The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: The Right of the People to Bear and Keep Arms Shall Not be Infringed

(2nd amendment to the Bill of Rights)

Greetings to all, this week in celebration of July 4, 1776 in which the second continental Congress officially declared independence from King George and unreasonable British rule.

The United States of America was formed by adopting the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.

The declaration was a sweeping indictment of the King, Parliament, and the British people. It set forth certain self-evident truths that all men were created equal, and are endowed by their creator with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Governments were organized to protect those rights, and the governments derived their powers from the consent of the governed. But, when a government ceased to preserve the rights, it was the duty of the people to change the government, or abolish it and form a new one.

On September 3, 1783, the Americans, and the British signed the Treaty of Paris of 1783, officially ending the Revolutionary War. As a result of this treaty, the new nation controlled all of North America between Canada and Florida and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, including Hancock and Henderson counties.

In 1787 The American leaders got together and wrote the Constitution of the United States. George Washington was chosen as presiding officer of the convention which met in Philadelphia's Independence Hall. It was ratified by nine states with Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay responding to criticism of the document in a series of letters, to newspapers, called "The Federalist." These letters gained much support for the constitution and on June 21, 1788 New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the new document.

However, much opposition to the new constitution stemmed from the fact that it did not specifically guarantee enough individual rights. This brought about 10 amendments known as "The Bill of Rights" and became law on December 15, 1791. It guaranteed freedom of speech, religion, the press, the rights to trial by jury, peaceful assembly, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms, among other things.

The original amendments applied only to The Federal government. However, the 14th amendment declares that no state can deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without "due process of law." Those words have been interpreted by the Supreme Court to mean that most of the Bill of Rights applies to the states as well.

On June 26, 2008 in a landmark 5-4 ruling in D.C. V Heller, The Supreme Court found that the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" is an individual right. Most of us rural folk, from farm country, knew what it meant from the beginning. The alternative view was argued as a collective right for individuals who belong to a government militia. What is surprising is that the second amendment came within a single vote of becoming a dead constitutional letter.

Four Justices were willing to explain away this individual right to bear arms. These same "liberal" Justices invoke the "right of privacy", which is nowhere in the text of the constitution, as a means for asserting various social rights.

Justice John Paul Stevens in his liberal view, argued the right only applied to an individual if he is sanctioned by the Government.

Justice Breyer in his liberal view and his willingness to take away our basic rights given us by the original framers of the constitution, wants to establish an "interests-balancing test" by balancing the individual rights to bear arms against the interest of the government.

On the other hand, Justice Scalia wrote from the conservative view, that no other constitutional right is subjected to this sort of "interest-balancing."

The five conservative Justices demonstrated their willingness to defend individuals against government power as were the original framers of the constitution.

The four liberal Justices are far more willing to empower government to restrict individual liberty, except on the matter of personal lifestyle (abortion, gay rights, crime, etc.).

The next president might have the ability to appoint three Justices. With that in mind, the importance of the upcoming election becomes apparent. The right to bear arms has been affirmed but it still isn't safe.

Down here on the farm the "Liberal press" is in delirium over this ruling. "They put me to mind of a snotty-nosed youngin'" (Their attitude reminds me of a very immature child). "Their Ma musta' dropped them on their head when they wuz a baby" (their thinking is impaired).

For the most part, "I'm just like a graveyard-I'll accept anything." ( I accept what comes my way) but as for the recent Supreme Court ruling on Gun Rights, as it applies to our age old constitution, "I'm as happy as a clam at high tide" (very content at this time). It seems an appropriate decision in time for this week, that we celebrate our cherished Freedoms and rights given to us by our forefathers.

We should keep an eternal vigil to maintain those gifts, so arduously fought for and preserved for us in the past.

Have a good 4th of July celebration and keep in mind and prayers, those in need, due to the flood.

Catch ya later
Barnyard Bruke