Category Archives: Second Amendment

The Grasp of Modern Tyrants

Trudeau_visit_White_House_for_USMCA_(cropped)_(rotated)Leaders like Prime Minister Trudeau don’t care about the individual. What they care about are the “optics”, the polls, and any constinuencies that keep them in office. He’s not different than leaders in the US or other countries.

Canada has a low population for the vast amount of land. Still, the majority of their population borders the US, because going much further north, is like living in the outskirts of the tundra.

What does that have to do with tyranny and the misuse of guns and senseless violence. Plenty.

If you’re an objective person that does their research, you will note that violence most often increases when people are living closer together. Living on top of one another doesn’t bring out the best in some of us. As a matter of fact, violent acts are more frequent among those who know each other, rather than random strangers.

Guns are “the great equalizer.” Although firearms have been around before the 13th century, they really didn’t come into their own until the 16th century. Governments and tyrants were mostly the ones using them. Governments by the 18th century were the principal purchasers and users. They found a firearm, even in the hands of lowly commoners could take down a knight from a safe distance.

Then something happened in the late 18th century which altered a global view by the people who occupy a country. The United States emerged and with it a document that we now take for granted. The document first stated the purpose of forming the government and defined, that a government wasn’t the most important reason for people to exist.

What monarchies, oligarchies, theocracies, and tyranny of all types were previously doing to their own, was exercising what ever level of control and plunder they desired. The US Constitution turned the whole idea of nation state on its ear. It was not a nation designed to support the elite, but the individual.

So how does that apply today? There has always been a segment of population which willingly robs, plunders, rapes, imprisons, and murders people. Sometimes those who rose to power were part of that group. They often rose to power through clever manipulation or inheritance. Some rose to power through the process of a ballot box. What they all have in common were the methods of holding on to that power. Intimidation, sanctimonious decrees, perversion of courts, or sometimes the power of the gun.

The US Constitution recognized for the first time, individual liberties supercede the powers of national sovereignty, and imperial control. This was limited of course to the basic idea, you can flail your hands and mouth, even in irrational behavior, but when you attempt to harm, primarily physically, and in some cases libelous fashion, then it’s not OK. The central idea was, do no harm. That’s an overly simplistic explanation to make a broader point.

Firearms can be legally owned by all “free citizens.” That’s an important distinction, which will be explained later in greater detail. The right to freedom of the press, free speech were at the top of the list. Next came the right to own and use firearms. Closely followed by the limits of government, and courts for legal actions.

The framers understood what they set in motion. They all hoped that further violence would not be necessary in order to protect liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Nevertheless the second amendment in the constitution was there, not only for the common citizen to protect themselves from the criminals and mentally harmful, it was there to protect the people from the tyranny of a centralized, unresponsive, poweful, elitist, and corrupted government.

Here we are in the 21st century. We’re still arguing over what the framers  meant, and does the Constitution say this or that,  and can we modify it to say XYZ__? For the current strategies of leadership today, they’ve hit upon the most attractive and successful ways to accrue more power & control.

First find a reason to have the people willingly hand over their power. This strategy is most successful under times of threat ( national security ). Safety of of all types fall into this category. If the government leaders can point toward a common threat, they announce, they have a cure.

Actually two. First, they want us to surrender more of our liberty. Individual freedom gets in the way of the powerful.  Next, taxation. From the times of Robinhood and the overreaching  of the elite before and after, legal confiscation of the time and production of the people have been rationalized, for the common public good.

We’re seeing, year by year the changes in centralized power. Today, we’re debating the rights of individuals to step forward into their work, to gather at worship services, even if it’s only in cars. There’s quite a number of us that say, wait until the government tells us it’s OK to resume our normal lives, while others are saying, government you’ve gone too far in your authority.

Where do firearms fit in? And wouldn’t we all be better without them.

Let’s go back to the Constitution as it was originally written. The ruling upheld by the courts all the way into the 20th century, only the free man can own and use a firearm. There’s irony and a history lesson in that statement. It was originally written and enforced to make sure slaves couldn’t own a firearm. The powerful land owners wanted dominant control, so they kept the firearms out of the hands of the indentured servant and slave.

