by: Brent Smith
No Audio Version
It’s dawned on me what should be the most obvious argument for the individual right to “keep and bear arms.”
The primary purpose of the 10 Amendments that form the Bill of Rights is to protect the natural rights of the individual from an encroaching federal government function. The only way someone would not know this is if they have not read them.
In fact, each of the Bill of Right’s 10 Amendments, of which there were originally 17, states this by use of the words person, people, owner, or accused. The only two that do not expressly state the individual are the 7th and 8th. They do however use inference to make the point that both pertain to the individual.
So when a leftist begins to spout off about the Second Amendment, that it applies only to militias, we must remind of them of this. If necessary, review each of the 10 and it will become clear that the founders did not intend for nine of the 10 to pertain primarily to the individual and yet single out just the Second as not having any individual protection component. It defies logic. But then so does liberalism.
Rather than take my word for it – let’s do just that. Let’s quickly review all 10 of the Amendments to see that they are in fact meant to protect the individual.
The First is obvious. Most people are familiar with it and it is quoted by the left quite often. It’s clearly an individual right. Again – we are looking for the key words: people, person, owner, accused or an inference. All these terms equal the individual.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Inference and people.
Number two I will skip for now and deal with it at the end.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
People and persons.
Amendment V is a bit more lengthy so I will synopsize. A person can’t be compelled to testify against him or herself, can’t be tried for the same crime twice (double jeopardy) and cannot be convicted without due process. This again is a clear individual right. See a pattern forming – the positive rights of the individual against government encroachment.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury…
Accused, which can mean person or people.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Inference of the individual.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Again – inference of the individual.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
People. This is an important Amendment as it explains that the people retain natural rights beyond what are expressed in the Bill of Rights.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
And of course, the center of controversy and leftist consternation – the Second Amendment.
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.
Oh look. There’s that pesky word people again, that is separated from militia by use of a comma, which indicates two or more independent thoughts or clauses. Huh.
As I stated in the beginning – it is preposterous to think that the Founders crafted nine of the 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights to protect the individual, but expressly forbade that protection in the Second.
Anyone who has read these Amendments and still believes this is either a liar or a moron. This may seem a bit harsh, but frankly I’m getting tired of having to defend the clear individual right contained in the Second Amendment.