong.  As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun.  While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind.  Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind.  Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks. 

(Yes, that is how Jefferson spelled enterprise and independence.  You can read it for yourself here.)  If Jefferson thought that the best form of exercise is the gun, then it is highly unlikely that he would be a gun control advocate!  (For how I recently followed Jefferson’s advice, click here.)

I am one of those crazy people who actually believe that the Second Amendment is about resisting tyranny, not just hunting and sport shooting and self defense.  Accordingly, I am an opponent of all forms of gun control.  Obviously, I don’t know for sure how far Jefferson would go, but, given his experience with tyranny and the methods for throwing it off, I expect he would be close enough to my position on it to make a lot of the Jefferson-loving-but-real-liberty-hating liberals of our time a bit uncomfortable.