Report 45: A Discussion of Our American Rights

Many countries enumerate the rights of citizens in their founding documents. How stringently they allow those rights is another matter. States like the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have a terrible record as do other countries, but that is not the focus of this report. The rights as enumerated in the Constitution are accorded to each citizen of the US. Our rights are set down is such a way that not only are the rights accorded to the citizens, they are written in such a way as to limit the government. These rights did not just come to the Founders in an epiphany one day, they came down through the centuries from such sources as Cicero, the Magna Carta, Hobbs, Locke, Kant, Hegel and many other sources.

The first try at a founding document was filled with flaws from the beginning. The greatest flaw was that the central government was too weak. Such issues as conducting operations to protect the new country had to be blessed by nine of the states. Those not in agreement could opt out. In other words, each state was a sovereign entity. Congress could not declare war, enter into treaties and alliances, appropriate money, or appoint a commander in chief unless nine states assented. (Summary from the Articles of Confederation)

While Congress had the power to regulate the army, it had to go to the states with its hand out to ask for funding and personnel. The lack of power of the central government also severely hampered the conduct of foreign policy.

Another weakness of the Articles was that there was no guarantee of the rights of the citizens. While the Constitutional Convention was in session in 1787 discussion came up about including rights into the original Constitution. The major pushback was that the rights of the citizens were common knowledge and therefore, there was no need to spell them out in the Constitution. Fortunately, a couple of states balked on ratifying the document until a Bill of Rights was added. This was accomplished after ratification with the first ten amendments.

As we have seen over the years, many people have very different ideas of what rights are “natural” rights and which are merely granted by the government. It’s a good thing that several states demanded that the rights be set down formally. As you would expect, my concern is with the Second Amendment.

Many on the left of the political spectrum argue that the Founders could not have imagined the types of firearms we now have commonly available. I’ve heard several of these folks opine that the Founders only intended for us to have muskets and muzzle-loading rifles available. I have also heard the argument that the only reason for the Second Amendment is so that we can go hunting. Both of these arguments are fallacious. Let me give you some quotes of the Founders concerning the Second Amendment:

  1. “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787
  2. “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774 – 1776
  3. “To disarm the people….is the most effectual way to enslave them.” George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several state Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788
  4. “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788
  5. “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined….” George Washington, First Annual Address, to both Houses of Congress, January 8, 1790

These are only a few of the many quotes that are available. As you will note, there is no mention of muskets or hunting. The emphasis is on the ability of a free citizenry to keep and bear arms. I saw a bumper sticker one time that said “Armed man is a free man; an unarmed man is a subject.” Obviously, I agree with that sentiment. Also, remember that the battles of Lexington and Concord took place because the British were intent on confiscating the colonists’ arms.

Now let’s go back and see if we can unravel the motives of the Left. There is no doubt in my mind that the rank-and-file gun-ban activists honestly want to see a reduction in violent crime. Their goal is the same as mine and I applaud their fervor. However, these are not the people with whom I have a problem. My contention is with those who are funding and pushing the rank-and-file; people like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Michael Bloomberg, and George Soros. These people have found a cause to exploit the rank-and-file. There is a saying that goes “gun control, it’s not about the gun, it’s about control.” This is where the Controlling Left is headed.

While it is useful to the controllers to push the violence issue, this is far from their concern. Their concern is to exert as much control over the populous as they can possibly muster. Look at some of the people they revere. Just a month or two after Obama took office, he was bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet. For years, the Left has been pushing to normalize relations with the Castros in Cuba. If Cuba is such a utopia, why are so many people leaving it?

What is one of the first things oppressive regimes do? They disarm the people. This is not supposition, but fact. You just have to look at Germany in the 1930s, the USSR after the October Revolution in 1917, the People’s Republic of China after the nationalists were kicked out, Cambodia under Pol Pot, Cuba under Fidel Castro, and Venezuela under Chavez. Millions upon millions of people were murdered by their own governments and the citizens had no way to defend themselves.

We look at the tragedy of the Nazi extermination programs. Estimates of up to 17 million people were murdered but greater numbers were murdered in USSR and PRC. When you look at Pol Pot in Cambodia, he murdered up to 3 million of his citizens, fully one quarter of the population.

The energy that the Left Controllers are putting into taking away our rights, specifically the Second Amendment, causes me great concern. They are continually talking about “common sense gun control,” and each time they delve in to this subject they say “We don’t want to take away your guns.” They just want to restrict us just a little bit more. Benjamin Franklin said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

The Chinese talk about death by a thousand cuts. Each “common sense gun control” measure is just another cut. When all of our guns have been confiscated as some politicians want, there will be no safety or freedom for the citizens of the United States. Only the criminals and the government will have guns. That is what the Left Controllers want.

I want to thank Ric Morgan, Esq. for his outstanding assistance with this report.

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