Skip to comments.Smith: 2nd Amendment Meant for People to use Against Tyranny!
Posted on 07/30/2002 12:39:27 PM PDT by 45Auto
Patrick Henry saw in the Constitution many loopholes, which horrified him. In 1787 he called it a "crazy magazine" and vehemently opposed its adoption. He never let up till 1791, when the people's liberty became somewhat safeguarded by the Bill of Rights.
Henry had fought in the long war to establish liberty and he did not intend to let this Constitution "trample on your fallen liberty!" It granted power to the new government, but it held no safeguards for the liberty of the people. Henry saw many dangers in the document signed even by George Washington, and he railed against it.
Henry's insight told him that what was being done with the militia was sheer madness! Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clauses 15 & 16 turned the militia over to Congress, and Art. II, Sec. 2, Clause 1 turned the command of the militia over to the President to be its "Commander-In-Chief...when called into the actual service of the United States".
"When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of Americans was different; liberty, sir, was then the primary object," Henry fumed.
To turn the militia over to the very people who had to be watched, the ones who, he predicted, would "seize all power unto themselves, and convert the states into one consolidated government," was foolhardy! He predicted that the presidency would someday lead to treason. "Your militia will leave you and fight against you!" he warned.
Henry declared that the government was being granted too much money and too much power; that the power of the federal courts would enable the president to swell the patronage rolls; that the people were negligently suffering their liberty to be wrested from them; and that the treaty-making power of the president was one of the Constitution's most fearful features and would lead us into the most ruinous of foreign engagements.
He advised the people that the Constitution was being written as if only good men would take office. "What will you do when evil men take office?" he demanded. "When evil men take office, the whole gang will be in collusion! They will keep the people in utter ignorance and steal their liberty by ambuscade!" he warned. He added: "Your laws on impeachment are a sham and a mockery due to mutual implication of government officials!"
He expounded for twenty-three days in the Virginia statehouse on these and many other weak points in the document. As a result States began to refuse to ratify the Constitution.
"My great objection to this government is that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or waging war against tyrants. Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defense, the militia, is put in the hands of Congress? Your guns are gone! What resistance could be made? Will you assemble and just tell them?
"Even if you could assemble, how will you enforce rightful punishment when due? Oh, sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only necessary to assemble the people. A standing army we shall have, also to execute the execrable commands of tyranny."
Henry continued: "Let Mr. Madison tell me when did liberty ever exist when the sword and the purse were given up from the people? Unless a miracle shall interpose, no nation ever did, nor ever can, retain its liberty after the loss of the sword and the purse! Congress, by power of taxation, by the raising of an army, and by their control over the militia, have the sword in one hand and the purse in the other. Shall we be safe without either? Congress has unlimited power over both: they are entirely given up by us!
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty! Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel! Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force, and whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined! When the government removes your armaments, you will have no power but government will have all power!" he warned.
With all the force of his great oratorical skill, he challenged his audience in the Virginia statehouse with this directive: "The least you can do is guard this Constitution with a Bill of Rights!"
Henry had rightfully envisioned the unlimited control the federal government would some day assume over the states and the militias. Since he could not get the support needed to immediately open up another convention and re-do the Constitution, the Bill of Rights was the only recourse to prevent the serious transgressions he foresaw in days to come.
The Bill of Rights he was prescribing would require a strong prohibition written into it in order to guard against federal officials' ability to interfere, in anyway whatever, singularly or collectively, with the people's right to keep and bear arms. It was understood by all at the time, that the prime reason for what we now call "our Second Amendment" was to enter an interdiction which would extricate the militia from the Executive and Congress and give the people a chance at least to resist and arrest tyranny.
The Second 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."
This became a command to the people to keep a watch on government from that day forward. The fathers who finalized the amendment held all of the people of the future responsible for providing the everlasting security for a free state, for the state to remain free! It further meant that all the people had to be well trained, equal to the task of sustaining the condition of a free state.
The Preamble to the Bill of Rights added an umbrella of security to all of the amendments in the Bill of Rights by ordering that there was to be no misconstruction or abuse of Constitutional powers; that the peoples' rights needed to be understood by all [declaratory], and that, in particular, the federal government was to keep "hands off" [restrictive]!
