Gun Control in U.S. — just the basics.

Here are the basics about gun control in the USA.

Contents:

  • The Second Amendment (right, maxims of law, free state, militia)
  • The Bill of Rights
  • List of Laws and Court Cases
  • The right to self defense
  • The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God
  • The right to duel to the death
  • Gun Control
  • Your duty to avoid deception
  • Militarization of police

There are too many debates about gun rights. Unfortunately for those who demand fewer rights, every Law Dictionary tells us that: Contra principia negantem non est disputandum. There can be no debate with one who denies fundamentals.

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We The People inscription
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia

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.

RIGHT

The subject of the one-sentence amendment is the word right. The Second Amendment acknowledges that it is “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”  — it does NOT say anything about a right of the militia. It does not grant any right.

The Security of a free state

The word State can have many meanings.  It means the body politic in all it’s expressions:

  • Society (the whole body politic — “We The People” — the jura summa imperii) is the state that created government by electing delegates to write a Constitution and then voting to ratify it.  After all, it is the Laws of Nature and the Laws of Nature’s God that entitle us to create it.
  • It also refers to the artificial entity they created by ratifying the Constitution.
  • It refers to the civil servants who swear oaths to obey the society (obey the jura summa imperii)
  • In other words, It is the government 1. of the people, 2. by the people, 3. for the people
  • Even the term “United States” has three meanings. See the Supreme Court case Hooven & Allison Co. vs Evatt, 324 U.S. 652.
Maxims of Law

• Protection draws subjection.  Protectio trahit subjectionem. People must defend the creature they created. If you protect your civil servants, you are their master. The opposite is also true — If you are the protected then you are the subject.
• “The civil laws reduce an ungrateful freedman to his original slavery” Libertinum ingratum leges civiles in pristinam servitutem redigunt.

If you want to be responsible for the protection of your civil servants — Then we must have a militia to protect them. Therefore a militia is necessary to the security of a free state. Regardless of the meaning of the word state.  (the society or the artificial entity or the civil servants).

AND you have a duty to control the artificial entity you inherited.

For more information read my essay on Selective Service.

MILITIA

For the meaning of the word militia as it was used by those who authorized the United States to exist is explained in my essay What is the meaning of the term “militia” in the Second Amendment?

BUT

BUT the Second Amendment does not apply to people in States.

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THE BILL OF RIGHTS

The first eight amendments only apply to people in federal territories. The first eight Amendments do not apply to States and do not protect state people, according to the U.S. Supreme Court in Twinning v. New Jersey, 211 US 78,  in 1908 — and in Hague v. CIO, 307 US 496,  in 1939.).   Federal Territories become States to free themselves from federal jurisdiction. Nor are people in States protected by the federal government — until they volunteer into federal jurisdiction.

Under our Constitution, Vice President Thomas Jefferson reassured the people of Kentucky in 1798 that they were free from all federal laws, except for the three crimes mentioned in the Constitution, “and no other crimes whatever”. He went on to say “(and all other their acts which assume to create, define, or punish crimes other than those enumerated in the Constitution) are altogether void and of no force, and that the power to create, define, and punish such other crimes is reserved, and of right appertains solely and exclusively to the respective States, each within its own Territory.”

The Second Amendment does NOT grant any right. Never did. Never can.

The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to add further restrictions on the federal government.  The Bill of Rights itself says so. Many people think that rights come from government. They have been fooled. Rights do NOT come from government. Government can only take away rights. The Bill of Rights DOES NOT grant any rights. The Bill of Rights adds further restrictions on government. The bill itself (Link) stipulates its purpose:

in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”.

***

GUN CONTROL

Gun Control was never intended by the authors of the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson in his “Legal Commonplace Book”:

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”

More information is in my essay on the militia, linked above.

***

LIST OF LAWS AND SUPREME COURT DECISIONS:

U.S. Supreme Court in U S v. CRUIKSHANK, 92 U.S. 542 (1875), at page 553:

“The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government, leaving the people to look for their protection against any violation by their fellow-citizens of the rights it recognizes, to what is called, in The City of New York v. Miln, 11 Pet. 139, the ‘powers which relate to merely municipal legislation, or what was, perhaps, more properly called internal police,’ ‘not surrendered or restrained’ by the Constitution of the United States. “

U. s, Supreme Court, Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886) – This second post-Civil War era case ruling on the meaning of the Second Amendment rights. The court ruled the Second Amendment right was a right of individuals, not militias. An individual right to bear arms for the good of the United States.  Personal military formations and parades does not limit a personal right to keep and bear arms

U.S. Supreme Court, Caetano v. Massachusetts, 136 S.Ct. 1027 (2016)
– The Court ruled that the Second Amendment extends to all forms of bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding, and that this Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.