  • We are only free when we have the right to express our thoughts in public.
  • We are only free when we can protect ourselves from criminals inside and outside of government.
  • We are only free when our courts obey the rules themselves, and protect the rights of individuals equitably and passionately.
  • We are only free when elected and appointed leaders obey the same laws as everyone. They must not be allowed to be thought of as special, consecrated, annointed, and recognize they’re in office to serve us, the people.

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Be cautious of the person(s) who want you to give up more of your freedom for the promise of security. Sooner or later you will have neither.

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 & How Did We Get Here?

Within 24 hours of each other, two different young men turn their inner most hostile thoughts into reality. El Paso Texas, 21 people have died from wounds received by a 21 year old white male, using a firearm. Dayton Ohio, 9 people have died from a 24 year old white male who used a firearm to kill and wound. At each location there were more than two dozen people injured.

Reading the stories barely touches on the lives so tragically affected. An example, small children die, parents tried to shield their child from the shooter and died. The list goes on, and it’s truly horrible. In Dayton Ohio, Authorities said ____, of nearby Bellbrook, opened fire with a rifle early Sunday in the city’s Oregon District. Among the dead was his 22-year-old sister, Megan. At least 27 people were injured. BTW – I won’t name the shooters. I believe they’re not worth recognition. I want nothing about the specific individual to gain notoriety.

A 21-year-old white man from Allen, a suburb of Dallas about a 650-mile drive from El Paso, is in police custody. Authorities are looking at potentially bringing capital murder charges against him. He was captured shortly after the shooting.

In each instance we seem to have a common nexus. Each has been perpetrated by a white male under the age of 30. This was similar to the shooting, the week before in California, also committed by a white male under the age of 30 using a semi-automatic, magazine fed rifle. What’s going on with these white men, mostly between the ages of 20 to 30?

The victims haven’t had time to be released from the hospitals, or their families grieve, and we have immediate analysis. Some blame this on firearms, they want either a ban or some new law with greater restrictions on availability. Others take to the air waves, and claim it’s because of Trump. “Trump created an atmosphere of hatred among these young men”. Still, we had this senseless killing under Obama, and no one blames him.

An El Paso congresswoman says, “Trump is ‘not welcome’ in the city.” “The president has made my community and my people the enemy. He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated.” She elaborates further, “Hispanic people have become “dehumanized.”

The attack in El Paso, Texas, underscores the continued threat posed by domestic violent extremists and perpetrators of hate crimes. The FBI is supporting its state and local partners in Texas through investigative, intelligence, and technical assistance. The El Paso investigation is also being supported by the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism-Hate Crimes Fusion Cell. … The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence.

The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online.

I read impassioned pleas to ban “assault rifles”. I see where others want to ban any weapon with a “high capacity”. It seems almost pointless to debate with people so over wrought with emotions. It does little good to point out the decade long assault weapons ban that expired, but did nothing to lower murderous violence. (Not my words, it was the official results finding) No gun-free zones have ever made schools or government facilities safer, despite the good intentions. All our schools are gun free or bomb free zones, yet we have had incidents where that didn’t stop the antagonists.

If the cure isn’t in some type of legislation, or appeal we seek in a supreme being, then what or how can we affect a positive change?

I think I have some of the answers, but people don’t want to hear them, because they aren’t quick and it requires serious change which involves almost all of us.

Let’s do an “IMAGINE” moment together, and look beyond the quick and not effective  methods. “In the US, prohibition lasted from the year 1920 until the year 1933. The ban on manufacture, sale as well as transportation of alcohol was stipulated under the 18th Amend of the US Constitution.”  “Finally, realizing that the prohibition was not serving its purpose, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a law, which was an amendment to the Volstead Act on 22nd March 1933. This act was called the Cullen Harrison Act and it allowed the manufacture as well as sale of alcohol.” 

