In 1850 noted Frenchman Frederic Bastiat wrote a pamphlet entitled The Law, which along with John Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Governments should be required reading in our Public Fool Systems. Unfortunately, if our children were to be exposed to such radical books they might not be so conditioned to blindly acquiesce to governmental authority; they might become like me, questioning everything and we certainly can’t have that, can we?
In his pamphlet Bastiat writes “Law is solely the organization of the individual right of self-defense which existed before law was formalized. Law is justice.”
I don’t know what happens when I hit the send button and my articles filter their way out through the ether that is the internet. I don’t know what happens when I take copies to work for people to read. I don’t know if people just scan over them or if they actually cause people to think; but for once in your life I would like you to stop right here, put on your thinking cap, and re-read that quote I just provided. Can you do that for me?
Why do I ask you to do this? Well it is because self-defense is an original right, a natural right, that existed from the beginning of man’s time here on Earth; it existed before he formed civil societies and it existed long before he formed systems of government.
Do you understand what a Natural Right is? Natural rights are those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable, (i.e., rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).
You see, there is something else Bastiat also said that people need to understand. In his pamphlet he also said, “Each of us has a natural right–from God–to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two.”
Why do I provide that quote? Well it because what Bastiat said sounds strikingly similar to something Samuel Adams said three quarters a century earlier, “Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life, Secondly to liberty; Thirdly, to property: together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.”
Why all this fuss about natural rights? Well because our natural right to self-defense applies not only within the four walls of our homes; they apply to anytime our life, our property, and yes, our liberty come under attack.
People today accept, far too readily in my opinion, the fact that just because our government tells us we cannot do something, that it is a fact and therefore they must obey the laws they pass restricting certain activities. There is no concept which is more dangerous to liberty than blind obedience to the dictates of your government.
In 1794 the Supreme Court ruled, “The sovereignty of a state does not reside in the persons who fill the different departments of its government, but in the People, from whom the government emanated; and they may change it at their discretion. Sovereignty, then in this country, abides with the constituency, and not with the agent; and this remark is true, both in reference to the federal and state government.”
Now if ya’ll with take a mental leap with me and combine that with this, then maybe a light bulb will go on in your heads and you’ll see what I’m trying to get at. In Federalist 78 Alexander Hamilton writes, “There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercises, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”
What they forbid; three simple words, yet what has our government, both federal and State, done which the Constitution forbids? Well let’s see, let’s take a look at the Second Amendment, those simple 27 words that I first started writing about eons ago, “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.”
I would like to focus on three words; keep and bear. Keep simply means to own, possess, while bear means to carry on one’s person. Arms are merely weapons and can be anything from a simple bow and arrow to a .50 caliber machine gun or grenade launcher; there is no qualifying term limiting what type arms we may keep and bear. The only people who have placed limitations upon what type arms we may bear are our government.
To understand the intent of the Second Amendment; why it was included in the Bill of Rights, all you have to do is think back to what sparked the actual fighting of the American Revolution; Lexington and Concord, or the Shot Heard Round the World. It was when the British Regulars marched to Lexington and Concord to confiscate the arms of the local militias that shots were fired; sparking the fighting between the Colonists and the British Army.
At the time, most of the arms owned by the Colonists were similar in nature to those carried by the British Regulars, so although the British Regulars may have been better trained they were pretty much on equal footing as far as the type armaments used in battle.
Today our government has placed so many restrictions upon what type guns we might own; the capacity of the magazines; and now they seek to add more categories of people to their lists of those deemed not qualified to own arms that the Second Amendment has lost its teeth and any future battle between a people resisting the tyranny of an oppressive government is one sided; with the government having the upper hand with full access to all types of sophisticated military armament.
Yet you, the John and Jane Q. Public clamor for more restrictions on who may own, and what type arms we may own without realizing that you are placing your own liberty at risk by disarming the only ones who will stand up for your liberty when the time comes. It is maddeningly frustrating trying to explain this simple concept to a bunch of dunderheads who can’t see past their fear of another public shooting.
Yet the fact remains that it is our natural right to be able to protect our lives, or property, and our liberty, and that is one thing some of us refuse to give up no matter what the government says. Because we realize that we are the masters and they are the servants, and they are exercising powers that our forefathers have forbidden them from exercising.
One final quote from Bastiat may make this all seem crystal clear, than again it may only serve to muddy the waters even more. Yet Bastiat begins his pamphlet the Law by stating, “The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!
If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.” Well, I have done my moral duty; I have brought it to your attention. What you do with this information now is up to you.