Common Sense Too
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Thank You TP
Common Sense Too
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Bill of Rights
Common Sense Too
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Common Sense Too
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Common Sense Too: Part 4
Gun Ownership is an Individual Right!:|
I ask you if you believe that you have natural rights that you are born with? Do you believe that you are a sovereign individual with the freedom to choose the path in your life that is right for you? You probably answered yes to both those questions. Then you must also believe that you have the right to keep and bear arms. How can you be a sovereign individual if you have no means to defend that sovereignty? How long do you think a country would stand if they had no army, no weapons, no means of defending themselves?
If someone challenged your sovereignty as an individual and you had no power to defend that sovereignty then I would contend that you in fact are not a sovereign individual. Would you ask them pretty please leave me alone? If you would only rely on the police and the state to protect your sovereignty then I would contend you are a ward of the state. The state could make demands upon you in return for the degree and manor that they would protect you.
Your second amendment rights are required under a Republic Form of government where individuals need a means of protecting their sovereignty as an Individual. Under a Democracy, collectively through our vote, we can decide the best rules for protecting the sovereignty of all of us. Under this form of government the individual can be banned from keeping and bearing arms if the majority decides this is best. Under this form of government you lose sovereignty as an individual and surrender it to the majority.
So I ask you again, do you believe that you have natural rights that you are born with? If you do not believe we have the right to keep and bear arms as an individual then I believe you must answer no to your natural rights.
The right to keep and bear arms is the shield for individual sovereignty.
The Supreme Court has taken up a case concerning restrictions on owning a gun in Washington D.C. Washington banned handguns in 1976 in a hope to reduce violent crime. Rifles and shotguns are legal for residence to own if they are kept locked or if they are disassembled. The city council claims they are in compliance with the constitution because they are regulating guns not banning them or preventing residence from owning rifles or shotguns.
A group of Washington D.C. gun owners sued to restore their right as individuals to own guns and to restore this basic freedom.
Those of you, who see the possible restoration of gun rights in D.C. as a restoration of the rule of law as it pertains to the Constitution, keep in mind that all the members of the Supreme Court are lawyers. This reminds me of the following joke: If a boat full of lawyers in the middle of the ocean sinks what do you call it. A GOOD START!
Now before you accuse me of wanting to drown all lawyers know that one of my brothers and many of my relatives are lawyers and I wish no harm to them. My point is that lawyers have a vested interest in the present system of government and even though the Supreme Court restored gun rights in this case, they will do so in such a way to protect government control over such rights. They will point to previous precedent to allow what you and I see as a clear right enumerated in the constitution to be limited. They will stretch the words and pick out the combination that suite their need to protect the institution of the judiciary over their responsibility to protect our right as emphasized in the Bill of Rights.
If the Supreme Court were really interested in protecting the rights of law abiding sovereign individuals, they would rule that goverments must allow individuals the ability to protect themselves to the maximum degree possible to the point of balance where self defense and sovereignty gives way to public intimidation and danger. Instead they will allow government to make restrictions that allow individuals to bear arms but in such a restrictive manor as to render this right virtually useless.
If the Supreme Court was truly interested in following the original intent of the Constitution as crafted by our forefathers than I would find myself not having to pay social security tax tomorrow or I would not find the federal government meddling in my kid’s education, and so on. A constitution must be written in such a way that all men who live under its rules can understand the meaning. If only the elite of society are said to have the knowledge required to understand its meaning then the average man is destined to be ruled by the elite as these justices can shape the meaning of law to fit their vision of society. The average man will then be subject to the tyranny of the elite as the average man no longer has the standing to question their interpretation of the law.
I believe the Constitution was written as a simple document that all men of the time could understand and the Second Amendment is clearly added to the Constitution as a protection of individuals, not militias, to own functioning (not locked or disassembled) guns. Don’t let the elites or the lawyers or even a majority of the people take away your rights by saying you are too dumb to understand the clear meaning of the Constitution.
In Federalist Paper #84 by Alexander Hamilton, the issue of the Bill of Rights is addressed. The Federalist papers were written as issues papers trying to convince the people of different states to adopt the Constitution. Hamilton argues in Federalist Paper #84 that a bill of rights is not required because the Constitution itself is a Bill of Rights. Below is an exert from Hamilton’s writings:
It is evident, therefore, that, according to their primitive signification, they (bill of rights) have no application to constitutions professedly founded upon the power of the people, and executed by their immediate representatives and servants. Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing; and as they retain every thing they have no need of particular reservations. “WE, THE PEOPLE of the United States, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ORDAIN and ESTABLISH this Constitution for the United States of America.” Here is a better recognition of popular rights, than volumes of those aphorisms which make the principal figure in several of our State bills of rights, and which would sound much better in a treatise of ethics than in a constitution of government.
