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Second Amendment

The Right to Bear Arms

 

Government exists solely on the sufferance, if not the outright consent, of the citizens of a nation.  As I mention in Power of the People on this website, every State constitution has a clause similar to this:  All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness.” (Quoted from the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.)  Thomas Jefferson was also keenly of this opinion:  “The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government.”

 

The American colonies were treated as a herd of milk cattle to be exploited by the British government.  Instead of being treated the same as British citizens in England, they were subjected to special taxes and levies.  The American Revolution resulted from a large segment of the population of the American British colonies becoming intolerant of the abuses to which they were subjected by a distant Parliament and King that cared little for their genuine well-being.

Oppressive governments throughout time and around the world persisted only as long as the people did not have the means and courage to overthrow their rulers.

Rulers and tyrants have always used force to maintain control over their subjects.  And they also forbade those potentially rebellious people the means of resisting the oppression.  As resentment intensified from the increasingly onerous taxes Parliament levied on the American colonists, the British began to fear insurrection and tried to seize weapons and gunpowder from the American colonists in Massachusetts.  That action resulted in the Battles of Concord and Lexington, “The Shot Heard Round the World”, the opening hostilities of the American Revolution.

 

With the successful conclusion of the rebellion by the American colonies and the resulting need to create a new independent government, the Articles of Confederation and then the Constitution were written and ratified.

Several of the ‘rights’ and protections enumerated in the Constitution of the USA were direct responses to some of the abuses and indignities suffered by the colonists:  protection from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom of speech, right to peaceably assemble, protection from forced housing of soldiers in peacetime and the right to keep and bear arms, among others.

 

Had the colonists not been allowed to keep personal firearms prior to the American Revolution, they would not have been able to protect themselves from isolated attacks by natives or form militia units to aid the regular British army during the four wars against the French and their Indian allies from 1688 until 1763.

After independence was achieved, the right to keep and bear arms protected in the Second Amendment helped Americans defeat the British in the War of 1812, allowed the seceding southern States to defend their territories from invading Federal armies during the War of Southern Secession, facilitated the settlement of the territories west of the Appalachian Mountains all the way to the Pacific Ocean and has allowed many Americans to feed themselves and their families and neighbors through several economic crises.

 

Now there is a movement to take firearms away from the common people of the USA.  The Constitution of the USA, in the Second Amendment states, in its entirety:  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 does not say “only Militia members may keep and bear arms.”

This is a VERY simple, easy to understand principle.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with this statement:  “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”  And Benjamin Franklin wrote:  “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Apparently the federal government of the USA no longer fears the citizenry.  Or perhaps they still do, but are working diligently to remove any threat to its overbearing power.  The federal government is slowly desensitizing American citizens to a totalitarian police-state regime.  Do you want to fly from here to there?  Then you have to let government agents do things that you would not let any other stranger do to you or your children – and you would most likely report as a criminal physical assault otherwise.  Did you just sell your car and want to deposit the funds in your checking account?  The transaction has to be reported to the government. Do you want to withdraw some of that money from your own checking account for a weekend vacation? That transaction has to be reported to the government.  Does your child want to wear her favorite ‘Molon Labe’ shirt to school?  Nope, can’t do that:  too ‘scary’.  Don’t want to get a vaccine because you don’t trust its efficacy or safety?  Then you can’t go to school or work in certain facilities.  Really thirsty and need some energy and want a big dose of sugary soda?  Sorry, only one pint for you today.  But you cannot be informed that the soda contains genetically modified ingredients!  Does your child want to go play at the neighborhood park? Fine, but he has to be closely watched by a related adult.  Are you enjoying your photovoltaic electricity without connection to the national power grid?  Wonderful.  But don’t let ANYONE know you are doing so!

Is the USA really better off with all these restrictions?  Are Americans reaching a breaking point similar to the breaking point of the 1770s?  Is this what the government fears?

The Second Amendment was created, insisted upon and ratified because the framers feared governmental tyranny not unlike that which Americans are experiencing today.  The Second Amendment exists not to ensure citizens can hunt, or to ensure they can personally defend themselves from criminal assault.  While both of those activities are benefits of the right to keep and bear arms, more importantly, this right is a vital rock-solid protection from the government itself.

 

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