I Was Wrong About the Second Amendment – Quote of the Day

“I used to agree the (second) amendment was about maintaining the ability for citizens to check the government, to be able to overthrow it. The Founders, after all, had just overthrown their former government. But on closer look, I was wrong.

“The amendment is about national defense (thus the “well-regulated militia” and the “being necessary to the security of a free state” part). I know, the Supreme Court has ruled that the right to bear arms extends to individuals, but that doesn’t mean citizens have the right to overthrow the government by force. After all, why go to all the trouble of writing and ratifying a Constitution if, like the assignments in Mission Impossible, it could self-destruct soon after being read?” – David Gilbert Keith in Gun control is truly in our best interest [via recorder.com]

comments

  1. avatar Al says:

    And that is why governments of various political persuasions wiped out millions of their own citizens in the 20th century alone. People like that believe that a government should be able to do whatever it desires with their lives. Appalling.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      People like that believe that a government should be able to do whatever it desires with their our lives.

      FIFY.
      They’re too dense to think the government they’re using to attack somebody else’s rights might be used to attack theirs too.

      1. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

        Bingo. The political left will always be in power so…

        You would think that even people on the far left would have the epiphany that if someone like Donald Stalin-Hitler-Trump can get elected, they might just want to hold on to their individual liberty, but even this hyperbolic irony created by their own silly propaganda escapes them.

        1. avatar Baldwin says:

          “…Stalin-Hitler-Trump”? More like TyrannyOfEvilMen-Dumbass. Jeeze, read a history book.

        2. avatar Pg2 says:

          @Baldwin, “History would be a wonderful thing, if only it were true”-Leo Tolstoy

        3. avatar Big E says:

          Baldwin, I think you missed his point. The left “THINKS” Trump is Hitler, so it’s idiotic to clamor for removal of their means of defending against him. Yet they do….everyday. So they are too stupid to make a small logical connection or they are too dishonest to admit they don’t really believe Trump is Hitler. I tend to think it’s a combination of foolish dishonesty.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Liberalism is a mental disorder….”
          – M.Savage

        5. avatar California Richard says:

          I used to like Michael Savage untill he called for a California style ban on “assault weapons” for the whole country with all the same liberal talki g points…. https://youtu.be/qEl34pBJLEk …. I don’t listen any more. He seems to have contracted a mental disorder.

  2. avatar barnbwt says:

    It’s as though they want to pretend to follow the law by quoting the “the” halfway through, then making up a meaning for it from whole cloth. I’m honestly surprised they don’t claim it’s literally (literally) about bears these days, and was always intended to protect threatened species.

    Odds of anyone anywhere finding a single piece of evidence that David Keith once believed about the RKBA what he claims to here, rather than him being a consistent civilian disarmist his entire life attempting to manufacture credibility for himself on the subject by pretending to understand the opposing argument?

  3. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    Governments are great until they want to take yourr property, make you their slave or kill you.

    But that only happens once in awhile somewhere else.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      So much said with so few words.

    2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      Reminds me of the person that wrote during the German Hitler reign, I quote as best as I can remember ; They came for the Jews, I am not a Jew so oh well. They came for the Catholics but I’ m not a Catholic, they came for….. etc. until – ” Now they are knocking on my door ” ! History has a way of repeating itself when we do not learn from it.

      1. avatar tmm says:

        The quote has evolved through the years, as Communists/Socialists, the “incurables,” Trade Unionists, Social Democrats, and Jews/Jehovah’s Witnesses have preceded “me.” Apparently, the Communists were historically the first to be sent to camps, then “incurables,” and later Jews, before they came for “me,” and that is in line with early versions. It appears that the author Niemöller had perhaps used the sequence in speeches (or prose) before the sequence evolving to a poetic form. Perhaps this is a more powerful form:

        Here is the basis of our Christian recognition of guilt in consideration of what happened. We did not recognize the Lord Christ when he came into our lives in the form of a suffering brother.
        I didn’t recognize him when he was put in the camp as a Communist, nor did I recognize him, when he was murdered as an incurably ill person, nor did I recognize him, when he was gassed and burned as the poor victims of his own people [probably an allusion to the fact that Christ was Jewish]. Here I became guilty in my very personal responsibility and I cannot excuse myself, neither before God, nor before humanity.

        http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/niem.htm

  4. avatar Shire-man says:

    The author never believed the former. This reeks of “I’m a marine/cop/mother/father/British count/traveler from the future so you should place extra weight on my words.”

    Nobody, literally NOBODY, believes in liberty only to one day turn and say “gee, I don’t like all this freedom I have.” Sure, they may conclude they don’t like the freedom YOU have but never their own.

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Sure they do, Shire-man.

      But in fairness it usually involves a “re-education” of some form or other.

  5. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘…that doesn’t mean citizens have the right to overthrow the government by force.’

    Sooooo…. you’re saying that the French citizenry had no right to resist their Nazi overlords? Did Sitting Bull and Geronimo have no right to resist being pushed onto reservations and starved? Did the Jews in Warsaw have the right to fight? The Armenians at Van? The right to violently overthrow the government hinges on the sins of the government being overthrown. Just because the sins of the American government hasn’t crossed that threshold at this particular moment in time doesn’t mean it never will. Abandoning the Second Amendment guarantees that someday it will be crossed and the citizens will suffer because they are unarmed.

    1. avatar Toni says:

      Right on the mark.

    2. avatar dlj95118 says:

      …BINGO – eleventy-billion times!

    3. avatar RA-15 says:

      Dam right. Maybe the government will need to be re-educated at some point. It seems to me we are approaching that time. -we the sheople ? I don’t think so !!

    4. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      Returning WW2 combat veterans did overthrow the corrupt american government in Athens Tennessee using deadly force. Which included machine guns and explosives. They machine gunned and blew up a court house.

      http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/athens.htm

      http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/17/guns-politics-the-battle-of-athens-tennessee/

      The Deacon For Defense And Justice used military surplus weapons including machine guns to fight off the corrupt governments in Mississippi, Louisiana, and other southern states in the 1960s.

      https://www.americas1stfreedom.org/articles/2015/8/5/deacons-for-defense-and-justice/

      https://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/us/25hicks.html

      Unfortunately most gun owners don’t know this history let alone the rest of the country.
      Don’t ban the bump stocks!!!

