Quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."
Jefferson included these words in his book.Â They were originally written in French by Cesare Beccaria'sÂ in Essay on Crimes and Punishments. Some sources call Beccaria a criminalist of the time.
"A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, 'Be thou a slave;' who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.
The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons."
I've done quite a bit of reading about the Second Amendment lately, and one article (that I've mentioned in a few comments and now cannot find) made me really stop and think.
An amendment means that something is being amended or changed, and yet not many of us look at the original words to see why and how the Second Amendment was necessary or how it related to the rest of the Constitution.
Thomas Jefferson, in commenting upon how the Constitution should properly be read, said: "On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning can be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one which was passed."
If you look at the history of the Second Amendment, you discover that the debates about this issue don't look much different than today's debates.Â But in the end, they all agreed on the Second Amendment, after much debate.
Today, we need to also look at the word choices.Â In Colonial times, "well regulated" meant well functioning, for instance.
When those who want to ban guns tell you that our Founding Fathers merely wanted to allow men to have guns for hunting, it shows their lack of knowledge of history.
Americans (and their English cousins) were keenly aware of what could befall an unarmed populace. The historical example probably most familiar to eighteenth-century Englishmen and Americans was the persecution that drove thousands of Huguenots to the shores of both countries. As the historian Barbara Tuchman has noted:
"Among the numerous tribulations visited in the 1690s upon the [unarmed] Huguenots in order to compel them to convert [to Catholicism], the most atrocious â€“ and effective ? were the dragonades, or billeting of dragoons on Huguenot families with encouragement to behave as viciously as they wished. Notoriously rough and undisciplined, the enlisted troops of the dragoons spread carnage, beating and robbing the householders, raping the women, smashing and wrecking and leaving filthâ€¦."
This Huguenot lesson was reinforced in the Colonies with the licentious and outrageous behavior of the military sent among them by the British during the decade of protest and turmoil that preceded the Revolution.
Papers throughout the Colonies began printing a regular series called the "Journal of Occurrences," which detailed outrages alleged to have been committed by British troops in Boston:
"Dec. 12, 1768. A Married Lady of this Town was the other Evening, when passing from one House to another, taken hold of by a Soldier; who other ways behaved to her with great rudenessâ€¦. Another Woman was pursued by a Soldier into a House near the North End, who dared to enter the same, and behave with great insolenceâ€¦."
In fact, "throughout the eighteenth century, criminal offenses by English soldiers, sailors, and hired foreign mercenaries in the Colonies were a constant occurrence and a subject of constant antagonism between Americans and the English military, who refused to punish their men or to turn them over to local justice. As a result of these experiences, in the Anglo-American legal tradition, as the Founding Fathers understood it [even though there was no police force] the very idea of empowering government to place an armed force in constant watch over the populace was vehemently rejected as being a model of French Catholic despotism" [Tuchman].
From the James Madison Research Library.
Also from the link above:
Of all the powerful memories and emotions the Founding Fathers brought to the constitutional debates, apparently none was stronger than their fear of standing armies.
As David Young has observed: "The necessity of an armed populace, protection against disarming of the citizenry, and the need to guard against a select militia and assure a real militia which could defend liberty against any standing forces the government might raise were topics interspersed throughout the ratification period."
And lest you think that our government will never try to disarm everyone, I remind you about Hurricane Katrina.Â People were disarmed.
This video is 20 minutes long, but there is a part where one of the members of the National Guard called in to relate how they went house to house to take guns from individuals in and around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.Â Do you remember this?Â One man had already had his home looted and he was protecting what was left.Â His gun was confiscated.Â This fellow from the National Guard admits to having kicked down doors and taken guns.Â He wouldn't do it today, but back then as a 21 year old kid, he didn't know any better.
Do our children know any better?Â
The conservation of "rights" seems to be a notion that blankets today's political dialogue. That makes sense when one considers it was for the preservation of our unalienable rights that the revolutionaries fought for when forging this nation into existence over 230 years ago. In 1787, the founders created a new government, to replace the old weak confederacy, by writing a new constitution during four months of grueling debate. The Constitution was designed to give the new federal government more teeth so that it may be able to protect the union. However, the Founding Fathers also realized that by giving this new central government the kind of powers they were granting it, the potential for a big government that could have a corrosive effect on our rights and liberties may emerge. Such a leviathan at the federal level could hurt state sovereignty, and place at risk communities by erasing local customs and culture through federal dictates.
