The World According To Bob

Bob Allen is a philosopher and cyber libertarian. He advocates for the basic human rights of men. Bob has learned to cut through the political nonsense, the propaganda hate, the surface discourse, and talk about the underlying metamessage that the front is hiding. Bob tells it like it is and lets the chips fall where they may. If you like what you read be sure to bookmark this blog and share it with your friends.

Location: United States

You can't make wrong into right by doing wrong more effectively. It's time for real MEN to stand up and take back our families, our society, and our self respect. It is not a crime to be born a man. It is not a crime to act manly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Second Amendment

Most modern analysis of the 2nd Amendment is done from a modern perspective and misses the point of the 2nd Amendment entirely. It has to be understood using the word definitions of the late 18th century, and the perspective of the authors who had just finished overthrowing a tyranical government.

Prior to the American Revolution the English had a history of outlawing arms among citizens for the purpose of maintaining government control in the colonies. Various English prohibitions against the ownership of arms in the Americas were one of the major bones of contention prior to the revolution. Many Americans needed arms on the frontier. They had been in a generation long conflict with native people who sometimes sacked villages or killed farmers, and had experienced a generation of religious warfare between the Protestant English and the Catholic French and their Indian allies. The need to own and bear arms, real military arms, was important to colonists for their own protection.

As anti-English sentiment heated up the English tried unsuccessfully to limit or eliminate armed colonists in America as they tended to do elsewhere. By the middle of the 1770s, armed groups of Americans who had already formed militias to defend against French and Indians now found themselves preparing to fight against what they viewed as English tyranny. In those days "arms" consisted of muskets or rifles, swords, and cannons. Muskets and rifles were also for hunting and sport, while the swords and cannon were exclusively for warfare. Taking away arms, and hanging men who owned them, was strongly contended between English and American colonists prior to and during the civil war.

When the war ended, and the winners were sitting down to draft the new Constitution, the problem of government tyranny was big in their minds. They went to considerable length in the new Constitution to try to prevent the new government from eventually becoming corrupt and tyrannical as the former English government had seemed to them. So, as the final part of the checks and balances against a tyrannical government, they wrote the 2nd amendment. These were the same men who had written the Declaration of Independence and had defended it with their lives. These were men who believed that the people had an absolute right to overthrow a tyrannical government as they had done, and the people had the right to posses the means to do so when that final action became necessary. The meaning of the 2nd amendment is about armed militias of citizens overturning a tyrannical government, it's not about hunting or sport weapons nor defending against burglers.

"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."

First, the term "well regulated" does not mean being controlled by the government. In the language of 1776 and 1790, a "regular" army was a standing army like the English who had defended the king. They were the "regulars," and the Americans were militia. The regulars were usually well equipped and well trained. To be "well regulated" meant to be trained and equipped in the manner of the "regulars." A "militia" consisted of everyday citizens who come together in time of need to defend their homes and villages. It had nothing to do with government owned reserve armies because such a thing was unheard of in those centuries. The National Guard wouldn't be invented for more than a century later. A "militia" is not the reserves of the regular army, nor the National Guard of the states which are also "regulars" in some sense. The militia is ordinary citizens who own arms and do some training and can be called upon or get together themselves in times of crisis. So a "well regulated militia" consists of ordinary citizens who own arms equal to those of the regular army, and who have some training in the art of war.

Secondly, Jefferson, Washington, Adams, and his fellow revolutionaries believed that a free state is one that has overturned a tyrannical government by force of arms if necessary, as they had done themselves. Overthrowing the government may seem excessive to you and me, but to men who had done just that it was what good men do when necessary to ensure freedom. A "free state" is one that can not become tyrannical and oppressive to the people. They belived that it is necessary for the people to maintain a "well regulated militia" to ensure that any government which becomes too tyrannical can be replaced. This amendment is consistent with, and reflects the thinking of the Declaration of Independence. A "free people" is a people who can overturn the government when necessary. These first two phrases give the reader the reason for the right to own and bear arms. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to ensure to the people the right to maintain regular military arms in order to guarantee a state free from government tyranny.

The last phrase, the action phrase, tells the government that it is prohibited from defending itself by taking away the arms of the people as the English governors had tried to do. It does not talk about sporting rifles, nor hunting muskets. It's about ARMS! It's about the same kind and type of arms that the regular army uses. In 1776 that was swords and cannon. Today it would be TOW missiles, MBT-1 tanks, M-16s. and all the other arms that the "regular" army uses.

Of course the tyrannical government and their supporters are very afraid of the power of the people guaranteed by the 2nd amendment. The thought of an angry army overthrowing the government, tossing all the graft and corruption out of Washington, and restoring freedom to American terrifies them without limit. Neither the courts, nor the Congress, nor the President will allow the people to have the means to overthrow them and toss the rascals out. For most of the past two centuries the government has worked to decrease the rights and power of the people, and especially the ability of the people to overthrow the government.

All their laws against arms are illegal under the constitution. The rights accrue not to government, federal or state controlled regular armies, but to all citizens who choose to form militias or be ready to from a "well regulated" and thereby very well armed militia.

All the arguments about what kind of hand guns or long arms can be prohibited only argue how much tyranny the government can impose in violation of it's own basic law. They demonstrate how far from freedom the government has become. All such laws are illegal on their face. Government organizations such as the BATF are illegal because they enforce illegal law. It was a good try by George, Tom, John, and the others, but tyranny of government is darn hard to stop. It will always try to prevent the people from seizing back it's power.


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Blogger L Steven said...

Nice article. I've heard a similar one written on Gonzo's blog. He did less history, but more about the specific phraseology.

Steven B.

May 19, 2005 2:42 PM  

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