An Armed Citizenry and Liberty

Recent school shootings have lured ill-informed Americans into a war on our Second Amendment guarantees led by the nation's tyrants and their useful idiots. Before we fall prey to their agenda, let's review why, in their own words, the Framers saw the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" so important that they made it second in our Bill of Rights.

George Washington: "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence."

Thomas Jefferson: "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. . . . The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Richard Henry Lee: "To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."

Alexander Hamilton (Federalist, No. 28): "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of positive government." And in Federalist No. 46, Hamilton said, "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."

James Madison (Federalist, No. 46): Predicted that encroachments by the federal government would provoke "plans of resistance" and an "appeal to a trial of force."

Tench Coxe: "Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, . . . the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."

Liberals try to obfuscate the clear language of the Framers by saying the Second Amendment applies only to regulated militias, of course, regulated by government. George Mason settled

that issue by asking and answering, "Who are the militia? They consist of the whole people, except a few public officers."

There are many other statements by our Founders about our right to keep and bear arms. Reading what they had to say points out clearly that the Second Amendment wasn't written into our Bill of Rights so that we could go duck and deer hunting or shoot clay pigeons over the weekend. The Second Amendment was given to us as protection against tyranny by the federal government and the Congress of the United States.

Who are the strongest supporters of the attack on our Second Amendment rights? They're the liberals in and out of Congress who want more and more government control over our lives. These people want to be secure in the knowledge that they can encroach upon our liberties and face no prospect of armed resistance. These people don't have the courage to seek a constitutional amendment repealing the Second Amendment so they want to eat away at it piecemeal in the name of fighting crime and protecting children. That's why the Littleton, Colorado massacre is so appealing to them; it gives them cover. Their ultimate agenda is gun confiscation. Their strategy is akin to the cigarette-Nazi's strategy: start out with reasonable demands and then escalate. Initially, all the cigarette-Nazis wanted was no smoking sections on airplanes. Then they escalated to no smoking on planes altogether, then in airports, restaurants, workplaces and now even outside. Had they made their full agenda known at the beginning, they wouldn't have gotten anything.

I don't know about you. But if you ever hear that Williams' guns have been confiscated, you'll know that Williams is dead.

Walter E. Williams
May 24, 1999
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