Religious-right pseudo-historian David Barton is a Second Amendment absolutist, meaning that he believes there should be literally no limits on what sort of weapons private citizens can possess, including tanks and fighter jets.
Under Barton’s interpretation of the Second Amendment, the “right to bear arms” was designed to guarantee that citizens are adequately armed to fight off their own government if necessary, and therefore they have the right to obtain any and all weapons that the government possesses.
On Thursday’s episode of his “WallBuilders Live” radio program, Barton said that even applies to nuclear weapons.
“The greatest people-killer of all has been government,” Barton said. “Nothing has killed more people than government has killed. And so when you look at that, the Founding Fathers believed that the people should be able to have enough arms in place to be able to remind their government you don’t want to mess with us, you don’t want to come after us. Well, if all we’ve got is peashooters and they’ve got .50 caliber machine guns, that’s not the point of the [Second] Amendment.”
“I don’t want to see my neighbor stockpile nuclear bombs—I don’t want to see it—but I don’t care if he has one because he should have the same rights [as the government],” Barton added. “But you say, ‘Well, I don’t think private citizens should have nuclear weapons.’ But if you’ve been trained with responsibility and morality and the concept of when and where you use them—the Founding Fathers were trained extensively and the concept of defensive warfare: You don’t start anything, [but] if somebody else starts it, you can take it on, but you don’t start it. I don’t care if my neighbor has a nuclear weapon as long as he has that defensive concept that he will never use that unless it’s being used against him.”