08 May 2009

Thought-Essay: 'Why The Second Amendment (Still) Matters'

My first "thought-essay" for Baton Rouge Tea Party is up at their website. These are put up periodically to look at issues of freedom confronting us today, and compare that to what the Founders - the original Tea Party crowd - had to say about them. So head on over, give BRTP some traffic, and give me some comments. Or, read it here first:


During the recent campaign, President Obama had this to say about the Second Amendment:
“I believe in the Second Amendment, and if you are a law-abiding gun owner you have nothing to fear from an Obama administration."
On the surface that sounds pretty clear, and it convinced more than a few gun owners back in November to vote for Obama. It captures nicely the position the current Administration and their ideological followers have about the Second Amendment - if it must exist, it only protects non-threatening, "law-abiding" uses, such as hunting, target shooting, and collecting. Nothing more.

An individual having the power to protect their life, liberty, and property is anathema to our friends on the Left, because it calls into question the very thing in which they have complete and unquestioning faith - the benevolent power of government. If you own a gun, especially a nasty, evil-looking gun, it must mean you don't trust the government.

Which is exactly the point.

The Second Amendment doesn’t exist merely to protect week-end sports shooters; those pursuits were of a secondary nature (though still important) when the Founders drafted the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment exists to do one thing - to make sure that you, a free citizen, has the power to protect your foundational rights; be they threatened by a mugger or rapist, a foreign power, or a tyrannical and totalitarian domestic government.

In other words, the Second Amendment insures that you are always the last line of defense for your life and liberty. And that is how the Founders - who had just secured their independence because they possessed arms - saw it as well. Here's what Thomas Jefferson said:
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

"What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that his people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."
George Washington thought similarly:
"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
Here's George Mason, one of the drafters of the Constitution:
"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
Patrick Henry, never one to mince words, had this to say:
"The great object is, that every man be armed. [...] Every one who is able may have a gun.."
Alexander Hamilton, writing in The Federalist Papers:
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
And finally, the words of James Madison, the man who proposed the Second Amendment, also writing in The Federalist Papers (No. 46):
"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
Indeed, the Second Amendment is unique to our country. But is it still relevant? Many, particularly those on the Left, see the Second Amendment as an anachronism, and not necessary in a modern, post-industrial, urban America. They don’t think you need a gun anymore. The police protect you from crime, and the idea of a foreign invader, or tyrannical government, threatening our liberties anymore is laughable.

But is it? Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese Admiral who devised Pearl Harbor and lived in the United States before World War II, said this about the futility of a potential invasion of the US mainland:
"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass."
Maybe such a foreign threat doesn’t exist today. Maybe today the police can keep you safe. And maybe today the government respects your rights. But our Founders understood all too well that tomorrow is always another matter. That is why they made sure to leave the final means of protecting ourselves and our liberties in our hands. And to truly be a free people, that is where it must always reside.


Anonymous said...

Amen brother!!!!

Capt. Deacon Warren

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Very nice. Yamato's quote is one of my favorites, and I was going to tag it on here...But you already had it :^).

To all who value their 2nd ammendment rights, and who have not done so already, add your blade by joining the NRA with a FREE trial membership (from arf.com):


It's good for a year and only takes a minute.