Skip to comments.Guns...For the Children
Posted on 06/21/2002 8:05:09 AM PDT by Sir Gawain
Guns...For the Children
By: Lewis J. Goldberg
Published 06. 20. 02 at 20:37 Sierra Time
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
-- James Madison, The Federalist Papers
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
--Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
The Second Amendment sealed into the law of the land the fact that American society is a society that not only tolerates guns, but was built upon their ownership. The Colonials who fought in the Revolution did not run to the local armory to get an 'issue' weapon, they reached in their closets. Apparently this lesson is not lost on the advocates of 'more gun laws,' who do not want another revolution.
At the onset of the Revolution, citizen militia outnumbered Colonial 'Regulars' more than two to one, and of the 200,000-plus individuals that fought in the War, more than half were simply men grabbing their rifle and heading out the door.* The men who crafted the Bill of Rights understood and lived with these simple facts, and they included a codified, permanent acknowledgement of the right Thomas Jefferson articulated in the Declaration of Independence to "...alter or to abolish it [the existing government,] and to institute new Government..." And since 'government' is power, the only way to overcome power is with more power.
During Revolutionary times, it should be noted that while 'quality' may have varied, the citizen militia possessed the same design of firearm that the Redcoats had. Were the Colonials armed with swords, the British would have shot them to pieces. So easy it is to gaze wistfully at picture books depicting scenes of our own glorious revolution, and to be thankful for the sacrifice those brave men made, but likewise so willing to deny the living the same tools of honour taken for granted by the first Americans.
The 'Kill Me' Generation
Today's 'philosophical elite,' which is to say everyone with a paid voice, printed or recorded, from the media to the halls of Congress, is doing their level-best to drive the public into the suicide of disarmament. The fact that such nonsense sells is testimony to Santayana's maxim on the fate of men to relive history when it is ignored. The sheer suicide of 'weapon-free' societies is well documented, but like the smoker who reads the warning as he lights up, the facts make no difference [not to disparage smokers, as I plan to start smoking when I retire...it's a slow death, and I'll already be old.]
We have, in fact, become the 'kill me' generation. Anyone who can read should know that violent crime in the twin 'gun-free' paradises of England and Australia has gone up since the ban. When there is a power vacuum, someone will rush in to fill the void. Governments do it as they become more repressive against a timid population, and likewise criminals find easier prey in disarmed societies [and some may beg to understand the difference between the two situations.]
Regard the following:
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
The preceding quote is from Robert A. Heinlein's 1942 book, Beyond This Horizon in which Heinlein has a brief moment of common sense [or plagiarism, since the same thought is expressed, regarding the manners of the American South, in Alexis DeTocqueville's 1835 book Democracy in America.]
...Shall Not Be Infringed
The Bush Administration recently announced, through the Department of Justice, that henceforth the Second Amendment shall be interpreted as an individual right [as opposed to a collective right of 'militias' to bear arms, as had been the case since 1939.] Since during the time the Second Amendment was drafted, the 'militia' could have been any able-bodied male between 17 and 45... hence just about everyone [and when things get really bad, women, kids, and geezers start shooting too.] In any example of period writing, the right is clearly referred to as an individual right.
This means that Conservatives are rejoicing, no?
Solicitor General Ted Olson also said that the right is "subject to reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession by unfit persons or to restrict the possession of types of firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse."
Let's examine this interpretation by Mr. Olson. Breath deep and read together:
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.
One is left to wonder what purpose the phrase "shall not be infringed" has within the Amendment if the government [remember them?...they're the folks from whom the Second Amendment is supposed to protect the people.] Where does Mr. Olson get this concept? Expediency is the answer...the same type of expediency which the Amendment process was supposed to guard against.
"But-but-but....we can't let murderers and psychos have guns...in public...with decent folks like us! [tremble.grmfff.snort.]"
How long do you think murderers and psychos would last on the streets if all society was armed? Remember DeToqueville's observation? Here are some suggestions for Constitutional gun reform:
Which brings us back to the title of this essay, 'Guns...for the children.' And why not? It's Constitutional, and in a society that truly had its bearings straight, the parents would be armed, and their children would be brought up respecting firearms, and even...yes, even using them; for target shooting, hunting, and even, if need be, self defense.
The Second Amendment comes from a day in which the courts of law were the courts of last resort. The court of first resort was people working with each other to iron out their differences. There was a line of common decency when once crossed, got one of the parties killed or injured. Today's 'professional pinkunderwearmen' cringe at the thought of such behaviour, preferring instead the system which provides tens, or even hundreds of thousands of jobs in the prison and court systems, lines the pockets of attorneys, and babysits millions of people, who, in a better time, would have been weeded out of the gene pool by their own foolishness.
Many liberal-minded folk would remind us that we have emerged from the supposed barbarism illustrated in the preceding passage, and that for society to be truly peaceful, we must stay the course of progressivism and fight to eliminate all weaponry, that even the criminals won't have them. But then, that still leaves the biggest of history's criminals unchecked, and such is why the Second Amendment was conceived.
*All figures for Colonial and British troop strengths taken from the United States at War website.
EXCELLENT POST Sir Gawain!! An armed society is a polite society!!
Gotta run now. Promised my little nephew I'd buy him some more BBs today.
To be consistent, we may have to include nuclear...can't figure out how to stay true to the Constitution while banning government's ultimate weapon.
There is a rational for allowing one to exercise the right to own military weapons, such as true assault rifles, while not allowing nukes. Thornwell Simons posted this essay, The Mystic Nuclear Weapons Exception to the RKBA, which explains why indescriminant weapons like nukes are not protected by the 2nd Amendment. In a nutshell, the right to keep and bear arms implies the right to actually use those arms. But the exercise of one's rights assumes that no one else is denied their rights as a result of your actions. Thus while you have the right to defende "hearth and home" from criminals, you haven't the right to blow up your neighbor's home in the process. Nuclear weapons cannot be used, either in self defense or as part of one's duty to the militia, without harming innocents and depriving them of their rights.
Now what am I supposed to do with all these........ah,.....er.......,well, nevermind
Very astute. As a former artilleryman that is the exact context. The anti gun crowd have ignored their military dictionaries.
I'm glad someone's finally said this.
Children of today are largely lacking parental guidance, and have no business having firearms without adult supervision. Flame me if you will, but that's how I feel about it.
Consider yourself doused in high octane fuel and lit...
No hard feelings?