Tag Archives: The Second Amendment

Bill Lockwood: Lexington & Concord Again?

by Bill Lockwood

In the early morning hours of April 19, 1775, the British regulars, stationed in Boston, marched up the quiet country road in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Their goal: to confiscate a cache of firearms that intelligence had informed them the colonists had stored in Concord. Patriot leaders, however, had sounded the alarm by horseback before dawn. Men such as Paul Revere and Samuel Prescott had roused the local militia’s who had been anticipating such an event.

As daylight was breaking the British regulars came out of the woods to a small village along the chosen route—Lexington. Major Pitcairn led the redcoats. Waiting for them were about 80 militiamen standing on the village “commons”—the town square, led by their Captain, John Parker. Determined to defend their God-bestowed right of self-preservation, even from a tyrannical government, the militia refused to disperse when Major Pitcairn ordered it.

Who fired the first shot is a matter left open to historical investigation. The result was that within the next few minutes 8 militiamen were killed during the confrontation. The Redcoats moved on to Concord but were met by several thousand farmers armed with their personal muskets as the news spread through the wooded communities. In the end, the Americans drove the British back to Boston. The Revolution had begun.

The entire event at Lexington was immortalized by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his famous poem, “Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride.”

The struggle actually had begun years before as the British government continually violated its own charters for the colonies that guaranteed them a free-hand governing themselves. One intrusive English law after another specifically violated those written promises. Colonial freedoms were being curtailed. In the end, these written guarantees in the form of charters were trampled by the gigantic growing British government that sprawled itself all over the world.

The United States

No one wishes to relive the bloody scenes of the past. Consider, however, the brewing trouble in our own nation and its similarities to 1775.

First, our Constitution was written for one specific purpose—to curtail the federal government. Our Founders felt so strongly about it that they included the 10th Amendment which in sum says that any power or authority NOT specifically delegated to the federal government by this Constitution remains with the people. All rights belong to the people by endowment from God. Government’s sole design is to protect these rights. Since governments throughout history have traditionally removed these rights, our national government was purposefully crafted to be limited.

The framers of the Constitution also realized from hard bloody experience that they must put into writing not only that the federal government needs to be restrained, but that individuals have a right of self-preservation from that government—even if by force. This is how America began. Thus, the 2nd Amendment. The primary reason for this Amendment—the right to keep and bear arms– is to defend rights that are historically lost by intrusive governments—not foreign invaders.

“The people” have a right to firearms. The ability of “the people” to defend themselves against dictators foreign and domestic is a divinely ordained right. As George Mason of Virginia put it, “to disarm the people—that is the best and most effective way to enslave them.”

The 2nd Amendment is, in effect, a “thou shalt not touch this” to the Federal Government. That includes whatever weaponry a citizen may deem necessary to maintain his or her freedom from authoritarian designs.

Second, the current slate of Democratic presidential hopefuls has sounded off about British-style confiscation of certain types of firearms. Beto O’Rourke has campaigned on the promise that the government will confiscate AR-15’s. In the ‘spirit of 1776’, Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain tweeted “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”

These words from Cain have simply enraged the statist-loving mob of the left who believe a person only has what rights a government may give. They see it as simply a threat to murder O’Rourke. But it is a far cry from that. Instead, it is exactly the same circumstances that were seen in 1775. Cain’s remark is no different than a Samuel Adams, or a Paul Revere, answering the arrogant British threat to remove this God-given right. At least we know where left stands when it comes to how we gained our freedom from Britain.

What should alarm the American people is the lawless, tyrannical, and totalitarian attitude from the O’Rourkes and Biden’s of the world that somehow the government can violate its own charters—the Declaration of Independence & Constitution—and impose its godless will on peace-loving American citizens. Beto and Biden sound no different than King George III.

Twitter removed Briscoe Cain’s “My AR is ready for you, Robert” tweet. That violates the rules of Twitter, it is said. Well, now we know what side of the Bill of Rights Twitter is on—King George’s. Making violent threats? No, that came from O’Rourke—“we’re going to take your AR 15” he repeated in the Democratic debate. If the socialist-Democrat party wishes to pursue this course, will we end up having another Lexington and Concord? I hope and pray not. But the lawless Democrats seem to push ahead wildly, regardless of whose rights they trample and the God from whom we own them.

