Constitution: Proving that Individuals Have a Right to Keep and Bear Arms

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Constitution:
Proving that Individuals Have a Right to Keep and Bear Arms

by Eddie Schmidt, 8th Grade Homeschooler -- Grand Junction, January 2000

The framers of the Constitution wrote that great document to establish a limited government guaranteeing freedom and liberties for the people. In the preamble to the United States Constitution it states that the Constitution is "ordained and established" to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." Our founding fathers based the Constitution on Biblical values such as that of 1 Timothy 5:8, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." This certainly would imply that God expects us, in providing for our families, to protect them by defending them against harm. The framers would assume this liberty as they wrote the Constitution.

The firearm has been called the best self defense devise made by man, to keep the four and two legged animals from doing harm. While talking with Mr. Ed Schmidt, he has said that, "Arms should be used to keep a criminal government, such as that of the former Nazi Germany, from harming the citizens of the American nation, and countries trying to oppress American citizens by tyranny."

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." This translation, "Because the people have a right to keep and bear arms, states will be assured of the well regulated militias that are necessary for their security," is supported by most constitutional historians and lawyers. Saying it like this gives the right of arms to the people, and protects our [the people's] freedom. To be able to own arms is one of the best ways to show our [the people's] freedom.

During the cases of Cruikshank v. U.S. and Presser v. Illinois, 1875 and 1885, the Supreme Court said that the Second Amendment did not create a right. Instead, the Court recognized a pre-existing right, before the Bill of Rights was ratified. According to Article I of the U.S. Constitution, and the Tenth Amendment, "powers" are reserved to States, while American citizens have "rights". Therefore the Bill of Rights is for the American citizen. If the Second Amendment were referring to a state military as the only group that could have arms, it would have said something like this: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the power of the State to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." But, as is obvious, it does not say power, it says, right. In his report, Second Reading, Daniel D. Polsby states that many scholars realize that "the private right to keep and bear arms is very much in character with the Bill of Rights as a whole and with the thinking of the Framer of the Constitution."

Again be reminded that the Second Amendment states, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms." According to the Microsoft Word thesaurus, a synonym for the word "right" is "lawful." The "right" to keep and bear arms indicates that we are free and it is lawful, for us to do so. A synonym for the word "lawful" is "legal," and a synonym for the word "legal" is "constitutional." So the "right" is "constitutional."

Alexander Hamilton, writing in The Federalist Papers, confirms that a state organized military group cannot be the militia by saying, "The Militia is not a regular force, but armed people," which is the whole people, and every able-bodied male citizen that owns a firearm. Most people believe that the militia is referring to the National Guard, but at the writing of the Second Amendment, the militia was the people. Hamilton evens suggests that they organize to practice on an annual, or by-annual basis.

Hamilton also writes in The Federalist Papers, "Little more can be reasonably aimed at with respect to the people at large then to have them properly armed and equipped." This means that, "Respecting the people is vital, because they are armed, and ready to oppose tyranny." One must keep in mind that Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, were writing The Federalist Papers on subjects of the Constitution. In the words of Hamilton, the "power of regulating the militia and commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion to the duties of superintending the common defense and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy" means that to keep the internal peace of the Confederacy [United States] the people [militia] must be armed, and ready to defend their country.

Lawyers who oppose gun-control say, "If we are to live by the law, our first step must be to obey the Constitution," and, "One need not like guns to understand that gun control laws pose a threat to civil liberties." Many people, not just lawyers themselves, believe that "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself." If people do not have the right to protect themselves then they certainly cannot enjoy the freedom of liberty for which the Constitution is referring.


Bibliography

Author unknown. "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself." http://forums.nj.com/forums/get/politics4/195.html April 1997

Author unknown. "The Outdoorsman Self-defense Web Page." http://pages.prodigy.com/outdoorsman/sendere.html September 1998

Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, John Jay. The Federalist Papers New York: NAL Penguin, 1961: pp. 182, 185.

Kopel, David B. "Trust The People: The Case Against Gun Control." http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa109.html July 1988: pp. 14, 19.

Polsby, Daniel B. "Second Reading, Treating the Second Amendment as Normal Constitutional Law." Reason March 1996: pp. 32-36.

United States Constitution, Second Article Of Amendment

Schmidt, Ed. Personal Interview: November 1998

Silver, Steven. "Private Gun Ownership Is Protected by the Second Amendment." Gun Control Opposing Viewpoints. Ed. Bruno Leone San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1997 pp. 75-81

Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, King James Version. Indianapolis, IN: B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co., 1988 p. 1262


Defending Our Rights Through the Second Amendment

by Eddie Schmidt, 8th Grade Homeschooler -- Grand Junction, January 2000

The right to bear arms, as stated in the Second Amendment, ensures self-protection. It allows the people to protect themselves in the event of a tyrannical government coup, or from criminals wishing to do harm to them or their property. Since the Second Amendment is in danger of being dissolved, people need to arise and defend their rights.

Many pro-gun-control advocates consider the Second Amendment "outdated," and therefore obsolete. However, we must keep in mind that the Framers of the Constitution wrote that great document to last, even into the 21st century and beyond. Let me refresh our minds as to what the second amendment says. "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." An explanation of this Amendment from the history textbook, The American Republic for Christian Schools, says this "amendment forbids Congress from infringing on the right of citizens to keep weapons." This is very clearly stated. Now let us look at the synonyms of "right." A synonym for right is "lawful," a synonym for "lawful" is "legal," and a synonym for "legal" is "Constitutional." This means that it is Constitutional, and legal to own guns.

Many gun-control advocates state that since there is no more state militia, only a National Guard, this nullifies the Second Amendment. Alexander Hamilton disproves this by saying in the Federalist Papers that "the militia is not a regular force, but armed people."

In the preamble to the Constitution, we are secured the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. What is liberty? Liberty is freedom. We have the freedom to protect ourselves and our posterity. If noticed, the first thing dictators do when taking over a government is abolish the common people's firearms. This leaves the people without means to defend themselves and their families from tyranny. Since we are secured by the Constitution a means to defend ourselves, it should be illegal to have firearm control laws. 1 Timothy 5:8 reads, "but if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." Providing for those of his own means providing protection for his family.

It is not the gun, the knife, or any other weapon that commits the crime. It is the person using them. Every person needs to learn the correct Biblical morals so that he or she will respect God's creation of human life. The modern Government Schools have outlawed Biblical morals. In the present day, the morals that this country were founded on are severely lacking. These morals have been replaced with what is called, "values clarification". To my understanding, "values clarification" teaches that there is no right or wrong, and everyone can determine their own values. The lack of moral foundation is the main issue, and this is the issue that needs to be addressed in the Legislative, and Executive Branches of this government.

I wish and pray that the lawmakers, and heads of government, in this country would realize that the Second Amendment is a part of the Constitution and cannot, and should not, be infringed upon.

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