By Dave Robbins
Excerpted from: Endtime Magazine — July/August 2012
“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson
After years of slavery, our forefathers defected from England with dreams of a land that would be governed by the people, not a tyrannical king. In an effort to guarantee more freedom and less control, they signed the Constitution of the United States, which limited governmental control of the people.
To further restrict any ability to establish a strong central government, the US House of Representatives devoted the first ten amendments (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution to the protection of individual liberties. Of these, the Second Amendment gives every United States citizen the right to keep and bear arms—not with the intent of providing weapons to hunt rabbits, but as a means of defense against a tyrannical government that might seek to enslave individuals and to strip them of their God given right to “…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
The Second Amendment states: “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.” Some say this is not an individual right, but merely gives each state government the power to maintain a military force.
The reason for the debate is simple. All men are endowed by their Creator, not government, with certain unalienable rights. One of those rights is the ability to keep and protect their freedom. Consequently, any government or dictator seeking to strip United States citizens of those freedoms and to control the people must intentionally misinterpret the Second Amendment and take away the citizens’ ability to resist. Hence, gun control laws.
Isn’t it clear why our forefathers signed the Second Amendment into law? They knew exactly what it was like to live in slavery under a dictator who disarmed the masses and left no means for resistance. The critical question today then is this: If the only reason for disarmament is to control the masses, why is there presently such a push for gun control in the United States and around the world?
From Armed Citizens to Slaves
For over one thousand years, it had been customary for an Englishman to serve in a citizen’s army or militia, which originally required every individual to be armed and to defend the realm if needed. This system of universal armament was successful for two reasons: (1) Each citizen had a way to defend himself and to protect his individual liberties. (2) Monarchial rule was kept in check by sheer physical force, should a tyrannical government try to enslave the population.
During the Stuart Period (1603-1714 AD), there was civil war between the kings and Parliaments, which resulted in each side vying for control of the militia. Consequently, this led to the disarmament of many English citizens because both sought to confiscate the arms of the opposing faction. In the end, Parliament forces prevailed and the citizen-soldiers of England were turned into the “New Model Army” in 1645.
However, Parliament misjudged the loyalty of the army to the people of England. This, coupled with no Parliament paycheck and an attack on their religious freedoms, led to the Rump Parliament where the army actually took over the government under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell. But Cromwell died in 1659 and the Parliament was reinstated by General George Monk in 1660.
This new Parliament, which was made up of those that favored the monarchy, placed Charles II on the throne. Charles disbanded the army, except for those that were loyal to the crown. Immediately, Charles began to disarm any person who was judged dangerous to his empire. This left the standing armies in the power of the king to protect his kingdom and, without the system of universal armament, ended the ability of English citizens to defend their individual liberties and forced them into slavery.
After defecting from England because of the tyrannical rule of King George, our forefathers sought to build a new country that was governed by the people. These were educated men, and they knew that, over time, there would be those that would try to usurp authority over free American citizens. In order to declare our freedom from oppression and provide a safeguard against a tyrannical government ever enforcing its will upon free people, the original founders wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. These documents clearly define the mindset of our forefathers in the late eighteenth century.
The opening statements of the Declaration of Independence provide a distinct remedy for the infectious disease of a tyrannical government, which would seek to deprive free men of their God-given rights to, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration states, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…” and “…it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
In an effort to further restrict governmental encroachment upon the people, the Constitution of the United States was signed into law in 1787 and remains the supreme law of the land. In essence, it tells the government what it can and cannot do. In order to avoid a dictatorship or tyranny, the original framers built a system of checks and balances into the government by dividing it into three parts: legislative, executive and judicial, thus limiting the ability of any one political entity from retaining all the power. Regardless of which state each framer was representing, one main determination propelled them all… No dictatorship shall ever run the United States of America!
After the Constitution was adopted, several state representatives determined that the wording of the Constitution was vague concerning individual liberties. As a result, James Madison wrote the first ten amendments to the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. These ten amendments are a very specific list of restrictions placed on the federal government, further protecting the individual rights of each United States citizen and cannot be usurped under any circumstance.
In forging these documents history tells us that, even though our founding fathers did not always see eye-to-eye, there were two things that all of them agreed on: (1) A central government or dictator should never be allowed to usurp the authority of the people. (2) Universal armament is the only check against a tyrannical government. Consequently, the first point is addressed in the Constitution, while protection for the latter is clearly stated in the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment
“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,”
Of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is the most debated today. Some have said that it gives the state the right to control any militia and that only those individuals should be armed. Others say, because of the Game Act Law passed by the English in 1671, which restricted hunting to those of wealth, that the Second Amendment only allows citizens a weapon capable of hunting. But this is simply not the case.
The original framers of the Constitution knew that there needed to be a specific provision to arm the people. Why? The answer is clearly found throughout the documents that were used to forge our nation. Armed United States citizens have the right to protect their individual liberties and property against any government or dictatorship that would try to strip them of either.
Not only were arms to be used as a defense against a tyrannical government, but our forefathers also believed that it was the duty of every American citizen to throw off any such government or dictator and to provide new leadership for the future of this nation. That is the reason for the Second Amendment. Without the universal armament of the population, this would not be possible.
For this cause our forefathers pledged their “…Lives, Fortunes and sacred Honor,” to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Second Amendment—thus protecting the right of every individual United States citizen to keep and bear arms. They understood there was only one reason why any government or dictator would seek to disarm the population…absolute control with no means of resistance!
Disarming the United States
Gun control in the United States was virtually unheard of until the early nineteen hundreds. Since then, at the federal level, three sets of gun control laws have been passed, upon which most disarmament lawsuits are founded: (1) National Firearms Act of 1934 placed a huge tax on machine guns and other “gangster” weapons. (2) The Gun Control Act of 1968 made it illegal to purchase a rifle or shotgun by mail order (President Kennedy was shot with a mail order rifle), and called for stricter licensing requirements for dealers and further detailed individuals restricted from purchasing a firearm. (3) The Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act of 1993 required a five day waiting period and background check for the sale of handguns as well as requiring the establishment of a National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Over the past few years, attempts at gun control legislation in the United States have been almost non-existent at the federal level. Even with these laws on the books, Americans still find it fairly easy to acquire a gun. With recent victories such as McDonald vs. Heller, in which the Supreme Courtruled that the Chicago, Illinois ban on “Handgun Ownership” was unconstitutional, it is not the past or present that has gun owners concerned, but the future.