Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:08
I am writing this letter in response to a letter to the editor that was in the 01-03-2013 edition. In that letter the writer implied that the second amendment only applied to muskets and that modern gun are not protected because they didn’t exist during the times the second amendment was written. If that were true then would the first amendment not apply to the freedom of speech on the t.v news, the radio, or the internet. Because during this time period there were only printing press. The language of the second amendment prohibits the federal government from infringing on the rights of the people. Just as the first amendment prohibits the federal government from infringing on the freedom of press, religion, and speech, the second amendment is a protection of rights, to keep and bear arms.
The second amendment which 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”. In order to understand what it means you have to look at what the founding father were trying to accomplish by establishing the second amendment. The “well-regulated militia” during this time was the armed citizens and not the standing army. Militias were in existence in the colonial time for over a hundred years before the Constitution was written. They were citizens that took up arms to defend the colonies against foreign invasion and Indians. The colonies were under the control of King George III of Britain in the 1770s. The British dictator became to oppressive and enacted excessive taxes, the citizens of the colonies began to resist the British dictator and started to take up arms as Militia. King George then order the citizens of the colonies to lay down their arms and ordered the colonist be disarmed.(Does that sound familiar). That then led to the Revolutionary War. It was the citizens taking up arms as militia and the formation of the Colonial Army fighting together to defeat the British that led to the creation of the United State of America. The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 which we declared our independence from Britain. Then in 1787 the constitution was adopted and established to create our form of government and established the powers and structure of the federal government. Then in 1791 the framer decided they need to establish the Bill of Right which would recognize the certain unalienable god given rights of the people. Included in the Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment. The purpose of the second amendment was for the people to be armed to defend themselves and to defend the country against all enemies foreign or domestic. To ensure the balance of power remain with the people the framer of the second amendment crafted twenty seven word, one sentence. A preamble was used to state a purpose not a limitation, the Constitution has a preamble, the Bill of Rights has a preamble. Since a preamble states a purpose ( A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state ). The well- regulated militia only reinforces the importance of the individual to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment declares by implication that the Militia are the People. "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." — George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, June 16, 1788
“The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- (Thomas Jefferson) “ And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants" (Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787.
The founders understood what a tyrannical government could do to the freedom of the people because they lived under the rule of a tyrannical government and dictator. They wanted to ensure the United States would remain free even if it meant citizens taking up arms to defend against tyranny.
“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" (George Washington)
Washington’s statement explains why we have the right to be armed to ensure peace, security and happiness and that firearms everywhere restrains evil. Notice how he mentions the rifle and the pistol, he like others that founded this country understood that the citizen’s militia should be equipped with weapons used by the standing army so the people could defend against a standing army whether foreign or domestic.
“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom?’. “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other, terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people" (Tench Coxe 1788)
“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms." (Richard Henry Lee)
“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison,)
There is a lot of debate about guns in this country lately, this country was founded from the barrels of guns and has been defended from the barrels of guns since and will be defended with guns in the future. When we lose our right to be armed we will lose all our right and liberties altogether. Too many citizens in both Militia and the Military have given their lives to defend this country and our god given rights so we can be armed to defend against all enemies whether foreign or domestic. The second amendment does include Muskets , it also includes modern weapons that would be used to defend our unalienable rights against an enemy with modern weapons such as the semi- automatic rifles like the AR-15. The AR-15 is used for hunting , sports shooting and self-defense. An AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle and is often referred to by the misinformed as an “Assault Weapon”. As we have seen in the past gun laws don’t prevent violent crimes because criminals don’t respect or abide by the laws, and to disarm law abiding citizens would not only infringe on our rights, but also threaten our peace, security and happiness. The problem with violence today is not the guns used because they are inanimate objects, but it is the evil people using the guns to carry out their senseless crimes. Making a public statement that the second amendment only applies to Muskets is to me offensive and only shows that anti- gun people don’t have a clue what the second amendment is about. Anyone that doesn’t understand the Constitution should do some research other than just reciting the words, before making such statements that implies we don’t have a right to own pistol, shotguns, or semi- automatic rifles is disrespectful and misleading .
Thanks, J.J Stewart / George Stewart
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 13:19
Right to Bear Arms
Amendment II of the Constitution: 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.
When this amendment was written, the most lethal individual weapon was the musket with an attached bayonet. Most citizens of the United States needed their musket to kill game, and for protection.
When I was a young boy in Clay County, my father allowed me to have a single shot 16 gauge shotgun. There never was, nor ever has been, a thought that anyone would take away my right to have a gun.
The assault weapon is not good for hunting, but is very good for killing. Of whom are we afraid? Big Government, FBI, DEA, IRS; people who believe or look differently? What makes me nervous are some of the people that own assault weapons.
I personally doubt that the writers of the Second Amendment ever dreamed that the “right to bear arms” would include millions of its citizens to own assault weapons which have as much or more fire power than a hundred continental soldiers armed with the best at the time, a musket and bayonet.
Maurice B. Hibbard
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 14:24
Nothing could be sadder, more painful, and more revolting than the murder of innocent little children. There never has been any justifiable reason for such depraved behavior and there never will be!
The politicians, school officials, and citizens are in agreement that something must be done! However we must not rush to a solution that would destroy our second amendment rights of self-protection in this very dangerous world.
America has open borders and we really have no idea how many criminals are in our country at the present time. Surely, most of us would agree that we need personal protection. Some people say, “Let law enforcement handle it.” It’s a known fact law enforcement can’t be everywhere a crime is being committed and this is the primary reason for self-defense. In areas of our country where concealed carry is legal, the crime rate has decreased.
In England and Australia where guns have been confiscated, quite an increase in crime is experienced.
We must consider an improvement to the situation that would work for America.
