|Friday, September 5, 1997|
National police and disarmed citizens
As the federal government grabs citizens firearms and deploys a virtual standing army of national cops, America’s balance of power is shifting from freedom to tyranny.
This could only happen in a country where the people, thanks to a heavy dose of disinformation spread by the government-media complex and the government schools, have forgotten their history and constitutional heritage.
Talk to the average gun-control fanatic and he or she will tell you the Second Amendment was only intended to protect the right to bear arms in the context of the need for defense of the state and nation. This argument could only be made by someone with complete disconnect from reality -- someone who chooses willingly and deliberately to ignore the massive amount of documentation to the contrary.
What was the original intent of our founders with regard to firearms? Here’s a sampling of their unambiguous opinions:
* James Madison: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. A well-regulated Militia, composed of the people trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”
* Samuel Adams: “And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”
* Thomas Paine: “Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property ... horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.”
* George Mason: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
* George Washington: “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the people’s liberty teeth. A free people ought to be armed. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour.”
* Thomas Jefferson: “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. ... The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
* Alexander Hamilton: “The best we can hope for, concerning the people at large, is that they be properly armed.”
Many of these great men warned with equal passion against the government arming itself by creating what they feared would be a standing army or national police force. Consider the following:
* Elbridge Gerry: “What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.”
* Noah Webster: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops than can be, on any pretense, raise in the United States.”
* Tench Coxe: “The power of the sword is in the hands of Congress? My friends and countrymen, it is not so; for the powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The Militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the Militia? Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the Federal or State governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
When you consider the letter of our Constitution, and then consider its spirit through the words of the men responsible for authoring it, there is no question about the individual’s right to bear arms. But there is grave reason to doubt the right of the federal government to authorize wielding them for any reason other than war.
(Thanks to Jim Eason of KSFO Radio in San Francisco for compiling these and many other similar quotes.)
Joseph Farah is editor of WorldNetDaily and executive director of the Western Journalism Center, an independent group of investigative reporters.
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