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“TO PRESERVE LIBERTY”
by KrisAnne Hall,©2012, blogging at www.krisannehall.com
(Jul. 26, 2012) — The Second Amendment was not established on a whim. Our founders incorporated the second amendment based upon generations of experience fighting tyranny. The drafters’ intent is easily discovered by simply going to their writings and their history. What we discover from the founders’ writings is that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or skeet shooting. (The fact that the founders wrote down what they intended the Constitution to mean is somehow lost on masses of uninformed Americans.) Sadly, our understanding of the right to bear arms has already moved so far from where our founders intended. If we cannot convince Americans of its true purpose, we will be looking at a future in which we are completely powerless against the forces of oppression and enslavement. Furthermore, we cannot allow our elected employees to have any perspective other than the one which is indicated by the Constitution and explained by its framers.
The framers’ history is a history of the rise and fall of tyrants. Their history is a history of the pursuit of Liberty and the progressive securing of greater and greater protections for that Liberty. Our founders came to this country with their own Bill of Rights. This document was the very basis for their protest against King George III. Not surprisingly this document looks strikingly like the Declaration of Independence. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 lists among its grievances against James II that he was disarming the people while the government remained armed and that he employed standing armies illegally. So when George III started tyrannizing them with the very oppressions that their fathers had suffered, they understood that he was violating a fundamentally protected right.
Sam Adams explained that every colonist had the inherent right to certain things under the laws of nature.
“Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.”
Fundamental to the rights of life, liberty and property are the right to defend them. Yet as we speak our current government is attempting to legislate this right to defend our rights and they are collaborating with the likes of China and Russia. From whom did our founders feel the greatest threat? From what “attacker” is the Second Amendment intended to protect us? They had in mind the very threat we see today with the UN Gun treaty. They were placing in the hands of the people the means to deny a government trading our sovereignty for ‘global negotiations.’ They wanted to ‘arm’ us with the truth of our liberty and the duty we have to defend it, not just for ourselves, but for our posterity!
“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.”
Nearly every argument against the right to bear arms centers on a misrepresentation of the first four words; “a well regulated militia.” What did our founders think when they penned those four words?
George Mason, while addressing the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1778 asked the question: “who are the militia?”
“[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually…I ask, who are the militia?”
In asking this question, Mason gives a grave warning. He warns it is the enemy within (governor of Pennsylvania in his case) that desires to enslave the people. He also warns that this enemy will not suddenly show up at our door demanding our firearms. The enemy will wait until the people have been worn down, perhaps regulated, to the point that they no longer WANT to be bother owning firearms. I cannot imagine a better example of the government attempting to make us “sink gradually” that the enormous effort required of a LAW ABIDING citizen to purchase a firearm. When it takes hour and forty-five minutes of paperwork and background checks to purchase a one shot .22 caliber rifle, how can this be justified? Our founders demanded in the second amendment that our right to bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. These regulations are an infringement and they are designed to eliminate gun owners NOT keep the people safe. It is an effort to destroy Liberty!
Mason did not end his argument with a question, but answered it with a simplicity that is astounding. He explains:
“They (the militia) consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor…”
Mason knew the militia was every person, “all classes, high and low, and rich and poor.” He feared without the incorporation of the second amendment the people would forget that fact and allow the government to disarm them. Noah Webster shared Mason’s concerns. Webster not only explains to us WHO a militia is, but who it is NOT and the PURPOSE for having this militia.
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence (sic), raised in the United States…”
Noah Webster explains that unless we want to be like every other kingdom in Europe, with a disarmed people and a standing army at their door, the WHOLE BODY of the people must remained armed! The purpose of an armed people, Webster explains, is to keep the federal government from enforcing unjust laws. Can you imagine someone printing that statement in an op-ed today? Oops, I guess I just did. Webster continues by explaining that the “well regulated militia” is the whole body of the people and NOT “a military force, at the command of Congress.”
“A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.”
There you have it, a clear line of demarcation.
Richard Henry Lee (the man who proposed the initial amendment to declare independence from Great Britain, and could be rightly regarded as the Father of America) also wrote a letter to the Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788, to elaborate on what our founders knew to be true about the need to bear arms.
“[W]hereas, 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;”
Wow, imagine that, the purpose of the WHOLE BODY OF THE PEOPLE being armed is to preserve liberty, not for the purposes of hunting and skeet shooting. In fact, Lee said it is ESSENTIAL that the WHOLE BODY of the people ALWAYS possess arms. That little word “always” really throws a wrench in the works in believing the government has the right to impose conceal and carry permits on the people. That is NOT something our founders would have accepted.
Lee continues with his explanation to help us understand who the well regulated militia is NOT:
“nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.”
We must now be the “true republicans” dedicated to carefully guarding against the government forcing us to believe they are the only ones to own guns. We must do as Lee said and help everyone to always possess arms and we must train our children to do so as well. This will not increase gun related deaths it will decrease them. The facts support this assertion and the emotion of the gun haters cannot handle that.
Finally, let us look to Patrick Henry. Henry was arguing against Edmond Pendleton who opposed the Bill of Rights and the incorporation of the second amendment. Pendleton declared there was no need to codify such a right, because if the Senators started to impose unjust laws, the people could simply recall them. This was a reasonable assertion at the time, because prior to the ratification of the seventeenth amendment in 1913 the people had that power. However, Henry was not satisfied with this argument and felt it an inadequate protection of the liberties inherent to men.
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.”
Patrick Henry was very passionate about this right and the record reflects that Henry then “sneered at Pendleton” and said,
“O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone…Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation…inflicted by those who had no power at all.”
So you see, it’s undeniable what our founders intended. “A well regulated militia being necessary to secure a free state” is the whole body of the people always possessing arms to secure liberty, to prevent a standing army in times of peace, and to prevent the federal government from enforcing unjust laws—free from government regulations that would cause them to be disarmed over time.
That is why I say, we do not have a RIGHT to bear arms, we have a DUTY to bear arms. We have a duty to prevent the gradual sinking of the people by an effort to disarm them. We have a duty to ensure that the federal government does not try to rule us with a standing army. We have a duty to prevent the federal government from imposing unjust laws by the sword. It is this duty we owe to ourselves and our posterity, to secure the blessings of liberty. According to George Mason, Noah Webster, Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, the remaining founders and an entire nation of people 225 years ago, keeping that promise, fulfilling that duty, requires that we bear arms.
Do not fail our children. Do not fail liberty. Educate everyone that you know that any law that infringes upon our right to bear arms is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Inform Congress that the UN Gun Treaty is unconstitutional and WE WILL NOT COMPLY. Let Congress know if they sign the UN Gun Treaty, if they fail the second amendment, they will fail their oath of office, and they are enemies of liberty and we WILL “carefully guard against” them. We the people are going to keep our commitment to our children; WE are going to put Liberty First, either with them or without them! We will not be disarmed and we will NOT allow a tyranny to be passed down to our children. We will NOT stand idly by why while those we elect destroy our Liberty and sell our children into slavery!