Israel’s schoolteachers are trained in small arms protections techniques. Teachers wear pistols in their schools. Could this method also work for the United States? Mentally disturbed individuals who attack innocent people always select a gun free zone. Disarming the American population will not solve the problem that we have. When Germany elected Adolph Hitler, the citizens were disarmed and the result is history. After the recent atrocity in Connecticut, there has been continuous debate about the dilemma of correcting this problem.
One retired, law enforcement official said that our constitution is obsolete. The United States Constitution is still the great document that has provided us with freedom and prosperity. Freedom and prosperity will NEVER be outdated!
“A free people ought to be armed.” –George Washington, 1790.
“This year will go down in history for the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.” –Adolf Hitler, 1935.
“The great object is that every man be armed.” –Patrick Henry.
“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” –Alexander Hamilton.
“The disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them.” –George Mason.
“No free man should ever be debarred the use of arms.” –Thomas Jefferson.
“The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed, which places Americans over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” –James Madison.
The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, at a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” –Thomas Jefferson
“I don’t believe gun control is the answer. A crazy will always be able to their hands on a gun.” –Margy Miller.
“He who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” –Jesus Christ, Luke 22:36.
“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6.
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 12:37
With nine children, Daddy, Mother and Grandmother all living in one house, we had to grow everything we could to live. Every level piece of gorund was planted in something. There were four pieces of ground that we used. One had only the driveway between it and the house.
We mowed very little, what we called the ‘yard’ or lawn. One Saturday for many years, we ‘swept’ the yard. We actually took a broom and swept in front of the house.
Daddy plowed the fields with a pony and a plow. He never talked about buying a tractor, or tiller. Daddy’s job was plowing the garden, the hoeing and planting was done by Mother and us children. The pony ate on pasture land in the summer and sweet feed, corn and fodder in the winter months.
I cannot remember, but there must have been a time when Daddy did not own a car. He walked to the ‘cut’, the junction of 1524 and 421 at Goose Rock, to catch a ride to the mines. A distance of at least three or four miles one way. When needed, he would carry a 25 lb. bag of flour or meal from the store. Next time he carried a 50 lb. stand of lard.
He bought groceries from these stores: Bob Howards’, Raleigh Walkers’, J.D. Walkers’ or Chester Corums’ store. Daddy could get anything from these stores, on credit. He had a good name for paying his depts..
We always had a cow for our own milk and butter. Chickens for their meat and eggs. It was not unusual for Mother and Grandmother to get up before breakfast to kill a chicken to fry. We feed ‘slop’ to our hog. In our home, Thanksgiving was not a day for a turkey dinner, but it was hog killing time. We worked all day, in cold wind and sometimes snow, to get the hog butchered.
That night we ate fresh hog meat, until we would say that it went to our ‘heads’. We didn’t know it then, but the pork made our blood pressure go up. I have watched our grandmothers dip bread in pure meat grease and eat it, but back then, we worked hard and worked the grease out of us.
We ate ‘poke’ salad, picked blackberries and gathered walnuts and whatever else God provided. There was not as much ‘give away’ then as there is now. Or at least, we didn’t know about it. No food stamps. There was a program, where the government gave away food. People would say they were going to get their ‘commodies’.
This was free food, but we did not receive much of it and not every month, like people do now. I remember we receive cans of roast beef and cans of peanut butter. One time a man was running for sheriff and he was promising, that if elected, he would see that the ‘commodies’ were of a better quality.
On a radio ad, he asked voters, “Does your peanut butter have holes in it?”
I am serious, this actually happened, but with or without the help of the government, we survived. Daddy provided for this family and taught his children that the world did not owe us a living, but just an opportunity to work for what we got.
Charlie Murphy Jr.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:19
Martins Creek Memories
This article is in response to this newspaper asking people in Clay County to write about things from the past. Since I seem to live in the past as much as I do in the present, it is ideal for me to write. I hope someone gets enjoyment out of it.
Most of my childhood was lived on Martins Creek (Highway 2000), on Lipps Branch. Daddy rented a house from Carlo ‘Peanut’ Lipps. For the longest time I remember that we only paid ten dollars a month for rent. Not much compared to today, but we’re talking about the 1950’s and 60’s. Paying such a small amount of rent, Daddy made any repairs that the house needed. It was rare that Daddy asked Peanut to buy anything for the house.
I have a picture of the old house, which had long since been torn down. If you could see the old house, you would think it was a barn. As a matter of fact, when my brother started dating his wife, he gave her a picture of himself in front of the house. At which, she asked him why he took a picture in front of a barn.
But for me it holds many childhood memories. it may have looked bad on the outside, but inside it was filled with love. Daddy worked in the mines. Mother never worked out of our home, her and Daddy had nine children, so Mother had a career, her family. To her it was the most important job.
It was a four room house, but the living room and a bedroom were actually two large rooms, with no door to divide them. In those days we had beds in the living room. One or two of us children slept with Mother until we were considered to be too old. Brothers slept together and so did sisters. It was unheard of for each child to have their own room.
Heated by a large stove in the middle of the house, in the winter time we slept under several thick home-made quilts. We didn’t dare try to turn over under those quilts.
In the winter months, Mother and grandmother (who lived with us) set up a large quilting frame across the living room. To get passed it, to other parts of the house, we had to stoop down and go under it. No fancy store-bought material for quilts, they used whatever material they could find. If pants, shirts and coats became un-wearable, they were cut up and made into quilts. But we never froze to death.
I was already married, when one day I thought about how that in winter months when we got out of bed, breakfast was ready and the house was warm, because Mother had gotten up early and made things ready for her family.
Ah! The old home place, how I would like to spend one more night there. Under those home-made quilts without a care in the world.
Charlie Murphy Jr.
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