by D. McKenzie Smith
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
To recap the earlier article, it was ‘We the people…’ and a collection of 13 sovereign nations (States) that ratified the Constitution. The founders and the Constitution itself made the issue of power and control absolutely clear. The federal government was one of few and very limited powers. The people and the States retained all other powers. The federal government was to take care of international relations. That is about all. The States were to take care of everything else. And, when one thinks about it. the States are entirely capable of taking care of all local issues.
As noted, the federal government was not to have or control a full time (‘standing’) army. If the nation needed military troops, it would get them from the States. That was the reason for a citizen militia controlled by the States.
The Second Amendment.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand what the Second Amendment is saying, especially after reading what the founders said on the issue of citizen control of ‘their’ government.
The Amendment reads: “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.” We will break this down into understandable bites.
Back in their day, ‘well regulated’ meant ‘well trained’, not well controlled from above. If the militia was to be government ‘regulated’ in today’s use of the term, the feds would control what they were prohibited from having or controlling: a ‘standing army’.
The statement of purpose is in the phrase ‘being necessary to the security of a free State (nation)’ The militia was seen as necessary to a State of free people. The Amendment was to protect the States and the people from overpowering federal government.
The last phrase of the Amendment should be self-explanatory. The natural right of people, as individuals, to keep (own and control) and bear (carry with them) firearms of their choice, may not be interfered with. The term ‘infringed’ means touched upon, much less seriously altered, by ‘rule making or legislation’. If the People and the States are to be, at all times better armed than any force the feds can conjure up, it stands to reason that the right of the People cannot be interfered with by the federal government.
It is only liars and those who twist ‘meanings’ out of the text that can read the Second Amendment any other way.
President Washington was quoted as calling the militia ‘the people’s liberty teeth’. It can hardly remain as that, if the people allow the federal power to remove the right which gives people and States control over the federal government.
Literally all the State constitutions note that the right to own and control the use of firearms is retained by the people. The Pennsylvania Constitution puts it this way, “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.” Take heed of two points: the right is for self defense and defense of the State. The latter probably means ‘from federal encroachments’, as well as from outside invaders. Note also that the right may not even be questioned. Some of the liars will suggest that they are not questioning the right. That is correct: they are ‘just’ removing it!
West Virginia added their statement of the right in the 1960’s! It reads, “A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use.” All uses of firearms are included in the right to control the issue. Otherwise the feds can just generate ‘reasons’ and remove the right…which is what they have been doing for about a century.
One of the excuses the federal government has used to take away guns is the ‘sporting use’ lie. Under this fable, people only have a right to hunting and sporting firearms, not military type weapons. But, since the militia was created as a potential control over the federal government, and to repel invasions, the people (the militia) cannot be deprived of military weapons. This West Virginia statement puts the ‘sporting uses’ lie to rest. The federal government may not interfere with the ownership or use of military type weapons under any excuse or lie. But it has, by ‘law’ and by presidential decree (limits on magazine capacities and such), been taking away our guns for nearly a century.
There are at least three separate reasons for citizen control of firearms. Each one is a valid reason for the right to exist and be defended. Taken together, they are a three-fold reason for not allowing any level of government to interfere with firearms ownership or usage.
1. To keep the ultimate power of coercion out of federal hands, and in the hands of the people. It was centralized power that the founders were trying to prevent.
2. Personal self defense. Removing arms from citizens makes them into victims; of ordinary criminals as well as tyrants. Prohibiting or restricting firearms to people is a criminal act by the government.
3. All other reasons, from hunting for food to ‘recreational’ or ‘sporting’ uses, as stated in the West Virginia Declaration of Rights, are rights in themselves.
The federal government is tasked with arming and training the militia. This is found in Article I, Section 8, paragraph 16 of the Constitution.
The militia was to be the armed force for individuals, for localities, for the States and for the nation if there was a real need.
Literally all wars fought by the U. S., from that War of 1812 through the Spanish-American War (1898), were all fought by State Militia troops. Just look at the unit flags of the ‘Civil’ War. They were all State flags.
The Swiss model proves that the militia system works at any level. Every man of adult age is equipped by the government with a modern military rifle, ammunition, and equipment as necessary, and is regularly trained in their use. Women who choose to join are welcomed into the Swiss militia. The Swiss have tank forces, fighter jets, artillery and all the other items needed for defense in great depth. All members of the Swiss system are cross-trained in specialties like artillery.
The Swiss are an example of how a militia system should work. One needs to ask why ‘our government’ is doing the opposite.
The bottom line that makes many people uncomfortable is that armed people control nations and politics. If the power of guns is a government monopoly, the people have nothing with which to resist tyranny or oppression.
Those who control the guns, own the nation. That is why the people and the States were to be, at all times, better armed than their ‘servants’ in the federal government. Many of the founders said it just that way.
Mao, the great mass murderer of his own people, put it bluntly, “Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun.” And he wanted to control all the guns.
Hitler and Lenin used gun laws to disarm those they intended to kill off.
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership offers a book that records the use of gun laws to disarm groups that a government wanted to kill off. That is why there have been several genocides in the last hundred years.
If you really believe in ‘power to the people’, go get a gun and learn how to use it.
