Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Did the Founding Fathers promote Christianity or other religious doctrines when they created the United States Constitution and our Government?

There is (and has been) a well organized movement to convince modern day Americans that our Nation was founded on and more importantly promoted the "Christian" beliefs that are so prevalent in today's debate. THE FACTS HOWEVER, DO NOT SUPPORT THIS POSITION.

Historians have determined that less than 10% of Americans in 1800 were members of congregations.

The Founding Fathers rarely practiced Christian orthodoxy, although they did support the free exercise of any religion. Washington, Franklin, Hancock, Hamilton, Lafayette and many others were actually members of the Freemason Society that welcomed anyone as long as they believed in a Supreme being.

The Constitution reflects our founders views of a secular government protecting the freedom of any belief or unbelief. There were no genuine evangelicals at the Convention.

A few of the myths about George Washington came from Mason Weems' book, "Life of Washington". The famous cherry tree story came from this book but has NO basis in fact. Weems wrote that Washington was a devout Christian, yet Washington's own diaries show that he rarely attended Church. He wrote thousands of letters and the name of Jesus Christ never appeared.

Most Christians do not consider Thomas Jefferson a Christian. He did not believe in spiritual souls, angels or godly miracles. Jefferson believed in materialism, reason and science.

John Adams had his feelings and wrote in 1787-88;
The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
". . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind."

James Madison has been called the "Father of the Constitution" but made no push for Christianity. In 1785 he wrote;

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

Benjamin Franklin was not a follower of organized religion.

Thomas Paine, the most influential writer in early America wrote;

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church. "
"Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifiying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity.

The Constitution itself mentions religion ONLY twice and both times in an exclusionary context. The 1st Amendment says; "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion" and Article VI, Section 3 says; "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States".

The "zealots" in our modern society that continue their attempts to "speak" for the Fonders or invoke their opinion of what the Founders "meant" are JUST PLAIN WRONG! The misguided and persistent attempts by this group and their political followers to embed the "doctrines of ANY single religion" and the attempt to assign credibility to their position by invoking the "beliefs" of the Founding Fathers should be adamently rejected by thinking Americans. The position lacks TRUTH! The design and intent of our system of Government was, is and should be quite the opposite.

A question to consider might be; "If the doctrines of a specific "Christian" religion (or any other for that matter) did become a functional part of the United States Government, how would it be possible for the wide variety and diversity of "religious practices" to continue to exist within our borders?

Free Americans must maintain the COMPLETE separation of Church and State (as it was intended) and never allow the Government of the United States to be compromised in the "name of religion" by anyone or any group. Our very survival as a Nation may rest on this issue!


Sunday, August 20, 2006


Recently the National Archives, National History Day and U.S. News and World Report co-sponsered a national survey called "The People.s Vote". Americans had an opportunity to cast their votes for their picks of the most influential documents in American history. For whatever reason the decision was made to exclude any documents after 1965 so the results are confined in that way, not that there have been too many "influential" documents in the past 41 years.

The top 10 most influential documents as determined by the national vote are;

1) Delclaration of Independence (1776) (29,681 votes)
2) Constitution of the United States (1787) (27,070 votes)
3) Bill of Rights (1791) (26,545 votes)
4) Louisiana Purchase Treaty (1803) (13,417 votes)
5) Emancipation Proclamation (1863) (13,086 votes)
6) 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; women's right to vote (1920)
(12,282 votes)
7) 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; Abolition of slavery (1865)
(11,789 votes)
8) Gettysburg Address (1863) (9,939 votes)
9) Civil Rights Act (1964) (9,860 votes)
10) Social Security Act (1935) (8,157 votes)

Well, those are the top 10 MOST influential documents (as voted for through "The People's Vote). Are they the ones YOU would choose? Among the other 90 entries in the top 100 list are; the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1868) which essentially defined the "rules" for citizenship in the United States of America and finished 13th in the voting.. The Treaty of Paris (1783) that finished 22nd in the voting might be under rated with respect to it's influence since it was the document that "officially" ended the Revlutionary War in terms of being "recognized" by England as the sovereign nation of the United States of America.