In some political circles, the federal government seizing more of the choices of individual Americans through federal programs that are packaged as being thwarted upon us with the best of intentions is considered progress. However, when one dissects the federal government dictates, it becomes clear that the preservation of our rights and liberties are on a backward march. Today's government of progress resembles more the system America endured under British rule, than the one designed by the Founding Fathers so that the blessings of liberty may remain secured.
To understand where the founders stood on rights, and whether or not they believed government is the provider of our rights, one must only consult the Declaration of Independence. In only the second paragraph of that founding document one recognizes that the founders believed our rights to be self-evident, and that our unalienable rights are endowed upon us by our Creator. In other words, "rights" are not given by government, or by the U.S. Constitution, but by God.
According to the Declaration of Independence, these rights are "unalienable." To be unalienable, that means that our rights cannot be surrendered, sold or transferred because they are gifts of God. The reasoning goes that if our rights are given to us by God, they can only be taken away by God. However, if our rights are given to us by government, then government can take them away.
The anti-federalists viewed the creation of the federal government as a menace, rather than a solution. They feared that the rights of the people would be in danger with the creation of a central government, because historically speaking, centralized systems grow more intrusive over time rather than remain restrained as the founders were originally intending. Without proper limitations, reasoned the anti-federalists, federal intrusion into the lives of Americans, and into the business of the sovereign states, was an inevitability. To protect our unalienable rights, the anti-federalists questioned the powers given to government, and demanded that further restraints be placed on federal power. In 1791, in response to the concerns of the anti-federalists, the Bill of Rights was ratified. Though technically unnecessary because the issues the Bill of Rights addresses are intrusions not given to the federal government in the list of enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8, the anti-federalists refused to ratify the Constitution unless they could be guaranteed that additional restraints were put on the federal government in regards to personal liberties.
John C. Calhoun, a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century, once said: "Government has within it a tendency to abuse its powers."
The founders believed that the abuse of power by a central government was a serious threat, otherwise they would have not placed so many limitations on the new federal government by writing the Constitution in the manner that they did. A fear of intrusive government exists primarily because of concerns over the system compromising a citizen's rights.
Individual rights, however, face another obstacle, through the constantly changing dynamic of definitions. The saying says that your right to swing your arms stops at the tip of my nose. When is it that a woman's right to choose infringes upon a child's right to live? Or when is a right not a right, but a privilege, and when is a privilege not a privilege, but a right? Does an American have a right to provide for his or her own health care through their own personal menu of responsibilities, or is health care a right that must be provided by the taxpayers because there are some that are unable to fund their own care? And if government can dictate health care, as choices diminish, when does health care stop being a right, and becomes instead a dictate by an all-intrusive government that tells the person whether or not they can receive care as based on the willingness of the government to pay the bill?
Placing government back into its Constitutional restraints has become an endeavor that some believe to be too big to tackle. Besides, argue some, what do I care what government is doing as long as they leave me alone. Sadly, most folks don't become active in demanding the federal government return to its constitutional limitations until they believe their own rights to be at risk.
The truth is, when it comes to our rights, the federal government has been continuously overstepping its bounds because those in government often believe they are the granters of rights. This is where the States come in. States should, and can, nullify unconstitutional federal laws that infringe on the unalienable rights of the American people. Those that cringe at the idea of State's Rights, nullification, and the limiting principles of the Constitution on the federal government will surely change their minds when the federal government comes to take some of their precious rights away - either that, or they will accept the arm band of some future regime while pledging their support to a nationalist system that believes collectivism is patriotism, and the nationalistic love of government is next to godliness.
This really hit home:
Sadly, most folks don't become active in demanding the federal government return to its constitutional limitations until they believe their own rights to be at risk.
That's absolutely true.Â Just yesterday I was in a brief discussion with someone about gun rights.Â Her response was, "I just don't care.Â I don't own a gun.Â I will never own a gun.Â So it doesn't matter one bit to me."
It took a minute for that to sink in.Â Then I asked, "So would you be angry at your spouse if he told you he didn't care if they eliminated the 19th amendment, since he's a man and it doesn't apply to him.Â Or would you dare say to someone who is African-American that you just don't care about the Civil Rights act because it never pertained to you because you're white?"
