Today is Memorial Day; the day in which we honor those who have fallen in defense of this country. Many have fallen over the course of our short time on the world stage, but my sentiments are that the first real Americans fell on April 19, 1775. Did these men give their lives in some far away foreign land fighting a foreign enemy? Did they fall when a foreign invader threatened America? The answer to both those questions is a resounding NO!!!
Those who fell on April 19, 1775 were fighting against officers of the law who came to take away their guns. That little skirmish between the British Redcoats and the local militia outside Boston is what eventually led the remaining Colonies to see that there would be no peaceful resolution to the ever increasing tyranny of King George III.
When General Gage sent his troops to Lexington and Concord the Colonists were faced with a choice; surrender their arms peacefully and submit to tyranny, or resist and retain the right and ability to stand up to tyranny. They chose the latter option, and some gave their lives in the defense of their right to keep and bear arms.
Today I hear all manner of nonsense coming out of the mouths of people regarding the right to keep and bear arms. Some say you don’t need an AR-15 to hunt deer, others say the Founders could not have foreseen the advancements in military weaponry; therefore the 2nd Amendment does not apply to the modern weapons available today.
I don’t think I could even begin to count the number of laws we have in this country which, in some form or another infringe upon our right to keep and bear arms; and the people still call for more restrictive gun laws every time there is another deadly shooting with multiple casualties.
How ready people are to surrender their means of standing up to tyrants for the promise of safety and security! Do they not see that these disturbed people are already in violation of numerous laws when they commit their horrific crimes? Are people honestly that naive that they think one more law will prevent people from committing these crimes?
You cannot legislate away the evil that lurks in the hearts of men; but you can legislate away their right to defend themselves against evil; and that’s what is happening with every gun law that is passed.
Thomas Paine once wrote, “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one…” It is against this evil that the 2nd Amendment was designed to give us the right to defend ourselves against.
Let’s say the Founders were not able to foresee the huge advancements in the weaponry that would be available for use in wars. So what! If you truly understood the reason we have a 2nd Amendment that argument would not fly. The reason we have a 2nd Amendment is so that we could be a force of armed citizens that could stand up to any army that our government might raise against them. With that in mind, do you honestly think that they would have wanted to give future tyrants the advantage by allowing them to own weapons that the citizenry was prohibited from owning?
This was affirmed by Noah Webster in 1787 when he wrote, “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. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.” (Source: An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution)
Even Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, who I have come to despise, believed that was the purpose for the 2nd Amendment, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the 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.” (Source: Commentaries on the Constitution)
To understand the significance of what occurred on April 19, 1775 one must look at it from a modern perspective. In the time of our Founders the British Redcoats were the law enforcement arm of their government; the Crown. Therefore, when these Colonists picked up their arms and stood up to the Redcoats it would be like the people of America today grabbing their guns and resisting any attempt by local law enforcement, or agents of the BATF from confiscating their privately owned firearms.
Can you imagine the people of America doing that today, and how the media would report it, or how the public would view such actions by the people against what they considered to be legitimate law enforcement? Yet that is EXACTLY what those men who stood on Lexington Green did; they opposed law enforcement when it had come to take away their guns.
Yet that is the character of those who fought and died on that day in April so many years ago. They understood the nature of their rights and they realized that if they surrendered their arms they may as well accept the fact that they would become slaves without any means of recourse against a tyrannical government.
In less than two decades after that fateful day, Patrick Henry already saw the erosion going on in the hearts and minds of the people as to their rights and the liberty they had so recently fought to obtain. In their quest to establish a system of government they were already willing to surrender far too much power to a proposed system of government designed by the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787.
Arguing against that proposed system of government Henry states, “I am fearful I have lived long enough to become an fellow: Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man, may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old fashioned: If so, I am contented to be so: I say, the time has been when every pore of my heart beat for American liberty, and which, I believe, had a counterpart in the breast of every true American.”
Later, in the same speech, Henry went on to say, “Oh, Sir, we should have fine times indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people. Your arms wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical; no longer democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?”
Believe it or not there is a concerted effort behind every push for stricter gun control laws; and the goal of those behind these measures seek a complete and absolute disarmament of the American people. They have stated their goals numerous times and their message has gone unheeded by the vast majority of those who support stricter gun control because they think something needs to be done to prevent crime.
In 1846 the Georgia Supreme Court held, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ 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 such merely as are used by the milita, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right. ” (Source: Nunn vs. State)
The Texas Courts held, “The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the “high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.” (Source: Cockrum v. State, 1859)
Then in Arkansas the Courts held, “To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm . . . is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege.” (Source: Wilson v. State, 1878)
That’s 3 court rulings that make it pretty clear that lawmakers cannot deprive the people of the right to keep and bear arms…of all kinds. Yet our right to do so is being chiseled away by lawmakers who are exercising authority that simply is not theirs to exercise.
Our Founders knew the importance of an armed society, and they had the courage to stand up to those who would tamper with their right to be armed. Therefore, if you want to celebrate Memorial Day, celebrate it by honoring what those men at Lexington Green were fighting for; their right to keep and bear arms.
Now you can go enjoy your barbecues and beer…