With no disrespect to the voters, I would raise this point. How much more influential could anything be than the "Articles of Conferdation" (1777) that established the official presence of the United States of America? This document was the written foundation for all that followed in America and yet finished only 15th in the voting. I'm going to post another "radical" point of view concerning the Articles of Confederation and the premise that the very "history" of the United States isn't what most people believe it is, so watch for that.

At any rate, this was an interesting survey. If you wish to see the entire vote of the "top" 100 most influential documents, check out; and click on "the people's vote. You could also consider documents since 1965 that you believe should be included in the top 100.

Time To Think Again

Thursday, August 17, 2006


The Democrats need to stop complaining and tell us their Plan. If the Democratic Party actually wants to gain political victory this coming November and again in 2008 they need to stop all the character attacks and whining about the policies of the current leadership. Instead "We the People" need to hear specific plans to solve the most pressing problems that are threatening our nation. Just criticizing those currently in power while not telling us what YOU would do isn't good enough. There is too much at stake. The failures of the current Administration are many. Things can be fixed. The question is, are there enough courageous Democrats to actually get the job done. Americans need to be inspired again. We are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to get back to a safe and prosperous country. The need for a group of leaders willing to actually lead and not just cower to the money of the special interest and dole out empty promises is great. We have certainly had enough of that in recent years.

If all of our lives are truly at risk and in peril every day then it's past time to step up and offer your solutions now. If someone has a sound idea for correction of any of the many issues we currently face and is unwilling to bring them out because of some "fear" that an actual solution might result before the election or that someone else might get some credit for it, then that person or Party does not deserve to be in a leadership role. The issues we face MUST transcend politics! Both sides seem only to want to tear the "other side" down at every opportunity and in the process have divided the citizens of the United States in ways not seen since our own Civil War. The selfish quest for power and control by BOTH of the major political parties at the expense of working together and actually solving our troubles has, in fact, made our nation more vulnerable than it has been, well, maybe ever.

In theory, all elected officials are placed into office to do the peoples business and work to protect ALL citizens of the this country. The "theory" isn't working and if it doesn't soon, the nation our forefathers worked so hard to create will fall from our own failures and attacks from within with little input from the "real" enemy we all keep hearing about.

If the Democrats wish to show Americans that they are actually capable of protecting this nation then step up and tell us how you would do it. If you are truly committed to securing our borders and ports then INSIST that it happen RIGHT NOW! Stop discussing any other issue or conducting any other government business until measures are taken to provide real security with NO considerations to business interests, voting blocks or international opinion. The Republicans in power at the moment have already proven they are NOT committed to this goal because in almost five years since the infamous attack on American soil, "they" have not had the courage to actually solve our homeland security problems that could actually be solved in a very short amount of time.

It's time to put up or shut up. The Republican "right" has been allowed to hijack "God" and hijack the military and hijack "patriotism" by creating an atmosphere similar to the stated policy that President Bush has used when talking about foreign nations which is; "if you're not on "our" side then you're the enemy". The horrible part of that line of thinking is that it has been applied to fellow American citizens and there is a real "war" being waged right here at home that could be worse for America than any of the outside threats.

It is TIME TO THINK AGAIN my fellow citizens. What's the plan?


The "talking points" memos circulating through the cable news shows and talk radio shows, especially those connected to the current administration have stepped up the emphasis on just how serious the "threat" of terrorism is and just how "afraid" we should all be right now. This tactic is what kept this Party in power in the 2002 Congressional elections and the 2004 Presidential and Congressional elections, so it is certainly a good strategy to use it again. It might very well succeed again.