***

The Supreme Court’s Lopez decision (linked above) cleared student Lopez of any crime.  The School Gun Free Zone laws was a commerce clause law. School is not closely related to commerce.  The right of the people to keep and bear arms does not apply to commerce.  No one has a right to bear arms in regulated commerce.

To uphold the Government’s contentions here, we would have to pile inference upon inference in a manner that would bid fair to convert congressional authority under the Commerce Clause to a general police power of the sort retained by the States.”

***

THE RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE

The right to self defense against corporal assaults is one of the three rights of all mankind which cannot be surrendered to public convenience.  The preservation of these rights, inviolate, secured the preservation of civilized society.

These are explained in my essay The three rights of all mankind.

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THE LAWS OF NATURE AND THE LAWS OF NATURE’S GOD

The Declaration of Independence states that it is the laws of Nature’s God that entitles the United States to exist. Why do judges in every state question the legitimacy of their office?

  • We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.
  • Governments are instituted among men to secure those Creator-granted God-given unalienable rights.
    [including the right to self defense against corporal attacks].

Back when the American colonies were under British rule a 1690 law treatise was published which became part of the received law of the land.

The unalienable right to self defense was previously acknowledged in 1690 when John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government section 233 explained that self-defense against government cannot be denied in English colonies.

Must the people then always lay themselves open to the cruelty and rage of tyranny? Must they see their cities pillaged, and laid in ashes, their wives and children exposed to the tyrant’s lust and fury, and themselves and families reduced by their king to ruin, and all the miseries of want and oppression, and yet sit still? Must men alone be debarred the common privilege of opposing force with force, which nature allows so freely to all other creatures for their preservation from injury? I answer: Self-defence is a part of the law of nature; nor can it be denied the community, even against the king himself”

A four volume law textbook Blackstone’s Commentaries On The Law was the preeminent law textbook in the English Colonies. It is considered by the Supreme Court to be part of the “received law of the land”. It explains in the introduction that all natural and legislated laws come from divine law:

“It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original… Neither could any other law possibly exist; for a law always supposes some superior who is to make it; and in a state of nature we are all equal, without any other superior but him who is the author of our being.”

Merely thinking that a collective can make a choice for you is the opposite of “all men are created equal”

The law of nature requires us to supervise our civil servants, and if they fail to enforce the divine law of nature, we are restored to the nature that we were in prior to creating government, for we are all equal. See Locke’s Second Treatise paragraphs 135, 149, 171, 209. . Legibus sumptis desinentibus, lege naturae utendum est. When laws of the state fail, we must resort to the laws of nature.

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THE RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE even against government.

The Declaration of Independence said it is our duty to throw off despotism:

 But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

This principle was still valid when Abraham Lincoln made his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861:

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.”

This principle was still valid when The U.S. Supreme Court ruled John Elk v. US, 177 US 529:

... where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. … the facts might show that no offense had been committed.”

***

The right to duel to the death

Andrew Jackson survived three duels BEFORE we elected him as President. His campaign slogan was “the common man”. It is a constitutional right for a common man to settle his disputes without government. Our State and federal governments cannot interfere with the disputes of their masters. Don’t be fooled. Yes, the common voter, living in liberty, respects a man who risks death defending his honor. In a free nation, Andrew Jackson earned enough respect to be elected as a defender of everyone’s honor.

Governments were instituted among men to secure rights. The blessings of liberty secured to the posterity included the right to settle our own disputes without interference. From the Christian Pilgrims in 1621 Plymouth, until America was made safe for barbarism* in 1865, those who understood where real authority comes from would settle their own disputes. Examples include Vice President Aaron Burr who killed Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Mr. Gwinnett who signed the Declaration of Independence, Daniel Key, son of Francis Scott Key, and David Terry CHIEF Justice of the California Supreme Court who defended himself against US Senator Broderick. Civil Servants do not settle their masters’ disputes.

* The root word of barbarism is the word bar. The bar association did not exist in America until 1878, after terrorism was protected. The US Supreme Court in their 1793 case Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 US 419 at the top of page 449, while comparing different justice systems, said that in ancient Greek tribunals, law and liberty were “in strict and graceful union” before the justice system was corrupted. The high court explained: “The rude and degrading league between the bar and feudal barbarism was not yet formed.

