Skip to comments.Zimmerman Attorney To Anderson Cooper: Trayvon Martin Broke My Client’s Nose
Posted on 03/24/2012 6:47:49 AM PDT by tobyhill
Amid the rush of loud outrage and vocal protest from the parents of Trayvon Martin and their supporters the silence of one character in this tragic tale has been deafening: George Zimmerman, the free man who shot Martin and alleges self-defense. His attorney, Craig Sonner, finally spoke out to Anderson Cooper last night, and had few answers but one accusation his client has a broken nose and a laceration on his skull, and that was an injury done by Trayvon Martin.
Sonner noted to Cooper that his client seemed fine save for a considerable bit of stress natural to his situation, but admitted that y conversations have been by telephone. He did not know where Zimmerman was but assumed he was still in the area and hadnt fled the country. He had surprisingly little to offer Cooper about the facts of the case; asked what Zimmerman had told him about what transpired the night Martin died, he said he should have made a statement to police at the time, I believe he did, and said he did not discuss the details, and they would be privileged even if he had.
(Excerpt) Read more at mediaite.com ...
Damn facts getting in the way of a race riot.
How DARE anyone speak ill of that innocent 12-year old looking 6’2” football player who was apparently suspended from school....for reasons we don’t know because his family’s lawyer supposedly blocked his school records.
Trayvon NEVER did anything wrong, just ask eyewitness Al Sharpton.
His client has a broken nose and a laceration on his skull.
Sound like a clear case of self defense,looks like the race card was just pi$$ed on.
One CNN anchor called the attacker a “child.”
After the smoke clears, I’ll be waiting for all of the morons like Jeb Bush to call attention to their stupidity for being stampeded into denouncing Zimmerman before all of the facts were known.
I lived in Orange County, New York State, during the Tawana Brawley incident. Al Sharpton is a man of low character, I don’t care what his color is .. the facts in that case speak for themselves. Why his opinions matter AT ALL to anyone is beyond all reason.
Add Glenn Beck and Rick Santorum to the list, as well.
From the link:
Why was George Zimmerman not arrested the night of the shooting?
When the Sanford Police Department arrived at the scene of the incident, Mr. Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony. By Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time. Additionally, when any police officer makes an arrest for any reason, the officer MUST swear and affirm that he/she is making the arrest in good faith and with probable cause. If the arrest is done maliciously and in bad faith, the officer and the City may be held liable.
What about media reenactments of the shooting incident?
Any media reenactments of the shooting incident are purely speculation. To date the Sanford Police Department has not released any rendition of the events of the evening to anyone other than the Office of the State Attorney. The renditions we have seen are not consistent with the evidence in this case.
The Sanford Police Department has conducted a complete and fair investigation of this incident. We have provided the results of our investigation to the Office of the State Attorney for their review and consideration for possible criminal prosecution.
Although the Police Department is the target of the troubling questions, let me assure you we too feel the pain of this senseless tragedy that has dramatically affected our community. Therefore, as we move forward and strive to answer the questions that are a point of controversy in the community, we ask for your patience, understanding and assistance in getting the correct information to the community
We trust that this information is helpful to you.
Norton N. Bonaparte, Jr., ICMA-CM City Manager March 23, 2012
Isn’t it funny that all of the photos for publication of the poor little tyke were taken when he was younger and not of the recent description as he really was as a hulking 6’2” young man.
Nobody has stopped to think that maybe on that tape, it could have been Zimmerman calling for help.
We don’t know...but I have heard that Zimmerman’s original statement indicated that he was attacked after he gave up the chase and was headed back.
We need to let the facts come out...but, oh no, the MSM, the frigging President of the United States, all of the left and black leaders and even Fox news have rushed to judgement and convicted Zimmerman (and he may be guilty...we have to let the facts decide, not emotion).
Even Santorum add Gingrich fundmanetally, while not making a race issue out of it, are presuming this Zimmerman’s guilt.
I hate to say it, but the best comment I heard so far comes from Romney who said that yes, it was a tragedy but that we have to wait until a grand jury convenes and uses the information gathered in a investigation to determine what happened.