      1. avatar Marty says:

        Yup, they had to get the weapons out of the military armory. This incident is exactly why we have a 2nd Amendment.

    5. avatar Victor Chamoun says:

      You got that exactly right. Thanks for speaking the truth!

  6. avatar Timothy says:

    There are lots of things to protect the country from. Things both, dare I say, foreign AND domestic. Each amendment in The Bill of Rights is a specific limitation on government’s power. Limitations which “hopefully” will slow or prevent tyranny.

  7. avatar John J. McCarthy, Jr. says:

    It is my Natural Right to defend my life with a firearm.

    This is true regardless of how anyone describes this right in writing or otherwise.

  8. avatar rt66paul says:

    Maybe the government we had at the time was not meant to be overthrown, but it has changed a little bit since.

  9. avatar Roh-Dog says:

    Yes, the Bill of Rights extends only to States within the Union, that’s why they are bookended on one side by the Tenth Amendment. Duh!
    The Federal government wanted to ensure that States had the individual right to self protection, to be secure in effects…, have the freedoms of speech and not to have Federal troops quartered in their borders.
    How is this so hard to understand?!?!?!
    /sarc

  10. avatar Sam I Am says:

    One of the great things about established history is that one can expound upon it without even the slimmest of actual knowledge of it.

    The founders were quite verbose about individuals, joined in common cause to prevent tyrannical government, being the ultimate check on government. Yes, the central government of the time put down three armed rebellions; it is the “right” of the national government to do so.

    The founders had no illusions that government was superior to the people, except as the people delegated powers to the government (which they had the natural right to un-delegate). And no illusions that government would never need to be rebuked by armed conflict. What gets lost so easily is the idea that the central government, with a very small standing army, could not subdue the armed power of the states and individuals. The founders may have overlooked the ability of the central government to raise large armies, quickly (War Between the States), negating the numerical superiority of “the people.”

    The founders sought to ensure “the people” would always be superior to government. They provided for the ultimate deterrence. But they did not establish that “the people” would always be victorious against tyranny. The founders delivered a nation that was perfectly situated to allow the citizens to capitulate to a despotic, tyrannical government, or re-establish the proper balance of power. The nation was theirs (the people) to lose. “A republic, if you can keep it.”

    1. avatar ATTAGReader says:

      Well put.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Thank you.

        I enjoy adding to my meager pile of nuts found by the blind squirrel that I am.

  11. avatar DUG says:

    Thank you for your opinion! That is why there is a Bill of Rights, to protect the defined rights of citizens fromthe tyranny of the 51% and our own government. You know, I used to think everyone should be able to vote and slavery should be abolished, but now that I reflect on it…..(note sarcasm…Sorry Rosey…wait, too soon?)

  12. avatar Jeremiah Anthony Kindel says:

    He could not be more wrong. Our founding fathers setup a system of goverment were there was checks and balances. The first admendment was a way for us to peacefully redress problems. The second was a way for us to violently redress them, as well as a way for citizens to defend the united states, the state in which they live and their state of being. The term state has many meanings.

  13. avatar Matt says:

    It’s the same flawed yet fundamental mindset that shows how bad these idiots are projecting.

    No gun owner wants to over throw the government and no gun owner wants to shoot anyone. Those are the last possible options in the most dire of situations to protect themselves or others, acts not to be taken lightly or trivialized.

    I think it’s the one place where gun owners could do a better job of presenting ourselves.

    1. avatar Marty says:

      Matt, your text should be changed to “no lawful gun owner…”. I can think of many “gun owners” who absolutely did want to kill others. Yes, they were all hard core criminals, but still gun owners.

  14. avatar Buffalo Emerson says:

    ..But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
    4 July ,1776

    1. avatar Matthew says:

      Came here to say this! The founders believed in the duty of the People to overthrow tyranny. All forms of gun control are evil and should be abolished.

    2. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Nailed it! This statement contains the only DUTY mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the founding legal document of the United States of America, and therefore the legal context for the 2nd Amendment.
      “…it is their right, it is their DUTY, to throw off such Government, …”

      And a second civil war in this country would not be a bunch of armed civilians fighting the US Armed forces – most of them come from the conservative families in America, with veterans for parents, relatives and friends.. Instead, we would have a bunch of armed civilians shooting the leftist pols, media pukes, university faculty and other “progressives”. NOT a very pleasant scenario for anyone, suggesting that the left in this country should stop trying to overthrow the results of a Constitutional election of Donald Trump.(The Electoral College is still the way select presidents, so you die-hard Hillaryites should STFU.))

  15. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    “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, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    mic drop. Nuff said.

    1. avatar EWTHeckman says:

      That is the fundamental point that Mr. Three First Names misses.

      Ironically, he’s accidentally correct when he says, “but that doesn’t mean citizens have the right to overthrow the government by force.” As the Founding Fathers argued, it’s not a “right”, it’s a Duty, something we have an obligation to do should the government become a threat to its own citizens.

      1. avatar IdahoPete says:

        Actually, the FF believed it is both – a right and a duty.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          Specifically: “. . . it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, . . . “

        2. avatar EWTHeckman says:

          You’re right, of course. But technically, it seems to to me that a duty not only encompasses everything that a right is, but supersedes it.

          With a basic right, you have the personal option about whether or not to exercise that right. In the case of a duty, that option no longer exists because it is now an obligation. Not only is it something that it is moral and legitimate to act upon, you are actually in the wrong if you don’t act.

          It seems to me that Jefferson used the description of a right as more of a rhetorical device, a stepping stone to the full point that was being made; that overthrowing a tyrannical government is not only a legitimate option, but something the colonies could not avoid without becoming immoral themselves.

        3. avatar Toni says:

          very well said

  16. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    … the right to bear arms extends to individuals, but that doesn’t mean citizens have the right to overthrow the government by force.

