"Live Free... ...or Die!"

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the rights of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." This simple and straight forward statement from the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the United States of America clearly protects the right of the individual to own and carry firearms. When our founding fathers wrote the Bill of Rights, they did not come up with new ideas and implement them. They acknowledged the God given inviolable rights of the individual to life, peace, love, and the pursuit of happiness. They understood that many people would try to take these rights away. The Bill of Rights exists to protect these rights.

The intent of the Second Amendment was, and is, to allow the individual the ability to defend his/her life, family, property, and polity against any and all who would take his/her freedom, whether they be criminals, foreign invaders or a tyrannical government bent on enslaving the people. Our founding fathers understood then what so many ignore now; that it is not only a right to defend yourself and others, it was, and is, each citizen's duty.

Over 150 years ago, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote, "The right of citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers: and will, if usurpation occurs, enable the people to resist, and triumph over them."

Thomas Jefferson was also known to have spoken out strongly for the right to keep and bear arms, "The Constitution of the United States asserts that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right to be at all times armed." Not armed when the government dictates, but armed 24 hours a day, everywhere they go. Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Those who would trade a little liberty for a little safety deserve neither." James Monroe, the founder of the Constitution, expressed his views by stating that, "The right to keep and bear arms is a basic human right." In a similar statement, James Madison, the principal proponent of the Constitution stated, "Americans would never fear their government, because of the advantage of being armed." Richard Henry Lee wrote, "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." In the words of the late Senator Hubert Humphrey, "The rights of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."

All of the great nations in history (Rome, Egypt, Greece, etc.) have armed the free-men within their realms. The leaders of these nations knew that that an armed populace would be a deterrent to crime, and would be a readily available force that could be used to slow an invasion of their territories until their armies could arrive to repel the invaders. The arming of freemen has set the precedent that only a person who is free can keep and bear arms, it follows that only a slave does not have the right to keep and bear arms since they have nothing to protect. History has repeatedly shown that a nation that fails to keep a strong presence through force of arms will soon be overrun by their neighbors, thus all freemen of that nation will be enslaved.

A prime example of an armed populace remaining free is the nation of Israel. They are a nation surrounded by enemies. All Israeli men and women perform two years of military service at the age of 18. These people are then allowed to carry fully automatic weapons at any time they desire, anywhere within their countries borders for the rest of their lives. In several wars during the last 40 years, the Israelis were attacked with overwhelming force, yet they soundly trounced the attacking forces and seized large segments of enemy territories as buffer zones against further attacks. All this was due to the ability of their people to fight as a unit on a moment's notice. The citizens of Israel are an equivalent to our nation's Minutemen.

Statistics show that one in three people will be victimized in their lifetimes, and one in ten will be victimized multiple times. This means each person has a 33% chance of being attacked, robbed, or otherwise harmed in their lifetime. The courts of America have found repeatedly that the police and other government agencies are not responsible for the protection of any individual citizen, only for the protection of the general populace as a whole.

One particular case comes to mind. The case occurred in Connecticut. Two men broke into a home. The police were called, the men found the two women who lived in the home and proceeded to rape and torture them for six hours. When the police arrived they walked up and knocked on the front door. When they received no response they left. When the police department was sued, the state court found that the police were not responsible for failure to protect the two women, they were only bound to protect the populace as a whole. This means that a policeman could stand there and watch you be robbed or raped and do nothing.

This leaves God and you as your only protectors. As Christians we believe that God looks out for us, yet we also acknowledge that Satan has power in our world. The Bible has warned that others will oppress and persecute the "Peoples of the Lord." God must let Satan follow his path of evil to prove his case to the universe, leaving you as the sole protector of your safety. Many Christians today are pacifists, I acknowledge their beliefs, yet we all live in a country that is free due to the destruction of hundreds of thousands of lives in warfare.

In the War for Independence our forefathers fought and died so that we can practice religion freely. Will we now throw away their pain, suffering, and lost lives by allowing the government to remove the most effective method we have for retaining our freedom?

President Clinton and certain government officials (i.e. Attn. General Janet Reno, etc.) say that tyranny cannot occur to anyone within our nation. I say that every crime is a small tyranny of one or several individuals against another. 53 people were killed in the Los Angeles Riots. None of these people had anything to do with Rodney King, yet their lives were snuffed out. Fifty-three small tyrannies? Not so small to those people who were killed and their families. Had these people been armed and properly trained they would have been able to defend themselves and the murderers would be dead, not innocent civilians.

The federal government is no less guilty of tyranny. The Senate hearings in the Randy Weaver case have been finalized. FBI agents were fired, supervisors demoted, and 3.1 million dollars of the taxpayer's money paid to the remnants of the Weaver family for its losses.

Randy Weaver missed his court date for cutting two shotguns one quarter inch too short. When he refused to spy on some radicals for the FBI, he was turned over to the court. He then received a letter with the wrong court date on it. For missing the court date, Randy Weaver was under surveillance for eight months.

Federal Marshals moved onto his property, shot his dog, then shot his son in the back. A Weaver family friend, Mr. Harris, opened fire on the agents, killing one of them. Mr. Harris then grabbed the boy's body and ran for the family cabin.

