14 February 2013

The 2nd Amendment - Thank God & George Mason

A few weeks ago, as soon as the gun debate could be tied to America's original sin, you began seeing posts about guns and slavery, with one CW blogger calling for an "honest" debate. Fine. It's really not complicated. 
 
And . . .



Source. Your turn. 

But more importantly than the cold hard facts and statistics regarding gun ownership vs "control" is the fact that the 2nd amendment to our Constitution simply acknowledges a God-given (inalienable) right that pre-exists human government - the right to self-defense against criminals and tyranny.

As I recently added a digitized draft copy of Virginia's Declaration of Rights (by George Mason), as my background image, let's look at what he penned in that document:

That a well-regulated militia, or composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
 And, in addressing the question of "who is the militia?", Mason wrote:

They consist now of the whole people . . . militia, when properly formed, [as] in fact the people themselves.
Noah Webster made a similar argument (as did others); which is yet more proof that the 2nd amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting:

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 band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. 
Moreover, since all of the Bill of Rights essentially acknowledges and codifies certain rights of "the people", i.e. individuals, it is nonsensical to argue that the framers stuck in one to acknowledge a "right" to a government or standing army. The argument is asburd on its face. 

In 1992, Hallmark released a TV movie which dramatized an event known as The Battle of Athens. An American Story tells the story of a group of WWII Vets in Athens, TN who, exercising their 2nd amendment rights, restored law and order to a town and county run by a corrupt political machine. The whole episode came to a head over election fraud and ended with a gun fight between local citizens and corrupt law enforcement and government officials. The movie embodies one of the best illustrations of what George Mason and the framers had in mind when they wrote the 2nd amendment:



Certainly, times have changed. This is not 1776 nor is it 1946. As a man who counts many retired and active law enforcement officers as his friends, and as a former member of Virginia's judiciary, I find it unconscionable to even imagine anything so dramatic and violent as what is depicted in this film happening where I live. Yet our own government has, in recent months and years, celebrated and encouraged this very same type of activity by the citizens of other countries as they have thrown off the yoke of tyranny by the use of armed force. Perhaps we find the possibility of similar events here so remote and objectionable because we recognize American Exceptionalism as a reality - America is different - we don't do things like that here. (Even those on the left, who scoff at and mock the very notion of AE, will either have to concede that fact or, come up with some other fake explanation to save face - most likely the latter if it comes from the enemies of AE in academia.)

Nonetheless, the 2nd amendment, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, is part of the reason Americans - even to this day - enjoy unprecedented liberty and freedoms. We can thank God and my fellow Virginian, George Mason for that and we should distrust greatly those who would attempt to take away or restrict that inalienable right. Their  motives are highly suspect.

 

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

You might want to make a distinction between Unalienable and Inalienable. It's important.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


The question is often asked, "Is the word in the Declaration of Independence unalienable or is it inalienable?"

The final version of the Declaration uses the word "unalienable." Some earlier drafts used the word "inalienable," which is the term our modern dictionaries prefer. The two words mean precisely the same thing.

According to The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style from Houghton Mifflin Company:

The unalienable rights that are mentioned in the Declaration of Independence could just as well have been inalienable, which means the same thing. Inalienable or unalienable refers to that which cannot be given away or taken away.

Quoted from:

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/unalienable.htm

Anonymous said...

Au contrare mon frere:

You've got your account in the wrong bank.

Inalienable rights can't be taken away but they can be voluntarily surrendered, whereas unalienable rights are permanent and can't be either taken by force or voluntarily surrendered, they endure in perpetuity.

It's a distinction well worth preserving, and Virginians are the keepers of the flame.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

No, I stand by what I wrote. I reject your premise - I know of no right that cannot be "voluntarily" surrendered. For example: A mother who gives birth to a child, knowing it puts her life as risk due to complications, etc, is voluntarily surrendering her inalienable right to life.

Another example - Christ surrendered his right to crush his false accusers when he died on the cross to redeem mankind.

We'll agree to disagree, but I understand where you're coming from. Thanks for commenting.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Anon - here's another explanation that may be more acceptable to you:

Inalienable vs. unalienable

"English has changed since the founders of the United States used unalienable in the signed final draft of their 1776 Declaration of Independence (some earlier drafts and later copies have inalienable). Inalienable, which means exactly the same thing—both mean incapable of being transferred to another or others—is now the preferred form. Unalienable mainly appears in quotes of or references to the Declaration. Inalienable prevails everywhere else."

"Although English usage rarely takes etymology into account, it’s worth noting that inalienable is truer to the word’s Latin and French roots, for what that’s worth. In- is a Latin negative prefix, and un- is an English one. While the founders’ Anglicized word remains an accepted variant, the more Latin form became more common around the beginning of the 19th century and has remained ascendant ever since."

Source: http://grammarist.com/usage/inalienable-unalienable/

Though as this writer points out, the word refers to "transfer" of right, not "surrender." If they are MY rights, I can surrender anything that belongs to me - I just can't "transfer" them nor can anyone legitimately "take" them from me - since only God gave them. The Founders were simply affirming the pre-existance of these rights to make sure it was understood the government was not "granting" them and, thus, did not have the authority to "take" them. They were not concerned with "surrendering", they were concerned with "taking."

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the thoughtful response. However, I remain respectfully unconvinced. Rights that can be voluntarily surrendered are by definition ailenable.

And, what's to prevent your elected representatives, acting on your behalf under the legitimate authority of elected office and with the approval of the judiciary, from deciding to curtail your individual "rights" all in the persuasive name of a popular collective good don't ya know?

Only rights that can't be alienated by surrender or taken by force are unalienable. Anything else is smoke in the wind.