You can imagine her response to me.Â Yes, she said, "You're a racist."
In going about your day to day activities, it helps if you look at news sources other than our liberal media.Â Today, that includes Fox in many instances.Â They've shown themselves to ignore what's important to the right often times.
Have you seen this printed in the European Union Times?
A grim Federal Security Forces (FSB) â€œurgent actionâ€ memorandum prepared for President Putin is warning that United States President Barack Obama has ordered at least 800 highly trained â€œdeath squadâ€ units to disperse throughout his country in preparation for what Russian intelligence analysts are predicting to be a series of high-profile killings of dissident Americans set to begin as soon as February 22nd.
According to this memo, Obama was emboldened to implement this murderous plan against his own citizens after this past weeks US Federal Court ruling granted his regime the right to kill, without trial or charges, any American he so chooses, and keep the reason(s) for doing so secret.
Later in the article:
The â€œdeath squadsâ€ being deployed throughout the United States under Obamaâ€™s orders, this memo continues, are frighteningly called VIPER teams, which is the acronym for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Team, a programme run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and whose agents terrify millions of Americans with Nazi-like Gestapo tactics on a daily basis at airports and who report to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
So frightening have these TSA agents become that Londonâ€™s Guardian News Service, this past April, in their article titled â€œThe TSAâ€™s Mission Creep is Making the US a Police Stateâ€, warned that these Obama regime henchmen are spreading out across the entire United States in order to control every aspect of American citizens life: â€œnever in response to actual threats, but apparently more in an attempt to live up to the inspirational motto displayed at the TSAâ€™s air marshal training center since the agencyâ€™s inception: â€œDominate. Intimidate. Control.â€
And to how these TSA VIPER Team â€œdeath squadsâ€ will â€œdominate, intimidate and controlâ€ dissident Americans, this memo says, was made even more chillingly clear this past week when the DHS ordered another 200,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition on top of the 1.6 billion rounds of this internationally banned ammunition already secured by them over the last 9 months alone. These nearly 2 billion rounds of ammunition stand in sharp contrast to US military forces who use only 70 million rounds of ammunition per year in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Russian military analysts contributing to this memo further note that the Obama regimes saying that these massive DHS ammunition purchases are for â€œpractice and training purposesâ€ is â€œpreposterousâ€ as all firearms training done by military and/or police forces â€œalwaysâ€ use less expensive rounds. Retired US Army Major General Jerry Curry, likewise, agreed with his Russian counterparts when he stated that the Obama regimes â€œexplanation about the bullets fails to pass the smell testâ€.
Most ominous, perhaps, in this memo is its stating that the â€œexactâ€ plan for the regimes disarming of its citizens appears to have been predicted by the famous martyred American dissident William Cooper (1943-2001), who in his 1991 book â€œBehold A Pale Horseâ€ wrote:
â€œThe government encouraged the manufacture and importation of firearms for the criminals to use. This is intended to foster a feeling of insecurity, which would lead the American people to voluntarily disarm themselves by passing laws against firearms. Using drugs and hypnosis on mental patients in a process called Orion, the CIA inculcated the desire in these people to open fire on schoolyards and thus inflame the anti-gun lobby. This plan is well under way, and so far is working perfectly. The middle class is begging the government to do away with the 2nd Amendment.â€
Cooper, who former President Bill Clinton once called â€œthe most dangerous man in Americaâ€, was gunned down by US authorities shortly after the 11 September 2001 attacks which, in a radio broadcast on 28 June 2001, he predicted an attack on America and stated that Osama Bin Laden would be named as the primary scapegoat.
With the tragic events of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre still fresh in the American peoples mind, combined with Obamaâ€™s new unlimited power to kill and detain any American citizen he so desires, this memo concludes, the conditions for â€œwholesale rebellionâ€ in the United States is just â€œone sparkâ€ away from becoming a reality, and which these heavily armed TSA VIPER Team â€œdeath squadsâ€ are sure to provide.
I understand that many of us are getting tired trying to educate the masses about what people who have lived under tyranny and dictators see as they look at the United States today.Â I get that.
But if we remember that our Founding Fathers pledged their fortunes and their lives to create a free country for them and for future generations, the least we can do is to try to hold on to whatever freedoms we have left.
Some believe that it's too late to save our country.Â Does that mean we should stop trying?