2nd Amendment and Guns and Ammo — Same Issue Today as in Colonial Times

By Maj. Gen. Jerry R. Curry, US Army Ret.
Clash Daily Guest Contributor

lossy-page1-800px-The_First_Blow_for_Liberty._Battle_of_Lexington,_April_1775._Copy_of_print_by_A._H._Ritchie_after_F.O.C._Darley,_1870_-_-_NARA_-_559250.tifOn April 19, 1775, a British Expeditionary Force set out to capture and destroy guns and ammunition believed stored by American Colonists at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. To counter the British action the American Colonists mobilized their militias and, using guns kept in their houses, defeated the British forces and forced them to retreat back to Boston.

The British believed it was perfectly acceptable for the government to be armed, but that private citizens should not be armed because they might challenge the actions of the British Government. They thought it reasonable for the British to confiscate the colonist’s guns and ammunition. The colonists believed that private citizens should have access to firearms to defend themselves and in case the government became too tyrannical.

It seems we have forgotten the lesson that the colonists fought the Battles of Lexington and Concord to prevent the British Government from disarming the American Colonists. The colonists’ intent was that never again would only the government have access to guns and ammunition and the American people be stripped naked of the right to own and bear arms and left without the means to protect themselves and their interests. Now that same specter rises once again to threaten the freedom of the American people and once more the government is making an all-out effort to seize the guns and ammunition of America’s private citizens.

The British attempt to disarm the colonists is one of the actions that led to the Revolutionary War and, later on, to the adoption of the Second Amendment which reads, “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.” Are the Congress and the President now fomenting another revolution? They seem to have forgotten that the clear purpose of the Second Amendment is not to restrict the private citizen’s ownership of guns and ammunition, but to restrict the possible tyranny of the central government.

The subject of discussion today in Washington and throughout the nation is, “Shall the American people have the right to bear arms and protect their interests, or will the government be able to circumvent or abrogate the constitution and force the government’s will upon the American people in violation of our founding documents and principles?”
Of course this is all done under the subterfuge of being helpful and protective of our citizens. Those politicians in charge of finding a way to reduce gun violence speak of the efficacy of curbing it, of making video games less violent, closing loop holes that allow unqualified gun and ammunition purchasers to make purchases, eliminating high-capacity rifles and magazines, keeping guns away from the mentally disturbed, more use of metal detectors, and on and on it goes.

But we citizens aren’t so easily fooled. We recognize that we are again fighting the battle of Lexington and Concord all over again. It is not a question of a culture of violence taking over our society, or of whether or not a single-shot rifle is more violent than a semi-automatic firearm. They are equally violent.

It is a constitutional issue, not just one of gun violence, or of semi-automatic versus fully automatic, or small versus long magazines of ammunition. Gun and ammunition ownership rights, among others, are what our Founding Fathers fought and died for at Lexington and Concord; they fought for the constitutional right to bear arms and to limit the paternalism of government. Do Americans today have the constitutional right to own and store guns and ammunition? The answer today is the same as it was back in colonial days.

Actions by political leaders in the Congress and the White House indicate that they do not trust the people of America with guns, so restricting private gun ownership must be good and restricting the government’s fire arms ownership is bad. That is, the people of America cannot be trusted to own and handle guns and ammo. However, the government that shamelessly forced American Indians along the Trail of Tears, and rejoiced over the Dred Scott Decision supposedly can be trusted to regulate guns and ammunition.

Someone suggested that school teachers should have the right to be armed and licensed if they so choose. This makes sense in spite of all the derogatory comments made about the idea. Ask the teachers and see how they feel about it. And we wouldn’t need a separate governmental agency to implement the arming of school teachers. Their training and arming could be done voluntarily, at the local level.

Today the Second Amendment means exactly what our Founding Fathers intended it to mean in colonial times, “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.”

Image: The First Blow for Liberty. Battle of Lexington, April 1775; copy of print by A. H. Ritchie after F.O.C. Darley, 1870 – 1900; National Archives and Records Administration, College Park; Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration; public domain

jerry_curryGeneral Jerry Ralph Curry (D.Min.) is a decorated combat veteran, Army Aviator, Paratrooper and Ranger. He enlisted in the Army as a Private and retired a Major General. For nearly forty years he and his wife Charlene have served this country both in the military and while he was a Presidential political appointee.