 

Bill Lockwood: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

by Bill Lockwood

With the recent shootings in America liberal politicians have proposed curtailing the God-given unalienable right to keep and bear arms as a method to stem the violence. From presidential hopeful Joe Biden recently telling Anderson Cooper, “Bingo” when asked about the government coming for “guns” to Kamala Harris’ proposal that if she is elected president she will enact “executive orders” to confiscate “assault weapons” when Congress fails to act, the Second Amendment needs to be re-asserted.

It is a historical fact that in nations where political leaders wish to remove properties and freedoms of the citizenry, they always begin by disarming the populace. This normally begins by requiring registration of firearms and imposing penalties when they do not. This is followed in many cases by federal governments deliberately provoking rioting and violence which is then used as an excuse to confiscate firearms.

The Second Amendment—A Prohibition

“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.” The first thing to be noted is that the 2d Amendment is a strict prohibition against the federal government. It is not a declaration of rights, period. The right to keep arms was assumed to be God-given by the founders, but they added the Amendments to ensure that the national government would not touch these freedoms.

The Bill of Rights opens with this bold statement, “Congress shall make NO LAW …” What Joe Biden and his Democrat cohorts propose is unconstitutional on its very surface. Federal government has no say so in the matter. Making “no law” is pretty clear.

Second, there is a popular view today, though erroneous, that the 2d Amendment means that the National Guard should be able to keep and bear arms, but that the guarantee does not extend to ordinary citizens. Those who advance such an argument either have not read the Founders themselves who wrote the 2d Amendment, or hope you do not—or both.

The concern has always been, from the time of the creation of America until today, that a centralized federal government would evolve into a dictatorship or totalitarian state. The framers, with one voice, stated that the only counter measure to such gravitational pull over time was the populace itself. Alexander Hamilton, for example, in The Federalist Papers, asserted that liberty would always be ensured as long as the people were allowed to be “properly armed and equipped.”

James Madison, who authored the 2d Amendment, wrote that under the Constitution “the ultimate authority …resides in the people alone [due to the] advantage of being armed which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.” Joseph Story, an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court (8112-1845), a foremost Constitutional authority, wrote:

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary powers of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, noted that

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, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable…the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference—they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.

Sam Adams, introduced in the Massachusetts convention the call to ratify the Constitution. In it he said that the “Constitution never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own guns.”

Sir William Blackstone (1725-80), though not a founder of this nation, was one of the top four quoted authorities on Common Law. Lawyers in America until the time of Abraham Lincoln normally carried Blackstone with them. Of the right to keep and bear arms, Blackstone said,

“Of the absolute rights of individuals: the fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject … is that of having arms for their defense …”

He explained that the basis for this right is the “natural right of resistance and self-preservation when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression” (Alan Gottlieb, The Rights of Gun Owners, 1983, p. 6). It is as if Blackstone was mirroring current day America and the push of Democratic and Socialist lawmakers to open our borders to the entire third world, turning our streets into combat zones in some cases.

State Militia

Still, some cling to the wording of the 2d Amendment which states a “well-regulated militia” is necessary for the security of a free people to insist that this right to keep and bear arms be reserved for a specialized unit which one must join. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most Americans do not realize that they themselves belong to the state militia where they reside. Title 10, section 31 of the U.S. Code defines the militia of each state as “all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age who are or have [made] a declaration of intent to become citizens” (W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America, p. 694).

The United States Congress has weighed in on this topic as well. In 1982 a Senate subcommittee on the Constitution carefully documented the 2d Amendment understanding in a public report. After lengthy pages of history, it noted that in various states after the War for Independence many proposals called it a general duty for all citizens to be armed. Richard Henry Lee, for instance, observed that “to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them …”

George Mason of Virginia, drafter of the Virginia Bill of Rights, accused the British of having plotted to “disarm the people—that was the best and most effective way to enslave them.” Patrick Henry said that the “great object is that every man be armed and everyone who is able may have a gun.”

