The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms Quotes.

1. "the killing of dangerous Rioters, by any private Persons, who cannot otherwise suppress them, or defend themselves from Them, inasmuch as every private Person seems to be authorised by the Law to arm himself for the Purposes aforesaid."
- Stephen P. Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

2. "strike or assault another.23 Even though these definitions of arms signify weapons carried by hand, Webster added that fire arms, are such as may be charged with powder, as cannon, muskets, mortars, & c.24 However, elsewhere Webster states: The larger species of guns are called cannon; and the smaller species are called muskets, carbines, fowling pieces, & c. But one species of fire-arms, the pistol, is never called a gun.25 The Framers certainly had in mind the kinds of arms that General Gage confiscated from Boston’s civilians and that militia acts required: muskets. shotguns, pistols, bayonets, and swords. When the Constitution was being debated, Webster asserted that the people were sufficiently armed to c.efeat any standing army that could be raised, implying that they had similar arms.26 However, the words keep and bear arms suggest that the right includes such hand-held arms as a person could bear, such as muskets, fowling pieces, pistols, and swords, and not cannon and heavy ordnance that a person could not carry or wear."
- Stephen P. Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

3. "The phrase well regulated militia was frequently used by the Founders. The Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 referred to a well regulated Militia, composed of the Body of the People, trained to Arms . . . .29 Webster wrote: The militia of a country are the able bodied men organized into companies, regiments and brigades, with officers of all grades, and required by law to attend military exercises on certain days only, but at other times left to pursue their usual occupations.30 Regulated means adjusted by rule, method or forms; put in good order; subjected to rules or restrictions. Examples are to regulate our moral conduct by the laws of God and society; to regulate our manners by the customary forms.31 Thus, a well regulated militia includes all able-bodied men whose training is regulated by customary rules and methods. Before and during the Revolution, the patriots could distinguish militiamen from troops by the clothes they wore and the nature of their occupations: Militiamen wore civilian clothes or special uniforms and were gainfully employed, while soldiers wore distinctive uniforms—the British wore Redcoats and the Continentals wore blue—and were engaged in military duties as an occupation. A well regulated militia consisted of civilians, not soldiers."
- Stephen P. Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

4. "Rephrasing the amendment as a conditional (hypothetical) syllogism, its first premise would state: If a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state (p), then the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed (q); that is, p implies q. If one then asserts p as a second premise, then the conclusion q would follow. Logicians speak of this syllogism as being valid by reason of modus ponens.39 Yet the denial of the antecedent, should it be expressed in the second premise, fails to imply the denial of the consequent in the conclusion; that is, even if a militia is not necessary for the existence of a free state, the people still have the right to keep and bear arms. To say that not p implies not q is to commit the logical fallacy of denying the antecedent.40 These rules concerning syllogisms derive from classic Aristotelian logic and have not changed since ancient Greece. The Founders were familiar with logic."
- Stephen P. Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

5. "But as the Tenth Amendment confirms, the people also have powers. These powers include suffrage, jury duty, militia service, and other institutions in which the people govern, administer justice, keep order, disapprove of and nullify governmental actions, and otherwise participate in political society. As the Revolution proved, the ultimate power of the people that the Second Amendment helps secure is the ability to take arms to resist oppression and overthrow tyranny. In a constitutional republic, actual exercise of this power of the people would be rendered unnecessary."
- Stephen P. Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

6. "the Tenth Amendment clarifies that governmental powers are either delegated or reserved, in contrast with rights of the people, which may not be infringed or violated. The people also have powers that are reserved."
- Stephen P. Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

7. "READABLE BY ANY CITIZEN This exhaustive textual analysis of the Second Amendment would never have been necessary in the nearly first two hundred years of the republic. It was only beginning in the second half of the twentieth century that the Orwellian view gained currency that the people means the states or state-conscripted militia, that right means governmental power, that keep does not mean to possess, that bear does not mean carry, that arms do not include ordinary handguns and rifles, and that infringe does not include prohibition. But the Founders intended to, and did, word the Second Amendment in an easy to understand manner. Individuals have a right to have arms in their houses and to carry them, and the government may not violate that right. Recognition of the right promotes a militia composed of the body of the people, which is necessary for a free society. The Bill of Rights was intended to inform the ordinary citizen of his or her rights. Its meaning is not a monopoly of the governmental entities whose powers it was intended to limit. St. George Tucker said it best in his 1803 treatise, the first ever published on the Constitution, as follows: A bill of rights may be considered, not only as intended to give law, and assign limits to a government about to be established, but as giving information to the people. By reducing speculative truths to fundamental laws, every man of the meanest capacity and understanding may learn his own rights, and know when they are violated ....47 By knowing when one’s rights are violated, the citizen may signify his or her displeasure through mechanisms such as the ballot box and the jury box, and may resort to speech, the press, assembly, and petition to denounce the evil. As the experiences of the American Revolution proved, the right to keep and bear arms serves as the ultimate check that the Founders hoped would dissuade persons at the helm of state from seeking to establish tyranny. In hindsight, it would be difficult to quarrel with the success of the Founders’ vision."
- Stephen P. Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

9. "The Crown’s attempts to disarm the colonists as a contributing grievance in the chain of events leading to the American Revolution and the imperative of guaranteeing the right to have arms in bills of rights are themes that pervade the thinking of the Founders’ generation."
- Stephen P. Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

10. "If I can but be the instrument of preserving one life, his blessings and tears of transport, shall be sufficient consolation to me, for the contempt of all mankind."
- Stephen P. Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

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