***

Militarization of police

Defending yourself and your community is a private decision, and cannot be done with government funds or equipment, except in time of war.  It is never a governmental function to execute someone without a trial.  Under our Constitution, police had to provide their own weapon if they wanted to defend themselves.  Government weapons could never be used for a private purpose, such as self-defense — until Grover Cleveland became chief of the NY State Police then, under martial law, converted the police into a military force and provided government guns.

President Lincoln’s martial law code, the Lieber Code — Mr. Lieber was Lincoln’s martial law attorney who wrote it — states that a declaration of martial law is never necessary. The mere fact that there are government arms in the streets is sufficient notice that we are under martial law.  If government police officers are in the streets with government guns, then you are living under martial law. Again: a declaration of martial law is never necessary. Actions speak louder than words.

The Lieber Code was Lincoln’s Martial Law manual.
  • Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon to use the military against the people. “alea iacta est.” The die is cast.
  • King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta to give us civil control over law enforcement. Ever since then Sheriffs did not have the keys to the jail, only Magistrates could put you in jail — this is still true today for those who keep their rights.
  • The United States has the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 to prohibit military from civil law enforcement.

***

Your future is a military boot stomping on your face forever
You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

YOUR DUTY

If you want to keep your rights, It is your duty to ourselves and our posterity to figure out how you were deceived.  And your duty to use the courts3 we created to apply the laws to the facts you discovered.  A government granted privilege is not a right.
Here is your Quiz:

  • When the Constitution was written what was this right of self-defense?
  • When the Constitution was written what was a militia?
  • Is an “arm” in the Second Amendment the same as a “firearm”” in all of the legislated laws that ignore “the right of the people”?  — Why do Congressmen who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution refuse to use the Constitutional term “arm” but instead always use the term firearm?
  • Can a right be regulated?
  •  A right cannot be taxed.   (The National Firearms Act of 1934 is a tax law). So what government privilege was actually taxed there?
  • Why would commerce clause laws apply to an item that is no longer in commerce?
  • Do Congressmen’s oaths-of-office to secure the blessings of liberty mean anything?
  • Does your State Constitution tell you who is in the Militia? Does it require training as many now insist?

Here are your hints

A right cannot be regulated. A right cannot be taxed. The National Firearms Act of June 20,1934 was an IRS tax on the sale, manufacture and transfer of certain dangerous firearms.

Congress cannot exceed the powers delegated to it by the Constitution. Amendment 10 says that the federal government’s authority must be delegated by the Constitution.  So what impost, duty or excise does the National Firearms Act actually tax?

  • Is the NFA legit because Congress has the right to regulate and tax interstate commerce in Article 1, Section 8?
  • The power to tax is the power to destroy.  Congress cannot have the power to tax (destroy) a right that every Congressman has sworn an oath-of-office to protect.
  • The duty to bear arms is a Christian duty. You love your neighbors by defending the innocent. Christians obey the commandments of Christ. (Although many self-called “Christians” refuse to obey Christ). “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take [it], and likewise [his] scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Luke 22:36
  • Government cannot make a law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
  • Also note that Apostle Peter had a sword/knife fight with government law enforcement officers,wounding one, and was not arrested.
  • Did the same Peter that is quoted in Acts 5:29 “obey God rather than men” suddenly change his mind in First Peter 2:13-16?: “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” —  Notice that it is the “will of God…to silence the ignorance of foolish men”.  — He is telling people not to attract attention with their new liberty from graven (manmade) laws. After all, law is not made for the righteous, First Timothy 1:9.

Every Congressman has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution.  This “right of the people” cannot be infringed. Congress cannot collectively commit mutiny. If they wanted to write a constitutional law and stay within their delegated authority, they would have used the Constitution’s words. In the Constitution this “right of the people” uses the term “arms”.  It does not use the term “firearms”.  Non accipi debent verba in demonstrationem falsam, quae competunt in limitationem veram. Words ought not to be accepted to import a false description when they are consistent with a true definition.

  • In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson had unsuccessfully tried to veto the Volstead Act, which set harsh punishments for violating the 18th Amendment and endowed the Internal Revenue Service with unprecedented regulatory and enforcement powers.
  • In 1933 after the Carlisle Act, the IRS and the ATF moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Does the NFA only levy tax on imports of firearms entering the federal territories?

