Freedom's Insurance Policy 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.
____ Amendment II Bill of Rights, The Constitution of the United States of America
For those who would argue that the Second Amendment is subject to interpretation as to it's intent; who or what constitutes the Militia of the United States of America, evidence is cited herein of the true intent of the Second Amendment by those who were most intimately involved in drafting our Nation's Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Studied interpretive decisions based upon Constitutional Law by those most qualified to make such judgments are also cited. Some well-meaning souls naively propose that the Second Amendment applies only to National Guard militia type units; the National Guard was not organized in the United States until 112 years after the Second Amendment was written!
For those who would argue that it only relates to the protection of recreational shooters' and hunters' rights,... please read on!
We the people should have access to the same type of weapons we may have to defend our freedom against
"On the question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates...in which it was passed." _____ Thomas Jefferson … June 12, 1823
WHO AND WHAT IS THE MILITIA?
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE MILITIA?
These questions are answered by those who wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights! Their statements are clear and concise .... "modern-day" interpretation of the Second Amendment is a false premise argument. Our Founding Fathers' clearly defined intents are written in plain English. These statements are not hard to understand!
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms... The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." _____ Thomas Jefferson … Proposal of the Virginia Constitution, June 1776
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." _____ George Mason United States Congress 1779 during Ratification of Bill of Rights
"The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. A well-regulated Militia, composed of the people trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country."_____ James Madison … June 8, 1789 … From his essay, Thoughts on Defensive War, 1775
"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms."_____ Richard Henry Lee … Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, 1788
"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." ___ Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate during States ratification of the Second Amendment.
"The power of the sword is in the hands of Congress? My friends and countrymen, it is not so; for the powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The Militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the Militia? They are not ourselves as politicians and lawmakers. They are those who have elected us into our positions and entrusted us with the power of preserving and carrying out their wishes. Congress has no power to disarm the Militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the Federal or State governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." __ Tench Coxe's Letter to James Madison During Adoption of the Bill of Rights in United States Congress. 1779
"No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the State. Such are a well regulated Militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen, and husbandman; who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen."____James Madison … United States Congress, 1779 Bill of Rights Ratification
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them." _____ Richard Henry Lee … Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
"...if raised, whether they could subdue a Nation of Freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?" _____ Delegate Sedgwick … during the Massachusetts Convention, 1779 rhetorically asking if an oppressive standing army could prevail over a citizens' Militia
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are eventually ruined."____ Patrick Henry … 1779
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of 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 bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States"
_____ Noah Webster
"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms....."
___ Samuel Adams, United States Congress, 1779
"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. ... 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."
_____James Madison, co-author of the original Bill of Rights
"The great object is that every man be armed and everyone who is able may have a gun."
___ Patrick Henry, Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution.
"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the people's liberty teeth."_____ George Washington
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