Progressives often cite differences of opinion among the Founders of our nation concerning a variety of issues as some sort of "proof" that they were deeply divided on matters related to independence and human liberty.
But actually they weren't.
Among the Founders there was broad agreement on several key principles, among them being that human beings are meant to be individually free and not slaves, liberty is worth dying for, government is meant to be as small as possible and exists only to protect human liberty, and going to war is an acceptable means of securing those liberties.
The only real disagreement among the original patriots revolved around the details. How do we best implement and maintain a society where liberty is valued, propagated, and protected?
On these sub-points there was significant disagreement, and thus, the need for at least some compromise, that is, up to a point. For example, although Thomas Jefferson had originally written into the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, even slaves, he was met with great resistance at the Continental Congress from representatives from the southern colonies. In order to reach a consensus and forge an agreement, concessions had to be made to the southern colonies that would allow them to continue a practice upon which their entire economy was based, which unfortunately was slavery.
And when the Constitution itself was presented before the Congress, there was significant resistance to approving it, not because some of the patriots opposed the concepts it contained but due to two issues that had nothing to do with the broad principles it promoted. The first was that the original Constitution contained no Bill of Rights, and the second was that some of the patriots feared that such a Constitution would erode the power of the states.
In order to address these concerns the Framers constructed a Bill of Rights that was sent around to the various state legislatures for consideration. That Bill would finally be approved once it became clear that it contained a provision, known as the 10th Amendment, which protected the sovereignty of each state, and once it became known that the entire Bill -- the first 10 amendments to the Constitution -- placed strict, specific limitations on the federal government, which satisfied the concerns of some of the patriots that the Constitution would create an all-powerful central authority.
Various phrases were used in describing these provisions, the most noteworthy being, "Congress shall make no law," regarding limits on free speech, a free press, the freedom of religion, and the freedom of the people to assemble.
One phrase, however, stands out above the rest due to the fact that it is the only time in the entire Constitution that these particular words are used. It is stark in its finality, crystal clear in its prohibition, and entirely unambiguous in its meaning.
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Shall not be infringed. The only time this phrase is used in any of our founding documents is when applied to the Second Amendment, the right of the citizens to own and carry firearms.
"Shall not be infringed" prohibits government from placing any restrictions whatsoever upon the citizens to use guns and ammunition in self-defense. And self-defense in this instance includes but is not limited to resistance to a tyrannical government, which the Framers feared would one day spring up in our own nation.
Why, then, would the Framers be so adamant about the right to keep and bear arms? When writing about speech, religion, the press, and assembly, the operative phrase is, "Congress shall make no law..." That, too, is pretty clear and final.
But the phrase "shall not be infringed" carries an even stronger connotation. Why?
From the historical record it is abundantly clear that the Founders knew that had it not been for guns and ammunition they would have never secured the other freedoms delineated in the Constitution. Had they not taken up arms against the tyrannical British monarchy of King George, they never would have won the freedom to speak without fear of persecution or reprisal, the freedom to worship as they pleased apart from an official state church supported by tax dollars, the freedom to write what they wanted in a free press, nor the freedom to assemble to discuss grievances against the government.
The Second Amendment, thus, gave us the other freedoms delineated in the Bill of Rights. Gun rights, therefore, are our first freedom.
When tyrannical governments, such as the British monarchy in the 1700s, refused to hear or respond to citizen complaints, then the people, declared our Founders, had the right to use force, deadly force, to secure the rights to which King George had turned a deaf ear.
Although modern Americans are often led to believe by the propaganda being taught in the nation's public schools that the colonists' chief complaint against King George was "taxation without representation," that issue was only the tip of the iceberg. The issue that became the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was that the Crown wished to deny to the colonists access to their guns.
This is what pushed the colonists over the edge. And a War of Independence ensued.
For nearly a century the U.S. government has slowly and gradually infringed on the right of the people to keep and bear arms -- the very thing the Second Amendment prohibits with strong language. That slow trickle has now become a raging torrent that threatens to so hamstring the gun rights of the people as to render them practically useless.
Thus, there are hundreds of laws regarding firearms that directly infringe on the original intent, spirit, and purpose of the Second Amendment. These laws are illegal and are therefore null and void, as the Framers indicated on numerous occasions when they mused about the future possibility that laws would be passed by tyrannical representatives that ignored Constitutional prohibitions.
Both Madison and Jefferson argued extensively that citizens are under no obligation to obey unconstitutional laws. The question, thus, becomes, how many more infringements will the patriots allow before a tipping point is reached?
HOT OFF THE PRESS! BRAND NEW!
My latest blog entry in the series, Musings After Midnight, is now available at The Liberty Sphere. It's titled, "I get a vote, you get a vote, all God's children get a vote! That's right, Mr. President, and that includes gun rights activists!"
Visit my ministry site at Martin Christian Ministries.