In searching information on the Second Amendment, I came across the following article, which I will re-post in several parts. I may occasionally add comments of my own. If you wish to copy or repost any parts of this article, please go to the original source, and be sure to credit Rich Mason and his web site: Tennesseefirearms dot com.
It is quite obvious from our Constitution, that our government was set up to protect God-given rights, which should be the case for all nations. Governments seem to be in the business to take away the rights of its citizens, which ours seems hell bent on doing.
Why the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is Important to You
By Rich Mason, Bartlett, TN
Copyright © 1999, 2000 - All Rights Reserved.
May be reprinted, retransmitted, and broadcast on a not-for-profit basis.
"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." -- Second Amendment, United States Constitution
"That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime." -- Tennessee Constitution, Article I - Declaration of Rights, Section 26
Across our nation a debate rages about "gun control". This euphemism glosses over the fact that what is being debated is one of the most precious guarantors of liberty, the right to keep and bear arms. At the heart of this debate is not whether the right to keep and bears arms is an individual right or not, but at its core the debate is over the primacy of the individual over the primacy of the government. This debate rages because many, too many, in this country have forgotten, or, worse, have never been educated in, the nature of our rights.
Government and liberty are natural adversaries. The founders of our nation understood this. With that understanding in mind they crafted a Constitution and a Bill of Rights designed to limit the power of government and guarantee the rights of the people. The rights that they intended to protect were those written about in the Declaration of Independence and other un-enumerated rights, e.g. the natural, inalienable rights of man.
The Basis of Our Rights:
Point 1: Government does not grant rights. If we were to assign to government the authority to grant rights, then we would also have to acknowledge the government's power to take rights away. Surely, we can all see the dangers of allowing governments formed by men being in the position of assigning our rights to us. Today's right would be tomorrow's crime. Such is the quixotic nature of mankind. The reason we have a Republic and not a pure democracy is because the founders of this country understood the tyrannical nature of a pure democracy. Rather than trusting the wisdom of men, our founders looked to another source as the basis of our rights… the Creator of the Universe.
Let us examine this quote from the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."
Our Founding Fathers stated unequivocally that our rights came not from men, nor governments, but from our Creator. Since our rights are from our Creator and therefore preceded the founding of this country, the government has no authority to deprive us of our rights no matter how unpopular they might become with the government, or even the majority of the people. The Declaration of Independence continues:
"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,..."
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...."
It is clear from the above that our government does not grant us our rights, but rather was formed to ensure our rights; and when our government fails in its duties to effectively secure our rights, we have the right to abolish that government and form a new one that will effectively ensure our rights.
To continue in subsequent posts . . .