    I have every right to overthrow ANY ENTITY who intends to deprive me and my family of life, liberty, and property. Whether that entity is a mugger, rapist, serial killer, criminal syndicate, foreign government, or even my own government does not matter.

    To be absolutely clear: if the day ever comes where our federal government announces its intention to imprison/execute some demographic in our nation simply because of that demographic’s identity, that is the day that I will exercise my right to remove that federal government by any means necessary.

  17. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    As days go…I see a troubling vision of a dystopian future, or history repeating itself and a Civil War…It won’t be long before THEY start using “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” on Pro 2A supporters who speak out, or Post on sites like these…Well, THEY will the have records if they demand- *(under force of law)* -them from places like TTAG….Commenter Registration…Let the witch hunts begin…New age political dissidents….

  18. avatar former water walker says:

    I AM the militia…deal with it and many millions like me.

  19. avatar Mike says:

    Sorry but you are totally confused and thus mistaken. The key words in the 2nd are “a free state”. Had you read the Federalists papers and Jeffersons writings you would not have concluded as you did. The phrase “a free state” refers to the ability of maintaining freedom, particularly from an oppressive government. It does not and never did refer to any political entity, city, state, federal etc. The second is the guarantor of the entire Bill of Rights. I suggest that you get better educated and revisit the subject when you are.

  20. avatar FlaBoy says:

    Overthrow or leave – not allowed to do either one. Remember our Civil War?

  21. avatar Joe R. says:

    The Constitution (briefly) attempts to codify how we’ll give and get what we demand of each other (as assumed GOD GIVEN RIGHTS, a/k/a: Fuck with shit all you want motherfucker, this is what I’m going to get out of it anyway, stupid). After all, why go to all the trouble of writing “The Declaration of Independence”, which implies no less than 3 times, and says outright 2 times in Paragraph 2, that whenever any [bona fide] U.S. Ciitzen thinks it necessary TO CHUCK THE MOTHERFUCKERS IN OUR GOVERNMENT AND GET NEW ONES. The process starts by telling them to pack their shit and go home quietly, and is followed by lethal ass-kicking by whatever means necessary followed by Total War on them, theirs, their friends, property, livestock, etc., up to the level that they make any of the rest of us deem it necessary by way of dragging it out.

    The 2nd Amendment is just our promise to each other that we won’t let the dick heads (ESPECIALLY ANY MF POS (D)) A N Y W H E R E , but especially in our government to limit our means of doing so.

    1. avatar johnny go lightly says:

      Wish there was a “like” button here…beautifully said sir.

      I was simply amazed that this gentleman actually said what he said. It is just a reflection of how few Americans have read either of these founding documents, especially the Declaration. A document let me remind folks, which was a death warrant for all intents and purposes, for those who signed it. A document which was and is THE MOST revolutionary political manifesto in human history.

      1. avatar Jules says:

        “Beautifully said?” Not hardly. A good sentiment fouled by dependence on ugly language

  22. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Over throw a government with small arms fire. What a hoot, good luck with that. If and that’s a really big if, the U.S. government needed ousted the American citizens one hope would be our local law enforcement and the U.S. military honoring their oath. Personally I’m getting a little tired of all this over throw the government talk. This country has pissed me off from time to time but over all, it ain’t no bad place to be…… 100℅ Red, White, and Blue

    1. avatar Michael in AK says:

      Read some history!

    2. avatar daveinwyo says:

      Never hear of the Liberator .45 pistol? How about the Viet Nam version (Deer something, saw it at the firearm blog wed.)

    3. avatar dph says:

      Afghanistan and Vietnam couldn’t be true then. Can’t believe the temerity of those people to go up against a Super Power. In Afghanistan at least three times.

      1. avatar Grace12 says:

        The NVA or People’s Army of Vietnam started in the mountains of northern Vietnam with one platoon dressed in black pajamas and carrying WW1 rifles.

    4. avatar ironicatbest says:

      That was the past, this is the future. The Viet ( Minh) Cong had China, Russia and the NVA A gaggle of screamers with AR’s taking on the most powerful military nation on earth, might prove a dissaster. History, the Zapatista’s saw that armed rebellion was futile and pursued political means for what freedom they now have. For every successful rebellion there were twice as many fails. Read history

  23. avatar little horn says:

    then how does an idiot like that explain how this country came in to existence??????

  24. avatar daveinwyo says:

    I am not an expert on the Constitution, but it seems to me that the various and many amendments since the very un-Civil War have tended to “give” more power to the government. My favorite is the 17th.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Yes, the Civil War established the central government as superior to states, and thus “the people”. But it was not done in the dark of night. It took a constitutional amendment to reverse the power structure. The founders created the amendment process, knowing that it was possible for “the people” and the states to cede powers not specifically delegated to the central government. The tenth amendment, since the ratification of the fourteenth amendment, only applies when it is to the advantage of the central government. The fourteenth amendment was when the description of the nation went from “the United States are”, to “the United States is”. The former phrase acknowledged the combined sovereign states, the latter phrase confirms the states are mere political subdivisions of the central government.

  25. avatar Broadsides says:

    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript
    The U.S. Bill of Rights
    The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
    Congress of the United States
    begun and held at the City of New-York, on
    Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
    RESOLVED…
    [ Note: ‘further declaratory and restrictive clause added as follows: ]
    Amendment II
    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.

    [ Still some doubt that the the RtKaBA isn’t an individual ‘Right’? ]
    http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volokh/beararms/statecon.htm

    [ Further reading ]
    https://www.oathkeepers.org/oath-keepers-police-professionals-recommendations-improving-school-security/

    From the Archives:
    BTW, that’s ‘Arms’ not ‘guns’. ‘Arms’ in context implies every terrible instrument of War.

  26. avatar Icabod says:

    The Constitution must be read in the language used at the time it was ratified:

    “how the term “regulate” was used elsewhere in the Constitution. In every other instance where the term “regulate” is used, or regulations are referred to, the Constitution specifies who is to do the regulating and what is being “regulated.” However, in the Second Amendment, the Framers chose only to use the term “well regulated” to describe a militia and chose not to define who or what would regulate it.”

