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Posted: 6/17/2003 4:11:43 PM EDT
http://www.libertyforall.net/2003/archive/june29/arms.html Bearing Arms vs Bare Arms by Roderick T. Beaman Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; Amendment II 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. These two statements are the entirety of what the Bill of Rights says about religion and arms. Both should be viewed in the context of the rest of The Constitution and the various terms that were used by the delegates at the Constitutional Convention. First off, notice the restrictive term that is used in the First Amendment. It is not written broadly. It doe not say that no state or local government or any such subdivision shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. It merely says that Congress shall not. Now compare that wording to the wording of the Second Amendment. This amendment says 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed'. The first section of this amendment gives justification for the prohibition of the infringement. It does not say that the militia shall regulate the keeping of arms. It doesn't even define a militia. It says that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. With these two phrases, we can conclude that the Founding Fathers intended that the right to bear arms, any kind of arms, should be unrestricted. No laws whatsoever restricting the possession of any kind of arms or firearms are permitted. It is incredible to ponder how these two amendments, which are fundamental to freedom in this republic, have played out in politics. The First has been stretched, contorted and turned inside out to be used to dispute prayer in schools, the Pledge of Allegiance, displays of the Ten Commandments, Nativity scenes, books and busses for parochial schools and sundry other purposes. This has all been done with justification through the phrase 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion'. Incredibly, many of the very same forces that have taken the First Amendment to this extreme argue, in all seriousness, that laws restricting firearms are legal. But you can't have it both ways. A simple reading of each amendment permits the states to establish a religion but not Congress and no government agency or subdivision thereof is permitted to restrict the possession of arms. OK. So let's cut groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) some slack and agree that the states may not establish any religion either. Then how can you stretch that to prohibit books for religious schools from public funds, busses for students in religious schools? And even more to the point, how can they possibly argue that and then turn around and argue that firearms should be under the control of government? How can they possibly do this with a straight face? For the sake of consistency, the ACLU should be out there taking a position totally against any kind of government control of any kind of weapons. With the blanket type of wording of the Second Amendment, it is difficult to justify any kind of weapons control by any agency of government. I can't even justify restricting private ownership of nuclear weapons, let alone standard firearms. If someone wants to have a personal arsenal that consists of bazookas, howitzers, tanks, nuclear weapons and even chemical and biological weapons, frankly, I find no prohibition for it in the Constitution. I'm not completely comfortable with this conclusion but it's the only one I can make. I further conclude that Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA), is wrong when he states that government should be enforcing the laws that are already on the books. Those laws shouldn't exist in the first place. They should have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court but, of course, the Supreme Court won't do that because the Supreme Court is part of the unspoken government conspiracy to expropriate freedom in this country. And history has shown that any concession to government is just a toe in the door. Government is never content with a nibble when a whole steak is available. I want the reader to note, that I am neither a member of the National Rifle Association nor a firearm owner, nor for that matter the owner of anything, other than kitchen and dinner utensils and home tools that could be construed as weapons. Some might ask then how can you control violence with weapons? The answer is really quite simple. You enforce responsibility. The Founding Fathers never said that we didn't have responsibilities to go along with our rights. If someone elects to possess any type of weapon, he must also be held responsible for what happens to and with them. As any reader of this column knows, I maintain that the abrogation of responsibility has been one of the cornerstones of the morass in which we find ourselves today. This is just another logical extension to that. With rights as human beings and citizens, we have responsibilities. And that's the end of the argument.
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