Wednesday, May 01, 2013

"...But Congress has assumed, usurped, the power..."

   "Every American citizen has a perfect constitutional right to oppose the pending and all wars in which the Government may engage and he has the same right examine and condemn all its war measures policy and all the acts of the Government in peace or war. This right, this liberty is of the heritage which our fathers won by their swords, and endeavored to secure to themselves and their posterity by a written Constitution. The men who subvert it or obstruct it are usurpers and, tyrants and ought to receive the punishment due to such enemies of their country. But those true patriots opposed not the war, but the policy measures upon which it has been conducted. I do also, from the depths of my soul, and I believe that from this source has originated the most of its tremendous cost of blood and treasure, of crime and misery...."

"...But Congress has assumed, usurped, the power to pass a law to organize into one class the whole military population of the United States, and to authorize the President to draft from it, from time to time, such parts, or the whole as he might will. This annihilates by congressional legislation the militia of the States and subverts their legitimate military force that duty would require and the Constitution would authorize to be used for the protection of their own government and their reserved rights, even against the Government of the United States. And to consummate the policy of overthrowing the entire reserved rights, powers, and sovereignty of the State of Kentucky and the border slave States, during the continuance of the war at least, all men who would not sustain the war policy and measures of the President, have had their houses to be entered by soldiers, and their arms to be taken therefrom, and also from their persons. Thus it is that this provision of the Constitution becomes a dead letter:
"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."

   "This is a most invaluable liberty guarantied to every American citizen. A people in the full enjoyment of the right of trial by jury, and all armed, are free, and cannot be reduced to slavery. In our country happily, the people are generally divided into opposing political parties of something like proximate numbers. All whether belonging to the party in power or the opposition, alike have the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The free exercise of this right is indispensable to the safety of those in opposition, and it is equally necessary to the preservation of the liberties of all. It is impossible that half, or any great proportion of the people of a country, should be enslaved without that soon becoming the fate of the whole. That party which preserves its own liberties, necessarily achieves the same for the entire nation. If the present opposition had been fully armed it would have held in check those in power, constrained them to an observance of the Constitution and laws, and prevented those wrongs and oppressions which have made their own Government the scourge of so many of our people. It would have compelled a moderation justice and magnanimity in the prosecution of this war that would have brought back the rebels with the perfect conviction that the old Union and Government was far better for them than any other they could possibly obtain. Why was that opposition disarmed? A Just, patriotic, and constitutional administration of the Government would never attempt to subvert the right the opposition, of all the people, to keep and bear arms. It is a right formidable only to tyrants, usurpers, and oppressors.
   "Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution, says:

   "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic, since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation, and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." 


Well now, that was interesting, yes?

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