"My hand trembles, but my heart does not."

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by <*(((><, Nov 30, 2017.

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  1. vito

    vito Member

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    We may have already passed the point of no return in this nation. We have changed from a nation of doers to a nation of takers. When even the so-called Conservatives demand that the rest of us pay for the health care of those who cannot or will not pay for it on their own, when the average citizen seems totally unconcerned about a national debt exceeding $20 trillion, and numerous states, representing possibly a majority of the population of the nation see the banning of firearms and general treatment of gun owners as misfits and criminals, we may be beyond the tipping point. Like it or not, much of America sees the 2nd Amendment as an antiquated relic of the past. They see giving the government more and more control over our lives as reasonable and even desirable. They have relinquished individual responsibility and accountability in favor of subservience to the government and their "leaders". As a veteran, retired U.S. Army officer, Life member in the NRA, and a patriot, I know that I am viewed by even members of my own family as a "right wing gun nut". When I tell my NY relatives that I carry a concealed firearm so as to be able to defend myself and my loved ones because "when seconds count the police are only minutes away" I get a "deer in the headlights look" of total incomprehension. And when half the nation's voters support a vehement anti 2nd Amendment candidate such as Hilary Clinton we may be beyond hope. I will keep fighting the good fight, but I often feel like Davy Crockett must have felt swinging his Kentucky long rifle when he could no longer fire as the Alamo fell to the Mexican tyrant Santa Ana.
     
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  2. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Member

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    @vito: It's easy to have a fatalist attitude towards the direction of our country (I'm not accusing you of such, just making a point), hopefully when the instances in our lives when we can be a light for our Republic we all are Davy Crockett swinging a Kentucky long rifle with an empty powder horn!

    "You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas!" (David Crockett)
     
  3. vito

    vito Member

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    I just hope that someday the call to action will still be "Remember the Alamo" and not "Remember the United States".
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    I certainly would not worry about that.

    While it is easy to identify many extremely religious and moral nations which could not possibly function under, nor ever would enact, our US Constitution, our nation today seems -- in it's slow and halting and stumbling way, still far ahead of the other nations of the world -- to be ever lurching towards trying to give a fair shake and full representation to all its citizens. It may not be as homogeneously religious as it once was, for better and for worse, but I am encouraged that even though it gives us heartburn and growing pains, we really do seem determined to give the broadest freedoms and opportunities possible to the broadest segments of our society.

    Our job, here, is to work hard to ensure that all peoples understand and value, and have the opportunity to exercise the Right to Bear Arms, as a truly principle characteristic of being American. There are some forces which would stand in the way of that, and (to quote the old intro to the Lone Ranger) they'll use "fair means and foul" to do so. But we will defeat them.
     
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  5. tark

    tark Member

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    I am glad THIS quote was NOT listed here: "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."

    Nice quote. Don't know who said it, but it WASN'T Thomas Jefferson. No Jefferson historian has ever been able to find it in any of his speeches or writings.
     
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  6. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    That one is absent, but a couple of other dubious bits are present.
     
  7. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    More than half, but yeah.
     
  8. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Sorry, but I think that I will continue to worry, and here is my reasoning. If rights are not God given, but instead the result of a social compact, then there is absolutely nothing to keep society from changing or eliminating them.
     
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  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    I understand why you would say that and where the sentiment comes from. But the absolute unending truth of the matter is the only reason society doesn't change or eliminate the right to bear arms is because enough of we the people don't want to see it changed or eliminated.

    God isn't going to stand up and keep Society from eliminating the right to bear arms. He probably would have started someplace else on this entire planet preventing it's fall before he left us as the lone bastion of that right, if He cared to act.

    I don't ever see any reason to really believe that more than the minutest handful of 2nd amendment advocates stand up for it because they think God told them to.

    And I certainly know many religious, and Christian, people who feel that God certainly has no desire for us to go around armed with lethal weapons. And I've never heard of a single person who said, "I would fight against the right to bear arms but the framers of the Constitution said that the right to bear arms was given by God so I guess I can't."

    So outside of what I think we would have to agree is a bit of confirmation bias on the part of assuming we can divine God's will because the right to bear arms hasn't been struck down just yet, I think we're going to have to say that the only reason that it will continue to exist is because enough people want it to.
     
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  10. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    That's a philosophical question that RKBA advocates would be wise to steer clear of. First of all, not everyone believes in an interventionist, theistic God. (And such a God might intervene against weapons rather than for them, for all we know.) Secondly, if we resort to "nature's law" as a stand-in for God, then again that argument fails because nature is full of both predators and prey. Does the antelope have a "natural right" to defend itself, or does the lion have a "natural right" to eat the antelope?

