My beliefs are simple. I am a proud American. I’ve adopted as the foundation of such belief the Constitution. Period. All of it. I’m unabashedly and unapologetically a patriot and lover of liberty. And I know full well that when (REPEAT: when) our freedoms and liberties are wrested from our control it will in fact occur as we politely and slavishly hand them off and over and give them away in toto under some psychotic theory and delusion of protection and safety. Good-natured yet intellectually pliable citizens will be confounded and bamboozled by threat du jour of the new bogeyman: terrorists and Tea Partiers, the left and right and middle, the radical right and loony left, Bible thumpers and atheists, Koch Brothers acolytes and Soros minions. We’re awash in enemies. The fear merchants grind them out and lighting speed. There will be a label for everyone. But the one that will be forgotten deliberately is that of Constitutionalist. And at the heart of tyranny is the disarmament of a people. Thomas Jefferson made it clear: “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Freedom cannot coexist in a society where its people cannot defend it. It’s axiomatic and that simple. And let me introduce you to Mr. Coxe.
Perhaps my favorite Constitutional progenitor. Tench Coxe. As a member of the second rank of this nation’s Founders and a leading proponent of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Coxe wrote prolifically about the right to keep and bear arms. A Philadelphian, Tench Coxe wrote numerous widely-circulated articles in favor of the new Constitution proposed in 1787 and, later, about the proposed Bill of Rights. He was appointed to subcabinet positions (just below a Cabinet Secretary) by Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. In the Jefferson administration, his duties included procuring firearms for militiamen who could not afford to purchase their own weapons. From his appearance on the national stage in the late 1780s until his death in 1824, Coxe wrote prolifically, with his work appearing in major newspapers, in lengthy reports for Presidents, and in personal correspondence with leading political figures. [Source. Please see Dave Kopel’s Website for a wonderful disquisition on the history of Coxe and other Constitutional luminaries. His video The Truth About Guns is worth a view, trust me.]
Mr. Coxe’s Encore. Read this selection at least twice and be amazed at the clarity of message. Profoundly pellucid!
“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the 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’ under the Pseudonym ‘A Pennsylvanian’ in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1)