Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The 2nd Amendment was specifically intended to protect the right of the people to form "citizen's armies" armed with modern military weaponry
Anyone with any knowledge whatsoever of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights understands that the the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to own firearms, in part because of the right of self-defense against common criminals, based upon the God-given right to self-defense, which exists prior to any man-made secular government.
But what fewer people understand is that the Second Amendment, not only in its specific language, but as corroborated by the many writings of the Founding Fathers demonstrating the original intent, and confirmed later by Supreme Court decisions, expresses the right of the people to form "citizen's armies" (called "militias") which are to be protection against not only threats of foreign armies, but also potential domestic threats, including from our own government should it become tyrannical.
LANGUAGE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT
"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."
First off, notice the phrase "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state". What is the purpose of this language, and what does it mean? Legally speaking, it is a "preamble". It's purpose is to provide a rationale or justification for why the people have this "right to keep and bear arms."
The term "militia", in the parlance of the late 18th century, referred essentially to an army made up of the common citizenry -- ie, every able-bodied man capable of military service. This is overwhelmingly confirmed by the writings of the Founders and others around that time in history.
Next, the phrase "well regulated" does not mean what modern-day leftists would have us believe -- ie, that it supposedly means this militia "restricted" the people's access to the firearms, or that it limits the right to keep and bear arms to militias only. No. The phrase "well regulated", in the lingo of the late 18th century, essentially means "well equipped and well trained" or "kept in proper working order", which is also overwhelmingly confirmed by the writings of the Founders and others around that time in history. In modern terminology, "regulated" is still sometimes used in this way -- such as referring to a watch or violin that is in proper working order as "regulated."
Therefore, in the vernacular of modern times, the first part of the text of the Second Amendment basically states that "a well equipped and well trained civilian army is necessary for the security of a free nation." A well-equipped or well armed military is necessary for the defense and security of the nation. Not an army or militia that is restricted or limited in its right to keep and bear arms, which is preposterous.
The second part of the text of the Second Amendment is fairly unambiguous and straight-forward, with one exception which may warrant further explanation. The terms "keep and bear" not only mean that the people have the right to own firearms, as noted by the term "keep". As expressed by the term "bear", the people also have the right to carry firearms on their person.
QUOTES FROM FOUNDERS, SUPREME COURT, OTHERS ON INTENT OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT AS RIGHT OF CIVILIAN ARMY TO PROTECT AGAINST GOVERNMENT TYRANNY
First off, it is important to understand that "we the people" are the sovereigns under our Constitutional form of government in respect to our relationship with government. In other words, we are superior to the government. As the Declaration of Independence states, we the people created the government in order to "secure our rights" (eg, to life, liberty, and property), and authorize it to govern only insofar as it serves that rightful purpose. If, as the Declaration states, the government becomes tyrannical and destructive of our God-given rights, it is not only our right to overthrow that government but it is our DUTY -- and using violent means, if necessary.
1. "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security." -Declaration of Independence
NOTE: And what ACTION did the Founders take to back up the above statement in the Declaration of Independence? They took up arms and violently overthrew the British government in the colonies.
2. "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -Thomas Jefferson
3. "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." -George Washington
"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
4. "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson
5. The Federalist Papers, No. 28: Alexander Hamilton expressed that when a government betrays the people by amassing too much power and becoming tyrannical, the people have no choice but to exercise their original right of self-defense — to fight the government.[Halbrook, p. 67]
6. The Federalist Papers, No. 46: James Madison contended that ultimate authority resides in the people, and that if the federal government got too powerful and overstepped its authority, then the people would develop plans of resistance and resort to arms. [Halbrook, p. 67]
7. "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
8. "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 inevitably ruined." —Patrick Henry
9. "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." --Abraham Lincoln
10. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (appointed to the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice by James Madison in 1811), wrote a constitutional commentary in 1833 ("Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States"). Regarding the Second Amendment, he wrote:
"The next amendment is: "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."
The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
11. From George Mason, co-author of the 2nd Amendment:
“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.” – Speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 14, 1778
12. “That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.” –Virginia Declaration of Rights, June 12, 1776
WE THE PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO "MILITARY-GRADE" WEAPONRY
As demonstrated in the previous sections, the Second Amendment expresses the right of the citizens to effectively form a collective "Citizen Army" (termed "Militia"), which are capable of protecting and fighting against a modern military of the day (whether a foreign or domestic enemy army).
At the time of drafting in 18th century American colonies, the idea was that an armed populace was needed to defend against and fight the British (which had a standing army in the colonies) or any other foreign army. And this meant that the people in the colonies needed muskets, the most advanced weaponry at that time used by infantry soldiers. The armed populace needed to be able to defend against a modern army of the day...in fact the most formidable army of that day, the British Army.
And one cannot say that the Second Amendment is now "outdated" or "no longer relevant." The potential threat of tyranny from those in government, whether foreign or domestic, is just as great (if not greater) than it was in the 18th century.
Therefore, we living today have the right to the most advanced "military-grade" weaponry of our own time -- including fully automatic AR-15 type rifles, 50-caliber rifles, etc.