In Part One I looked at the old adage “You can have your cake and eat it too” and compared it to a sort of proverb I saw on social media. There is probably not a more divisive issue in this nation these days than guns and the right to bear arms.
I honestly believe if we do not know and understand what our rights are, where they came from, and the related responsibilities of both us (the people) and government, then it will be easier for evil people with ill intent to take these rights.
“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” -James Madison
There were debates during the drafting of the constitution over who should be allowed to vote. In the end, it was left to each state to decide. However, it was clear the framers understood the danger of ignorant (uninformed) voters, and those without “skin in the game.” Initially, the thought was to give only landowners and/or taxpayers the right vote to avoid our present-day issue of politicians “buying votes” with gifts from the treasury in the form of programs.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” -Thomas Jefferson
The debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists was, of course, that of a central power. Madison believed all our rights were “self-evident” and that the constitution limited the federal government to an extent that its powers were restricted from infringing on the people’s rights.
In Federalist 45, Madison said, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” Anti-federalists understood the likely evolution of central power and refused to support the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added.
So, why a Bill of Rights? I think that today’s government in Washington, DC tells us the addition was necessary. It is my estimation that 90% of what Washington does is outside the limited powers the constitution grants. That has evolved to where it is today because of the aforementioned issues, an ignorant populace, and one that is able to vote money and benefits they will receive at the expense of others.
Did you applaud when President Trump threatened NBC recently? What about when President Obama attacked FOX News? Both scare me.
Any government official or agency that diminishes any of our rights, diminishes ALL our rights. I post a daily quote on Facebook and Twitter. Today’s quote is appropriate: “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” John F. Kennedy
We tend to talk of our First Amendment or Second Amendment “rights.” We need to remember that ALL our rights are inherent, natural, and God-given. The Constitution and certainly the government does not give us these rights. The Constitution, and especially the Bill of Rights, are restrictions on government. “Congress shall make no law… and “…shall not be infringed” are pretty clear. Our rights under the Fourth Amendment are violated daily by the NSA.
Yet time and again, Congress HAS infringed the people’s rights. Why? I believe there are several reasons.
Certainly, some reasons are our complacency, apathy, ignorance, and even fear on the part of the people. On the government’s side, it is either ignorance or evil intent. But first, we must look at why it was believed so important to enumerate specific “rights.”
We really need to go no further than the Declaration of Independence. Within that document, the grievances are spelled out and this excerpt from the second paragraph:
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”
There was, of course, a large percentage of the population and leadership that had no issue with the King and his rule. They believed that though oppressive, his rule was necessary for their own good and security. I believe that many today share this feeling with our current government and leadership.
However, the King and his lackeys in the form of governors, bureaucrats, and military violated many rights – especially those spelled out in the Bill of Rights.
There was an official “State Religion.” Now the state prohibits a simple religious symbol and prayer.
There wasn’t any right to speak out against the King, or publish criticism, or assemble, or a way to seek redress of grievances. Now there are calls to restrict and regulate our complaints.
There was an effort to disarm the population. Now there is an ongoing effort to infringe and restrict gun ownership.
Troops were quartered in homes, in so doing they could look into your personal effects and listen to your conversations. Now the NSA, civil asset forfeiture, and more violate the 4th and 5th Amendments.
A long train of abuses and usurpations continue….
The government cannot keep us safe – no government can keep anyone safe. Even with the NSA recording every keystroke and voice transmission, they cannot prevent violence. When firearms are outlawed, illegal arms are obtained, or different weapons are employed – knives, cars and trucks, bombs, clubs, etc.
I recently wrote Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste where I outline numerous ways in which people meet untimely deaths that don’t seem to be a problem to those who cry for gun control. This tells me their intent is evil.
Our founders were clear in numerous writings how important keeping arms was to the security of a free state.
“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
In Part Three we’ll look at the fallacy of gun control and what YOU can do to help stop the madness.