It’s galling and a travesty that 1) this tragic circumstance is being abjectly politicized by the left and the President, 2) that the media has convicted Zimmerman before any grand jury is held and before the facts are in, 3) That this issue, with the scores of deaths, and the thousands of abortions each day (each of those an equal tragedy) is national news anyway. Florida should handle it, and if the Florida State officials think it has not been handled locally appropriately, then they investigate at the State level which they are doing.
Another guy that Ps me O is Holder. The guy is waiting for any black issue, no matter what it is, to flex his Federal muscle and jump into it and try and completely over-ride local and state government...and this when he has the blood of fast and furious all over his own hands.
Okay [end rant]
...”Stand your ground” being metaphorical...as was intended.
Reposting this from another thread.
Stand your ground does not include pursue, especially after the 911 operator has told the pursuer that police are coming, meet the police, do not pursue.
The problem with a self-designated neighborhood watch patrolman following his own suspects is that the suspect might make a J-turn, and come back toward the follower.
This is where it gets into murky Grand Jury territory. The armed follower initiated the entire crisis by following his “suspect,” and the “suspect” thus followed then turns to confront the follower. Both are within their legal limits until that point.
What this will come down to is an interpretation of stand your ground. If a neighborhood watch (self-designated) follows somebody, and it later turns into a self-defense shooting, will that act of self defense be overturned because the shooter initiated the entire sequence by following the “suspect” in the first place?
That is what we shall all find out as this case plays out.
But for sure, it shows the danger to all sides when self-designated armed neighborhood watchmen start following people around.
They are NOT police, and have NO right to demand to know if somebody lives there, or ask what their business is. NO right at all.
Sorry, but that is the way it is. As I see it. And I am a FL resident with a CCW.
I just hope Zimmerman was smart enough to have photos taken of his nose and head.
This such a "nothing" incident. It's completely manufactured to suit the needs of the Left. In a nation of 300 million people, to make into national news for a period of weeks, is a complete farce.
Obama’s son goes walking by at 2AM in a strange neighborhood, just whistling and thinking about his mother and Jesus, when he was gunned down by a White Racist Republican Jew, who listens to Rush Limbaugh, for absolutely no reason and just because he is Black. Ok! Got it...I think....?
America, what a crazy country this is.
Agree, if that was in fact what happened.
If the conclude wrong and facts prove otherwise their candidacy wont be worth squat. Same as Obamma if it proves to have been self defense. But then Obama is a Dem so facts don't matter much to his voters.
So BarBar's Jebbie thinks he can ride to the WH on a ginned-up race riot?
They make me puke.
“Putting aside the complaints regarding the handling of the case by the police and the conflicting statements given by officials, there remains the question of whether there is sufficient evidence to base a charge against Zimmerman. I would like to see the coroners report on the trajectory and distance of the gunshot wound as well as audio analysis of the gun shot or shots. I would also like to see evidence of the abrasions on both men. Zimmerman was reportedly bleeding from the struggle but we have not heard many details on Martins other injuries.”
In one week, there were 10 shooting deaths in Chicago...49 violent injuries. Who cares? The real war on blacks is fought by other blacks.
It was Zimmerman calling for help.
The police told The Orlando Sentinel on Friday that they believed the voice crying for help was Mr. Zimmerman's.911 Tapes Released in Killing of Florida Teenager NYT - March 17, 2012
Bet the police and lawyer did.The media will have to do a lot of back tracking on the race baiting story.
“I dont know not having been there and not seeing all the facts what role race played in that, but I think its fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that he Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,” Obama said in response to a question from the Chicago Sun-Times’s Lynn Sweet.
Gates, Obama allowed, “is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all the facts.”
You can bet a 17 year old female seeking an abortion wouldn't be called a child. Their bias is showing.
It was 7:20 pm (hardly the midnight hour) and Trayvon belonged in that neighborhood (either his father or father’s fiance lived there).
We will never know what happened unless we have accurate info.
As a matter of law, that's false. People tend not to do so because it's taken as rude; but I've confronted people who were driving around our neighborhood, looking lost, asking if I could help by directing them to their intended destination.
-- If a "neighborhood watch" (self-designated) follows somebody, and it later turns into a "self-defense shooting," will that act of "self defense" be overturned because the shooter initiated the entire sequence by following the "suspect" in the first place? --
The short answer is "no," the act of self defense does not turn on the question of whether or not a person is engaging in neighborhood watch.
