The 2nd Amendment: Barrels, Bolts and the Bottom Line

There are few if any rights that have been as successfully defended as the right to keep and bear arms. Though under almost constant attack, there has been more done to not only protect but expand gun rights in America in the last couple decades. As we witness NSA spying, EPA tyranny, and BLM criminality, we also witness more states signing on to the idea of constitutional carry and open carry. I am here to bolster the debate by discussing the reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment.

The 2nd Amendment is based off of the right to life. You have a right to live. It is unalienable. Life is the most fundamental right you possess, without it free speech or trial by jury or any other right you enjoy is moot. The obligation to defend that life is yours and yours alone. No one else is responsible for your life. Along the same lines and because of their relation to life, the idea of protecting one’s liberty and property is also important to acknowledge.

Liberty, the ability to live your life how you want, and private property ownership were ingrained in the thoughts of the people of early America. It was commonplace for people to carry pistols, rifles or even swords to protect themselves and their property. Most ships were armed. Crime has existed throughout human history. It is part of the human condition. Our ancestors acknowledged that people had to defend themselves from the depravity of others.

Protecting your life, liberty and property is your responsibility. Because of this the Founders put into words very specific restrictions on the government’s ability to infringe on that right. There are many ways that your life can be put in danger. There is equally a myriad of ways that you could be enslaved and your property damaged or stolen. Our Founders realized governments were on the top of the list of perpetrators. Long before Mao, Hitler and Stalin our Founders realized that government was the biggest abuser of human rights that had ever existed.

It was understood that a well armed populace would keep tyrannical government in check. It is difficult for tyrants to rise to power when citizens can defend themselves. The colonists were subject to arbitrary gun laws throughout their history as Englishmen and were experiencing the same treatment from King George. The British knew that an armed populace was dangerous to their plans, so they took measures to counter the threat.

Our Revolutionary War truly began after the British tried to confiscate gun powder and weapons. The British moved a force which had dispersed a militia in Lexington to Concord where a large supply of arms and powder was stored. This force was quickly routed and retreated because of the action of the militia at Concord. This incident is often referred to as “The Shot Heard ’round the World”. This event, though almost 15 years earlier, was fresh in the Founders minds when they crafted the Bill of Rights. It was also fresh in the minds of the legislators that ratified those 10 amendments.

So when you hear a person criticizing the “power” of a weapon, the amount of ammunition in a magazine or the wisdom of we the people having access to guns just think- How nice it is to be alive? If something threatens your life or the lives of the people you love, why wouldn’t any sane person want the most lethal of weapons to defend themselves? Having the ability to defend yourself and those around you if you so choose infringes on no one else’s rights. It does just the opposite. It strengthens them. The best way to stop an evil person intent on violence is by a good person with a gun. A gun is a great equalizer.

Constant application of the above principle gives criminals a new perspective on life. Most criminals look for victims not people willing to fight back. When there are more armed people the amount of criminals willing to take their own life into their hands go down. The same ideal applies to government. More guns in the hands of citizens equals a safer society. This ideal has been proven throughout our history much to the chagrin of the gun grabbers out there.

Remember that the 2nd Amendment, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, is a sentinel to warn us when government is becoming tyrannical. Our rights are unalienable and not given to us by the Constitution or by government. Government exists to secure our rights and when they begin to infringe on them people should realize our life and liberty are being threatened. It would be a better country if the rest of the Bill of Rights was as well defended as the 2nd. ‘Nuff said.

One last thought. Whether we have the 2nd Amendment or we don’t, the right to keep and bear arms is still an inalienable right. The Bill of Rights was not included in the original Constitution and yet we still possessed our rights. I have written about the creation of the Bill of Rights here. The important message- the legacy of the United States of America is that we realized that our rights are inalienable and created our federal government around that idea. There is nothing more important than that thought in our founding documents. Everything we have accomplished as a nation originates with that belief.

I give kudos to those people and organizations out there that have fought to preserve our 2nd Amendment protected rights. Their success in this area should be a blueprint for the rest of the conservative movement battling other inroads into our rights. This is one of the few areas where we have been proactive. Attacking the problem allows movement forward and keeps the opposition in a vulnerable position. Action beats reaction. The continued preservation of gun rights is critical to our continued liberty. Patriots Awake!

Join me at Constitutional Cappuccino to get plugged into a website that is all about the education Americans need to move our country back to its proper trajectory. My new book “Patriot Ammo: The Words Behind Our Flag” is also available and teaches of our founding documents and principles. The book would make a great present for anybody 16 and up.

