Happy Friday, bikers, Patriots and friends! It is the first Friday of June and it’s going to be a beautiful weekend here in Middle Tennessee. Hopefully this post finds you well. What have you been doing to enjoy spring with the renewed freedom in a post-COVID America? Racy Sicilian™ and I have been doing a lot of riding and look forward to catching up with some of you during our travels. One thing neither of us have enjoyed this spring is the constant trampling on our God Given rights by the #Leftist politicians in Washington DC. The biggest threat to freedom in the United States has to be the spate of gun-grabbing legislation being proposed in our Federal House of Representatives. So with this as a backdrop, I thought a refresher on our Founders Fathers’ intentions when writing and ratifying our Bill of Rights would be a good use of time.
The Bill of Rights
As citizens of the United States, we have several constitutionally protected rights enumerated in amendments to our Constitution, which was adopted by the states in 1788. The first twelve amendments were introduced after the constitution was ratified, by future president, James Madison. These amendments were suggested by another future president, Thomas Jefferson, who was minister to France at the time. Of these twelve amendments, ten were ratified by the states and became the Bill of Rights.
The first three amendments were written to safeguard personal liberties, the next five were written to safeguard personal justice and the last two dealt with un-enumerated rights and reserved powers (protection of the states’ rights). The first three are sacred rights of the citizens of the United States, and are widely considered God Given rights:
First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Second Amendment: Right to Bear Arms (more on this later)
Third Amendment: No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in the time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
These three amendments are the backbone of the liberty we, as Americans, have fought bravely to protect and were largely responsible for our original fight for freedom: The Revolutionary War. Based on Jefferson’s urging, Madison wrote these amendments to protect the fundamental rights of our ancestors – rights they did not enjoy under British rule.
The Second Amendment is what this article is about. It may be the least understood and the most easily twisted (by those who want to limit your freedoms) of the first three amendments. Only 27 words in length, it may well be the most controversial of all amendments in the Bill of Rights:
“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 were the true intentions of our Founding Fathers when they wrote this amendment? Was it so a strong state militia could be easily called to service in the event of an attack by enemies, either internal or foreign? Was it to allow people to keep and bring arms to bear in the event they were being threatened? While easily contorted by those who wish to threaten our 2nd Amendment rights, the answer is very simple. The amendment was written to allow all legally authorized citizens to own firearms and bear them for their protection. The first part of the amendment, referring to a well-regulated militia, is misleading. Because the United States had such a small Federal Army at the time, it necessitated the citizenry be able to quickly assemble to protect the new nation. But the most important consideration about all the amendments in the Bill of Rights, with the exception of the tenth, is that they all apply to individual citizens and not the Federal government or state governments. If the Founders believed it was only about the militia, it would not be placed amongst all of the individual rights.
Our right to keep and bear arms is a God Given right. One should be able to protect themselves, their family and their friends. Federal courts have upheld this right in District of Columbia vs. Heller and McDonald vs. Chicago. But this sacred right is constantly under assault. Gun rights groups are under constant assault by gun grabbers who want to restrict our ability to keep and bear arms – and most importantly own the types of guns we want to own. In fact, as recently as June 9, 2016, the 9th Federal Appeals Court of San Francisco ruled there was no constitutional right to carry concealed guns. Federal appeals judge, William Fletcher, writing for the 7-4 majority, stated,
“We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.”
While the San Francisco Federal Appeals court is a very left leaning, the gun grabbers had a very significant victory with this ruling. It will inevitably be appealed – probably all the way to the Supreme Court – a court which currently, thanks to President Trump, has a majority of conservative justices. But with Chief Justice John Roberts the wild card, we cannot count on the Supreme Court to protect our Second Amendment rights.
Given our current political climate, we face grave threats to the freedoms our sage Founders desired to protect for all future citizens of our great Republic. Whether it be limitations on free speech, freedom of assembly or our “Right to keep and bear arms,” we must not sit on the sidelines passively. Call or write your U.S. representatives and your senators. Let them know that you want your freedoms protected. Do it today. Once these freedoms are gone, they will be nearly impossible to get back.
The Grey Beard Biker™
@Biker4Life on Gab