St. George Tucker, one of the earliest commentators on the Constitution and Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, published in 1803 his annotations. He followed Blackstone’s citations (noted above) and pointed out regarding the 2d Amendment that it is “without any qualification.” So also, William Rawle’s “View of the Constitution” published in 1825. He emphasized that,

“The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by a rule of construction be conceived to give Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.”

The 1982 Congress summarized some of the above material. First, subsequent legislation in the Second Congress “supports the interpretation of the Second Amendment that creates an individual right. In the Militia Act of 1792, the second Congress defined ‘militia of the United States’ to include almost every free adult male in the United States.”

They went on to add that these persons “were obligated by the law to possess a firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military equipment.” “There can be little doubt from this that when the Congress … spoke of a ‘militia’, they had reference to the traditional concept of the entire populace capable of bearing arms, and not to any formal group such as what is today called the National Guard.” (Skousen, p. 699).

Second, the prohibition is strict and broad against the federal government or its officers from being able to address the issue of firearms or weaponry in the hands of its citizens. The reason is clear. As Joseph Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution put it this way: the right to keep and bear arms is “the palladium of the liberties of the republic.” This is a natural deterrent to tyranny.

So, whether it is Elizabeth Warren, who wants to have the federal government involve themselves in background checks, or Kamala Harris, who has dictatorship-style plans to move unilaterally on guns if elected president, or Joe Biden, who plans to implement bans on “assault weapons” at the federal level, or Bernie Sanders, who promises some type of executive action on firearms—all of these are theorizing in unconstitutional territory. If the federal government can step into this arena—no matter how small a role—history shows that this foot-in-the-door will expand to larger roles as Constitutionally illiterate people pouring out of the colleges demand more federal control. Voters, beware.

 

Freedom and Firearms

Freedom and Firearms– “…governing authorities therefore do not have any inherent right in themselves to rule the rest of us.”

by Bill Lockwood

This is about self-government. Do we have an inalienable right before God to determine our own government? To organize our own governing principles by which we live? The foundational platform of our entire system of political rule is the concept that human beings, all persons, have been created in the image of God and due to that inherent individual value in each one of us, we have a right to manage our own political future. From that single point of reference–the very core of our governing values–that we have a right to manage our own affairs– we have delegated to certain representatives which we call government. Government owns no more authority than we have delegated to it.

The opposite side of this coin is that governing authorities therefore do not have any inherent right in themselves to rule the rest of us. Their rule is delegated to them by us and goes so far as we allow. This is why we vote. They must have our approval. If this be not true, then let’s have a king to decide who gets what and who doesn’t. Who lives and who does not.

This also means that legislators, law enforcement, as well as the military have duties and responsibilities that inherently belong to ‘we the people.’ We have simply “delegated” to them the power that they have for protection of an orderly society and to fight enemies, foreign and domestic. We cannot delegate that which we do not have.

What does this mean to firearms? The 2d Amendment was not written in order to “give” us the right to anything. It is a part of self-determination and self-government. We the people composed it to remind governing authorities that they could not touch this sacred right, nor any of the others that are mentioned or not even mentioned (9th and 10th Amendments). These rights are God-bestowed and belong to us by nature.

To suggest therefore, that “we the people” do not have a right to own firearms is to suggest we have no more right to self-government. We no longer have a right to determine our own destiny. Instead, it is to say that we must have managers set over us to determine our course. It is to state that “we the people” have no right to rule ourselves.

John Paul Stevens

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for a repeal of the 2d Amendment. In a column last Tuesday in The New York Times, Stevens admonished Americans to “respect” the demonstrations for Gun Control. Added to that he encouraged “the demonstrators” to “demand a repeal of the 2d Amendment.” That amendment, he added, “is a relic of the 18th century.”

Justice Stevens shows exactly what is wrong with America. He does not believe we have an inherent right to govern ourselves. What’s more: this abysmal ignorance of the fundamentals of American governance sat on the Supreme Court and helped decide the course of our nation. Adding to the insulting statements he made in which he basically denied our right to self-government, he indicated that during the years that Warren Burger served as chief justice from 1969 to 1986, no judge, “as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment.” So the Supreme Court itself does not believe “we the people” have an inherent right to self-government.

