Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Shot Heard Around The World may be on the Horizon

"You will march...with the utmost expedition and Secrecy to Concord, where you will seize and destroy all the Artillery, Ammunition, Provisions...Small Arms, and all Military Stores whateverr..." -- General Gage's orders to Lt. Col. Smith, April 18, 1775

By Douglas V. Gibbs

A reader of this site, or perhaps a listener to my Constitution Study radio program, or Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs radio program, wrote me last Sunday with an interesting series of observations about the right to keep and bear arms, and that right's role in the history of this nation.

He told me that while surfing the net he found that, "There were just four pieces of artillery possessed by the colonies at the onset of the Revolution. Two were owned by several citizens of Boston and two were owned by the Government of Massachusetts. They were returned to the citizens after the war, the other two having been captured by the enemy. Henry Knox had the guns inscribed with these words, [Sacred to Liberty: This is one of four cannons, which constituted the whole train of Field Artillery possessed by the British Colonies of North America, at the commencement of the war, on the 19th of April, 1775. This cannon and its fellow belonging to a number of citizens of Boston, were used in many engagements during the war. The other two, the property of the Government of Massachusetts were taken by the enemy. By order of the United States in Congress assembled May 19th, 1788.].  One is on display at Minute Man Park in Concord."

The email continues to tell us that "the US maritime Museum has record [of] the information on Privateers. These are privately owned and heavily armed ships. During the Revolution there were just 64 ships in the Continental Navy that were armed with 1200 or so mounted cannon and swivel guns. Te Privateers ships were in excess of 2000 and the number of mounted cannon and swivel guns numbered over 14,000. Without this civilian Navy we may not have won the fight. This should put a wrinkle in the pants of the... well what ever you call them. Scalia's statement that frightening weapons could be banned is one in a vacuum  The facts are very simple and do not lie or twist meaning.  They simply are."

We must remember that the founders expected the citizenry to have firearms equal to or greater than the government's forces.

The writer continued along those lines, saying that while the fervor in today's gun grab is said to be over getting military-type weapons off the streets, in revolutionary times, that is what everyone had. . . military-type weapons.  He then added that just because people fear those kinds of firearms, it doesn't mean others shouldn't have them, or that everyone is out to get them.

The liberal left uses paranoia to gain their aims, meaning that they capitalize on fear, and use that fear as an excuse to take away from everyone else the things they possess.

The email'r then commented on Justice Roberts' reference to a headsman's axe, and how those weapons are banned from people carrying them.  Sure, such an item is scary.  "They are only for taking the head off a helpless tied up and subdued person. I would agree with Roberts. The consideration that I may be subdued and at the mercy of the headsman is pretty scary. But absent the tied up and subdued the fellow with the axe would not fare well. Even bare handed all you would have to do is avoid the first swing and close the distance to make the axe useless in combat. A good knife then would do. The whole concept is outlandish. Besides the headsman's axe has no miitary application. It is not durable enough to be of combative use. It is too heavy and unwieldy to be used in combat as well. So the whole example in light of the second amendment is absurd."

He concludes, "Finally 'Well regulated is defined in Federalist Paper 29. . . It means well trained and practices in movement and drill. The fallacy that it means regulated as creating a limitation on the weapons that were required is equally absurd. The mention of weapons in the militia statutes were the bare minimum that one was to report with. Even today a soldier reporting with less than a full kit can be charged with an Article 15 for failure to repair. The entire scene is one of absurdity when you see the lawyers arguments flying about when you deal with those who have no military experience. The arguments have been so utterly twisted it is difficult to know if these poor misguided idiots could pour water out of a boot even if the directions were on the heel. I am equally sure that if the general public were to realize that the so-called 'interpreters of the law' don't really have a clue, it might inspire the people to find out on their own and ignore their blithering blather..."
He called himself a "Watchman on the Wall" at the end of the email.

I responded quickly:


Well said, my friend. As I remind folks constantly, it took only 3% of the population to fight the Revolutionary War, and win it, against the mightiest military power of the time. We wore the British out, and we were emptying the pocketbook of The Crown by the mere length of the campaign. The British found it difficult to fight the war because all of the colonists were armed, and the Redcoats never knew when they were going to be hit, nor from where.

The words "well regulated" are a key to the 2nd Amendment. In addition to Madison's explanation in Federalist 29, the 1828 Webster's Dictionary also gives us a clue to the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, and the words, "well regulated." If we look up the word "regulate" in that dictionary, we will notice the order of definitions has changed over the years. The definition for "control and restrict," as the word "regulate" is assumed to mean in today's society, was the third and final definition listed, meaning that it was the least used. The first definition had to do with weights and measures. When you put sugar in your coffee, you are regulating the amount. Or, when you turn on your garden hose, you are regulating the flow, whether you restrict it, or let it flow freely.

The second definition is the one the Founding Fathers were using when writing the Constitution, and applies to the use of the word in both the Commerce Clause, and the Second Amendment. The second definition for "regulate" in that case is "to put in good order."

When one understands history, the need to put in good order the militia makes all of the sense in the world. During the Revolutionary War the militia was hardly in good order. They were not well trained, did not understand tactics of movement and drill, many didn't even have shoes, and the muskets were all kinds of different sizes. The militia was hardly in good order, indeed.

Once we understand what "regulate" truly means, we must also understand "who" the militia is. Title 10 of the U.S. Code, to this day, still breaks the militia down into two groups - The organized militia, and the unorganized militia. The organized militia includes the State Militias, Naval Militias, and National Guard. The unorganized militia is the citizen force. It consists of able-bodied people ready to take arms and fight. Though the U.S. Code also gives us an age-range, among other requirements to be a part of the unorganized militia, I am here to tell you that if the need arises, there will be an awful lot of people outside those parameters that will also be willing to take arms, and do what is necessary.

Your email was very well put because it reminds us that it didn't take much to win the Revolutionary War. The drive for Liberty, and as the Declaration of Independence puts it, the willingness to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, was what it took to win that war. In today's world, as the rumblings of tyranny are being met with a pledge to defend the nation as founded, banning what The Left believes to be "scary looking" weapons will not calm the fires of freedom. The primary reason the Second Amendment was written was to remind the federal government that they have no right over the firearms of the populace, and because it is necessary to the security of freedom of each of the States, the federal government shall not infringe on that right. The Second Amendment is in place not necessarily to protect the States from a foreign invasion, but from an internal invasion. The right to keep and bear arms is there to repel a tyrannical government.

The shot heard around the world in 1775 at Lexington Green started the War of Independence, and what was the final straw for the colonists in that instance was that the British were marching to Concord to seize our largest arsenal. In other words, what began the bloody war that forged this nation was when they [the British] came for our guns. The right to keep and bear arms is a very important part of the American experience, and this new threat to disarm the American People with gun control legislation is unleashing a lion the democrats were not prepared to face. It has now become a game of chicken, and if the government is unwilling to back down, I expect that there will be blood in the streets. As in Lexington Green, it won't be the oppressed that fires first, but the people being controlled by tyranny will not back down in the face of subjugation.

A new Lexington Green may be on the horizon. This drive to disarm the people is only the first step towards eventual confiscation, and the people know it, and they won't stand for it.


Douglas V. Gibbs
Constitution Radio, KCAA 1050 AM

P.S. I thought this old episode of School House Rock - Shot Heard 'Round the World was an appropriate end to this post. . .

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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