I know that some may think that this should be a POTUS topic, but if you look at CNN.com today, they have about five or six articles on impending gun legislation. Those of us who participate in hunting, sport shooting of any kind, or even just feel safer having an effective means of self defense should be concerned. Here is a comment from someone responding to one of the CNN articles. It is one of the best posts I've read.
WesternManZombie Killer •5 hours ago
"On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carryourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." (ThomasJefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The CompleteJefferson, p. 322)
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm thepeople is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
Co-authorof the Second Amendment
duringVirginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
"Thegreat object is that every man be armed" and "everyone whois able may have a gun." (PatrickHenry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of theConstitution. Debates and other Proceedings of the Convention ofVirginia,...taken in shorthand by David Robertson of Petersburg, at271, 275 2d ed. Richmond, 1805. Also 3 Elliot, Debates at 386)
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they beproperly armed."(Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8)
"Americanshave the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens ofother countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people witharms." (JamesMadison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)
"Amilitia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …"
RichardHenry Leewritingin Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII,May, 1788.
"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them."
ZachariahJohnsonElliot'sDebates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions onthe Adoption of the Federal Constitution."
"…the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keepand bear their private arms"
June18, 1789, Pg. 2, Col. 2
Articleon the Bill of Rights
"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights ofConscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who arepeaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …"
quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789,"Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State"
"Beforea standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are inalmost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannotenforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of thepeople are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands ofregular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the UnitedStates" (Noah Webster in `An Examination into the Leading Principles of theFederal Constitution', 1787, a pamphlet aimed at swaying Pennsylvania toward ratification, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitutionof the United States, at 56(New York, 1888))
"Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every otherterrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of anAmerican... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people" (TenchCoxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788)
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them." (Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, andmember of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights, WalterBennett, ed., Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, at21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press,1975)..)
"No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion." (James Burgh, Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses [London, 1774-1775])
"To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm . . . is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege."[Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878)]
"The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals.... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of." (AlbertGallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789)