Many ‘gun laws’ have been struck down by courts. In Nunn v Georgia, 1 Ga 243, the court noted that, just because the people forbade the feds from creating anti-gun ‘laws’ did not mean that those same people intended to let States do so. That statement is so obvious that it can escape attention. Since the people forbade the federal government from creating and enforcing anti-gun laws…those same people could not have meant for the States to begin disarming them.
The National Firearms Act was the first illegal control of militia equipment that has not been struck down by the courts. It is illegal because it denies military tools to the militia. Art I, Sect 8, para 16 states that the feds are required to arm and train the militia, not disarm it and disuse it. What the federal government has been doing for nearly a century is quietly destroying the militia. Meanwhile, the feds have ownership and control over the military the government was prohibited from even having.
A hundred and sixty odd years ago, the federal government began violating people’s rights and State’s rights, and getting away with it.
President Lincoln, contrary to some of his statements, committed treason against citizens in at least three ways.
1. He jailed people, particularly publishers and journalists, for not supporting his war efforts.
2. He disregarded due process, which requires that people be charged with a crime, and that the crime be proven in court.
3. He also disregarded Habeas Corpus, which requires officials to prove that they have arrested a citizen for legitimate reasons.
Not only was Lincoln not removed from office and prosecuted, most soldiers and police ‘followed orders’, joining in the president’s crimes. This is one of the main reasons the founders, and freedom minded people generally, resist each new federal incursion on people and their rights.
Please note that, during the ‘civil’ war, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was advised to do as Lincoln had done in the north; jail anyone who did not support the war. But he refused, stating that one of the reasons for leaving the U. S. was abuse of power by federal authorities. Some historians claim that one reason the South failed to win that war was because President Davis and the war effort were hampered by some very vocal critics.
Lincoln also committed treason against the States. We will next look at the issue of secession.
There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits or even hints that a State may not leave the union. During the War of 1812, several States considered leaving the nation. The New England States got together in Hartford at a convention to decide if all of the New England States would secede together! New York refused to allow its militia to be used in a planned invasion of Canada, as New York considered that to be invading a neighboring nation. This was back in a time when the States remembered that they were sovereign on many issues.
The southern States seceded individually, and then formed the Confederacy. They joined voluntarily, and they left voluntarily. They departed peacefully. It was provocations by Lincoln that caused the shooting war to start at Ft. Sumpter. Carolina reasoned that no outside nation could keep a fort in a Carolina harbor. All of the southern States saw themselves as defending themselves against invasion.
If the northern States, or at least some of them, had refused to send their militia troops for federal use against the South, there never would have been a ‘civil’ war.
The ‘civil’ war remains the most deadly war the U. S. has ever been involved in. Thomas Dilorenzo, in his book ‘The Real Lincoln’, made the case that the war was Lincoln’s personal decision, and Lincoln encouraged the most savage treatment of the citizenry, against all applicable ‘rules of war’ for the time.
By the 1860’s, the U. S. federal government had already become tyrannical. It just had not created a federal standing army…yet.
The U. S. has become the controller of the world, one step at a time. ‘Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq’ by Stephen Kinzer is the story of U. S. imperialism and meddling in other nation’s affairs. It began with taking over Hawaii in the mid 1800’s. It continued when the U. S. annexed the Philippines after the Spanish-American War, and colonized those islands for more than three decades.
If nations don’t do what the U. S. tells them to do, they first get economic sanctions placed against them. If that fails to get them to comply, harsher methods, including invasion, will follow. This is one reason why our federal government was prohibited from having an army.
The various levels of government have gotten into two bad habits: bad for us. They have generated all manner of illegal (unconstitutional) ‘laws’ to control us and to remove our rights. These they enforce through the police and the courts. On the other hand, the government does not do some things it is mandated to do, like arm and train the militia. This is the total reversal of roles of master and servant. Sovereign citizens have become controllable entities, while ‘public servants’ order citizens around like children.
Take the recent Supreme Court ruling that New York City could not operate a system of rights removal by local ‘laws’, specifically the permitting system for carrying firearms. So the mayor just instituted other local ‘laws’ that did virtually the same thing. He created ‘gun free zones’ so numerous that people cannot carry a gun without stepping into one of the mayor’s ‘gun free zones’. So, the people will be forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars and years of their lives, to fight basically the same question back through the courts again and again. This illegal activity by the New York government is called ‘fatiguing them into compliance’. And, if some people do take the time and effort to take the specific issue through court, the politicians will just make another ‘law’ to deny people the right to self defense. They know what they are doing: violating the Law.
President Biden, or his handlers, have stated that they intend to end the right to own and bear arms. They intend to actually take all guns from the people. They call it ‘confiscation’, which is government language for ‘stealing’ from people.
This is no longer a government under law, nor is it a group of ‘public servants’. The federal and State governments have been joined by many local governments in doing the opposite of their job, and are busy destroying the last vestiges of freedom.
What do they fear? Us. The federal government has been taking on powers it is not allowed to have, including removing the right to arms, and disusing the militia. They are afraid that we will wake up.
Are we going to let the usurpers remove the last of our rights, and the main tool of freedom?
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