Shocking, but not so. Exactly what Constitutionalists have been complaining about for decades. We have been crammed into a progressive top-down government-control system unheard of in the halls of freedom. Progressive lies have turned the Constitution on its head and up-ended the very foundation of liberty before God. Socialistic thinking has become the cancer on our society.

Justice Stevens should have been reading the Founding Fathers who crafted the 2d Amendment instead of the liberal law professors who filled him with progressive lies. Every single Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments) was designed to demonstrate the limited ability of government to manage, not the limited ability of people to enjoy their freedoms. It is a “thou shalt not” touch list. If Stevens does not understand that, he does not understand the building blocks of our system.

Richard Henry Lee of VA stated, “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” Note that Lee connected firearms to freedom. Power rests with the people; not to elitists who suppose they are above us.

Samuel Adams: “The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress … to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” Why this? Because daddy government allows people to have firearms? Absolutely not. Because I have a right to determine my own destiny, to protect my freedom and my family—even if by force against an all-powerful out-of-control government. God gave me this right.

Patrick Henry added, “The great object is that every man be armed … Everyone who is able may have a gun.” George Mason, also of Virginia, drafter of the Virginia Bill of Rights, accused the British government of having a plot to “disarm the people.” Why? As Mason stated, that was the best and most effective way to enslave them.” This is still true.

Justice Joseph Story served on the Supreme Court from 1811 until 1845. He published his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States in 1833. In these he considered the right to keep and bear arms as “the palladium of the liberties of the Republic” which deterred tyranny and enabled the citizens of our nation to overthrow dictatorial powers should that ever occur. This is why the Second Amendment reminds us that every law-abiding individual has the right to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment is a “relic of the 18th century”, as Stevens stated, only if freedom is also such a relic. Apparently, it is with the Supreme Court of his day as well as with many who are pouring into the streets stupidly to protest our right to self-government. The lines are being drawn.

God, Not Gun Control

God, Not Gun Control “Is there no virtue among us?

by Bill Lockwood

The liberal secular world consistently misses the prime causes of our cultural disarray. Once again this lack of understanding is displayed in the aftermath of the Stephen Paddock mass shooting in Las Vegas, NV. Democrat leaders around the country did not let the blood dry from that massacre before they were calling for more fixes from Washington, D.C. They refuse the real issue.

Leading in this willful ignorance is Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. “The reason we don’t have gun safety measures in the United States today is because of the [National Rifle Association]. And we will defeat them.” That which blocks Sen. Murphy is not the NRA, but the 2d Amendment of the Constitution itself. Will you defeat it, Sen. Murphy?

Greatly exaggerating his power he continued: “We have it in our power to curb gun violence and save lives. It is that simple. Congress is complicit each day it fails to act.” He added that gun violence is a “uniquely American problem.”

Curtailing citizen gun ownership has always been on the Democrat/Socialist agenda. This is the reason that before investigations are even conducted into motives or causes they fly to assault the 2d Amendment.

Erasing God

To put a more accurate point on the liberal agenda, gun violence is not a uniquely “American” problem, but a uniquely modern American problem. Early America experienced no such acts of horrific senseless violence. Citizens were not mowing each other down in the town squares. Yet, from the 17th century through the colonial period not only did every male member of the community own a firearm, but they were expected to be a part of the regular militia!

Laws in Virginia in 1623 forbade its colonists to travel unless they were armed. In 1631 the same colony required the citizens to engage in target practice on Sunday and “to bring their pieces to church.” Target practice would be after Sunday dinner. In 1673 the laws of Virginia provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government.

In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered not only freemen, but also indentured servants to own firearms and imposed a fine upon those who were not armed. Examples from other colonies could be added (W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America, 696).

What a difference two centuries make! But be careful to note that the difference is not between America and other nations, as Democrats are wanton to do; but between modern America and our historical roots. What exactly has changed?

Our nation has spent the better part of a century eliminating God from the public square, the classroom, and public discourse. Entertainment has virtually mocked and blasphemed God. Families are dysfunctional and the number of fatherless homes has dramatically increased since the 1960’s. Humanistic evolution and its valueless world order has replaced the Bible and we today are eating the fruit of those choices. In the wake of family and societal breakdown an increasing number of sociopaths and psychopaths wander our secular society. A predictable result.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Gordon Wood, in The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, stated, “The eighteenth century mind was thoroughly convinced that a popularly based government ‘cannot be supported without virtue.’”

