A Commentary On The Second Amendment

Monday, January 21, 2013

Every man having a sense of humanity detests seeing families destroyed, innocent children sacrificed and promising lives snuffed as witnessed at Sandy Hook School. The argument that reducing the number of guns will produce a safer society beguiles the public, promotes politicians and fails to hold wicked people accountable for their actions. 

While gun rights supporters assert that the Constitutional Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bears arms is an inalienable individual right just as freedom of speech or religion, and confirmed by the our Supreme Court. Gun opponents assert this right pertains only to collective bodies such as the militia, the military, police or National Guard.

The Washington Post states: “[T]he sale, manufacture, and possession of handguns ought to be banned…[W]e do not believe the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep them. 

Gun opponents frequently utilize highly-publicized, tragic instances of violence to fortify their confiscation argument saying that guns should be left only in the hands of ‘professionals’. California Senator Diane Feinstein (D) is preparing legislation to outlaw 120 firearms. The ACLU, supports Senator Feinstein, and has stated “[T]he individual’s right to bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a ‘well-regulated militia.’” Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected.”

Yet, disarming innocent people does not make innocent people safer. 

Cabinet Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, even prefers to abandon our Constitution, stating in a speech given at a Washington DC elementary school that “We have common values that go far beyond the Constitutional right to bear arms.”

The Founders of this nation understood that there exists individual inalienable rights and our American government was formed with the sole purpose of safeguarding those inalienable rights. As a nation we are unique in this purpose for government, and the Founders demanded that all office holders swear an oath to ‘protect and defend’ these rights enumerated in our Constitution. 

Opponents confuse the Founders original intent to argue that they never intended to allow citizens to be armed with semi-automatic rifles. This common error in constitutional interpretation is failing to examine the Constitution according to its original meaning.

James Wilson, one of only six founders to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, was nominated by President George Washington as an original Justice on the Supreme Court, exhorted: “The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.” 

The Founders framed the Second Amendment as a certification to protect what was frequently called “the first law of nature”—the right of self-protection, an inalienable right—guaranteed to every citizen individually.

Understanding the Second Amendment’s intention that secures the right “to keep and bear arms”, it is important to establish the source of inalienable rights constitutionally. Constitution signer John Dickenson, like many of the others in his day, defined an inalienable right as a right “which God gave to you and which no inferior power has a right to take away.”

Our Founders believed that it was the duty of government (an inferior power) to protect inalienable rights from encroachment or usurpation. This was made clear by Justice Wilson, while a serving Justice on the Supreme Court; he taught his law students that the specific protections found in our government documents did not create new rights, rather secured old rights – that our documents were merely “…to acquire a new security for the possession or the recovery of those rights…which we were previously entitled by the immediate gift or by the unerring law of our all-wise and all-beneficent Creator.” 

Justice Wilson asserted that “…every government which has not this in view as its principal object is not a government of the legitimate kind.”

The Founders understood the basic concept that government is not the source of rights; that self defense is an inalienable right the Second Amendment guarantees; that each citizen is guaranteed the tools necessary to defend their life, family, or property from aggression, whether from an individual or a government. 

R.D. Skidmore


Steve Smith Is The Kind Of Man We Need In Office

I am not an attorney.  I have no professional relationship with Steve Smith.  I don't know anything about the roles and responsibilities of the office of pubic defender.  I simply know the man and his family.   Steve and I serve together on the Administrative Council at Signal Mountain United Methodist Church.  Steve is a family man, a thoughtful ... (click for more)

Re-Elect My Boss, Gwen Tidwell

I would like to take this opportunity to ask that you re-elect my boss, Gwen Tidwell as the Criminal Court clerk for another four years.  Ms. Tidwell has served as Criminal Court  lerk since 1994 and has done a great job and she would like to continue doing so. Since she was elected in 1994 she has made significant changes in the office to help us do a better job ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Requests For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

Stone Leaves South Pitt For Coaching Positions At Boyd-Buchanan

The possibility of a career move was definitely in Wes Stone’s future. The one he took wasn’t necessarily on his radar screen just a few weeks ago. Stone, assistant football and head baseball coach at South Pittsburg, has left the Pirates for teaching/coaching positions at Boyd-Buchanan. The 38-year-old Stone, who already is working with the Bucs’ football team as a defensive ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy's Wright Commits To MTSU Baseball

Soddy-Daisy’s Andy Wright, a rising senior and dual-threat player, has made a non-binding verbal commitment to play baseball at Middle Tennessee State University. Wright, a pitcher/third baseman, chose the Conference USA Blue Raiders over Belmont, Air Force, Navy, UT-Martin and Carson-Newman. “I’m glad to get this (decision) off my back so I can enjoy my senior year,” Wright ... (click for more)