Forces of gun prohibition on the march again…

...and in dire need of a history lesson

By Tim Inwood

Since the elections on November 7th I have been
watching the news coverage carefully and what I see
chills me. The forces that want to eventually ban gun
ownership have been very frustrated under Republican
rule in Washington D.C. since January 1995. The past two
years since the expiration of the Clinton
Semi-automatic Firearms ban has literally driven them
up the wall. Now. with a new Democrat majority in
Washington D.C., they are stirring. They think it is
time to move.

Sarah Brady and her minions have been
emboldened by the Democrat victory and are talking to
the electronic and print media about their plans. This
includes sending out articles to newspapers full of
lies that the Second Amendment is merely a collective
right to allow the states to have National Guard
units. The reason for this media blitz is to place
doubt about the true meaning of the Second Amendment
in the minds of the American public. This way when
legislation comes down from above to ban certain types
of guns, folks are confused as to whether they have
the right to own such things or not.

The problem is we the defenders of our Constitutional
rights never seem to get as much air time or the space
and ink necessary to debunk the balderdash spread by
these people in the major newspapers. Thank goodness
we have websites like this one to spread to truth.

Click on 'Read More' for the entire commentary.

Recently I was notified by my friend Dan Gettlefinger
that just the very sort of disinformation piece I have
been talking about ran in the Cincinnati Enquirer. The
author, Doug Pennington, is a former Cincinnati
resident now living in Washington D.C. and an employee
of Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. His
article was prompted by an op-ed penned by a Vietnam
War vet named Charles Donabedian.

It seems Mr.
Donabedian had the audacity to challenge the sheer
idiocy (also known as conventional wisdom in liberal
circles) of an article ran in the New York Times
called “Confusion on Guns.” The New York Times, as one
would suspect, was spreading the usual rubbish that the
Second Amendment was about arming militias and a
collective right to bear arms as part of a militia.
The perpetuation of the idiotic notion that there is
no individual right to bear arms is stunning in the
face of the evidence available to us.
The creatures who wish to part us from our arms are
counting on the ignorance of such things by the bulk
of the American People. Mr. Donabedian does an
excellent job of eviscerating the New York Times
position by explaining the positions of the founders
and naming the men whom one needs to research to find
the truth of the matter. He writes:

    First, in the Federalist Papers (Federalist 46) James
    Madison wrote assurances that the citizen of the newly
    formed government would never have to fear the tyranny
    of that government because of "the advantage of being

    During the Ratification Debates on the Constitution,
    Theodore Sedgewick, James Monroe, Patrick Henry and
    James Madison all spoke of the necessity of
    establishing for posterity the right of the individual
    citizen to keep and bear arms, as a means of
    protecting the individual against the state. This is a
    matter of simple historic record.

For his insight, Mr. Donabedian is rebuked by Mr.
Pennington who ignores the guidance offered. This is a
mistake for which I will take Mr. Pennington to task,
as I have little patience for people who wish to
ignore facts so they can continue to cling to
emotional and illogical positions with which they are
comfortable. In other words, the attitude is “don’t
confuse me with the facts, I have made up my mind.” Clearly in Mr. Pennington’s case this applies.

Having been told where to look for the truth Mr.
Pennington ignores him and the founders and proceeds to write this drivel:

    “As a social matter, there is no doubt many Americans
    assume the Second Amendment guarantees an individual
    right to own a gun. And while the Fifth Circuit
    repeated that misconception in Emerson v. U.S., it is
    outnumbered by courts in the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth and
    Ninth Circuits. Consistent with the U.S. Supreme
    Court's 1939 ruling in U.S. v. Miller, they understand
    the amendment "guarantees a collective rather than an
    individual right" to bear arms. (That language, by the
    way, comes from the Sixth Circuit, sitting right there
    in my hometown of Cincinnati, and has been the law in
    Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Michigan since 1976.)

    The Second Amendment gives states the right to
    maintain militias - today's National Guard. It doesn't
    give individuals the right to own guns.

These are flimsy arguments and he clearly does not
understand US vs. Miller. Let Pennington debate the
quotes from the founders. Clearly this shows their
mindset and intent in writing the Second Amendment.