The main point of raising the question; "How serious is this?" is that since another massive attempt is being made to convince us (voters) that the "threat" is VERY SERIOUS, and could be "imminent" (a word used quite often to justify our entry into Iraq 1247 days ago). Well, there are a few things wrongs with this picture.

I have no doubt whatsover that there is a real and growing element "out there" that is dedicated to bringing death and chaos to the United States of America. This is a circumstance that has existed in one form or another for many decades (certainly pre-dating the threat from "Muslim extremists"). Throughout all these years, America continued growing and doing business and creating the avenues for the current breed of evil-doers to leave their training camps or homelands and come into America with little obstruction. That is the "fault" of leaderships from both political parties because dispite the growing signals the "trouble" was "over there". When the atrocity of September 11, 2001 happened right here in America many were shaken to the core. There was outrage and a burning anger and a commitment to "get them". Due to the roulette wheel that sometimes controls American politics it just happened that George Bush, a Republican was our President when the attack happened. He rightly proclaimed that he would commit all necessary resources to find and take out those responsible for the attacks. The vast majority of Americans were in support of that commitment (regardless of Party) and I would suspect that most still are.

After determing that it was in Afghanistan that we would find and destroy the evil ones that did the deed on 9/11, we attacked and in the process took the infamous Taliban out of control in that desperate country. We made some significant "hits" on Al Qaeda and their training camps. We had them on the run and they ran into the mountains and across the border into Pakistan.

Here is where I have to stop and make a few observations and ask a few questions.

In the aftermath of 9/11 our President made some very firey speeches stating his position (and therefore America's position as long as this Administration is in office). Among the major subjects in many of those speeches was the clear statement; "Any nation that knowingly harbors or aids terrorists will be considered terrorists themselves and expose themselves to the consequences of those actions" (or something very similar to that wording). In the planning leading up to our invasion of Afghanistan a deal of some kind was struck with the current government of Pakistan "allowing" the U.S. to fly over their airspace but would not allow any U.S. military personnel to enter Pakistani soil. At the time that may have been politically and militarily expedient except for one major thing. Al Qaeda and thousands of other "terrorists" fled into Pakistan and became untouchable by U.S. forces. We did not close the back door before bursting through the front door! But that's not the current issue.

For the past four years this administration and our current President have stood before the American people and promoted Pakistan as one of our strongest allies in our "war on terror" while in full knowledge and apparent acceptance of the fact that there are probably more "terrorists" and more importantly those we hold directly responsible for the attacks of 9/11 are being harbored IN PAKISTAN! The obvious question is Why? If America (specifically our current President) is truly commited to eradicating the leadership of Al Qaeda and many other known enemies of the U.S. and the very individuals who consistently threaten further acts of violence and destruction, how is it even remotely possible that "we" (meaning not only our government but all our citizens) continue to accept this situation? As the President has stated over and over; "you're either with us or you're against us". It is amazing that in this very real struggle we allow a "safety zone" like we used to have as kids playing the game "tag". No matter what Pakistan's internal politics or issues are they cannot continue to get a pass on this issue.

Having disrupted the Taliban and temporarily forcing Al Qaeda into the mountains and or into Pakistan our military (now fired up) was left with no one to fight. An enemy without a homeland is not the type of enemy our military is best suited to engage. So this Administration turned our attention on a prior adversary, Saddam Hussein. There were massive attempts first to connect Iraq to the attacks of 9/11, then came the build up of fear of WMD's that were surely there in mass quantities and were surely being readied for use against America because after all, Saddam hated the United States. The use of words like "imminent threat" (as opposed to just a threat) and "mushroom clouds" over U.S. soil were used day after day to justify our invasion of Iraq. Our country was successfully worked into a frenzy of fear so that a majority of Americans began to believe it all. We believed that Iraq and Al Qaeda were close allies and that Iraq "probably was" involved with the 9/11 attacks. American bought it all and about March 19th 2003 we engaged the U.S. military to "save ourselves" from what was surely an imminent attack. I'm not going to get into the details of the debacle we find ourselves in 1247 days later in this posting but suffice it to say things have not turned out as we were assured they would.

