Rights and Powers of The People Themselves

Our Founding Fathers fully understood the nature of our God-given inalienable rights:
 
– It’s why they wrote about them in our Declaration of Independence.
 
– It’s why they enumerated some of them in our United States Constitution
 
– It’s why they specifically secured several key rights and freedoms for us in our Bill of Rights.
 
– It’s why they specifically established the retention by the people of other rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, along with the reservation of powers not specifically mentioned in the Constitution to the states and people.
 
Specifically:
 
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” – Ninth Amendment
 
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” – Tenth Amendment
 
It’s why the courts have repeatedly (mostly) upheld our Constitutional rights, powers and freedoms, not as any sort of “favors” meted out by a “benevolent” or “indulgent” government, but as fundamental rights,powers and freedoms God Almighty fully intended to be held not by any government, but by the people themselves.

The World is Going to Hell. Here’s How to Fix It.

The world is, yet again, going to hell because of the ridiculous and over-indulged “sensibilities” of the bleeding heart, politically correct liberal left.

Being the practical individual I am, I am most concerned with how America can restore our country!

The simplest answer involves a three-pronged approach:

1. Educate everyone. Despite the media’s best attempts to keep the masses in the leftist dark, the Internet has provided a grand pathway to sway the tide. We the People, as I collectively call all Americans who support and defend the Constitution, have made very good use of the Internet over the last eight years doing just that. We didn’t do enough to sway the 2012 elections, but with 60% of conservatives sitting on their butts instead of voting in the polls.. That’s another story. In the meantime, Nielsen ratings for mainstream media are down across the board as Americans grow more disillusioned, waking up one after another to the reality that idealism doesn’t put food on the table. The fact that a number of well-known Democrats have pledge their support for Trump, by far the most Constitutionally-oriented GOP candidate, reflects the change of America’s heart, even among the left.

2. Use key Constitutional points such as those listed in the Bill of Rights as a bellwether. If candidates haven’t fully supported the Constitution as it’s written, then we cannot reasonably expect them to adhere to their oaths of office to “support and defend the Constitution.” Such candidates should never be allowed to hold public office. If they’re currently in office, vote them out. If they’re aspiring to office, use these bellwethers as a score card and vote only for those candidates whose track record is most closely aligned with the Constitution.

3. Aggressively pull the rug out from beneath those who believe otherwise, revealing their folly for all to see in a clear, concise, easily understood manner. Some of these people are idiots, while others are brilliant (aside from their political discombobulations). Some actually believe what they’re saying, either out of idealism or ignorance, while others push the mantra in support of their own and/or certain collective agendas. Regardless, their efforts have proven hugely damaging to our country, and exercising the first of our Bill of Rights en masse is the most effective way to pull the rug out from beneath them. Exercising the second of our Bill of Rights en masse is the most effective way of protecting the rest of our rights, not to mention life, limb, and property, against both ordinary criminals as well as extraordinary criminals such as the seven militants who murdered 129 Parisians as of last count. To date, they and others like them have murdered more than 270 million people over the last 1,400 years. That’s 528 people per day, and more than nine times the total death toll racked up by Stalin and Hitler combined.

Back to the good, old, U.S. of A., we’re not currently headed down a viable long-term road, at least not collectively. Some states have bucked the trend, and they’re doing just fine.

Your Life WITHOUT Your Constitutional Rights

Joe Biden recently said, “No ordinary American cares about their Constitutional rights.”

I beg to differ.  In fact, if you were to ask any ordinary American if they would accept the following infringements upon their rights, I guarantee you that more than 95% of them would respond with a huge “HELL NO!”

1.  The government would establish a single religion; alternatively, they would ban religion altogether, including the People’s freedom to practice their own religion.

2.  The government would restricts or removes the ability of the People to speak or write freely about any issue.

3.  The government would restrict the right of all media to report the truth, and instead feed them the government’s version of the truth.

4.  The People would no longer be free to assemble.  They would be require to obtain permits for all events outside gatherings of immediate family members.

5.  The People would no longer be allowed to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms, the most powerful defense against despots and governmental tyranny.

6.  The Government would force the People to house and feed armed “peacekeepers” any time the government so orders.

7.  The Government would no longer require a warrant to stop the People, search their persons, vehicles, and homes, and  seize anything they so desired, without a warrant or any legal recourse whatsoever.

8.  People would be held against their will, indefinitely, to answer for a serious crime merely on the whim of the government.

9.  People could be tried for the same crime over and over again, no matter how many times they were acquitted.

10.  People would be compelled to bear witness against themselves.

11.  People would be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law.  Forfeiture of private property and its sale to add to the government coffers would become routine.

12.  People could await trial indefinitely, particularly if the government thinks they “have their man” — even when they don’t — but their case is so weak it wouldn’t hold up.

