Monday, January 28, 2013

Why We Have a Bill of Rights

While the debate over the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is fired up again hot and heavy, I thought it might be useful to remember some discussion from our nation's founding days. The subject: The Bill of Rights—the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

First, I want to link to an an essay on this subject by G. Stolyanov II, who describes himself as a science fiction novelist, independent essayist, composer, author, and actuary. The last name is Russian, which is interesting. But he is quite accurate in his assessment.

The next article I want you to see comes from the Bill of Rights Institute. It also discusses some of the behind the scenes talk on whether or not to have such an addendum to the original Constitution.

I also want to give my own assessment based on study I have done of the founders and some of their other objections or concerns. There was a faction that based their thoughts on the earlier Declaration of Independence, which recognized—indeed, declared—that rights were God-given and were unalienable. That word is not often heard outside political discussions, but like most words, it means something. It means "not to be separated, given away, or taken away." A privilege, on the other hand, is NOT a right. It can be taken through due process of law, like a driver's license.

This was the historic understanding that the vast majority of our Founding Fathers held of rights. Among the founders, there was significant concern that codifying "rights" in the text of the Constitution would lead in future years to the notion that if these rights could be amended into the Constitution, they could be amended right out of it. The other faction, as the articles above noted, was led by James Madison, who carried the day. He managed to persuade people that codifying these rights would ensure that they would be held inviolable in future generations, and that there were safeguards in place to prevent these codified rights from being taken.

From hindsight, I tend to judge the former faction probably was correct. They understood how fickle human beings can be. They understood the fallen nature of man, and they knew that human government inevitably reaches  for ever more power and control over the governed. There are those who speak actively of repealing the Second Amendment, thus opening the door for total gun bans and confiscation. And if it ever comes down to that, I will maintain that this is an incorrect reading and interpretation of the original intent of our Founders. I don't believe that they ever intended for the Bill of Rights to be amended. And it was unusually shortsighted of them to not put a proviso exempting the Bill of Rights from the amendment process.

I am saddened at the lack of knowledge about American history that exists out there. We can blame a leftist-controlled educational establishment. They feed off the ignorance of their students, and they can place their own deeply flawed understanding of our founding documents on to future generations. And that is where we who know better come in. We have to sound the clarion call loudly, teaching the truth about proper interpretation to whomever we can get to heed us. Our very freedom as a nation is at stake.

Two final comments. Get this straight if you don't get anything else straight, and insist that the liberal media (and liberal politicians) get it right even if you have to rub their noses in it. Confront politicians to their faces with the facts, and INSIST that they acknowledge it or face removal from office.


Now to be sure, as a side benefit, we also enjoy the right of hunting and fishing under reasonable regulation. But the federal government has no right whatsoever to infringe on our RIGHT to keep and bear arms. Definition time. What does "infringe" mean? Answer: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another." That is pretty absolute, and the one right in the Bill of Rights that uses that term. This was ONE right that the Founders wanted maintained, and for the government to keep its hands off.

Left-wing mouth frothers will try to make the idiotic charge that this means we want to see children killed, or that we want absolutely no reasonable restrictions out there on firearms. They love to wave the bloody shirt in order to guilt-trip or whipsaw the public into falling in line with their dictatorial dreams.

This is sheer nonsense. Gun owners agree that the mentally ill should not have them. Criminals need to go to jail for having them. Background checks are worth doing to make sure no individuals convicted of violent crime can carry a gun. There are ample laws on the books that need enforcing. The mental health situation above all needs immediate reform. It is next to impossible these days to institutionalize someone for fear that their "human rights" are being violated. That's partially what drove the "deinstitutionalization" drive in the late 70s and 80s. We're paying for it now.

The hard, cold fact is that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Andrew Cuomo, Rahm Imanuel and a host of others in and out of government want the American people completely disarmed. They won't give up, and they'll try anything they can get away with. If they can't manage an outright ban, they will hike prices on ammunition, ban its import or restrict its sale in some fashion, make suppliers so afraid of litigation that they refuse to ship ammo to certain states, and a host of other measures. They will do their level best to make it as difficult as possible for folks to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

This is ONE battle where conservatives need to be united, and to NOT do what we usually do when we win a battle. Roll over and go back to sleep. We need to be as bloody-minded on this and as determined as the left is to ram their entire agenda down our throats. Never underestimate the tireless, dogged, almost missionary zeal of the leftist true believer. THEY WILL NOT RELENT. They must be defeated, defeated badly, crushingly so, and in such devastating fashion that, like Sauron in the Lord of the Rings, they will never be able to take shape again and threaten the West. And even after that crushing defeat—should we be blessed enough to be able to inflict it—will need to teach future generations to keep vigilant. There will always be some great enemy to take the place of the last one. There will ALWAYS be someone else.

It will be that way until Jesus comes again and settles matters once and for all. But for the time being, we live in a fallen world with fallen people. When fallen people given over to their fallen natures end up in positions of power, people suffer. Sometimes enormously.

God forbid we fail to do our duty and let that happen here.


lee n. field said...

While we're talking 2nd Am. suff, did you see that Francis Schaeffer's wayward son Frank weighed in: White, “Christian” and Treasonous: Who Will They Kill?.

Take a sedative before you read it.

Solameanie said...

Hi, Lee..

While I haven't seen that particular piece, I saw something not too long ago where Franky was interviewed by a conservative blogger/pastor. That was infuriating enough to read.

It's too bad the Lord doesn't allow Francis Senior to return long enough to give his son a good belt hiding.