September 16, 2019

Historic Perspective on the Second Amendment Does Little to Stop Mincemeat Making of It

I found Mark Alexander’s piece published at the Patriot Post to be one of the better attempts at explaining the historical background of the founding of the Second Amendment. This piece also includes information from what is described as an expert on linguistics who, it is claimed, understands the use of words and the structure of the Second Amendment at its birth to deliver an unquestioning description of what it meant.

What does this historical perspective actually do that is going to stop what is being described as  “Deconstruction and Repeal of the Second Amendment?” My short answer would be, nothing really.

Whether it is believed or not that the Second Amendment or any other amendment cannot be “amended” matters little when you give what’s been happening an honest assessment. Alexander writes, “Given the preeminent status of the Second Amendment and the growing chorus of leftists calling to amend it until they can rally enough populist support to fully repeal it, we should be clear that our Founders never intended for this right to be infringed.”

Well, what does that mean precisely – to never be infringed?

A dictionary defines the word infringe as: “actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.).” and “act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on.”

In referencing the Online Etymology Dictionary for the word infringe, we find this: “mid-15c., enfrangen, “to violate,” from Latin infringere “to damage, break off, break, bruise,” from in-“in” (from PIE root *en “in”) + frangere “to break” (from PIE root *bhreg- “to break”). Meaning “encroach” first recorded c. 1760. Related: Infringedinfringing.”

The American Language expert says that the right to keep and bear arms is not granted to the people by this Amendment to the Constitution – that it reaffirms the assumption that there is no question of a person’s God-given right. He is directly quoted as saying: “The right is assumed to exist and to be unconditional..”

When the expert was asked to present the Second Amendment as it might appear if it were written today, he writes: “Since a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.”

It is interesting that he chose to replace the word “infringed” with “abridged.”

A dictionary defines abridged as: “shorten (a book, movie, speech, or other text) without losing the sense.” and “curtail (rights or privileges).”

The Online Etymology Dictionary tackles abridged in this manner: “c. 1300, abreggen, “make shorter, shorten, condense,” from Old French abregierabrigier “abridge, diminish, shorten” (12c., Modern French abréger), from Late Latin abbreviare “make short,” from Latin ad “to” (see ad-) + breviare “shorten,” from brevis “short, low, little, shallow” (from PIE root *mregh-u- “short”).

Abbreviate is the same word directly from Latin. The sound development that turned Latin -vi- to French -dg- is paralleled in assuage (from assuavidare) and deluge (from diluvium). Of writing, “shorten by omission,” late 14c. Related: Abridgedabridging.”

Puzzling to me, after this author goes to such lengths to substantiate the exact meaning of the 27 words of the Second Amendment, he would write that there have been no successful attempts to “infringe” on the Second Amendment. He writes: “Historically, there have been no successful attempts to modify the Second Amendment’s assurance of the innate rights of the people to defend their Liberty, but there are now threats to do so.” This was followed by: “That notwithstanding, Second Amendment rights have most certainly been subject to much alteration by judicial misinterpretation and outright activism.”

Is this author suggesting that he is willing to accept those “reasonable” limits on a right he just finished defending as one that is clear-cut, unamendable and shall NEVER be infringed, disregarding all these actions as not infringements? I don’t get it! Isn’t this a direct contribution in and of itself toward the “Deconstruction and Repeal of the Second Amendment?” Many of the same people all aghast at the brazen attempts of late to destroy the Second Amendment fully support putting more and more restrictions on a right this author just described as one that was intended to never be changed. Isn’t this contradictory and perhaps even insane behavior? I’ll say it again, I don’t get it!

Upon examination of the word “infringe” and the American Language expert who might change that word to “abridge” if he was attempting to rewrite what the Second Amendment said in 1789 and how it might be worded today, how can any real supporter of the Second Amendment be willing then, with a God-given right that the Founding Fathers stated as unalienable and “shall never be infringed” see every hurdle in place in order for a lawful citizen to keep and bear arms, as “no successful attempts to modify the Second Amendment?”

