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The Founders on the 2nd Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms

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posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 02:24 PM
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Here is the definition of the gun grabbers 'well regulated'..


The police.

The military.

The criminals.

ALL better armed than John Q. Public.

By that definition job 'well' done.
edit on 25-6-2014 by neo96 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 02:27 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: NavyDoc


Until called up, everyone was expected to supply themselves with arms and practice with them, but until called up, were still private citizens.


Every white male between 18 and 45 who was not exempt from conscription was expected to own a weapon for use in militia training and service.

This is not the same as a requirement for every citizen to own a gun in case he felt the need to go to war with the government, is it? Using militias under the authority of the states firstly and the President ultimately, was in of itself a way of mitigating the threat posed by a large standing army.

Let's get back to the 2nd Amendment for a second. Did you happen to see my earlier post about quoting James Madison from The Federalist No. 46?

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes.

and that's from the guy who wrote the amendment.

As I said earlier, I've seen no evidence that the Founders/Framers even so much as entertained the idea of the American public being disarmed — they clearly saw it as an advantage. That is not the same thing as saying some jackasses walking into Chipotle, rifles in hand, to take asinine photos for Facebook has anything to do with the purpose of the militia.


Considering that people quite often carried their weapons into taverns back then and there were no laws against it, I'd suggest that they did not have a problem with it.

OTO, they supported private property rights so they'd have no problem with Chipotle insisting that people do not bring guns into their establishments--they would just be against the government disarming the citizen, and therein lies the difference.

Getting back the Hamilton quote, he says that the organization is an advantage in addition to being armed. Not only, not primarily, not as the sole purpose. He was praising the idea of organizing dutiful citizens, not implying that citizens only be armed when organized. He didn't say that at all and, additionally at the end of the quote which you didn't bother to outline, he criticized European governments where "the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. " Right there he is telling us that he believes that the people, as a whole and as individuals must be armed even without service or control by the state.
edit on 25-6-2014 by NavyDoc because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-6-2014 by NavyDoc because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 02:33 PM
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a reply to: NavyDoc


HIs premise is that "well regulated" meant controlled by laws and regulation and that this thus established that the FF supported gun laws (even though they enacted exactly zero gun laws) whereas what Hamilton and every one else meant that "well regulated" meant "well equipped and practiced." That we see Hamilton opine that it is too hard to have the large body of people just as practiced as regular soldiers without neglecting other things like business and earning a livelihood actually refutes Indigo's assertion that the FF did not use "well regulated" to mean "well trained and equipped" but rather "controlled by the government." Hamilton in that citation is actually using the phrase in the context I've been pointing out.


But isn't that the crux of the argument? Well trained and equipped... by the states? (with the exception of 1 rife, 24 rounds, knapsack, etc). It's right in Article 1, Section 8 as is the authority of the federal government over the militia:

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;


and more to the point, Article 1 section 2 of the constitution:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

The states controlled the militia until they were called into service at which point, they were under the authority of the President and in fact, as I previously noted, the Militia Acts stated that failure to obey the President would lead to court martial.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 02:39 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: NavyDoc


HIs premise is that "well regulated" meant controlled by laws and regulation and that this thus established that the FF supported gun laws (even though they enacted exactly zero gun laws) whereas what Hamilton and every one else meant that "well regulated" meant "well equipped and practiced." That we see Hamilton opine that it is too hard to have the large body of people just as practiced as regular soldiers without neglecting other things like business and earning a livelihood actually refutes Indigo's assertion that the FF did not use "well regulated" to mean "well trained and equipped" but rather "controlled by the government." Hamilton in that citation is actually using the phrase in the context I've been pointing out.


But isn't that the crux of the argument? Well trained and equipped... by the states? (with the exception of 1 rife, 24 rounds, knapsack, etc). It's right in Article 1, Section 8 as is the authority of the federal government over the militia:

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;


and more to the point, Article 1 section 2 of the constitution:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

The states controlled the militia until they were called into service at which point, they were under the authority of the President and in fact, as I previously noted, the Militia Acts stated that failure to obey the President would lead to court martial.


I think you are supporting my point. That "well regulated" meant well equipped and trained.

