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...the security of a free state...

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posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 02:26 PM
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Most will recognize those words as a part of the United States Constitution's Second Amendment. Its full wording as ratified by the States and approved by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson 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.


What exactly did the Framers mean by a 'free state' and how was it expected to remain 'free'?

Prevailing thought at the time among the citizens was a fear of a tyrannical government, dictatorial in nature and temper, who's mores and whims could be asserted upon the combined citizenry unjustly. This pervading sentiment was a result of the preceding decades leading to the Revolution and the actions of the British Parliament and Monarchy. This disposition amongst the Framers was nearly universal and was not the sole haunt of anti-Federalists as Noah Webster, a supporter of a Federalist style government, so succinctly decreed:


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 pretence, raised in the United States.


The anti-Federalist, George Mason, who is referred to as the 'Father of the Bill of Rights', eloquently outlined why, at the inception of the country, they should be wary of an unarmed populace:


...to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them...by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.


He also clearly detailed who constituted the Militia:


They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers." Because all were members of the militia, all enjoyed the right to individually bear arms to serve therein.


Thomas Jefferson's contemporary, the fiery Patrick Henry also understood the threat to Liberty came from a tyrannical government, and that it could only be repelled by an armed citizenry, when he famously said:


Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force.


For these reasons, James Monroe, author of the Constitution, incorporated them into the document which we still utilize to define our rights as free citizens. His stance was that the right to bear arms was among the most basic 'human rights'.

So who was to provide the security of a free state? Why, the people of course. An earlier draft of the Second Amendment read as follows:


A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.


While the latter part was eventually removed due to debates on how Great Britain had try to subvert the militia with a 'religious scruples' argument it is the definitive participle of the prefatory clause, 'composed of the body of the people', which was removed as it was felt to be redundant. The Framers understood the militia was composed of the 'body of the people' who were justly and rightly charged with the security of the free state in which they now resided. The people had the sole power to depose a tyrannical government and subsequently install a new one; one that adhered to and respected the principles outlined in the Constitution.

The People, the armed People, are the only security to the free state.

 






edit on 21-7-2014 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer




posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 02:49 PM
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I like the earlier draft, its much clearer.

Thanks, and I agree.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 02:52 PM
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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
I like the earlier draft, its much clearer.


I did not change anything except to add that Noah Webster was a Federalist.


Thanks, and I agree.


Thank you. It is very hard not to agree as they made their views on the topic as clear as a cloudless sky of deepest summer.



edit on 21-7-2014 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

When the words "well regulated" appear, who is supposed to be the regulator? Seems odd that the government is the bad actor, and they would also be assigned as the regulator.

I mean who really cares? just buy moar gunzzzzz. You'll feel whole.
edit on 21-7-2014 by InverseLookingGlass because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-7-2014 by InverseLookingGlass because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 02:56 PM
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originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
When the words "well regulated" appear, who is supposed to be the regulator? Seems odd that is government is the bad actor, they would be assigned as the regulator.


Congress and the respective States.

I mean who really cares? just buy moar gunzzzzz. You'll feel whole.


This really is not about 'buying more guns' but to explain the sentiment behind the inclusion of the right to bear arms as an enumerated right in the Constitution. The Framers felt an unarmed populace was at the whim of their government and would eventually lose all of their rights.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 02:56 PM
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Plenty of free states out there without a 2nd Amendment. Or a need to feel armed. You aren't talking about free states, you're talking about America.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 02:57 PM
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originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

When the words "well regulated" appear, who is supposed to be the regulator? Seems odd that is government is the bad actor, they would be assigned as the regulator.

I mean who really cares? just buy moar gunzzzzz. You'll feel whole.

I am pretty sure that you have already been told what 'well-regulated' meant in the late 1700's.
see here: www.constitution.org

The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.

edit on b000000312014-07-21T14:58:27-05:0002America/ChicagoMon, 21 Jul 2014 14:58:27 -0500200000014 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 02:58 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid
Plenty of free states out there without a 2nd Amendment. Or a need to feel armed. You aren't talking about free states, you're talking about America.


Of course. It is the United States Constitution in the Original Post and they were not writing this for anyone but themselves.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:00 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Well, hell, we were ALL armed back then. Maybe time for the US to get out of the 18th century.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:02 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid
Well, hell, we were ALL armed back then. Maybe time for the US to get out of the 18th century.


I do not think the fear of a tyrannical government is a concept solely in the purview of 18th century thought.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:04 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Well, hell, we were ALL armed back then. Maybe time for the US to get out of the 18th century.


The alternative, in America, is where only law-abiding citizens are disarmed.
Wouldn't that be fun?



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:08 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: intrepid
Well, hell, we were ALL armed back then. Maybe time for the US to get out of the 18th century.


I do not think the fear of a tyrannical government is a concept solely in the purview of 18th century thought.


That's what I've been waiting to see. "Fear". That's what the nation is built on and reacts to. Sorta gives on pause when thinking about the last 2 lines of the Star Spangled Banner doesn't it?

And no. Almost 250 years later? Give it up.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:13 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid
That's what I've been waiting to see. "Fear". That's what the nation is built on and reacts to. Sorta gives on pause when thinking about the last 2 lines of the Star Spangled Banner doesn't it?


Should I have used 'premise'? My choice of wording is not relevant to what the Founders wrote and zeroing in on my use of the word fear is not indicative of the national mood in my opinion. I do not 'fear' a tyrannical government, but I am very wary of one.

And no. Almost 250 years later? Give it up.


I think not. Vigilance against tyranny is not a stance that should be discarded.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:22 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
I think not. Vigilance against tyranny is not a stance that should be discarded.


But vigilance against tyranny when it hasn't existed is wasted energy and to a point, paranoia.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:25 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid
But vigilance against tyranny when it hasn't existed is wasted energy and to a point, paranoia.


I keep fire extinguishers strategically placed in my home. I honestly hope my house does not catch fire but am I paranoid for having them? My home has not burned down but I am always prepared to combat a fire if need be.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:26 PM
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a reply to: intrepid

You didn't know obama is a tyrant hell bent on destroying America?
Don't worry, some one will be along shortly to show you.
You might even get a meme



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:29 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: intrepid
But vigilance against tyranny when it hasn't existed is wasted energy and to a point, paranoia.


I keep fire extinguishers strategically placed in my home. I honestly hope my house does not catch fire but am I paranoid for having them? My home has not burned down but I am always prepared to combat a fire if need be.


Is your house 250 years old? Has it given any indication that it may wants to make an active, conscious assault on you? If you can't see the difference there I'll be shocked.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:31 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid
Is your house 250 years old?


Closer to 150.


Has it given any indication that it may wants to make an active, conscious assault on you? If you can't see the difference there I'll be shocked.


My house is incapable of conscious action. It is however more prone to fire, so I remain vigilant for circumstance that could cause one.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:34 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
My house is incapable of conscious action. It is however more prone to fire, so I remain vigilant for circumstance that could cause one.


The reasonable, considering that any fire would be a matter of physics, not politics. But after 250 years and no tyranny, I think it's getting old. Well, the southern states may have a case.



posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 03:38 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid
The reasonable, considering that any fire would be a matter of physics, not politics. But after 250 years and no tyranny, I think it's getting old. Well, the southern states may have a case.


I am not really following your argument that just because something has not happened does not mean it will not happen.

Obviously there are occurrences which can be more likely to occur and others with a smaller likelihood. Imploding governments, while not a frequent occurrence, do have an established history of occurring.




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