What then is the purpose of having the Second Amendment or any other amendment if it can be amended without amending it and infringed upon without infringing upon it?

I understand that probably the author is attempting to delineate between court rulings and other legislative actions that place limits on the Second Amendment as being different than actually changing the wording of the Second Amendment or a complete tossing of the Amendment into the garbage.

Offering all this glamorous historical perspective on what the Founding Fathers meant and what the words and phrases at the time meant is certainly interesting, but so long as the Congress and the Courts can simply ignore any and all of the Amendments and make them into what they damn well please, while Americans applaud their efforts, what good is understanding what any of the Founders meant?

Isn’t this just more of the same of Congress exercising their powers of Article I, Section 8 “To make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

This is easily interpreted to mean Congress will do just as they damned well please. You lose!

Paper documents worthy of nothing I’d say!

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What Would Barack Obama Say to Thomas Jefferson?

At Ohio State University, May 5, 2013, President Barack Obama, the only president that I am aware of who told a reporter during an interview that the Founding Fathers got the Constitution all wrong, continued in his willful disregard and ignorance toward the foundation of America, by telling graduating students that they should “reject these voices”; that is those who warn of government tyranny. Here is the text of his comments:

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

We have never been a people who place all our faith in government to solve our problems. We shouldn’t want to. But we don’t think the government is the source of all our problems, either. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it’s not about what America can do for us, it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government. And class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process.

What I have not heard or read anyone pointing out is the terrible, incorrect and deliberately misleading statement the President makes right after he tells graduates to reject the voices that warn of governmental tyranny. The only focus seems to be on the fact that President Obama dared to swim against the flow, much like his statement of the error of the Founding Fathers, and tell young and influential graduates, to disregard, nay, “reject” any voice that might warn of tyranny.

President Obama attempts to tell the world that those of us who continuously warn of the dangers of despotic rule, believe that what, “they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

This is so much not the truth! Those of us who remonstrate the dangers of dictatorial/despotic/tyrannical rule are the ones who understand and cherish the actual foundation of this country. Barack Obama is falsely placing himself as one who affirms self-rule, while having done all he can so far in his nearly 5 years in office to destroy that self-rule and put it into the hands of government – himself to be exact. Few will argue that Government is too big. Such statements certainly supersede any philosophical notions of what the role of government should be.

The President’s tactics might work on some people in this country today but what about our Founding Fathers, who the President claims got it all wrong because they DID NOT give the Executive Branch of Government all the power.

Our current President has shown little respect for the foundation of this country, namely the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. His comments at Ohio State University once again bring to the surface his real feelings about what made this country great, crafted its identity, and most importantly why the United States even exists today.

Let’s turn the clock back a bit. When it came time to sever ties with King George of England, Thomas Jefferson began work on the Declaration of Independence. It took time and much debate but it was finally signed in Congress on July 4, 1776. What was it that went on in Colonial America at this time that the people felt the need, knowing war would be imminent, to declare their separation from England, their desires to be free of tyranny? The Declaration of Independence tells us.

The people in America had lost all say in how they could govern. They were being taxed without any kind of representation. In short, it was decided that King George was a tyrant and people didn’t come to the New World to be ruled by a dictator. Many people warned of a tyrannical government in England who controlled Colonial America.

Were the citizens of this country in 1776 told to reject the voices claiming tyranny? If Barack Obama was alive during this age, would he have stood up to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and all the rest, and told them to reject the voices of these men and so many others warning to tyrannical rule? Could he have convinced the Founders that King George’s tyranny was no threat?

The threat and reality of tyranny was important enough and prominent enough in 1776, that no fewer than 4 times does the actual document of the Declaration of Independence state that King George was a tyrant.

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

He [King George] has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Surely, these men understood that free people cannot exist under the rule of a tyrant. Americans sought to be free. Those in this country, the United States of America, who lift up their voices against tyranny and expose all efforts for governmental rule that runs against freedom and self-rule, are doing the best public service possible. Any political leader, president included, who would willfully tell American citizens to reject the voices that warn against despotic rule, is, in fact, a tyrant and should be rightfully exposed for that.

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