  • Patriot-Research

    Tyranny is here people…We the People have had OUR Great Nation Hi-Jacked by Obama and the Communist/Muslim..!!! Congress NO longer listens to the American People, the Fake Pres in the WH has never listened to the American People, and they are robbing US Citizens of all OUR CIVIL RIGHTS, and once they disarm us, we will be in a complete Police State…!!! A Civil War is becoming We the Peoples only response to this Tyranny…!!! Go listen to Dr. Michael Williams radio show “The Patriot Report” at “http://webtalkradio.net/internet-talk-radio/the-patriot-report/ and get the real truth the lame stream media won’t tall the American People. Doug Giles from this web Site (Clashdaily.com) is the Patriot reports quest this week. We Patriots need to support this show NOW! I spoke with Dr. Williams and he informed me that the radio station is going to run the show one more week before cancelling the show if the show does not make a payment this week! They need to raise only $1,000 but NO ONE is DONATING…the show has 10’s of thousands of listeners but NO Donation. What the heck is wrong with you people. You can’t part with a lousy $5 or $10 dollars….We the People need this show and can’t afford to let the Liberal/Communist win and get this show off the Air/Web – Go to: http://www.thepatriotreport.org and donate today, PLEASE! Also while you are there please sign the “Recall Obama” petition.

  • VeeDub57

    I wish people would step out of their box, defending the 2nd Amendment, and step into the box they need to be in…. Defending the U.S. Constitution.

    Most, narrow mindedly, only see this as an attack on the 2nd Amendment.

    It’s not. The whole U.S. Constitution is being attacked with these threats against one Amendment.

    They threw up smoke and mirrors, and we’re choking on our reflection in the fog.

    Congress has ALL legislative authority (Article 1, Section 1). That leaves none for the President, no matter who it is.

    Every time CONgress allows violations of the Constitution and our RIGHTS to be limited, stripped, taken away or altered, they are ignoring the charge they accepted to obey and defend the Constitution.

    Every time CONgress doesn’t act to reign in a President (checks and balances people), they prove themselves to be useless. If they aren’t going to do their job and continue to allow Presidents to pass EOs (so they don’t get their hands dirty), then they are ceding their Constitutional authority, and saying that the U.S. Constitution and CONgress are no longer needed.

    CONgress are the ones helping usher in a dictatorship, the likes of which the World has never seen before.

    • David Tupper

      I agree with you about defending the entire Constitution, but it needs to start with the Second Amendment. Without the portion, the rest of the foundation of our country will crumble to dust in short order, with the 545 people in Washington that work for us helping to knock it down.

    • danstewart

      Without the second amendment the constitution meens nothing. It is dead.

      • VeeDub57

        So you’re suggesting that the 2nd Amendment can stand alone without the rest of the Constitution? Not possible!
        It takes several areas of the Constitution to protect each portion of the Bill of Rights. Without the founding document to base everything else on, nothing is left for CONgress or anyone to use to defend them.

  • danstewart

    The only solution may be the same again. The congress seems to be a bunch weenies, & the senate is a nest of snakes. We need a Patrick Henry to tell it like it is.

  • reggiec

    have posted the following several times on different sites because I feel it is the most powerful argument that can be presented to our members of congress and other public officials at all levels. I have added one more paragraph to the emails or letters I send. Actually a letter sent by snail mail is more effective as many emails are just deleted by some staffer. Loads of envelopes piling up are hard to ignore. Feel free to cut and paste it into an email or preferably a snail mail letter. Send this to everyone you know and we CAN influence this debate.
    Sorry it is so long but I felt the meaning should be absolutely clear so that even Liberals could understand.
    *** Added paragraph:
    I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that as a representative of mine in elected office, you have sworn to uphold The Constitution; not with an interpretation of what you think it means but according to what the grammar and word definitions meant when it was ratified. If you as a representative of mine in public office, will continue to support the Second Amendment as written and intended you will continue to have my support. If you, as one of my representatives in public office, do anything to INFRINGE upon any portion of my unalienable rights as contained in the Second Amendment of The Constitution of These United States of America; I will do everything in my power to make sure you are never elected to any public office in the future. If you are still not convinced of the true meaning of the Second Amendment, if you cannot understand the meaning of words in the English language and if you will not uphold your oath of office; “MOLON LABE”.
    Second Amendment meaning:
    “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.” James Madison
    Second Amendment in context:
    ***”The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. They deserve a place of honor with all that is good. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour.” – George Washington in address to the 2nd session of the United States Congress.
    ***“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.” (George Washington)
    ***”The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.” Henry St. George Tucker, in Blackstone’s 1768 “Commentaries on the Laws of England.”, Judge of the Virginia Supreme Court & U.S. Dist. Court of Virginia