Back to the central point of this posting. We have been told from 9/11 on how serious the threat is from radical extremists. Currently we are being told this with even greater frequency. Our President has made hundreds of statements during the past five years that the protection and security of America and the American people is the most important goal of his Administration. These statements beg the question; "How serious is this?"

IF, and it is a growing "if" the threat to America is even close to being as serious as we are expected to believe, how is it even remotely possible that after five years our borders have not been controlled? How is even remotely possible that our ports have not been fully controlled? How is it even remotely possible that dramatic changes have not been made in our programs of student and other "visitor" visas? Either the "threat" is not as imminent as we are being told OR the current leadership should be censored for allowing the interests of business or other special interest groups to supersede the imminent threat to the citizens of the United States! You cannot have it both ways Mr. President. We are either in real and dire jeopardy or we're not. So, if we are (and this isn't just campaign tactics), then do your job and secure our borders and ports and change whatever rules of entry need to be changed and let the results of those necessary actions fall where they may. The American people are resilient and willing to make sacrifices for the truth. If people are plotting to eliminate us then let's go get the job of eliminating them finished and not even worry about what other nations will think or do. We are after all the "super power", right? We must stop playing the game their way and allowing safety zones to our enemies and we must close off the ways they can bring the battle here and it had better be now.

Time To Think Again

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Controversy surrounds the 14th Amendment
CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS 14th AMENDMENT; DATELINE 1866-1868!!The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states in Section 1; "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law". There are four additional sections in the 14th Amendment that will not be discussed in this post.As leaders in the Congress of 2006 begin to discuss and debate a possible change to the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution I thought it might be interesting to look back to its inception and the extreme controversy that surrounded its passage and the assertion of some that unconstitutional means were employed by the Congress of 1866 to "force" passage of what could very well be our most important Amendment because it defined "citizenship" in this country.The 14th Amendment was proposed and ultimately ratified basically as support for the 13th Amendment (ratified in 1865) which abolished the practice of slavery in the United States. A main goal of the 14th Amendment was to define citizenship and provide Constitutional protection to "freedmen" residing primarily in the defeated southern States. As context the 13th Amendment was ratified by 7 southern States and certifed that those States were, at the time, full member States of the union.Now for the controversy. In 1866 there were 37 States in the Union. After the 14th Amendment was submitted to the States by the Secretary of State on June 16th, 1866 a total of 15 States (or 40%) rejected the proposed Amendment. These rejections occurred between June 16th, 1866 and March 24th, 1868. The argument being that final ratification should have been deemed unconstitutional because there was not a three fourths vote in favor of the Amendment. In order to combat the rejection, Congress took extraordinary measures to turn the loss into a victory for the advocates of the 14th Amendment. Through a series of maneuvers known as the Reconstruction Acts, Congress made it possible to remove with "military force", the legally constitued State legislatures of 10 southern States. Some of these States went to court to gain relief but again through a series of legal maneuvers a decision on the constitutionality of the Reconstruction Acts was avoided. As a result essentially puppet legislatures were put in place in these States. Seven of these States carried out "military orders" and ratified the 14th Amendment (as a note; 6 of the 7 had previously ratified the 13th Amendment with the legislatures later removed to insure passage of the 14th).An argument can be (and has been) made that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was never legally ratified and came into existence only because of numerous constitutional violations against several States.It is important to remember as the current debate progresses that the original motivation for the 14th Amendment was as much about protecting the rights of former slaves as it was about defining who would be considered an American citizen. Regardless of the opposition passage of the Amendment as a protective reinforcement to the 13th Amendment was not only necessary but correct. In the context of the question about children born in the United States from a parent who is in the country illegally, the premise that anyone born on American soil automatically becomes an American citizen can be questioned and probably should be questioned. The 14th Amendment was never designed to allow citizenship through an illegal act. There are already a few "exceptions" to the citizenship rule. They include; children born to foreign diplomats; children born to enemy forces in hostile occupation of the United States; and Native Americans born on tribal lands. The idea that children born from the illegal entrance to the United States should also be excluded from American citizenship may also have merit to reduce the controversy surrounding what actions should be taken when (or if) the parent(s) illegal status is discovered and what happens to the innocent child if the parents face deportation according the the law.The 14th Amendment is too important for it's meaning to be diluted by the purposeful actions of illigal immigrants and the resulting exploitation of the children. A program of actual control of our borders and reduction of the numbers of illegal immigrants inside the United States would certainly relieve much of the pressure on this discussion but the 14th Amendment should also not be subjected to manipulation or abuse.Time to Think

