February 28, 2015

Six Things Every American Should Know About the Second Amendment

June 14, 2013


| I've lived all over the US and found that most Americans love liberty but, get fooled into partisan politics. My goal is to wake people up and help them see it's not about left or right -- it's about freedom!

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Article originally written by Richard W. Stevens

FIRST: The Second Amendment protects an individual right that existed before the creation of any government. TheDeclaration of Independence made clear that all human beings are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that governments are created to protect those rights.

A. The unalienable right to freedom from violent harm, and the right to self-defense, both exist before and outside of secular government.

  • 1. Torah: Exodus 22:2.
  • 2. Talmud: Jewish law set forth in the Talmud states, “If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him.”(Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin. 1994,2, 72a; The Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth. 1990, 58a, 62b).
  • 3. Roman Catholic Doctrine: Christian doctrine has long asserted the right and duty of self defense. “Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.” See Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994, sections 2263-65 (citing and quoting Thomas Aquinas).
  • 4. Protestant Doctrine: Individual has personal and unalienable right to self-defense, even against government. Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex [1644]1982, pp. 159-166, 183-185 (Sprinkle Publications edition.) Jesus advised his disciples to arm themselves in view of likely persecution. Luke 22:36.

B. John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government (1690) aimed at reforming Britain’s monarchy and parliamentary system and limiting the power of government, and profoundly influenced the Founders and all Western Civilization. John Locke explained that civil government properly exists to more effectively protect the rights that all individuals have in the “state of nature.” The individuals have the rights to life, liberty, and property. They give civil government the power over themselves only to the extent that it better protects those rights. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, specifically declared that the ideas of John Locke’s Second Treatise were “generally approved by the citizens of the United States.”Jefferson mandated that Locke’s Second Treatise be taught in the University of Virginia.

C. Christian religious thinkers, such as Samuel Rutherford (in Lex, Rex, 1644) argued that man’s rights come from G-d. Using Biblical principles and examples, they argued against the notion that kings ruled by divine right. To be legitimate authorities, all governments must uphold man’s rights and do justice. Otherwise, the people owe a lawless and tyrannical ruler no allegiance at all.

D. Cicero, Rome’s leading orator, had early argued that the right to self-defense was natural and inborn, and not a creation of the government. The right to use weapons was a necessary part of the right to self-defense — any view to the contrary was silly nonsense. [Stephen P. Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of A Constitutional Right (1984), p. 17, fn 76-77.]

E. The right to keep and bear arms simply implements the unalienable right to individual self-defense against aggression of any kind. The Second Amendment refers to “the right of the people” (not the state) as a pre-existing right that government must respect.

F. The United States Supreme Court, in United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, indicated that the word “people” in the Second Amendment referred to individuals, not to states. [494 U.S. 259 (1990)] (This was not a holding or ruling of law, but an observation by the Court).


SECOND: The language of the Second Amendment prohibits the federal government from “infringing” on this right of the people. There is nothing ambiguous about “shall not be infringed.” (See Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed.1983, p. 941.) The language of the Second Amendment is about as clear as the First Amendment’s prohibiting Congress from infringing the right to freedom of speech, press, and religious expression. There is no logical reason to read the Second Amendment as a weak statement, while treating the First Amendment as a strong protector of rights.

A. The Second Amendment protects a fundamental right and should be read broadly because it implements the right of self-defense. Self-defense is the ultimate right of all individuals to preserve life. The rights to a free press, free speech, assembly, and religion are extremely important — but none of them matters very much if you can’t defend your own life against aggression. None of them matters very much when an evil government is fully armed and its citizens are disarmed.

B. Article I, Section 8, clauses 15 and 16 of the U.S. Constitution refer to Congress’s powers concerning the state militias. Clause 15 empowers Congress to “call forth” the state militias into national service for specific purposes. Clause 16 empowers Congress to organize, arm and discipline the state militias, and to govern the militias while they are in national service. The Second Amendment confines Congress’s power by guaranteeing that the Congress cannot “govern” the militias right out of existence and thereby disarm “the people.”


THIRD: The Second Amendment refers to “a well-regulated militia.”The right of the people to form citizen militias was unquestioned by the Founders.

