Gun-Grabbers Crank Up Anti-Second Amendment Propaganda
November 27, 2007
Now that the Supremes have agreed to rule on the Second Amendment, the corporate media has launched a full-court press to convince America it does not have a right to bear firearms.
"Activists on both sides of the steaming debate over guns ought to be able to agree, at the very least, on two things. The first is that the language of the Second Amendment is, grammatically speaking, incomprehensible. The second is that the time has come for clarity from the Supreme Court about whether the "right to bear arms" is an individual or collective one," writes Andrew Cohen for CBS News.
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In fact, the Second Amendment is quite explicit: "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."
Cohen and other gun-grabbers concentrate on "the three, jarring, comma-spliced clauses of the amendment," that is to say they attack the grammar of the amendment and would have us believe our forefathers were indecisive and "were no more willing or capable of making tough decisions about contentious issues (like gun rights) than are their modern-day counterparts," that is to say a gaggle of appointed statists determined to dismantle the Constitution.
Cohen is a postmodern apologist for state power over the individual. The Supremes, he declares, "should chart a course that does to the Second Amendment what we long ago did to the First Amendment; identify a strong individual right but allow for that right to be trumped from time to time by certain kinds of regulations." In other words, the state should agree in principle that the individual has a right to bear firearms but that principle should be "trumped," that is to say denied, by the exigencies of state power. Put another way, you may have a right to bear arms, at least on paper, but in practice the state will "regulate" (deny) that right.
"So we would then get a Second Amendment that both recognizes our right to own and possess guns and recognizes the government's ability to restrain that right in certain, yet-to-be-determined ways."
Nonsense. The founders realized that the individual had a natural, indivisible right to possess firearms precisely because of the nature of state power. It has nothing to do with "certain, yet-to-be-determined" exigencies of the state.
In regard to grammar and the trickery Andrew Cohen has in mind, founder George Mason, who co-authored the Second Amendment, wrote during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution in 1788: "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
That should resolve Cohen's grammatical problem, but it will not, of course.
In Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Richard Henry Lee wrote: "A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves."
Zachariah Johnson, arguing in The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, wrote: "The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them."
"And that the said Constitution 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," declared Samuel Adams in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789.
George Washington understood well what Cohen and the gun-grabbers do not: "Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
Thomas Paine knew that "horrid mischief" would ensue if the people were denied their right to arms. "The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world 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."
Thomas Jefferson: "Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."
In fact, Jefferson considered it not only a right for the individual to be armed, but a duty. Predictably, Cohen and the gun-grabbers do not make mention of this philosophic attitude, preferring instead to tell us the founders were conflicted and, absurdly, wanted to postpone the debate "for another day."
Cohen and crew believe Congress, after a Supreme Court "decision," has the right to regulate our firearms out of existence. Patrick Henry had something to say about this: "Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our 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?"
Finally, Thomas Jefferson explained precisely why there is a Second Amendment: "What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."
Indeed, let them… before it is too late.
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