From the May 2000 Idaho Observer:

“[T]he security of a free state.”

by Hari Heath

Our freedom, and our right to own and use the “liberty teeth” secured by the Constitution -- our guns -- is facing wave upon wave of legislative infringement. The Clintonista mobsters are trying to “execute” our firearm freedoms by compelling gun makers to submit to unconscionable agreements, or face expensive litigation. Smith & Wesson has capitulated, losing its former good standing among freedom loving gun owners. A horde of city officials are attempting to sue gun makers into financial oblivion. Colt has fallen under these financial pressures and will discontinue manufacturing for the civilian market.

Beginning with the control of machine guns and destructive devices in 1934, the infringement of our inalienable right to keep and bear arms has become the law of the land. In 1968 Congress imposed a gun control act that was literally translated from the text of Hitler's 1938 gun control act in Germany. Twenty-thousand gun laws strong and still growing, our state and federal legislators are paving the highway to tyranny, full steam rollers ahead.

Why? Because people who maintain the power to secure their free state do not make good candidates for the socialist state within which our “public servants” would like to enslave us. Those who have the means to inject a permanent hole in the face of tyranny provide a considerable obstacle to imposition of the global socialists' dream. The Second Amendment is THE battleground in the war between slavery and liberty.

“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.”

The Second Amendment is one of the most dissected and interpreted sentences in our time. Scholars and laymen have reviewed each word, phrase and their relative placement in the text of the Second Article in the Bill of Rights. The intent of the Founders who authored it, has been studied from their writings, and the events of history. Articles, dissertations, and books have been written expounding the many interpretations of the true meaning of the Second Amendment.

Until the war between slavery and liberty is concluded, the interpretations will continue.

Generally, there are two camps on this issue. The “States right” or “collective right” theorists lay their claim upon the opening clause or preamble: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” to the exclusion of the second clause. States right theorists largely base their claim on the words State and Militia. The theory is that the Second Amendment gives the States the right to regulate militias which, in our modern age, have been replaced by the National Guard.

In the other camp, the “individual right” theorists rely chiefly upon the second clause, which undeniably leaves little room for interpretation: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” After all it doesn't say “the right of the states to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. “

“Militia,” as understood in its historical context, also lends support to the individual right theory. Militias are composed of citizen soldiers, often providing their own private arms to engage in the conflict. If they survive, they return to their lives as a private citizen once the engagement is over. As George Mason stated in 1788, “Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people.”

The Revolutionary Army which fought for and created America, was a militia. Governors and the president may call out the organized militia, but what they call out is the people themselves and their arms.

And why should the people themselves be armed? The founders of our nation knew well the nature of political corruption and governmental tyranny. They saw the personal right to bear arms as a potential check against tyranny. During the ratification debates Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts said that it is, “a chimerical idea to suppose that a country like this could ever be enslaved ... Is it possible ... that an army could be raised for the purpose of enslaving themselves or their brethren? Or, if raised whether they could subdue a nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty and who have arms in their hands?”

Noah Webster similarly argued: “Before a standing army can rule ,the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. 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.”

In his Commentaries on the Constitution, Joseph Story explained the necessity of the Second Amendment and the militia as the “natural defence of a free country” not only “against sudden foreign invasions” and “domestic insurrections,” but also against “domestic usurpations of power by rulers.” He further said, “the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

Did the founders of our nation intend to have us engage in violent resistance against usurpation of power and unjust enslavement? Is the Second Amendment a constitutionally-enshrined authorization for political murder for the political crimes of usurpation and unjust acts of oppression and tyranny? Have they left it up to each one of us to decide when such violations have occurred and, have they left an acknowledgment -- a guaranty -- that each of us has the right to keep handy at our side the means to bring to bear against such violators as we see fit? And in acknowledging our right to so choose to keep and bear arms against tyrannical oppression, did they not also admonish as to its necessity if we are to secure our freedom? Does not the right so secured also impart the duty, when necessary, to apply it effectively? Their abundant writings leave little room for any other conclusion.

There is another error on the part of the “States right” theorists. They tend to interpret the word “State” as a place within a geopolitical boundary. Were the founders speaking of a “place” when they wrote “necessary to the security of a free State” into our Bill of Rights? Would not their real meaning of “free State” be more akin to “free condition” or “state of being free?” We are, after all, talking about liberty here and the means to secure it. The American Revolution was at least as much about creating a new nation (securing a “free State”; establishing a political idea) as it was about controlling real estate.

And who is responsible for the creation and maintenance of this “free state?” The controlled media has for some time now been demonizing “militias.” Why would they want to demonize militias when the founders declared militias as being necessary to our free condition? Without the militias which created our “free state,” you wouldn't be able to read this newspaper or any other paper of your choosing. The cherished First Amendment freedoms, when all other remedies fail to secure them, can only be enforced through the Second Amendment by a militia.

And who is this militia? You are! And your friends, neighbors, countrymen and women.

Have we lived up to the responsibilities that are enjoined with our Second Amendment rights? What manner of tyranny and oppression has befallen our nation? Do the tyrants still live among us while we have the means to secure our free state?

As Patrick Henry argued at the Virginia convention which ultimately resulted in the ratification of the Bill of Rights: “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.”

As Congress and the legislatures bury us with laws which have no constitutional founding authority, and send us headlong down the river of socialism; and the president and our governors rule by unconstitutional executive orders, meddling uninvited in our private affairs; while the judiciary engages in judicial anarchy, pretending itself immune for any liability for its gross misconduct, one simple fact remains: We the people retain the ultimate remedy, when all civil process fails. We have both the right and the means to put a permanent hole in the face of tyranny. Our founders recognized it and enshrined it in our Constitution.

By some estimates, the number of guns in America equal or exceed our population. Some misguided socialists have the idea that with enough laws, guns will just go away. With one trigger finger for every trigger in America, and our history as a nation of rebels and outlaws, such obstinate folly is only excelled by those socialists' failure to understand “shall not be infringed.” Those who legislate for national disarmament, otherwise misnamed as gun control, and the alphabet agents who may attempt to impose it, are likely to discover what America is made of. Our responsibility to our liberty and the security of our free state demand it!

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Hari Heath

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