    Looking at history, all human rights were wrested by people from their reluctant rulers. And those rights are maintained by the vigilance of the people against their would-be usurpers. Rights are very fragile things, and we can't rely on either God or nature to step in and save them. No, the responsibility is 100% on us.
     
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  11. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I'm pretty frugal with "likes", but I've dropped a couple in this thread, and could have dropped more if I could like a post more than once.
     
  12. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    The word "religious" can elicit a knee-jerk response in these our modern times.
    In this context, though it ought not; rhetorically, we can simply use "ethical" for religious..

    This is important, as the rule of law by representational government requires certain baselines. Like that Truth is not relative; that we have a mechanism by which we can agree that actions and statements are not foresworn, and are therefore Truth.

    But, when "I swear or Affirm" has no meaning, only has a situational meaning, what then? If the whole concept of perjury has no meaning, how can forms be filled or Oaths taken?

    We cannot survive, we cannot long suffer, a world where "I swear or affirm to uphold the Constitution" means "(except for the bits I disagree with or limit my sinful ways)."

    This is the quote that scares me the most:
     
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  13. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    I don't think that quote is accurate. Pretty sure Churchill was a S&W man. :D
     
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  14. yokel

    yokel Member

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    Though some modern scholars (who purport to know Jefferson better than he knew himself) deny the importance of John Locke’s influence on America’s founders, Thomas Jefferson pronounced the English philosopher to be one of the three greatest men who ever lived. The influence of Locke’s thinking is evident in the draft Declaration of Independence Jefferson produced to articulate the principles and facts on which he his fellow patriots relied when Britain’s American colonies’ broke away from British rule.

    The Declaration adopts the natural law reasoning Locke develops in his Second Treatise of Government (1690). The treatise was written as part of an effort to justify Britain’s Glorious Revolution (1688), which deposed the Roman Catholic monarch, King James II. Like the Declaration, Locke’s reasoning in the Second Treatise evokes and relies upon the authority of the Creator.

    The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one; and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it that, being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, and liberty, or possessions; for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent and infinitely wise Maker—all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order and about his business—they are his property whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another’s, pleasure….

    Though many people mistakenly assume that the first right conferred by the law of nature has simply to do with self-preservation, Locke’s description extends the purview of that first right, so that every person “when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind.” Moreover, anyone who transgresses the law of nature:

    declares himself to live by another rule than that of reason and common equity, which is that measure God has set to the actions of men for their mutual security; and so he becomes dangerous to mankind……Which being a trespass against the whole species and the peace and safety of it provided for by the law of nature, every man upon this score, by the right he has to preserve mankind in general, may restrain, or where necessary, destroy things noxious to them…

    It’s important here to notice that the right Locke refers to is not some kind of arbitrary freedom to act. It is, on the contrary, a direct expression of the obligation, imposed by the natural law, “to preserve the rest of mankind.” Natural obligation gives rise to natural right. And both exist in respect of the “measure God has set to the actions of men.” The natural right is therefore necessarily limited by God’s measures or rules, as set forth for the general good of mankind.

    Many so-called libertarians in our day entirely disregard or reject this necessary relationship between God ordained natural obligation and God-endowed natural right. They speak of liberty as though it is an end in itself, even though it is obviously and necessarily no more than a resting place along the way to some other goal. We are at liberty only so long as we remain undecided about our course of action. That’s why the process of decision is accurately called “deliberation”, a word that, in its Latin root, refers to things hanging in the balance to be carefully weighed. It is the activity of reason where by we consider and discard alternative courses of action until we arrive at the one we are bound by reason to undertake. We start in suspense, halting between and among different possible actions. We move by way of reason to a point where action is no longer suspended, having reached and accepted a conclusion that commits us to action (i.e., we are no longer in suspense because our will has already moved into the activity we have chosen to do.)

    What, then, distinguishes the exercise of natural right from the exertions of arbitrary freedom? The deliberation involved in natural right begins and ends with the conviction that we are bound by the rule of reason, which is the will of God for the general good of mankind, and of all creation. In this respect we are God’s representatives, agents of His benevolent will, commissioned by him “to preserve the rest of mankind.” Our freedom to act is therefore derived from His power, vested in us because we have been “sent into the world by his order, and about his business…” The key to deciphering the nature of right is Locke’s accurate observation that it exists to serve God’s pleasure, not our own. Applying this key we can logically arrive at a catalog of our natural rights simply by listing all the things we are by nature reasonably obliged to do in order to serve and preserve ourselves and all those who use their natural reason (i.e., the God endowed capacity for deliberation) to weigh their actions in the balance of God’s intention, scaled by conscience, which is the consciousness of right inherent in the way He has made us to be (our nature).

