Sunday, April 18, 2010

Third Stage step one

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power not longer susceptible of any definition."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, February 15, 1791
" The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."
-- James Madison, speech in the House of Representatives, January 10, 1794
"Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 17:380
"I see,... and with the deepest affliction, the rapid strides with which the federal branch of our government is advancing towards the usurpation of all the rights reserved to the States, and the consolidation in itself of all powers, foreign and domestic; and that, too, by constructions which, if legitimate, leave no limits to their power... It is but too evident that the three ruling branches of [the Federal government] are in combination to strip their colleagues, the State authorities, of the powers reserved by them, and to exercise themselves all functions foreign and domestic."
-- Thomas Jefferson to William Branch Giles, 1825. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 16:146
"[The purpose of a written constitution is] to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia Q.XIII, 1782. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 2:178
"The greatest [calamity] which could befall [us would be] submission to a government of unlimited powers."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Declaration and Protest of Virginia, 1825. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 17:445
"When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated."
-- Thomas Jefferson to Charles Hammond, 1821. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 15:332

If any start reading this, and think it any exhortation to violence, please read all the way to the bottom!

My apologies, I may need to see if I can change the title of the last post, that should have been Second Stage. The Third Stage is very problematic, and let me begin by saying that God help us if it were to get to that point! The Third Stage would be the reason that Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story said in 1833: "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." The Second Amendment has often been misrepresented by the liberals due to the preamble.

"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 is a preamble, and not exclusionary of itself. Yes a well regulated militia is the aim, according to the preamble, but that is not the only reason it was included. Indeed, the Founders almost didn't include it because they thought it was such a "no brainer". Several States (including some with the most restrictive gun laws currently) would NOT ratify a Constitution until it was added. There are many Supreme Court precedents regarding the Second Amendment, most anti-gun arguments are based upon United States v. Cruikshank (1875) (Wikipedia) This was a ruling that since Ku Klux Klansmen weren't a part of the Federal government that there massacre of over sixty black men in the Colfax massacre. This is quite an unusual precedent for those who say they are the greatest arbiters of civil rights, don't you think? That the deprivation of the right to keep and bear arms by freed slaves who were massacred for having guns was ruled ok by the High Court just because they (the Klan) weren't the Federal government? Then how is the finding of police officers in Houston Texas who were exonerated in a murder trial were found guilty of a civil rights violation and sentenced to prison? (THEY weren't part of the Federal government either! This ought to put to rest forever, were there any semblance of justice in the Chief Justices the idea that ANYONE can violate your civil "Constitutional" rights!) Get the idea that Judicial Activism isn't all that new a concept? This was fine until bit by bit, the idea of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was eroded to the point that the Federal Government itself enacted the National Firearms Act of 1934. This dictated that the ownership of machine guns, sawed off shotguns, sawed off rifles (or pistols with shoulder stocks) or weapons with a bore diameter of over .50 were illegal unless the owner paid an exorbitant tax and passed a thorough law enforcement screening, and had an application signed by a chief law enforcement official (THE County Sheriff, THE Chief of Police, THE Precinct Constable, etc. a deputy or officer isn't good enough)

Back to the point I was making. A PREAMBLE is non-exclusionary. It states a purpose, but not the exclusive purpose. If the Constitutional Convention had written an Amendment requiring you to lock your door at night, it may have read thus:

"It being good to prevent the wind from blowing open the entrance to your domicile at night, your door should be kept locked"