As "We" have now reached the 1246 day mark since we invaded Iraq I feel I must ask this question. I'm not even going to get into the politics or real motives for our presence in Iraq (which are many and very complex) but rather want to focus on today and the tomorrows we face.

I should point out before continuing that I am NOT someone who would be labeled a "Conservative" and I am NOT what would be labeled a "Liberal". I am, however, an American citizen with family roots in this country that goes back 386 years. I have no particular interest in any organized political party. If one must use a label, I suppose, Independent Citizen would sum my position best. I try not to view any issue or proposal through the prism of "Party Line", but rather on the merits and the sense of it. That said, let's return to the question.

A look at some numbers. September 11, 2001 brought our nation a confirmed count of 2,948 deaths at the hands of "terrorists". This horrendous day affected millions of Americans and others around the world. I would estimate that there was a more immediate effect on AT LEAST 73,700 people that at 25 per death would represent the victims immediate family and other relatives and closest friends. That number may be very conservative but the point will be made. The events of 9/11 took place 1,800 days ago. The lives of those affected will, of course, never be the same. Our Government went to the extreme of creating a federal fund that offered a large "settlement" to the families of the victims essentially because the deaths were due to "terrorist" attack. This was a decision that still needs further justification.

From all appearances, "WE" got mad in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.

More numbers.

As of today, August 16, 2006, a "reported" 2,602 American military personnel have met their demise (virtually all at the hands of "terrorist" or "insurgents" or as they are more recently called "death squads") and an additional (reported) 19,511 have been wounded. Using the same 25 per victim rate I used when referring to the 9/11 victims, 65.050 immediate family members, relatives and closest friends have had their lives dramatically and forever changed. When the wounded number is included the total swells to 552,825!


The continuing reasoning we receive from the current administration is simply unacceptable. Every day we are asked to be patient. We are told that it is imperative that we remain engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan "until we win". We are well past the point of demanding to know exactly what that statement means! Does it mean that every single individual or group now in Iraq or Afghanistan that wishes to and is willing to harm or kill our militiary personnel must be eliminated before we can claim that we have "won"? Does it mean that all those wishing our demise in the ENTIRE WORLD must either give up their "fight" or attitudes toward America or be killed before we can claim we have "won"? If either of these two possibilities are even close, then it is also well past time to stop this "limited" engagement we are now doing.

The current process of "killing us slowly" is exactly the kind of "war" our "extremist" enemy wants us to fight because they realize that not only can they sustain the fight but they also know that "we" cannot "win" in the end. No matter what we do (well almost) we will be incapable of attaining an absolute victory. This is a religious struggle, a cultural struggle, and a power struggle that is so ingrained in the hearts and minds of a huge number of people throughout the region and the world (and is growing daily) that makes the idealistic wish that we want to "change the hearts and minds" of the "oppressed" people in that region by bringing to them the "gift" of Democracy (whether they want it or not) an astounding example of absurdity. It won't ever happen!

