...For well over a half-century, the nation's liberals and progressives … have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. ...there are no moral absolutes, to our young people. To them, what's moral or immoral is a matter of convenience, personal opinion, or a consensus. … Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society. … The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. Police and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct so as to produce a civilized society.
Walter E. Williams
In recent history there has been a constant assault upon the Second Amendment and the unalienable and natural right for law abiding citizens to protect themselves against predators that prey upon society, especially when they know the victims are unarmed and unable to fight back.
Despite the US Supreme Court finally agreeing and decreeing that the Second Amendment means what the short paragraph says.
There are those who argue that the Second Amendment is outdated [as they claim much of the rest of the Constitution and amendments are], and there is no need for a militia. Then why doesn't the state and federal authorities disband the National and State Guard? In reality, and it tune with the Second Amendment – every citizen is a member of a militia who may be called upon to defend the Constitution, its amendments, their property, their community, family and friends. In truth, it is We the People that is the “Homeland Security”. Yet, the past two administrations have developed a fear about people being armed and rising up against the self-appointed [although elected] officials because of their draconian attitudes and unconstitutional legislation, regulations, and executive orders.
If one looks from outside the box, in an objective manner, knowing constitutional law, the reasons why the Founders decided upon those articles and amendments, is because a government, those charged with operating a government, will not fear the people unless they are practicing tyranny and committing unconstitutional acts. No legitimate and constitutional government need fear the people, for a constitutional government can certainly expect support By the People when the government is For the People.
But, as the quotation of Walter E. Williams clearly shows, our problems today are not just of those who operate OUR government, but within society itself.
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. … Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.
Our Founding Fathers were determined to ensure that the people had rights to keep and bear arms, so much so that they listed it as the second amendment. The Founders were students of history and understood that from antiquity to present, an armed citizenry was essential to preserve freedom as well as defend the homeland alongside the established army. A government that insists upon disarming the people, as history shows over and over, is a government who intends tyranny and eventually take away other liberties.
When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually.
George Mason of Virginia, 1788
The recent progressive-liberal Congress, specifically the US Senate under the incentive of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Harry Reid [Obama and others], a bill was produced to ban a large number (150) of firearms from public use, as well as limitations upon magazine quantities. That did not succeed, so being determined to undermine the Constitution [despite Feinstein stating at a hearing that she was aware of what is in the Constitution], the progressive-liberals set out to undermine the Second Amendment in a sneaky way – by making it harder to purchase ammunition, especially in large quantities. Most people purchase larger quantities because it is cheaper in the long run if they are a regular visitor to the firing range and/or attend sporting competitions. Still others are stockpiling because of fear of what the progressive-socialists are actually doing. They are not paranoid, but trying to be prepaid for the worst; thus why people call them “preppers” nowadays.
Whether purchasing a firearm and ammunition for sport, hunting, plinking, or preparing for a possible break down of the system – it is all within the rights of the Second Amendment. Today's society [too many] are not aware that if one amendment falls, others will follow; and know so little about the Constitution and its amendments, they actually believe that healthcare and other welfare benefits are their constitutional right – making someone else pay for it. Thus, what Walter E. Williams said about society making a civilized nation is truth and is breaking down before our eyes.
Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? It is feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American … The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
Tench Cowe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb 20th, 1788
The argument then remains the same today, just that the advance of firearms being drastically different. We the People agreed that the federal government not allow certain weaponry into the hands of the common people, such as rocket launchers, artillery, mortar weaponry and firearms that have continuous fire unless they register it and obtain permission to do so for those who collect and museums who want such weaponry. However, switch blade knives and sawed-off shotguns should not be on the list. It is senseless and not adhering to the mindset that initiated such a ban in the first place.
The AR-15, [“AR” = Armalite Rifle, not Assault Rifle] model of semiautomatic, along with AR-10, AR-30, and AR-50 are legal weapons; and should be. This weapon, civilian version of the military M16, M16A1, and M16A2; is the weapon of choice for a number of reasons, chiefly: (1) ease of operation; (2) light, but strong and dependable; (3) easy to maintain and reliable. It's ammunition (.223/5.65mm) is relatively inexpensive, but gets the job done. Other versions of the AR come in .308/7.62mm; but those are chiefly for those who like the AR style and dependability and want to use it for hunting large game. The 7.62 is used in sniper rifles and medium machine guns [M60] in the US Armed Forces. It has become a traditional choice of firearm enthusiasts and patriots across America.
