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home : letters : letters April 30, 2016

2/12/2013 3:27:00 AM
The Second Amendment and the natural rights of man

To the Editor:

“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.” 

This, the second of the amendments to our Constitution, with its curious reference to militias and a free state, invites misunderstanding to those misinformed about our history. In the wake of the murders of innocent children and adults in Newtown, Conn., the weapon involved has become the focus of public scrutiny. The miscreant murderer, product of a broken home and dissolving culture, is fading from consciousness, displaced, by zeal to do “something” about gun control. 

The left insists that the 2nd Amendment is simply not applicable to modern America. If only James Madison were here to argue with Dianne Feinstein. 

For now, I’ll give it a go.

James and the rest of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention spent a great deal of time wrestling with how much power to grant to a central government. This was the central political struggle and on many occasions nearly scuttled the entire effort. Their recent experience with the British standing army as an instrument of their misery was not to be repeated in the construction of a new American government. Their differences on this subject were legion, but a common chord was an underlying belief in the natural rights of man.

Our founders were extremely well read in history, the classics, and philosophy (before public schools, teacher unions, and video games). Among the political philosophers most influential in the revolution and nearly all of our state papers, was John Locke. Writing during the English civil war 100 years prior, Locke developed the ideas of nature, and nature’s God, as the grantor of life, liberty, and equality to every human being. These rights could not to be granted or transferred, to any other entity, king or government, and contained the essential right of self-preservation and self-defense. The first right of all men is to be secure in their own persons and property. These rights are unalienable – language used by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. The first four amendments codified these rights, prohibiting coercive action by a central government upon the most essential of all human activities.

Ergo, the 2nd Amendment contained what was a safeguard against the fear of a standing army, and guaranteed the right of each citizen to preserve and be secure in his own life and property. No mention was made of the style or lethality of the instruments of self-defense. The framers were more concerned about the lethality of organized central tyranny, than the offenses of evil individuals, as horrendous as they would become. The reference to the maintenance of militias was intended to sublimate the need for a standing army and give states, and average citizens, a counterweight to federal power. No intent was ever given to create a utopian America, with a government guarantee of economic, medical, and now physical safety. 

One needs only to observe videos of the aftermath of the Newtown massacre to realize the affects of outsourcing just one of our natural responsibilities, the natural mandate and right of self-preservation and the defense of the innocent. Hours of video were played of police officers wandering about the scene, with their lethal weapons, body armor and helmets, helpless to turn back the clock and save those babies, their lifeless bodies lying yards from them. The town, the state, the citizens had transferred the right to life’s preservation to a government entity. They had replaced their natural rights and responsibilities with a sign, a feckless, useless, shallow, meaningless, idiotic, but Utopian symbol. The amulet, “Gun Free Zone,” the socialist answer to garlic and crucifixes, intended to ward off evil, instead, invites it. 

Affixing this signage confirms that the residents tacitly renounce their natural rights (to self-preservation) in vain hope that an agent of an imaginary utopia will intervene in time.

So, instead of nibbling around the edges of the 2nd Amendment, we should welcome a fully-fledged effort by the Fabian Utopians to repeal it. 

Let us have that debate and let the socialist elite among us fully explain a future world where the natural gifts of life, liberty, and self-preservation are wholly entrusted to the benevolence of an evermore underfunded bureaucracy. Let them make the case that after their other efforts to convert American culture to a utopia of free stuff, there will be enough money left to have police departments. 

Our founders knew this would never be possible and instead left us this profound gift, second of the amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, the right of self-preservation.

John Tegtmeier
Lac du Flambeau




Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Lepper

Wow Chris, Thanks for setting me straight. It is good to hear that it wasn't Wisconsin teachers acting like morons at the Capitol Building but a "bunch of outside agitators". One question though Chris, why would these outside agitators be asking doctors for phony written excuses for not being in the classroom with our children? I will agree with you Chris in that things most often are not what they seem. If you were there in Madison and say our teachers were not acting badly, I will have to defer to your judgement accepting you as a truthful person. I was also fooled by the initial photo of poor "little" Trayvon Martin who looked like Obama's son. However later I saw a photo of him at 6ft tall, with gold capped teeth flashing gang signs and degrading women on his blog. Could this be the same "little boy"? Chris, do you think it possible we all get fooled by our biased media from both the left and right? Lastly, I feel you deserve all the pension fund you are entitled to providing other folks are not bailing you out when the money dries up.


Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Article comment by: Chris Hansen

I would like to ask Mr. Bob Lepper if he was in Madison to see first hand the "shameful actions of our teachers?" They were standing up for something they believed in, and protesting in a civil manner. I would know, I was there. In addition, it wasn't just teachers there. Why does everyone keep singling them out? I worked in a law enforcement capacity at the Capitol during the height of the protests. There were arrests made, of course. The people arrested were called "career protestors" by the local cops. They knew them all, and explained to us that this is what they live for. These were the ones beating the drums, sleeping in the building, and being shown on Fox News. A 60 year old Grandma from Rhinelander standing there holding a sign is not newsworthy so it wasn't shown. Truth is, that is what went on there Bob. Crawl out of your Fox induced coma and you might see the rest of the world. In no way did these career protestors represent the overwhelming vast majority of the persons there protesting. So where does Bob get the idea that there was a "mob mentality?" I decided to do some research and found that Fox News actually used the word "mob mentality" on their newscasts during the height of the protests. No other news agencies did. Is this coincidence? I think not when they also showed footage of "violent union thugs" fighting with non-union supporters on the Bill O'Reilly show. The problem is there were palm trees in the background. Again, Bob, I was there and I'm pretty sure there were no palm trees around the Capitol building.

I'm sure Bob would just love to see Scooter start messing with the pension fund. If Bob would do some research he would see that this fund is the best funded, best managed, and overall most solvent public pension fund in the country. There is absolutely no reason for Scooter or anyone else to mess with the pension fund. I'm sorry Bob if you did not invest well into a retirement fund. That is no reason to come and take mine.


Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Chuck: Donald Trump !! Come on Chuck, try to say on subject. That's a ridiculous statement. I can't stand the Donald. I don't watch O'Reilly so it doesn't matter to me what his ratings are. Fox's ratings are still going up so someone else is picking up O'Reilly's losses. Never is there a discussion on Fox which doesn't include an opposing view by a Democrat and most with stature. Since you have never watched Fox you wouldn't know that, of course. Take a look at Alinsky's Rules of Radicals and you will find where you got the "Oh You Watch Fox" mantra. Try something new and then we can talk....that's just old stuff that doesn't hold water or my attention.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck White

Gary, Next you'll be telling me that Donald Trump is one of your trusted sources. That's where I'd get off the train.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck White

Gary, University of Maryland and Farleigh Dickenson University, as recently as 2011.

You've made my point there are a lot of single issue and un or under educated viewers to Fox as they play to emotions,, not facts and some people's viscerals will win every time in the ratings game like any other game show.

As for "They" must know something I don't highly unlikely my friend. My guess would be the only Liberals involved with FOX are the ones being paid by them and that's precious few.

BTW, O'Reilly's lost about 40% of his viewership in the last 2 years Hmmmmm, wonder why?



Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Chuck: Snopes is owned by a couple who are very left wing so I don't rely on them! I use three sources and they all agreed on that subject. I think it is really strange, considering your opinion about Fox, that it overshadows every other outlet by huge numbers.....which must include Liberals. They must know something you don't.

Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck White

One more thing Gary don't rely on Snopes so heavily you'll only start arguing with yourself. There have been, in fact, both studies and poles indicating the divide between Fox News viewers and just about anyone else, as recently as 2011. Dig a little deeper.

Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck White

Gary, There is much more that divides us than Fox News I would suggest not using them as a barometer for anything. There is no reliability there regardless of anything else. And I don't rely on MSNBC I rely on me, what I feel, what I know to be true and what I think needs to happen. And you are free to agree or disagree, as am I. We all are equipped with our prejudices so be it. Sometimes within the divide is where common ground is constructed. Keep that in mind.

Bob, Good points and it is both nurture and nature. I, too, have many conservative friends and do all of those same activities you referenced. Political, World or Religious discussions would put the brakes on otherwise valuable relationships. But I don't know you guys and we don't fish together, so my guess is we'll have to tolerate one another, lest we find another medium in which to relate.


Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Lepper

I often wonder what makes us see the world is such a way that puts us in the camps of either liberals or conservatives. Is it nature or nurture? Surely intelligent thinking people can be compassionate toward the downtrodden and still favor self reliance and hard work. Can't we also be peace loving but prepared to defend ourselves and our way of life? Can't we love the sinner but hate the sin? Can't we live and let live so long as the actions of some don't interfere with the rights of others? My liberal friends and I enjoy fishing together, going out to dinner, enjoying a movie, a cookout in the woods, etc. However we never talk politics or world events as we then become as different as night and day. How can we be so alike and different at the same time?

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Chuck: Let me give you one more little tidbit. You fell for the hoax published regarding the Fox viewers as not being as intelligent. Check Snopes. Check Google and you will find that it is a widely known and published Hoax ! This, Chuck, is what divides Conservatives from Liberals.