 

More Maxims of Law

Every Law Dictionary will tell you that The legislature cannot impose laws on words to change definitions.  Legislatorum est viva vox, rebus et non verbis, legem imponere. The voice of legislators is a living voice, to impose laws on things and not on words.

Ad recte docendum oportet primum inquirere nomina, quia rerum congnitio a nominibus rerum dependet. In order to rightly comprehend a thing, it is necessary first to inquire into the names, for a right knowledge of things depends on their names.

*** Footnotes ***

1. A right cannot be taxed. Or charged a fee.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 US 105 (1943) although NOT an arms case:

  •  “A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the federal constitution.
  •  “a person cannot be compelled to purchase, through a license fee or a license tax, the privilege freely granted by the constitution.”
  •  “the ultimate question in determining the constitutionality of this license tax is whether the state has given something for which it can ask a return. That principle has wide applicability. State Tax Commission v. Aldrich, 316 U.S. 174 , 62 S.Ct. 1008, 139 A.L.R. 1436, and cases cited. But it is quite irrelevant here. This tax is not a charge for the enjoyment of a privilege or benefit bestowed by the state. The privilege in question exists apart from state authority. It is guaranteed the people by the federal constitution.”

2. A right cannot be licensed.

U.S. Supreme Court in Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham 394 U.S. 147 (1969), although NOT an arms case:

“Persons faced with an unconstitutional licensing law which purports to require a license as a prerequisite to exercise of right… may ignore the law and engage with impunity in exercise of such right.”

U.S. Supreme Court in Meister v. Moore, 96 U.S. 76, which was a inheritance case, at page 79:

“No doubt, a statute may take away a common law right; but there is always a presumption that the Legislature has no such intention, … unless they contain express words of nullity.”

Can you find express words of nullity in the NFA to take away a common law right that is explicitly enforced by every congressman’s oath of office?

3. Learn how to use the courts.

  • A lawyer’s duty is to ATTORN you over to the system. See my essay on lawyers.
  • I recommend an online law course.  If you don’t know how to defend your rights, you will lose them. I recommend that you study all the basic law procedures  explained in  “How To Win In Court” self-help course.

*** Other Notes ***

Comparing other dangerous weapon cases, I found Riggins v. Seattle very interesting. The plaintiff had a knife which he had used earlier in the day to help roof his brother’s house. He was arrested for having a dangerous weapon within city limits. The State Constitution restricts government impairment of bearing arms: “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, …”  The case also mentions:
— “Where legislation tends to promote the health, safety, morals, or welfare of the public and bears a reasonable and substantial relationship to that purpose, every presumption will be indulged in favor of constitutionality.”
— “The presumption implicit in the local law is that four-inch knives, when carried on the streets, are being carried for criminal purposes, or for other reasons that are hazardous to the health, welfare and safety of the public. . . . . The court believed that the presumption was rational and based on common sense:  As the City Council found in its investigative phase, and as any sentient person knows, knives are implicated in many street crimes, and continue to be a prime cause of serious injury and death. .”
— “The presumption is that, unless an exemption is applicable, one who carries a “dangerous knife” within the city of Seattle does so either for criminal purposes or for other reasons that are hazardous to the safety and welfare of the public.”

As for myself, I cannot see the logic in having the capability of defending self or state as “hazardous to the safety and welfare of the public” — After all:

  • “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  — Benjamin Franklin, November 11, 1755; Reply to the Governor.
  • Government exists to protect rights.  The only legitimate government function (called by various names like “police power”, “compelling state interest”, “overriding governmental interest”, “exigent circumstances”, “clear and present danger doctrine”) that can trump your right to liberty is to protect an innocent person from grave and immediate danger.
  • We know from several U.S. Supreme Court cases that First Amendment rights are “susceptible to restriction only to prevent grave and immediate danger to interests which the state may lawfully protect” (This phrase was used in many Supreme Court decisions to protect your rights. Carrol v. Princess Anne 393 U.S. 175, Thomas v. Collins 323 U.S. 516, West Virginia v. Barnette 319 U.S. 624, in re Brown 9 Cal.3d 612, West’s Constitutional law, key 84, 90, 91 — etc.)”
  • Is it the intent of every congressmen to keep me from defending them?

School Gun Free Zone law 18 USC 922q still exists today.  It was changed by the Lopez decision to only guns in interstate commerce.
Congress has the power to legislate interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Do not be fooled. The rules of statute construction prohibit misconstruing statutes in such as way to allow an interpretation contrary to the congress members oath of office.  Such as interpreting a non-commerce activity as criminal.

