Time to Bust Some Second Amendment Myths

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Time to Bust Some Second Amendment Myths

On July 19th Mass­a­chu­setts Attor­ney Gen­eral Maura Healey uni­lat­er­ally banned the sale of most semi­au­to­matic rifles in the State sim­ply because they share char­ac­ter­is­tics with already banned “assault rifles”. This is the newest in a long series of threats to our right to bear arms. The best way to fight against these threats is by arm­ing our­selves and oth­ers with knowl­edge about the orig­i­nal mean­ing and pur­pose of the Sec­ond Amend­ment. We must com­bat all of the dis­tor­tions and out right lies about the Sec­ond Amend­ment. Most of the dis­tor­tions of the Sec­ond Amend­ment come from those on the left how­ever those on the right are also guilty on a cou­ple key points so please keep read­ing even if you con­sider your­self to be an expert on the Sec­ond Amendment.

How many times have you heard the one about the Sec­ond Amend­ment being just about hunt­ing? If you’re like me you’ve heard it way too many times. The framers of the Sec­ond Amend­ment made it abun­dantly clear the pur­pose was defense — self defense, defense of the com­mu­nity, defense of the State, and defense of the nation.

The Vir­ginia Dec­la­ra­tion of Rights, which was writ­ten in 1776, served as a model for the Bill of Rights. It is very sim­i­lar to amend­ments pro­posed dur­ing the New York and North Car­olina rat­i­fy­ing con­ven­tions for the Con­sti­tu­tion. The final ver­sion of the Sec­ond Amend­ment was an edited down ver­sion of this which con­veyed the same mean­ing with less words. Here is sec­tion 13 of that document:

That a well-​regulated Mili­tia, com­posed of the body of the peo­ple, trained to arms, is the proper, nat­ural, and safe defence of a free State; that Stand­ing Armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dan­ger­ous to lib­erty; and that, in all cases, the mil­i­tary should be under strict sub­or­di­na­tion to, and gov­erned by, the civil power.

Two com­mon dis­tor­tions which are linked together are that the Sec­ond Amend­ment is a col­lec­tive right that only applies to mem­bers of the mili­tia and the mili­tia was exactly same as the National Guard is today. Both points are incor­rect. None of the rights men­tioned in the Bill of Rights are col­lec­tive rights. The framers of the Con­sti­tu­tion and Bill of Rights believed only in indi­vid­ual rights. The National Guard, which came into exis­tence in 1933, is made up of for­mal mil­i­tary units com­posed of a lim­ited num­ber of indi­vid­u­als. The mili­tia was made up of the entire pop­u­la­tion. That was clearly stated in the Vir­ginia Dec­la­ra­tion of Rights and the amend­ments pro­posed dur­ing the rat­i­fy­ing con­ven­tion. Here are two more quotes regard­ing the make up of the mili­tia and scope of the right to bear arms:

Richard Henry Lee Fed­eral Farmer 18

To pre­serve lib­erty, it is essen­tial that the whole body of peo­ple always pos­sess arms, and be taught alike, espe­cially when young, how to use them…

George Mason Vir­ginia Rat­i­fy­ing Con­ven­tion 1787

I ask who are the mili­tia? They con­sist now of the whole peo­ple, except a few pub­lic officers.”

The right to bear arms is not granted to us by the Sec­ond Amend­ment. That right is granted to every indi­vid­ual by God. It is one of the God given Nat­ural Rights. The Sec­ond Amend­ment pro­tects and pre­serves that right by pre­vent­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment from inter­fer­ing with that right in any way. All fed­eral restric­tions and reg­u­la­tions involv­ing firearms are uncon­sti­tu­tional. The only role the Supreme Court should play involv­ing the Sec­ond Amend­ment is to declare all fed­eral restric­tions uncon­sti­tu­tional. Unfor­tu­nately the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, includ­ing the Supreme Court, stopped fol­low­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion decades ago.

I know I’m going to take heat from some on the right about this but the Sec­ond Amend­ment does not pre­vent the States from plac­ing restric­tions on firearms. The Bill of Rights does not apply to the States in any way. That is quite clear from the tran­scripts form the draft­ing and the rat­i­fy­ing of the Bill of Rights. James Madi­son pro­posed extend­ing some of the Bill of Rights to the States but that was shot down. The US Con­sti­tu­tion cre­ated a bot­tom up fed­eral repub­lic not a top down national gov­ern­ment with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in com­plete con­trol. No rights are absolute, At some level deci­sions have to be made to deter­mine where exer­cis­ing your rights becomes an abuse of your rights, If free­dom of speech is absolute what would pre­vent some­one from stand­ing out­side your bed­room win­dow all night scream­ing threats and obscen­i­ties at you? If free­dom of reli­gion is absolute then there would be no way to pre­vent human sac­ri­fice. The framers of the Con­sti­tu­tion believed these deci­sions should be made at the State level.

There are two lev­els of defense built into our con­sti­tu­tional sys­tem to pre­vent the States from becom­ing abu­sive to our rights. The first line of defense is the State Con­sti­tu­tions. Every State Con­sti­tu­tion has a Bill of Rights. All but a few pro­tect the right to bear arms. Here is what the Mass­a­chu­setts Con­sti­tu­tion has to say on this subject:

Arti­cle XVII. The peo­ple have a right to keep and to bear arms for the com­mon defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dan­ger­ous to lib­erty, they ought not to be main­tained with­out the con­sent of the leg­is­la­ture; and the mil­i­tary power shall always be held in an exact sub­or­di­na­tion to the civil author­ity, and be gov­erned by it.

