December 20, 2003

Soverign Law for a Sovereign People

It seems to me that some people love the idea of World Government more that they value the protection of Liberty; as if Government itself is the goal and Freedom will (hopefully?) flow from there.

A recent effort/suggestion by the UN to register all firearms worldwide(!) reminds me of something I've wanted to say for a long time about how to read the single sentence of the Second Amendment;

"A well-regulated militia, being neccessary to the security of a free State, the Right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

As you can see, by reading an experts examination of the sentence HERE, an accepted interpretation (at least among those who can decipher plain English) is would be: "Since the State needs a militia for it's security, and the militia is comprised of all able men of a certain age group, the people need a secure right to bear arms."

Of course, as made clear in the above link, the 2nd Amendment does NOT a) restrict that Right to be protected only if the 18th century structure of State militias remains in practice, or b) reserve the Right only to members of a State many gun-grabbers like to argue. The militia is invoked only as one example of why the Right is protected.

So, anyway, here is my suggested additional interpretation:
"Since the State must, for the sake of it's security, neccessarily have a standing militia, the People also must have a Right to bear arms for the sake of their security."

Read the 2nd Amendment again with that interpretation in mind. You will see, I hope, that it is just as legit. It's just another way of saying "If all firearms were in the hands of the State, then the last means of removing tyranny would be gone."
The rationale that a well-armed Citizenry is the last line of the defense of their Liberty is not only sound, it is consistent with everything we know about the intent of the Founders.

For example, James Madison wrote in Federalist 46:

"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of."

Madison was not refering to the ambitions of a foreign State, but of the Federal Government of the United States.
Yes, he's writing about the power of the States, through an armed militia, to secure our Rights. But I insist that the Right of the People to take up arms -- even independent of the States -- against a tyrant is implied.

Wha..? Yep. Because what is being defended are the Rights of the People, not the State. (People have Rights. States have powers; limited by Law and granted by the Governed.)
Madison compared the prospects of a well-armed American people to securing their Rights with that of the subjects of European tyrants, then and now:

"Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

"And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.

"Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors."

Don Corleone said in the Godfather, "I keep my friends close, and my enemies closer."
The principles of Federalism -- the philosophy that authority is best kept as local as possible -- is the best way to ensure that a powerful centralized government wont even be in a position to become tyranical.

The UN -- largely an assembly of governments that fear allowing their People to own guns for their own defense -- wants us to register our firearms with Them. If we value our Freedom and our sovereignty, and our ability to secure them, going along with their little plan would be unhealthy, unwise, and, dag gummit, unAmerican.

Posted by Tuning Spork at December 20, 2003 12:25 PM

I wonder how many would-be tyrants have choked on the fact that the people are armed?

Posted by: Noel at December 20, 2003 09:24 PM

I think it's somewhat instructive that Madison was talking about the states standing up to the Fed. This idea can only be imagined when we have a healthy federal system.

I suppose I'll sound like a broken record if I say it again, but I think this is yet another reason to want to repeal the 17th Amendment. Before the 17th, the states had more clout. A state militia was more than just the "filler" for the regular military. The states had real political power and their military arms were serious and loyal to the states.

For what it's worth, I've taken over the slot of President of teh Federalist Society at ny law school just recetly, and am already in the process of setting up a debate on just this topic. I'll keep you posted as things ripen.

Good posting, T.S.

Posted by: Bronson at December 21, 2003 07:03 PM

I knew right away that you'd respond!

It's also instructive that Madison's arguement about the relationship of "State to Fed" translates nicely to "Nation to U.N."

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 21, 2003 11:53 PM

how to become a soverign person

Posted by: rau at February 11, 2005 11:00 PM
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