A. The Federalist Papers, No. 28: Alexander Hamilton expressed that when a government betrays the people by amassing too much power and becoming tyrannical, the people have no choice but to exercise their original right of self-defense — to fight the government.[Halbrook, p. 67]

B. The Federalist Papers, No. 29: Alexander Hamilton explained that an armed citizenry was the best and only real defense against a standing army becoming large and oppressive. [Halbrook, p. 67]

C. The Federalist Papers, No. 46: James Madison contended that ultimate authority resides in the people, and that if the federal government got too powerful and overstepped its authority, then the people would develop plans of resistance and resort to arms. [Halbrook, p. 67]

D. There was no National Guard, and the Founders opposed anything but a very small national military. The phrase “well-regulated” means well-trained and disciplined — not “regulated” as we understand that term in the modern sense of bureaucratic regulation. [This meaning still can be found in the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed. 1989, Vol 13, p. 524, and Vol 20. p. 138.]

E. The Federalists promised that state governments and citizen militias would exist to make sure the federal military never became large or oppressive. To say that the National Guard replaces the notion of the militia runs contrary to what the Founders said and wrote.

F. The Third Amendment: Expressly restrains the federal government from building a standing army and infiltrating it among the people …and at the people’s expense … in times of peace. The Third Amendment runs against the idea of a permanent standing army or federalized National Guard in principle, if not by its words.


FOURTH: The Second Amendment begins with the phrase “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State.” Some people argue that this phrase limits the right to keep and bear arms to militias only … which they say means the National Guard. Very recent research shows, however, that it was the style of writing legal documents in the late 1700’s to include a preamble. The Constitution has a preamble, the Bill of Rights has a preamble — yet people don’t argue that the Constitution is limited by the preamble. Professor Eugene Volokh at the UCLA Law School has examined numerous other state constitutions of the same general time period, and observed this kind of preamble language in many of them. (The Commonplace Second Amendment, 73 N.Y. Univ. Law Rev. 793-821 (1998)). The preamble states a purpose, not a limitation on the language in these government charters.

A. Examples:

  • New Hampshire’s Constitution in 1784 contained a preamble for the freedom of the press: “The Liberty of the Press is essential to the security of freedom in a state; it ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved.”
  • Rhode Island’s 1842 state constitution recited a preamble before its declaration of the right of free speech and press: “The liberty of the press being essential to the security of freedom in a state, any person may publish his sentiments on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty…”
  • New Hampshire’s Constitution in 1784 also contained a detailed preamble and explanation of purpose for its right to a criminal trial in the vicinity where the crime occurred.
  • The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, the 1784 New Hampshire Constitution and the 1786 Vermont Constitution, all contained preambles or explanations of the right of freedom of speech and debate in the state legislatures.
  • The New Hampshire Constitution also gave an explanation, right in the text, for why there should be no ex post factolaws.

B. The Second Amendment falls right within the style of legal drafting of the late 1700’s. The “militia” clause emphasizes the individual right to keep and bear arms by explaining one of its most important purposes. The militia clause does not limit the right.


FIFTH: Before the Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment, many states enacted laws that made it illegal for slaves and for free black people to possess firearms (unless they had their master’s permission or a government approval). [See list, with sources in law reviews, in Gran’pa Jack No. 4 ]

A. The Second Amendment did not protect black people then, because(1) it was understood to limit the federal government’s power only and (2) black people were not considered citizens whose rights deserved to be protected. [Dred Scott decision, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) (Judge Taney observed that if blacks had the privileges and immunities of citizenship, then they would be able to freely possess and carry arms … unthinkable to Southern slave owners.)][Halbrook, pp. 98, 114-15]

B. The Second Amendment was designed by people who did not want to become slaves to their government, but they were unfortunately and tragically willing to permit private slavery in some states. Now that slavery is abolished, however, all citizens of all races should enjoy the Second Amendment’s legal protection against despotic government.


SIXTH: Several Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that the Second Amendment does not confer an individual right, but only a collective right of states to form a militia. The federal court decisions cite United States v. Miller as precedent. The 1939 Supreme Court case, United States v. Miller, did not make that ruling. Even in Miller, where only the prosecution filed a brief and the defendant’s position was not even briefed or argued to the Court, the Supreme Court held that the federal government could only regulate firearms that had no military purpose. [307 U.S. 174 (1939)] [See JPFO special report about Miller case]

