Today, it’s generally forgotten that when the “Bill of Rights” was ratified in A.D. 1781, that it included a “preamble” from Congress that explained fundamental purposes for those first ten Amendments.
Understanding these fundamental purposes is important since those purposes constitute evidence of the intent of the Amendments/law. The law is the legislators’ intent. In the case of the Constitution and Amendments, the “legislators” are We the People. The preamble to the “Bill of Rights” explains the People’s/sovereign’s intent behind the Bill of Rights and thus explains the fundamental “law” of those Amendments.
For example, once you understand this “preamble,” you’ll see that the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms was intended to protect the people of the several States of the Union—but not against invasion by foreign enemies—but rather, from despotism imposed by our own federal government.
If you google “Bill of Rights preamble” you’ll find several sources for this document.
Here’s the Preamble’s text:
The First 10 Amendments to the
Constitution as Ratified by the States
December 15, 1791
Congress OF THE United States
begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday
the Fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.:
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
The previous “preamble” is then followed by the first ten Amendments (“Bill of Rights”).
The fundamental “purposes” for the Bill of Rights is seen in the first paragraph/sentence of the Preamble:
“THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.”
Fifty-nine words. One sentence. Let’s take it apart, piece by piece:
• First, who caused the Bill of Rights to be added?
A: “THE Conventions of a number of States”.
Note that these “conventions” were not state legislatures, but were instead private “assemblies” of the People of the various States of the Union. These “conventions” took place to ratify the Constitution in A.D. 1787 & 1788.
The Constitution was ratified by the People, not by the State governments. That tells us that the People were the sovereigns (plural), not the governments of the States of the Union. In essence, the People/sovereigns agreed to ratify the Constitution on condition that a Bill of Right would subsequently be added. (It might be argued that if there’s no Bill of Rights, then there’s no Constitution.)
The Constitution is the “People’s law”. Statutes are the “government’s law”. The government’s law is intended to be of lower authority than the People’s law.
• Second, why did the People “desire” these first ten Amendments?
A: “[T]o prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers.”
What does the preamble mean by “its powers”? It means the powers of the newly-ratified Constitution.
Who could misconstrue or abuse the powers of the newly-ratified Constitution? The States of the Union? No. The counties? No. Foreign countries like England, Canada or France? No.
Insofar as the federal government is the only entity with access to the powers of the Constitution, the only entity that might able to “misconstrue or abuse” the newly-granted powers of the Constitution would be the federal government.
Thus, the fundamental purpose of the Bill of Rights was to protect the States of the Union and the People of the States of the Union from the federal government.
The People who founded this country expressly demonstrated in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights that the People, quite sensibly, didn’t trust the newly-created federal government as far as they could throw it. They regarded the federal government as a necessary evil and, as George Washington had once warned, at best a “dangerous servant”. Therefore, distrusting the newly-created federal government, the People insisted that the Constitution be amended to include additional protections for the People and against the federal government.
From this perspective, you can see that the 2nd Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms was intended to protect the People from federal government. I.e., the 2nd Amendment was intended to empower the People to shoot federal politicians, officers and employees if they tried to use the Constitution as a device to subject the People to despotism rather than serve them.
(This implies that the fundamental purpose of the militia’s of the States of the Union (referenced in the 2nd Amendment) was to protect the States against the federal government. This is particularly interesting insofar as modern “state militias” (National Guard) are now primarily under the control of the federal government rather than the governments of the Sates of the Union. Thus, the organized “militia” originally intended to protect the People against the federal government, has been captured by the feds and now primarily serves the federal government rather than the People of the States.)
The purpose for the 2nd Amendment was to guarantee that the People had enough weapons to intimidate (and, if need be, kill) federal officers or employees if they attempted to subject the People to despotism (absolute rule). This is not a license to shoot any cop you don’t like. But, as declared in the “Declaration of Independence,”
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
The Preamble to the Bill of Rights refers to “misconstruction and abuse” of the powers of the Constitution. The “Declaration of Independence” refers to “abuses and usurpations”. I have no doubt that the “misconstruction” referenced in the Bill of Rights corresponds to the “usurpations” (unwarranted takings of powers not granted) in the Declaration.
“Despotism” means absolute and unlimited power confided to single man or elite group. It necessarily means that such “despot” would not recognize any higher authority including 1) the God of the Bible; and 2) the People. Instead, the “despot” (individual or elite group) would rule however he/it desired without limit or restraint imposed by others.
Correlatively, “despotism” means that the People other than the “despot(s)” are reduced not merely to status subjects (who have some rights such as the right of protection due from a monarch to his subjects), but to status of objects—to the status of chattel, goy, animals and “human resources”—who have virtually no rights whatsoever.
I.e., if the “despot” has absolute power, the People have no power (or rights) whatsoever.
The Declaration declares that when there is persistent evidence (a “long train of abuses and usurpations”) that a particular “government” intends to rule with absolute authority, recognizing no higher authority and reducing the people to the status of objects without rights—then it is the People’s right and even duty to “throw off” such despotic government and form a new government whose principle duty would to secure the People’s “future security” rather than the security of the despot and/or of the government (perhaps under the pretext of “national security”).
Thus, the Declaration was based in part on the principle that the fundamental purpose of government is to serve the People rather than compel the People to serve the government.
But, when there was sufficient evidence to show that a government had abandoned its role as servant and assumed the role of master (despot), then it was the People’s right and duty to “throw off” such government and construct another.
How do you suppose such despotic governments should (or could) be thrown off? By petitioning our congressmen? By voting the despot(s) out of office?