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We Hold These Truths Part 2

I realize as I interact with people that some of the constitutional principles I espouse are hard to understand because of their lack of a foundation concerning our establishment as a nation. The basics of what our country was founded upon is a simple yet powerful idea that has been forgotten over the imposing two centuries since we became a republic. It was a radical idea at the time, but it has been shown to be a powerful system to promote prosperity and liberty. These ideals were laid out for us in the Declaration of Independence. These were the basis for staging a revolution and creating a country. These are the bedrock of what America exemplifies.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

This is the most important section of the Declaration of Independence. These 111 words tell everyone who reads them the reason we took the audacious chance to revolt, and it also speaks volumes about the problems we see from government on all levels today. These words have been forgotten by the people and are thus ignored by our lawmakers and those that do their bidding. These words are the foundation of what made this country great. The government that was created by our Constitution respected these words in its creation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident”

Many countries have existed throughout time, yet the simple truths that were listed in the Declaration were never espoused or implemented. Our country was the first. This statement reflects that the principles to follow are easily discernable to the author of this document and those who approve of it. It implies that the principles that follow can be understood by any who are exposed to them. In particular, it depicts the culmination of the many lessons that western civilization had taught over the centuries to any who would care to examine the facts. Our founders were such men.

“That all men are created equal”

This has a simple but profound meaning. It simply states that no one is born to rule over others. It was still a belief at the time that there were those among us who are born to be rulers. Ancestry and conquest were the vehicles used by most at the time to rise to power. Either born into the right family, anointed by God or being able to raise a sufficient force to conquer a nation were the criteria for becoming a ruler. This idea is rejected by this statement.

“that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”

The most powerful statement of them all. Our rights are unalienable. They do not come from man. They do not come from government. Rights are a part of a person just like one’s heart is. These rights cannot be taken away or denied. They are yours to enjoy because they are part of you.

“that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

These are the most important and easily discernible of our natural rights. Life is at the top of the list because without life all other rights are moot. Life encompasses your body and the ability to implement actions that you want to take. Liberty implies that you are only restricted in your actions when they begin to impose on another person’s rights. All other actions by individuals are supported. Whom you associate with, whom you work for, what hobbies or other actions you take are for you, and you alone to decide. This is not a government matter. The pursuit of happiness is wrapped up in this thought also. Private property ownership is a key to that pursuit. Private property includes your physical belongings, land, and home, and your personal beliefs. Government should not be concerned with any of these ideals.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men”

This is the reason we have government. The government exists to protect our rights. This protection extends to any entity that would infringe on them, foreign or domestic. Government is to be invoked only when a person’s rights are violated. There is no other reason we instituted the government that we did other than for this one simple idea.

“deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

This is the most misunderstood or ignored passage of the document. Superficially, it means that we elect those people who will represent us in government. But the full meaning escapes most people. Its message is that our government can only have the powers that we the people already possess. That is what makes it “just.” If a person cannot act in a way toward another person then the government cannot act in this manner either. If we the people do not possess a right to do something how can we give that power away? It is not ours to give. If one person cannot do something, why do some think that a hundred, a thousand or a million people gathering together suddenly manifest this power? This is the root of many problems we face today.

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

This is the mandate indicating that the government is a creation of the people and when the people feel their government is opposed to the furtherance of liberty and prosperity, then it is the right of the people to form a new government. We are the rulers of government. not the other way around.

As we move away from these principles, we see the results— a more obtrusive and tyrannical government. A steady decline in prosperity and the freedom of the people to pursue their dreams. A government that continues to grow larger and appropriate more of Americans hard earned wealth and property is what we are witnessing. We see a government telling the people what to do. We see a government who consistently and often breaks the laws that created it.

Our government produces nothing. They simply take from one to give to another. That is blatantly wrong and must be stopped. Every building that they build, every person they employ, every staple, pen, or vehicle they use came from Americans pockets. Every high wage and pension they offer to government employees is paid for by Americans. Every dollar they give to a foreign country is paid for by Americans. Government produces wealth like a tick produces blood.

How long ago did government move away from the idea of protecting our rights and instead try to tell us how to live our lives? When did the free market get co-opted by government? When did we lose control of our money and the fruits of our labor? When did we acquiesce to becoming subjects of our government? When did we go from sovereign to subject?

The answers differ, but the fact remains— government at every level is to blame for the majority of problems we face as Americans. For our country to survive this must be addressed. This is not a question of “if.” This is a question of “when.” We continue to ignore our founding ideals and the true problems we face as a nation. Instead we are diverted into endless talks about the symptoms of the true problems which lead us ever closer to our destruction. There is a central nexus to our problems— the unconstitutional and out of control government that burdens our lives. All levels of government that continue to make inroads into abridging our freedom must be reined in. To ignore this simple truth is to run away from any real solutions.

We were given the gift of liberty, but its maintenance is our responsibility. We, the people, are failing our country and future generations which will have to fight once again to realize what we were given by our forefathers. Education and action are what is needed— a coming together of the disparate groups that attack the symptoms of the problem yet leave the central rot in place.

