Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Right To Keep And Bear Arms

The following selection is from the reference materials found in The American Patriot's Bible (page 16):

The Right To Keep And Bear Arms

Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants...  Genesis 14:14 (NKJV)

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads: “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.”

Having fled persecution in Great Britain, the Puritans had laws requiring every family to own a gun, to carry it in public places, and to train children in the use of firearms. In 1619, the colony of Virginia had statutes that required everyone to bear arms. Connecticut law in 1650 required every man above the age of sixteen to possess "a good musket or other gun, fit for service." 

The early laws of America are very clear about this. The people were responsible for their own defense and freedoms and needed to be prepared to fight. Thomas Jefferson said, "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." At that time, there was no concept of a professional army, created and paid to defend the colonies. George Mason, called the Father of the Bill of Rights, said, "What is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

With the approach of the American Revolution, the natural rights philosophers had established the foundation for self defense. Every man's life, they said, belongs to God, and to allow one's life to be taken because one failed to defend it was wrong. This natural law to the right of self-defense was also applied to the duty to protect one's family, community, and national liberties. For the colonists, at the heart of their religion was liberty, a sacred gift from God. 

For the most part, the colonial churches, particularly New England's Congregational congregations, believed that to revolt against tyrants, such as King George, was to obey God. It may have had its roots in the Old Testament accounts of Israel's wars for freedom, but it became a powerful fire that impassioned the citizenry. And remains a belief that continues to influence Americans' views about the right to bear arms today. 

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The American Patriot's Bible is available on Amazon.

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