America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 8

L E T T E R

F R O M

T H E

Volume 15, No. 2

E D I T O R

Mark Chesnu t

by

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A Right Of The People

A

nyone who knows me at all is aware of my deep respect and admiration for
our brave military men and women. I fully realize and appreciate that the
freedoms I now enjoy were paid for with the blood of those serving our country.
But a recent anti-gun column in Esquire magazine penned by an Army
lt. colonel left me stunned and with two big questions: Is this some kind of joke?
And why would Esquire even publish such lunacy?
In the column, Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman based his entire thesis, which
advocated strict restrictions on gun ownership as well as forfeiture of currently
owned firearms, on the notion that the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear
arms applies only to the National Guard. And to add insult to injury, he claims that
anybody who believes otherwise-including the u.s. Supreme Court-must have
"failed high school history."
"As of 1903, the 'militia' has been known as the National Guard," Bateman wrote.
In truth, Bateman is flat-out wrong in that assertion. The "well-regulated militia"
mentioned in the Second Amendment consists of the citizenry at large. The Dick Act
of 1903 spells it out clearly, dividing the militia of the United States-the subset of
the well-regulated militia that is obligated to serve if called upon-into its organized
and unorganized components. The National Guard and Naval Militia (when not in
federal service) comprise the "organized" portion, while all able-bodied males of age
and some females who are not members of the National Guard or Naval Militia are
the "unorganized" segment.
Additionally, "the people" mentioned in the Second Amendment and "the people"
referred to in the First and Fourth Amendments, among others, are most certainly
the same. The Bill of Rights wasn't written to ensure the rights of any government
entity, like the National Guard. Rather, it was penned to ensure that government
doesn't infringe on certain individual rights of "the people"-namely you and me.
In the column, Bateman also proposed that "the people" only be allowed to own:
* Smoothbore or rifled muzzle-loading black-powder muskets
* Double-barrel breech-loading shotguns
* Bolt-action rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than five rounds
Bateman concludes the column by suggesting a 400 percent tax on ammunition,
immediate forfeiture to the government of all guns not in the above three categories
upon the death of the owner and various other serious restrictions.
One can only hope that a military leader with such views on the right of
citizens to keep and bear arms-as protected by the u.s. Constitution-never
attains a position in government where his opinion can inflict real harm on the
Second Amendment.
And one can also hope that Esquire will, in the future, at least read and check
the validity of its commentaries before publishing them, regardless of the apparent
credentials of the author, or the magazine's political philosophy.

6

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America's First Freedom - February 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - February 2014

America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 1
America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 2
America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 3
America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 4
America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 5
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America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 27
America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 28
America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 29
America's First Freedom - February 2014 - 30
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