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Flippant Frummery
nationalreview.com ^ | 24 March, 2013 | Kevin D. Williamson

Posted on 03/25/2013 5:08:54 PM PDT by marktwain

Writing about the Black Panthers and gun rights, David Frum begins well — which is to say, with a quotation from me — but quickly reverts to First Order Frummery.

”The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions.” That sentence is quoted not from the Black Panther manifesto, but from an article published just a few weeks ago in National Review by Kevin Williamson.

Before 1965, it would have occurred to precisely nobody that the Second Amendment guaranteed the right to organize private armies independent of the state.

The only way Frum could write that sentence is to have ignored the evidence in the piece of mine from which he was quoting or, more likely, to have failed to read it. If he had read it, he would have encountered the sentiment of Justice Joseph Story — who lived well before 1965 and who was not “precisely nobody” — which says the thing Frum says nobody said:

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

Frum is here guilty of either willful ignorance or intellectual dishonesty. Such sentiments as Justice Story’s are of course not terribly difficult to document: It was hardly unthinkable to the gentlemen of the founding generation that an armed people might throw off a tyrant, since they had just done so. For the benefit of humanity, they published a famous laundry list of their reasons for doing so, and Mr. Frum might consider availing himself of their wisdom.

It is worth noting that taking up arms against an oppressive government is hardly unprecedented, even in modern American history. When the people of McMinn County, Tenn., petitioned state and federal officials for relief from their corrupt, violent, election-rigging local government, and none was forthcoming, they took up arms against the ruling junta in order to stop its stealing another election.

The Black Panthers were a criminal gang, but then so were a lot of Jim Crow-era sheriff’s departments. The fact that the Black Panthers cited the right to self-defense does not invalidate the Second Amendment any more than David Frum’s occasional descents into self-righteous inanity invalidate the First Amendment.

Source at National Review


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: banglist; constitution; guncontrol; insurrection; secondamendment; story
Frum could claim that militias, are by nature, not independent of the state, because they arise from the people, as the state does.

I doubt that he will make that argument.

1 posted on 03/25/2013 5:08:54 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain
Hey David Frum, go back to Canaduh!
2 posted on 03/25/2013 5:19:45 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get you.)
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To: Paleo Conservative

My “smarty” phone won’t let me send this via FReep
mail-—but your popcorn vid made me laugh-—lately
I really need a good laugh anytime/all the time

kg/nancy


3 posted on 03/25/2013 6:27:37 PM PDT by krunkygirl (force multiplier in effect...)
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To: marktwain

Since WW2 started in 1939 that is a laughable statement. Tell it to the Jews.


4 posted on 03/25/2013 6:56:06 PM PDT by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: marktwain
Frum could claim that militias, are by nature, not independent of the state, because they arise from the people, as the state does.

The Militia is the People in arms.

The People are the State, and the State is the People who make it up. The State is not geography or soil and trees, it's People. The People of Virginia are the State of Virginia and vice versa, and the People are the Militia, either the Organized (National Guard, State Guard) or the Unorganized Militia. But they are the Militia, and you can't kick them out.

5 posted on 03/26/2013 2:48:47 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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