Sharron Angle’s ‘2nd Amendment remedies’

Nevada voters have absolutely no reason to send Harry Reid back to the U. S. Senate this November. He has used his position as majority leader to push the United States toward bigger, more powerful, more expensive, and ever more intrusive government — a place where American voters, and Nevada voters especially, do not want to go.

Furthermore, he has done this using all those underhanded political tricks Americans have come to detest: backroom deals, arm-twisting, bribes and blackmail. In the process, he has contributed memorable new phrases to the lexicon of political corruption, phrases like “The Cornhusker Kickback” and “The Louisiana Purchase”.

Yes, Nevada voters have no reason to re-elect Harry Reid. And Harry Reid knows it. Which is why he is doing what every self-serving politician does when he knows the issues aren’t on his side: he tries to demonize his opponent and make her the issue instead. In doing this, he is getting a lot of help from the news media.

Sharron Angle has, in the past, given voice to some views that, taken out of context, some might find “extreme”. For example, it is said she wants to abolish Social Security (actually she wants to phase it out; those already collecting benefits will still be able to collect them), repeal the 16th (income tax) Amendment and abolish the departments of Energy and Education, and that she opposes abortion except to save the life of the mother.

But the story the media have been trying to get the most mileage out of is the claim that Angle “called for Second Amendment remedies” to our current problems. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who has been trying to convince everyone that anybody to the right of Nancy Pelosi is another Timothy McVeigh lurking in the shadows and watching for an opportunity to act out his violent fantasies, has been hammering on this theme incessantly.

“Like a typical leftist,” says Frank Ross on Andrew Breitbart’s, “poor Chris has no sense of irony or metaphor or anything else — spooked by his own dark fantasies of the right, he takes every statement made by a conservative absolutely literally, then spins it into a terrifying tale of lurking militias and Christian-rightists and lions and tigers and bears oh my…”.

He even manages to suck Joe Scarborough into his paranoid fantasy about Angle, although that shouldn’t surprise anyone, since Scarborough, once a Republican Congressman, has lately been exhibiting symptoms of leftist paranoia himself.

Once you actually dig into to what Ms. Angle actually said about “Second Amendment remedies”, it turns out to be exactly the opposite of what the left-wing media have been claiming. In fact, what she actually said is, “I hope we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.” This is hardly “calling” for them.

The controversy over Angle’s Second Amendment remarks began about two weeks ago, but they actually stem from an answer she gave to a radio interviewer back in January. She was asked for her views on the Second Amendment and, in her answer — which she reiterated in the interview cited in the above link — she explained that the Second Amendment is not for the military and police, but for ordinary citizens as an ultimate check on tyrannical government.

Anybody who has studied the American Revolution and the drafting of the Constitution will recognize that this is the exact interpretation the framers had in mind when they inserted that amendment.

The first eight articles of the Bill of Rights were intended to address specific abuses of power by the British government. In fact, the very first battle of the American Revolution was a “Second Amendment remedy” — and is a big reason why we have a Second Amendment.   On April 18, 1775, the British military commander in Boston sent troops to Lexington and Concord to confiscate weapons from colonial militiamen. But, thanks to Paul Revere, the colonials had advance warning and were ready for them. And don’t fool yourself by thinking that these militiamen were fighting a foreign power. They thought of themselves as British subjects, and, in their minds, were fighting their own government, which had grown too oppressive and burdensome.

Without an understanding of the abuses of the British government at the time of the Revolution, it is impossible to fully appreciate the Bill of Rights. (For example, the Third Amendment prohibits the quartering of soldiers; without a knowledge of the events leading up to the Revolution, a modern American will have no idea what this means.) And just to make sure they covered all the bases, the framers added the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

Unfortunately, our dumbed-down education system has given us an electorate that is ignorant of these things. One cannot watch Jay Leno’s Fourth-of-July “Jaywalking” visit to Universal Studios without getting a feeling of dread:

With voters like these, maybe Harry Reid actually has a chance. If so, America doesn’t — and there’s no maybe about that.

