Monday, June 23, 2008

The Truth about The Bill of Rights

Few know, or care to learn just how tumultuous the early stages of this nations history were. How precarious the "grand experiment" was to failing. by the end of May, 1787 just over a decade from the Declaration of Independence, the nations government was foundering and the Articles of Confederation were collapsing. The politicians of the day wearily agreed to meet in order to discuss the sad state of affairs in the hot Philadelphia summer heat. As the summer months dragged on it looked like a compromise was all but out of the question with battles over states rights vs strong central government proponents and slavery vs abolitionists and of course taxes. The was even talk of re instituting a monarchy. By the end of August, the delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention George Mason was quoted as saying "I would rather chop of my right hand" than sign the Constitution as it stood. He, along with James Madison urged the Nation adopt a Bill of Rights in order to ensure the individual liberties that the revolutionary war was fought over. As the Constitutional Convention continued, zealots from all corners argued in periodicals across the nation that the new Constitution was lacking an essential component. A Bill of rights guaranteeing the deeply held principals of individual freedoms, such as freedom of religion, speech and the freedom to be armed. The ratification process was long and tenuous, but by the dawn of 1788 5 of the 9 states needed for ratification had approved the constitution. The remaining states that were needed to ratify the document agreed to if the document was amended by adding a guarantee of essential individual rights. Votes for ratification were contentious and close, most felt that the majority of citizens were against the constitution as proposed, however it was the Bill of Rights that carried the vote and established the Constitution that our government is based upon. On October 2 of 1789, President Washington mailed each of the states a copy of 12 amendments adopted by congress, ensuring individual freedoms. By December 15th of 1791 the states had ratified 10 of the amendments guaranteeing individual rights to the new Constitution, the second of which was the right to keep and bear arms. The rest is as they say history, and history tells us that it has ALWAYS been an individual right. revisionist historians and gun hating politicians try to confuse and mislead but the truth is in the founding fathers own words. I encourage all of you to research the early constitutional process and the writings of Madison and Mason who were credited with the founding of the Bill of Rights.

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