Category Archives: First Amendment

The Sea Lawyers Are at it, Again

A 2016 article was recently posted by a friend who opposes personal ownership of firearms.

What America’s gun fanatics won’t tell you” <- link will take you to opinion article.

The title alone implies anyone that wants the ability to protect themselves and or their family with a firearm, must be a fanatic.

The right to speak freely, the right to protect your life or property, the right to not self-incriminate, the right of habeas corpus, were understood by those who authored this key document, as fundamental to keeping a democracy from being turned into tyranny of the masses or by a select powerful few. Human behavior is the same now as it was then, and they did their best to protect “inalienable rights.” See this article for further explanation of the alternate use of the words. Are our rights ‘inalienable’ or ‘unalienable’?

The author of the article misses two key things written in the second amendment, and the other not mentioned whatsoever; Hamilton was shot and died at the hands of Aaron Burr. Both men freely entered a pistol dual to “protect their honor”. Whatever misgivings Alexander Hamilton may have had about an individual’s right to bear arms didn’t change the course of his life or his demise.

As a bit more of a history lesson about Alexander Hamilton, he was a prominent centralized authority proponent. Among his many ideas, he proposed this at the Constitutional Convention; to have an elected President and elected Senators who would serve for life, contingent upon “good behavior” and subject to removal for corruption or abuse.

He secretly communicated with at that time, “enemies of the state” in order to further the push toward a more monarchistic form of government. Don’t believe me, then please allow the words of a contemporary to explain.

James Madison, known as the author of the Constitution, vehemently opposed at every opportunity Alexander Hamilton’s efforts to create a despotic central government. Madison once remarked that Hamilton had a hidden agenda “of the glories of a United States woven together by a system of tax collectors,” who would be ruthless in both their collection and punishment efforts. Madison authored the 2nd amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, specifically as an answer to Hamilton’s urge to create a national army which would enforce tax laws and subject the state citizens to the tyrannical rule of the central government. Hamilton dreamed of a large military to enforce the will of federal tax collectors, district attorneys, and judges on the populace, and to enforce unpopular laws.

So, let’s pick through that which was ignored in order for the author, Brett Arends, to create a false interpretation of the Second amendment.

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.” Note the comma, for those that don’t understand this basic usage, it’s use is to separate coordinated independent clauses. Perhaps that’s a misunderstood definition on language.

More modern legal arguments over the definition of those few words are, collective rights of government vs. individual rights. I refer you to a link that describes this in more detail –> Live Science

“The first ten amendments of the Constitution are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. It was formalized for the protection of natural rights of liberty and property.” “This bill is an important constituent of American Law as well as the government, and symbolizes the freedom and culture of the United States of America.” The Constitution was written to be a more concise and centralized view of government authority. It replaced the Articles of Confederation. At it’s core, it states these rights are not granted by government, but are inalienable rights of all citizens. This means the government was formed to protect the individual from tyranny of the state as well as foreign powers.

I’ll end this post with Alexander Hamilton’s own words, because he too understood the balance necessary to prevent tyranny.
“ .. if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.”

Hamilton delineates his vision not only of a free people bearing arms for the common defense, but also for the protection of liberty. It was intended by the framers of our Constitution that a free people be armed. Therefore it follows, those who wish the people disarmed also wish them enslaved by their own government.

Alexander_Hamilton_Aaron_Burr_dual_to_death_framed

Burr–Hamilton duel, from a painting by J. Mund

History has repeatedly shown, the rights & liberties of people are not preserved or protected solely by the pen, but through the power of the sword.

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Why Are We Slipping Behind?

The Coming Conflict

War isn’t inevitable, conflict is. What do I mean?

I recall a friend telling me, if two people think alike, there’s no need for one of them. This sounds humorous or perhaps cavalier, but at it’s core we can identify a universal truth. Individuals have their own opinions on almost anything, and depending on the persons involved, will argue their point of view until one or both find resolution or at least a willingness to co-exist.

The fundamental issue at hand, is how do we communicate with each other and by what method(s) do we resolve our differences?

Abraham_Lincoln_emancipationHere’s an overview; person 1 thinks that all purchased chicken eggs should be brown. White eggs are deemed inferior by person 1. Person 2 thinks that any egg is a good egg, and therefore will purchase white shelled eggs sometimes, instead of brown ones. Of course this seems a silly example to some, but I’m using it to explain my point, rather than take a current issue, already in play which would tend to steer people toward discussing an issue, rather than the point I’m making.

If person 1 lives with person 2, a potential conflict exists. Several factors come into play, but we can see there are things that can be done to resolve their conflict. Conflicts arise but need not escalate if the individuals involved can come to an agreement. If this were two people living apart, then maybe they would talk about brown eggs vs. white eggs, and no matter the outcome, it’s likely to be settled in a congenial way. After all, why fight over eggs, right? Well, I’ve seen couples fight over lesser things, and they can almost come to blows over such things as, tooth paste caps not being placed back on the tube, the direction of toilet paper unrolling, kitchen cleanup, personal choices in shoes, clothes, hair styles, etc.

Whenever we look at humans, and attempt to describe the cause of their problems, we can spend a lot of time blaming things external to the cause, or focusing on debating the topics of the conflict. What’s really missing is the knowledge on how to resolve conflicts. We can blame the schools, religion, politicians, our spouse, or our peers. Although there’s plenty of blame for any problem to encompass several groups, there’s really one huge elephant in the room.

st_patricks_day_revelersOur society has moved from an agrarian based economy to an industrial, and on to a service based economy. This fundamental change removes people from their individual direct survival (farming), to living near a common populous work center, and having to learn to live and work with people outside of immediate family. This seems like a recipe to help people learn how to resolve their differences and avoid escalation of conflict. In reality, we have become less capable, more emotional, and more willing to escalate, after our differences are made known.