  • A. Nowadays, gun prohibitionists want to illegalize firearms unless they have a “sporting purpose.” The “sporting purpose” idea was part of the Nazi Weapons Law of 1938. JPFO has shown that the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968 imported much of its organization, content, and phrasing, from the Nazi Weapons Law. [See … Zelman, Gateway to Tyranny]
  • B. In contrast, even under the U.S. v. Miller case, the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear military firearms. Learn how the federal courts deceptively and misleadingly employed the Miller decision to deny the individual right to keep and bear arms in Barnett, Can the Simple Cite Be Trusted?: Lower Court Interpretations of United States v. Miller and the Second Amendment, 26 Cumberland Law Review 961-1004 (1996).
  • C. A federal judge recently struck down a federal “gun control” statute as unconstitutional in United States v. Emerson,46 F. Supp. 2d 598 (N.D. Tex. 1999). In his scholarly written opinion, District Judge Cummings exten-sively reviewed the law and historical foundations of the Second Amendment to conclude that the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment is an individual right. The Emerson decision remains pending an appeal in the Fifth Circuit as of this date.

Before a government can become a full-blown tyranny, the government must first disarm its citizens. The Founders of this nation, from their own experience, knew that when government goes bad, liberty evaporates and people die … unless the people are armed.



As you read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights:

  • (1) Look at the enumerated powers of the federal government;
  • (2) Look at the express limitations on federal power as set forth in the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments;
  • (3) Ask yourself, where does the federal government get any power at all to regulate firearms?
  • (4) Ask yourself, why don’t the high school and college textbooks devote any time to the history, philosophical basis and practical meaning of the Second Amendment?

And then consider that law students and future lawyers likewise have received precious little education about the Second Amendment.

Realize, too, that the judges know just about as little. Then imagine how little the average American knows — based on the average public school coverage of the Constitution.

The protection of our sacred right of self-defense against both petty criminals and oppressive government — the right of civilians to keep and bear arms — is in your hands.

The Bill of Rights Sentinel, Fall 2001, pp. 31-33


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  • mscott2112

    What an excellent article with examples and citations to back the premise! Please add the Leviticus 19:16 which states:

    16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy
    people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbour: I
    am the LORD.

    Please note that the correct notation is the Exodus 22:1 which states:

    1 If a thief be found breaking in, and be smitten so that he dieth, there shall be no bloodguiltiness
    for him.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    • binaryloop

      Good addition. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll ask the editor to take a look.

  • ross

    How does the Citizenry defend itself from drones, swat teams, troops, armored vechicles, and unlimited surveilance equipment??????? Our Government could care less about the Constitution or anything that is published or said (unless it is threats) It is after unlimited power and the eradication of anyone or anything that oposes it. In other words, Talk and more talk gets nothing done., Does not achieve anything. Our young people could care less about what is going on. ALl they care about is their next Pot smoke, drug fix, party time, or kegger. They are oblivious to anything political, or spiritual or Bibilical.
    The Illegals and Mexicans worship the President and the Government and our cops just look the other way when they break laws. Even the Cops don’t care, they assert their shoot first ask questions later policy for any little offense, in the name of law, order and justice. The courts let them off scott free.
    Our Government is laughing at the common citizen. They are so many on welfare that no one dares to say anything for fear of getting their income cut off.

    • binaryloop

      To try to address some of your questions:

      1. How did the Afghanis outlast invasions by Alexander the Great, The British, The Soviet Union, and the United States? How did the poor Vietnamese fight off the French and the Americans? How did the Egyptians overthrow Hosni Mubarak? Having technical superiority, bigger weapons, or a larger army doesn’t guarantee victory in a conflict. Armies can’t stop an idea who’s time has come.

      2. If the Government doesn’t respect the Constitution then it is up to us to make them do so. The Government is us. We the people grant them power to run things. If they aren’t doing their job then we need to show up in Washington and remind them who they work for.

      3. Juvenile delinquency is rooted in Adult delinquency. Kids only do what they are taught by adults. If the young people don’t care what is going on then it is a failure on our part as adults. I think that there are a lot of kids who do care about what is going on and want to be a part of the change. One example that I can think of is 15 year old Sarah Merkle. Watch this video and tell me that she does not care: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-cWU0fSHw4

      4. Blaming other people for our problems won’t help. Making excuses won’t help. The only thing that will make a difference is people who are informed and engaged. They have a common goal. Do we? It starts with education. It requires patience. It involves long-term goals and planning. It relies on determination. We are responsible for the future. If it’s not turning out the way we want then we have to make a choice. We can get involved or we can point the finger and blame others.