The current process of "killing us slowly" is also for equally absurd reasons "acceptable" to the American people. While an actual comparison to the Vietnam "conflict" cannot be made yet (mainly because the casuality numbers haven't grown high enough) our collective mentality seems to be similiar as we "accept" the daily body count numbers that filter into our lives a few at a time. We seem to file them away like we would stock levels or minutes of usage on our cell phones. They are not making us MAD! The turning point for the American people to begin to realize the hopelessness of attaining "victory" in Vietnam was the ever increasing body count and the fact that we saw it on our televisions night after night. One ploy of the current administration has been to effectively keep the sight of the flag covered caskets or the devastated family member out of the public eye, a very clever tactic. We (in the collective) have alway been fairly passive to the loss of our best and brightest when it happens a few at a time. History has shown, on the other hand, that events like the attack on Pearl Harbor or the attacks of 9/11 (and a very few others in our history) bring us to the point of actually getting MAD. Why is this? Is not the life of even one soldier (or civilian) just as important when the person is killed alone as the lives of hundreds or thousands that are killed at the same time? Isn't the collective deaths of 2,602 individuals enough to generate some real American anger? Will "we" become MAD when the death toll reaches 3,000? 4,000? 5,000. 10,000? What will it take?

Again, without getting into the reasons or merits of our current presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the fact is that we are there. The fact is that Americans are being killed (or wounded) on a daily basis and have been for 1246 days (longer when our date of entry into Afghanistan is considered). The question is how long are we going to continue a "limited" or "police action" posture in this "War"? Are we mired again in a "war" of attrition (as we were in Korea and Vietnam) Are we truly committed to winning? While certainly not an advocate for war, I do believe that if the United States is going to be involved in a "war" then it must be waged with only one goal and that is to do whatever it takes to WIN. We MUST put a higher level of sanctity on each and every life and stop putting out troops in what amounts to a shooting gallery every day. We must stop being concerned with the effects of an all out effort to eradicate this elusive enemy. If that means completely destroying whole towns or villages in order to save Ameican lives, then so be it. Towns and villages can be rebuilt; American lives cannot! The practice of the "terrorists" or "insurgents" of "hiding" among the "civilians" must be addressed and altered. The American Government must make the necessary decision to evacuate the innocents (at whatever the inconvenience and cost) and then eliminate the enemy even if it means eliminating the structures that hide them. Enough is enough! We cannot continue to fight a "war" without the full commitment and authorization to our military to win! I doubt that any rational and effective military commander does not share in that premise.

Would it be unpopular? Probably so. Would it get "ugly" for awhile? No doubt. But in the end, the more important question must be; What value does America place on the lives of our troops and citizens in general? Political correctness must not enter into these necessary decisions. The clear choices are that we must either pull out of this self made combat zone(s) or take the steps to finish it! Any choice that simply continues the "stay the course" path of the past months and now years is not only morally wrong and is creating a needless waste of so many of our troops and countless civilians in the nations we now occupy, is simply NOT ACCEPTABLE!

While this "war" is being waged on foreign soil, why aren't American "mad" that our own internal security issues have not been solved? Come on people, this is real! Over 300 BILLION U.S. tax dollars have been spent "rescuing" citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan. Do you think that the problem of American homeland security could have been radically improved for that amount of money? Over 6 BILLION each and every month (by the estimates being published) is being spent in Iraq and Afghnistan and the number is only growing. That's all well and good and a nice humanitarian gesture. Are "we", the American people entiteld or deserving of at least an equal amount of financial commitment in order to secure OUR safety?


1246 days - 2,602 killed AND COUNTING!

Time to Think Again! What do you think?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A theory or an ideal implemented (or continued) without reason or common sense is a dangerous practice indeed.

Monday, August 14, 2006


In my previous posting I discussed what I believe to be a fundamental flaw to the reading of the second Amendment to the United States Constitution. My opinion is based primarily on the lack of emphasis on the beginning of the words of the Amendment which says; "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State". When the writers of this Amendment formed this wording there was a specific purpose. One of the major concerns was the fear that the newly created Federal Government would abuse its power and authority to the detriment of the individual States. The States which were prevented by "Federal" law to maintain "standing armies" had no choice except to rely on citizen militias to at least in theory protect their sovereignty from an oppressive national government.

