The second amendment of the U. S. Constitution reads:
“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 Puritans fled persecution in Great Britain by coming to America. Once here they set in place laws requiring every family to own a gun, to carry it in public places, and to train their children in how to use their firearms. The colony of Virginia in 1619, had statutes requiring everyone to bear arms. And, Connecticut law in 1650 required every man above the age of 16 to possess, “a good musket or other gun, fit for service.”
The laws of early America are very clear about the responsibility of citizens keeping and bearing arms. It was the people who were responsible for their own defense and freedoms and they needed to be prepared to fight for them. Thomas Jefferson said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” At that time, there was no concept of a professional army, created and paid to defend the colonies. George Mason, known as the father of the Bill of Rights, said, “What is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
In the mid seventeen hundreds with the approach of the American Revolution, the natural rights philosophers had established the foundations for self-defense. Every man’s life, they said, belongs to God, and to allow ones life to be taken because one failed to defend it was wrong. This was known as the natural law to the right of self-defense and was also applied to the duty to protect one’s family, community and national liberties. For the colonists, at the heart of their religion was liberty, a sacred gift from God.
For the most part, the colonial churches, particularly New England’s Congregational congregations, believed that to revolt against tyrants, such as King George, was to obey God. This belief may have had its roots in the Old Testament accounts of Israel’s wars for freedom, but it became a powerful fire that impassioned the citizenry. At one point King George, fearful the colonies were gaining too much of an appetite for independence tried to persuade the colonists to compromise and get back in line with an empty promise of peace. He was almost successful until in January of 1776, Thomas Paine published his Pamphlet on Common Sense in which he not only called for but rationalized the need for liberty from the oppression of Great Britain, reigniting the zeal for revolution and independence. Over 500,000 copies were printed and released in the first year of printing. The premise that security from the tyranny of government was a religious belief as it was a God given right brought huge numbers of citizens together with a common goal. That same belief has continued to influence Americans’ views about the right to keep and bear arms even to today.
Incumbent upon each of us is the responsibility, to know factually, where our rights begin and end and to be able to stand against governmental tyranny when those rights are infringed upon. For me, it is without question, that the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America assures me the right to keep and bear arms freely as a God given right to maintain life, liberty, and security against anyone, especially the tyranny of our own government.
That said, it should be further noted that individual colonies (states) are granted the right to establish laws and statutes to govern their own populations. These laws and statutes cannot however negate the U.S. Constitution. When raising my daughters I always told them that the time to decide on a principle is not in the heat of battle. The non-negotiables of their life should be established before pressure comes to bear, and be based on solid, arguable positions. That doesn’t mean there won’t be opposition or difference of opinion. It does mean we must be able to back our position with facts. To this end, I’m attaching a copy of the Firearms Laws for NYS so you can educate yourself and develop your own position concerning - Your Right to Keep and Bear Arms. I’ve also included a section for NYC Firearms Laws as well as they differ from the state laws.
Obviously, this is not my usual type of monthly web sight entry, but based on current events, I believe we are at a point where a stand will be forced on us and I for one would prefer to have the chance to stand first on words and at the ballot box. Success there will insure not having to stand in the heat of a real battle.
“We the people”… means this is a basic God given right of all citizens. Therefore as you decide on your position, consider that you are doing so for the corporate good of our citizenry. This means that even if you wish not to own or carry a gun yourself, the rights of your family and friends, neighbors and fellow countrymen still remain valid and require you to help them uphold that liberty, just as they are required to help you uphold yours. “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All!”
May God Bless you, and May God continue to Bless America.
(www.nraila.org) NYS Gun Laws