    “Similarly, as to the term “well regulated,” it would make no sense to suggest this referred to a grant of “regulation” power to the government (national or state), when the entire purpose of the Bill of Rights was to both declare individual rights and tell the national government where the scope of its enumerated powers ended.”

    Keep in mind, the Colonies and fought a long war against a tyrannical government. They were well away that any strong, central, government could possibly become oppressive. They would not have written:
    ” A Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, Congress will have the power to maintain a well regulated Militia.”
    https://www.lectlaw.com/files/gun01.htm

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      “The Constitution must be read in the language used at the time it was ratified: . . . ”

      The Constitution was meant to codify what we demand of / for / and from each other as set out in the Declaration of Independence [1776].
      The Constitution [1787] was written because the Articles of Confederation [1777] weren’t ‘hitting it’. The Constitution was written to codify what our government could do, not us. The Constitution is a warning to each other and our government that we give authority to our government, while also retaining to ourselves the right to Fuck its shit up and start over. Our government is only our stupid neighbors who needed a job, and our government is meant to do its job(s) and to govern itself, not us.

      If you include the Articles of Confederation [1777] and the Bill of Rights [1791] we are essentially on our 3rd “Constitution” and, if we are ever compelled to write another one [especially by asshats that cannot even uphold the one we have now] such new Constitution will only better codify what we demand of / for / and from / each other in the Declaration of Independence.

      You cannot re-write or repeal the Declaration of Independence. You can write a new one, but that might likely cost you your pelt, and I may be forced to ensure that history archives no record of you and yours. [loosely paraphrased, J.M. Thomas R., TERMS, 2012]

  27. avatar PeterK says:

    Yes. I’m sure the founders enumerated every possible reason for the 2nd amendment’s existence in its text.

    SIGH.

  28. avatar Dave in socal says:

    “I used to agree the (second) amendment was about maintaining the ability for citizens to check the government, to be able to overthrow it.”

    Narrator: “He never agreed with that.”

  29. avatar Ralph says:

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

    — Thomas Jefferson

    Speaking of manure, David Gilbert Keith is loaded with it. Scheißkopf.

  30. avatar Alexander says:

    As a Socialist/Progressive/Liberal, Mr. Keith is convinced that the primacy of the State is of the highest importance. Naturally, he fails to understand the fundamentals of the US Constitution and the Founders’ thinking – that the primacy of the society is Freedom, with the State simply a tool to achieve it. In a way, in the illogical Progressive universe, Mr. Keith has put a cart in front of the horse. While the Founders believed that if the State were to become tyrannical, the duty of the citizens was to change it, the Socialist view, instead, is that the Party is always right.

  31. avatar Joe Nieters says:

    The right to self defense is a basic human right. It includes defense against any form of tyranny, and at any level…whether by an individual or a group of individuals, and regardless the offenders affiliations. This includes defending one’s self against not only common criminals, but also against aggressors from an outside political entity or rogue political division of one’s own city, county, and country. Therefore, this means…at the very least…that individual citizens have the right…and perhaps the duty…to maintain a state of readiness and ability, sufficient to put down and overthrow the aggression of that enemy. And so, we can only infer that in order to overcome the enemy, the right also implies the right to bear (and to keep) arms of sufficient likeness or capacity to do so.

    The only purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to protect the people against government infringement of that right.

  32. avatar million says:

    if you have to write “truly”, then it’s probably not.

  33. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Note to David Gilbert Keith: Shove it. Oh, and when the bad guys come for you . . . call a liberal.

  34. avatar Unrepentant Libertarian says:

    D.G.K. tries to make a valid sounding argument, but fails. The 2nd Amendment is a God given right for folks to defend themselves from any threat; whether from external of internal threats.
    Any fool that believes that a second civil war will be civilians against the police/military is wrong. Bleeding Kansas cir. 1859- 1865 would be what it will really look like!

  35. avatar mib8 says:

    I highly recommend
    John Leonard Bell 2016 _The Road to Concord: How 4 Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War_ (200 pages; 4.9MB)
    He does a good job of separating fable, speculations, documents… and implicitly re-introduced the inclusion of cannon among the arms covered… though

    Clayton E. Cramer’s careful history, _For the Defense of Themselves & the State: The Original Intent & Judicial Interpretation of the Right to Keep & Bear Arms_ showed that judges’ decisions have been all over the map, some saying only all/any specific arms used by military were covered, others that all military arms were excluded/ prohibited/ prohibitable, some that certain knives were excluded, some that certain people were not covered, some that concealed carry was specifically covered, others that it was not, ditto open carry (where some were quick to declare any carry “brandishing”), some that travellers were covered, others that they were not.

  36. avatar Ing says:

    Good landing, wrong airport.

    It’s true, the Second Amendment isn’t about the right/ability to overthrow the government at all. If it was, the Founders would have said so in the amendment itself. But they didn’t. They talked about the security of a free state instead.

    Really, it’s about preventing a future revolution from ever being needed. Thus the two parts of the amendment: one insuring the individual right of gun ownership against infringement and the other directing the government to utilize that right in maintaining a well-regulated citizen militia.

    Unfortunately, like everyone else in the gun-control camp, once our newspaper columnist friend justifies government control, facts and critical reasoning go out the window. He’s still stuck on “more guns, more crime” despite the screamingly obvious fact that over the past 30 years, more guns have entered circulation than ever before while violent crime of all kinds — including “gun deaths” — have plummeted.

    He had a moment of clarity regarding the Second Amendment, but was too dull to realize what it actually meant.

    1. avatar Toni says:

      maintenance of a free state. while i agree that it was supposed to be a deterrent to foreign and domestic threats it was also at its core there to overthrow the govt IF the govt itself became tyrannical. if you look at the various writings of the founders and the arms they had compared to what the british had (kentucky long rifles as opposed to the less accurate brown bess musket and also why the british wanted to disarm them as they knew a good many were better armed than they were) the intent was that the civilian population be BETTER armed than the govt which is not how it is now

      1. avatar Ing says:

        You’re right, we were always meant to be better armed than the government…which is why I still disagree with you about “overthrow.” No need to overthrow something that’s weaker than you are.

