Posted by: reformedmusings | January 5, 2013

The 2nd Amendment in a Constitutional Republic

“Whereas civil-rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as 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 article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” — Tench Coxe, in Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution

The United States is NOT a democracy. Democracy has been famously described by Ben Franklin as ” two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” The founders knew that well. So, they gave us a constitutional republic – a country ruled not by men, neither kings nor mobs, but by laws that preserve individual rights. The Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, record the core laws. They are inviolate in our constitutional republic. Or they are supposed to be.

In the military, we do not pledge fealty to any individual – not the President nor the people as a mobocracy. Our oath is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That’s a serious, timeless oath. Although the president is the Commander in Chief, and Congress approves all officer commissions and promotions, our ultimate duty is not to either of them, but to the Constitution that governs the Republic.

Similarly, law enforcement officers also swear an oath. In the United States, these oaths vary somewhat across jurisdictions, but all of which I’m aware contain a clause like “I will always uphold the constitution…” So, law enforcement also swears to uphold the Constitution, not swear fealty to politicians nor mob rule.

The oath of the president is prescribed by the Constitution itself. Each president swears “…to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Again, not the will of the majority, or special minority, or special interest, or an emotional mob, but the Constitution.

None of these oaths leave room to uphold the Constitution that you wish you had, or what you wish it said, but the actual Constitution that has guided our Country and secured our liberty and prosperity for over 220 years.

Next, note that the 2nd Amendment contains two key phrases.

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.

First, “the right of the people” describes the same “people” as the 1st, 4th, 9th, and 10th Amendments. Second, the phrase “shall not be infringed” is unique in the Bill of Rights. No other Amendment uses such strident and unyielding language.

So constitutionally, the Congress cannot pass any laws that infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. We’ve already seen that violated with the 1934 National Firearms Act, the 1938 Federal Firearms Act, 1968 Gun Control Act, and seven other pieces of legislation since then. While the rationalization behind each of these varied somewhat, all were emotion-based and each of these violated the “shall not be infringed” clause in the Constitution.

So, here we are again. Obama, Feinstein, Bloomberg, et al, want to infringe upon our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. This time they are calling it “common sense gun control” while dancing in the blood of the 20 children murdered by a psychopath in Newton, CT. Excuses are the same as usual – emotional arguments based on the aberrant action of a psychopath. On the other side, the violent crime statistics clearly indicate that each increase in gun control causes a dramatic increase in violent crime. The worst example is the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which created open kill zones for psychopaths. Newtown is but the latest example of the abject failure of this concept.

Let me be clear. The blood of the 20 dead children in Newtown is a tragedy enabled by the Brady bunch, Obama, Feinstein, Bloomberg, and their liberty-hating buddies. Had any teacher or administrator on site been armed, many of those children might be alive today. The psychopathic murderer alone is responsible for his actions, but he was enabled and empowered by the gun banners who support gun-free, psychopath-enabling zones.

I put this post together to highlight the blatant fallacy of the progressives’ political arguments that have been dutifully championed by a press that has blatantly abdicated its 1st Amendment responsibilities by anointing liberal politicians as kings. While Obama, Biden, Feinstein, Bloomberg, et al, may claim a host of emotional arguments against modern sporting rifles, normal capacity magazines, etc., they have no legal or other standing to implement any action that infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

What if they do so? What if the police or military are told to implement confiscation of arms? Can they obey? NO, not if they take their oath to uphold the Constitution seriously. If they violate their oath, then they have no legal or moral authority. According to the Constitution, no law enforcement officer, military, or national guard personnel may confiscate law-abiding citizen’s firearms. The people are obliged to resist by any and all means at that point.

The president has gone out of his way to provide the image of law enforcement backing for his democidal policy desires. He’s lying. I hang out on a number of law enforcement forums, and the officers on those forums overwhelmingly, almost unanimously, do not support new gun control laws.


I wrote this post for three groups of people. First, for people who have never taken a military or law enforcement oath and perhaps do not understand the implications of a constitutional republic as opposed to a democracy. Second, for oath takers to help clarify and remind them what their oath said and meant. As a military commander, whenever I administered an oath for promotion or reenlistment, I always asked all present to reaffirm their own oaths while observing the ceremony. Lastly, I wrote this for politicians who believe that they have carte blanche to violate the Constitution by acting like they live in a democracy run by the media-fueled emotion of national or local mobs. They need to repent of their oath violations.

So, if you’re not the lamb today in the two wolves and lamb voting on what’s for lunch, rest assured that you will be sooner or later when the well-armed lambs are gone and can no longer contest the vote. History demonstrates that without an armed populace and oath takers who uphold those oaths faithfully, all but the elite ruling class find themselves on the dinner table sooner or later. If Nuremberg taught us anything, it was that obeying your leaders is no excuse for violating higher principles.

“First They Came for the Jews”
By Pastor Niemoller

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

In the United States today, oath-violating politicians are seriously talking about first coming for the Constitutional gun owners. Without them, everyone else is just lamb stew in waiting.


If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28



  1. […] There has been a great deal written on how to interpret the 2nd Amendment in the United States Bill of Rights, including by your humble blogger. However, one of the best on the Net was “penned” by a friend of mine, Dr. R. Scott Clark over at Heidelblog. He looks at the modern, relativistic hermaneutic in S-T-O-P Means Stop (or Does it?) – Part 1. This post provides important background for Scott’s analysis of the 2nd Amendment in its original context and meaning in S-T-O-P Means Stop (Or Does It?) – Part 2. Scott outstandingly addresses all the major deconstructionist attacks on the 2nd Amendment. These are must-reads for all who love liberty and especially for those who swore an oath to uphold, support, and defend the Constitution of the Republic. […]

  2. […] our Founding Fathers provided us a Constitutional Republic – a government under rule of law, not people. The Constitution is supreme, not any man or […]

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