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LIBERTY (Part One)

by

Peter J. Mancus
Attorney at Law
Victorian Square
876 Gravenstein Ave. So., Suite 3
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 829-9050
pmancus@prodigy.net

© Peter J. Mancus 2002

1. For 6,000 years of recorded history, early rulers [pharaohs and kings, etc.] were the best fighters or best politicians or both. Their successors tended to be the first born male, via alleged hereditary entitlement, or the best fighters or best politicians or both. These rulers ruled arbitrarily. Mankind struggled against this abuse of power. That struggle is the story of civilization.

2.Civilization is essentially arrangements existing between rulers and ordinary folks. Some arrangements are based on raw power. Some are, allegedly, based on the Rule of Law. For most civilizations, Rule of Law is code for what the ruler wants.

3.Rule of Law, devoid of norms that protect Man's rights, is not worthy of support. Rule of Law is too vague. Every tyrant had his Rule of Law which authorized arbitrary, cruel, tyrannical acts sanctioned by rubber stamp judges and adoring or petrified majorities. What is needed is a Rule of Law that promotes and protects certain norms.

4. Historically, throughout all cultures, all civilizations, all races, and all continents, the Tyrant's Pattern, uniformly, has been this: demonize arms [swords, firearms, etc.] and their owners; agitate for the regulation, banning and confiscation of same; regulate same; register same; ban same; confiscate same; once the population is disarmed, consolidate power, incarcerate or murder potential hostile leaders; and impose genocide.

5. The story of civilization is Mankind's struggle for, and embrace of, Liberty, per a written Constitution that subjects power to finite limits, protects ordinary folks from abusive rulers, and empowers ordinary folks to hold their rulers and civil authority accountable for their abuse of power entrusted to them.

6. The Ancient Greeks advanced civilization. They are credited with being the first in Western Civilization to function as a democracy. Their version of democracy, however, suffered from a serious liability. Their version was pure democracy, which is mob rule via a majority vote. In Ancient Greece, no one had any legally recognized rights beyond the control of civil authority or the mob. It was 100% legal for a majority to vote to execute anyone per any pretext or without pretext being required. The Ancient Greeks were also enthusiastic supporters of pure democracy—but only for those of property and of the right class.

7. The Ancient Greeks were 100% correct about this concept: He who refuses to participate in self-government runs the risk of being governed by a fool greater than himself.

8. The primary purposes of a written Constitution are:

  • to hold civil authority within specified limits, per agreed upon rules; and
  • to hold civil authority accountable when it violates agreed upon rules.

9. Arguably, the most significant political-legal document written in English, or any other language, in the entire history of Mankind is the July 4 th, 1776 Declaration of Independence. The July 4 th Declaration is arguably the most significant political-legal document because it declared the following concepts and linked them together for the first time in a new manner:

  • Man has a Creator.
  • Man has inalienable rights that exist in Nature, before the creation of civil authority.
  • The Creator, not civil authority, is the source of Man's inalienable rights.
  • Man's inalienable rights include, but are not limited to, the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
  • These inalienable rights survive the formation of society and the creation of government.
  • The only legitimate purpose of government is to secure these rights—without infringing upon them; and
  • When government's prolonged oppression of the people becomes insufferable, the people have a right and a duty to overthrow government and establish a new rule of law that will restore and preserve these inalienable rights.

10. The July 4 th Declaration starkly pitted the concept of Man's Inalienable Rights Derived From a Creator against the concept of the Divine Right of Kings to Rule Arbitrarily. That juxtaposition was the equivalent of a 9.0 political-legal earthquake, which continues to rumble and shake up Mankind, Civilizations and Civil Authorities around the globe.

11. The July 4 th Declaration was a radical, revolutionary document signed by brave men the English Crown deemed "criminals."

12. The U.S. Constitution, as modified by the U.S. Bill of Rights, is an attempt to implement, in a pragmatic, workable fashion, the core ideas expressed in the July 4 th Declaration.

13. The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789.

14. The U.S. Constitution was first modified in 1791 by the ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights.

15. The U.S. Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

16. The U.S. Bill of Rights has its own preamble. Most people, including most lawyers and judges, do not know this. An exact quote of part of this preamble is stated below:

"The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution."