What was once the American mainstay firearm, the Kentucky 'Long' Rifle; it is now the AR-15 with various configurations and customizations.
The frontier family, the American colonists under British rule, were familiar with the Kentucky rifle, which was made in Pennsylvania in the towns of Lancaster and Reading, primarily. Called the 'Long Rifle' initially because of the barrel length, later famous frontiersmen like Daniel Boone made the rifle famous and came to be known as the Kentucky Rifle.
The gunsmiths who made these long-range, accurate rifles were the Pennsylvania Dutch [actually they were German, but were called Pennsylvania Dutch because in those days anyone from Germany were called Dutch. Germans had made the finest rifles in Europe, and immigrants brought that talent to the American colonies. One-third of the population in Pennsylvania was German.
The Kentucky Rifle was a flintlock muzzle-loading firearm with a rifled barrel [thus the name 'rifle'] that was from three to four feet long. The long barrel increased muzzle velocity, had improved sighting, and so could hit a target with more accuracy and greater distance than what the British soldier was using, called Brown Bess. When the American Revolution began, the British soldiers were being picked off before their issued rifles could be in range of the American colonial militia. The bullet was heavier than the British, in .40 or .45 caliber sizes, which caused more damage when it hit something and not too heavy to travel long distances. It was especially useful when hunting for game for the dinner table.
Shooting contests became a regular frontier pastime from New England to Georgia; thus the American militiaman was an accomplished marksman where a British soldier, drafted from the cities of England, never firing a rifle until practicing in the King's army, had the disadvantage along with the range problem.
American riflemen could snuff out a candle or drive the nail at 70 paces, and did so in competitions. The flintlock has one major problem – the percussion cap was not invented yet. It involved extra steps in loading and firing. Dampness and fouling with dirty black powder in the pan caused misfires and hangfire. This could be life threatening when in battle with the enemy. Reloading usually took about one minute on the average, the best riflemen could do it in 30 seconds. Thirty seconds is a long time when British troops or an enraged bear was charging.
But still, the Kentucky Rifle was still better than the British Brown Bess. The British called the Kentucky Rifle the widow-maker, and rightly so.
That rifle, although waning, is still popular among those who collect antique firearms, Reenactments, or enjoy hunting with muzzle loaders that are modern versions of the same rifle in percussion cap or the new electronic ignition system. Either way, the Kentucky Rifle must still be muzzle loaded and fired as a single shot rifle.
The Kentucky Rifle, what was to the frontiersman and militia of the 1700s, is now the AR-15 rifle today; but all fall under the tradition, constitutional law under the Second Amendment – the right to keep and bear arms.
Some groups have provided the American militia a bad name with the help of the media; however there are constitutional militia groups out there who form in comradeship, tradition, swearing to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against enemies, foreign and domestic, and who hold the same honor and heritage that the Minute Man of the American Revolutionary War held. Their clothing and firearms may be different, but the gist of what they are about remain the same. They believe in their communities and working with, not against, the county sheriffs and law enforcement individuals.
Those that hold power in our federal and state government should be looking at these Americans, men and women, as allied militia, ready to help defend and protect themselves and their fellow citizens against criminal predators within the confines of constitutional law – not the law of the mob or the elite that has taken root and gained power over the People. The constitutional militia are not vigilantes, but part of the honor, traditions and heritage of the United States of America.
Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.
Tench Cowe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789
The same goes with the NRA (National Rifle Association) that honors tradition and the Second Amendment and encouraging citizens to be responsible firearm owners and exercising established safety standards whether they are at the range, in competition, or carrying a concealed weapon with a permit.
With every freedom and liberty, there comes responsibility; as well as the duty to protect those rights and liberties.
Citizens that do not wish to own or handle firearms have the right to make that choice; however, they do not have the right to demand that other lawful citizens not exercise their Second Amendment rights.
The Pennsylvania 'Kentucky' Rifle was the weapon of choice in the 1700s, but today, the weapon of choice among Americans is the AR-15.
The weaponry changed, but the heritage and US Constitution should not change with it.