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck White

Gary, FYI I don't do CNN it's a joke, BUT, I am a loyal watcher of MSNBC particularly Chis Matthews and Lawrence O'Donnell. As for the "arrogant ass" thing agree on O'Reilly and would add the likes of Hannity & others that fill that room and, I might add to arrogant, ignorant but disagree on Obama. And so it is the divide between us thus remains. So we'll then be the conservative vs. liberal debaters for the time being. Alas though and unfortunately, our audience is minimal.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Chuck: I tried to watch CNN and MSNBC on numerous occasions but never saw even one short debate between a liberal and a conservative. That, sir, is why I watch Fox News. Dr.Thomas Sowell, in my opinion, a great mind said, "Watching CNN after watching Fox News is like drinking Skimmed milk after drinking Eggnog. FYI I think Bill O'Reilly is an arrogant, obnoxious, conceited ass just like Obama.

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck White

Gary, One more point so when does Fox News, the epitome of yellow journalism get in the same line? The only thing they have done since their inception was to drop Glen Beck & Sarah Palin from their clown show. Now it's time to get rid of the legion of circus barkers like O'Reilly(a former "entertainment" reporter), Hannity and others that absolutely have no business calling themselves journalists, much less reporters. I, as a liberal, would even welcome a real 'fair & balanced' approach to conservative leaning. CNN tried, but has failed. The travesty in their approach is that many low info. people believe whatever they say. That's like saying, if it's on the internet, it must be true. As well, studies have repeatedly shown that Fox viewers are most often less informed about issues of relevance than people who don't even watch the news. Hmmmm, wonder why? Why don't you work on that I'd even be inclined to tune in once in a while. I could even be a guest on your broadcast! Might be fun.

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck White

Gary, Agreed! My hope is that Bob Woodward, whom I once admired, is kept away from the White House or, at least, has to pay double that and that he soon gets back on his meds! See, even, us left wingers can go after our own.

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Chuck: That's a very nice posting you just made...sincerely. In that same spirit I hope you read and saw on TV about President Obama's new program to allow personal visits to his oval office if a donation of $500,000 is made. The good part is both the New York Times, MSNBC and two very left wing blogs have criticized it. It's about time that our media becomes the third person in the room and keeps everyone honest and above board. One can only hope!!!

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Chuck White

Bob, Gary.....Though I don't agree with either of you two very much, if ever, I DO respect your right to opinion, as I hope you do mine. Let's agree on this the blame for this and many other predicaments we have and now again face is shared both sides thru the years, but what the R's, in large measure, are doing now by both filling their own pockets, almost exclusively, with lobbyist money and offering nothing in the way of solution, is profoundly absurd and amoral. If we end up in the streets, I'll be looking for them out there, as will others. Just an FYI I am not a "taker", and I will be able to protect my family and property. I am a gun owner, just not an NRA member and I have military background, so not to worry about me. You may want to call me naive, but in spite of all else, I still am a positive person who IS still hopeful for the future. But as you've both noticed I will fight for and reply to what I believe in without apology. Just keep in mind it's nothing personal. I'm a fighter for what I believe in that simple..

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Chuck: Of course SS and Medicare are earned !! I never said wasn't. As an owner of businesses and employer of many I know how much we contribute to them in addition to their own. I must have missed hearing that my "idols", who you know nothing of, have been demanding an end to those services. My "idols" have been demanding that we fix these nearly bankrupt institutions. Every two years my accountant tells me how much my SS retirement funds could have been had I been allowed to invest on my own and not been forced onto SS. SS is a tax which is used to benefit everyone. I wish they would just call it that so the youth know what is NOT coming their way in retirement.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Lepper

Chuck, I think you will have to admit that Congresses and Presidents from both parties had misused Social Security money and I agree with you that I was responsible for voting some of them into office. There is enough blame to go around. I say throw all the bums out and elect folks who will put our Country first. However, the question remains, do you agree that if we don't get our budget under control that we will become very much like Greece and experience civil unrest and perhaps "chaos in the streets" when our harsh reductions in payouts are implemented? Desperate people do desperate things and wouldn't you want to be able to protect your loved ones in a period of anarchy? The police most likely will not protect you as they could be on strike due to severe reductions in their pay and benefits and fire departments may not respond for the same reasons. Wouldn't you feel more secure being armed at least as well as those who could do you harm?

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Chris: I sincerely don't want to put words in John's mouth but I think he's referring to the Supreme Court's decision and interpretation, not his own.

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Gentlemen All: The fact we should all face squarely is that Food Stamps, Cell Phones, Unemployment Compensation for almost two years is and has been for some time CONSIDERED AS ENTITLEMENTS BY THOSE WHO USE THEM. I heard a woman on a Madison radio station say flatly that these things are her PAY CHECKS !! THIS IS WHAT IT HAS COME TO. We are a welfare state and the payment will come due. BANK ON IT.


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