Saturday, July 15, 2006

Message to U.S. Senate

"The armor and the attitude of defence afford the best security against those collisions which the ambition, or interest, or some other passion of nations not more justifiable, is liable to produce. In many countries it is considered unsafe to put arms into the hands of the people, and to instruct them in the elements of military knowledge. That fear can have no place here, when it is recollected that the people are the sovereign power. Our Government was instituted, and is supported, by the ballot-box, not by the musket. Whatever changes await it, still greater changes must be made in our social institutions, before our political system can yield to physical force. In every aspect, therefore, in which I can view the subject, I am impressed with the importance of a prompt and efficient organization of the militia....
"....The plan for their removal and re-establishment is founded upon, the knowledge we have gained of their character and habits, and has been dictated by a spirit of enlarged liberality. A territory exceeding in extent that relinquished has been granted to each tribe. Of its climate, fertility, and capacity to support an Indian population, the representations are highly favorable. To these districts the Indians are removed at the expense of the United States; and, with certain supplies of clothing, arms, ammunition, and other indispensable articles, they are also furnished gratuitously with provisions for the period of a year after their arrival at their new homes.
(Hmmmm.....not meaning to peel off old scabs, but we were fighting many of these tribes, yes? Granted, their fight was just, for we were the intruders on lands they occupied. If I recall, there was some very nasty fighting and barbaric activities that emanated from both the native Americans and us. And now Mr. Jackson is giving them arms and ammo.? I wonder if they had to do a background check? Mr. Jackson, I would like some arms and ammo. as well. Where do I sign up?)
"Considering the great extent of our confederacy, the rapid increase of its population, and the diversity of their interests and pursuits, it cannot be disguised that the contingency by which one branch of the Legislature is to form itself into an electoral college cannot become one of ordinary occurrence without producing incalculable mischief. What was intended as the medicine of the constitution in extreme cases, cannot be frequently used without changing its character, and sooner or later producing incurable disorder.
(Mr. Jackson appears to have been blessed with the gift of prophesy!)
"Every election by the House of Representatives is calculated to lessen the force of that security which is derived from the distinct and separate character of the legislative and executive functions; and while it exposes each to temptations adverse to their efficiency as organs of the constitution and laws, its tendency will be to unite both in resisting the will of the people, and thus give a direction to the Government, anti-republican and dangerous. All history tells us that a free people should be watchful of delegated power, and should never acquiesce in a practice which will diminish their control over it. This obligation, so universal in its application to all the principles of a republic, is peculiarly so in ours, where the formation of parties founded on sectional interests is so much fostered by the extent of out territory. These interests, represented by candidates for the Presidency, are constantly prone, in the zeal of party and selfish objects, to generate influences unmindful of the general good, and forgetful of the restraints which the great body of the people would enforce, if they were, in no contingency, to lose the right of expressing their will. The experience of our country, from the formation of the Government to the present day, demonstrates that the people, cannot too soon adopt some stronger safeguard for their right to elect the highest officers known to the constitution, than is contained in that sacred instrument as it now stands."
(Now there is no doubt, Mr. Jackson definately had the gift of prophesy).
- Andrew Jackson, Washington, Dec. 7, 1835


LDF said...

I just came across your blog for the first time and was pleased by the comments in your bio and header. I happen to live in one of the places you named where guns are considered more evil than the people they should be used to defend against. I too am not happy with wher the nation seems to be heading and have enjoyed what I have read of your blog so far. Nice work!

E. David Quammen said...

LDF - Thank you. Used to live in one of the places mentioned in the header myself. (Glad that's over).
The only thing we can do is rattle the cages, and try to wake our fellow citizens up. And make it REAL uncomfortable for the anti-gun politicians.

Have a good one!