This article was written in 2004:
“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.” (US Constitution, 2nd Amendment, ratified December 15th, 1791)
The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution is apparently written in language so mysterious and sublime that it means something different to everybody who reads it.
Evidently, it also changes meaning as the clock ticks forward, since it continues to be interpreted and re-interpreted as if there were an ongoing contest for the most original interpretation of a sentence that, to the ignorant and uninitiated masses, seems to make perfect sense just the way it reads on the surface.
For about the first two hundred years of the Republic, the 2nd Amendment meant American citizens had a Constitutional right to keep and to bear arms.
And, for about the first two hundred years of the Republic, the 2nd Amendment functioned as it was intended. It kept the government at bay.
Originally, the Constitution was approved without a Bill of Rights, then sent to the states for ratification. The states felt the Constitution, as written, failed to give enough protection to individual rights that they wanted specifically protected by amendment.
Among the rights the states sought to enshrine as Constitutionally-protected were the rights to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to keep and bear arms.
The intent of the Bill of Rights was to protect individuals from government powers. They were meant as a guarantee to the individual state governments as well as the American citizens that the Federal government would not try to take away the freedoms which many of them had so recently fought for.
Richard Henry Lee, the Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, noted at the time that,
“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.”
James Madison said in the Federalist Papers that the 2nd Amendment preserves,
“the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
Noah Webster observed that,
“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 pretence, 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 them unjust and oppressive.”
Patrick Henry argued that the power to resist oppression rested entirely on the right to bear arms, saying,
“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.”
It would seem, as I noted at the outset, that the 2nd Amendment was intended to mean pretty much what it says. Indeed, our country was born when a group of colonists rose up in arms against British rule.
Guns empower the masses: they are the last line of defense for a citizenry confronted with an evil government.
The regimes of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s U.S.S.R. recognized this principle and seized all weapons, precluding any effectual resistance to their tyranny. One need only read the newspapers in New York and Los Angeles to realize that even the innocent have cause to fear the police.
Communities around the country are justifiably hesitant to relinquish their weapons and be at the mercy of local law enforcement. Law enforcement, by definition, is powerless to act until AFTER a crime has been committed. Police can’t protect individuals; they can only prosecute after the fact.
(Which, in the case of murder, is of little consolation to the victim.)
In countries like Canada and England that have imposed what amounts to a ban on private ownership of weapons, citizens are most vulnerable in their own homes.
Home invasions (burglaries) became the crime of choice among criminals who became the embodiment of the slogan, ‘when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.’
A 1998 study by the US Department of Justice found that there were 40 percent more muggings in England, and burglary rates were almost 100 percent higher than in the United States.
And, counter-intuitively, rates of crimes using handguns is on the rise. In 1999-2000, crimes using handguns were at a seven-year high.
Apparently, criminals were easily able to access guns, but law enforcement officers and law-abiding citizens were not allowed. (When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns, remember?)
In America, burglars aren’t sure if homeowners are armed or not, but the odds favor there being at least one gun in the house. So they avoid burglarizing occupied homes. Only thirteen percent of US burglaries are against occupied homes.
In Canada, the overall burglary rate is higher than the American one, and a Canadian burglary is four times more likely to take place when the victims are home.
In Toronto, forty-four percent of burglaries were against occupied homes, and twenty-one percent involved a confrontation with the victim.
Most Canadian residential burglaries occur at night, while American burglars are known to prefer daytime entry to reduce the risk of an armed confrontation.
A 1982 British survey found fifty-nine percent of attempted burglaries in the UK involved an occupied home, prompting the Wall Street Journal to report that;
“Compared with London, New York is downright safe in one category: burglary. In London, where many homes have been burglarized half a dozen times, and where psychologists specialize in treating children traumatized by such thefts, the rate is nearly twice as high as in the Big Apple. And burglars here increasingly prefer striking when occupants are home, since alarms and locks tend to be disengaged and intruders have little to fear from unarmed residents.” (WSJ, Apr. 19, 1994, page A1)
The London Sunday Times, pointing to Britain’s soaring burglary rate, calls Britain “a nation of thieves.”
In the Netherlands, forty-eight percent of residential burglaries involved an occupied home.
In the Republic of Ireland, criminologists report that burglars have little reluctance about attacking an occupied residence.
In America, burglars are reluctant to invade an occupied home because they might get shot. One out of every 31 burglars gets shot. That is about the equal to the burglar’s odds of being sent to prison.
Assuming that the threat of prison is a deterrent to burglary, as in Canada or Britain, it seems reasonable to conclude that the equally large risk of being shot provides an equally large deterrent.
