The Right to Bear Arms
Any discussion of Rights should begin with an understanding of the following:
Rights do not come from government. Only privileges come from government. Privileges that be granted by government can also be taken away by government. Rights do not come from the Constitution either. The Constitution only protects Rights the people had long before the Constitution was written.
All Rights come from God and are inalienable, which means that they cannot be taken away. The only legitimate way a person can loose Rights is by voluntarily giving them up through actions that violate another's Rights. Governments or individuals who violate God-given Rights must believe themselves superior to God or they must believe that God does not exist (no Judgment Day). This nonsense is the philosphy of humanism which is discussed in more depth on this page.
The Constitution identifies many Rights, e.g., speech, press, religion, etc., all of which fit into one of three categories - Life, Liberty, or Property. The possession of these basic Rights are all necessary for the Pursuit of Happiness. Violation of any one of the three by government is tyranny. Several of the Founders suggested the following slogan for our Great Seal, "Resistance to Tyranny is Obedience to GOD".
Attached to and an essential part of God-given Rights is the sacred duty to protect and defend those Rights with whatever means necessary. It is the Right To Bear Arms that protects all other rights. Therefore, if the Right To Bear Arms is lost, all other rights will surely be lost as well.
We should never allow ourselves to get drawn into a frivolous discussion over what type of gun is suitable for hunting, sport shooting, etc., because those issues have nothing what-so-ever to do with the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Peace Through Strength is always the best policy for the military and for individuals.
The right to keep and bear arms not only predates the writing of the Second Amendment, it also predates the discovery of firearms, because the right to defend one's right to Life, Liberty, and Property came with the Creation of Man.
"For the first time in history a civilized nation will have full gun control, our police will be more efficient, our streets will be safer, and the world will follow our lead into the future." Adolph Hitler (1935)
Some Interesting History & Quotations
- "In 872, under the laws of Alfred the Great, all English citizens were required to purchase their own weapons and be available for military duty.
- In 1181, 'the whole community of freemen' between the ages of 15 and 40 were required by law to possess arms.
- In 1253, that duty was extended to include the serfs and raised the age requirement to 60 years of age.
- In 1285, Edward I commanded that all persons comply with the earlier laws and also added that 'anyone else who can afford them shall keep bows and arrows.'
- In 1369, the King ordered that the sheriffs of London require all citizens at leisure time on holidays to use in their recreation bows and arrows and to stop all other games which might distract them from this practice.
- In the colonies, availability of hunting and need for defense led to armament statutes comparable to those of the early Saxon times.
- In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were 'well armed';
- In 1631, it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to 'bring their peeces to church'.
- In 1658, it required every householder to have a functioning firearm within his house and,
- In 1673, its laws provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government, which would require him to pay a reasonable price when able to do so. In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered that not only freemen, but also indentured servants own firearms, and,
- In 1644 it imposed a stern 6 shilling fine upon any citizen who was not armed."
W. Cleon Skousen from The Making of America p. 696.
"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed." Luke 11:21
"And He said to them, 'But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.'" Luke 22:36
"Arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order in the world as well as property." Thomas Paine
"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." U.S. Constitution, Second Amendment.
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." George Mason.
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People." Tench Coxe (1788)
"When in 1837, Georgia totally banned the sale of pistols (excepting the larger pistols 'known and used as horsemen's pistols') and other weapons, the Georgia Supreme Court in Nunn v. State held the statute unconstitutional under the Second Amendment to the federal Constitution. The court held that the Bill of Rights protected natural rights which were fully as capable of infringement by states as by the federal government and that the Second Amendment provided 'the right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not merely such as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in on, in the slightest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying of a well regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free state."
The militia of each state includes "all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age who are or have [made] a declaration of intent to become citizens." Title 10, section 31 of the U.S. Code
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom 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 that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States." Noah Webster.
Blackstone commentaries on the laws of England listed the 'having and using arms for self preservation and defense' among the 'absolute rights of individuals.'
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government..."
"The Constitution shall never be construed...to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." Alexander Hamilton.
"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, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure 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's good." George Washington.
"Arms in the hands of citizens [may] be used at individual discretion...in private self-defense..." John Adams.
"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson.
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..."
"Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." James Madison.
"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.
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one 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." Patrick Henry
"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium (safeguard) of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against 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." U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1833
"If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying -- that they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northeastern attempts in the 1920-1939 period, and the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976 -- establishes the repeated, complete, and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime." Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)
In 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia passed a city gun ordinance that required heads of households to keep at least one firearm in their homes. Crimes against persons which include homicide, rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and burglary, plummeted 74 percent the first year, dropped another 45 percent the next year, and has remained notably low ever since, despite a doubling of the population. From 1983 to 1993, armed robberies averaged a mere 1.6 annually, rapes 1.5, and murders (none with firearms) 0.2.
Number of physicians in the U.S. : 700,000 Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year : 120,000 Accidental deaths per physician : 0.171 Number of gun owners in the U.S. : 80,000,000 Number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups) : 1,500 Accidental deaths per gun owner : 0.0000188 Therefore, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." Samual Adams
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