L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 285, August 22, 2004
Maybe we should have simply started speaking Mandarin?
Survey of the Bill of Rights: Article 2
Exclusive to TLE
Please notice something in reading this amendment: nowhere does it say that government grants the right to bear arms. This amendment recognizes a pre-existing right, the right to self-defense, and in consequence, the tools necessary to maintain that right.
I know that most of us hold the right to bear arms as something almost sacred, a right and duty that devolves upon free men and women. There are others who claim that the Second Amendment applies only to the right of the government to maintain a militia (ie: the national guard) In response to this, I call upon all to notice that the national guard was not even in existence until many years after the Bill of Rights was proposed and ratified.
To those who claim the right to bear arms is not an individual right, I would direct you to the writings of the men who wrote, ratified, and were politically active at the time of the writing of the second amendment.
Samuel Adams: The said Constitution should be never construed to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.
Patrick Henry: The great object is that every man be armed. Every one who is able may have a gun.
Thomas Jefferson: No man shall be debarred the use of arms within his own lands
Zecheriah Johnston: The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.
Richard Henry Lee: 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.
There are many other writings about the Second Amendment by others of the founding fathers, men such as John Jay, Tench Coxe, George Mason, James Madison, and others.
Disregard all this, though. Just use your head and your common sense for a moment. Why would the founders write an amendment to protect the right of government to form a militia? This doesn't make any sense at all. In addition, these men have just finished a war with the most powerful empire in the world, a war fought over nine years of open conflict, with decades of oppression, abuse, and tyranny before that. This war was ignited over an attempt by the British troops to confiscate the weapons of the colonists at Lexington and Concord. Even more telling, the American troops were largely self-equipped, each supplying their own weapon, until the French managed to get adequate supplies of smoothbore muskets smuggled to the colonies. This was necessary to ease supply problems, as individually owned weapons could be of a wide variety and calibers, making re-supply and repair a major problem.
I think it is well enough established that the Second Amendment is indeed a protection of an individual right. Only lawyers and judges and politicians, who it has reliably been proved can not read the Constitution they have sworn to uphold and defend, have any doubts about that, along with their media lapdogs. If they can read the Constitution, why would they attempt to restrict, infringe, abridge or limit the right protected by the Second Amendment?
Try as I might, I can see only one reason why a politician would attempt to do this. That reason is fear of the people they are supposed to represent. What do they fear? Do they fear the reaction of the people should the people discover or realize the massive fraud and theft the politicians have perpetrated against us? Do they fear the consequences of their own actions? Do they fear the result should enough people come to the realization that politicians and judges are nothing more than paid employees, hired hands, not some demi-gods on a higher plane than the mere mortals of the citizenry?
As far as the 'civilian' groups attempting to disarm the American people, their motivation is clear. They are cowards, pure and simple. They fear to accept responsibility for their own defense. They know they are imcompetent to deal with most major crises, and the competence of others brings this home to them. Therefore, they have to bring others down to their level, or admit they are incompetent, inferior, incapable.
I can already hear the comments. "How can individuals fight off a modern army, with tanks, planes and heavy weapons?" For the answer to that, look at Najaf. Look at Chechnya. Look at Afghanistan. Look at Columbia. No modern army, trained in conventional warfare, can win a guerilla war. By the same token, no guerilla force can win a war. What they can do, if they maintain their nerve, is to make the war so expensive that the enemy gives up or becomes so oppressive in dealing with the rebels, that a popular uprising results.
One last comment. In the years leading up to and during the revolution, if a modern political reporter was present, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Jay, Madison, Lee, Coxe, all of the founders, would have been described as terrorists. In fact, if the Patriot Act had existed at that time, we would still be under the rule of Great Britain. All of the founders would have ended up on prison hulks in Boston Harbor, never to be heard from again. They would have been tortured, their property confiscated under RICO, and probably hanged after being convicted in secret trials, trials held secret by reason of 'national security.' In fact, even if the revolution had never happened, George Washington would have been stripped of his property, convicted and imprisoned for growing hemp, if that is, the current laws had been in effect back then.
As always, I invite all of you to look up the facts, confirm for yourselves that I am speaking the truth, at least as I see it. Do not accept my word for anything, do not accept government 'news releases', and above all, do not accept anything the media or politicians say as truth unless and until you check it out for yourself!
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