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Sixty million armed patriots ... and counting

By Mark Alexander
web posted February 2, 2009

By now, you've probably heard that large sectors of the U.S. economy have collapsed, consumer confidence is at a historic
low, Democrats control the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, and they're poised to print "bailout and infrastructure" money on the theory of "trickle up poverty" -- risking a prolonged recession followed by hyperinflation.

If there is an economic recovery any time soon, it will be the result of private sector initiatives and a consumer confidence recovery, not the redistribution of a few trillion dollars among friends. Never fear, there is a "community organizer" at the helm.

And that's the good news.

The bad news is that Barack Hussein Obama and his congressional cadre may well use the current crisis as cover to further undermine our constitutional rule of law.

Yes, Obama and his Demo colleagues in the Senate and House have taken a sacred oath to "support and defend" our Constitution, but they have no history of honoring their oaths.

So where does that leave "The People"? Well, if the politicians don't honor their oath, why should we honor their office? That is a question for another day.

At no time in our history has the future of American liberty been secure without a vigorous defense of the plain language of our Constitution, opposed to the adulterated interpretation of the so-called "Living Constitution" promoted by Barack Obama and his gang of judicial activists.

And there is no more important place to start at this moment in our history than with the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

In 1833, Justice Joseph Story, appointed to the Supreme Court by our Constitution's principal author, James Madison, wrote the following in his "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States": "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

That was never more true than today.

Obama claims: "I believe in the Second Amendment. Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear. I said that throughout the campaign. I haven't indicated anything different during the transition. ... We can have reasonable, thoughtful gun control measures that I think respect the Second Amendment and people's traditions. I think there's a lot of room before bumping against a constitutional barrier."

Eric HolderHowever, Obama's nominee for attorney general, Eric Holder (formerly Janet Reno's Deputy Attorney General), who faces Senate confirmation this week, reaffirmed in the recent DC v. Heller Supreme Court case his long-held position that the Second Amendment affirms no right of individual gun possession by private citizens.

Holder insists that the Second Amendment "does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia," which he interprets as a military unit. Of course, our Founders understood "militia" to be synonymous with "the people," but Holder must have skipped his law school's elective on "original intent."

Holder's remarks seem to conflict with his boss's statements about gun ownership, but Obama is not referring to the rights assured by the Second Amendment: "I'm a strong believer in the rights of hunters and sportsmen to have firearms." That's the same subterfuge his mentor John Kerry propagated back in '04.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso understands what's at stake: "Given Holder's career of attacks on the Second Amendment, his nomination continues to be of great concern to me. ... Our nation's highest law enforcement officer must be committed to protecting and defending our individual rights to keep and bear arms."

Other conservatives also get it, like Louisiana Sen. David Vitter: "[Holder has] clearly advocated near-universal licensing and registration, and he joined and filed an amicus brief in the District of Columbia v. Heller U.S. Supreme Court case arguing that the Second Amendment was not an individual right. That's deeply disturbing."

Statistically, those who are not "deeply disturbed" by the implications of Holder's appointment are likely residing in one of those blue urban centers which typically elect liberals to national office.

I came across an essay from one such misguided urbanite this week -- Fred Lebrun, who writes for the Albany (NY) Times-Union.

Fred wrote of the unprecedented number of gun sales since Obama's election: "Otherwise sensible people seem to completely lose their marbles when it comes to the loaded question of handgun ownership, and what rules ought to apply. I'm not sure why that is. The latest example of mass paranoia at work for no discernable reason is a rush to gun shops across the country to buy sidearms. The rationale, or vague impetus, is that with the election of Barack Obama as president, we're heading for the confiscation of our guns, for sure. ... Well, if it's true, why in the world would you go out and buy something the government is going to take away from you anyway?"

Fred, those of us who still uphold our Constitution and honor our oaths, as have generations of Patriots before, understand that, in the words of James Madison, "The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition."

Madison's words are truer today than when he wrote them in 1787. (Our adversaries at the time of that writing, the British, are learning that gun confiscation leaves one defenseless against tyranny -- and they are now protesting ... with cardboard placards.)

As for why some folks "go out and buy something the government is going to take away from you anyway," well, the only guns that will ever be taken from my hands, or those of tens of millions of like-minded gun owners, will be seized posthumously, and with empty magazines -- which is the only reason Obama and his congressional Leftists have not completely discarded that venerable old Constitution.

Fred concludes: "For the first time since 1935, with an all-Democratic national government, we are in a position to finally institute some meaningful and sensible gun control measures that will help mightily in regaining our cities from gun terror, street by street. Gun control doesn't have to be a dirty word."

What Fred doesn't seem to understand is that there are already some 20,000 -- TWENTY THOUSAND -- gun laws on the books. The argument that more laws will make America safer is ludicrous at every level, and to suggest that somehow such laws justify undermining the Second Amendment's clear intent is to undermine the strongest pillar of our Constitution.

Y'know, Fred, old Ben Franklin had a word of advice for folks like you: "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

And to those for whom such a struggle proves too much an encroachment on their comfort zone, Sam Adams said, "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"

Currently, some 80 million Americans are gun owners, and it is estimated that 60 million of them own guns for purposes other than hunting. If you are not among them, you might thank God for the ranks of us who are, because as our Founders knew, we are the vanguard between liberty and tyranny. ESR

Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.

 

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