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


Woe To Us

Messrs. Burrage and Exum have just about said it all in their pieces this morning.  God help us all and God bless them.   I would only add my simple thoughts as I wander through my long life and experiences that justify them each morning, all day, and into the night pondering what has happened to us through those long and painful but often happy years.  And, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanks A Lot For Nothing

Somebody should have gotten an award last Tuesday when a 90-minute “education summit” involving our school leaders, politicians and media produced absolutely nothing. Zilch. Zero. Oh, there are a number of candidates we could give an award for “nothing,” both in our school district and on its fringes. Yet to find Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen brought her high-and-mighty ... (click for more)

Boy In Critical Condition; Another Person Stabbed And Man Shot In Dispute At Apartments On Citico Avenue

A boy is in critical condition after being stabbed on Sunday afternoon in what police described as a dispute between neighbors. One other person was stabbed and a man was shot in the stomach in the melee in the 2700 block of Citico Avenue. The injuries to the second person stabbed in the neck and the shooting victim were said to be not life-threatening. The 12:45 p.m. incident ... (click for more)

Woman, 25, Shot On Dodson Avenue Early Sunday Afternoon

A 25-year-old woman was shot on Dodson Avenue just after noon on Sunday. Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were notified at 12:13 p.m. by a local hospital that a victim arrived with a gunshot wound. The shooting reportedly occurred in the 1300 block of Dodson Avenue. Shaday Millener arrived at the hospital in a personal vehicle with a non-life threatening ... (click for more)

Mocs Soccer Wins 2-1 At Wofford

 The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s soccer team defeated Wofford 2-1 Sunday afternoon in Spartanburg, S.C. The Mocs improve to 3-7-1 overall and 1-1 in Southern Conference action while the Terriers fall to 2-9 on the year and 0-2 against the conference.   Chattanooga netted its first goal in the opening frame following a corner kick. Junior Ellie Myrick’s ... (click for more)

Lee Women Win 5-1 At Shorter

The blistering-hot temperature and the artificial turf was not enough to slow the Lee women's soccer team as they handily defeated host Shorter University 5-1 for its fifth straight victory  on Sunday  afternoon.   Summer Lanter and Kinsey Cichowitz combined to score all five of Lee's goals. Lanter now has six goals on the year and midfielder Cichowitz ... (click for more)