James Madison added,

Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical [fantasy] idea.

And George Washington, the Father of our Country, warned us,

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education … reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Again, in his Farewell Address Washington advised that our freedom depends upon two “indispensable supports”—religion and morality. He, of course, referred to the Christian religion.

Until God is once again acknowledged by our culture-including the public school classroom– no amount of laws, no number of legislative fixes will make a people safe whose manners have become immoral, corrupt and vicious.

Who’s Minding the List?

Who’s Minding the List?

by Bill Lockwood

Last week the Congressional Democrats were in full left-wing 1960’s hippie-socialist mode as they lawlessly staged a sit-down on the floor of Congress. Like the radicals of the old Kent State that they are, only now with suits and skirts, they chanted their pro-communist anti-gun slogans as they waved homemade signs. After Orlando, these radicals think to get their foot in the door on what the left has always been after—Gun Control. Remove the ability of the citizenry to defend itself.

“Moderate” (read “weak”) Republicans such as John Cornyn (R-TX) tried to mollify the Democratic rascals by proposing that mandatory three-day investigations be conducted by the Federal Government when someone on the “terror watch list” tries to buy a gun. His proposal would have allowed the Attorney General to block purchase of firearms while investigations were conducted. His proposal failed.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) went further. Her proposal would authorize the Attorney General to block any person from purchasing a firearm if there was a reasonable belief that the weapon might be used in terroristic attacks. Apparently, Loretta Lynch’s speech about winning over terrorists with “love” did not stick with Feinstein.

Fortunately, these measures failed to move forward. The Second Amendment is a PROHIBITION against the Federal Government from entering into this territory. The right of “the people” shall not be infringed to “keep and bear arms” is a codified right precisely to defend ourselves from an over-reaching government. Usurpation and intervention by the federal government were the two most prominent dangers to the drafters of the Second Amendment. This is why the “Bill of Rights” opens with the law, “Congress shall make NO LAW…”

Alexander Hamilton argued in Federalist #84 that since our government is only a “limited government” with only a few specified powers it would have absolutely NO authority to regulate a citizen’s freedom of speech, religion, etc. Neither is there any federal authority to register or confiscate firearms or to block sales to those whom it considers possible “terrorists.”

Now enters the “Terror Watch List.” As baffling as it is, it seems the Republican Senators and Congressmen who are intent on mollifying the thuggery of the Democrats have forgotten who writes this list! When Obama became president and Janet Napolitano was the Secretary of Homeland Security, those who were singled out for government “monitoring” were: returning “military veterans” who were “facing significant challenges” as they sought to “reintegrate” into society. This situation, per Napolitano and Obama, “could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”

Obama’s “Terror Watch List” also included “right-wing extremists.” In Obama’s Lexicon that includes those who study the Constitution or who are Tea-Partiers, or members of such organizations as the John Birch Society. Never mind that there are currently Islamic Jihadi Terroristic Training Camps in America—for these we must spread the banquet table. But we must watch those Constitutionalists!

I will put these proposals by Cornyn and Feinstein in simple syllogistic form.
•    The the Federal Government disallows those on the terror watch list access to firearms.
•    Those on terror watch list (per DHS) include “right-wing extremists” and “returning veterans.”
•    Thus, the Federal Government disallows returning vets and right-wingers guns.

For an encapsulated view of those bold hypocrites who are minding the Terror Watch List, consider also the recent interview that leftist Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) granted to a reporter on Gun Control.

The Reporter asks Charlie: “Why should, say, the uber-wealthy have that protection [ability to carry firearms] but individuals who are law-abiding citizens in your district should not?”

Charlie: “Well, law-abiding citizens just shouldn’t have to carry a gun. You know that, so you’re not going to push me in that direction.”

Reporter: “But you’re protected by guns all over the place here in the Capitol.”

Charlie: (Laughing) “Well, that’s a little different. I think we deserve—I think we need to be protected down here.”

That attitude speaks for itself. Yes, it does make a difference who is minding the “Terror Watch List.”

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