We are beginning to see healthy family relationships are core to problem resolution. Studies show a more likelihood for success of a person, based on two parents actively working to care for and raise their children together. A child learns many things from their care givers. If the biological parents of a child are unable to resolve their personal issues, where does the foundation start for learning conflict resolution? In fact, many people are choosing to not become married, or stay with the other person with whom they made a baby. The child may learn some things from a single loving, well meaning parent, but they don’t learn first hand, how two people resolve their differences.

The child grows into an adult, at least physically, but what do they know about handling emotions? As much as people write about how men and women are equal, they often overlook their fundamental differences. I see many women asserting their right to be who they are and choose what they want for themselves, but what does that suggest for interpersonal relations? Can they set aside their desire to make something of themselves in the world? Can a man choose to be responsible and caring, perhaps even willing to stay at home and raise the children if the mother is the more productive income earner?

Men and women are different but there’s a strong desire for women to be more like men. Men on the other hand, are labeled toxic if their inclinations are ‘traditional’. We can debate what those inclinations are but in the past, those differences weren’t identified as shameful or toxic, and a woman who wanted children, learned what made their world work so they could have a family and perpetuate another generation. She was often the ‘taming’ force for good in a relationship, and the man most often the less emotional.

accomplishment ceremony education graduation

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Once again, we can zero in on what a man or woman’s roles should be, but that misses the nature of how do we train future generations to be responsible for themselves, and not blame others? … And that as I see it, is our biggest failure. We’ve fallen into a trap of irresponsibility for our behavior. We seek to blame others or at least shift our part of the deal to some agency outside of the home. It’s been said, “it takes a village to raise a child”, but if that village doesn’t do any better than the originating family, we’re not going to improve.

The child grows into a man or a woman. They find their work day world less than all of what they hope. They haven’t an organization that builds them up as a group and helps them find purpose, so they gravitate to what they individually think gives them a purpose. Sometimes though, we need our batteries recharged. We might turn to ‘social media’ and there we find… more conflict. Everything we haven’t learned about dealing with differences of opinion, on ways to find common ground, or even the desire to find common ground, are often absent. Instead we call each other names, bait one another with questions designed to make us look clever and the other person, lesser.

We have another clever outlet for our discord, the news media. They’ve learned to earn market share and increase their revenue by constantly stirring up things that will lock us in to their point of view. Instead of truly being informative they foment discord for money, and the results are obvious. We’re even in disagreement as to where we get our news, and the relative trust we can place on the source.

I could write much more on this topic, but my main thoughts are, it’s not the other person’s fault, its our own, and the reasons for our failure, I believe start within the home. An incomplete family unit fails to provide all that’s needed to go forward in this complicated world. When two people declare they love each other and want to make a baby, what are they really saying? Til death do us part, or quit after the 50th time I told him or her to flush the toilet. How we engage each other, what we choose to say in discussing our preferences or point of view, go back to earliest formative years. If we didn’t gain some healthy conflict resolution by age 12, what happens to our abilities when we no longer have any cushion, coaches, mentors, or methods to deescalate? Instead, we’re left with people demanding conformance, and fanning the flames of those differences to the point of in some cases, coming to blows.

Compromise means different things to different people. Finding ways to get along creates a healthier atmosphere and avoiding the eventual, inevitable conflict. If we fail to work though our differences in the home, how does that impact our world?

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We might call on these organizations less often if we learn how to deescalate and get along.

Why Do We Need Guns?

Statute of Liberty There have been several horrific events which have brought out the worst of humanity to take advantage of people gathered to either worship or enjoy themselves. Most, if not all, if my memory serves me, were perpetrated in designated safe zones. This is the hallmark of people who are predators.

The person attacking anyone with deadly intent is an angry and aggressive psychopath with no sense of the moral dimension of their crime. Their internal logic is different from yours.

Those thwarted in some criminal enterprise for profit, who use firearms to get gain, may recognize the error of their ways and stop. Those driven by compulsion won’t stop. You need a good tool to save you. Whether that tool is a firearm which you’ve been trained to use, or a baseball bat, the result needs to be the same. That psychopath needs to be stopped or the carnage will continue.

The second amendment was a recognition of human behavior in all its forms, both good and bad. It’s not there because, oh by the way, we may want to hunt, go to sporting events, or collect interesting mechanisms. It was written as an inherent right of every free person to defend themselves or their property.

Just as important as it is to be able to speak freely, gather together in common purpose, prevent unjustifiable search, arrest & property seizure, worship how we may choose; self-protection is absolutely fundamental to a free society. Without it, the other civil liberties can’t be guaranteed.

Eventually, without a second amendment, a greater form of tyranny emerges, and there’s no way to readily restore prior conditions. To keep pace with these real and constant threats, the law abiding citizen must be able to continue to legally possess and use the latest in weapons technology.

It’s not about sports, militias, parades, or historic relics of the past. It’s about each one of us being able to defend & protect against any aggressor, no matter their size, shape, or societal status with weaponry capable of matching that challenge.

Societies protect themselves, and so too should any free individual person, unless we accept our fate to the whims of criminals, and the providential timing of a benevolent government appointed employee.

Freedom comes at a price purchased by the observant, able to work, and willing to sacrifice for it.

George Orwell seeing in front of our nose