But the militia act has everyone supplying their own arms and they were private citizens, with their arms in their possession, until called up. Even when going to mandatory drill at the state and local levels, they took their OWN guns with them. There was no gun control nor gun laws. If the FF intended the 2nd not to be an individual right as well as a collective right, they would have done what Hamilton decried and, like Europe, kept the militia arms in armories and issued them out to the militia when needed and made possession by the individual of certain arms illegal. Not only did they do the direct opposite, but they criticized Europeans for doing this. Unlike the governments of Europe, they trusted their citizens with arms and they said this quite clearly.

You are confusing the principle of, "we need citizens able to act in a militia capacity if need be so we are not only going to let them have arms, but encourage them to use and train with them" (which is what they said and did-repeatedly) with "we need citizens to act in a militia capacity so we are going to hand out guns if we need them to fight but not let them have them elsewhere" (which is not only what they didn't do, or say, but actually criticized and disparaged European governments for doing.)
edit on 25-6-2014 by NavyDoc because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 03:09 PM
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a reply to: NavyDoc


Getting back the Hamilton quote, he says that the organization is an advantage in addition to being armed. Not only, not primarily, not as the sole purpose. He was praising the idea of organizing dutiful citizens, not implying that citizens only be armed when organized. He didn't say that at all.


I didn't say that James Madison implied that citizens only be armed when organized and I'm not sure where you're inferring that. If the Framers of the Constitution were inclined to restrict gun ownership, they would have done so. This is OBVIOUSLY not the case. The debate, which has been going on for far longer than either of us has been alive, is whether or not the 2nd Amendment is a protection of individual rights or states' rights.

Modern American society is under no obligation to maintain the same relationship with guns as existed at the time the Constitution was ratified. Much of this is, as it should be, the domain of state and local authority.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 03:15 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: NavyDoc


Getting back the Hamilton quote, he says that the organization is an advantage in addition to being armed. Not only, not primarily, not as the sole purpose. He was praising the idea of organizing dutiful citizens, not implying that citizens only be armed when organized. He didn't say that at all.


I didn't say that James Madison implied that citizens only be armed when organized and I'm not sure where you're inferring that. If the Framers of the Constitution were inclined to restrict gun ownership, they would have done so. This is OBVIOUSLY not the case. The debate, which has been going on for far longer than either of us has been alive, is whether or not the 2nd Amendment is a protection of individual rights or states' rights.

Modern American society is under no obligation to maintain the same relationship with guns as existed at the time the Constitution was ratified. Much of this is, as it should be, the domain of state and local authority.


That is great...Now we all know that you have taken the losing side of the argument that was already decided in the supreme court.

If you want to know whether Article two of the bill of rights is an individual right...You are too late.
That ship has sailed in favor as one of the peoples rights.

Next subject is in order for this one is closed!



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 03:22 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: NavyDoc


Getting back the Hamilton quote, he says that the organization is an advantage in addition to being armed. Not only, not primarily, not as the sole purpose. He was praising the idea of organizing dutiful citizens, not implying that citizens only be armed when organized. He didn't say that at all.


I didn't say that James Madison implied that citizens only be armed when organized and I'm not sure where you're inferring that. If the Framers of the Constitution were inclined to restrict gun ownership, they would have done so. This is OBVIOUSLY not the case. The debate, which has been going on for far longer than either of us has been alive, is whether or not the 2nd Amendment is a protection of individual rights or states' rights.

Modern American society is under no obligation to maintain the same relationship with guns as existed at the time the Constitution was ratified. Much of this is, as it should be, the domain of state and local authority.


Considering there were no federal or state gun control laws created at the time, and the first federal law was in 1934 and the first real state laws were part of the Jim Crow era, one could say that the intent was not to have federal nor state gun control laws.

Also consider that the entire Bill of Rights, every one of them, is protection of INDIVIDUAL rights, not state nor collective rights with the exception of the 10th amendments. Where they meant a state right, they said "state" quite clearly and where they meant individual rights, they said "people" quite clearly, which is why the 10th delineates " are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." See that language? They said "states" when the meant "states" and "people" when they meant "people." If the second is only a states right issue, why did they say "people" instead of "state" like they did in the 10th? If they intended the 2nd to be a "collective" or state right, then so would, by that logic, the freedom of speech, assembly, and religion. By that logic, a state could have a state religion. However, that is not the case, they said "state" when they meant "state" and "people" when they meant the individual citizen and/or citizens.