Since guns are meant for com­mon defense and those so called assault weapons are per­fect for com­mon defense aren’t they protected?

The ulti­mate line of defense is “we the peo­ple”. It is up the peo­ple of the States to decide when the State gov­ern­ments go to far in the reg­u­la­tions of firearms, They must play an active role and hold the State gov­ern­ments account­able. They must edu­cate their fel­low cit­i­zens, orga­nize protests, and vote out all that want to go to far with restrict­ing guns. I firmly believe that per­mit less open carry with no restric­tions is the model for all States.

Who is Jon Fournier — Im a strict con­sti­tu­tion­al­ist who has stud­ied the Notes on the Debates in the Fed­eral Con­ven­tion, the tran­scripts of the State rat­i­fy­ing con­ven­tions, The Fed­er­al­ist Papers, The Anti-​Federalist Papers, and the writ­ings of the framers of the Con­sti­tu­tion. I have also stud­ied eco­nom­ics through the writ­ings of Adam Smith, F A Hayek, Lud­wig von Mises, and Mil­ton Friedman.

A note from DaT­e­chGugy: I hope you enjoyed Jon Fournier’s piece. Remem­ber we will be judg­ing the entries in Da Mag­nif­i­cent try­outs by hits both to their post and to DaTip­Jar So if you like Jon Fournier’s work please con­sider shar­ing this post, and if you hit DaTip­jar because of it don’t for­get to men­tion Jon Fourniers post is the rea­son you did so.




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On July 19th Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey unilaterally banned the sale of most semiautomatic rifles in the State simply because they share characteristics with already banned “assault rifles”.  This is the newest in a long series of threats to our right to bear arms.  The best way to fight against these threats is by arming ourselves and others with knowledge about the original meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment.   We must combat all of the distortions and out right lies about the Second Amendment.  Most of the distortions of the Second Amendment come from those on the left however those on the right are also guilty on a couple key points so please keep reading even if you consider yourself to be an expert on the Second Amendment.

How many times have you heard the one about the Second Amendment being just about hunting?  If you’re like me you’ve heard it way too many times.  The framers of the Second Amendment made it abundantly clear the purpose was defense — self defense, defense of the community, defense of the State, and defense of the nation.

The Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was written in 1776, served as a model for the Bill of Rights.  It is very similar to amendments proposed during the New York and North Carolina ratifying conventions for the Constitution.  The final version of the Second Amendment was an edited down version of this which conveyed the same meaning with less words.  Here is section 13 of that document:

That a well-regulated Militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State; that Standing Armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Two common distortions which are linked together are that the Second Amendment is a collective right that only applies to members of the militia and the militia was exactly same as the National Guard is today.  Both points are incorrect.  None of the rights mentioned in the Bill of Rights are collective rights.  The framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights believed only in individual rights.  The National Guard, which came into existence in 1933, is made up of formal military units composed of a limited number of individuals.  The militia was made up of the entire population.  That was clearly stated in the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the amendments proposed during the ratifying convention.  Here are two more quotes regarding the make up of the militia and scope of the right to bear arms:

Richard Henry Lee Federal Farmer 18

To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…

George Mason Virginia Ratifying Convention 1787

I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.”

The right to bear arms is not granted to us by the Second Amendment.  That right is granted to every individual by God.  It is one of the God given Natural Rights.  The Second Amendment protects and preserves that right by preventing the federal government from interfering with that right in any way.  All federal restrictions and regulations involving firearms are unconstitutional.  The only role the Supreme Court should play involving the Second Amendment is to declare all federal restrictions unconstitutional.  Unfortunately the federal government, including the Supreme Court, stopped following the Constitution decades ago.

I know I’m going to take heat from some on the right about this but the Second Amendment does not prevent the States from placing restrictions on firearms.  The Bill of Rights does not apply to the States in any way.  That is quite clear from the transcripts form the drafting and the ratifying of the Bill of Rights.  James Madison proposed extending some of the Bill of Rights to the States but that was shot down.  The US Constitution created a bottom up federal republic not a top down national government with the federal government in complete control.  No rights are absolute,  At some level decisions have to be made to determine where exercising your rights becomes an abuse of your rights,  If freedom of speech is absolute what would prevent someone from standing outside your bedroom window all night screaming threats and obscenities at you?  If freedom of religion is absolute then there would be no way to prevent human sacrifice.  The framers of the Constitution believed these decisions should be made at the State level.

There are two levels of defense built into our constitutional system to prevent the States from becoming abusive to our rights.  The first line of defense is the State Constitutions.  Every State Constitution has a Bill of Rights.  All but a few protect the right to bear arms.  Here is what the Massachusetts Constitution has to say on this subject:

Article XVII. The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.

Since guns are meant for common defense and those so called assault weapons are perfect for common defense aren’t they protected?

The ultimate line of defense is “we the people”.  It is up the people of the States to decide when the State governments go to far in the regulations of firearms,  They must play an active role and hold the State governments accountable.  They must educate their fellow citizens, organize protests, and vote out all that want to go to far with restricting guns.  I firmly believe that permit less open carry with no restrictions is the model for all States.

Who is Jon Fournier — Im a strict constitutionalist who has studied the Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention, the transcripts of the State ratifying conventions, The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, and the writings of the framers of the Constitution. I have also studied economics through the writings of Adam Smith, F A Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Milton Friedman.

A note from DaTechGugy: I hope you enjoyed Jon Fournier’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar So if you like Jon Fournier’s work please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Jon Fourniers post is the reason you did so.




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