By Russell D. Longcore
Owner and Editor, DumpDC
(Editor’s Note: This is an updated article I wrote in 2009. Never more timely than today.)
Gun control is today’s subject. With the recent spate of mass murders here in the USA, you can be assured that the statists will use these crises to their advantage. Those who would outlaw gun ownership are undaunted and patient. They know that another school, church or theater shooting or other mass murder will eventually occur in the United States, and that event will propel this issue back onto the front pages and lead stories in the news media. So, let us examine the issue of gun control in light of history and a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says:
“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”.
Any State with a well regulated Militia would be capable of defending itself from Federal tyranny. Over the past two hundred years, the individual States have forgotten that their security as a free State relies upon a well regulated Militia. The first two phrases in the Amendment shed light on today’s power structure in the United States. The Federal government now has standing armies, navies and an air force that far outnumbers any state militia. So, state sovereignty has been destroyed. Now states are more like counties…no sovereignty, only slave territories of a cancer-ridden Federal system.
Let’s consider the definition of the word “arms”.
The Second Amendment does not define the word “arms” but leaves it open to definition and expansion in the future. “Arms” were not only firearms, but any weapon that could be used to defend one’s life or property. Why then do the anti-gun advocates only single out firearms as the focus of their desire to disarm Americans? Why not archery equipment, swords, or knives, or sharpened sticks?
Next, let’s look at the word “infringe”. The Webster’s Dictionary defines “infringe” in two ways pertinent to this discussion; from the Latin “infrangere”:(1)”to break; to violate or go beyond the limits of: (2) to encroach upon.” In order to further explain the Second Amendment, the definition of the word “right” must also be considered, and is: “something due to one by law, custom or nature.” The “right” is the thing not to be infringed by government. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson writes of mankind being “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” The definitions above speak directly to rights endowed to humans by natural law, and to the nature of man as a created being subject to God’s authority. These rights were among those enumerated as “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” (For a GREAT article about Unalienable Rights, CLICK HERE.) Therefore, the Second Amendment states that the right to keep and bear arms is one that is endowed by our Creator under natural law and shall not be broken, violated or encroached upon. It validates the concept of personal property ownership, in this case one’s own person, and the principle of self-defense.
Many gun control advocates support, and have been successful in the criminalization of the ownership of certain automatic and semi-automatic weapons, the so-called “assault weapons”. They now seek to restrict the ownership of nearly all firearms by private citizens. Yet the issue of advancing technology was not an issue that the framers of the Constitution even considered worthy of mention. These were learned men, and were well aware of the technological improvements that were made in weaponry just in their lifetimes. They knew world history and knew that guns and gunpowder were relative newcomers to the art of war.
But please consider: at the time of the Revolutionary War, did not the Continental armies possess the same technology of armaments as the Redcoats? Yes.
Hadn’t the Colonial citizens owned and used firearms since the early 1600s? Yes!
Did the English soldiers have cartridges for their rifles while the Colonials had only musket and ball? No. Musket, ball and cannon were the leading technologies of the day. There were no cartridges. They came about 100 years later.
Did only the King have the ability to build ships, forge cannon and cannonball? No. John Paul Jones was a privateer, which is basically a government-sponsored pirate, preying on English ships. His first wartime command was aboard the ship Providence, owned by New England businessman John Brown. The Providence bristled with cannons.
Both of the combatants in the Revolutionary War had the same technology in armaments. The Continental armies consisted of fighting citizens, taking up their rifles and pistols, forging cannon and going to war against superior numbers in the British army and navy, but not against superior weapons.
Therefore, when it came time for the framers of the Constitution to consider the Amendments, they did not even mention the possibility that the private citizen should be prevented from owning the same weapons as the military. Could it be that they considered the threat of government tyranny greater than that of citizens owning military weapons?
One of the beauties of the Constitution is its simplicity. The Second Amendment is written with no ambiguity in clear, simple words. Words have meaning. For decades now, those who would subjugate our citizens with Federal and State tyranny have fought to redefine the words of the Second Amendment. They have been successful in passing unconstitutional laws that do in fact infringe upon our right to keep and bear arms. The framers understood that with freedom comes responsibility, and that the ideas and acts of men have consequences. Yet they entrusted to future generations this simple Amendment. They possessed the foreknowledge that this newly formed government would have the same potential as governments throughout history to decline toward tyranny and totalitarianism. And it has indeed.
This Amendment, along with the other original Amendments, were their lasting contribution to the establishment of what would become…for a time…the mightiest nation in the history of mankind. They planted good seed in fertile ground, and a great nation grew from that seed.
Sadly, this nation is no longer great. It has gone from the beacon of freedom to the world to the greatest cancer on the world that has ever existed.
DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.