It is a government granted privilege to have a firearm. No one has a right to keep or bear a firearm without the government granted privilege.

Government has a right to regulate interstate commerce. Government also has a duty to protect your rights.

The term “firearm” is a legislated word. The term “arm” is a common law term (in the Law of Nature, and Nature’s God). How can you come the opposite conclusion?
The U.S. Supreme Court in DC v. Heller was discussing firearms. Yes, you can possess firearms. And also use them at home. Firearms are required to be registered for use in commerce.
The Heller decision Held:
“1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.
(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.”

Notice in the above quote that the Supreme Court Heller decision said “right to possess a firearm” is protected by the Second Amendment, BUT “firearm” is not the term used in the Amendment. Why did Congress refuse to use the term in the Second Amendment, which they are sworn to uphold?

***

If you don’t know how to defend your rights — you will not have any.
I recommend this self-help course: How To Win In Court.

If you want a guest blog for your website, I am available. Steven.Miller@LibertyContentWriter.com

LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS:

What is the meaning of the term “militia” in the Second Amendment?

The Revolutionary War ended when the peace treaty was signed.
The people who signed the peace treaty with the British might just know more than today’s lefty pundits.  After all, they authorized the United States to exist.

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.

Notice that it is the right of the people  — NOT the right of the militia.

The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to add further restrictions on the government.  The Bill of Rights itself says so. Many people think that rights come from government. They have been fooled. Rights do NOT come from government. Government can only take away rights. The Bill of Rights DOES NOT grant any rights. The Bill of Rights adds further restrictions on government. The bill itself (Link) stipulates its purpose:

in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”.

Some people like to argue about the word “militia” in the Second Amendment. They argue that the right to bear arms is only for the organized militia, or that militias are government agencies with government weapons, or that the militia is only State National Guards. BUT JOHN ADAMS AND THOMAS JEFFERSON WERE THERE AND THEY NEVER HAD SUCH THOUGHTS.

DO NOT BE FOOLED

Don’t be fooled by the word “regulated” in the phrase “A well regulated militia”. It does not mean “disciplined” nor even subject to a chain of command. The word regulated means governed by rules, or “subject to governing principles”. From Latin Regula “a general rule”.

We are already regulated by “a general rule” that created government. The first sentence of Declaration of Independence states that the Law of Nature entitles government to exist. According to Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Law (a law encyclopedia published in 1765 and used in the Colonies) This rule of conduct applies with equal obligation to individuals and to nations. And indeed the jura summi imperii is the force that government must obey. For all political power is vested in the people.

THE SECOND AMENDMENT MILITIA IS “WE THE PEOPLE”
Your State’s Constitution will tell you who is in the militia.  Read it.  And notice that it does not require training as some people suggest.

In the 1939 Supreme Court case U.S. v. Miller, 307 US 174, we learn what the Second Amendment was about. In order to suppress a military coup that overthrows the government, we must be able to show up on the battlefields with weapons equal to the military, in order to take back our government. If you are prohibited from buying weapons equal to the military, then perhaps you do not live in a free country — perhaps “We The People” have lost control of what we created.

JOHN ADAMS signed the peace treaty with the British

President John Adams in his October 11, 1798 letter to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of Massachusetts:

An address from the officers commanding two thousand eight hundred men, consisting of such substantial citizens as are able and willing at their own expense completely to arm and clothe themselves in handsome uniforms, does honor to that division of the militia which has done so much honor to its country.”

That’s right. Almost 7 years after the Bill of Rights, and 18 years after Massachusetts was a state (by the way, John Adams wrote the Massachusetts Constitution) the militia consisted of citizens willing to completely to arm themselves at their own expense. Don’t be fooled into believing that this has changed. The Constitution does not change. Those who swore to defend it must perpetuate it. Congress has no authority to commit mutiny.

John Adams might just know why we created a government. He signed the Declaration of Independence. He signed the Peace Treaty with Great Britain authorizing the U.S. to exist. He was U.S. Vice President, U.S. President, Ambassador to several countries, primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution, and former Governor of Massachusetts.

Thomas Jefferson also signed the peace treaty with the British

Thomas Jefferson in his “Legal Commonplace Book” quoting a passage is from Cesare Beccaria’s Essay on Crimes and Punishments, originally published in Italian in 1764:

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”

Jefferson owned a copy of Beccaria’s treatise in the original Italian. He later purchased an English translation, published in London in 1809, which was sold to the Library of Congress (Sowerby, Entry 2349, 3:21).

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