Monday, June 30, 2008

Week of 06/30/2008

Second Amendment Restored
– by David Matthews 2

It was a question that gun control activists DID NOT want answered.

“Does the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms cover the individual or a militia?”

Here’s the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution as ratified in 1791:

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.

It sounds a little vague, doesn’t it? It’s not like the direct wording of the Fourth Amendment, or the Third Amendment, or even of the First Amendment, although to be honest that one is violated more times than a drunk girl at a frat house.

For the longest time, gun control activists and those in the government have been operating under the delusion that the vague terminology of the Second Amendment pertained to the presence of a “militia”, and not for individuals to arm themselves. They believed that a “militia” meant a police department, since there was no such concept in America for a few more decades, and that as long as you had a police department, then the people had no need to arm themselves for self-defense.

Indeed, gun control groups and those in government have continued to argue that as long as there are police officers, then you really don’t need to do ANYTHING to protect yourself from a criminal… unless your life was in immediate danger, and even then you would be hard-pressed to justify taking action. They believed that police officers on patrol would somehow know when bad things were going to happen and they would be able to step in and save the day.

Yeah, and politicians are ethical, Bill Clinton never “inhaled”, and George W. Bush never lied. If you really believe any of those things then I have some land in the Arctic Circle to sell you.

In truth, police departments really DO NOT “protect and serve”. If anything, their role is to “report and avenge”, because they show up AFTER the deed has been done. So if Zippy the Thug has a gun to your face and he tells you “gimme your money, your car, and your wife, or I’ll shoot you in the head”, the chances that Officer Friendly will show up in the nick of time to save your sorry ass is about as remote as Zippy getting struck by lightning before he pulls the trigger. Officer Friendly will only show up afterwards to write up the report, and if he’s REALLY lucky he might find Zippy the Thug and make an arrest… but again, that’s still AFTER the crime has been done!

Is that what we would expect of a militia in any sense of the word? No it isn’t. Can you imagine what the Minutemen of Colonial America would be like if they behaved like the police departments behave today? They certainly wouldn’t be called “Minutemen”, that’s for certain! History would have probably called them “The Procrastinators” if they behaved like the police of today.

And we’re supposed to rely on them to “protect” us! Criminals prey on us and we’re supposed to rely on the police instead of defending ourselves! THAT is what our government and the anti-gun crowd tells us that we have to do! And if the cops can’t do it, then the anti-gun crowd says that we just need more police.

Great! Just what we need: more bureaucrats to take reports about what happened to us after the fact and to write speeding tickets.

Oh but don’t worry, our government and the anti-gun crowd have some ways that you can defend yourself from crime. You can take self-defense courses, which take years of mastery and practice. You can invest in heavy security hardware and a 24-hour security service… which will go off every night if you own a dog or a cat. You can always carry around a can of pepper spray or some other kind of chemical warfare device… and hope that it doesn’t go off in your pocket or purse. There’s always a tazer… if you know how to use it, and again if it doesn’t go off in your pocket.

However all of those things are more or less moot if your attacker has a gun. Even the police will tell you that if your attacker has a gun, your attacker is in control. The only chance you have against an attacker with a gun... is if you have a gun as well.

Frustrating, isn’t it? Any kind of precaution you make is rendered moot a long as Zippy the Thug has a gun, and he can get a gun either legally or illegally.

A gun is the great equalizer in society. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you can pick the gun up, point it, and pull the trigger, then you can use it. You don’t even HAVE to use the gun to know its power over others. Zippy the Thug will not approach you if he knows you have a gun and are ready to use it. Zippy the Thug will find someone else to victimize… preferably someone without a gun. Ditto for predatory stalker ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands. They can ignore a judicial restraining order. They can’t ignore Smith and Wesson, especially when it’s pointed right at them.

