Sunday, August 04, 2013

"We can see all these features of foreign despotisms being developed in our own unfortunate country under her present ruler"

Infringement of the right to bear Arms.

   The Constitution enunciates nothing more distinctly than the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and it adds in unequivocal language that this right "shall not be infringed." This clause in the Constitution is founded on a reliance upon the people; it is an endorsement of the theory of the capability of the masses for self-government. It is predicated upon the Democratic principle that the people are the governing powers; and they in their supreme capacity have a right to bear arms or possess themselves of such instrumentalities as in other governments are supposed to be the especial prerogatives of the few in whom government is invested and for whose benefit it is created.

   In countries where the masses are estimated at but one remove from brutes, who are legislated for, and who are considered incapable and unworthy of participation in any legislation, having reference to themselves, the right of the people to bear arms is universally denied. When despotisms are attempting to subjugate a free people, one of its first stops is to disarm the people, that it try rivet them in chains without fear of resistance. When Austria has placed her foot upon the neck of Hungary, one of her first steps is to disarm her victims. When Russia gradually progresses in her labor of crushing out the last marks of manhood and liberty in Poland, she disarms the people.

   We can see all these features of foreign despotisms being developed in our own unfortunate country under her present ruler. Everywhere have the wishes and will of the majority been rendered nugatory or openly defied. Lincoln and his advisers have arrogated to themselves powers not vested in them, and which belong exclusively to the people or to other branches of the Government. This is always the first step in the progress of a despotism; rights which belong only to the people are usurped and concentrated in the hands of the usurping powers. After these power have been seized upon, the subjugation of the people is a matter of comparative ease.

   It is to this position that Lincoln has reached. He holds in his hand to day the power of the habeas corpus; the right to inflict punishment; the war making power; the right to make and unmake sovereign States; the right to conscript the able bodied population; the power of expatriation, imprisonment and confiscation--all these extraordinary powers Lincoln has usurped and now exercises at his own will.

   Having thus established in himself all the powers which belong to the people--having, in fact, established a complete despotism, he now lakes a further step and has attacked the hitherto untouched right of the people to bear arms.

   The first step in this direction has been taken by Heintzleman, who has prohibited all traffic in arms for sixty days in the States cf Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

   No express company can forward them, no retail dealer can sell a revolver without a permit from that local satrap known as a Provost Marshal. The chains of the tyrant are being gradually wound about us. Rivet after rivet and link after link are added.--To-day we are almost helpless, to-morrow we will be completely so. One by one the rights of the people have been wrested from them until to day, when they occupy a position than which there is none lower in all despotic countries of the whole of Europe.

   We are disarmed, conscripted, taxed, robbed, slaughtered expatriated by a single individual who is responsible to no individual. We are at the complete mercy of a man whose simple will consigns us to prison, sends us from the country, confiscates our property, and robs us of at all our constitutional and inherent rights.

   How long shall these usurpations be submitted to? Are the once haughty sovereigns of this country willing to sink to the level occupied by the brutal and servile horde that forms the lower classes of monarchical Europe.

   The order of Heintzleman is no where entitled to obedience. It is a direct blow at the Democratic masses. The Abolition organizations, known as Loyal Leagues, have been permitted to arm themselves, and after this is done the traffic in arms is stopped. It is intended that every member of the Loyal League shall go through this campaign with carbine and revolver, but that every Democrat shall be deprived of every instrumentality for inforcing his rights.

   This thing shall not be permitted to win. The arming of Abolition loyalists and the disarming of Conservative men is a movement which most certainly will react upon those who are attempting to execute it. With or without arms the coming election shall be a free one, and the man, whether he be a Lincoln, or Heintzleman, or member of Loyal League, who will so much as lay a profane finger upon the sacredness of the ballot box, had a thousand times better have never been born.--Chicago Times.

[The Star Of The North, Bloomsburg, Columbia County, PA., Wednesday October 19, 1864. Volume 15. Number 52. Pg. 2]
   Bear in mind that the above article was from a Union newspaper in the North....

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