There is a growing level of people attending firearm training courses. Several Colorado colleges are joining others across the country allowing concealed weapons for those certified as trained in the safety and use of handguns. The certification allows people to carry weapons in many public locations. All of this focuses on the framers and founders intent behind the submission and ratification of the 2nd Amendment to our U.S. Constitution.
The right to keep and bear arms was written as part of the fourth article submitted to the states and was ratified as part of the citizens right to maintain well regulated militia. In the days of our founding this was seen as a key factor in maintaining a free society made up of well educated and self-governing people. Thomas Jefferson stated, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government” (Vol. 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, p. 334)
Our government was to be restrained by the Constitution, including the added Bill of Rights. Freedom formula key #8, developed by Gary and Carolyn Alder, teaches, “The Constitution was designed to control the national government, not to control the people”. When reading the Bill of Rights focus on the Preamble to learn why our rights were enumerated as part of the document used to restrain government. The 2nd Amendment, despite arguments to the contrary, is a valid reason people should be allowed to “keep and bear arm” since government is still capable of tyranny and oppression. However, this was one of four ‘boxes’ of defense; the cartridge box.
Are you ready to remove the lock on the cartridge box before we use the other three boxes effectively? You see, our founding generation provided their posterity (you and me) with the ballot box, jury box, and soap box as well. Each of these boxes are powerful yet peaceful. All are still available to us even though each is weakened for various reasons.
We know the ballot box is severely damaged with the advent of two major factions’ controlling our election process and the complete destruction of the election process wisely developed by the framers; known as the electoral college. (You can learn the entire “Evolution and Destruction of the Original Electoral College” by reading the new booklet published by Gary and Carolyn Alder.) Even though our power through the ballot box is weakened we still can influence local elections and, especially in states with a caucus system, even state and federal elections.
We can also demand an end to the tradition of party caucuses inside our legislative branches at both the federal and state level. This tradition locks out many while protecting two parties who have developed powerful positions unnecessary for proper execution of legislative needs. Left and right is not democrat or republican, it is tyranny or anarchy which is a measurement of political power rather than political party.
We do not need majority leaders or whips or any other position resulting from this tradition. This includes the seniority game fooling electors into believing they must return a marginal representative solely based on the reasoning of being in office long enough to perhaps gain one of these unnecessary power positions. Also, when a new representative enters congress the term freshman should cause every citizen represented by the newly elected person to ask a simple question; are you a freshman citizen? Correcting the damaged ballot box starts with education and removal of this tradition.
Another severely damaged box is the jury box. Damage to this box is largely the fault of the people. Jurors were to be educated in both the science of government and our federal and state constitutions. First and foremost jurors were to consider the law to determine if it was a good law or not. If not the case against the defendant is over while bad laws are exposed.
Today people run from jury duty, do not obtain the proper education (this is a failure of both people and our nationally controlled public education system) to determine the law’s legitimacy, and fail to understand their role as jurors. Those ‘trapped’ into serving on juries end up blindly following the judges instructions and do not question whether those instructions are valid. Correction to the failure of proper use of the jury box again starts with education.
Our final box is the soap box. People jump on their soap box all the time (I’m doing it with this article). Sent to the states as the third article for consideration our soap box is protected under the 1st Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Some of those using the soap box are not well educated in the Constitution yet feel they know enough to demand their ‘rights’ be given them. Remember the old saying about knowing just enough to be dangerous? Still others listening to the uneducated follow them if their arguments sound valid and the message holds demands for rights they also want government to provide. There are still others armed with knowledge who use the box effectively. These people also attract followers who weigh the message and messenger against original meaning of our governing documents and agree with the message.
Within the educated messages today resides an organized movement people need to listen to as it contains the most peaceful, useful way to help restore order while defending our fundamental structure of federalism. Among the messengers are Thomas Woods, Jr., Dr. Kevin Gutzman, and Michael Boldin who is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. The 10th Amendment is the keystone designed to insure states and people maintain their power and duty to care for the daily protection of life, liberty, and property. Ignored for decades, the spirit of this amendment and the complete idea of federalism was well articulated in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to Joseph Cabell in 1816. In part he wrote;
No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the function he is competent to. Let the National Government be entrusted with the defense of the nation and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man’s farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.
It is the 10th Amendment many states vested their ratification of the Constitution upon. It protects the sovereignty of the independent states, secures the proper respect for the supreme laws of the national government, and defends the duty and rights of individuals. All of this is found in the simple words of the tenth; “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
When states and people invoke the 10th Amendment it is not rebellion nor is it a threat of secession. Progressive attacks, against those referred to by them as ‘tenthers,’ want to confuse people into believing those supporting the 10th are radical, racists bent on returning our country to the days of slavery and segregation. Lack of education allows these progressivists to recruit those who fear such a return. Secessionism, racism, and radicalism have no place in the discourse focused on restoring duties of the people under the 10th Amendment.
What is found is the truth regarding interposition and nullification. Also found is the important reminder there was always to be a clear separation of powers with inherent checks and balance. It requires those operating general and state governments to keep an eye on legislation that is unconstitutional. If and when either general or state governments violate constitutional law it is a duty, supported by all who have taken an oath of office, to resolutely interpose with the promise to make such unconstitutional laws null and void. Should those in the general and state government fail to interpose it falls to the people themselves to demand nullification. All of this is a part of the soap box and connect the ballot and jury box as a tools for interposition. Notice, effective protection against abuse of our rights against unconstitutional laws is accomplished without opening the cartridge box, the box of last resort.
At the beginning of this article the question was asked; are you armed and ready to combat bad government? If you are you must already be involved in !0th Amendment activity. If you are not it is no doubt due to a lack of
education regarding the 10th. Education will help you avoid being led astray by progressive rhetoric and connect you with those battling government usurpation of power every day. All citizens have a duty to defend our Constitution. Many living in our society have served in a position which required an oath. All immigrants who followed the proper path to citizenship took, as their final step, an oath. If you have not taken an oath or if you have not renewed your oath in a very long time take one now.
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
Now that you have reaffirmed your allegiance get educated on the 10th Amendment. Study the 10th Amendment and then discuss and debate it with others. Rewrite the words of the amendment in your own words and share your rewritten amendment with others. Embrace the true meanings of federalism, duty, and oath. Listen to the ‘Resolution on the 10th Amendment‘ and determine your ability to accept such a resolution. Once you have obtained in-depth education on our keystone amendment join others in your state and community who are working toward a restoration of our complex, federalist republic rather than those transforming America into a nation our framers and founders would war against.
Key legislative organizations supporting the 10th Amendment:
Organizations supporting the 10th and separation of powers:
A few places to help in education and discussion:
Gary Wood is the Educational Advisor for the Utah Tenth Amendment Center. Co-founder of the Heritage Training Center, focused on helping end constitutional illiteracy. With 35 years of devoted study of our Constitution his desire is to help others rediscover the inspiring heritage of the United States. Radio show host, training officer, lifetime member of the VFW and most importantly Grandpa.
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