Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reframing The Second Amendment "Gun" Debate

Over the decades, opponents of a free people's right to own, possess, and use the tools of defense have directed assault after assault on the Second Amendment.

"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."

The initial victory for those who oppose the private ownership of the tools that are arguably the guarantors of every other right we enjoy was reframing the argument from "arms" to "firearms" or "guns".

Does anyone see "firearm" or "gun" listed in the Second Amendment?

The word used is "arms". The word "arms" is synonymous in this context with "weapons". Specifically, weapons of war.

The year was 1791, and the authors of the Constitution for the United States of America and the Bill of Rights were hard at work trying to hammer out the laws that would prove to be the foundation for our young nation's future.

These authors were very specific in their language. The amendment took into account the evolving nature of warfare, and weaponry. The War of American Independence had seen numerous innovations in warfare. Arguably more than had been seen in the previous two centuries. All of this had been witnessed by the men sitting in sweltering confines deliberating on the exact wording of the law.

At the outbreak of hostilities with forces loyal to King George, most colonists were armed with an ad-hoc collection of firearms used for hunting (musket and blunderbuss), pistols, bows, daggers, heirloom swords, and farming implements like axes and hatchets. There were other less effective passed down weapons from earlier conflicts such as spontoons (partizan).

The loyal British forces were better equipped with access to cannon, mortars, howitzers, swivel guns and grenades.

Most of the improvements to the colonial forces armaments were initially due to the seizure of British munition stocks. Almost immediately, colonial forces began to produce their own weaponry.

It is also worthwhile to note at this time in history, the word "gun" referred to cannon, not hand held firearms.

The hardships endured by colonial troops including lack of proper clothing and fighting equipment impressed upon the architects of the Bill of Rights the need for citizens to be able to defeat a renegade government. Remember the principal author of the Second Amendment was none other than James Madison.

While Madison wrote over a third of the Federalist Papers he advocated a system of government with checks and balances. Federalists (primarily bankers and urban businessmen) advocated a strong central government. It is quite evident that Madison was distrustful of a powerful central government. After all, that is exactly what they had just been fighting to free themselves from. He went on to found an opposition party called the Republicans (mostly farmers and trades people) with the help of Thomas Jefferson.

Beginning in 1837, an assault on our right to bear arms began in earnest with Georgia attempting to ban handguns. The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional and threw out the law.

Over the years, all manner of laws have been passed to obviate our right to armaments. Most have passed by unnoticed by the public because the government and its lapdog media have been allowed to frame the debate around ownership of "guns".

All manner of patchwork federal, state and local laws restrict the use, transport and ownership of edged weapons (swords, knives, etc), clubs, rockets, explosive devices (grenades, landmines, etc), cannon and artillery, warships, armed fighter aircraft or helicopters, armor with functional weapons or functional mechanized artillery. There are heavily restricted exceptions, but that pretty much removes it from the reach of the average guy.

When I was a kid, there was a retired marine down the road with two field guns and a flag pole in the front yard. No, the breeches were not plugged or cut. How many of you remember sights like that?

Do you see those sights now?

Really sit down and think about what you can and can't have, especially if you're like me, trapped in the People's Republic of California.

The list of what you can have, carry, drive, fly and use is really short, isn't it?

And now we're down to the last vestige of our ability to free ourselves from an over reaching and criminal government.

Damn you if you don't exercise your right and buy guns and ammunition for what many are beginning to see as a hot war to free ourselves from the forces of tyranny. No, I take that back, if you don't exercise your right, you will be damned.

Read this if you don't believe me:

Pentagon Fired On As America Nears All-Out Civil War

There are many elements in this story that were NOT covered by the major US media outlets. Does anyone other than me wonder what happened to this story? Why did it disappear from the radar?

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