But a minute detail of particular rights is certainly far less applicable to a Constitution like that under consideration, which is merely intended to regulate the general political interests of the nation, than to a constitution which has the regulation of every species of personal and private concerns. If, therefore, the loud clamors against the plan of the convention, on this score, are well founded, no epithets of reprobation will be too strong for the constitution of this State. But the truth is that both of them contain all which, in relation to their objects, is reasonably to be desired.
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.
On the subject of the liberty of the press, as much as has been said, I cannot forbear adding a remark or two: in the first place, I observe, that there is not a syllable concerning it in the constitution of this State; in the next, I contend, that whatever has been said about it in that of any other State, amounts to nothing. What signifies a declaration, that “the liberty of the press shall be inviolably preserved”? What is the liberty of the press? Who can give it any definition which would not leave the utmost latitude for evasion? I hold it to be impracticable; and from this I infer, that its security, whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government. And here, after all, as is intimated upon another occasion, must we seek for the only solid basis of all our rights.
Below is a link to the entire text for you to read.
Federalist Paper No 84 by James Madison
This paper was published before the Bill of Rights was adopted. The Bill of Rights was added latter because some were afraid of the overreaching power of the Federal Government and they demanded a Bill of Rights before ratifying the Constitution.
Hamilton advised against a Bill of Rights as you can see from the exert above because in this constitutional form of government, all powers given to the government comes from the people and any powers not given to the government are retained by the people. A bill of rights would imply that the government would have the power and the Bill of Rights restores specific powers back to the people.
Do not listen to the lawyers and the elites as they try to explain to you the complex meaning of the constitution. It is only complex when you are trying to invent government power and you need to twist the words of the constitution to suite your objectives and magnify your own power and status.
Hamilton is saying that the second amendment protecting your right to keep and bear arms is not necessary because there is nothing in the constitution allowing the government to take that right away from you the people. There is no need for freedom of the press because nowhere in the constitution is the government granted power to regulate the press. No bill of rights is required because the government only has limited powers granted by the people and specifically enumerated in the constitution.
Imagine if Hamilton had gotten his way and there was no Bill of Rights. Re-read his Federalist Paper #84 above. Even if there was no first amendment protecting our free speech rights, from his writings above you can tell that he envisioned that this right would have been protected, not by its inclusion in the constitution, but by the lack of authority granted by the people in the constitution to the federal government.
This thought pattern would also apply to the second amendment. If there was no Bill of Rights, as Hamilton argued for, where in the constitution is the federal government given the power to regulate this right retained by the people? The simple answer for simple folks like you and me is that the government does not have the power to infringe on our right to own guns.
If you would like to investigate the intent of our founding fathers and the constitution regarding this issue, the National Rifle Association has a section of their web site dedicated to addressing the second amendment. On their website they give many quotes by founding fathers making it clear that they intended for the right to keep and bear arms to belong to the people, and this right was not limited to the militia.
Here is an example of a quote from a founding father:
Samuel Adams warned that: “The said Constitution be never 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.”
Here is a link to the NRA second amendment web page for your further review:
National Rifle Associates 2nd Amendment Page
Of coarse those for gun control and those who interpret the second amendment as only a right of the militia, not a right of the people, will not show you quotes from the founding fathers supporting their position because the founding fathers clearly intended for the people’s right to keep and bear arms to be honored.
The issue of contrary evidence by the founding fathers and many other second amendment issues are well documented on the Gun Cite website. Below is a link if you need to investigate pro-second amendment issues further.
GunCite 2nd Amendment Page
If you want to read the Gun Control side of this issue, the ACLU has a page on their website dedicated to addressing their opposition to controlling or limiting government in respect to the second amendment.
American Civil Liberties Union 2nd Amendment Page
editors note: The ACLU position paged referenced below and linked above has been removed from ACLU website since the Heller decision has taken effect.
I will now address each of the issues brought up by the ACLU in defense of their stance supporting gun control. Their first argument is that they believe the right to bear arms is a collective (think socialist) right not an individual right. They believe the second amendment is basically a right of the state to arm its militia to protect its freedoms against an overreaching central government.
Let’s look at the second amendment and in context see if it could be referring to collective not individual rights.
“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 word “people” is used other places in the Constitution, not just in the second amendment. In the first amendment if you isolate the word people, you would get the following statement. Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The fourth amendment starts out with the word people in it also. The right of the people to be secure in their persons… The Constitution starts out with a reference to People. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Is the first amendment referring to the people in a collective sense? Does the right to peaceably assemble or to speak freely only exist as a collective right? Do we need permission from our state government to speak of our displeasures with the federal government? The fourth amendment refers to persons in an individual context. “We the People”, does our government get its power from us as individuals, or is this power granted from a collection of people through their state governments? If this were true then why does each individual state also have a constitution?