    If those government officials in the United States who are sworn to uphold the Constitution were in fact determined to fulfill their oath, no day would pass during which they did not think of God in the course of performing their duties. For the rights government exists to secure are God endowed. Liberty (whose blessings the people declare it to be the ultimate aim of the Constitution to secure) is therefore a function of God’s authority, derived from the injunctions and commands wherewith human being as such is informed by the bounds, limits and relationships that secure life and happiness.

    If, always and in every way, people did what the benevolent will of God inclines them to do, no human being would willingly threaten or harm another. Insofar as evil refers to the harms associated with willful acts, the conformity of all human actions to God’s law of nature would eliminate evil. But (as I recently observed in another place) men are not insects, like bees or ants. The same will that establishes “the measure God has set to the actions of men for their mutual security” makes it possible, as an attribute of our nature, for us to choose among different courses of action, including actions that transgress the boundaries laid out for our good.

    People committed to follow, by way of reason, the God-ordained law of nature, deliberately allow their actions to be constrained within its bounds. As Abraham Lincoln put it, they do right, as God gives them to see the right. For this reason their exercise of choice is recognizable as an exercise of right. As “servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business”, they carry out the commission he has laid upon them.

    Because, properly so called, all human beings are agents equally commissioned by the same sovereign, every person is entitled to the respect owed to the one all are obliged to serve. But once a person contravenes the duty each owes to that sovereign, his transgression forfeits the respect to which he is otherwise entitled. If, the transgression harms any of the rest of humankind, each and all of the rest are obliged, insofar as possible, to preserve humanity from that harm.

    Though this reasoning applies to the exercise of any natural right, it is especially clear when it comes to acts of violence. As we are obliged to preserve ourselves, we have the right to prepare and use our arms as necessary in order to do so. But we are also obliged to prepare ourselves for their use as necessary “to preserve the rest of mankind.” The right to arms is therefore an individual right, in the first instance, but it entails an obligation to humanity in general, and to every human being or community determined to respect the natural law. As it is right to preserve oneself from wrongdoing, so it is wrong to refuse aid, where possible, to those determined to do the same.

    This conclusion is the key to devising legislation that implements the Constitutional requirements of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, by enforcing the right it entails. America’s founding generation took this enforcement for granted, as did every generation of Americans before the modern era. For a time, the development of modern conveniences temporarily attenuated our perception of the natural dangers of the human condition. But that temporary and always very partial reprieve is definitively passed. That is now made clear to us, whether by terrifying acts of unreasoning madness; or carefully planned acts of deliberate terrorism. In the historic sense, America’s frontier life may be a thing of the past. But we live today on the frontiers of a pervasive spiritual, psychological wilderness. As in our frontier history, peaceful life on this frontier can be idyllic. But it can also be shattered, at any moment, by some atrocious outbreak of violence. If we put an armed guard on every street corner, in every classroom, business and mall, we would not lessen the danger. As the wilderness is within us, it will be within each of them.

    This situation is not new. It is in fact the tragic irony of the human condition since Adam slept alone in Paradise. Throughout human history societies have dealt with it successfully, at least in terms of preserving a modicum of peace and order despite the prevalence of impending doom. But only once in all of mankind’s history has a nation successfully and prosperously established that modicum of peace while respecting the liberty of the people, i.e., their right to government themselves.

    As others have in the past, self serving would-be despots now among us are bent on using this age old challenge of human government to terrorize Americans into surrendering our God-endowed rights, in conception as well as fact. Must we do so? Not if we remember that the genius of America’s founding lay precisely in the insight that people who sow within themselves a spirit that respects God-endowed right have within the wherewithal to conquer and allay the spiritual, psychological wilderness that is the fallen lot of all humanity. As we have seen in this brief essay, it is possible to rediscover the logic of right. But can we adapt and redeploy the strategy of right derived from it? That strategy allowed previous generations of Americans to quell the pervasive dangers that would otherwise have strangled America’s liberty soon after it was born. I believe it can do the same for us.








     
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  15. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Truer words have not been spoken. Stunningly beautiful and firmly correct. With a full heart, Thank You.
     