A short time later, federal agents escorted Mr. Weaver and Mr. Harris under arms as they traveled to a shed to see to the boy's body. At this time a professional sniper who supposedly can hit a quarter every time at 250 yards allegedly missed Mr. Weaver and hit Mrs. Weaver in the face, killing her while she was holding their baby. The sniper fired from one hundred yards away. This is entirely too close for a professional gunman to have missed. Federal agents opened fire twice on non-threatening people, while they are required by law to fire only on others in self-defense.

A clear statement of the government's guilt came when the verdicts were read. Mr. Harris was found innocent of all wrong doing and Mr. Weaver was found guilty of failure to appear in court and received a fine for the misdemeanor. The FBI was found to have entrapped Mr. Weaver and was soundly rebuked by the state judge presiding over the case. Both men were found to have acted reasonably and in defense of home and family. (No agents ever attempted to approach the home and issue a warrant before the son and dog were killed). This horrible tragedy proves the need for the individual citizen to keep and bear arms so that our government may not trample our rights whenever it feels the need. This is the worst kind of tyranny. If the government and its agents can break the law and attack Randy Weaver's family without due process, they can most certainly do it to you. Mr. Weaver may not hold your views or beliefs, but his rights are no less important than yours or mine.

President Clinton and friends would have you believe that when all the guns go away so will all the problems, leaving everyone safer. They have tried to seize them, ban them, and tax them out of reach for the average citizen. Yet they have never brought these bills to a popular vote, knowing that the populace would never go for it.

Gun control has led to the deaths of literally millions of people. Seven major genocides have occurred since 1915. These genocides were committed by governments that had complete gun control. Fifty-six million people, including millions of children, were killed while under these governments' control. Nazi Germany murdered 13 million people, including six million Jews in 13 years. Communist Russia killed more than 10 million of their own people in racial and religious purges after the end of World War II. The fact that the populace was disarmed left them at the mercy of their governments.

In April 1943, Jews forced to live in a Warsaw ghetto attacked Nazi troops sent to ship them to the Treblinka Death Camp. The battle raged for five weeks. The Nazis eventually burned the ghetto to the ground. All of these Jews died, just as they would have at Treblinka, the difference is that they slowed the Nazi war machine, and they died free, taking many of their oppressors with them.

Persecutions have occurred in the U.S. as well. In 1946 in Athens, Tennessee, citizens rose up and overthrew a corrupt county government by force of arms. The County Sheriff was using vote fraud and violence to stay in office. Pleas for help sent to state and federal officials were ignored. Rather than accept more beatings and vote fraud, the citizens used firearms to restore the rule of law to their county.

President Clinton has told you that gun control is crime control. Florida passed a bill permitting concealed weapons about nine years ago. Crime has dropped an average of 22 percent in the state, and imprisoned felons, when interviewed, have openly admitted to avoiding Florida residents and other U.S. citizens they thought might be armed. They changed over to foreign tourists as victims because they were obviously not armed. The average crime level is 10 to 20 percent lower in states that have the right to carry and conceal weapons laws (governments own statistics).

Switzerland is another prime example of guns deterring crime. All of the men between the ages of 18 and 70 are members of the national militia. ( Switzerland has no standing army.) All men and women who request it, receive militia training and are issued a fully automatic weapon (assault rifle) that they must keep in their homes. Switzerland has one of the highest levels of living in the world today, as well as one of the lowest crime rates. After all, would you knowingly enter a persons home or attack them knowing that they are not only willing, but most certainly capable and bound by law to stop you with lethal force?

These examples prove that gun control is not crime control. Gun control is the disarmament of the civilian populace and has nothing to do with crime. Is it just me or did our elected President lie to the entire American public so he could get his pet agenda rammed through?

President Clinton, his friends and some pacifists frequently equate self defense with crime. They seem to feel that dangerous encounters entail no more risk to the victim than loosing an argument. "How can you lower yourself to a criminal's level by returning violence with violence?" they ask. This is where we must rise up and clearly state, "We are worth it!" Worthy of life, peace, love, and the pursuit of happiness, and we shall not and will not allow anyone to take these things from us. We must take the stance that each person has value.

Criminals may not violate us just because they feel like it. We answer for our own safety, and will invest whatever amount of time, effort and money it takes to prepare for our self defense.

When police officials, District Attorneys, politicians, and other misguideds patronize us with "Why don't you just use pepper spray?" our self respect ought to move us to nothing short of ire. We should return the question with, "Why are you and your security services heavily armed yet we should not be?" If politicians are so beloved, then why are they protected by a wall of steel, kevlar, lead, and human flesh called the Secret Service? Would they not also be safer without guns, just like the rest of us?

The Second Amendment makes it clear that it is not only every citizens right to resist crime and tyranny, it is their responsibility. We must move past the right to keep and bear arms to a stance of advocating that an armed citizenry must be involved with the government in actively policing our communities against crime.

Our founding fathers knew our freedoms would come under fire and be at risk. They wrote the Second Amendment as a protection of the most important right, that of a free citizen's right to keep and bear arms. Once this freedom is gone, history proves, all freedoms will follow. For only an armed and united populace may stand up and prevent a despotic and tyrannical government from making them slaves. We as a free people must protect all of our rights as a united people or surely, "divided we will fall."

It is every citizen's duty to know the issues and vote with their conscience. That is what I am asking each and every one of you to do for yourself and your family.

The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting. Do not be duped, look deep and find the truth. Then make your voice heard so that once again our land will be ruled by a government that is of the people, for the people, and by the people.

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