The obvious answer is that “people” refers to individuals not a collection of people.
The second amendment can be separated into three parts to understand it more fully.
Part One - A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State,
Part Two – the right of the people to keep arms shall not be infringed.
Part Three – the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.
Part One is one description of why this right is necessary. It makes no claim to be the only reason required, and if keeping and bearing arms is a right, as suggested in the second amendment, then why any reason other than it is is a right required. This description makes perfect sense as the one given when you consider the situation that the founding fathers just came from. They came from the mindset of just defeating a monarchy under which their rights were limited. This war was won with the help of militia and probably would have been lost without the militia. This description only recognizes this one reason that was on their minds but by no means limits the reasons for the people to retain this right.
Keep in mind Hamilton’s warning in Federalist Paper #84 above when he suggested that a bill of rights is, not only not necessary, but dangerous. He suggested that no matter how well you wrote the bill of rights it would come under the scrutiny of men who wish to usurp that right. Why should a description of rights retained by the people be required when the government has no powers over those rights in the first place?
Part Two when separated out makes it perfectly clear that the founding fathers intended individuals to have the right to own guns. If the founding fathers thought the second amendment was only required as a way for state militias to protect themselves from a tyrannical central government then they would have only needed the words “bear arms” in the amendment, not keep and bear arms. The state militias could have armed themselves without the word “keep” in the second amendment.
Part Three is important in that it give the people the right to bear arms. This is applicable to the Washington D.C. case. What good is keeping a weapon that you can not bear because it is either disassembled or otherwise disabled and not functioning?
You can find many quotes from the founding fathers supporting the concept of individuals owning their own arms as a deterrent to tyrannical government. You will not find quotes where the founding fathers found gun ownership to be a threat to the newly formed government.
The next argument by the ACLU puts them in a very bad light in my opinion. Their second argument is that the second amendment is archaic in today’s world with the advent of modern day weapons and it would take more than a handgun or rifle to defeat such modern weaponry.
So if we find a requirement in the constitution that does not fit into the ACLU’s view of what is proper in today’s society we should pretend that requirement does not exist and use that as an excuse to violate people’s rights protected by that requirement? Who gets to decide what portions of the constitution are archaic and out of date? If the courts decided that freedom of speech is an archaic requirement would we all agree and let the tyranny occur? If the ACLU or gun control advocates believe the second amendment is archaic then there is an amendment process to change the constitution. You don’t just decide to eliminate people’s rights by declaration.
As to the argument that it would take more than a handgun or a rifle to defeat today’s federal government. I would agree that one man or a dozen men with guns and rifles could not defeat or cause a change in today’s federal government, as it should be. But the pressure of three hundred million people united against tyranny could effect change in government even if only armed with guns and rifles. In contrast, as history has shown us, millions of unarmed people would be much less of an obstacle for a tyrannical government.
The ACLU makes the point that if the second amendment is interpreted to allow individuals the right to own arms then individuals would be allowed to own bazookas or even nuclear weapons.
This is a straw man set up by the ACLU. They set up a weak argument for the pro second amendment crowd to defend and then they knock down that argument and win the debate. The truth is that at the time the second amendment was written into the bill of rights there were no bazookas or Uzis or nuclear weapons. Arms at the time of the adoption of the Bill of Rights were weapons for one man to engage another man one at a time in conflict. The second amendment did not give the people the right to keep and bear cannons. Those in favor of gun rights are not demanding the right to bear bazookas.
Gun Rights represent the rights of people as sovereign individuals. If you believe that the government gives us our rights and that all rights start from the government and our only connections to those rights is our votes during elections, then gun control would be an acceptable stance as our rights only exist through our government.
However, if you believe that each person is conceived with all rights and that the government has only those powers given it from the people to promote liberty, freedom and for the pursuit of happiness, then removing total power from the individual to control their own lives and vesting those powers completely in the government would be an aberration.
We give the government power to promote freedom. To give the government total power over our well being defeats the purpose of a government to promote our freedom.
Gun rights represent the power of sovereign individuals to control the circumstances of their own lives. When you give up your gun rights you become a ward of the state, completely dependent on them for your protection and well being. You lose your individual sovereignty and freedom and after this you change the form of government from that of individual freedom to that of collective freedom where your only protection is your vote.
If you take away the tools of a Sovereign Individual to protect his Sovereignty then he can have neither Sovereignty nor Freedom.