Monday, July 2, 2012

Second Amendment Has Only One Meaning

If we are serious about knowing what the founding fathers believed about the Second Amendment, we need to read their documents:

"(It is) only beginning in the second half of the 20th century that the Orwellian view gained currency that 'the people' means the states ... that 'right' means governmental power, that 'keep' does not mean to possess, that 'bear' does not mean carry, that 'arms' do not include ordinary handguns and rifles and that 'infringe' does not include prohibition." S.P. Halbrook

I will quote a few of hundreds of examples of the stance of the founding fathers on the Second Amendment:

» Mass Declaration of Rights, 1778: "The people had a right to keep and bear arms."

» Documentary History of the Ratifications: "From keeping their own arms," Samuel Adams.

» Debates in the Several State Conventions, "Having our arms in our own possession," Patrick Henry, who also states that "we trust in our possession rather than in the control by Congress."

» A Dissertation on Slavery, by St. George Tucker: "If the amendment did not mean individuals, why were slaves prohibited to keep arms?"

» Creating the Bill of Rights: "The right to keep arms for common and extraordinary occasions," Samuell Nasson.

» Nw York Journal, March 23, 1769: "It is a natural right which the people have ... confirmed by the Bill of Rights, to keep arms for their own defense."

» The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: "No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms."

These are a few and if anyone studies the original thoughts of the founding fathers and still thinks the Second Amendment means a militia, they have an agenda to promote.

Suggested readings: "The Founders' Second Amendment," by Halbrook and "To Keep and Bear Arms," by Joyce Lee Malcolm.

Bill Abbott

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