We all have a right to go about in public, peaceably; and we do not have a right to be free from meddling strangers asking us where we are headed. Nor do we have a right to strike a person because they are meddling.
The shooting happened just after 7 p.m. Sunday evening on Twin Trees Lane. A man who witnessed part of the altercation contacted authorities.
“The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help! Help!’ and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911,” said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John.
“And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”
Actually, that's not true. I have the right to ask you what are you doing here, and you have the right to tell me to pi** off, or ignore me. What I don't have the right to do is detain you, and so far, there is no evidence that suggests he did. Not to mention,he was the ELECTED watch captain of the private condo owner's neighborhood watch, not self designated.
The rush to judge was so fast and furious, even some here on FR that should know better were caught up in it in the earlier postings of the story.
Actually, depending on the situation, you do have that right. Not that I advocate a private citizen using citizen's arrest - unless it is of a person who has broken into their home - but home breakin is NOT the only circumstance where a citizen is privileged to detain a stranger.
What's the difference between a watchful neighbor and a wannabe whateveryouwannacallit who's about to kill somebody?
The lady on the 911 line saying "We don't need you doing that." A sane person says "Oh yeah... they told us that in CCW class thanks for reminding me." Someone who's about to kill somebody goes ahead and (probably, imo) blunders into an ambush where he has no choice.
That's where my $5 goes.
As long as we're at it, how 'bout $1000 on some politicians and fake preachers and media @$$hole$ making political hay out of it? Oh... too late...
ABC news, immediately after playing a clip of Newt saying “IF Zimmerman is found by the grand jury to have acted improperly, THEN they should indict him”, said:
“Newt Gingrich, calling for the grand jury to indict Zimmerman.
We need to listen very carefully to what’s being said.
Also, it has been reported on FR that Martin’s father said to the police, that the voice on the tape screaming for help, was NOT his son...
We should have a special thread here on FR to name and shame all of the FReepers who have been eager tools of the commies over this case.
I don't have much luck posting photos or I would post it here. He wasn't some skinny lil kid.
If any case needs to be tried in a court of law and not the media, it is this one.
The shooting sounds like it may not have been justified. The involvement of the race-baiters (Al Sharpton and ilk) makes me suspicious, however.
We simply do not have all the facts.
Zimmerman wasn’t acting as a watchman, he was running a personal errand when he spotted Trayvon Martin.
Furthermore Zimmerman wasn’t told not to pursue by the civilian dispatcher and had no obligation to obey such an instruction even if he had.
The entire incident took place within a gated private property of which Zimmerman was one of the owners. He was completely within his rights to find out what Martin was up to, especially after Martin saw him and took off running.
Yeah, I thought about that when I was posting, but I didn’t want to imply that into the situation being described, that of a question being asked of another who is not observed committing a criminal act. Great point.
I didn’t know about him being “elected” as “watch captain,” whatever that means.
But after the 911 operator told him to stand down, and he didn’t, he really went out on a thin limb, legally.
“Watch” is not “pursue.”
It’s going to be an interesting case at the Grand Jury level.
“Add Glenn Beck and Rick Santorum to the list, as well.”
Add rino Mr. West who believes that race matters and that the Obama justice department government has all of the answers apparently.
Rep. West: Trayvon Martin Shooting An Outrage
Friday, March 23, 2012 02:01 PM
By: Henry J. Reske
Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., has called the shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin an outrage and has thrown his weight behind the Justice Departments investigation into the matter, The Washington Post congressional blog 2chambers reported.
On his Facebook page, West said, This is an outrage.
That was my thought.
Was the kid 6’2” and 200 lbs? I heard that as well.
So, if this neighborhood watch guy tried to ascertain what was going on with this unknown individual in the neighborhood who ran away from him, and when he grew tired and gave up the chase and was, I am presuming, returning to meet the police, was then attacked by the individual who was probably pummelinging him, then at that point he was standing his ground and could have been in fear for his life...if that is when the shooting occurred, then it is clear that is why the kid was shot and according to the law, justifiably so.
Sad and tragic for this young man and his family, but he was in a gated community (and why was he there? was that on the way to the store and back from the game?). If Trevon chose to turn around and attack this man, then he suffered the terrible consequences.