The question of whether the wording of the language stating; "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" was the natural text that would follow the preface wording concerning "a well regulated militia" or was in fact intended to give the right of each and every person (citizen) the right to keep and bear as many "arms" as they chose is one that could and will likely be debated for decades to come.

While the historical relevance dating back to English doctrines in support of individual rights to own and maintain weapons is well grounded and was most likely carried into the discussions for the creation of the Second Amendment, it should also be noted that all these documents were created in the late 18th century when not only the population of the United States was, according to the first federal census taken on August 2, 1790, estimated to be 3,929,214 "countable" people, which is only about 1.3% of the current U.S. popultion AND the "arms" or weapons available to and used by individuals at the time of ratification of the Amendments was extremely primitive (to say the least) when compared to the modern weapons available to all citizens today. As an example, legislation was enacted on May 8,1792 that provided federal standards for the organization of the militia. Section 1 states in part that; "every citizen enrolled in a State militia, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball, or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot pouch and powder horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle and shall appear so armed when called into service".

Even if the "right" of individual people to bear and keep arms as of 1789 is conceded, it seems that the relevance in the world of the 21st century, the vastly improved technology, the dramatic change from an agrarian to an industrial society and a population approaching 300,000,000 is almost non existent. Could the creators of the Constitution and the initial Amendments possibly have considered the future effects of the Second Amendment if applied to conditions over 200 years into their future? If so, is it at all reasonable that these great and wise men would have proceeded with the documents as they were written? Another thought is to consider if the creators of the U.S. Constitution would even have thought their efforts and documents would even survive over 200 years or would they have made the natural assumption that future leaders would certainly have made the necessary changes as conditions in the world around them changed?

One of the primary tenets and indeed reasons for the existence of Government (and mentioned throughout the most important of our documents) is to provide for the general welfare of the citizens of the country. An argument could then be made that it is the distinct responsibilty of both the Federal and State Governments to revisit the validity of the Second (and possibly other) Amendment when viewed with the knowledge that there are well over 100 million weapons in the hands of a civilian population and that reality could very well place the "general welfare" of all citizens in jeopardy because the active use of these weapons on an unsuspecting public is strictly in the hearts and minds of those "bearing the arms". Despite the written document, some measure of reason and common sense must come into play at some point.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


"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"

I realize that this Amendment has been defined and redined and litigated and argued about for decades. The money and therefore political influence that has been used to "sell" the idea that this Amendment should allow a virtually unlimited amount of guns (of increasing fire power) to flood our society (and 300 million population) in the 21st century is a truly obscene concept. By simply reading the full text it seems apparent what the actual intent of the Amendment was when it went into effect.

After studying the formation of the U.S. Constitution and the minutes and letters associated with the Conventions that took place throughout the creation of the "sacred" documents that are still the "guiding light" over 200 years later, the "founding fathers and those who actually debated and put forth the text, were only concerned about the "protection" of the individual States from a National or Federal Government intruding (by force) on the rights and survival of each State. An interesting side note is that during the debate and passage of the 14th Amendment in 1866, there was in fact a "military" takeover of the State legislatures of 7 southern States in order to insure passage of that important Amendment. That aside, the debate and decision for the text of the Second Amendment was not centered around the concept that all individuals should be able to "keep and bear" a limitless amount of "arms" that had nothing to do with the support of a "well regulated militia". Those honored individuals certainly would have had no reasonable expectation of the outrageous number of unnecessary weapons that would end up in citizens possession so far into the future, and based on the caution and care they attempted when creating all the documents and considering the character of those individuals, it is a huge stretch of the imagination to believe that they would have promoted the situation we have today.

