"Gentlemen talk to us of these our great fundamental rights--as the freedom of speech, of opinion, of petition--as if they were derived from the constitution of the United States. I scout such a doctrine. If there were a drop in my veins that did not rebel against the sentiment, it would he bastard blood. Sir, I claim to be descended from the king-killing Roundheads of the reign of Charles the First; through a race of men not unremembered in peace or war; never backward in the struggles of liberty; a family, upon the head of a member of which the first price of blood was set by Great Britain, in revenge of his early devotion to the cause of independence. I venerate their character and their principles. I am ready to do as they did--to abandon all the advantages of country, home, fortune, station--to fly to some western wilderness--and to live upon a handful of parched corn and a cup of cold water, with God's blessing on honest independence--sooner than I will surrender one jot or tittle of those great principles of liberty which I have sucked in with my mother's milk. I disdain to hold these rights by any parchment title. The people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the people of every State of this Union, came it in the full possession and fruition of all these rights. We did not constitute this Government as the means of acquiring new rights, but for the protection of old ones, which nature had conferred upon us; which the constitution rightly regards as pre existing rights; and as to which all the constitution does is to provide that these rights neither you, nor any power on earth, shall alter, abrogate, or abridge. They are rights of Heaven's own giving. We hold them by the supreme tenure of revolution. We hold them by the dread arbitrament of battle. We hold them by the concession of a higher and broader charter than all the constitutions in the land--the free donation of the eternal God, when made us to be men. These, the cardinal principles of human freedom, he has implanted in us, and placed them before and behind and around us, for our guard and guidance, like the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, which led the Israelites through the desert. It is a liberty, native, inborn, original, underived, imprescriptible; and acknowledged in the constitution itself, as pre-eminently before and above the constitution. . . . " [Pg. 1644]
"...I had occasion, the last winter, to express my views on the general subject of the right of petition. They remain without change. And I can but repeat my conviction, that this, like the liberty of conscience and the press, is not a right given by the constitution, but original right of the constituent people of the United States, and one which they never parted with, but in their compacts of political fellowship expressly saved from all abridgment and limitation forever...."--Mr. Caleb Cushing, Feb. 7, 1837, House of Representatives. [GALES & SEATON'S REGISTER OF DEBATES IN CONGRESS. Pg. 1645]
(Caleb Cushing, Jan. 17, 1800 – Jan. 2, 1879, was an American diplomat, U.S. Congressman, an associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and 23rd U.S. Attorney General.)
And here is another of those "pre existing rights":
English Bill of Rights 1689Which English right was expounded upon by a very high legal authority as follows:
"An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown
"Whereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons assembled at Westminster, lawfully, fully and freely representing all the estates of the people of this realm, did upon the thirteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty-eight [old style date] present unto their Majesties, then called and known by the names and style of William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, being present in their proper persons, a certain declaration in writing made by the said Lords and Commons in the words following, viz.: . . ."
". . . That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law; ..."
“5. 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 . . . 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.The expanded American right, is described by an early American legal authority as follows:
“To vindicate the three primary rights, when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next, to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.”
"Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal [or state] laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy them...."--William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765–1769.
"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...."In consideration of the above, I believe what we are dealing with presently, as well as in the last few decades. Is some incredibly ignorant, or deliberately corrupt, politicians and judicial 'authorities'. For the right to arms has been infringed upon repeatedly by our tyrannical federal government. As well as by a very large number of the state and municipal governments. And this, against a right that is absolutely critical as the final defense against government tyranny. (Which is of course the very reason they are infringing upon it with impunity).
"....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."
"...In America we may reasonably hope that the people will never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty..."
- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries,(1803). (Mr. Tucker was a Lawyer and Professor of law at the College of William and Mary. He was appointed one of the committee to revise the laws of Virginia, and he served with James Madison and Edmund Randolph as Virginia commissioners to the Annapolis Convention. In 1803 Tucker became a judge of the highest court in Virginia. In 1813 he was appointed by President James Madison to be the United States district judge for Virginia. Tucker also, as District Court judge, sat with Chief Justice John Marshall on the U.S. Circuit Court in Richmond.). Mr. Tucker was AT the debates concerning the Bill of Rights. To Wit:
"Mr. Tucker hoped the words would not struck out, for he considered them of importance; besides, they were recommended by States of Virginia and North Carolina, he noticed that the most material part by those States was omitted, which was, a declaration that the people should have a right instruct their representatives. He would to have those words inserted as soon as the motion for striking out was decided."--[U.S. House of Representatives, Amendments to the Constitution, August 15, 1789. [THE DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS IN THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES; WITH AN APPENDIX, CONTAINING IMPORTANT STATE PAPERS AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS, AND ALL THE LAWS OF A PUBLIC NATURE; WITH A COPIOUS INDEX. VOLUME I. COMPRISING (WITH VOLUME II) THE PERIOD FROM MARCH 3, 1789, TO MARCH 3, 1791, INCLUSIVE. COMPILED FROM AUTHENTIC MATERIALS, BY JOSEPH GALES, Senior. WASHINGTON: PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY GALES AND SEATON. 1834. Pg. 760].
If We The People have any desire for the return of true freedom and liberty in our country. Then we must insist that our hired servants in government restore our Constitutionally secured rights as was originally intended. Failure to do so will, ultimately, result in the total loss of them. Which of course will lead to complete enslavement, or worse....