Does that mean that keeping your door locked would prevent thievery? No. Would it exclude you door being locked from keeping a drunk from accidentally entering the wrong house at night? No. SO, then does "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State..." mean that only the Army or National Guard should own weapons? Well, let's see what Congress has specifically stated "the militia" IS. The initial definition of "the militia" was every white man between the ages of 18-40. THEN the definition was changed to every man between the ages of 18-40, THEN it was changed to every PERSON between the ages of 18-40 (when women started being accepted into full, regular military service). Get the idea? The Founders never forsaw a time when it would be necessary to maintain such a huge standing army, and if we ever got into such an intense conflict that the draft was reimposed, they foresaw it would be a good thing if the citizenry ALREADY knew the basics of marksmanship (they wouldn't take so long to teach to shoot). Did this preclude citizens from defending themselves against Indians, outlaws, and other evil doers? Not at all! THAT was the part that was considered a no brainer, and why it wasn't included in the first draft. Self defense was a GIVEN. Consider this.... if the POLICE were responsible for your safety and well being, then every time someone was mugged, raped, murdered or burglarized, the police could be sued by the victim or their family for not being there to protect them. See the problem? The only person that can be held responsible for your personal self defense is YOU! (There ARE a few jurisdictions that apply a "duty to escape" where if there's a means to flee you are expected to, instead of fighting back. Thank GOD I live in a State that applies the "Castle Doctrine" that says a mans home is his castle and any attack on his person within it may be met with lethal force! NOTICE TO CRIMINALS: I own a Beretta 92F 9MM and have a dozen magazines that I rotate to keep the springs from taking a 'set', loaded with 147 grain Hydra-Shok ammunition. I qualified with this weapon a dozen times while in the military. Which house do I live in? Take your chances!) So, the stated intent of a preamble does NOT restrict the application of a Constitutional Right to a specific context. Let's see, so far, we've put to rest any idea that your "civil rights' can be abrogated by ANYBODY, and that you DO have the right to defend yourself, and your family (unless you live in one of the more liberal states) Why then do you suppose the Founders INSISTED on putting the Second Amendment in place?
It was because they feared nothing more than the government they were creating! They had just thrown off the tyranny of the King of England, and they wanted to ensure that if evil men ever took control of the United States of America, the PEOPLE would have the means to rise up and throw off said tyranny. Here's the rub, and why we need to pray diligently that it never comes to that. The NFA 34' took away our easy accessibility to fully automatic weapons, an "destructive devices". Do you think for a moment that if 'the people rose up, the Federal government would hesitate to throw the Posse Commitatus Act (the law forbidding the use of the U.S. Military against civil criminals) aside and siccing the US Army against the rebels? Did they hesitate in 1863? Please remember that the South in the War between the States (I am ever more reluctant to call it a civil war) they did not hesitate, but rather the Union Generals had been planning for such an insurrection for some time, and that was one of the primary reasons Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and went home to Virginia, was because he KNEW what they planned to do to his homeland, and his brethren, and he would have no part in it. (in fact, the ONLY person I'm aware of in the Confederacy that EVER said it was about slavery was the Vice-President, and if you are going to judge a whole people by THAT then may YOU be judged by the words of Joe 'President-Roosevelt-went on-TV-in-1927' Biden!) I may do a post on "The Civil War" (I didn't name it) later but it's a MAJOR digression from my current point. The Confederacy and the Army of Northern Virginia in particular, routinely handed the Union army a humiliating series of defeats until Gettysburg. Why am I still on the War between the States you ask, I'm comparing then to now. The Confederacy had weapon on a par with the Union army. They had artillery, they had the same kind of rifles (until the union towards the end of the war fielded Henry rifles) the equipment was equivalent. However, if the people were to attempt to rise up now, and the army was called into the fray, would the armed citizenry have the equivalent of M4 rifles (the latest generation of the M16 family) would they be able to face a helicopter assault? Could the even CONTEST air superiority? No on all counts. They would have to rely on the same kind of tactics that other weaker forces have used against the U. S military, and that would get them branded as terrorists.
THAT is why we need to fervently pray that we NEVER get to the Third Stage! And why no one should ever misconstrue this blog to be advocating a violent overthrow of the government! Much better to vote the evil ones out, and try to elect people who will pledge to undo the damage! That being said remember the words of Thomas Jefferson: "The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." I used to read that, and have heard it quoted in the context of fighting against FOREIGN tyrants, such as Hitler and Tojo, but I have come to the chilling realization that most of Jefferson's writings were in the context of DOMESTIC politics. If it were to ever come to the Third Stage, the only hope Freedom would have would be for the military officers to themselves rebel, and refuse to fire on U.S. Citizens. This cannot be counted on, and is rather unlikely.

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