If the actual intent of the Amendment was solely to state and secure the "right" of "the people" to "keep and bear arms", why wasn't the Amendment simply written as; The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed"? The answer is that the Amendment was not created with the last part alone as it's primary intent. There was a specific reason that the text of the Second Amendment began; "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State". The reason (as noted above) was to provide for an organized militia to assist each free State a protection from the national government. Since the "security of a free State" relative to any threat from the Federal Government doesn't exist in the 21st century (at least not yet), the reality is (and has been for many years) that the Second Amendment is actually a mute and irrelevent document.

The Second Amendment, like so many of the our original (though well intrended) doctrines, is outdated and has very little practical application in a society and a world so vastly different from the one that existed when it was created. At some point, a case for reason must take center stage and the "myth" that has been perpetrated by groups like the NRA and many others may be exposed. The U.S. Constitution has withstood the test of time in fine fashion to be sure, but it has also been manipulated and abused and mis-interpreted to dangerous levels by individuals or groups for their own political or personal motivations. This was also one of the great fears the writers of the documents had while debating the text and the "future" as seen in the late 18th century. If intelligent and concerned citizens of the United States of America circa 2006 actually believe that the "right" to a limitless amount of "arms" (guns) should be a sacred "right" after fully considering the impact and effect this "right" has had and continues to have on the lives (and deaths) of so many people, then a new vote and a new Amendment should be initiated to validate this belief as of this time and not be held hostage to an outdated and questionable document from so long ago.

It really is Time To Think AGAIN!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Guns, Guns, and more Guns

All Iraqi citizens should have the "right to bear arms", right? As the United States of America promotes and is instrumental in creating a "Democracy" in Iraq it seems reasonable that we should also promote our 2nd Amendment that has been such a fundamental principle for most of those that are in favor of the current struggle to "free" Iraq and its people.

A major rationale by advocates of a strict and absolute interpretation of the United States 2nd Amendment is that all citizens must have the right (with virtually no exceptions) to "bear arms" in order to protect themselves and their families from any threat or incursion, foreign or domestic.

From all news accounts it is the "innocent civilian" population in Iraq that is being killed by the thousands. Is there a prohibition in Iraq that prevents any and all Iraqi citizens from having weapons to "protect" themselves and their families? If there is, a question might be, why? If the proponents of the actions in Iraq consider "our" right to bear arms as absolutely critical to maintaining our own democracy and indeed the very survival of our Nation shouldn't it follow that the "free" Iraqi citizens should have that same "right"? How can the people of Iraq ever be truly "free" if they don't possess the presumed ability to create their own freedom through self protection? Is it possible that those individuals or groups carrying out the killing and destruction of so many innocent people might hesitate or even begin to stop these actions if they knew all the citizens might be armed and willing to protect themselves?

It seems the time has come to test the "principle" of our 2nd Amendment and those who promote it so strongly here in America where it has been so abused and misinterpreted for so long. The NRA should be pushing for the "right to bear arms" for all citizens of Iraq, right? Are their actions here true belief or politically motivated? How can those helpless people possibly survive and gain real freedom without self-protection? Isn't that a bedrock priciple of Democracy? It is realatively easy to "stage" the argument here in America where the need for self-protection from an oppressive Government or armed incursion is highly unlikely. The result of American citizens having the "right to bear arms" (in the manner we do) has, in fact, brought about the highest rate of death by firearm in the world. But we have the "right" to do it, don't we?

In the end, if the Iraqi people truly want this "freedom" and democracy that is being "offered" or "given" to them, those same Iraqi citizens should be willing to "bear arms" and fight for their own freedom!! Gun advocates in America wouldn't have it any other way, right?

On the other hand, it is also possible and highly likely that if millions of "innocent" Iraqi citizens were to become "armed and dangerous" while enjoying the sacred "right to bear arms", the killing field in Iraq would rapidly expand beyond any semblance of control (not that there is any consistent control now).

Time To Think Again....