Best Regards,
ropelight

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Again, all rights can be surrendered. To "curtail" is to restrict or take, that's not surrendering. To say someone cannot "surrender" is in itself a restriction of freedom.

We'll agree to disagree, but thanks again for the comment.

Anonymous said...

It figures that you would quote from some dead conservative's website. God has absolutely NOTHING to do with bestowing gun rights on Americans and to imply or believe so is absolutely ridiculous. Also to believe that God blessed the USA more than the rest of those countries on the map is completely contrary to biblical teachings AND downright arrogant. American Exceptionalism is a self-serving myth created by egotistical Americans to boost their superiority complexes. It’s all a bunch of John Wayne BS. and contrary to the “Rush Limbaughs” of the world the rest of the planet does not want to be Americanized.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hello Anon - my, my, my - so many straw men and red herrings, yet so little time.

"It figures that you would quote from some dead conservative's website."

You have something against dead people? What a hate-filled attitude. They can't help it.

"God has absolutely NOTHING to do with bestowing gun rights on Americans and to imply or believe so is absolutely ridiculous."

The Founders would disagree. Sorry, but I'll go with the guys with the proven track record over someone who posts anonymously to a blog. But maybe that's just me.

"to believe that God blessed the USA more"

Ok, I confess, it was the tooth fairy - whatever works for you.

"than the rest of those countries on the map is completely contrary to biblical teachings"

Is that so? Hmmm . . . the Psalmist would disagree:

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." - Psalm 33:12 (Hint - that's a biblical teaching. You might want to read it before you refer to is as your source.)

"AND downright arrogant"

NOT really arrogant, just observant. Struggle with facts, do ya?

"contrary to the “Rush Limbaughs” of the world the rest of the planet does not want to be Americanized."

You a fan too, are ya? Cool. I really couldn't care less about the rest of the world being "Americanized." I just don't want to see us Europeanized.

Now that your arguments have been skillfully dismantled, I would prescribe 3 hours of Rush Limbaugh, 5 times a week, for 6 weeks. Take notes, check sources. If your illness persists, avoid crowds and Chris Matthews.

Anonymous said...

OK. Let's look at that response shall we?

You said: "The Founders would disagree. Sorry, but I'll go with the guys with the proven track record "

Yeah how's that infalible system they developed working out for you guys nowadays?

And: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord;"

I don't believe America recognizes itself, or is recognized worldwide as a "Christian nation."

And: "NOT really arrogant, just observant. Struggle with facts"

The facts say that America is #1 in just about nothing anymore. Congrats Yank.

And finally: "I really couldn't care less about the rest of the world ..."

THAT is a typical American mindset. No wonder no one likes you.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Your comments reveal your ignorance and intent to obfuscate and distract - so typical of those who can't argue on facts.

"Yeah how's that infalible system they developed working out for you guys nowadays?"

Regarding the topic at hand - guns and the 2nd amendment, quite well thank you.

"I don't believe America recognizes itself, or is recognized worldwide as a "Christian nation."

Post-Christian. But, again, you're erecting straw men. That was not what I wrote. Try to focus anon, focus.

"The facts say that America is #1 in just about nothing anymore. Congrats Yank."

Other than being false, that's not what I said, nor what the post was about. You have trouble with reading comprehension, don't you? I do think we're number one in gun ownership which, again, is the topic. Focus, focus.

"And finally: "I really couldn't care less about the rest of the world ..." THAT is a typical American mindset. No wonder no one likes you."

So, you think quoting just part of what I wrote serves your position well? You're delusional. Here's what I actually said:

"I really couldn't care less about the rest of the world being "Americanized."

Not quite the same, is it? Thank you for demonstrating to my readers your intellectual dishonesty and inability to stay on topic and discuss the facts.

You've done more to make my argument than I could have ever dreamed of doing.



Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

BTW Anon, your IP address gives away your identity. I know who you are. "Yank" indeed. Real courageous, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

You said: "I do think we're number one in gun ownership which, again, is the topic."


Yes that is certainly something to be proud of isn't it Yank. A narcissistic culture of paranoid gun toters. Wow!

A.K.A. Damo Mackerel said...

Interesting graphs but why has Greenland such a high homocide rate?

ropelight said...

Please note, I'm new here, only the 1st, 3rd, and 6th comments on this topic are mine. I signed the 6th comment with my on-line identity: ropelight. Which I will use in all subsequent submissions to ensure there is no confusion or misidentification with any other commenter.

I'm exclusively responsible for my own comments and do not wish to be associated with the asinine opinions of hateful Yankees of uncertain provenence.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Anon:

Oh yes, I am quite proud of it. It shows there's still a healthy number of Americans willing to take personal responsibility and not buy into the nonsense spewed by the ruling class elites.

But I tell you what, if we ever happen to be in a restaurant together and some murdering maniac comes in shootin' the place up, you go ahead and hide under a table with the women and children and while you dial 911 and wait for cops to show up, I'll protect you.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"why has Greenland such a high homocide rate?"

Don't know Damo. I'm sure there are anomalies to these statistics. But, overall, it's quite instructive.

Perhaps Greenland's very high rate of alcoholism has something to do with it. Don't know.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Ropelight - duly noted. I did not suspect you.

ropelight said...

Damo, it's an artifact of Greenland's sparce population, only about 57,000 in 2012, is composed of 89% Inuit and the remaining 11% mostly Norse Europeans originally from either Norway or Denmark.

Greenland reports a very low crime rate, but since the chart is based on homicides per 100K population it only takes a very few murders to push the country into an artificially high category.

One Chris Dorner and Greenland's homicide rate spikes to the point it begins to look like some Central American narco state.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I assume that one of the Anon's posting here who is referring to me as "yank" is a Brit? Based on our previous engagements with your country, you might want to rethink your position on guns. Those first 2 encounters did not end well for you ladies.