Also, you have to look at their actions. The laws and customs that these people made at the time, was all in support of it being an individual right, not a collective one and "gun control" did not come on a widespread state level until after the civil war (and just to keep black people from having guns, no one else) and on a federal level until 1934. The proof is in their actions and their actions confirm it as being intended to be an individual right and they said so quite clearly. "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms." Thomas Jefferson.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: thisguyrighthere

Well, I guess it would depend on the police chief/sheriff to determine how their officers are trained, how often, and in what scenarios. I don't disagree that the average LEO should train more often in simulated real-life scenarios, but that doesn't negate the fact that, even with a low level of training, they're better equiped mentally for a confrontation where a weapon may need pulled.

I wish I could train more...one of my buddies (ex-Ranger, Army) does some cool stuff every week with an ex-SEAL who trains MMA and combat-scenario firearms training. I just can't drive two hours or pay the costs every week to do it with him, otherwise I would. I do need to track down something like that closer to me, though, or at least do something like that quarterly per year, at the least.

Anyhoo, I agree with you for the most part, and quite honestly, even in the military the training is lackluster dependent upon your MOS (Military Occupational Skill). Obviously, 5th Special Forces Group on Fort Campbell will train much more often than the 101st Airborne Division's (Air Assault) JAG office. And don't even get me started on how little we trained with our weapons when I was stationed in Germany.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 03:33 PM
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a reply to: NavyDoc


You are confusing the principle of, "we need citizens able to act in a militia capacity if need be so we are not only going to let them have arms, but encourage them to use and train with them" (which is what they said and did-repeatedly) with "we need citizens to act in a militia capacity so we are going to hand out guns if we need them to fight but not let them have them elsewhere" (which is not only what they didn't do, or say, but actually criticized and disparaged European governments for doing.)


Not at all. I actually agree with the first statement. My initial, and primary, disagreements were with the points expressed by the OP:


As the unceasing drumbeat to dilute the 2nd Amendment continues one of the arguments that typically appears is that the Founders would have had qualifiers on a United States Citizen's rights to keep and bear arms. This, of course, shows a rather deep and profound misunderstanding of their intentions and sentiments regarding the ability for private citizens to possess firearms.

The Founders and Framers did not expect the private citizenry to be subordinate to the military in regards the ability to own arms but to have equal parity as they were and always should be considered the militia.


(my emphasis)

Further, that the 2nd Amendment is primarily concerned with, as I construed his argument to be, an encouragement of the public, acting as the militia, to conduct armed insurrection. This is a very slippery slope. These two points, if taken together and taken at their most extreme interpretation, could be used as justification for just about ANYTHING.

Should a group of people be permitted to amass not only guns, but artillery and then because in their own opinion, the government is overrun by tyranny, wage war on the government? This is clearly not the intention of the 2nd Amendment as the militia was used on multiple occasions to quell rebellions.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 03:40 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: NavyDoc


You are confusing the principle of, "we need citizens able to act in a militia capacity if need be so we are not only going to let them have arms, but encourage them to use and train with them" (which is what they said and did-repeatedly) with "we need citizens to act in a militia capacity so we are going to hand out guns if we need them to fight but not let them have them elsewhere" (which is not only what they didn't do, or say, but actually criticized and disparaged European governments for doing.)


Not at all. I actually agree with the first statement. My initial, and primary, disagreements were with the points expressed by the OP:


As the unceasing drumbeat to dilute the 2nd Amendment continues one of the arguments that typically appears is that the Founders would have had qualifiers on a United States Citizen's rights to keep and bear arms. This, of course, shows a rather deep and profound misunderstanding of their intentions and sentiments regarding the ability for private citizens to possess firearms.

The Founders and Framers did not expect the private citizenry to be subordinate to the military in regards the ability to own arms but to have equal parity as they were and always should be considered the militia.


