Joe Meglen: Militia purpose of law | SteamboatToday.com

Joe Meglen: Militia purpose of law

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.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is often missing from discussion or was never learned. The right to self defense is a natural law existing from inception of humanity, well before the Constitution and Bill of Rights. When the founders codified the Second Amendment, they did not bestow this right; they memorialized the fact that free people have the unalienable right to defend themselves, their family, friends and property from all threats, including the threat of a tyrannical government.

The Revolutionary War was triggered when British Troops were sent to Lexington and Concord to confiscate American's firearms and gunpowder. The Constitution was written shortly following the War of Independence so government gun confiscation was fresh in the founders' minds. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to keep the government in check preserving freedom and the principles upon which the United States of America were founded.

There is no ambiguity in the language of the Second Amendment for those who wrote it recognized free people have a right to be armed. Some gun control advocates claim the language in the Second Amendment is subject to interpretation. It is not.

Two centuries ago, the term "well-regulated" did not mean to control or limit. "Well-regulated" was defined as "having proper kit and provisions" or in the case of objects or machinery, "properly maintained and kept in good repair." The term "militia" was substantially discussed during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 to 1789. It was made clear the militia was "of the whole people." This was affirmed in the Second Amendment and the 1782 Militia Act. The militia is the people.

The political class lives off the productive efforts of the people. To preserve their self interests, our "betters" have been subverting the Constitution from inception. This incremental dismantling of the Constitution is evident in the bills, laws and ordinances that have been passed by all levels of government in order to disarm the citizens.

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To restore freedom and the idea of America, we must understand the limited authority granted government comes from the consent of the people. Codifying the Bill of Rights further emphasizes the limits placed on government. The federal government does not grant rights for it is the employee of the states and the states the employee of the individual.

Government lacks the Constitutional authority to ban, regulate or license guns or ammunition. It lacks the authority to do background checks, regulate gun shows or even have a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. When government usurps the limited authority granted in our Constitutional Republic, the laws enacted are unlawful. Free people living in a free society do not need to ask the permission of the ruling class to defend themselves.

As for the effectiveness of gun control laws, the evidence in the United States, as well as other countries, proves disarming law-abiding citizens does not keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Newly enacted gun control laws normally result in an increase in crime.

In contrast, an increase in gun ownership normally results in a decrease in crime including, and especially, murder. The corporate-controlled media rarely publishes the positive facts on gun ownership or the negative consequences of gun control laws.

In closing, the following quotation is as appropriate today as it was when written by Thomas Jefferson sometime before June 1776 — "No free man shall be debarred the use of firearms."

Joe Meglen

Steamboat Springs