Monday, March 26, 2007

Response to: "Constitution not the right target in debate over firearms"....

Ran across the article linked in the headline at Keep and Bear Arms. The article was so flawed, that I felt obliged to send the following;

Dear Editor,

To put it mildly, Matthew Dennis obviously doesn't know what he is writing about. There is substantial proof of individual right. Following is just some brief crucial facts:

First, The Right to bear arms was a preexistent natural right. Here is as it appeared prior to the Constitution;
"The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defense, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute I W. & M. st.2. c.2. and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression."

- William Blackstone, 1 Commentaries on the Laws of England
, 1765–1769.

And, here is the new and improved right following ratification of the Constitution/Bill of Rights;

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government...."

"....This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty....The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Whenever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."

- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries, (1803).

Mr. Madison makes clear the distinction here;

"Mr. MADISON thought the regulation of the militia naturally appertaining to the authority charged with the public defence...."

- August 18. (1787), The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution [Elliot's Debates, Vol. 5]

The U.S. Senate then solidifies it here;

Journal of the Senate of the United States of America,

“...On motion to amend article the fifth, by inserting these words, 'for the common defence,' next to the words 'bear arms:'

“It passed in the negative.

“On motion to strike out of this article, line the second, these words, 'the best,' and insert in lieu thereof 'necessary to the:'

“It passed in the affirmative.

“On motion, on article the fifth, to strike out the word 'fifth,' after 'article the,' and insert 'fourth,' and to amend the article to read as follows: 'A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'

“It passed in the affirmative....”

It is then even further clarified by Mr. Jonathan Elliot, (a very well recognized authority on the Constitution), here;

"Take a close look, if you will, at the photo copied page below. The copy is of Page XV from Volume I of Elliot's Debates from our United States Government website "The Library of Congress" which has a section named "American Memory", (linked to actual page). Pay particular attention to the second line down, (on the left hand side). Which reads "Rights of the citizen declared to be --". Then look at the fourth line down below the aforementioned heading that reads "To keep and bear arms". Another line on the page that is of interest is line number sixteen, (Page 9); "That the enumeration of certain rights shall not operate constructively against the retained rights". Below the photo copy is a description of Elliot's Debates, also directly quoted from the United States government website...."
And there is a vast amount of more irrefutable facts proving an individual right. American's have always been armed. Even our First President provided substantial proof of that fact. The "inalienable right" has been slaughtered, or "infringed" if you will. By usurping Congresses, as well as by the courts. You might want to consider this. When they get done totally slaughtering the Second Amendment. That there will be nothing to prevent them from slaughtering all of the rest. For, what will be in their way to prevent them?


E. David Quammen

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