Go to ...

Stop the Madness

just the truth

RSS Feed

October 22, 2017

Democrats Just Don’t Get the Second Amendment


Today, if you ask a Democrat what the purpose of the Second Amendment is they’ll stumble around their words and say something along the lines that it is for the Government to protect itself from others. Some will even say that it was for a time long ago and isn’t needed anymore.

That wasn’t always the belief:

“Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”
– John F. Kennedy

Amendment II

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.

People who oppose citizens to keep and bear arms will point to the “well regulated militia” as meaning a standing army, which consists of people, shall have the right to keep and bear arms.

This philosophy is so wrong that it is just foolish. Let’s start with what a militia really is:

“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
– George Mason
Co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…”
– Richard Henry Lee
writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788

“The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them.”
– Zachariah Johnson
Elliot’s Debates, vol. 3 “The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution.”

Okay, so the militia is the whole “unorganized” citizenry, not an “organized” standing army. What about the “well regulated” part, surely that means that only a trained standing army should have and bear arms.

Let’s take a look and see what it means.

In current times, “regulated” generally means to be “controlled” or “governed by rule”. However, back during the writing of the Constitution it meant “properly disciplined” as it pertained to troops – II Compact Edition, Oxford English Dictionary 2473 (1971). Also, the verb “discipline” is defined as “to instruct, educate, train.” and as a noun it refers to a field of “learning or knowledge”. In relation to arms, it is defined as “training in the practice of arms …”

So, we can clearly see that the Founding Fathers had it in mind that not only should the individual possess their own firearms but also to voluntarily train and practice in the use of it. In this way, should the need arise, the citizens could be called upon to carry out their militia obligation. Don’t forget, it was a militia of the citizens that fought and won the American Revolution! The Founding Fathers had not forgotten this at the writing of the Constitution.

“Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence… from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable… the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
– George Washington
First President of the United State

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
– Richard Henry Lee
American Statesman, 1788

“There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
– Noah Webster

“We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists.”
– Patrick Henry

“The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, bows, spears, firearms or other types of arms. The possession of these elements makes difficult the collection of taxes and dues, and tends to permit uprising.”
– Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japanese Shogun, August 29, 1558

“This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”
– Adolph Hitler

 

Okay, let’s now take a look at firearms for personal use and defense.

“The great object is that every man be armed.” and “Everyone who is able may have a gun.”
– Patrick Henry
American Patriot

“The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;…”
– Thomas Jefferson
letter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824. ME 16:45.

“The best we can help for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”
– Alexander Hamilton
The Federalist Papers at 184-8

“A strong body makes a strong mind. As to the species of exercise I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Thomas M. Cooley, who was a leading Constitutional scholar and commentator wrote the following in relation to the Second Amendment:

The Right is General. It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been elsewhere explained, consists of those persons who, under the law, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon. But the law may make provision for the enrollment of all who are fit to perform military duty, or of a small number only, or it may wholly omit to make any provision at all; and if the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of this guarantee might be defeated altogether by the action or neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose. But this enables the government to have a well regulated militia; for to bear arms implies something more than the mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them in a way that makes those who keep them ready for their efficient use; in other words, it implies a right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms, observing in doing so the laws of public order. (Emphasis added.) Thomas M. Cooley, LL.D., General Principles of Constitutional Law in the United States of America, 298-299 (3rd ed. 1898)

During the ratification process of the Constitution, the States were very wary about authorizing a standing army to the Federal government, even with restrictions written into the main body of it. They were concerned that the Federal government could turn on the people and use it’s army to suppress their rights and liberties.

James Madison discussed in Federalist 46 how a Federal standing army might be checked and controlled, which he believed in 1788 would consist of “one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms,”.

“To these [the standing army troops] would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by [state] governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the late successful resistance of this country against the British Arms will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. The existence of subordinate governments to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, … the governments [of Europe] are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (Emphasis added.)

Even Alexander Hamilton, who leaned more towards a strong central government, was concerned about how a standing army might have negative effects upon the individual liberties of citizens. He wrote in Federalist 29 how a standing army might be avoided or at least restrained.

“The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate size upon such principles as will really fit it for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan it will be possible to have an excellent body of well trained militia ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments; but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army; the best possible security against it if it should exist.”

It was the States that wanted the personal right to bear arms explicitly put into the Constitution, even though at that time everyone knew and held to the belief that it was connected to an inalienable right of self-defense, which no government could suppress. Through much debate and discussion the Second Amendment came to be as we have it today.

“The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them.”
– Zachariah Johnson
Elliot’s Debates, vol. 3 “The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution.”

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”
– Thomas Jefferson to James Madison

“They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
– Ben Franklin

So, from a simple study of our history and the prevailing thoughts of the time when we became a Nation it is easy to see that the Second Amendment plainly says what it means and means what it plainly says. To try and interpret it in any other way is just plain intellectual dishonesty or sheer ignorance of the truth.

~Patrick

2 Responses “Democrats Just Don’t Get the Second Amendment”

  1. Ric Moreno
    June 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Spot on! Mind if I send this link to a friend that could use the insight?

    • Patrick
      June 22, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      Please send it to any and every one.

Leave a Reply

More Stories From Constitution

About Patrick