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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

Bill of Rights – The Second Amendment

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

The Founders of our country were aware that one of the first steps of a nascent totalitarian state would be to confiscate citizens’ weapons and outlaw religion.

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The Bill of Rights is a marvelous supplement to the original Constitution. Our Constitution outlines the structure of our government and its responsibilities. The Bill of Rights affirms that the purpose of the federal government is to protect the rights of the citizens, and that there are the limitations to the power of the federal government.

I am ambivalent about the current consideration of the second amendment. But this is how I believe it became a part of the Constitution and why it must remain so, just as it was written.

The Founders of our country were aware that one of the first steps of a nascent totalitarian state would be to confiscate citizens’ weapons and outlaw religion.

Both are antithetical to a totalitarian state. It is no coincidence, therefore, that the amendments relating to freedom of religion and the right to bear arms are numbers one and two.

My history lessons taught me that long before the American Revolution, British troops made a habit of knocking on the doors of colonists and taking over their houses. The soldiers ate their food, slept in their beds, and took their possessions at will.

Why? Because they could.

For some reason, the colonists objected strongly to this practice. Thus, the third amendment.

Related to that, the Founders wanted to ensure that the citizens could protect themselves — even from rogue government forces. That was all the more justification for the second amendment.

At the end of the 18th century, it may have been possible, appropriate, and even necessary to expect that people might have to and might have been able to defend themselves against a government that turned against them.

Certainly, however, that notion is obsolete today. Individually or collectively, the citizens could not rise up and overthrow our government with guns — even AK- 47s.

That does not matter. The second amendment goes far beyond guns as protection against an out-of-control government.

At the heart of the second amendment is independence — “leave me alone” — which, in fact, is at the heart of the entire foundation of our country: self-rule.

The government of King George — in fact, most governments in history — have been characterized by brutality and suppression of citizen’s rights. The Founders fervently opposed this notion, and formed a government that would forbid such brutality and oppression. The government should secure the God-given rights of man... and then, leave the people alone. Period. That is what the Constitution says. That is the is the philosophy woven into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Read it.

The View from the Left

But the modern-day left sees it far differently — the Constitution be damned. The left wants people to be completely dependent on the government for virtually everything: education, housing, food, health care, security and protection, transportation, jobs, retirement... there is no end to it.

Why? Well, as Democratic Congressman John Dingell out it, “to control the people.”

Mis-leaders on the left seek control — either because it makes them feel good or because they think they know what is best for the rest of us — or both.

It is easy to control the people if they depend on you for the basic necessities of life. Such dependence mollifies their temper and discontent. And they are thus less likely to object to brutality and oppression.

Guns are very much a part of that picture.

The left wants the people to rely on the government for recompense of any action against a citizen. Anything goes wrong — call the government. In case of sickness, call the government. In the case of a personal attack — call the government. In case of a personal tragedy, call the government. In case of a robbery or home invasion, call the government.

Never mind that, in case of the need for personal protection, it is usually unrealistic to expect any government to be able to provide the necessary immediate resolution.

The left does not care.

A Symbol of Power and Control

Guns are a symbol of power and control. The left does not want the people to have power or control, even a symbol of power and control.

I vehemently oppose every aspect excessive reliance on the government. Thus I strongly support the second amendment.

Suppose I have a Sony Playstation 360, a 96-inch TV, a big gas-guzzling Hummer, a 5-gallon toilet, and a large collection of knives and guns. I paid for them; I own them.

The Founders could not imagine a Playstation 360. But they understood the importance of property rights. Thus the fourth amendment.

The government has no right to forbid ownership or to take my property from me, no matter how much the left hates my property. My Playstation 36, 96-inch TV, 5-gallon toilet, and gas-guzzling Hummer are mine. As long as I use them lawfully, the government must keep their hands off my property! That’s what the fourth amendment says.

Many people own and use guns for sport, as many people use their Playstation 360 for fun and their 96-inch TV for entertainment. Freedom means the freedom to use guns for sport, to play games, and watch television — free of government interference.

I do not want the government telling me how big my TV can be, how small my toilet must be, how or much gas my Hummer guzzles or how many miles I drive it. It is none of their damned business!

Within a very broad range, the government has no right – and certainly no skills — to be able to tell me what I can and cannot own and use. That is the essence of freedom. Freedom from government interference.

Guns are a symbol of the freedom of individual people from the government. That is one reason why many people believe the second amendment to be so sacred.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Reasonable Limits

However...

I am not an expert on guns and weaponry. But I do not see why it would be appropriate for an individual to own, for example, a hand grenade, an AK-47 assault rifle, or a Sherman tank.

As with most freedoms, in the name of public safety, there may be a need for limits.

The hyper gun enthusiasts are so adamant about gun control that they see any action by the government to limit the right to own... I donno... an AK-47... as an assault on their freedom.

I understand their fervor, especially with the Obama administration in power. But reasonable people must be able to draw a reasonable line. Reasonable, limited gun control makes sense.

Unreasonable Control

The president has complete disdain for the second amendment. That is clear. But because of public pressure, he has given up on limiting the sale of guns that it does not like. So the president’s “too clever by half” solution is to propose restriction of the purchase of ammunition for those guns.

At the time of this writing, the administration has held off on implementing any such restriction. But the president’s intent is clear, and his determination absolute.

That is a gross perversion of the Constitution and a despicable act on the part of a most despicable president. It is yet another “poke in the eye of the American people” by a president who does not like the country as he sees it, and wants to do anything he can to “totally transform” it, disregarding the Constitution, which he disparages a as “a set of negative liberties.”

That this president considers the Constitution to be “a set of negative liberties” demonstrates that he is unworthy to serve as the head of our government who took a solemn oath to defend the Constitution.

President’s Oath of Office

I... do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

But... that is the candidate we elected.

The president knows that many people will object to the notion of prohibiting the sale of ammunition, and that their animosity of him will only grow as a result. He does not care. He has an agenda . He is not about to let the discontent of even the majority of the people interfere with his agenda. If the people rely heavily on the government, they will set aside their discontent. That, too, is part of the agenda.

Thus, I believe that it is very reasonable and appropriate, especially today, for any and all citizens to unalterably oppose any effort by the administration to restrict anything that appears to be an assault on the second amendment... or any part of our marvelous Constitution.

Know the Constitution

Hillsdale College has declared 2015 as the year of the Constitution. the college is offering it’s most popular course, “The Meaning and History of the Constitution,” on the Internet.

At the time of this writing, the course is free, though it is worth a great deal. You can sign up and take the course at your leisure.

Click here to see the details.


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