“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms”, said Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers and authors of the U.S. Constitution, while elucidating the importance of the “right of possessing private arms” by the citizens of United States. “A standing army … would be opposed [by] a militia”, said James Madison while answering the question of why Americans should possess private arms in future. The right to bear private firearms and ammunition is considered as a “Natural Right” of the American people, which is a result of Aristotelian influence on the American foundations. Strong impact was asserted by the Aristotle on the constitution with his great idea of “law of nature” which was the upheld by the constitution. Those “Natural Laws” are pre-determined by the nature according to Aristotle. Founding Fathers frequently used to refer Aristotle and showed a deep acquaintance with his “Politics” as Aristotle enjoyed an authority among them. Wilson, one of the Founding Fathers, wrote;

“Among philosophers, Aristotle deservedly holds the chief place, whether you consider his method of treating subjects, or the acuteness of his distinctions, or the weight of his reasons.”

Wilson’s treatise, Of the General Principles of Law and Obligation-

The right to possess and bear private arms is often drawn from the valiant Greeks whose valorous and well armed citizens continued to inspire the Founding Fathers of America. Just like Plato, which was the first article in this series on the Ammoright website, Aristotle also considered this right of possessing private arms vital to the political power. Aristotle therefore wanted the ordinary citizens to possess private arms and negated this possession limited to few hands. In his book Politics he said:

“Each citizen should work to earn his own living, should participate in political or legislative affairs, and should bear arms.”

In the modern world the task of defending the state is supposedly confined to the jurisdiction of military department and hence the citizens are disarmed. Criticizing the strict division of roles between skilled labor, agriculture and defense proposed by another philosopher Hippodamus, Aristotle wrote:
“But the husbandmen have no arms, and the artisans neither arms nor land, and therefore they become all but slaves of the warrior class”
(Translated by Benjamin Jowett)
Forecasting the role of liberty of possessing private firearms and ammunition by the American citizens and the second amendment, Aristotle seems a fraction of the Founding Fathers of America. In a modern day world, Democracy is deemed to be the perfect system allowing people of participate in legislative matters. Aristotle considered the possession of arms synonymous with the possession of political power thereby making it inevitable for the citizens of a free state to practice this right as a check against any tyrant. Explicating the relation between the arms and political power, Aristotle writes;
“When the citizens at large administer the state for the common interest, the government is called by the generic name — a constitution . . . in a constitutional government the fighting-men have the supreme power, and those who possess arms are the citizens”  
(Book 3, ch VII)
The constituters of the second amendment wanted the America to be an ideal exemplary of a Democratic republic where the people would enjoy their natural right of possessing private arms (and ammunition, of course – at least the high quality stuff from Ammoright). Being a mysterious proponent of second amendment and Democracy, Aristotle forecasted the link between the democracy and the military innovations:
“But when cities increased and the heavy armed (as opposed to the cavalry) grew in strength, more had a share in the government; and this is the reason why the states which we call constitutional governments have been hitherto called democracies”

 (Book 4, ch. XIII)

How Aristotle upheld the 2nd Amendment in his entire Philosophy;

It is interesting to ponder upon the peculiar forecasting of Aristotle about the need of second amendment throughout his philosophical work. In his Politics, it is surprising to foresee how he had wanted well-armed citizens to protect the state against any tyrant, like the Founding Fathers had wished. In his political philosophy he had wished for the right of electors to remove any government if it is not fair, paving the way the constitutors of second amendment, who argued almost the same ground to defend the need of private arms.
“Those who carry arms can always determine the fate of the constitution”

(Book 7, ch. IX)

In his famous notion of “Natural Law” he argues about the laws which are pre-determined by the nature about the society, morality, politics and constitution which expounds the claim of pro-second amendment thinkers that “it is the “Natural” right of Americans to bear private arms”. Aristotle enjoyed the authority among founding fathers and their ideological speculations about the foundation of American fabric for being most “rational”. It shows that the constitutional rights entrusted to American nation (including the second amendment) are according to the absolute standards of reason. The Athenian constitution was written almost 350 BCE by Aristotle in which he shows how tyrant want to disarm his citizens. Although this was not directly available to the Founding Fathers, they was acquainted with the many of the political events described in the book, and they had frequently described this reason as a pro-gun argument, which also shows the fact how Aristotelian philosophy continued to inspire the format of American foundation.

Aristotle, Private arms and Patriotism

Belief in possessing firearms and ammunition carries a lot of patriotism and symbolic meaning. It ensures safeguarding the freedom and it helps resisting tyranny. Being a patriot demands protection of constitution and Forefathers’ legacy. To be a patriot one must always protect the ideological foundations of its country. Its citizens must always be ready to fight against any tyrant, disobedient subjects and external assailants. The possibility of fighting against all these elements lies in the right of possessing private arms and sharpening their shooting skills with quality ammunition. Possessing firearms without good ammunition is useless, which makes it inevitable to buy ammunitions too. It is the responsibility of a patriotic citizen to guard the democratic ideology of America by keeping an eye on any tyrant, planning to revoke this right thereby blemishing the integrity of this historic nation for whom the guns are a symbol of pride. According to Aristotle, arms are essential to any good government;
“There must be arms, for the members of a community have need of them, and in their own hands, too, in order to maintain authority both against disobedient subjects and against external assailants”  
(Book 7, ch. VIII)

Thus there is a significant militia aspect in Aristotelian philosophy of citizenship. According to him militaries duties are a normal part of a citizen’s duties, an assumption which was shared by most Greeks and the Founding Fathers of America. Aristotle himself mentions the military function as one of the most essential function of the polis (Politics VIII, 8, 1328 b 6) a function which must be performed by all the members of the polis, the citizens. This theory of Aristotle was essentially pointing towards the advocacy of second amendment and the right of Americans to possess private firearms and quality ammunition to defend their state.