We desperately need to let all of the facts come out...and from unbiased investsigatore interested only in the truth.
“laceration on his skull.”
How? By being hit with a bag of Skittles? Maybe by a glass bottle of Snapple Iced Tea? I know, it’s racist of me just to ask.
MANY here on FR. I have been doing battle with the dupes since day one of this story.
Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at entering into society, to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights; when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defense of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave. The Rights of the Colonists (November 20, 1772)
The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them. Debates & Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (February 6, 1788)
The Militia is composed of free citizens. There is therefore no danger of their making use of their power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them.
... whereas, 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... Constitutional Debates of the Massachusetts Convention of 1788 (also attributed to A Federal Farmer, the anti-federalist)
To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies. First Annual Message to Congress; Federal Hall, New York City (January 8, 1790)
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity...will respect the less important and arbitrary ones... 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. quoted from Enlightenment philosopher Cesare Beccarias On Crimes and Punishment, 1764; translated by Jefferson and copied into his Commonplace Book of great quotations.
No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]. Draft Constitution for Virginia; June 13, 1776 (brackets in Jeffersons original)
Every able bodied freeman, between the ages of 16 and 50, is enrolled in the militia. The law requires every militia-man to provide himself with the arms usual in the regular service. Notes on the State of Virginia, written by Jefferson, published in 1781, updated in 1782
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks. letter to nephew Peter Carr (August 19, 1785)
What country before, every existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And 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. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. letter to Colonel William S. Smith, Paris (November 13, 1787)
I enclose you a list of the killed, wounded, and captives of the enemy from the commencement of hostilities at Lexington in April, 1775, until November, 1777, since which there has been no event of any consequence... I think that upon the whole it has been about one half the number lost by them, in some instances more, but in others less. This difference is ascribed to our superiority in taking aim when we fire; every soldier in our army having been intimate with his gun from his infancy. letter to Giovanni Fabbroni (June 8, 1788)
the governor [is] constitutionally the commander of the militia of the State, that is to say, of every man in it able to bear arms . letter to Destutt de Tracy (January 26, 1811)
On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invent against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed. letter to William Johnson (June 12, 1823)
The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press. letter to Major John Cartwright (June 5, 1824)
The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them . Thoughts On Defensive War, 1775
...in this country, every man is a militia-man.... The American Crisis series, # 9, dated June 9, 1780
...who are the militia, if they be not the people of this country...? I ask, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.
No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state.... Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.
The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun. from debates during the Constitutional convention (later quoted with approval by George Washington), as quoted in Elliots Debates, 1836
That the people have a Right to mass and to bear arms; that a well regulated militia composed of the Body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper natural and safe defense of a free state...
Have we no means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defense, the militia, is put in the hands of Congress? Of what service would the militia be to you when, most probably, you will not have a single musket in the state? For, as arms are to be provided by Congress, they may or may not provide them.
They tell us, Sir, that we are weak...but when shall we be stronger? Will it be when we are totally disarmed?
Three millions of People, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. The War Inevitable; speech to the Virginia assembly, March, 1775
...a well regulated militia, composed of gentlemen and yeomen, is the natural strength and only security of a free government.
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined. (in the Virginia ratifying convention)
To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense...is a dissolution of the government. A Defense of the Constitutions of the Government of the United States of America, 1788, questioning the utility of private arms for the defense of the State but accepting the private right of self defense.
Arms in the hands of citizens [may] be used at individual discretion in private self-defense A Defense of the Constitutions of the Government of the United States of America (1788)
Here, every private person is authorized to arm himself, and on the strength of this authority, I do not deny the inhabitants had a right to arm themselves at that time, for their defense, not for offense.... opening statement as defense counsel for British soldiers on trial for the Boston Massacre in 1770; from the Legal Papers of John Adams, Butterfield and Zobel; 1965
Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Federalist # 46
[A] government resting on a minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.
...the loyalists in the beginning of the late war, who objected to associating, arming and fighting, in defense of our liberties, because these measures were not constitutional. A free people should always be left... with every possible power to promote their own happiness.