        I think I should rephrase the part about government involvement in the “well regulated militia.” As far as I know, the Constitution doesn’t specify who regulates the militia or how; government could have a role, but ideally, the people would do it themselves.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “As far as I know, the Constitution doesn’t specify who regulates the militia or how”

          Yes, it does. Quite specifically.

        2. avatar Toni says:

          yes exactly and that is why firearms were always the purview of the local and not federal. yes the second is federal but it was supposed to be binding on the states and local as well. “Well Regulated” as stated in the second meant well functioning eg people were expected to keep their arms in good order and hopefully train together in their local community

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “yes the second is federal but it was supposed to be binding on the states and local as well.”

          Would you happen to have a reference for that statement? The constitution set boundaries on the federal/central government (see amendment 10), not the states. States did not become vassals of the central government until the 14th amendment.

        4. avatar Toni says:

          Sam I Am, possibly i am wrong, but i thought those first 10 amendments of the constitution or the Bill Of Rights were supposed to be across the board for all states. that is just the impression i have gotten from what i have been able to get my hands on and read. by all means if i am wrong i stand corrected but that is the impression i got

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          The sovereign States met in committee and decided which sovereign State powers would be permitted to the central government (called, “delegated powers”). The constitution was originated to control the central/federal government, and to prohibit intrusion into State affairs only in those areas specifically delegated (again, amendments nine and ten). The sovereign States were superior to the central government, in that the States could delegate or rescind any action they wished the central government to have/conduct. The States existed before the constitution was hammered out. Those sovereign States wanted a very weak central government, a servant to the States. It was only after the Civil War that the notion was codified that the same restrictions the States placed on the central government also applied to the individual States. This fourteenth amendment inverted the power structure, establishing the same relationship that existed before the revolution: government/parliament/monarch ruled the nation.

          It is not profitable to view the times of the founding through the lens of today.

        6. avatar Toni says:

          yes i know they wanted a weak federal govt and i agree completely. it was just that i thought that those first 10 amendments were also supposed to be binding on all as the basis of human rights and liberty, eg what shall not be stepped on. the 13th in its original form was also good but they later added a single work to it from what i have read that changed it to banning all forms of slavery (which would also put modern banks and most of the legal system out of business) by adding the word involuntary slavery. this plays out well for contract law where if they can get you to sign a contract that enslaves you to them then it does not come under the purview of the 13th, and yes i do well understand the 13th was put in place after the civil war when the gov was looking for more power

        7. avatar Marty says:

          The Bill of Rights applies to all states. How would a state justify doing away with the 1st Amendment? No freedom of speech? The 2nd Amendment, no right to keep and bear arms? The 4th Amendment, no freedom from from unreasonable search and seizure? The 5th Amendment, no double jeopardy (unless you live in New York)? All 10 of the amendments deal with the rights of the people, in all states. No state has the right, except New York apparently, to take these rights away from their residents, period.

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “The Bill of Rights applies to all states.”

          Only after ratification of the fourteenth amendment, wherein the entire federal constitution was applied to the states individually.

          If the BOR applied to the states in the beginning, amendments nine and ten are pointless.

        9. avatar Marty says:

          The BOR cannot be disregarded by the states. The 10th Amendment gives the states only the power that is not already given the feds by the Constitution. The BOR’s are part of the Constitution. Therefore, the states absolutely must abide by the same.

        10. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Not sure where you studied American History, but the United States constitution did not apply to the states, except as specified within the document itself, or amendments. The States did not agree to be controlled by the constitution written for a nation. State constitutions were not “conformed” to the US constitution. Some states even had official state approved religions (denominations). Do not confuse the abortion we have today with what the founders wrote and intended.

        11. avatar Marty says:

          Sorry, I have seen too many Supreme Court rulings holding the states to he US Constitution. I guess you will say the Supreme Court was legally unable make rulings involving the individual states. Good luck with that.

        12. avatar Sam I Am says:

          The SC did not get into the act until 1803; Marbury vs. Madison. The SC declared that it alone had constitutional power to resolve disputes between the president and congress. Thus the concept of judicial review of “the law of the land” was born. Congress was too lazy to put the SC in its place by redefining which matters the SC could review.

          Even in 1803, SC did not determine that the US constitution superseded state constitutions or laws. Not until the fourteenth amendment could the SC rule that the BOR applied to the states.

          It does take concentrated effort to grasp the difference between the times of the founding, and the times since 1868. Especially the times since 1929.

        13. avatar Marty says:

          Ok, you go argue before the Supreme Court and inform them they have no legal right to rule on state cases. See how far that will get you.

        14. avatar Sam I Am says:

          You are missing the point entirely. And apparently looking for justification to be belligerent.

          The SC has authority to rule on disputes between the states. Has authority to rule on the application of state laws, when those laws are challenged under the constitution as altered by the fourteenth amendment. SC did not have this authority until 1868. In the twentieth century the SC declared that constitutional protections can be stripped by the federal government under the self-made notion of “compelling government interest”. That concept states that the constitution constrains the federal government, except when the central committee decides it has a “compelling” interest in restricting, regulating or waiving constitutionally protected rights. No such provision exists in the federal constitution, but is law written via court ruling.

          What is has no bearing on what was. The demarcation is 1868, the year the federal government became superior to the states and the citizenry. The year the states became vassals of the federal government; mere political subdivisions of the national government.

        15. avatar Marty says:

          And you’re missing something. The BOR are for the people. It’s to allow the citizen’s the specified rights. The people live in the states. If the BOR’s weren’t suppose to be for the citizen’s in the states, Why in the hell were they written in the first place?

        16. avatar Sam I Am says:

          ‘The people live in the states. If the BOR’s weren’t suppose to be for the citizen’s in the states, Why in the hell were they written in the first place?”

          To make it clear to the central government that there were limits to the power of the national government regarding interfering with not only the States, but the individuals in the states. So, I ask again….if the BOR restricted the States (which had constitutions predating the national compact), applied specifically to the states, why the hell was there a need for the fourteenth amendment?

