So everyone is getting exercised about the Second Amendment and the concept of the right to bear, that is to own, firearms. Early on in the debate, there was a sudden rush on the conservative or pro-rights side, to argue from a perceived position of authority. This position spoke directly to a supposed concept known as the “Dick Act of 1902.” A recurring statement on this matter would be:
The Dick Act of 1902 cannot be repealed; to do so would violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws which would be yet another gross violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
In one regard, that statement is absolutely false. The fact is that every Congress is perfectly capable of overturning laws, rules, and decisions by a prior Congress. It has already been done and will continue to be done. However, there is another consideration that comes into play with regard to the Bill of Rights that supercedes the will of the elected. What is being addressed here is something far more subtle and sublime. Keep in mind we are discussing a very critical and salient point of law. To fully understand what is being discussed, I would urge anyone reading this post to take time and read carefully the article found on Heaven’s Holy Beer Wench blog titled: The Dick Act Is Not The Gun-Control Holy Grail.
As you read though the discussion, it becomes readily apparent that the Framers of the Constitution were far more advanced in their understanding of the Rule of Law than even many of the so-called Constitutional Scholars around today. Consider, for a moment, the very logical, but altogether innovative concept in law which codifies a pre-existing right and practice. When you read the actual text of the Second Amendment, it becomes readily apparent what was done. Here is the original text as passed by Congress as part of the Bill of Rights:
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.
The people of the new Country, known as the United States of America, already had an existing right which they enjoyed on a regular basis. It was understood at that time that the people living in the New World were settlers. They were in need of firearms for several reasons, including, but not limited to, self-defense, procurement of food, and family safety.
Consider the reality that these people were Colonists – later Citizens – and were establishing themselves further and further westward through the land. They had a need for firearms. It was imperative and preemptive of any right provided by any legal authority. To argue that the Second Amendment gave citizens the right to keep and bear arms is disingenuous and facetious. This right and practice preexisted both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
So, if this right preexisted both these documents, where did it come from? Very simply, it came from a person’s natural right to self-defense and a right to secure food for himself and his family.
Frankly, we are not talking about a law accorded by Man. Rather, we are expressing a natural right that is accorded to all people by nature and nature’s God. It is not a law that has been enacted by any legal body. It is not a law that, under any circumstances, can be subverted. Nor is this natural law one that can be regulated by human beings to deny a human beings its principle.
As such, no amount of man-made legislation will abrogate or preclude this right from being exercised by Man as a part of Nature.