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The Second Amendment Means What It Says February 8, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy.
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2 comments

In the words of AWR Hawkins in Breitbart “When the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791 the phrase, ‘well-regulated militia,’ underlined the importance of the words, ‘shall not be infringed.’”

The Second Amendment says, “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.”

It must be remembered that the shot heard round the world which ignited the Revolution was fought by local militias at Lexington and Concord standing strong against the regular army troops of the greatest empire in the world.  Without those militias and the privately held guns that made them possible there would have been no Revolution.  Because without those militias and the privately held guns that made them possible the colonists would have had no means to resist the tyranny of the king.

To rightly understand the meaning of the Second Amendment first we need to understand, “What is the meaning of a militia.”  In the majority opinion for District of Columbia v Heller (2008), Justice Antonin Scalia explained:

Unlike armies and navies, which Congress is given the power to create (“to raise . . . Armies”; “to provide . . . a Navy,” Art. I, §8, cls. 12–13), the militia is assumed by Article I already to be in existence. Congress is given the power to “provide for calling forth the militia,” §8, cl. 15; and the power not to create, but to “organiz[e]” it—and not to organize “a” militia, which is what one would expect if the militia were to be a federal creation, but to organize “the” militia, connoting a body already in existence, ibid., cl. 16. This is fully consistent with the ordinary definition of the militia as all able-bodied men. From that pool, Congress has plenary power to organize the units that will make up an effective fighting force.

We also need to examine what the Founders and Framers meant when they spoke of a militia.  When to attempting to explain that the American citizenry had within itself the authority to band together for purposes of repelling tyranny James Madison in Federalist 46 he clearly stated that “ultimate authority… resides in the people alone.”

That he meant this as a guarantee to the people of the means with which to resist tyranny on the part of the government is clear when he goes on to say, “Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger.”

Here’s what President Trump has to say on the subject:

The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.

It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative.

Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been proven every time it’s been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons” and “high capacity magazines” to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.

The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving which is a privilege, not a right then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.

I don’t know about you but I have been waiting to hear an American leader say these things for my whole life.

Sic semper tyrannis!

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

The Second Amendment Makes All the Others Possible May 1, 2017

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy.
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2 comments

Why do I need a permit to do what the Constitution says I have a right to do?

If States passed laws making the first amendment null and void do you think we might hear about it?  If a permit was required to speak your mind do you think anyone would protest?

These are all good questions.  What we need is some good answers.

The Second Amendment decrees: “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 Progressives have been telling us for a long time that this should only apply to the National Guard which they contend is the twenty-first century equivalent of a well-regulated militia.  In the landmark Supreme Court decision McDonald v. Chicago the majority ruled that neither the Federal Government nor the States had a right to prevent lawful citizens from protecting their homes with firearms including pistols.

What did the Founders have to say:

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.” George Washington

“A free people ought to be armed.” George Washington speech of January 7, 1790 in the Boston Independent Chronicle, January 14, 1790.

”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

”From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good” George Washington.

“The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed and that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46, at 243-244.

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.” – James Madison.

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” – Alexander Hamilton.

“That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms…” Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850. 2, col. 2.

“To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.”
George Mason referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788

“I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.” George Mason, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 4, 1788

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country 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.”
Noah Webster, “An Examination into the leading Principles of the Federal Constitution.” in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States , at 56 (New York, 1888).

“A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms…  “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, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

“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…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778

Who is the “Militia” referred to in the Second Amendment?  We are.  Back in the day every community formed a local militia, trained and drilled preparing to defend liberty.  It was against these militias that the British moved when the marched against Concord and Lexington.  And it was these militias that fired the shot heard round the world.  It was these militias that formed the backbone of American resistance during the Revolutionary War.  And it was these Militias composed of a generally armed citizenry that were and are guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

Now after years of Progressive administrations attempting to disarm America we finally have a President who gets it.  President Trump recently told the members of the National Rifle Association, “The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end.”  The President also said, “I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.  Never ever.”

He recently released a paper outlining his position on gun ownership.  It began, “The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.”  The paper explains that the right to keep and bear arms is a right that preexisted both the government and the Constitution. It also notes that government didn’t create the right and therefore cannot take it away.  In the paper he referred to the Second Amendment as “America’s first freedom.” He pointed out that it helps protect all of the other rights we hold dear.

In the paper the President proposed strengthening and expanding laws allowing law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves from criminals using their own guns, without fear of repercussion from the government.  Specifically he said he wanted to do away with pointless and ineffective gun and magazine bans instead suggesting that we fix the current background check system already in place, rather than expanding a broken system.

We have been on the wrong path.  Hopefully, we are now on the right path.  No matter who leads or where they ask us to follow we must remember that the Second Amendment makes all the others possible.  It might also be helpful to remember that Benjamin Franklin once said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2017 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

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