          Certain of the founders were convinced that the central committee would try to use ambiguity to extend federal restrictions and controls onto the States and citizens. Some of the founders were satisfied that if the constitution did not address something directly, the national government was prohibited from acting. The constitution was codification of “permissions” granted to the central government. If not granted permission, the federal government had no authority. Others of the founders were certain that the federal government (Congress, President and Supreme Court) would determine that if the constitution did not prohibit a specific act, the central committee was free to act. These two groups were called Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The BOR was the result of agreement between the groups on making further statements of prohibited actions by the central government. If the BOR had contemplated application of restrictions of the individual States, some mention of that would have been included. Remember, the representatives writing the constitution were focused on a strong central government, not the individual governance of the sovereign States.

          If you have accessed the links to Hillsdale College, I am puzzled you retain the insistence that somehow the BOR was enforceable against the States. If you have not taken advantage of a thorough survey of the history of the Revolution and Constitution, we will not have an enlightening, or instructive conversation.

          Nothing, nothing in the writings of the founders indicates the intention that the federal constitution applied to the states (as in, restricting the powers of the states), except those powers specifically proclaimed to be delegated to the national government. The entire constitution was written to control/constrain the federal government. The states had sovereign authority to manage their own affairs (except where certain powers were delegated to the national government). The BOR reinforced the limits of federal power over states and citizens. The BOR established no rights of “the people”, or the States.

        17. avatar Marty says:

          Sam, I tried to respond twice but TTAG apparently doesn’t like the computer in my shop. So I’ll make it short. You keep talking about the 14thAmendment. In section 1, it specifically talks about the rights of individual citizens. The remaining sections talk about Representatives, Senators and public debt. Again, it the rights of citizens, not the rights of the feds. You’re making my point for me. Granted it’s not part of the BOR but still part of our Constitution and there to help protect the citizens from government, not the other way around.

        18. avatar Sam I Am says:

          The original BOR was not a document that established limits on state government. There are two time frames: pre- 1868 and post-1868. Once the entire constitution was forced upon the states, the states were no longer sovereign, and bore the same burden of constraint as the federal government.

          The fourteenth amendment would have been unnecessary if the BOR restrained the states from the beginning. The fact that congress found need to use the amendment process is an admission that they were changing the constitution. Otherwise, simple legislation declaring the states were bound by all provisions of the constitution would have been sufficient (maybe they learned their lesson about trying to change the constitution with legislation in the 1850s/60s). The fourteenth does not reinforce the notion that the BOR applied to the states all along; it reverses control of the central government.

          However….big “however”, the constitution is no longer what the States permit, but what the central government permits. And that is dependent on a Supreme Court willing to constrain individual freedom “for the good of society”.

          It is impossible, today, to declare that having the full scope of the constitution and amendments “applicable” to the States grants, confers, originates, supports, increases or facilitates individual rights. Thus, just as the central committee is permitted to essentially banish your individual rights upon “compelling government interest”, so it is with state and local government. Calling upon the second amendment to protect your individual rights from State intrusion is not more useful, valid, protective than making the same claim about federal infringement.

        19. avatar Marty says:

          You are certainly right about the 2nd Amendment. States, like Kalifornia, have been trashing that for many years. That’s why less then a month after retirement, I relocated to a very pro gun state.
          So what you are saying is the Supreme Court could legally go rogue and rule the citizens have no rights. With 300 + million firearms in the hands of the “subjects”, that would not go over well.

          Oh yea, yes I’m a member of the Heritage Foundation and have taken their on line Constitution course. I now have their Understanding the Constitution course but have not as of yet begun it.

        20. “So what you are saying is the Supreme Court could legally go rogue and rule the citizens have no rights.”

          COULD go rogue? More like ALREADY gone rogue. First instance was Marbury v. Madison. With the concept of “compelling government interest” the SC can declare any individual right to be invalid in given circumstances. The second amendment clearly was based on “the People” possessing “weapons of war”. But we have the court-certified NFA, don’t we? The founders were deeply concerned about the “commerce clause”, and the ability of the central committee to subvert the entire constitution via claims of “interstate commerce” . The founders were looking at congress and the president as the likely perps for tyranny. However, it was/is the SC most guilty (see Heart of Atlanta Inc. v. United states). The SC has held that refusing to take your self-grown produce to market constitutes impairment of interstate commerce (phrase is “substantial effect”; see Wicard v. Filburn). Even Justice Scalia declared that must be some limit on the power of congress to regulate via the Commerce Clause, but Scalia admitted he couldn’t think of what it would be.

          BTW – Congrats on pursuing the Hillsdale courses.

        21. avatar Marty says:

          Yup, I’ve seen some horrible cases come out of the SC, no doubt about it. But by and large, they were much in the minority. With just of the few, compared to the totality of the cases they have heard, I can’t go as far as to say they have totally gone rogue. Not saying they couldn’t, just saying they haven’t as of yet.

        22. avatar Sam I Am says:

          It isn’t a matter of proportion, but the impact. The Atlanta decision declared that if even a toothpick is involved that was transported through interstate commerce, the federal government can regulate your business in all respects. Once the SC declares that not taking an action is a constitutional violation, all sensibility has vanished; the worst kind of tyranny.

          With the NFA, the government (all branches) determined that the very means of holding the government accountable for tyranny is within the power of government to regulate, the ability to apply the extreme remedy is negated. The vaunted Heller decision did nothing to reverse government intrusion into the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

          The SC set three levels of constitutional scrutiny regarding impairment of constitutionally protected rights of the people.This is the SC writing law (calling it “court procedure”). It is up to government (the courts) to determine the level of scrutiny required when deciding to relieve you or your rights. This is tyranny.

          The SC went rogue long ago.