The U.S. National Archives is the official custodian of records for important United States documents. This official, authoritative source confirms that this preamble, as quoted above, exists. See: http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/billrights/preamble.html

17. Please read again, ultra carefully, this excerpt from this preamble. Then ask yourself the questions that follow.

What is the significance of that excerpt?

What were the Framers and Ratifiers of the U.S. Bill of Rights really saying, and agreeing to, for themselves? For their posterity?

Were they saying the following:

We have a fear that the powers set forth in the Constitution might some day be misconstrued or abused or both?

We do not want our words to be perverted?

We want all future generations to take these rights seriously? We are now taking prudent safeguards to prevent that misconstruction or abuse of power?

Consequently, we are now further clarifying everything and modifying the Constitution with the following first ten amendments to it?

These first ten amendments are restrictions on civil authority's powers, INCLUDING civil authority's power to secure the peoples' inalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?

The peoples' rights, as stated in this Bill, are intended to enjoy legal priority higher than all of civil authority's powers?

These first ten amendments are NOT restrictions on citizens?

On the contrary, these first ten amendments are a statement of the peoples' rights AND IMMUNITIES from civil authority's powers for exercising these rights responsibly?

We called these first ten amendments "the Bill of Rights" on purpose? We knew the difference between a right and a privilege?

We knew the difference between a right and a power? Citizens have rights? Civil authority has powers? We did not call these amendments a "Bill of Civil Authority's Additional Powers." This is because we put civil authority's powers in the Constitution? And we put the peoples' rights in this Bill?

By restrictions, we meant this: these rights belong to citizens. As such, they are legal guarantees. They are an entitlement for all U.S. citizens? They are off-limits—beyond civil authority's powers? Beyond the power of a majority vote?. They are part of the "blessings of liberty"?

Civil authority, and all majorities, must take these rights seriously? These restrictions on civil authority's powers OVERRIDE civil authority's power to restrict these rights to promote the general welfare?

The general welfare cannot be promoted by restricting these rights? The general welfare is promoted by honoring these rights? That is why we included the Right to Petition for Redress of Meritorious Grievances in the First Amendment?

We were not kidding when we included the Right to Petition?

To underscore that we were not kidding about these rights, we included the Second Amendment. We chose our words that make up the Second Amendment carefully to mean exactly what we intended. Those words are: "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." We included this amendment, as worded, because we wanted to make sure that ordinary folk retained the pragmatic means—arms—to enforce their rights should civil authority fail to redress appropriately meritorious petitions for redress of grievances?

If, by the Second Amendment, you [who are now seven generations removed from us] think we were granting civil authority, and only civil authority, a monopoly on arms, you are wrong! Why would we put that in a document we titled "Bill of Rights"? Especially one that has this preamble? Especially when we already granted civil authority the power to have an army and a navy in the Constitution?

Do you think we were brain dead? Do you think we goofed? Do you think we did not know what we were doing?

Do you forget that at least half of us Framers, and all of us major Framers, were among the best lawyers in the colonies? Do you think none of us proof read what we wrote? Do you think all of us intended by this preamble, this Bill, and this Second Amendment, to grant civil authority a monopoly on arms?

Do you realize that we used our privately owned, unregistered arms to win our independence from England and to make our July 4th Declaration stick?

Do you think we would stand toe to toe with redcoats, one of the world's then most professional armies, suffer horrendous losses on the battlefield, endure severe deprivation and heartaches for years, eat roots and wipe our assess with leafs, shiver at Valley Forge for months, and, after emerging victorious in a bloody seven year war, go out of our way to grant civil authority a monopoly on arms?

And codify in a document we called "Bill of Rights" civil authority's power to disarm us?

The Militia referenced in the Second is not civil authority's army? Given our experience with redcoats, we loathed, despised and feared all professional, standing armies?

The Militia was, and is, the people's army?

The Militia means ordinary citizens who are not civil authority's employees who periodically marshall, with their own privately owned, unregistered arms, for a socially beneficial public purpose?

And when the Militia disbands, all citizens who muster, go home, retaining their privately owned, unregistered arms?

Nowhere in the Second Amendment does it state that one has to be a member of the militia to have a right to keep and bear arms?

