I saw an excerpt of a low information voter… I mean…reader… op-ed titled On Eisenhower and guns at the Times-Standard posed at the excellent TTAG. If it weren’t for the fact that this guy represents how way too many people in our country think, this would be kinda funny. Unfortunately, we know it’s not.
The ranting op-ed starts with a few cherry picked Eisenhower quotes and then offers this ‘scholarly’ look at the US Constitution:
One of the privileges, afforded us by the U.S. Constitution, states “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.”
Ahem… Privileges? The US Constitution grants “privileges?” Actually, the U.S. Constitution enumerates the specific and supposed limited powers of the Federal Government:
The Constitution does not give you rights. The founders considered your rights to be “God-given” or “natural rights” — you are born with all your rights. The constitution does, however, protect your rights by:
- Limiting the powers of government by granting to it only those specific powers that are listed in the Constitution; (This has not proven to be effective of late.)
- Enumerating certain, specific rights which you retain. These are listed in the Bill of Rights.
The rights deemed most important by the founders are specifically listed in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights also says that, even though a particular right is not listed in the Bill of Rights, you still retain that right. Any powers not specifically delegated by the Constitution to the federal government are retained by the states and the people (you).
Even the vaunted Constitutional Scholar, Barack Hussein Obama whined the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties.
[A]t least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.
Our low information voter continues:
How would we compare this: the privilege of owning a gun to the basic principle of happy children skipping rope without the fear of being shot dead? The Second Amendment clearly ties the right to bear arms with a well regulated militia. It is one sentence and one thought. The term militia refers to military service and duty. Today we have state militias or state defense forces, state troopers, sheriffs, police, Coast Guard, National Guard, Army Reserves, Army, Navy, Navy SEALs, Air Force, and Marines. We have aircraft carriers, tanks, nuclear submarines, nuclear weapons, antiballistic missiles, fighter jets, spy satellites, and drones to boot!
I think our low information voter saw somewhere, perhaps on Entertainment Tonight, that drones were in the news recently. It seems he missed the part where top government officials floated the idea that they could conceivably assassinate an American citizen on US soil through the use of drones.
Here is a tidbit of information to help out our low information voter. In the Federalist papers, where the authors of the U.S. Constitution explained their reasoning, James Madison said this about citizens bearing arms in Federalist 46:
To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. 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.
Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.
Notice how Madison didn’t speak in terms of ‘privileges’ explaining the idea of citizens possessing firearms. I’m sure our low information voter missed this fact discussed on Entertainment Tonight- where he gets all his important information.