Bans don’t change human behavior. Laws written to stop lawless behavior, are from the outset, doomed to failure. That’s why a ban on alcohol, drugs, or laws against murder, don’t seem to change the behavior of some people. So, what motivates people to commit mass murder? People want solutions, and for the most part don’t care what it takes, because as of Sunday, which was the 216th day of the year, there have been 251 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2019. None of them that I know of have been by Muslims, or radical immigrants.

In just one minute, police say the Dayton shooter opened fire and killed his sister and several other victims. The Oregon District is dense with bars and cafes, but before he could get into any establishments, he was quickly killed by nearby police within one minute of the first shot, police said.

A former fellow high school student, Spencer Brickler told CNN he and his sister were on the hit list, and remembered the shooter was once escorted off a bus by police officers over the threats. He was reportedly suspended in high school for creating a “hit-list” that caused a lockdown after it was scribbled on a bathroom wall.

In high school, the Dayton shooter compiled a list which was separated into two columns: a “kill list” for boys and a “rape list” for girls.  A third person, who also asked not to be named for privacy reasons, told CNN that ______ sent messages about the list to one of his classmates, who told her mother. Her mother then notified the police, who came to the school and interviewed people on the list individually in the school’s office.

Some of the names were female students who, turned him down for dates. She said _____ often simulated shooting other students and threatened to kill himself and others on several occasions. “He loved to look at you and pretend to shoot with guns, guns with his hands.

A source told a CBS News senior investigative producer, the Texas suspect was considered “a troubled youth.” The El Paso suspect was charged Sunday with capital murder and was being held on no bond, on Sunday evening. The suspect has been cooperating with investigators.

About 20 minutes before the shooting started, a post on the online message board 8chan believed to be from the suspect laid out a dark vision of America overrun by Hispanic immigrants. The 2,300-word document, which police called a “manifesto,” was attached to a post that said, “I’m probably going to die today.” The El Paso shooter began his text by writing: “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.

Besides the connection which many want to use, “assault type weapons”, or “high capacity weapons”, there are additional concerns that should be addressed. Obviously, we can’t say, “ban all white males” in the US from owning any potentially deadly firearms or even knives, but there are things which have been pointed out in the past. Can we continue to ignore these facts?

Millions of Americans own firearms in this country, and most are multiple capacity magazine fed firearms. There aren’t exacting numbers as to how many rifles are equipped with features that legislators, lobbyists, & activists point out as “assault weapons”, but they must be in the hundreds of thousands or well over a million. Why doesn’t that inform people, “it’s not the gun”, but the people behind it?

If indeed the perception of America is, it’s a gun culture, then why do we program our lives with so called heroes that use guns to solve problems? I’m suggesting we need to take a hard look at least 3 things:

  1. Movies which feature protagonists who carry and use weapons, to the exclusion of any real world solutions to problems. Our most popular celebrities have made a fortune featuring their use of violence, yet they turn around and tell us, we shouldn’t use or own guns. Graphic violence on Television and movies attracts an audience, and the entertainment industry thrives on it.
  2.  Violent video games, which we hear from those with a vested interest in them, “doesn’t affect our youth.” Really? We see body parts being damaged, and blood everywhere. This has to desensitize some of our troubled youth. How can this help minds that are already in need of help?
  3. We lack sufficient healthy resources for youth or for that matter adults, and we lack any really trained first line contacts with the public, who can assess and diffuse a situation that’s going wrong. Again, we answer violence with violence, instead of trying to prevent escalation.

I truly believe the answers to these recurring mass shootings, or for that matter, suicides, lay in further work with mental health. If outer space or the oceans are a mystery, and need further exploration, surely the mind and human mental health deserve at least as much, if not more attention.

The people who want a quick fix, or say, “SOMETHING MUST BE DONE“, but don’t demand mental health issues be addressed, are not going to gain any relief through passage of another set of laws. Those laws have failed us in our public schools, on the streets of Chicago, or for that matter, California. We need to address complex problems with more than simple solutions.

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  • NOTE Any time you see underscored / underlined words in my post, those are links to the articles from news sources. They will provide additional background to the topic.

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