Tracing the footsteps of Patrick Henry reveals that the real intent and purpose of the Second Amendment was not to broaden the power of the federal government nor that of the state; instead, it was drafted to exercise authority over any public official who became tyrannical. Complete control of the militia by public officials would leave the people with no recourse against tyranny!
As George Washington first saw it, Art. I, Sec. 8, Clauses 15 & 16 and Art. II Sec. 2, Clause 1, appeared to be sufficient, permitting public officials on state and federal levels of government to call out (draft) the militia of Americans citizens for two purposes: (1) to protect the duly authorized laws of the nation against insurrection or rebellion (2) to protect against foreign invasion.
However, in tracing the events that preceded the writing of the Second Amendment, it has been proven that Pres. Washington developed a broader view of the militia. Patrick Henry's influence upon these events is a matter of public record.
Having great respect for Henry, Washington included the following in his Militia Plan No.2 of 1790, which reflects his views regarding the purpose of the militia:
"The well informed members of the community, actuated by the highest motives of self-love, would form the real defense of the country. Rebellions would be prevented or suppressed with ease; invasions of such a government would be undertaken only by mad men; and the virtues and knowledge of the people would effectually oppose the introduction of tyranny."
Patrick Henry was a prophet. I wish that he'd been wrong about the Fedgov but, alas, he was right. We or our children shall have to deal with the unintended consequences.
Wonder what Patrick meant by "militia"?
Was it a term for "the people" or did he mean something like the National Guard?
Can't happen here...oops.. already did. Nevermind.
MACV SOCOM, PhuBai/Hue '65-'66
Was it a term for "the people" or did he mean something like the National Guard?
The word "militia" in the late 1700's meant every male between roughly the ages of 17 and 45. It was definitively NOT anything like the National Guard. First of all, such a body was referred to as a "select militia," so as to distinguish it from the regular militia. Second, the National Guard is a creature of the 20th Century - it is nominally under the command of the states, but is subject to Federalization by the President at the stroke of a pen. It might as well be the regular armed forces.
You should read The Federalist Papers and, in particular, #46 by Madison. It lets you know who the militia is, and its purpose.
Unintended perhaps, but certainly not unforseen. Patrick Henry knew the time would come that the unscrupulous power hungry -- today's fascist left -- would arise. The founders had a grasp of human nature that eludes many today (or goes unspoken and unreported). They tried to warn us. We would not listen. Instead we cleaved to the siren's song: "Your freedom for your needs and security".
Since proven to be a valid assessment.
What I'm trying to clarify is the concept that anti gun rights people use to argue that "militia" means some type of "group" of people. They then conclude that the second ammendment does not pertain to an "individual's" right to bear arms.
That is only the half of it. The other half is that the fedgov has used its treaty-making powers to grab municipal control. LINK
Ruby Ridge was the enFORCEment of gun treaty laws.
Waco was the enFORCEment of gun treaty laws.
The enFORCEment of all gun laws are based upon Treaties.
The enFORCEment of all drug laws are based upon treaties.
All federal enFORCEment agencies engaged in executing jursidictional activities in domestic and municipal affairs of the states and over Citizens not explicitly provided for in the U.S. Constitution have derived their authority from treaty provisions.
These treaty provisions were ostensibly meant to remedy any offenses against the laws of nations. The problem here is that the Supreme Court has elevated these remedies, making them supreme over the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, regardless if the enFORCEment provisions violate states rights and the unalienable rights of Citizens.
Yes, Patrick Henry knew what future regimes were going to do, and they did it.
We allowed King George to believe that too. He had his share of 'loyalists' here then, and to the present day. But unlike the rest of the world which never had a clue what freedom, self-determination and personal sovereignty means, we have just the right number to make it highly unprofitable for anyone to make the same mistake King George did. Naw, I don't think anyone can own us all.
Any banana republic dictator wannabe would have no problem taking over a nation which has not known liberty -- then and now. Stalin, et al, had an easy time of it. It would be fatal to mistake our silence for weakness or lack of resolve. But what the hell. Bring it on. Our house is getting pretty cluttered and we need to clean it out anyway. - ;-)
Of course the 2nd Amendment pertains to each individual citizen -- the mere insinuation that it does not is ultimately a sad testament to the intellectual dishonesty of our day. Formed and propounded by elected statists, and aided and abetted by the useful idiots in the leftmedia, who erroneously dream that they will not be dangling at the end of a rope when their utility has ended.