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Tammy Messina: Defending the Second Amendment

Posted: March 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

Most of us have never had to fight for our freedom. We don’t even know what that looks like. In our lifetime, we’ve always had the right to say what we want and do what we want, as long as we operate inside the law. Many of those who’ve emigrated from other countries do know what it’s like to live without those freedoms and how precious they are once obtained.
Now President Obama has signed 23 Executive Actions, with various suggestions as to how to reduce gun violence. Judging from the mad rush on guns and ammunition a lot of people are paying attention and are on high alert as to what’s coming next. Are these folks just crazy alarmists? Or should we all be paying closer attention?
Many arguments can be made about what type of gun and how many bullets are really necessary for home defense, or even if we should have guns for home defense. But that isn’t really the issue at hand that has everyone up in arms (pardon the pun).
We, as a nation, operate under an agreed upon, finite set of rules… the Constitution. On this issue, the SecondAmendment to the Constitution states:
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.
This Amendment was ratified and became part of our Constitution in 1791. It was proposed in 1789, not long after the Revolutionary War declared our independence from Great Britain. Why would the founders have included such a broad statement?
Historically, we had just come through a war with a well-oiled, well-funded, military machine. We were invaded, attacked, and in some cases overrun. Troops would commandeer homesteads, sleep in their beds, and eat their food. It didn’t matter whether or not the citizen gave them permission. If the property owner didn’t have a way to defend their rights, their rights very likely were trampled.
This was the exact opposite of the freedom that our founding fathers envisioned for the new country. To ensure this never happened again, the founders wanted every American to at least have the opportunity to protect themselves, their family, and their property. And not just protection from a single intruder or wild animal.
They wanted the citizens (remember, they were citizens too) to be able to protect themselves against a tyrannical government, with a standing army. That meant the citizenry needed sufficient arms to protect against an encroaching army!
The founders recognized that the militia was necessary to maintain a free state. But who is supposed to ensure the Militia is “well regulated”? We are! How? By keeping and bearing arms. Which is why that right “shall not be infringed.”
Notice that they didn’t say “shall not be infringed, except citizens cannot own cannons.” At the time, cannons were their weapons of mass destruction. Why weren’t they excluded?
Throughout history, militia’s and military regimes have been known to run amok. A well-armed citizenry is the only sure way to prevent that from happening.
In this great country of ours, we have layers of government, and while sometimes you just have to wonder “do we really need all this,” there are times when you can see the brilliance in the balance. Building in the 10th Amendment to ensure protection of state’s rights is meant to be added insurance preventing federal overreach, assuming the local entities know how to exercise that right!
Organizations like Constitutional Sheriffs and Police Officers Association (CSPOA) are banding together to help preserve our right to be armed. As law enforcement, they swore to “uphold and defend the Constitution, from enemies foreign and domestic.” That doesn’t just mean “domestic terrorists.” Sometimes the enemy can be your own government, especially when it’s attempting to disarm its own citizens and deprive them the right to defend against an encroaching army.
I urge you to contact our local Sheriff, Leroy Baca, and strongly urge him to join CSPOA and protect our Constitutional right to bear arms. Without another Constitutional amendment our federal government cannot infringe on our right to be armed in any way and neither can the states or local governments, since they too have agreed to abide by those freedoms enunciated in the Constitution. Stand firm and let your voice be heard.
Tammy Messina is a resident of Santa Clarita, a local business owner and a producer for “The Real Side Radio Show.” She can be reached at tmessina@wildcat.la.

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