On Proper Government in a Republic
By Warren "Bones" Bonesteel The Covenant News ~ May 15, 2009
Open letter to local, state and federal governments and politicians:
In essence, from the public speeches, articles, columns and the proclamations and policies listed on many of your websites, most of you readily admit that neither your state constitution nor the United States Constitution are applicable in the modern world. Your own words and deeds deny that The United States Constitution applies to anyone at any time. The only apparent legal authority you offer in place of those documents are your own ideas of fairness and of what is or is not applicable in 'today's world.' Those are very arbitrary and subjective distinctions.
With hundreds of thousands of state and federal laws and government regulations that you've enacted, from gun registration to T.A.R.P. to student loans to social security to firing corporate executives and boards of directors to government funded NGO's, the objective facts prove that almost nothing that you do is Constitutional.
Sophistry may help you and many of your colleagues to sleep at night, but I am more interested in the factual and historical evidence. In addition to the references and resources I've previously offered, for your convenience, I'm now offering online links to texts and writings where many of the Founding Father's ideas, insights and intent can be studied by anyone who cares to read them. A couple of the items must be directly accessed at the library in question. Google Books offers access to a few online texts that I've referenced and Amazon and Ebay offer the rest. These resources are easily located with a quick google search.
While the enclosed quotes are about the right to keep and bear arms, the linked texts and references give us not only insight into the origins and intent of the Second Amendment, but offer insight into what the Founding Fathers thought about individual rights and freedoms as well as their reasoning behind limiting the power of local, state and federal governments. iow, trying to claim, even to yourselves, that I may have pulled these quotes out of context is an invalid and even irrational position to declare or to hold. I have made the entire context of each quote available for your examination.
You ignore and despise the wisdom, knowledge, education and experience of the Founding Fathers not only at the peril of the lives and freedoms of the people you represent, but at the peril of your own lives and freedoms. Without a strict adherence to the Constitution of your state, as well as to the United States Constitution, the only form of government that remains is the tyranny of one group of idealogues over the lives and freedoms of another group of idealogues. If your group of idealogues thinks that it only need gain power and never give it up, you have already spat upon the Constitution and upon the freedoms and liberties of all Americans. You have become the very tyrants that you have always railed against.
Indeed, inside the Beltway, those politicians and lobbyists have already made many laws - and are even now proposing still others - which deny state and local politicians any authority over state and privately-owned natural resources. These are blatantly un-Constitutional laws and regulations. reference, e.g.: S.787: "...jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States." http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.787:%20http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s787/show
S.787 is only one of many federal laws and proposed legislation which take power from the state as well as from private property owners and turns over the disposition of their property - as well as improvements on and usage of that property - to the authority of the federal government. State governments around the nation have enacted very similar laws and regulations, thus denying the the Constitutional rights and liberties of American citizens. Notice the definition of 'waters of the US' in S.787. It now effectively includes everything from hydroelectric plants to creeks and streams to public and private wells and man-made ponds to buffalo wallows. As a state legislator, and as a private property owner, you won't be able to do anything with the resources in or under that 'water' without the federal government's permission,' perhaps not even with an ecological impact study.
Whether you are Republican or Democrat, many of you promise many things to the people of America and to the citizens of your state...but you quite honestly never promise them greater freedom...and when you do, your subsequent and renewed attempts to limit the liberties of your fellow citizens always proves the lie that is contained within your words.
Remember Newton's Third Law of Motion...and then learn the words and intent of the Founders of this nation.
Warren "Bones" Bonesteel
Author and Researcher
Sgt USMC 1976-1983
55 Crestview Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 348-2830 email@example.com
"Whereas civil-rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."
-- Tench Coxe, in Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution http://www.davekopel.com/2A/LawRev/hk-coxe.htm
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.
-- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed28.asp
"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms ... "
-- Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Pierce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850) http://www.archive.org/details/debatesproceedin00massrich (see also: Google Books and OpenLibrary.org)
"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
--James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46 http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fed46.htm
"To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws."
--John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788) http://www.constitution.org/jadams/ja1_00.htm
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."
--Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787). http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch16s17.html
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."
--Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788. http://libweb.lib.buffalo.edu/pdp/index.asp?ID=312
"Whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it."
--Richard Henry Lee, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788. http://libweb.lib.buffalo.edu/pdp/index.asp?ID=312
"No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950] PROPOSED Virginia CONSTITUTION. FORD ED., ii, 27. (June, 1776.) http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/foley/
"The right of the people to keep and bear ... arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country ..."
-- James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789 http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwac.html
"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
-- Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789 http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/legishisnew.html#amlaw
" ... but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights ..."
-- Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29 http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fed29.htm
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"
-- Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, http://www.constitution.org/elliot.htm
-- Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution vol. 3  http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=149
"The great object is, that every man be armed ... Every one who is able may have a gun."
-- Patrick Henry, Elliot, p.3:386
"O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone ..."
-- Patrick Henry, Elliot p. 3:50-53, in Virginia Ratifying Convention demanding a guarantee of the right to bear arms. http://teachingamericanhistory.org/ratification/virginia.html
"Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms ... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard, against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible."
-- Hubert H. Humphrey, Senator, Vice President, 22 October 1959 http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00442.html
"The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpation of power by rulers. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally ... enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
-- Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, p. 3:746-7, 1833 http://www.constitution.org/js/js_000.htm
" ... most attractive to Americans, the possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave, it being the ultimate means by which freedom was to be preserved."
-- James Burgh, 18th century English Libertarian writer, Shalhope, The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment, p.604 http://www.guncite.com/journals/shalideo.html
"The right [to bear arms] is general. It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been explained elsewhere, consists of those persons who, under the laws, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon.... [I]f the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether by the action or the neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose. But this enables the government to have a well regulated militia; for to bear arms implies something more than mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them in a way that makes those who keep them ready for their efficient use; in other words, it implies the right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms, observing in so doing the laws of public order."
-- Thomas M. Cooley, General Principles of Constitutional Law, Third Edition  http://www.constitution.org/cmt/tmc/pcl.htm
"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress ... to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.... "
"If someone is so fearful that, that they're going to start using their weapons to protect their rights, it makes me very nervous that these people have these weapons at all!"
-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) On MSNBC Investigates: "The Fifty Caliber Militia" 5/14/2001 (Also aired 10/13/2002 & 10/14/2002)
"When the representative body have lost the confidence of their constituents, when they have notoriously made sale of their most valuable rights, when they have assumed to themselves powers which the people never put into their hands, then indeed their continuing in office becomes dangerous."
-- Thomas Jefferson http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson_images/lesson414/JeffFrank2.pdf
A rule that states if a written provision is in writing and appears on reading to be unambiguous, its meaning must be determined from the writing itself without resorting to outside evidence.
Habeas Corpus. Definition. http://habeascorpus.net/hcwrit.html Habeas Corpus is an ancient common law prerogative writ - a legal procedure to which you have an undeniable right. It is an extraordinary remedy at law. Upon proper application, or even on naked knowledge alone, a court is empowered, and is duty bound, to issue the Extraordinary Writ of Habeas Corpus commanding one who is restraining liberty to forthwith produce before the court the person who is in custody and to show cause why the liberty of that person is being restrained. Absent a sufficient showing for a proper restraint of liberty, the court is duty bound to order the restraint eliminated and the person discharged. Habeas Corpus is fundamental to American and all other English common law derivative systems of jurisprudence. It is the ultimate lawful and peaceable remedy for adjudicating the providence of liberty's restraint.
Bill of Attainder. refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_attainder A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a trial.