13.  People could be tried in absentia, that is, they would have no right to a legal defense.

14.  People could sue one another without any right to a jury trial.

15.  The government could impose as high a bail as they wished, including $inifity.  Try paying that one as you wait for your trial who’s date has been pushed out to the edge of forever.

16.  The government would deny or disparage all remaining rights of the People at will.

17.  The government would usurp all states rights and abolish all state governments and programs.

This list is merely from the Bill of Rights.  There are 17 other amendments out there, along with hundreds of precepts written into the Constitution itself in order to prevent tyranny here in America.

The idea of “benign totalitarianism” is a MYTH.  There never has been a “benevolent dictator” throughout all of history.

1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The best, most thorough, in-depth, and accurate treatise on both letter and intent of the Second Amendment was the February 1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms right to keep and bear arms(97th Congress, 2d Session, U.S. Gov Printing Office document 88-618 O). This document is a clear and unadulterated reflection of the wisdom of our Founding Fathers.

1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Anyone who has been around the block a time or two recognizes the “it’s up to each generation to figure out how to make it work” phrase as the idealistic horse hockey it truly is, for one simple reason: our Founding Fathers got it right.

Utterly lacking from most arguments against the Second Amendment is a copy of the text itself:

“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 phrase “shall not” is pretty darn clear. It’s not the softer “will not,” much less the permissive “may not.” It’s a crystal clear imperative that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” is off-limits, untouchable, regardless of any circumstances whatsoever.

It’s an absolute mandate. Zero wiggle room. Are you getting the picture, yet, or are you furiously thumbing through your Rolodex of liberal undermining comments instead of paying attention to the big enchilada, the Constitution itself?

Most anti-2A articles conveniently fail to mention the fact that more than 760,000 crimes are stopped each and every year by armed law-abiding citizens, crimes to which a citizen at the scene can respond immediately, but where a 911 call would take at least several minutes for law enforcement to respond. Not good when most of these incidents are over in seconds.

No about of idealistic tripe will ever counter three facts: 1) The mental health approach will make a dent in these shootings, but it won’t counter the majority of them; 2) An armed citizen at the scene of these incidents provides the best opportunity to stop these events before they continue beyond the first couple of people; 3) Knowledge of the second point is the best deterrent. Let’s face it, these people may be criminally insane, but they’re not stupid. They’re actively targeting so-called “gun free zones” for a reason: No armed law-abiding citizens.

Use that gray matter upstairs for once and think it through.

2016 Addendum:  An acquaintance wrote, “Well-regulated meant supplied…”

Not according to George Washington, it didn’t. He equated it with “disciplined” when he wrote, “A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government”

In the vernacular of the day, it meant several things, and “disciplined” and “properly trained” were chief among them. Other associated meanings include “organized” and “routinely practiced/exercised.”

Screw Title 10. It wasn’t written with a valid understanding of the vernacular of the day.

The term “well-regulated” has NEVER meant “legislated” or “controlled,” and no finer evidence exists than the Second Amendment itself, which prohibits any sort of infringement on our right to keep and bear arms i.e. “shall not be infringed.”

For that matter, screw any “precedent” which supports any conclusion other than the above, which is based on the many writings of our Founding Fathers themselves. Most such precedents are so stacked on top of one another it’s like trying to balance the Washington Monument on top of a piece of baklava.

As for the term “militia,” relying on anything other that period observations is similarly misleading, almost certainly because later observations were often intentionally misleading.

According to the 1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the term “militia” as it appears in our Second Amendment means, quite simply, “armed people,” and mention was made in several period documents to include able-bodied men, women, and children capable of bearing arms against an enemy. Referring again to period documents, the term “militia” was distinctly contrasted against “soldier” and “sailor,” both of whom were considered regular forces, whereas the militia was considered to be a reserve comprised of all U.S. citizens.

At this point, the historical record gets a little confusing, only because different factions of our nation’s early leadership had two different thoughts on the matter. One faction wanted everyone to remain fully armed whereas the other faction thought it best to secure arms in an armory unless/until needed. Many others occupied the continuum between these two philosophies. When the conflict, which involved several other areas of interest, came to a head, those who favored a citizen militia prevailed and established not only our Second Amendment, but the the first twelve amendments, which were whittled down to ten amendments before consensus and subsequent ratification.

Well, this has been a short (very) summary of a 34-year on-and-off and back on again exploration into our nation’s early history. 🙂

For more outstanding finds, documents, and references on this topic, click here.

Why Gun Control Laws and No Firearms Signs Do NOT Work

I’m writing this in the wake of this morning’s shootings at an after-midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. Deranged gunman James Holmes entered the theater, shot 71 people, killing 12 of them, before police arrived just 90 seconds later.I’m also writing this as a graduate of Virginia Tech, where a similarly deranged gunman Seung-Hui Cho shot 49 people, killing 32 of them. The Virginia Tech massacre remains the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history, and occurred in the same halls in which I spent many hours myself.

