Posted: January 17, 2016 in Uncategorized
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In 1776 the founding fathers of our country signed the Declaration of independence.  This document declared the right for the thirteen colonies to form a confederation and become independent from the mother country, Great Britain and to further self-determine the future of the new country.  The Constitution was not written and signed until 1787, eleven years after the Declaration of Independence. Among the signers of the Constitution were George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin.

The constitution has been amended twenty-seven times.  Some of these have been very controversial but none have been brought to the forefront of elections and none have been debated as much as the second amendment; referred to as the right to bear arms.  With the National Rifle Association, the NRA, on one side and a strong liberal voice on the other side; we are constantly bombarded with rhetoric in an ever expanding news media.

The second amendment of the constitution is not as simple as the right to bear arms.  Instead, the wording can be slightly confusing and open to interpretation.   The Amendment states, “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.” This questions two arguments that can be held up by both sides of the argument.

On one side of the argument the liberals can point to the part of the amendment that states that the right to bear arms is a requirement for a well-regulated Militia to exist.  The Militia of the 1780s is the same force that stood up to Great Britain at Concord and Lexington.  The Militia is a part of the state and is not a Federal force. In essence, this is now the National Guards, the citizen soldier, controlled by the individual states and there is no longer a requirement for the citizens to arm these militias.

On the other side of the argument is, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  Regardless of the original intent to arm a militia; the right to bear arms and protect the property and the life of an individual, of an individual’s family and neighbors and an individual’s community is still a requirement. This was the original intent of a militia.  Several of our founding fathers, the men that risked everything to from a new country, the men that crafted some of the most illuminating documents in the history of our world, and some who signed both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and who also authored and signed the Second Amendment shed some light on the importance to allow the citizens to bear arms.

In 1824, long after the adoption of the Second Amendment, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Justice Cartwright and stated “The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … ”  Jefferson’s deep seeded feelings to bear arms were earlier stated in his comment that “Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not.”
Like Jefferson, George Washington the father of our country, commander of the Continental Army and first president of the United States made his own statement about the importance of having an armed citizenry.  Washington stated, “Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”  This is a powerful statement when Washington stares that the right to bear arms is second only to the Constitution itself.

Richard Lee from Virginia and instrumental in the movement to declare independence from Britain addressed the definition of the term militia in the second amendment and provides some direction as to the meaning of allowing citizens to bear arms.  He stated, “”A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …”

Even Thomas Payne, author of Common Sense, addressed the right to bear arms.  “”The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside … Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.”

As for me personally; I became a member of the IRA in the mid 1960s when our scoutmaster had members of our troop the opportunity to join and take part in gun safety.


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