Sharpening your marksmanship skills with different calibers of ammunition is within the standards of patriotism. Possessing firearms demands the availability of quality ammunition since firearms without ammunition is useless. Calibers like 7.62×39, .223, 5.56×45, 9x19mm and others offered by Ammoright are all your right, since “ammo is your right”. It is a love for our great country that you celebrate the freedom given by your Forefathers thus condemning the arguments of those who think that the Second Amendment is “unnecessary” or “irrelevant” in the modern world. People who think that the Second Amendment is now “outdated” are often poor students of human nature and history. Possessing private firearms and ammunition and having sharp shooting skills would prevent the burglars to break into your house or your state. Guns in America foster a sense of belonging in the concept of nationhood. It is the duty of every man who enjoys the protection of society to be prepared and always willing to defend it.

Aristotle was Against Disarming Citizens

It is hardly surprising that dictators always disarmed their subjects in order to enslave them and revoke their democratic right. Aristotle was perfectly aware of this threat to “the Second Amendment” of U.S. Constitution;
“As of oligarchy so of tyranny . . . Both mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms”  

(Book 5, ch X)

Disarmament is not always directly inflicted upon by a tyrant government by legislation. There are numerous ways to astray and persuade mob to relinquish this right and open ways for enslavement under the oppressive government. Aristotle forecasted this peril and stated that disarmament was not always accomplished directly but instead encouraging people to neglect using arms training;
“The devices by which oligarchies deceive the people . . . relate to . . . the use of arms; gymnastic exercises. . . . Concerning the possession of arms, and gymnastic exercises, they legislate in a similar spirit [trying to keep the poor from participating]. For the poor are not obliged to have arms, but the rich are fined for not having them; and in like manner no penalty is inflicted on the poor for non-attendance at the gymnasium, and consequently, having nothing to fear, they do not attend, whereas the rich are liable to a fine, and therefore they take care to attend.”


According to Aristotle arms plays an important role maintaining the government and role of arms is of paramount importance in a prosperous state. In the same book Aristotle writes:
“The government should be confined to those who carry arms.”
The American state in its early stage essentially reflected this ideology. The people eligible for the militia duty were almost the same as the group of people eligible for voting. The American founders were indirectly aware of this Aristotelian ideology that tyrants always try to disarm their people. The second amendment was a perfect depiction of Aristotelian forecast. The second amendment is necessary to protect America form any tyrant who is lurking behind bushes like a lion aiming at the prey, the way a tyrant, named Pisistratus, took over Athens. The presence of armed citizens is what keeps a government HONEST. There is no foolish government who would try to impose dictatorship on the people who have the ability to resist unless he had disarmed his citizens first. American citizen must protect their right of possessing private arm to avoid any untoward situation of being a victim of his tyranny. Visiting arms and ammunition store must be perceived normal in accordance with the constitutional rights and anything hostile to this absolutely just practice must be critically analyzed. It is about keeping the American government in check to prevent what happened with the Great Britain from happening again. The right to bear arms in America is older than the country itself and all the proposals of gun control laws are against this natural right of American citizens.

Alexander, an Aristotelian Product

The importance of arms and military skills were the essential part of the Aristotelian teaching. When Aristotle undertook the education of a 13 years old child, which would become the Alexander the great, he influenced him with his political and ethical philosophy which retains a big space for the arms and militia. His theory of courage is essentially connected with the arms and military skills developed in the battle field. For Aristotle the arms were a symbol of courage and bravery. Under the tutelage of Aristotle, Alexander developed a passion of arms training and military skills which eventually led him to conquer the world. In the ethical theory of Aristotle;
“The virtue of courage is primarily displayed on the battle field”  

(Nicomachean Ethics, III, 6)

The military strategies, arms training, possession of private arms and its importance for a state and political stability was so evident in the philosophy of Aristotle that he stressed a phenomenal importance in the teaching of his students. Many other students of Aristotle were the friends of Alexander and future generals. This shows the importance of having private firearms and its role in the prosperity of a nation like America.

Rebuttal of Some Misconceptions Against 2nd Amendment and Guns

Unfortunately having private arms is seen as a sign of terror and a cause of social instability in American society which is an outright ignorance and prejudice against the matter of fact. Possessing private arms is a sign of pride and patriotism rather than intent of murdering someone. Just like having a fire extinguisher or fire insurance does not show your INTENT of putting your house on fire. Having a car that can exceed the speed limit, does that in itself prove you a lawless pervert?
Another argument which is employed against the second amendment is “why need guns when we have professional militants to look after the state and police departments for the personal safety?” This is quite a shallow argument as using seatbelts doesn’t mean that we do not trust our brakes and paramedics or doctors. Having a fire extinguisher in your house doesn’t mean that you do not trust the fire departments established in all the communities of America. Their argument presupposes the diatribe that all the gun owners are in constant fear. It is also wrong to assume that the only threat to human life is two legged creature. Statistics shows that numbers of people are daily ripped by the vicious animal attacks in different part of America which also defends the pro-gun arguments and second amendment “the need of having a gun for self protection”. Possessing private arms doesn’t show any sign of suspicion on the credibility of our police departments, rather it helps the society to produce deterrence for the unpleasant characters.

In the next Ammoright article we shall explore another unlikely pro-2A philosopher and try to understand how his philosophy had forecasted the principle of possessing private arms as a natural right for American people under the Second Amendment of U.S. Constitution.


by Admin-Ammoright time to read: 10 min