    “Arms in the hands of citizens (may) be used at
    individual private self-defense... ”
    -- John Adams

    "The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among
    the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to
    individuals." -- James Monroe, November 16, 1818

    “And that the said Constitution be never construed to
    authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the
    press, or the right of conscience; or to prevent the
    people of the United States, who are peaceable
    citizens, from keeping their own arms; ...or to
    prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable
    and orderly manner; or to subject the people to
    unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons,
    papers or possessions.” -- Sam Adams

    "[T]he advantage of being armed, which the Americans
    possess over the people of almost every other nation,
    the existence of subordinate governments, to which the
    people are attached, and by which the militia officers
    are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises
    of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a
    simple government of any form can admit of.
    Notwithstanding the military establishments in the
    several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far
    as the public resources will bear, the governments are
    afraid to trust the people with arms." -- James
    Madison, Federalist No. 46

Or perhaps Pennington, who probably adores journalists, would care to consider Tench Cox, a reporter of the time taking careful
notes during the debates:

    “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people
    duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the
    military forces which must be occasionally raised to
    defend our country, might pervert their power to the
    injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are
    confirmed by the next article in their right to keep
    and bear their private arms.” -- Tench Cox
    (introduction to his discussion, and support, of the
    2nd Amend) "Remarks on the First Part of the
    Amendments to the Federal Constitution", Philadelphia
    Federal Gazette, 18 June 1789, pg.2

    "Their swords, and every other terrible instrument of
    the soldier, are the birth right of an American. ...
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands
    of either the federal or the state governments, but,
    where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands
    of the people." -- Tench Coxe, noted federalist and
    friend of James Madison, writing in defense of the
    proposed Constitution, in the Pennsylvania Gazette,
    Feb. 20, 1788

Pennington, ill-informed as he is, then goes on to say

    “The idea that individuals could have a right to arm
    themselves against the government violates even a lay
    reading of the treason clause of Article III, Section
    3 of the U.S. Constitution. Is the Second Amendment
    really a self-destruct button? Of course not.“

This is contrary to the thinking of the Founders who
indeed intended an armed populace to keep a possible
tyrant in Government in check. As evidence I again
rely on the words of the very men who created our

    "I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole
    people ... To disarm the people is the best and most
    effectual way to enslave them." -- George Mason (who
    opposed ratification of the Constitution without the
    Bill of Rights)

    "A free people ought not only to be armed and
    disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and
    ammunition to maintain a status of independence from
    any who might attempt to abuse them, which would
    include their own government." -- George Washington

    “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution
    itself. They are the people's liberty teeth
    keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally
    indispensable... more than 99% of them by their
    silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands.
    The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains
    evil interference. When firearms go, all goes, we need
    them every hour.” -- George Washington, Address to 1st
    session of Congress

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the
    right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to
    protect themselves against tyranny in government.” --
    Thomas Jefferson, (The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, p.
    334, 1950)

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the
    right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to
    protect themselves against tyranny in government.” --
    Thomas Jefferson, (The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, p.
    334, 1950)

Would Doug Pennington like to offer a charge of
treason against George Washington or Thomas Jefferson
for what they said? I suggest he and the rest of the
propagandists at the Brady Campaign get a history
lesson or two. Clearly they are out of their league in
this debate and delusional about what being a citizen
of the United States is all about. I hope but doubt
they will wake up to the damage they are doing to the
very fabric of our nation. Our right to keep and bear
arms is not something given to us by our government.

The Founders correctly believed that rights descend
from God or if you are an agnostic or atheist from
nature itself. A right is something you automatically
have. You are born with certain inalienable rights.
The governments issue privileges. They can only take
your rights by due process and that only because you
have abused them or broken laws. This used to require
felonies but sadly your rights may now be taken from
you for minor misdemeanors. Such is work of tyrants
like Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

Just remember my friends - we live in a Republic. Our
freedoms are enshrined in the US Constitution. However,
forces are at work in Columbus and Washington D.C. that
are allied in an insidious plot to strip those
freedoms from you. Be suspicious of politicians and
bureaucrats who do not trust you with your own guns.
Be vigilant and pay attention to what is going on in
the country. Also it is important to join groups like
the NRA, GOA and BFA who fight for you rights and do
their best to keep you informed of what is going on.
But we can only do this with your help. We can not do
it alone and there is strength in numbers that no
politician dare ignore. So I hope you will join us today.

Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.

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