Gun Prohibitionists can look in vain, with a microscope, until eternity, at the Second Amendment. They will never find an express requirement that the right to keep and bear arms is preconditioned on membership in the Militia . . . or in any government regulated organization?

Well regulated does not mean government regulated. Well regulated means disciplined, trained, effective. A Militia can be all those things without government control?

We knew the difference between people and civil authority or state. We, knowing exactly what we were doing and why, said the right clearly belongs to the people, period?

People is not state, government, nor civil authority! In our day, a right meant a right and people meant people! Be leery of Gun Prohibitionists who persists in trying to rewrite history, who pervert our words, and who substitute one noun for another noun?

We ended the Second Amendment with this clear barrier: ". . . shall NOT be infringed." We did this on purpose, too. We knew that many would try to undermine or take away this right, under various pretexts, pleas of presumed necessity, and other bogus justifications, as a prelude to taking away other rights in this Bill of Rights?

We knew that parchment barriers are useless in the hands of power hungry public serpents?

We wanted to be pragmatic and make certain that ordinary citizens always retained the legal right to have the pragmatic means to resist tyranny and to preserve liberty? That was our policy choice. We were not control freaks.

We did not fear freedom. We trusted ordinary citizens. We understood this dynamic: To the extent that civil authority trusts citizens with arms and treats citizens equitably, civil authority has nothing to fear from well treated citizens, and civil authority can assuredly count on such citizens to use their privately owned, unregistered arms to defend civil authority from foreign aggression or domestic unrest; however, to the extent that civil authority does not trust citizens with arms or abuses them or both, citizens should not trust civil authority and should be willing, able and ready to take up arms against civil authority to preserve and to restore Liberty.

We believed in the citizen-soldier concept, and we loathed the professional soldier, standing army concept. We think we made a long term, wise policy choice. We know we did.

Do you think we were kidding about ". . . shall not be infringed."? "[I]nfringed" means prior restraint of any kind, no matter how slight, no matter what the pretext?

We ended our preamble to the Bill of Rights with this idea: "extending the ground of public confidence in the Government." We cannot stress enough that after emerging from the American Revolutionary War victorious against England, it emphatically would NOT have extended the public's confidence in the newly formed government if, by the Second Amendment, it was then understood that we intended to grant civil authority a monopoly on arms and the power to disarm ordinary citizens.

Do you think those who supported the July 4th Declaration and who survived to Frame the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were champions of police states? Were control freaks?

Do you know us? Do you know our roots? Our world view? Our attitudes? If you did, you would tell modern day Gun Prohibitionists to shut up, and you would bar them from office. And, if they did not shut up, you would do as we did: hang them and burn them in effigy; smear excrement on their homes and places of business; refuse to trade with them; bar them from their courthouses; publicly mock them; drive them out of town; burn their property; and kill them, if need be. We stood up for our rights. We claimed our rights. We did not tolerate a public serpent. [For authoritative historical documentation that this is part of how the Minutemen and political activists treated those loyal to the English Crown, read: Robert A. Gross' The Minutemen And Their World, ISBN 0-8090-0120-9.]

Never allow yourselves to be disarmed and defanged?

Never allow yourselves to lose an arms race with civil authority? Our muskets were technologically the equal to the redcoats'. By the Second Amendment, all ordinary citizens are legally guaranteed the right to maintain technological parity with modern military small arms, regardless of their rate of fire, lethality, power or physical appearances? Otherwise, the Second Amendment loses its effectiveness as a pragmatic check on civil authority turning tyrannical?

We are now dust in our graves. Remember us. We gave up our today's and tomorrow's so you could enjoy your today's and tomorrow's. Forget us at your peril. We did our utmost best to give you a solid framework to live freely and to enjoy the blessings of liberty.

We cannot sustain Liberty for you. Only you can do that for yourselves.

Can you do that? Will you do that? Are you worthy of Liberty?

Or will you continue to make us puke?

When will you stop being a gossipy gaggle?

When will you stop bitching about your chains?

When will you stop being psychologically intimidated by civil authority? Do you not realize that you are the world's most powerful latent guerrilla force?

When will you throw off your chains?

When will you claim your heritage? Your rights?

When will you stop crawling and stand straight, tall, proud, defiant and confident?

Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five