In other words, private individuals with firearms in their homes double the deterrent effect that would exist if government-imposed punishment were the only deterrent.
On the other hand, Switzerland has few restrictions on who can own or carry a firearm.
As a consequence, Switzerland has some of the lowest crime rates in the world, despite very high levels of gun ownership. Also, despite being sandwiched between two aggressive powers during World War II, the country remained untouched, largely due to the heavy rates of private gun ownership.
Hitler and Mussolini knew that the heavily armed Swiss population would defend itself fiercely, (something they didn’t fear from the French, for example)
But these facts seem to be as lost to gun control advocates as is the clear meaning of the 2nd amendment. To them, being at the mercy of invaders, either foreign or domestic, is a small price to pay to get guns off the streets.
Most gun control advocates point to the recent upsurge in gun violence by children as an example of why guns need to be controlled.
The fact is the upsurge in gun violence corresponds with the various successes enjoyed by gun-control advocates. There were more guns in circulation in America in previous generations, but far fewer gun deaths. (The first federal regulation of firearms in America wasn’t introduced until 1934.)
Previous generations of Americans grew up with guns. They were familiar objects around the house, like a shovel or a wrench. There was nothing mysterious about them. Kids knew better than to play with them.
Gun control advocates argue that the 2nd Amendment gives the right to keep and bear arms to a well- regulated MILITIA, and not to the ‘people.’ According to this interpretation, the 2nd Amendment gives the government the right to keep and bear arms via the National Guard.
The silliness of this argument is obvious to anybody but a liberal or an activist judge. Why would the government give itself the right to bear arms by Constitutional amendment, since the Constitution already gives it the right to do so in order to ‘provide for the common defense’?
But that has been the prevailing legal opinion since the passage of the Brady Bill. That the right to bear arms is granted to the government via a ‘well-regulated militia’ by the 2nd Amendment.
According to Title 10 of the United States Code:
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
In other words, the ‘militia’ and ‘the people’ mean the same thing.
Among the various documents and action plans uncovered among the terrorist camps in Afghanistan was a plan for suicide operatives to simply walk up to someone’s door and shoot whoever answers.
Another called for terrorist operatives to set up sniper posts in American cities simultaneously and starting picking off victims.
Both tactics have been used by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli settlements, but were seldom successful, since all Israeli settlers are armed to the teeth.
The terror threat facing the homeland prompted a reexamination of the gun control debate by the DoJ. IN 2004 they released a 103-page Memorandum Opinion For the Attorney General” issued in August by Assistant Attorneys General Steven G. Bradbury, Howard C. Nielson, Jr. and C. Kevin Marshall.
They studied the history of anti-gun legislation and anti-gun court cases and reached the following conclusion:
“Our examination of the original meaning of the Amendment provides extensive reasons to conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right, and no persuasive basis for either the collective-right or quasi-collective-right views.”
The memorandum was titled “Whether the 2nd Amendment Secures an Individual Right” and conspicuously put the conclusion in the subtitle: “The Second Amendment secures a right of individuals generally, not a right of States or a right restricted to persons serving in militias.”
When I queried Google using the keywords ‘2nd Amendment,’ there were only nine stories relating to the DoJ memo. Of them, only one was in the national media. The Washington Times carried the story under the headline “Gun group urges 2nd Amendment observance.” (since removed)
Other than that, the media seems to have spiked the story. To the liberal left, gun control is more than an issue; it is a matter of doctrine.
Gun control is a front for the advancement of the socialist agenda. Giving in to the idea that guns are dangerous concedes to the notion that it is better to let some lowlife steal your property, rape your wife, and beat you half to death than it is to expedite his passage into the next world.
(Your property was all gained at his expense anyway; so, in a moral sense, he’s entitled to it as much as you are.)
That is the core of the socialist doctrine. And it is the dominant worldview of most of the industrialized world.
But that worldview is changing, it would seem, in the newly discovered country of ‘JesusLand.’ The world is marching in one direction, but Red State America is beginning to turn itself around and march the other way, dragging the Blue States along, kicking and screaming all the way.
As a consequence, Red State America is now the only obstacle in the path of the globalist social engineers who are unwittingly, but eagerly, preparing the way for the antichrist.
Paul says that the ‘mystery of iniquity’ is already at work, but that the Restrainer will continue to restrain, ‘until He be taken out of the way’ at the Rapture.
Without the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit working through the indwelt Church, the Blue State Americans left behind after the Rapture will be only too happy to turn back around, throw away their guns, and defenselessly march in lockstep with their socialist cousins — straight into the waiting arms of the Beast.
“And THEN shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His Mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming” (2nd Thessalonians 2:8).