  16. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    " Rights are very fragile things, and we can't rely on either God or nature to step in and save them. No, the responsibility is 100% on us." Alexander A, December first, twenty seventeen.

    I do rather like this one. After all, He loves good work, but He is not to do it for us.
     
  17. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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  18. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Yes, but this lightens the gravity of the words none. I too, forgot the rules to Luke's thread, in post fourty. A few have. It's easy though, the price of admission is a quote.

    "Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can."
    Samuel Adams, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence, to the Boston Town Meeting, Nov. 20, 1772


    Notice how Mr. Adams said "in the best manner they can." and not "in what ever means is arbitrarily deemed acceptable by 'Officials' that travel with armed guards."
     
  19. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Then a bit more Sam Adams may be in order: “give credit to whom credit due.” (Used by him in a 1777 letter but not confirmed to have originated with him.)

     
  20. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Very well.

    Thank you, @yokel for finding Allen Keyes dissertation upon Jhon Locke's Second Treaties of Government.

    "If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, "He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.”
    ― Epictetus , circa one twenty A.D.

     
  21. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    I should have been clearer, I didn’t mean you. Rather I meant to refer to something more systemic: those who pass off others’ ideas without attribution or who parrot false quotations like some of those in the OP. Both are how we wind up with great-sounding but apocryphal quotes like some of those in this thread. Both are indicative of a growing willingness to trivialize fact so long as something resonates with one’s beliefs.

    History so plainly rewritten for political ends is irksome to a pedant like me.
     
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  22. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    No worries, I take no offense. I don't write well, you should hear me speak!:)

    "The Second Amendment only protects those who want all the guns they can have. The rest of us, we've got no Second Amendment. What are we supposed to do?"
    Rep. Louise Slaughter (D) NY, March twelfth, twenty thirteen.

    Obviously, this quote is complete sophistry.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  23. tark

    tark Member

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    He kinda liked tommy guns with drum magazines, too. :D
     
  24. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Sam, I don't even know where to begin with your retort to my post, since i think that we are operating in different dimensions and I am afraid that there can be no point of divergence.

    Suffice it to say that the Founders were influenced by numerous sources, but their language, as well as their intense desire to limit the power of government, was in part influenced by Calvin's Geneva and calvinistic theology. Not to say that all of the Founders were Christians, but even Franklin was influenced by the prevailing religious sentiment of his day. The Founders wrote "nature and nature's God", and similar phrases. It was Franklin himself who called for the appointment of a chaplain at the Constitutional Convention, saying: "I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “'except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages."

    Now, it may not be the sentiment du jour that the Founders saw God as the originator of all rights and that mankind in its fallen state was subject to tyranny when those rights were violated, but these were guiding principles that held sway over them and their deliberations.

    Personally, I believe, just as Adams did, that our Republic is doomed if we stray from these as our founding principles, believing that mankind without restraint from above will succumb to slavery and tyranny without this anchor. But, that is just me. (sigh)
     
  25. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't disagree that those things were said, and that that was the prevailing sentiment of the time, even among the deists and/or less staunchly religious founders.

    The question du jour would be, so what? Or specifically, so what, now? Shall we abandon support of these principles because we no longer so universally pray to the more-or-less Protestant Christian god many of the founders did? Do we say these things were only important in that theistic context, and do not apply to "the people" if "the people" are brought from all over the world, of many and conflicting faiths, or of no religious persuasion at all?

    In a very real sense, these principles had better be be strong enough to stand without common agreement on a higher power because that's the world we live in. I, for one, won't be giving up the fight for our RKBA just because my neighbor might be a Muslim, my postman is an atheist, and the local grocer is Buddhist. If these principles are worth sustaining and worth fighting for, they have to be bigger than the dominant religious zeitgeist.

    If we can agree that "Nature and Nature's god," covers just about everyone's range of understanding, from the priest, to the shaman, to the scientist, to the Baptist minister, to the most devout agnostic (;)), then we don't have to worry -- just carry on the good fight.


    There is a fairly well-researched school of thought that suggests that "Nature and Nature's God" refers to what was at the time a somewhat revolutionary idea about the rules of how nature worked. These natural laws acting as constructing and bounding, limiting, empowering, deity. Thus giving the newfounded nation the power and the promise of being grounded upon an understanding of the deity AS the fundamental principles of the natural world. Included in that is the concept that almost every creature on earth has SOME means of defending itself, and that defense of self is righteous and natural, and in keeping with the principles/will of the universe. https://www.amazon.com/Natures-God-Heretical-American-Republic/dp/0393351297
     
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