Monday, January 7, 2013

The Power of the Second Amendment

First, the Second Amendment text:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
I know, some legal eagles out there will point out that there are two versions, the first, as passed by Congress, and the other as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson. The difference is punctuation and capitals, so I will list the other version as well.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Thanks to Wikipedia for this bit of assistance.

So what was the purpose of the Second Amendment (2A)? While our Founding Fathers had just defeated the world super power of the day, Britain, and were creating a document guaranteeing the rights of citizens and establishing a government, they decided that they forever wanted Musketts to be a protected class of weapon for hunting and sport shooting? Hardly...

Thomas Jefferson once said:

On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
A bunch of rag tag colonists just kicked Britain's behind, with some help from France of course. These colonists were businessmen, merchants, writers, farmers, hunters... In writing the Constitution, they were addressing the grievances that had been earlier addressed in the Declaration of Independence, and ensuring that a government would exist that would not replace the tyranny of King George.

In the following discussion, note the lack of terminology that implies our rights are granted by the government. The government, federal, state, or local, does not "grant" rights to the people, but rather the rights are natural, inherent to the people, claimed by the people, and the Constitution and Bill of Rights is the people declaring our rights to the government and what LIMITED powers the government would be granted by us, not the other way around.

These brilliant men declared that "We the People"
1. Retained Freedom of Speech so we could speak out against those who would oppress us.
2. They claimed Freedom of Religion (not "seperation between church and state" like the media and the governments of today would have you believe) so no government could adopt a national religion and oppress their citizens for not conforming to it.
3. They claimed Freedom of the Press so citizens could challenge the governments actions and spread the word, if the government became tyrannical.
4. They established Due Process to guarantee no government could imprison someone who objected to the actions of that government, without first meeting a burden of proof that a jury of that persons peers, not government agents, were satisfied with.
5. They forbid governments from forcing citizens to house soldiers except in time of war, and only then as prescribed by law. This prevented the government from intimidating citizens in time of peace.

Then they brilliantly claimed that this Bill of Rights, 10 articles in all, and by no means limited to the rights listed above, was not all inclusive, and that ANY right not itemized above was retained by the States and the People. This means they realized they could not envision every situation, could not codify every possible question that could arise in the future, and realizing their limitiations, restricted the powers of the Federal Government and granted those powers and rights to the States and more importantly, to WE THE PEOPLE.

So that begs the question... Why on earth, while limiting the powers of government, ensuring tyranny in government would be prevented or combatted, just as the Founding Fathers had fought it recently, would they then decide to ensure the right of the people to go hunt ducks and deer with Muskets?

The answer of course, is that this is not the intent of the 2A. As Jefferson said, if we recollect the "spirit manifest in the debates" and "conform" to the most probable intent of its passing, then having just fought a war with THE superpower of the world, the Founding Fathers were ensuring that an armed citizenry, the true power, and the true governing body of this country, could ONCE AGAIN fight a war against tyranny and oppression executed by the government of those people against them, AND WIN.

Our not-so-bright liberal friends and media will argue that the Founding Fathers could not have envisioned the weapons of today, and that the 2A is about hunting and sport shooting. Using that logic, they would ban "high capacity" magazines (arbitrarily decided by liberal politicians as containing more than 10 rounds). They would ban semi-auto "assault" weapons because by their logic, the Founding Fathers never envisioned these weapons. They argue that the federal government has nukes, tanks, missiles, drones, satellites and rockets and that assault weapons are useless against this technological terror anyways, so lets just ban them to prevent their use in crimes or against innocent civilians.

I will agree with them on the point that indeed, some of the technology our nation, the world, possesses today, could not possibly be imagined by the Founding Fathers. That is why they wrote in the 9th and 10th Amendments at the end of the Bill of Rights, as a "cover their ass" clause, to ensure citizens could STILL oppose tyranny in government.

If you turn liberal "lack of" logic back on the purveryors of such ignorance, nothing on the internet should be construed as freedom of speech, because our founding fathers could not have conceived such technology.

New media on television, cable, computers, internet, using satellite communication, is not protected by freedom of speech or freedom of the press, because no way could anyone 200+ years ago have forseen such wonders, and therefore it is not within the protection of rights granted under the First Amendment.

DNA evidence should not be admitted, because it was unknown to the Founding Fathers and therefore is not covered under due process.

You see how rapidly these smoke-and-mirror arguments by the liberal left collapse under scrutiny, yet day in and day out, these same arguments are quoted on facebook, spoken by celebrities, and regurgitated by politicians (democrat and republican alike) to justify a little bit more loss of freedom in the name of safety.

This blog was not about crime statistics, gun control statistics, arguments for or against based on civilian shootings... those arguments have been beat to death (with the gun control crowd usually losing). This is about the purpose of the Second Amendment, the purpose of the entire Bill of Rights, and that is for what Thomas Jefferson claimed:
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Or how about what George Washington said:
When firearms go, all goes - we need them every hour.
Gotta kill us some turkeys and deer or this nation is screwed?

Or Alexander Hamilton when he stated:
The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
The people AT LARGE? That they be PROPERLY ARMED? He meant armed with musketts right? Yes, he did, because the British were also armed with musketts. If the British had been armed with assault rifles, then so would he have claimed we the people should be armed with them as well.

What did James Madison think?
The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
Now our government refuses to trust us, We the People, with arms...

That is the spirit manifest in the debates of the 2A and the most probable one for which it was passed. This is why we are armed, why we possess assault rifles, high capacity magazines, and all caliber of firearms - because our government has them too, because governments around the world have them.

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