The victims in both instances had something in common: They were unarmed. In the case of the theater, they have a no firearms policy. Cinemark’s official firearms policy is no OC/CC except for LEOs. If you want to watch a movie in their theater, you must forfeit your Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, your right to protect yourself and your loved ones from harm. In the case of Virginia Tech, their “gun-free zone” was seen by Cho as a “free-fire zone,” for some simple reason: When you disarm honest, law-abiding citizens, you remove a powerful deterrent to crime — the most powerful deterrent, according to violent criminals.

Some people opinion if we were to get rid of all firearms, we wouldn’t have this problem, yet when England followed this course of action, their rate of violent crime soared by 77%.2 Why? Simple — because their victims were now unarmed. Apparently Australia thought they could do better than their former warden and enacted the same measures, with similarly dismal results. Put simply, gun control is a naive and idealistic attempt to lesson one’s fear of guns or gun-related crimes. The problem is, not only is gun control futile, it actually increases the likelihood of violent crime.

Our Founding Fathers knew this well. Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms is widely recognized throughout the annuls of American History. Thomas Jefferson said “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.”3 In their 24-page 1982 Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, our U.S. Congress concluded, “The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.” (attached) Furthermore, “The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, … or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press.”4
The laying down of arms in any manner, whether through gun control laws or frequenting establishments sporting “No Firearms” signs, is counterproductive to a peaceful society. Perhaps the most insightful treatise on why this is so was well-explained by Thomas Paine in his “Thoughts on Defensive War” in 1775:

[A]rms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. 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. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves.
The soundness of this wisdom has repeatedly been echoed throughout our nation’s history, even in recent times: “I cannot consider the Bill of Rights to be an outworn 18th Century ‘strait jacket’…Its provisions may be thought outdated abstractions by some. And it is true that they were designed to meet ancient evils. But they are the same kind of human evils that have emerged from century to century wherever excessive power is sought by the few at the expense of the many. In my judgement the people of no nation can lose their basic liberty so long as a Bill of Rights like ours survives and its basic purposes are conscientiously interpreted, enforced and respected so as to afford continuous protection against old, as well as new, devices and practices which might thwart those purposes.”5

In fact, our Supreme Court reaffirms this as well. In District of Columbia vs Heller, they held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes such as self-defense, even in federal enclaves. Later, in McDonald v. Chicago, the Court held that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states.

Why then is Hollywood Theaters erecting “No Firearms” signs at all their theaters today? Are they merely ignorant of the fact that it’s not only a Constitutional right, but that the exercise of that right is actually a known, proven deterrent to violent crime, even in the case where the perpetrator is criminally insane? Do they not understand that the mere act of posting a “No Firearms” sign greatly increases the likelihood that their establishment will be targeted by criminals, mass shooters, and Islamic extremists?  Don’t know they that they are actually — and significantly — increasing the risks of loss of life, limb, and property for themselves, their employees, and their customers?

For that matter, why does any institution restrict or prohibit the ability of honest, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves against these events?

That’s just stupid!

I both open carry (OC) and concealed carry (CC). In recent years I’ve been waffling about whether or not I should carry at all when I’m at the movies. They’re so peaceful and safe, right? I mean no one would ever go on a rampage in a crowded theater…

As we learned today, we never know where these events will happen. They can and have happened at the movies. They can and have happened at public areas, college campuses, supermarkets, post offices, and public parks. Despite the fact that people can legally carry a firearm in most areas throughout 49 states, these events seem to happen most often where people are prohibited from carrying firearms, areas those who claim are “safe” call “no-gun zones.” Those of us who’re more knowledgeable about how and why criminals choose their targets refer to them as “free-fire zones,” and we do our best to avoid them!

Why is it, then, that the most common knee-jerk reaction to these incidents are to create more such zones, thereby increasing the likelihood of such an event? If a course of action continually proves to have the opposite outcome than the one that’s desired, it’s time to change the course of action. The relaxation of gun control laws over the last twenty years has had a tremendously positive impact on the reduction of crime! Criminals, even insane ones, don’t target a well-armed populace.

Hollywood Theaters and others who throw up knee-jerk “No Firearms” signs are doing their honest, law-abiding customers a grave disservice. What they should be doing is posting the following sign:

firearms welcome

References
1
Link to MSNBC article

2James Slack, “The most violent crime rate in Europe: Britain is also worst than South Africa and the U.S.,” Daily Mail U.K., July 2, 2009. Link.

3Draft Constitution for Virginia, 1776

4Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Major John Cartwright (5 June 1824).

5Justice Hugo Black, dissenting in Adamson v. California (1947)

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