      • jollyroger

        That’s true. No amount of military force can stop ideas, thoughts and concepts. Besides there are far too many within the U.S. military who are like minded as we are.
        When the SHTF, the surprise is going to be on the elites inside Washington.

    • jollyroger

      The public school system, which is based on the Prussian system is just as much to blame.

  • dan

    As a reminder..the TEA party showed up in DC..a million strong…and where are we today after..’showing them who is boss’…TEA party was set upon by msm,politicians(both parties).progressives and conservatives, and every one and every thing that benefits from the’government’ handouts and ‘laws’…which by the way are ALL Unconstitutional….so years later the TEA party has been eroded and compromised by the GOP….who by the way are following the same agenda as the Democrats to enslave this ‘Free’ country….the assault on our Constitution has gone on for many a year and the educated masses do not even understand, the first sentence,let alone the contents…they only ‘know’ what they have been taught…zero..and what they hear…as in the government knows best so obey us…not an old relic,written by old white men…..we will tell you what rights we will let you have…think not..then go try to open a business TOMORROW and be up and running the same day..anywhere in this ‘free’ country……only when WE THE PEOPLE..refuse to OBEY a bad law or a bad authority enforcing a bad law…will this country start a return to the old relic..until then it will only get very hard and dangerous for anyone that truly understands individual responsibility ,who wants to be left ‘alone’ and believes in FREEDOM….you can add your own desires as long as they ‘don’t tread on me’…….may God again start to shed his grace on this Republic for without it we will repeat a very dark saga of history…….. imho

    • jollyroger

      It’s going to take more than just some deity to restore liberty and freedom to America. If that’s what you are waiting for then it’s going to be a very long wait indeed.
      We and we alone have to do it. Just as those who sacrificed their lives in the Revolutionary war did not wait for some mythical deity to do it for them, they accomplished it by themselves.
      Good luck waiting for some god to do it.

  • LaRae Bailey

    excellent article

  • glock 19 fan

    Another point to add to your excellent article is that — in addition to the reference to the 1938 Nazi Weapons Act — is Solzhenitzyn’s (sp?) “Gulag Archipeligo Two” which describes Stalin’s policies making self-defense a crime. You could not draw your knife until your attacker had drawn his and could not stab him until after he stabbed you. Criminals got little more than a slap on the wrist. Guns for self defense were not mentioned; in fact, gun ownership was legal even under Stalin but they had to be for sporting use only. American prosecutors and lawmakers though that to be the greatest thing since sliced bread and put it into U.S. law. The only “new wrinkle” the U.S. added was the civil suit.

  • Russell Simpkins

    What I don’t understand is why any court thinks it has a jurisdiction to intrepid (or more often misinterpret) what my rights are? Isn’t this unconstitutional assumption of jurisdiction an infringement? They can rule on laws but not rights because they are inalienable. Laws do not carry the weight of rights and statutes should never have been allowed to exist.

  • john q public

    Never forget the SOURCE of all this tyranny. The ROOT cause. Forget about Obama, Fienstein, etc. It is the JEWS as a whole that are destroying the world and America. Each and every Jew? Perhaps not. But International Jewry, Yes. They run the banks, “create” the money, own and control ALL media and most “governments” including the USA. They push for war constantly, did 9/11, JFK, OK City, Aurora, Sandy Hook, WWI, WWII, Boston, Waco, Ruby Ridge, RFK, MLK, Vietnam, Korea, destroyed Russia, destroyed Germany, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, are behind the war in Syria, and are doing everything they can to destroy America. They, through the owned bitch US “government” are working tirelessly to abolish the 2nd amendment. All media is controlled by them. All media. Wake up. The enemy is Israel, the media, the ADL. AIPAC, SPLC, B’nai B’rrith, the Federal reserve, and all International, monied, controlling, tribal Jews. If you want to kill the snake you have to cut off the head. The head is the Jews.

    • jollyroger

      These so called jews are in truth Talmudic zionists. Ashkanazi Kazars with no relationship to the Separdic jews or those descendents of what is called the tribe of Abraham. They call themselves jews to cover up their true identities.
      True Jews do not support izrahell and the zionist agenda.

  • http://freedomsphoenix.com FascistNation

    It is a Right. Even if the 2nd Amendment were repealed and a substitute Amendment put in its place declaring all firearms and other arms were forbidden to any and all of the American people, all individuals within the USA would STILL have the Right to keep and bear arms. Indeed, ALL individuals upon the globe have that Right.

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