As far as I am aware, they do not appear anywhere on the internet in plain text form.
I believe it's important people understand history. As they say, those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
A God-Given Natural Right
"Shall Not Be Infringed"
by Roger D. McGrath
I do not believe in unilateral disarmament: not for the nation; not for our citizens. Neither did the Founding Fathers. They were students of history, especially of classical antiquity. They knew the history of the Greek city-states and Rome as well as they knew the history of the American colonies. This led them to conclude that an armed citizenry is essential to the preservation of freedom and democracy. Once disarmed, populations either submit meekly to tyrants or fight in vain.
The ancient Greeks knew this. The Greek city-state of Laconia had a population that was five percent Spartan (the warrior aristocracy), one percent perioeci (small merchants and craftsmen), and 94 percent helots (serfs bound to the soil). It is no mystery how five percent of the population kept 94 percent of the people enslaved. The helots were kept disarmed and, if found in possession of a weapon, were put to death.
Meanwhile, most of the Greek city-states were bastions of democracy because they had developed strong middle classes of armed citizens known as hoplites. Supplying their own weapons and equipment, the hoplites went into battle not out of fear of punishment or in hopes of plunder and booty, as did subject peoples of the Oriental empires, but to defend their liberties and to protect hearth and home. They fought side by side with neighbors, brothers, fathers, sons, uncles, and cousins. They did their utmost to demonstrate courage, side by side with their comrades in arms. If they lost a battle to the armies of an Oriental despot, they stood to lose everything—property, freedom, democracy. A defeat for subject peoples usually meant nothing more than a change of rulers.
The ancient Romans also knew this. When Tarquin, the Etruscan king of Rome, issued an order—for the public good, for safety and security— that the Romans be disarmed, they rose in rebellion. Tarquin was driven from the city, and the early Roman Republic was established. For several hundred years, Rome was defended not by a professional army of mercenaries or subject peoples but by armed citizen-soldiers who left the farm from time to time to serve the republic. Once the system broke down, the Roman Republic was transformed into an empire similar to the despotic regimes of the East.
Death and destruction commonly followed disarmament. England did it to the Gaels—the Irish and Scots—and the consequences beggar description. England had been fighting in Ireland for hundreds of years by the time the English got Irish leader Patrick Sarsfield to sign the Treaty of Limerick in 1691. The treaty guaranteed all Irish full civil, religious, and property rights. In return, it required that Sarsfield and more than 20,000 of his soldiers leave Ireland for the Continent.
With the armed defenders of Ireland overseas, England began to abrogate the rights supposedly guaranteed by the treaty. Beginning in 1709, England passed the statutes that collectively became known as the Penal Laws. One of the first of these laws declared that, for public safety, no Irish Catholic could keep and bear arms. Then the Irish Catholic was denied the right to an education, to enter a profession, to hold public office, to engage in trade or commerce, to own a horse of greater value than five pounds, to purchase or lease land, to vote, to attend the worship of his choice, to send his children abroad to receive an education. By the time the last of the Penal Laws was enacted, the Irish, although they were not chattel property, in many ways had fewer rights than black slaves in America. The Irish were kept on a near starvation diet, and their life expectancy was the lowest in the Western world.
Things were not much better in the Highlands of Scotland. England had subdued the Lowlands by the 14th century, but the Highlands, the truly Gaelic portion of Scotland, continued to be troublesome well into the 18th century. A major rebellion erupted in 1715; another, in 1745. The end for the Highlanders came at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Following the battle, the English built a series of forts across the Highlands and passed laws for the Highlanders—who were originally Irish, of course—similar to the Penal Laws. England made it a crime for the Highlanders to wear kilts, play bagpipes, and keep and bear arms. A Highlander found with a claymore or any other kind of sword or arm was put to death. The English army, understanding that it is easier to starve a fierce enemy into submission than to fight him, eagerly slaughtered the cattle herds of the Highlands, precipitating a great starvation. Thousands of Highlanders died or fled. The English later engaged in the infamous "clearances" in which thousands more were driven from the land. Without arms, the Highlanders were helpless.
What the English did to the Irish and Scots was not lost on our Founding Fathers or on the colonists in general. More than a quarter of the colonists were Irish or Scottish or Scotch-Irish. When England tried to disarm the American colonists, all under the guise of preserving public order and peace, the colonists reacted violently. While it is rarely taught in schools today, the reason the British army marched to Lexington and Concord was to confiscate the arms caches of the local citizenry.
It is not by accident, then, that the Framers of the Constitution ensured ...
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