    ***”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; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria
    Those who argue that the Second Amendment was written just for militias are completely blown out of the water by the following quote from Thomas Jefferson.
    “The strongest reason for “PEOPLE” (My emphasis) to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334 (C. J. Boyd, Ed., 1950)
    James Madison is credited with the writing of the “Bill of Rights” and was pretty clear about the meaning on the Second Amendment.
    “The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the “PEOPLE” (My emphasis) with arms.”
    Here are a few others who help define the true meaning of the Second Amendment. It becomes very clear upon the examination of the meanings attached to the Second Amendment by our Founding Fathers that the original intent of the Second Amendment is being attacked in order to eventually disarm the American people.
    ***”I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
    George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788
    ***”Whereas civil-rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as 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 Coxe, in Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution
    ***”Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it 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”, (MY BOLD) are the birthright of an American…[T]he 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.”
    –Tenche Coxe, an American political economist and a delegate for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
    ***”The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”
    — Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188
    ***”That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to INFRINGE (MY BOLD) the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms … ”
    — Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Pierce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)
    ***”Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.”
    –Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).
    ***”No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950]
    ***” … to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
    — George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380
    ***”The right [to bear arms] is general. It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been explained elsewhere, consists of those persons who, under the laws, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon…. [I]f the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether by the action or the neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose. But this enables the government to have a well-regulated militia; for to bear arms implies something more than mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them in a way that makes those who keep them ready for their efficient use; in other words, it implies the right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms, observing in so doing the laws of public order.”
    — Thomas M. Cooley, General Principles of Constitutional Law, Third Edition [1898]
    Then there are politicians who insist in taking our Constitution out of context of time and original meaning. Once again, James Madison warned us against this.
    “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”
    Second Amendment:
    “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 INFRINDGED.”
    Arms, in the context and time when our Constitution was written meant the usual arms carried by militia members, everyday citizens or light infantry in the Continental Army. Many of these arms were supplied by their owners for militia duty and were personal weapons initially used for hunting or home defense. They came in all types and calibers; from a 30 cal. squirrel rifle to a 75 cal. smooth bore musket, pistols and shotguns of all types, calibers and gauges. They also included a huge variety of other arms including: knives of every conceivable shape and size, bayonets and swords. Many early citizens also carried tomahawks.
    Attempts to control the type and or caliber of arms Americans’ can possess are absolutely against The Constitution and the Second Amendment as it was written and intended. By the supreme law of the land (The Constitution), an American citizen should be able to keep and bear any weapon now used individually by our light infantry soldiers.
    Larger weapons such as cannon and mortars that could not be carried by an individual soldier or required more than one person to operate were considered to be “ordinance” and were not defined as “arms”.
    Words have meanings! If those meanings are bastardized all becomes chaos.
    “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.” James Madison
    Definition of to KEEP: to hold or retain in one’s possession; hold as one’s own.
    Definition of to BEAR: to carry, transmit, transport, have a characteristic of and exhibit.
    Definition of INFRINGE: to “encroach” upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another.
    THIS IS THE WORD MOST FORGETEN……INFRINGE!!!!! Read the meaning!!!
    Definition of INFRINGE/ENCROACH…….. 1: to enter by gradual steps or by stealth into the possessions or rights of another. 2: to advance beyond the usual or proper limits
    Why is this so hard to understand? The meanings of the words in the Second Amendment have not changed since the amendment was ratified.
    I am not aware of the Second Amendment being repealed or amended.
    In reference to arms control by the states; the Fourteenth Amendment Section .1. is crystal clear.
    Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; (My emphasis) nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
    Many in politics from the legislative, administrative branches and or judges cite “precedent” as a justification for the violations of our rights as guaranteed in The Constitution of These United States of America. Precedent only describes what has been done and gotten away with, not if it was done in compliance with the supreme law of the land or in accordance with the oath of office to uphold The Constitution.

  • G W

    Time to stand up against these communist democrats. Tomorrow Obama is going to hold a press conference with children! and then issue 9 edicts to start the gun take away train. I find the use of children for emotional props dispicable. Of course it just shows you how low this Kenyan will go to destroy our beloved Constitution. I say IMPEACH Obama and Biden for high crimes against our Republic that they have both sworn to defend. Both are LIARS and criminals!

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