Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
In 1787 James Madison said, “It is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, that public measures are rarely investigated with that spirit of moderation which is essential to a just estimate of their real tendency to advance or obstruct the public good; and that this spirit is more apt to be diminished than promoted, by those occasions which require an unusual exercise of it.” Federalist 37
With certain members of our government pushing, very hard, to pass legislation which would neuter the Second Amendment, I think it is time to refresh the memories of some about the history this nation is about to repeat should this legislation become law.
It has been over 35 years since I graduated from high school so I have no clue as to what convoluted version of American History our children are being taught in school today, but I am almost certain it is not complete, nor accurate. And it is the fact that because our youth have not been taught about what led to our Founders to seek independence that our children may very well be the ones who bear witness to either another American Revolution, or the complete, and utter, downfall of the Republic created by those wise, and brave, men who took a stand against tyranny over 200 years ago.
Our nation’s Founders did not just up and suddenly decide to go to war with their government, and that’s what the English Crown was, their legitimate government at the time. No, it was, as Jefferson described in the Declaration of Independence, a “…long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism…” that led them to fight before the ends could be achieved. And, as James Madison would later declare in his Memorial and Remonstrance, “The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entagled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”
In other words, they took action BEFORE they were completely enslaved by the British and the oppressive laws enacted by the King and Parliament. Yet, it was not until the British attempted to confiscate their firearms that the actual shooting part of the revolution began. As John Adams later wrote to Thomas Jefferson, “As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular. What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected … before a drop of blood was shed.”
To those who have not studied American History, and the events leading up to the actual hostilities, heed this, we, those of us who value our liberty and our rights, have watched as our rights have slowly been eroded and our government assume powers it was never intended they possess. Just as our Founders once did, we have patiently petitioned our government to respect our rights, to govern within the confines of the Constitution, all to no avail.
There are many in this country who are of the belief that the government is omnipotent, that once they make a law it is set in stone and we are bound to obey it. Not so. Jurisprudence is the study of law and the American Jurisprudence is the Encyclopedia of United States Law.
Did you know that in the 16th American Jurisprudence it states, “The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statue, to be valid, must be in agreement…The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed…”Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principals follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it…. A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, it is superseded thereby. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.”
As the Second Amendment was duly ratified and therefore, part and parcel of the Constitution, it is also the Supreme Law of the Land. It does not define, nor limit the right of the people to own certain types of firearms, it merely states ARMS. The purpose for the Second Amendment was not so that we could hunt, target shoot, or protect our homes from criminals, although those activities are protected by it. No, the Second Amendment was written to give the people the ability to raise up an armed militia to provide for the security of a free state, as happened in 1775, when the militia was called into service to prevent the British Redcoats from taking away the colonists firearms at Lexington and Concord. Must it come to that again?
In Federalist 27 Alexander Hamilton said, “I believe it may be laid down as a general rule that their confidence in and obedience to a government will commonly be proportioned to the goodness or badness of its administration.” Even Hamilton, who stood for a strong central government, did not deny that they may be times when disobedience to government edicts might arise. As he would later say in Federalist 33, “If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.”
Finally, in Federalist 71, Hamilton states, “When occasions present themselves in which the interests of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it is the duty of the persons whom they have appointed to be the guardians of those interests to withstand the temporary delusion in order to give them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection. Instances might be cited in which a conduct of this kind has saved the people from very fatal consequences of their own mistakes, and has procured lasting monuments of their gratitude to the men who had courage and magnanimity enough to serve them at the peril of their displeasure.”
What he is saying that our representatives were to act as a check upon our own sudden rash impulses to call for measures we may later regret, such as is the case now with the public clamoring for new bans on these so-called assault rifles. Yet instead of acting as a check upon the demand of some that an unalienable right be limited, [infringed], our representatives are more than willing to seize upon the chance to limit our ability to exercise the right to keep and bear arms to its full extent.
Yes there is a problem with crime in this country, and yes these shootings are senseless and tragic, but it does not give you, or our government, the right to prohibit any law abiding citizen from owning the type weapons our government is now attempting to ban.
Going back to the Revolutionary War for a moment, people say that at the time the Second Amendment was written there were no semi-automatic rifles, and therefore the Second Amendment only applies to the type weapons that existed at the time. Let’s imagine for a moment that there were the type weapons Senator Feinstein wants to see banned in existence in 1775. Do you think our Founders would have wanted to limit themselves to muskets and flintlocks when the British were equipped with fully automatic weapons of war? No, that would be ridiculous. If they had they would have been slaughtered and we would still be under English rule.
The purpose for the Second Amendment was so that we could fight tyranny…wherever it might arise. As it is our police forces are almost fully militarized, we have the DEA, the ATF, the FBI, and they all carry fully automatic weapons with high capacity magazines. Yet we are told that we cannot have semi-automatic versions of these same type weapons?
You may not like the thought of an armed populace, but the truth is that we are here to protect YOUR rights just as much as we are fighting to protect our own. We understand what our Founders intended when they drafted, and ratified, the Constitution. And, as Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”
Unfortunately, those who wish to see us disarmed have set the climate in their favor. For generations they have been teaching our children that we are a democracy, that the majority opinion rules, and that the Constitution is not set in stone. Our Founders despised democracies. In fact, Hamilton had this to say about them, “It had been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience had proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny…”
Yet too many people think that a right can be infringed upon if it is in the best interests of the public. But those rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are set in stone, they are not to be touched. And the Second Amendment exists to protect the other nine amendments should the government decide to do away with them as well. Just as an unarmed person is easy prey for crime, an unarmed nation, faced with a standing army and militarized agents of the government are easy prey for tyranny and oppression.
You may not see their intent, but we do, and we will not go meekly into the night without a fight. As Samuel Adams also said, “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; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
Many of us believe that another revolution, of sorts, is coming. Will history repeat itself and the ardent lovers of liberty be victorious? That will have to be seen. Yet if we are not, it will be you who will write the next chapter of history, and with the last final vestige of freedom gone, will you be permitted to tell the truth to your children about the liberty you allowed to be taken from you?