        23. avatar Marty says:

          Like I said, there have been some horrible decisions. In the few businesses I’ve had, with the exception of being required to have an FFL, I’ve never been restricted in what I was able to do. I followed the law and was completely left alone, although I must admit I never had a toothpick business. As to the NFA, folks are still allowed to purchase NFA related articles. If I want a fully auto weapon or a suppressor, I can purchase them. Yea, I have to purchase the $200 transfer stamp, and pay out the nose for the weapon, but it can still be accomplished. I guess the difference is, I don’t mind following the rules to get what I want or need. I guess if the time comes when it becomes out and out totalitarianism, then obviously I will change my mind.

        24. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “As to the NFA, folks are still allowed to purchase NFA related articles.”

          Are you informed of any provision of the constitution and amendments wherein exercising a natural, civil and human right requires “permission”?

          Permission from whom? The very government the constitution is designed to protect you from? The BOR is not a petition for permission. It is a bold declaration that government is not permitted to intrude upon those rights in particular, and all other preexisting rights not listed in the constitution.

        25. avatar Marty says:

          Nope, nothing there at all. But you realize don’t you, most if not all the states have their own laws regarding NFA items. If I’m not mistaken, most of the states that do allow those weapons state the ownership is lawful per federal regulation.

        26. avatar Sam I Am says:

          I understand about all the regulations, but “shall not be infringed” means what?

          It means whatever the politicians and courts say it means. All the rights of free citizens are regulated by the very government that is supposed to not regulate those rights. Academically, government regulation of anything not specifically delegated is a violation of the constitution. Practically, the government can do what it wants when convenient to the government. Can you “see” that we are way beyond where the founders would have revolted again?

        27. avatar Marty says:

          Sam, I agree the government goes way overboard especially when it comes to the 10th Amendment. They simply don’t have the right. So tell me, What are you going to do about it?

        28. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “So tell me, What are you going to do about it?”

          I read the back of the book. In time, the US becomes a non-entity on the world scene. In a closed system, things tend toward entropy unless acted upon by an outside force. The freedoms secured by the founders will continue to erode in the name of “peace and safety”. All things regress to the mean (think Europe). It will take a new revolution of thought and morals to stem, much less reverse, the degradation of America. Meanwhile, it is good brain food to study the history and evolution of tyranny.

          Answer to your question? Not much. Vote for the least evil. Support the least evil. Challenge the conventional wisdom. Be disagreeable to the PC culture.

        29. avatar Marty says:

          I doubt I will be around when your synopses comes to pass. I hope I will be, as I want to be a part of that fight for our freedom. I would not like my daughter to have to live under a Communist rule.

          I spent 31 years in law enforcement. When I was hired, we were all given The Law Enforcement Officers Code of Ethics. The one most remembered was to protect the Constitutional Rights of all citizens. To my knowledge, I never violated that. I arrested felons in possession of a firearm. You may not agree, but that is a state law as well as a federal law. If I came upon a citizen in possession of a firearm, a lawful citizen, I admonished them, unloaded the weapon, gave it back to them and sent them on their way. My point being, I hope I didn’t waste 31 years of my life protecting Constitutional Rights of folks if the Constitution meant nothing.

        30. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I hope I didn’t waste 31 years of my life…”

          Protecting the valuable while the owners squander it is not a waste. You follow your principles and beliefs. What other people do does not cast doubt on your activities, or make them meaningless. When in uniform, preparing to vaporize parts of the soviet union, I would remind my team that the warrior is a hired gun; shoot when the master says “shoot” – don’t shoot when the master says “don’t shoot”. The job of the warrior is to protect the society. To stand to the wall and fight, even when the society is determined to self-annihilate (Tennyson put it more eloquently). Do your duty until told to stand down, or there is no one left.

          I am an absolutist about natural, human and civil rights. The only limits should be when your exercise of rights unjustly interferes with another. However….as a member of the city council of “realsville” I grok that society cannot remain sane with such a principle as underpinning that society. In “realsville”, might makes right, and government is the “might”. To borrow again, “change the things i can, accept the things i cannot, be wise enough to know the difference”.

        31. avatar Marty says:

          And thanks so much for your service.

        32. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “And thanks so much for your service.”

          ‘Preciate the thought, but I got paid for it. Seemed a fair trade.

          My adventure was only 20yrs. Your 31 outdistances mine.

        33. avatar Marty says:

          You have definitely got me to thinking (I believe you intent). I’ll get started on the Heritage Understanding the Constitution ASAP. I actually did very well on the Constitution class.

        34. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “You have definitely got me to thinking (I believe you intent). ”

          Entirely and completely.

        35. avatar Toni says:

          Sam I Am, have started doing the course. i had actually been listening to some of Hillsdale’s podcasts for a while now

        36. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Good for you !

          Try to not go too long between lessons. Continuity is import to understanding.

          Keep it up.

        37. avatar Toni says:

          @Marty, yes that is exactly what i thought to be the case. Sam I Am seems to think not so much

        38. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Guys, prior to 1868, the US constitution did not apply to the states, period. If it had, there was no need for an amendment stating that the constitution applied to the states. There was no question about this. What you see today has nothing to do with how things were initiated. The BOR, as it is heralded today was NOT a statement that the first ten amendments applied to the states. As noted before, if the founders intended the US constitution to apply to the states, amendments nine and ten would have been moot. If the founders had intended the US constitution to apply to the states, there would not have been a need for the fourteenth amendment.

          Does the entire constitution and all the amendments apply to the states today? Yes. Did they in 1789? No.

          Is the constitution, in its entirety, absolute, immune from modification by court rulings? No. Is the constitution, in its entirety, absolute, immune from simple congressional legislation? No. The constitution, whether it applies to the states or not, claims that it (the constitution) and the laws passed by congress are “the law of the land”. For at least the last seventy years, the SC had declared that it alone determines what the “law of the land” is/says. This puts us in line with the English concept of law. England has no written constitution. The rights of government and the citizenry is whatever courts determine they are.

        39. avatar Toni says:

          yep and we see where that has led GB and Aust….. straight down the loo though the way things have been since clinton at least and more than likely before that as well and also going back to FDR (not sure about before that) that have put the US on much the same path.
          the UN has certainly not helped matters in this regard and nor did the league of nations before it.

        40. avatar Marty says:

          Toni, you are right, don’t worry about it. Yes the BOR’s do apply to the citizens.

