Hidden Threats in The Second Amendment
by Andy Joppa
I am not a “gun person.” Though I’ve been in the military, had my fair share exposure to the M-16 in Vietnam, and been thoroughly trained for gun safety, I’m not one that has built a life style around guns…I don’t fault those that have…but that’s not me. Having said that, I will acknowledge that I do own four handguns. They are the big one, the small one, the easy one, and the cute one. I carry the easy one at all times, sometimes yielding to the small one. That gives you some idea of my technical sophistication as it pertains to their nomenclature.
Do not, however, mistake anything I’ve said for anything other than my belief in my absolute right to bear arms. I would not yield them for any purpose, any more than I would relinquish my right to free speech, my free practice of religion, or my right to peaceful protest. These, and other rights, are inalienable. For those who are confused by this word, like Joe Biden, and the entire Regressive Left, “inalienable” means, “Unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.” You can see that not only can it not be taken away…it can’t be given away by the one who possesses it. So, when I say above, that I would not yield my handguns, its simply because I have to right to do so. You can’t take it and I can’t surrender it…or my right to ownership.
Pushing all of Joe Biden’s gun comments aside…way aside…I will note that I don’t own guns for target practice or hunting, although I do keep my hand/eye coordination, for safety, in place at the range. I have handguns to protect me and my family or you and your family should that need ever arise. In addition, as a student of history, there may come a time when we might be attacked by an outside enemy, or there may come a time when our government becomes so tyrannical and lawless that it must be resisted. I will not say here what many of you are thinking. I will leave it at, “…there may come a time.”
Why talk about guns now? Once again, the right to bear arms is coming under serious assault by the Left and the millions of Americans who have been brain washed into believing that guns are the problem. This, of course, is being driven by the horrid event at Uvalde, Texas. This act was committed by a mentally unbalanced sociopath, where there were multiple moments, both before and during the event, when his actions could have been prevented or minimized. For those that think that even talking about the right to bear arms is, at this point, insensitive to the Uvalde tragedy, I would merely state that this is no more insensitive than talking about schools …neither guns nor schools per se…played a meaningful role in what transpired.
Before moving on with this essay I would add…I hope they investigate where this monster got the funds to buy, what is estimated to be, $5000 worth of weapons and ammunition. That certainly deserves an answer.
At this point in this essay, I probably haven’t offered a thought that you’re not familiar with. There is one area, however, that I think should be discussed and that is The Bill of Rights as the place where Americans achieved their right to bear arms…or did they?
During the constitutional ratification those called the Anti-Federalist wanted an inclusion of a Bill of Rights (they obviously won that argument.) The Federalists, the strongest proponents of the Constitution, however, argued vigorously that a Bill of Rights not be included. You might be tempted to say, “What harm could it do…why would they so vehemently oppose such an addendum?” The Federalists thought there could be many problems with inclusion. While I tend to support the Antifederalist position there are times, and this is one of them, when I believe we must revisit the logic of the Federalist position as it pertains to The Second Amendment.
Basically, the Federalists believed that once a right was enumerated in a Bill of Rights that it would become susceptible to challenges in regards to its wording; that the amendment itself might serve, in the future, as a mechanism to limit that inalienable right. Their point, for example, can be seen with the constant challenge to the phrase, “…a well-regulated militia.” They believed that since the federal government had not been given the specific power to delimit that right, that any future comment could only serve to weaken that absolute prohibition.
Here is the way that is stated in a respected source: “The U.S. government only had strictly delegated powers, limited to the general interests of the nation. Consequently, a bill of rights was not necessary and was perhaps a dangerous proposition. It was unnecessary because the new federal government could in no way endanger the freedoms of the press, the right to bear arms, or religion since it was not granted any authority to regulate either. It was dangerous because any listing of rights could potentially be interpreted as exhaustive. Rights omitted could be considered as not retained.”
We could see that reflected in many comments made during the ratifying debates. Among these are:
Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 84: “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? …But it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power.
James Wilson wrote during the Pennsylvania ratification process: “…if the powers of the people rest on the same establishment, as is expressed in this Constitution, a bill of rights is by no means a necessary measure. In a government possessed of enumerated powers, such a measure would be not only unnecessary, but preposterous and dangerous.”
These were but two of the many laments about the pending Bill of Rights. They all tend to use the word “dangerous” in describing their concerns; concerns that future creatures of power would use the Bill to remove power from the people. Nowhere is that fear more realized than with the incessant debates as it regards our Right to Bear Arms. No debate can or should exist that uses the Second Amendment as its basis for gun control.
The Second Amendment was used to clarify but did not bestow the Right to Bear Arms. That right existed long before our government came into being and that government was given no power to interfere with that right.