Insofar as we are subjected to a despotic government, by definition, that government doesn’t give a damn about anything the People say or vote because the despots presume the People to be objects rather than men and women made in our Father YHWH Elohiym’s image and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. By definition, a despotic government will not admit the People have rights or peacefully restore power to the People.
When faced with a despotic government, the people have only three choices: 1) surrender and submit to the violence of despotism; 2) wait on God to miraculously remove the despots; and 3) commit violent acts to “throw off” the despots.
Despotism is, by definition, violent. Either the People consent to be subjected to the despot’s violence, or the People rise up to “throw off” the despot by subjecting the despot to violence. The United States of America began with the choice to “throw off” the despots by means of violence against the despot.
The right to commit violence against despots would be essentially meaningless unless the People retained sufficient weapons to affect that overthrow.
The 2nd Amendment is evidence that the Founders: 1) never trusted the federal government; and 2) sought to provide the People with sufficient weapons to “throw off” any despots that might one day seize control of the levers of federal power.
The 2nd Amendment’s purpose is not to protect the right to go duck hunting in the Fall. It’s not to protect us against invasion by Red China. The 2nd Amendment recognized that the principle enemy of the People of The United States of America was, and would always be, our own federal government.
Thus, the 2nd Amendment’s purposes are:
1) always to intimidate the federal government with the implicit threat of blowing their damn brains out if they become despots (masters) rather than servants; and
2) rarely, but sometimes, to shoot and kill any agents of despotic government.
Much like the 2nd Amendment, the 1st Amendment’s protections for freedoms of assembly, speech, press and petitioning government for redress of grievance were all intended to prevent the federal government from silencing the people in order to subject them to Despotism.
Likewise, every one of the first ten Amendments were ratified for the purpose of protecting the People of the States from the federal government’s intentional “misconstruction” or “abuse” of the powers of the Constitution of the United States.
• Third, how can we describe the first ten Amendments?
A: As “declaratory and restrictive clauses”.
Who makes “declarations”? Sovereigns.
I.e., the “sovereigns” (We the People) made certain “declarations” (Bill of Rights) concerning how the powers that we delegated to the federal government might be exercised by our servants—the federal officers and employees.
What do these clauses “restrict”? The Bill of Rights was intended to restrict the ability of federal officers and employees to exercise the powers granted by the Constitution.
Just as the “governor” on an engine is intended to ensure that the engine will never exceed a certain speed, the Bill of Rights was intended to ensure that the federal government would never exceed the limits of powers intended and granted by the Founders.
• Fourth, the Preamble to the Bill of Rights further explains a purpose of the Bill of Rights as, “extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.”
The term “confidence” typically implies the existence of a trust relationship wherein the beneficiary “trusts” the fiduciary (servant) to act in the best interests of the beneficiary. Similarly, the term “beneficent” is sufficiently similar to “beneficiary” to imply the existence of a trust relationship.
As used in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, The terms “public confidence” and “beneficent ends” imply that the Constitution is a trust indenture wherein the People (sovereigns) are intended to be the beneficiaries and the government (and it officers and employees) are intended to be fiduciaries (servants) acting in the best interests of the People/beneficiaries. The “beneficent ends” of the Constitution were to serve the best interests of the People of the several States of the Union.
• George Washington—the first president of the federal government—once warned that, “Government, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
Washington saw government as existing in only two forms:
1) dangerous servant; and
2) fearful master.
In Washington’s view, the best you ever get from any government is a “dangerous servant”.
That is, under a trust indenture like the Constitution, government may be the People’s servant/fiduciary—but that government is always struggling to reverse that relationship, assume the role of the “master”/sovereign and reduce the people to the role of fiduciaries/servants (or even objects). Washington warned that while government may be your servant, that servant is always dangerous, always seeking to overthrow the People’s sovereignty and claim absolute power and sovereignty for itself. Thus, anyone dumb enough to trust the government is a fool and a lousy excuse for an “American”.
Insofar as the “dangerous servant” succeeds in usurping power and sovereignty for itself, it evolves into the “fearful master” (despot) and the People are necessarily degraded to the status of subjects, objects or even animals.
Since A.D. 1933, American history provides ample evidence that our “ever-dangerous servant” has usurped and abused powers, that it is bent on becoming our national despot and reducing Americans to the status of “objects” or “animals”.
As irrefutable evidence, consider the articles I’ve written on “man or other animals” at http://adask.wordpress.com/category/man-or-other-animals/. Pay particular attention to http://adask.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/man-or-other-animals-1/#more-46 and http://adask.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/man-or-other-animals-3/#more-47 which show that our government has expressly declared the People to be nothing more than “animals” and that doing so constitutes an act of GENOCIDE against the American People.
This is no joke. Genocide. It’s not hyperbole. When you apply the facts to the law of genocide, it’s apparent that your purported government, right now, is committing genocide against you, me and the American people. This is absolute evidence that our “dangerous servant” is evolving into the “fearful master”.
Who believes that today’s “government” is acting in the best interests of the American People? Anyone? Who believes that today’s federal “government” has not perpetrated “a long train of abuses and usurpations” against We the People? Who would deny that the evidence of this “long train of abuses and usurpations . . . evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism”?
As declared in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to The Constitution of the United States are intended to protect us against the despotism of the federal government. Use them accordingly.
Authored on March 17th, A.D. 2011 by Alfred Adask–a man made in our Father YHWH Elohiym’s image and endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable Rights–writing at arm’s length within the venue of The County of Dallas within The State of Texas—a member-State of the perpetual Union styled “The United States of America”.