Unfortunately, because anyone can use a gun, the media has been full of people who have abused that power and gone on killing sprees or accidentally shot a friend or family member. Mommy and Daddy were reckless with storing their gun, so little two-year old Timmy shot his older sister. Seventeen-year old Johnny came home late and Daddy shot him because he thought his son was a burglar. Eight-one-year old grandmother is shot by police because she thought they were gang members breaking into her home… never mind that the police were executing an illegal drug raid on the wrong house. You would think from listening to all those news accounts that we were living in some anarchist nightmare where people get shot at just for breathing wrong.

And that brings us back to those anti-gun people and the power-mad members of the government that think that the only good citizen is a disarmed one. And it also brings us right back to that question that neither group wanted answered, because they knew that they wouldn’t like what that response would be.

Does the rather vague wording of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution pertain to an INDIVIDUAL’S right to bear arms, or does it pertain to a “militia”?

In a 5-4 decision this past week, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gave that answer by saying that the right to bear arms is an INDIVIDUAL’S right. In doing so, they shot down a Washington DC anti-gun law that had been on the books for a few decades but really did nothing to help cut down on crime in that area.

Obviously the law-and-order-at-all-costs group is VERY upset by that decision, as well as all of the anti-gun groups, because this takes away a key argument for their operations. As long as they could claim that the Second Amendment pertains to a MILITIA and not for INDIVIDUALS, then that justified any kind of gun-control or anti-gun legislation they wished. They could ban all gun use outright and it would be perfectly legal, because there would still be a well-armed “militia” in the form of police departments and the National Guard. Now they can’t do that.

And let’s get brutally honest here… as much as the anti-gun folks would say otherwise, this decision by the Supreme Court is actually constitutionally SOUND.

For starters, declaring that the right of INDIVIDUALS to keep and bear arms fits right on in with the rest of the rights specified in those first ten Amendments that we call the Bill of Rights. Each one of those rights are limitations on THE GOVERNMENT, telling them that they CANNOT impose laws or rules that infringe on those matters. Doesn’t it sound even remotely odd that the authors of those Amendments would have NINE of those ten pertain to limitations on THE GOVERNMENT (and back then it was just the federal government, not the states) and then one that actually AUTHORIZES it?

Second, if the purpose of the Second Amendment was to create a militia to defend the country, then wouldn’t that be a moot point since it was spelled out in Articles 1 and 2 of the U.S. Constitution that the Executive Branch would command the armed forces and that the Legislative Branch would fund it and authorize its use in war? It’s somewhat redundant to say that you’re going to create, fund, and command armed forces and then require a Constitutional Amendment to actually ARM them! And if you think for a moment that our modern-day militia is not under the authority of the federal government, then you need to ask yourself where the bulk of our National Guard forces are right now. (Here’s a hint: IRAQ!)

Of course this decision doesn’t mean that the anti-gun people are completely out of options. True to the hidden purpose of the Supreme Court to preserve the will of government at all costs, the justices still left open the means to CONTROL the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms through government regulation.

The government cannot outright OUTLAW all guns, but they can limit and control what KIND of guns that law-abiding citizens can be ALLOWED to have and use. You can’t carry around an automatic machine gun. You can’t have cop-killer bullets. The government CAN limit you to the kind of firearm you are ALLOWED to have and require you to go through extensive training and documentation.

There is a hidden purpose to the Second Amendment; one that necessitated its existence and has a historical precedence. That purpose is spelled out in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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.

Does it make sense now? Without actually coming out and saying it, America’s founding fathers wanted to make sure that should that day come when their new government was just like they one they were divorcing themselves from, they would, regrettably, be able to abolish it and fix things again.

Indeed, the reason why this was an issue was that under British rule, the people were prohibited from arming themselves. That was one of those “abuses and usurpations” that Thomas Jefferson mentioned. In fact pretty much every Amendment in the Bill of Rights has some basis in those past “abuses and usurpations”. Think about that the next time you start to question why we even have the Bill of Rights in the first place.

The truth of the matter is this: the only kind of defense to crime is SELF-DEFENSE. And if protecting yourself from harm against a thug means arming yourself, then you have an obligation to do just that. It is good to know, then, that this is officially recognized in this country as a RIGHT and not as a LUXURY.

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