(my emphasis)

Further, that the 2nd Amendment is primarily concerned with, as I construed his argument to be, an encouragement of the public, acting as the militia, to conduct armed insurrection. This is a very slippery slope. These two points, if taken together and taken at their most extreme interpretation, could be used as justification for just about ANYTHING.

Should a group of people be permitted to amass not only guns, but artillery and then because in their own opinion, the government is overrun by tyranny, wage war on the government? This is clearly not the intention of the 2nd Amendment as the militia was used on multiple occasions to quell rebellions.




I would say that, philosophically, the FF did intend the armed citizen to be a counterpoint to a potential tyrannical government--as they intended the freedom of speech and assembly and the press. Although we enjoy porn and the theater and rock and roll due to the first Amendment, the principle value of it is to keep the government in check and all of the rest is gravy.

Likewise, the FF very clearly and at multiple times, have stated that the armed citizen was also to be a counterpoint to a tyrannical government. It may seem confusing and hypocritical as the very people who talked of blood and tyrants and using the armed citizen to overthrow despots also used the militia to quell rebellion. One could argue that a rebellion against a duly elected government and a constitution that protects the rights of citizens is different than a rebellion against a dictator, and I'd agree with that concept. However, the difference between an unjust rebellion and a just revolution seems to come down to who won.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 04:12 PM
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"You see in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig. ...You dig."

( R.I.P. Tuko )



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 04:59 PM
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In the context of the era in which it was written, we clearly see that it is the individual who holds these rights. But, we also see how these individuals come together to discuss any plights which may need be addressed. It is the subsequent consensus which determines any required course of action of the deciding body.
The individual, is therefore both a steward and a contributor, with regard to the safety and prosperity of our nation.

These truths are, and will remain, self-evident...






edit on 6/25/2014 by GoOfYFoOt because: correction



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 05:50 PM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey
a reply to: thisguyrighthere

Well, I guess it would depend on the police chief/sheriff to determine how their officers are trained, how often, and in what scenarios. I don't disagree that the average LEO should train more often in simulated real-life scenarios, but that doesn't negate the fact that, even with a low level of training, they're better equiped mentally for a confrontation where a weapon may need pulled.

I wish I could train more...one of my buddies (ex-Ranger, Army) does some cool stuff every week with an ex-SEAL who trains MMA and combat-scenario firearms training. I just can't drive two hours or pay the costs every week to do it with him, otherwise I would. I do need to track down something like that closer to me, though, or at least do something like that quarterly per year, at the least.

Anyhoo, I agree with you for the most part, and quite honestly, even in the military the training is lackluster dependent upon your MOS (Military Occupational Skill). Obviously, 5th Special Forces Group on Fort Campbell will train much more often than the 101st Airborne Division's (Air Assault) JAG office. And don't even get me started on how little we trained with our weapons when I was stationed in Germany.


"Better equipped mentally"

Are You Serious?

Having been a cop and now retired I can tell you straight up that you don't know what you don't know.

Not all cops and not all military people are trained equally.

I saw many examples of poor judgment as a soldier and as a cop, and a study showed that 40% of the police officers were not suitable to work as public servants and 10% were criminals.

The dean of the criminal justice department told me that a high IQ applicant would be rejected because most departments wanted cops to just follow orders without question.

Cops on average shoot innocent people about 3 and one half times more often then civilians do.

50% of the cops that are shot are shot with their own weapon.

They tend not to be the sharpest pencil in the drawer and seem to have much difficulty thinking outside the box...

Not all cops or soldiers are equally endowed with good judgment either.

Sorry to burst your bubble!

edit on 25-6-2014 by waltwillis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 05:56 PM
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The tree of liberty must be refreshed by the blood of both patriots and tyrants if it should survive.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 06:51 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
And herein lies the crux of the debate. Is the 2nd Amendment intended to protect a citizen's right to bear arms or the right (in fact, responsibility) of states to maintain militias? In my opinion, the most relevant contextual clue comes from the Articles of Confederation and so again I point to Article 6, paragraph 4:


The phrase used by Madison, 'The People', refers to the citizenry and their responsiblity to keep themselves armed. If he wante the State to maintain the milita it would have included that verbiage. The Articles of Confederation were deemed innefecctive, hence the reason for the Constitutional Convention.



