There are some points to cover in the Guns and Ammo issue that somehow are often overlooked regarding the 2nd amendment. In addition to affirming the right of the people to keep and bear arms, the amendment also emphasizes the Constitutional restriction against a standing army which was not a provision granted to the Federal government. The framers having experienced the tyranny of a standing army knew that if a nation maintained one as all the nations did in Europe, it was going to find a reason to put them to work one way or another.
“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”
In Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution in the clauses that define the powers of Congress, the limitations on a permanent standing army are clearly defined:
“To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer term than two Years;” and “To provide and maintain a Navy”
The framers clearly made a distinction in the Constitution between an Army to be called up when needed for a specified duration of time and a full time Navy.
The Function of the Militia
The 2nd amendment affirms the above provision in its qualifying clause. If there was no standing Army to protect the States, then obviously a militia was required to do the job. And to make sure that the militia was well prepared (or well regulated) and also well armed, the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be violated.
So, why is it that we have a continuously standing army then? Where and when did that change in the Constitution?
The fact is, it actually hasn’t. What has changed is the people’s will to elect representatives and then hold their feet to the fire thereafter. The fire being the clear provisions of our Constitution. A document that too few pay attention to these days. A document that outlines and affirms our human rights.
As we observe today, Madison (along with Washington and Jefferson among others) was prophetically correct. A standing military force and an overgrown Executive have been used as instruments of tyranny here at home. Take the case of hurricane Katrina for example. Military and even hired contractors went to private homes and businesses to collect arms under penalty of arrest or worse from law abiding citizens. Citizens legally armed who were exercising their 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms for protecting their persons and property.
Mr. Metcalf also used some pretty absurd examples to affirm his assumption that all Constitutional rights are regulated. He claimed that shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater or that practicing human sacrifice in a church constitute regulations granted under the authority of the 1st amendment.
Really now? Shouting Fire when there was none in a crowded theater and human sacrifices by religion need to be referred to the 1st amendment. Not a very convincing application of the amendment IMHO.
Perhaps Mr. Metcalf, in his newly found free time, should conduct some additional research on the 1st amendment now. I will not digress into it as it takes me off topic but I would affirm that his interpretation of it seems to be as off base and misconstrued as his interpretation of the 2nd.
Or how about this example for regulating freedom of assembly? “People who don’t like you can’t gather an “anti-you” demonstration on your front lawn without your permission.”
Come on man. People have a right of privacy and pay taxes on private property. Do we really need to stretch it to the 1st amendment to prevent some idiots from having an “anti-you” demonstration on our lawn. Methinks a simple phone call to 911 would do the trick wouldn’t it with the 1st amendment nowhere in sight!
The Intent of the Amendment
The bottom line to all of this is that, contrary to the fantasies of Statists, the 2nd amendment is not a Constitutional right. It is a right granted to us through natural law which existed before the Constitution was ever written. It is a right that arises from the recognition that people have rights when they are born that come from the Creator, NOT government.
People have the right to protect themselves against threats to their lives and earned property. As the qualifier of the 2nd amendment makes clear, this is necessary in order for people to be secure.
Additionally, the amendment refers to the right as being necessary to the security of the State, not the Federal government. The Federal government really should have bearing on this right. They are never referred to in that amendment anywhere. It is a right of the people’s and the State secondarily, not the Federal government.
Personally, I believe that individuals like Mr. Metcalf should read and absorb “Death By Gun Control” by Aaron Zelman and Richard W. Stevens before they so freely surrender the people’s rights and place them under the regulation of government. For as Madison affirms above when referring to a standing army, the loss of our right to keep and bear arms (Including automatic weapons which do have their place to the chagrin of liberals who would have us all disarmed and dependent upon the state.) will lead to a tyranny by government.
As the aforementioned book affirms: “In a totalitarian or police state, the law protects the state.” And there is a cost for laws that protect the state when it comes to gun control. That cost is reflected in what they refer to as the genocide formula:
Hatred + Government+ Disarmed Citizens = Genocide
The facts prove that every genocide is preceded by gun control. Zelman and Stevens provide the historical examples to back that up.
Gun control in reality is control over the people. That is why the 2nd amendment was the 2nd amendment and not the 3rd, 4th or 5th or 10th. The people wanted to make this perfectly clear right up front.
It is that important……after God that is if you consider the importance of religious freedom in the framers and people of the colonial era’s minds to make that right the first.
At any rate, Mr. Metcalf found out what happens when you try to pull the wool over informed citizens minds. They take action. I only wish we had more of them.