Zack Strong is a ranking member of the Independent American Party. The following article was posted by Kelly Gneiting on February 1st on the IAP website.
In the caustic debates surrounding guns, too few mention the right of self-defense. Ultimately, guns have nothing to do with the debate about the Second Amendment. What is considered in the Second Amendment is an individual’s right to defend himself—whether that be by guns, sticks, rocks, or swords. Unless we acknowledge and ensure this fundamental right of self-defense, we cannot logically guarantee any other right. Without the right to protect and defend one’s life, Liberty, and property, there is no Freedom at all. Liberty implies the right to defend one’s inherent rights against any and all people, organizations, and governments who would infringe upon them. This article is devoted to sharing wisdom from both prominent figures and simple citizens in this nation’s history who have recognized the right of self-defense and who have defined and defended the Second Amendment.
Before I share the quotes I have gathered, a final word. Our rights are God-given. They do not come from government or from society. They are not granted to us by the Constitution or Bill of Rights, nor by the Congress or the president or the courts. Rights do not come because of a social compact or public consensus. As the Declaration of Independence proclaims, “[we] are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Where did our rights come from? From our Creator. Who is our Creator? God. Therefore, no president, legislature, court, group of people, or public consensus can ever rescind or restrict our God-given rights. A right can only be restricted or forfeited through an individual’s misuse of that right, which normally includes his infringing upon the equal rights of another person. Barring that circumstance, our rights must be held sacrosanct and above the meddling of government or society. In that light, consider the following statements.
On February 20, 1788, Tench Coxe wrote in the Pennsylvania Gazette of Philadelphia: “The power of the sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for THE POWERS OF THE SWORD ARE IN THE HANDS OF THE YEOMANRY OF AMERICA FROM SIXTEEN TO SIXTY. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared to any possible army must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are these militia? [A]re they not ourselves . . . Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. . . . [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
Writing in the Federal Gazette in Philadelphia on June 18, 1789, Tench Coxe stated: “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people dully 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 next article [the Second Amendment] in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
George Mason said simply: “To disarm the people [is] the best and most effectual way to enslave them” (cited in Les Adams, “The Second Amendment Primer: A Citizen’s Guidebook to the History, Sources, and Authorities for the Constitutional Guarantee of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” 101).