• Stirring The 2nd Amendment Pot…Again

    from Jamieumbc.com

    from Jamieumbc.com

    I loved teaching the U.S. Constitution, probably more than anything else I taught over the course of quite a few years. I suppose it is because I have this very  strong belief that we can’t really understand where we are if we have no basic comprehension of from where we’ve come. That only makes sense, right?

    Thus it is with the ongoing battle we seem to have every few years in this country over the Second Amendment, which is the wrong battle in the first place…the cart before the horse as we say here in Texas (but for time’s sake, I will ignore that for now).

    If we truly want to have a battle, we have to first look at the paper over which we fight that battle, the U.S. Constitution. And do NOT get me wrong: The battle belongs to us, We the People, not to our elected government officials.

    James Wilson en.wikipedia.org

    James Wilson en.wikipedia.org

    Do we as American citizens want to continue to cling to that document of old?

    It’s a decision we simply cannot make without first honestly understanding the times and the minds of the Founding Fathers, and in the case of the 2nd Amendment,  just why they would have bothered to include this right that we have to bear arms in the first place.

    Why did those Founding Fathers, as we like to call them, go to the effort to include amendments to the Constitution, and why did they feel the need to include the right to bear arms?

    James Madison en.wikipedia.org

    James Madison en.wikipedia.org

    Carrying a weapon in that day and age was common…just the way it was…so what could those men have foreseen in the future or what had they seen in the past that would make them realize that the issue was important enough to put it in writing in the paper that governs the land?

    I think James Wilson (a signer) explained best why the 2nd Amendment was added at all. Wilson called the amendment simply a “new security.” If the right was not specifically “spelled out,” the Fathers feared that at some point the government could claim that it had legal reason to “unarm” its citizens. [1]

    James Madison (a signer, one of the framers of the amendment, and eventual President) made the statement that in other countries the government was “afraid” to have an armed citizenry. [2]

    Samuel Adams (a signer) agreed with the others, saying that the Constitution must never be “construed” as intending to keep “peaceable citizens” from owning their own arms. [3]

    Samuel Adams earlyamerica.com

    Samuel Adams earlyamerica.com

    And finally, I think I will close my references with one from my own distant ancestor, Richard Henry Lee (a signer and framer of the amendment), “It is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” [4]

    I believe Richard Lee is extremely clear that this amendment refers to the general population and not to some government-run militia as many have stated. I also believe that I have brought us back to my original statement.

    Richard Henry Lee en.wikipedia.org

    Richard Henry Lee en.wikipedia.org

    We have the cart before the horse. It is very, very easy to see what the framers and signers of the amendment intended. That is 100% not the question to be argued. No, the question to be argued is whether or not We the People want to keep the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land.

    It is a question that deserves the utmost consideration by all of us, isn’t it? Or…do we plan (like so many, many issues) to  leave it in the hands of the government?*

    My vote comes from Patrick Henry, “Forbid it, God!”

    *****************

    *I will agree completely that there is an argument to be made here about the advance in weapons since the 2nd Amendment was framed. I wish these multi-multi-round assault weapons had never come to be in private collections. However, they are there, and there is no way that the government will ever have access to those weapons already in the hands of the criminals.

    *When I was a teen, posters lined the bedrooms of many young people, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Unfortunately, this is true, and I see no way around the fact that these horrible weapons are something we are simply going to have to live with in this country. Unfortunately, we have lost the moral fiber that once held us together, making these crimes against innocent people unthinkable.

    ************************

    The following are great references if you actually want to do your own research on these men. If my high school students could read the Federalist Papers, you can as well!

    [1] James Wilson, The Works of the Honorable James Wilson, Bird Wilson, editor (Philadelphia: Bronson and Chauncey, 1804), Vol. II, p. 454.

    [2] Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, The Federalist on the New Constitution (Philadelphia: Benjamin Warner, 1818), p. 259, Federalist No. 46.

    [3] Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Held in the Year 1788 (Boston: William White, 1856), pp. 86, 266, February 6, 1788.

    [4] Richard Henry Lee, An Additional Number Of Letters From The Federal Farmer To The Republican (New York: 1788), p.170, Letter XVIII.

    About Fredda Jones

    Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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