5 thoughts on “Sharron Angle’s ‘2nd Amendment remedies’”

  1. Allowing people to own firearms does nothing to keep the government in check. Ensuring our children receive a proper education will. The most powerful weapon the people have is the right to vote, and the most effective deterrent against government abuses of power is an educated electorate.

    Here is a little more complete summary of the various statements made by Angle regarding “Second Amendment remedies” (from the Las Vegas Sun July 8, 2010):

    “Our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason, and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government,” Angle told conservative talk show host Lars Larson in January. “In fact, Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.”

    Also that month, she told Reno conservative talk show host Bill Manders she hoped her opponent, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, would be defeated at the ballot box before the electorate resorted to more aggressive measures.

    “I’m hoping that we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies,” Angle said. “I hope that the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.”

    And last month she told the Reno Gazette-Journal “it’s almost an imperative” that conservatives win.

    “The nation is arming,” she told the newspaper. “What are they arming for if it isn’t that they are so distrustful of their government? They’re afraid they’ll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways. That’s why I look at this as almost an imperative. If we don’t win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?”

    That doesn’t sound like “irony” or “metaphor” to me. It seems to me she is the one fueling the controversy. It is hardly dirty politics on the part of Harry Reid or the news media to draw attention to remarks she made on the record.

    Bottom line: If the residents of Nevada want Sharron Angle to represent them, they will ensure she does by VOTING her into office, not by force of arms.

  2. Bottom line: If the residents of Nevada want Sharron Angle to represent them, they will ensure she does by VOTING her into office, not by force of arms.

    That’s what she’s asking them to do. She has said, several times, she doesn’t want people to resort to force.
    However, the fact remains that her interpretation of the Second Amendment is the same as that of those who inserted it in the Bill of Rights.
    Educated people should know that.

  3. Re. your statement: “However, the fact remains that her interpretation of the Second Amendment is the same as that of those who inserted it in the Bill of Rights. Educated people should know that.”

    I beg to differ.

    Justice Stevens, in his dissenting opinion given in DC v. Heller, wrote the following:

    “The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia. It was a response to concerns raised during the ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States.”

    Stevens seems to interpret the Second Amendment differently than Angle. Her comments infer that she believes the Second Amendment means individuals have the right to rise up in armed rebellion should they deem that the (freely elected) federal government is somehow exceeding its constitutional authority.

    Armed insurrection was never the intent. Protecting the sovereignty of the individual states was. Educated people should know that.

  4. If Stevens’ interpretation was the intent, then the framers would have clarified the 2nd Amendment with something like, “but nothing in this article is to be construed to prevent States or the Federal government from regulating or prohibiting individual ownership of firearms…”. They didn’t. They said the “right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” Period. PEOPLE, not STATES. Everywhere else in the Constitution, when they meant states, they SAID states. As I pointed out in my original post, the Revolution started because the authorities tried to disarm the people in the countryside around Boston.

    Frankly, John Paul Stevens has had a liberal agenda ever since Ford appointed him back in 1975. His “interpretations” have always served his agenda, not justice. As for his dissent in DC v. Heller, are you trying to claim the framers intended for states to have the right to completely disarm citizens? If so, YOU are the one who needs to go back to school.

  5. Angle inferred in her statement that the Second Amendment conferred upon the citizen’s of this country the right to rise up in armed insurrection against the federal government if they determined that the government was exceeding its constitutional authority.

    That is not what the Second Amendment does. It simply conveys the right to keep and bear arms. Whether it conveys that right solely for the purpose of raising a militia in time of need, or as an individual right, has always been open to interpretation, but is not germane to my point. What is germane is the fact that it is intended to serve as a deterrent against aggression by the government, not as a mechanism for replacing the government.

    The Constitution does not confer upon the people the right to rebel against the government. It, instead, allows for the orderly transition of government in accordance with the will of the majority through the mechanism of free elections. Angle’s inference that if the elections don’t go the way some people think they should, those people might impose their will through the use of force, leads me to question her competence to serve in the U.S. Senate.

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