It's clear that it was viewed as the responsibility of the state to maintain militias. Consider also James Madison from The Federalist No. 46:

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes.

While Madison, who actually wrote the 2nd Amendment, was cognizant of the benefit of an armed public, the real emphasis is placed in the significance of having the state militias to form "a barrier against the enterprises of ambition."


Agreed that the State Militias were a barrier to the Federal Government, which did not have a full time standing army. It now does have a full time stadning army hence the reason I brought up parity. How could the milita, 'The People', hope to oppose a prospective tyrannical government without some semblance of parity between themselves and the Federal Government's army?



The role of the militia in the colonial era was much the same as after the Revolution — a reserve force, supplemental to the regular army, as it was in The French and Indian War and in various conflicts with natives.


In so much that the People agreed with the Governement's agenda (right or wrong in hindsight), it does not nullify their duty to depose, in theory, an unjust government.



Specifically that paragraph refers to land ownership but the entirety of the letter addresses intergenerational debt and the underlying premise, that successive generations owe no debt to their predecessors, could be applied to anything, including laws.


There is no mention of that by Jefferson as I laid out in my post. The defintion for 'usufruct', in Jefferson's time, specifically referred to the Land as an abstraction.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 07:11 PM
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originally posted by: Indigo5
No...He specifically says by their exercise in law. He is not speaking of a constitutional convention, he is speaking of the "exercise in law" of those rights. Administration and enforcement.


It would be nice if you used the entire quote by Jefferson which was in refernce to the Residence Bill of 1790:


Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the righ[t] of self-government: they recieve it with their being from the hand of nature. Individuals exercise it by their single will: collections of men, by that of their majority; for the law of the majority is the natural law of every society of men. When a certain description of men are to transact together a particular business, the times and places of their meeting and separating depend on their own will; they make a part of the natural right of self-government. This, like all other natural rights, may be abridged or modified in it's exercise, by their own consent, or by the law of those who depute them, if they meet in the right of others: but so far as it is not abridged or modified, they retain it as a natural right, and may exercise it in what form they please, either exclusively by themselves, or in association with others, or by others altogether, as they shall agree. Source


Jefferson is speciffically referring to self-governance and the ability of the 'collections of men' (the Legislature) to meet and enact laws and that this prcoess can be abrogated by the majority. It says nothing of limiting the enumrated rights of the Constitution. By reading the entire essay you will see that Jefferson is speaking solely about Congress and not the People.


In the administration of the 2nd Amendment...Jefferson felt he "right to bare arms" is not a limitless right. It is subject to be "modified" in "exercise by law". With the premise that those limits not contradict the premise of the constitution.

The right to "bare arms" remains intact even when we forbid someone to own a fully automatic M-16 or conduct a reasonable background check.


He says no such thing. If Madison and Mason intended there to be qualifiers on the Second Amendment they would ahve included them and that would have been presented to the States to ratify. The Amendment is quite clear in that it does not place limitations on the People and their right to keep and bear arms.


At the end of the day...the debate is about what the constitution does not say. I am of the mind that our founders, in their wisdom, intended that ambiguity so that the public could continue to have just these kinds of debates.


There was no ambiguity until the 1930's when the Federal Government decided that a populace that had, for more than a century prior, kept and beared arms that were more sophisticated than the army's. Again, I refer to Jefferson when he said that the Constitution, when being analyzed, should be framed in the spirit of the day it was drafted and ratified.






posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 09:08 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus
It's even worse, the feds have many "armies", and a good deal of them armies are pointed right at the people. ATF, IRS, FBI etc etc. Like 95% of the alphabet agencies should have never been allowed to be formed.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 10:04 PM
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Have a little faith my friends as the army of God is more than one...

It won't be pretty, but it will be...

Chose your sides well and read the last chapter of the good book.

The go along to get along folks are in the fight for the money and we patriots are here to serve our Lord and His creation.

Give it some thought.



posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 06:27 AM
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originally posted by: waltwillis
The go along to get along folks are in the fight for the money and we patriots are here to serve our Lord and His creation.


When did this turn into some kind of holy war?


(post by Indigo5 removed for a manners violation)


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