Origins of our Second Amendment

What with all the controversy over our Second Amendment rights, and the outright attack on our liberties, I thought we might re-visit this piece about the origins of our Second Amendment. Too often we hear Britain or England derided because they lack the rights that we (at least on paper) have. But it’s necesssary to remember how those rights came about.

The linked piece is from the England Calling blog, and it was written 12 years ago but it’s relevant to today.

“When judging the intent of the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (which contains the Second Amendment) it is necessary to know the general social and intellectual backcloth against which they worked. They were heir to the English tradition of liberty and government by consent rather than pure tyranny. The Americans who rose against the England of King George 111 did so because they considered themselves part of the tradition of English liberty. In seeking independence, they were not repudiating that tradition but in their own minds returning to what they imagined was the true path of English liberty which had become corrupted in England. It is against this ancient English tradition that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be set.

The rest is at the link. As I’m always saying, our liberties were originally thought of as ‘our rights as Englishmen’, in the context of English liberty.  This piece also touches on the analogous rights in England — in past generations of course.

Credit where due: would our forebears have insisted on certain basic rights had they not been nurtured on the idea of English liberty?

Our cousins in the UK are sadly reduced to using makeshift defensive weapons as in the recent attacks in London, where a narwhal tusk of all things was used to defend against an attacker. We may be on the way to that kind of situation if certain leftist officials are successful in nullifying our Second Amendment. The recent rally showed that there are people who are willing to staunchly defend our rights and liberties, in a lawful manner. But then there are those who are just as determined to deprive us of our historical freedoms.

‘No…nation was ever so free as the English’

Johann Wilhelm von Archenholz was the writer of the quote above. He wrote those words in 1789, in a work called ‘A Picture of England.’ In that book he said that he called a state free in which no more restraint was necessary than the minimum which was required for the preservation of the commonwealth.

Johann von Archenholz further praised England and its people in the above named work, saying “…the people of England still possess a felicity worthy to be envied, and of which perhaps other nations can scarce have a conception: so difficult it is, in living under the mildest yoke, to form just ideas of a national liberty grounded on the rights of humanity.”

Further: “Without mentioning the great number of franchises and immunities of every kind, which the Great Charter and many favourable revolutions have at different times procured to the nation, we may arrange the rights of the people under six classes, viz.:

The Liberty of the Press,
The Habeas Corpus Act,
Public Courts of Justice,
The Trial by Jury,
The Right of Being Represented in Parliament,
The Privilege of Public Remonstrances.

But how many of these ‘franchises and immunities’ remain intact in 2019? Reading the news out of the UK, it seems they exist mostly on paper, to the extent that they exist at all. (And I’m sorry to say that our American ‘rights’ exist mostly in theory, it seems).

But reading this particular news item online does illustrate the loss of the former English liberty. So now, a “rude joke” makes someone a hunted man, while people found guilty in courts of law for real crimes are set free, or receive a slap on the wrist?

And do the ‘bread-and-circuses’ distractions keep the populace lulled in the face of all this, as in our country?

Sad, how far both our ancestral country and our country of birth have slidden.