Sunday, January 10, 2010

Amendments By The Numbers (pt. 3)

"No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

This is a very simple Amendment, yet I think someday it will be seriously challenged by our government. Not necessarily as a directive of some sort but perhaps by an ignorant individual serving in the military quartering in someone's home against their will during a period of civil unrest.

Bottom line is, if they are armed and from the government, they're not sleeping here tonight. You wouldn't think this Amendment has ever been cited in court but it actually has been. There was a prison guard strike in New York in 1979. The National Guard was brought in to perform prison guard duty and the prison guards were evicted from facility housing and the guardsmen were stationed there instead. Since the Fourteenth Amendment binds state governments to follow the Constitution on a state government level, the guardsmen were considered soldiers in the suit to follow.

I do believe land is something that should be included in this Amendment. To that extent, it would be illegal for soldiers or police to set up camp on someone's land such as was done on the Branch Davidian compound and on Randy Weaver's land without that person's consent. While technically the Third Amendment wasn't violated in those cases, spiritually it was.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Amendments: By The Numbers (pt. 2)

As I begin to gather my thoughts for this post, I suddenly realize that I could probably be arrested by our own Gestapo for my opinions on the Second Amendment. Maybe they'll classify me as being dangerous.

Amendment The Second:

"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 first part of this statement is the reason for the right given in the second sentence. People should have access to arms for the purpose of keeping their state free. This is not to be construed with the intent to create a military. The provisions for raising and maintaining a national military was given to Congress in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.  The Second Amendment was the result of our fight as colonists against British rule. It is obvious that Britain had no intent to let us use the British military to fight for our freedom. We had to raise our own militia to fight for freedom. There was no central budget to do this, just freedom-loving people who had their own weapons. Our founding fathers realized that we would never have our freedom if not for ordinary citizens adequately armed to fight against tyrannical governments. So we should never misinterpret this Amendment to be a method of preserving any federal or state-run military. The capitalization of the word People is intentional here. Furthermore, since a national military is created in Article 1 for the purpose of repelling invasions AND suppressing insurrections, it is clear that our nation's military is also intended for fighting American citizens who decide to revolt. Yep, according to our Constitution, Congress can use our military against us so they won't likely take the citizens' side if we revolted against the US government. Think about that.

Now, this is where I get myself in a bit of hot water here. Since the purpose of this amendment is to be able to fight off oppressive government including ours, it stands to reason we should be as well armed if not better armed than our government. This Amendment was created to enable the people to fight back. So if we are to be equally armed, it takes a bit more than handguns and rifles. How are we to fight back against fighter jets, precision munitions, nuclear weapons, etc.? We need to have the same firepower. If the government has it, so should citizens. I don't think many people can resolve the thought of their neighbor having a missile or a privately-owned fighter jet. Equally armed is the spirit of this Amendment. It would be a seriously difficult fight for citizens if all we had were 9 round magazines against the full force of the US military. The few times our citizens have put the government on notice were often done with "illegal" arms. It is also those acts against the government that tends to get those weapons on the "banned" list. Banning such weapons is directly against the Second Amendment.