July 20, 2003

Reading the 2nd Amendment to the U.N.

An excellent post - and thread of comments -- over at Misha's about a UN effort underway to register all firearms worldwide(!) reminds me of something I've wanted to say for a long time about how to read the single sentence of the Second Amendment;

"A well-regulated militia, being neccessary to the security of a free State, the Right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

As you can see by reading in the second item in my Links list, "know your Rights", an accepted interpretation (at least among those who can decipher plain English) is that "since the State needs a militia for it's security, and the militia is comprised of all able men of a certain age group, the people need a secure right to bear arms."

Of course, as made clear in the "know your Rights" link, the 2nd Amendment does NOT a) restrict that Right to be protected only if the 18th century structure of State militias remains in practice, or b) reserve the Right only to members of a State militia...as many gun-grabbers like to argue. The militia is invoked only as one example of why the Right is protected.

So, anyway, here is my suggested additional interpretation:
"Since the State must, for the sake of it's security, neccessarily have a standing militia, the People also must have a Right to bear arms for the sake of their security."

Read the 2nd Amendment again with that interpretation in mind. You will see, I hope, that it is just as legit. It's just another way of saying "If all firearms were in the hands of the State, then the last means of removing tyranny would be gone."

The rationale that a well-armed Citizenry is the last line of the defense of their Liberty is not only sound, it is consistent with everything we know about the intent of the Founders.
For example, James Madison wrote in Federalist 46:

"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of."

Madison was not refering to the ambitions of a foreign State, but of the Federal Government of the United States.
Yes, he's writing about the power of the States, through an armed militia, to secure our Rights. But I insist that the Right of the People to take up arms -- even independent of the States -- against a tyrant is implied.
Wha..? Yes. Because what is being defended are the Rights of the People, not the State.
(People have Rights. States have powers; limited by Law and granted by the Governed.)

Madison compared the prospects of a well-armed American people to securing their Rights with that of the subjects of European tyrants, then and now:

"Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.
Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors."

Someone once said (I don't remember who. Probably some tyrant...): "I keep my friends close, and my enemies closer."
The principles of Federalism -- the philosophy that authority is best kept as local as possible -- is the best way to ensure that a powerful centralized government wont even be in a position to become a tyranny.

The UN wants us to register our guns with them. If we value our Freedom and our sovereignty, and our ability to secure them, going along with their little plan would be unhealthy, unwise, and, daggummit, unAmerican!

Posted by Tuning Spork at July 20, 2003 03:47 PM

Lookin' good, my man, lookin' good. Nice, shiny new blog, Spork. You needed to get out of that blogspot hell hole. And the comment forum is a nice touch. Thanks to Susie for helping you get up and running. Mazel Tov.

Posted by: Freedom's Slave at July 20, 2003 07:57 PM

Freedom's Slave,

Love that name!
How're Mrs. F.S. and the little nudniks?!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at July 20, 2003 09:12 PM

...and blogspot's not really a "hell hole", just kind of a "Dungeon".

Comments, trackback, item'd archives...they got nothin' to say. I hope they get crackin' on providing some o' them features 'cause there are a lotta cool sites on blogspot. 'Til then what we need is a Blogspot Jihad.

Oh wait... there is one! ---> http://www.deanesmay.com/archives/001469.html

Posted by: Tuning Spork at July 20, 2003 10:05 PM

Pixy Misa's Discount Bargain Blogspot Exodus! Hmmm...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 21, 2003 11:19 AM

Pixy, yep, you could make a couple o' bucks doin' that! Dean's already "rescued" well over a hundred ex-blogspotters!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at July 21, 2003 05:32 PM
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