Friday, February 28, 2014

"It declares that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed...."


   In times like these it becomes necessary to return to the consideration of elementary principles.

   The first question presented is what constitutes this Government a republic?

   It is a Republic because the people are free--because there is a recognition of the right of self-government--because the creation of a royal family is impossible; because inherent rights are deemed to belong to every citizen which are regarded as inalienable and of which he cannot be deprived without his consent or due process of law--these are the essential characters which pertain to a republican form of government.

   Liberty is its cornerstone. The right of suffrage is one of the pillars of the structure. The enactment of laws by the people through representatives chosen by themselves is one of its attributes. "No taxation without representation" and "government by the consent of the governed" are cardinal maxims which appropriately express the principles underlying free institutions.

   Written constitutions wherein the powers granted to those in authority and the powers and rights reserved to the people are specified and defined. have come to be regarded as essential to the safety and perpetuity of representative governments.

   The Constitution of the United State constitutes the basis of our Republic. It is the sheet anchor of our liberties. It guarantees religlous liberty, freedom of speech, (Continued on Third Page.) (Continued from First Page.) and freedom of press. It protects the right of the people at all times to peacefully assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It declares that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. It regards a citizen's home as his castle, and declares that no soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the eonsent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. it provides that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States, and prohibits any law respecting an establishment of religion. It guarantees the personal liberty of the citizen, and declares that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and regulates the methods of procedure in all cases of seizures and searches.

   It protects the citizens from governmental tyranny and oppression by providing that no person shall be held to answer for an infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

   We are indebted to the wisdom of the provisions of that Constitution for our national unity, our national progress, our national glory--for all that we have been, and are, and hope to be as a nation

   It is the contention of the Democratic party that the Constitution is and must be supreme over every portion of our country. Hence there can be no such thing as an American colony belonging to the United States and over which our Constitution has no jurisdiction. Such a situation is impossible under our form of government. It would be an anomaly. We must govern ourselves and all our possessions under the provisions of our Constitution, or else we have no right to govern at all....

[The Times, Richmond, VA., Wednesday, October 03, 1900. Vol. 15. No. 200. Pgs. 1&3 - Excerpted from the article: "David Bennett Hill Had A Big Crowd To Hear Him"]

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