Division is a tool of those looking to destroy our country. We need to stop with the endless distractions to the true problems we face and come together to solve them. A limited constitutional government would go a long way toward that goal. We may have differences between us, but there is a threat that dwarfs all of it and is the root of most of it— our own government. This is nothing new in history.

Hopefully, we learn the lessons of history and take appropriate steps to solve the problem. Many billions of people rely on us to do so.

Join me at Constitutional Cappuccino to get plugged into a website that is all about the education Americans need to move our country back to its proper trajectory. My new book “Patriot Ammo: The Words Behind Our Flag” is also available and teaches of our founding documents and principles.

Who Owns Your Life?

I thought it to be a simple question. Who owns your life? What I discovered was that many people have not really given the question any real thought. Most gave answers that they thought were correct but were easily swayed by simple questions.

By now, everyone has probably heard of the guilty verdict in the case of Michele Carter and her part in the suicide of Conrad Roy III. With her urging through text messages, Conrad committed suicide, and Michele was brought to trial and was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Most agree it was a heinous act. Urging someone to follow their dark thoughts and take their own life had no defenders. But that is where consensus ended.

Whether she was guilty of a crime brought on much contention. Free speech was brought up and argued a great deal. “How could words make her guilty when he was already contemplating suicide?” “You can’t yell fire in a movie theater so there are limits to free speech in our society.” “She took advantage of a mentally unstable person and he is dead because of it.” “She only urged him to do something he already wanted to do.” The argument went back and forth with no clear winner.

Then I asked the simple question, “Who owns your life?”  Is suicide against the law, and if so, why? To me, it was a simple concept. You and you alone own your life. That is a basic principle of liberty. If someone else owns your life, then you are a slave, and that person is your master. I thought we had finally figured that out, but it seems that some people, when faced with the idea of suicide, had changed their mind.

Suicide, in most cases, is abominable. There is nothing you can do to yourself which is worse. To end your own life is to take away the greatest right you have- the right to life. But sometimes it is the correct decision. I recognize that a life of enduring pain could drive some to this action, and rightfully so. I can fathom the notion of risking your life in a suicidal attempt to save others as some have done on the battlefield. But then you encounter other people, who, in a fit of pique, depression, or overriding passion think that suicide is their only solution. Human nature is strange and often leads people to make rash and illogical decisions. But does that make suicide a crime? Only if you want to control another person’s life.

There still is only one answer to the question though. Who owns your life? You and you alone. To claim otherwise is to say someone has a  greater right to your life, and that makes you a slave. There is no better word to describe this condition. What you do with your life is your decision. The products of your life are yours, and yours alone. This is a basic principle of liberty some seem to have forgotten.

Today, government confiscates at gunpoint (make no mistake about that) the fruits of your labor and routinely gives it to others. By taking away what you produce, they also take away that part of your life which produced it. That is not liberty. That is bondage. You are no better than the serfs who used to work the fields for their masters and were allowed to keep a portion of what they had grown, with the rest being taken from them by their rulers.

Giving freely to a person in need is charity, and is a noble practice. Having something taken from you involuntarily and giving to others is theft and is contemptible. To support this idea of robbery makes you equally disgusting. Yet, that is what is repeated every day by some who try to invoke guilt on those who are against the redistribution of wealth in which our government regularly indulges itself. The “poor,” the “needy,” the “children,” they all need our help, so some invoke the power of government to do what they perceive others will not do voluntarily. No matter the recipients of the largess, it is still theft.

No one has more right to the fruits of your labor than you do. No one owns your life, but you. Government throughout history has proven itself a poor ward for people in need. More often than not, the problems faced by those in need is created by the same government that is invoked to help those people. The government creates a problem, then others want more government to fix the problem. This is a cycle that is cruel and never ending in its operation.

There used to be a time when people helping people was the norm. Family, friends, church, and charity organizations helped those in need. Was it a perfect system? No. Was it an ethical system? Yes, it was.

Today we face the juggernaut of government and its adoring sycophants who preach the power of the state as superior to the power of the people. Is this a perfect system? No, of course not. Is it ethical? No, again is the answer. They ask for slavery in the guise of helping others. This may seem harsh but it is the truth. People helping people is the true solution.

You own your own life. Never forget that.

My usual focus is on the Constitution, but I have realized, with the urging of others around me, that some basic concepts which used to be widespread are not as well-known as they used to be. Mr. Michael Pickens, thank-you. If you are interested in liberty and returning these United States of America back to its proper trajectory of prosperity and freedom, then join me at Constitutional Cappucino. My New Book “Patriot Ammo: The Words Behind Our Flag” is also available from the site. That link will take you to the first chapter which I offer for free.