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government. Federalist # 28
Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped... Federalist # 29
Further in Federalist #29, Hamilton discusses militias and standing armies in detail. He argues against a formal standing army recommending ...an excellent body of well trained militia ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens. If Hamilton expected the militia to be able to stand up to and oppose the regular army, if necessary, with what would they be expected to fight, if not their own arms? That entire exposition, assuming that people would always possess their own weapons with which they could defend the Peoples liberties against any formal military establishment of the State which might turn tyrannical, clearly shows that the idea of disarming the people was so foreign to their thinking, that they didnt even consider it as a real possibility.
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
(Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Ratification Convention of 1788, helped Thomas Jefferson draft the Virginia Declaration of Rights which served as the basis for the U.S. Bill of Rights)
[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia. from debates during the Virginia state ratifying convention (June 14, 1788), quoted in Elliots Debates
I ask, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor; but they may be confined to the lower and middle classes of the people, granting exclusion to the higher classes of the people. If we should ever see that day, the most ignominious punishments and heavy fines may be expected. Under the present government, all ranks of people are subject to militia duty. Under such a full and equal representation as ours, there can be no ignominious punishment inflicted. But under this national, or rather consolidated government, the case will be different. The representation being so small
and inadequate, they will have no fellow-feeling for the people. from debates during the Virginia state ratifying convention (June 16, 1788), quoted in Elliots Debates
That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state... Virginia Declaration of Rights (drafted by Thomas Jefferson and George Mason, with others)
Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.... O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people!
The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them. An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (October 17, 1787)
Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to the unjust and oppressive. An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (October 17, 1787)
RICHARD HENRY LEE:
(Fought under George Washington, introduced the motion leading to the Declaration of Independence, signer of the Declaration of Independence; an antifederalist, elected as Virginia delegate to the Constitutional convention and refused to serve, believing the convention was an improper body to consider the new Constitution; opposed the Constitution as not sufficiently protective of individual and States rights; U.S. Senator from Virginia and helped secure ratification of U.S. Bill of Rights)
A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms. The Constitution ought to secure a genuine militia and guard against a select militia, by providing that the militia shall always be kept well organized, armed, and disciplined, and include...all men capable of bearing arms. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle. Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer (1788)
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. Letters From The Federal Farmer, # 18 (January 25, 1788)
... of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms.... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny. Letters from the Federal Farmer, # 53 (1788)
That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit. proposed by the Virginia delegation to the Constitutional Convention (defining the phrase well-regulated militia which was used exactly in the final draft of the Second Amendment); and suggested in their state ratification debates, June 1788, to clarify the right.
(Massachusetts delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787; delegate to the Massachusetts Ratification Convention of 1788 [refused to agree to the Constitution]; Vice President during President James Madisons second term, 1813 until his death in 1814)
What, sir, is the use of militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. . . Whenever Government means to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise a standing army upon its ruins. debate in the U.S. House of Representatives (August 17, 1789)
(Delegate to the Massachusetts Constitutional Ratification Convention of 1788, and was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1789)
The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people. letter to F.R. Minoe (June 12, 1789)
(Pennsylvania anti-federalist, wrote under the pseudonym Centinel)
That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals.... during debates on ratification of the Constitution in the Pennsylvania assembly
(Prominent Federalist from Pennsylvania, published commentary under the pseudonym An American Citizen)
The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite
unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them. An American Citizen (October 21,1787)
Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American . . . . The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. The Pennsylvania Gazette (February 20, 1788)
As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must occasionally be raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article (of amendment) in their right to keep and bear their private arms. Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution; Federal Gazette, (June 18, 1789). Coxe sent a copy of his essay to James Madison along with a letter of the same date. Madison wrote back as follows, supporting the interpretation of the Second Amendment as an individual right: Accept my acknowledgments for your favor of the 18th. instant. The printed remarks inclosed in it are already I find in the Gazettes here [New York] ... The amendments ... will however be greatly favored by explanatory strictures of a healing tendency, and is therefore already indebted to the co-operation of your pen.
The power of the sword is in the hands of Congress? My friends and countrymen, it is not so; for the powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The Militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the Militia? They are not ourselves as politicians and lawmakers. They are those who have elected us into our positions and entrusted us with the power of preserving and carrying out their wishes. Congress has no power to disarm the Militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the Federal or State governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. letter to James Madison during adoption of the Bill of Rights in the United States Congress (1789)
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