Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Right of the People

I have been watching the political haranguing regarding the various massacres committed by crazy people that seem to occur on a regular basis in the gun-free zones of our country -- places where self-defense is not allowed.

I see politicians posturing for assault weapon bans, and magazine capacity bans. They say things like "no one needs a gun like this for hunting," and "no one should have these weapons of war in their home," and "we need to get these mass-murdering guns off our streets."

Their perennial push for new "reasonable" restrictions on gun ownership show that these politicians, and indeed most of our citizens, have no understanding of our history, and no concept of the principles that our country was founded on.

The Second Amendment has never been about the right to hunt. The Founders didn't care about hunting. They cared about Liberty. They wanted to make sure that the power of the gun resided not in the government, but in the people. They wanted to make sure that if the government were to grow large and oppressive, the people would have the power to overthrow it.

They wanted the government to be small and weak, and the people strong.

Thus the Second Amendment is purely about our right to own and carry military arms; the kind of arms that an individual soldier would carry; the kind that gives the people the power to change the government by force, if necessary.

Note that the Second Amendment doesn't grant this right. Like the rest of the Bill of Rights, it affirms the pre-existing, inherent right that we have simply by being human. The Founders believed that all men were "endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights..." Thus no government has any power whatsoever to take our rights away. We have our rights forever, regardless of what kings, or presidents, or government agencies, or Congress says. Our rights are forever beyond even the power of democratic majorities.

This means that even if the Second Amendment were to be removed from the Constitution, we would still have our inherent unalienable right to own military guns.

It is important to remember that gun confiscations and gun restrictions were the match that lit the American Revolutionary War. The "Shot Heard Round the World" on April 19th, 1775, was the response of the citizens of Concord, Massachusetts to what was in essence a British SWAT team coming to get their military guns, ammunition, and cannons.

The core of the Second Amendment is about the right of free people to respond to exactly that kind of oppressive government action.

Based on the writings of Jefferson, Adams, Paine, Washington, and many other Founders, it is clear that they would have considered any ban on citizen ownership of the soldier's standard military arm to be a point of no return. The right to keep and bear military arms is the foundational right that protects all other rights. By abrogating that right, the government eliminates the only true physical check on its power.

Military arms in the hands of the people form the greatest barrier to the kinds of utopian changes to our culture that some of our servants in Washington want to make. And that is why they take every opportunity to attempt to ban such guns.

Here are more quotes from the Founders regarding Liberty and Guns.

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