        41. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Toni, you are right, don’t worry about it. Yes the BOR’s do apply to the citizens.”

          English is a sloppy language in general usage. Yes, the BOR “applied to the citizens” (in 1789) in that the BOR are a fencing off of freedoms against central government action. BOR did not constrain any state governments. After the fourteenth amendment the entire constitution became a burden on, up to 1868, sovereign/free States.

          Neither the basic constitution, or the BOR obligated the states to change their individual constitutions. There was no agreement among the founders that the sovereign States were required to “conform” their state constitutions to match, embody, change, or alter their state constitutions so as to incorporate the provisions of the constitution, or the BOR (there was no fourteenth amendment until 1868).

          The BOR were not originally constraints or mandates placed upon the several states. Which is all nice for historical discussion, but irrelevant since 1868, and more irrelevant given the permitted usurpation of law-writing and super-legislative power of the Supreme Court since 1803.

        42. avatar Sam I Am says:

          The first ten amendments were immediate amendments to the constitution, a document strictly binding on the central/federal government. Some of the founders were wary that the central government (all branches) would try to subvert the restrictions encoded in the constitution. The Bill of Rights was a further glove to the face of the central government, making it more clear that the States intended to remain superior to the central government.

          It was the fourteenth amendment that changed the arrangement of power. Since the States were sovereign, existing before the constitution, the constitutions of the individual stated applied to the individual state for which the state constitution was germane. The States were not about to limit their individual states via a national constitution. (except those powers specifically delegated; amendment 10). Some state constitutions were more restrictive, some less. But the States were quite jealous of protecting their sovereign powers from the central committee and each other.

          Recommend accessing the Hillsdale College free online tutorial on the US constitution:
          https://info.hillsdale.edu/constitution_101_enroll
          and –
          https://online.hillsdale.edu/course/con-101/lecture-1/lecture

  37. avatar John J. McCarthy, Jr. says:

    If Keith wrote a country-western song, it would go something like this:

    “I used to be smart but now I’m stupid”.

  38. avatar John J. McCarthy, Jr. says:

    I’m always amused by the vacuumed skull liberals when somehow they believe while the authors of the Bill of Rights were busy committing to script individual rights the government shall not violate, the authors suddenly became concerned with the idea of the government infringing on its own right to keep and bear arms.

    The word “people” was some kind of 18th century typo, or something.

    Pond scum makes fun of liberals.

  39. avatar DrDKW says:

    Someday, when David Keith is hungry, I hope he can find nourishment licking the boots of his masters!

    DrDKW

  40. avatar cisco kid says:

    The Founding Swamp Rats were no dummies as they not only denied the American people a true democracy so that they could consolidate all power to the landed gentry which in a way is still true to this very day, i.e. a country by the rich and for the rich but they DELIBERATELY WROTE THE SECOND AMENDMENT IN TH VAGUEST OF TERMS. WHY?

    They wrote the Second Amendment in vague terms because they feared being overthrown at the time so they needed the legal right to put restrictions on it i.e. it was never meant for the individual but for the “organized militia” who by the way was controlled BY THEM NOT THE PEOPLE. The “we the people bullshit” was used to placate the proletariat as long as the proletariat did not get out of line or fall out of favor through public opinion.

    We now see the fruition of the vaguely worded 2A coming home to roost in the worst possible way with the Supreme Court ruling one way (in the 1930’s) the reversing itself numerous times such as in the gun control act of 1968 and the Reagan ban on full auto weapons and then reversing themselves again with the Heller Decision and then reversing themselves only several years later in 2017 by totally trashing 2A when the Supreme Court refused to hear the Maryland Assault rifle case that let other anti-gun rulings stand as well such as the Massachusetts Attorney General ruling and banning assault rifles with no new law at all but by decree and the latest California ammo restrictions, Assault Rifle confiscations and of course the ruling taking away Californians rights to carry a weapon outside the home whether it is open carry or concealed carry as now they are both illegal in most places there.

    Yes public opinion and Courts lust for absolute power play the major roll in the Supreme Courts decisions when ruling or totally ignoring the Second Amendment proving many times in the past the Constitution is an absolute joke and always has been. Sometimes one wonders if the Supreme Court actually thinks even the uneducated believe any of their bullshit anymore.

    1. avatar Toni says:

      really CK, the second amendment vague? to me and many others it is quite clear, and i am not even american. maybe you need to go back to school and learn reading comprehension all over again. it is also especially clear if you read even a few of the correspondences between many of the Founding Fathers that the intent was that the people be able to rise up against the govt if it did indeed become tyranical. the second was intended to be the safeguard of all the other rights included in the BOR all of which they felt to be not within their power to give or remove but a natural birthright. also if you read their correspondences it is also abundantly clear that they intended the people to be better armed than the govt so the govt would fear the people.

  41. avatar ozzallos says:

    I was wrong about the 13th amendment. Clearly offenses as mundane as a traffic ticket can result in the enslavement of my fellow man. Likewise, since I can regulate the degrees of the 2nd amendment, I can regulate degrees of slavery since the 13th amendment clearly allows it.

    We can do this all day.

  42. avatar Liberty, of Blessing Texas says:

    HE NEVER READ THIS:

    When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 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 to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. —

    Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

    He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

    He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

    He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
    For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
    For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
    For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
    For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
    For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
    For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
    In Jefferson’s draft there is a part on slavery here

    In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

    Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

    We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

  43. avatar Alan says:

    Reading the lead in piece, including “gun control is in our best interest”, the following questions come to mind.

    1. Who is the “our” mentioned.
    2. Gun Control, a bit of ringing phraseology, remains strangely undefined. EXACTLY what is referenced. Please provide the messy details, all of them, thank you.

  44. avatar Luke says:

    “A hearty breakfast being necessary to a productive day, the right of the people to keep and eat bacon shall not be infringed.”

    Who has the right to bacon here, the “hearty breakfast”, or the people?

    “Well-informed voters being necessary to the security of a free republic, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.”

    Who has the right to books here, registered voters only, or the people?

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