By Colonel Mike Angley
“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.” ~Second Amendment, United States Constitution
When James Madison quilled those words, I wonder if he had any idea how controversial they would become. Somehow, I suspect he went through several revisions, possibly starting with something like this:
Draft 1: “The people have a right to keep arms to protect against a tyrannical government.”
Maybe Alexander Hamilton convinced him to add some language to reflect the successes our citizen-soldiers in the militia had against the British. Common men with arms at home for everyday purposes of self-defense and hunting who could be called upon to repel domestic tyrants and foreign invaders. Hamilton wrote about this in Federalist 29.
“If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.”
Madison still had to ensure that the phrasing he chose preserved this right as an individual right with both collective and individual purpose, militia notwithstanding.
Draft 2: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the people have the right to keep and bear Arms.”
No. Still not strong enough. What if a day were to come when people would dissect those words and parse out meaning, attempting to distort what was so clear in his mind when he wrote them? It needed something more absolute, more indelible.
Ever parsimonious with language, I could picture Madison, sitting by candlelight late at night, a smile traces across his face when he adds these four words to the end of his most recent revision: “shall not be infringed.” A nice touch to lockdown the Amendment and make any attempt at gun grabbing a futile effort. Or would it?
Little could he have imagined the determination of 21st Century American leftists to infringe on the uninfringeable. After all, to the left, the Constitution is a ‘living document’ meant to be modified and contorted to make it compliant with progressive ambitions, rather than the other way around. As a Constitutional Originalist, I believe James Madison intended for the Constitution to keep its original meaning and intent into perpetuity.
Since our rights come from God, it would seem the words, ‘shall not be infringed’ go without saying, but having them makes this Amendment clear cut and resolute. I actually think that was Madison’s intent, an additional layer of insurance against future stealth-tyrants.
I also happen to believe we can take those four words and copy/paste them to the end of each of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights since all our rights are natural and immutable. But there was something special about the 2nd Amendment that our Founders felt needed extra care.
I have been a steadfast defender of the Second Amendment all my adult life. As a longtime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), I have committed to doing everything I can to promote its protection.
I’ve written about gun rights issues as a contributor to both Breitbart and The Conservative Pundit. Last year, I authored this piece: ‘National Reciprocity: Will (and Should) President Trump Support It?’
Several years ago, I worked with the NRA’s legislative liaison team to get an amendment to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) to enable military law enforcement officers to qualify for its protections. We were able to gain Senate sponsorship and an amendment to the law that all current and former qualified military LEOs now enjoy.
As a Candidate for Sheriff of El Paso County, Colorado, I will bring my staunch support of the Second Amendment to my administration. I’ll ease the concealed carry permitting process while advocating for Constitutional Carry with state legislators. I’ll also end the unnecessary annual background checks for retired LEOSA permits.
As a Constitutional Sheriff, I will be the last check and balance the citizens of El Paso County have against rights infringement, tyranny, and government overreach. My protection of the Constitution and our natural rights is not confined to just the 2nd. It applies to ALL rights.
We owe a debt of gratitude to our Founding Fathers. They crafted a brilliant document that has withstood the test of time and the grubby fingers of leftist politicians and gun-grabbing tyrants. ‘Shall not be infringed,’ has power and purpose. Thank you, James Madison, for your vision and the gift of freedom.
Colonel Michael (“Mike”) Angley is retired from the United States Air Force, a published thriller author, and a conservative writer who fashions himself as Attila the Hun with a laptop. Mike wrote for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government and Big Peace blogs before the Breitbart consolidation, receiving superb feedback and kudos for typically weaving in pop culture references with his far right perspectives. He enjoys writing about military affairs, national security issues, and politics and is an avid Second Amendment advocate. When he’s not writing, he’s busy annoying liberals with FaceBook posts and Twitter tweets that point out the obvious flaws and fallacies of the left.
During his 26-year USAF career, the Colonel was a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The OSI is a sister agency to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and has an identical mission that includes felony-level criminal, fraud, and narcotics investigations as well as counterintelligence and counterterrorism operations. His USAF experiences spanned multiple regions around the globe with five command assignments and duties at foreign, regional, theater and national levels.
He is a seasoned counterintelligence and counterespionage officer from the Cold War era, and if you ask him he’ll tell you the spy-vs-spy days were indeed the heady, glory era of espionage. During the latter half of his career he focused on counterterrorism missions in the Middle East and the Far East and operationalized many of today’s concepts for this unique arena while working the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and a few other “choice” locations. When Colonel Angley retired in 2007, he was a Senior Supervisory Special Agent and was in command of all worldwide OSI matters at Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, CO.
Mike Angley is also a published, award-winning author of three thriller novels in the “Child Finder” trilogy. His debut novel, “Child Finder,” received a glowing review from the Library Journal which placed it on its Summer Reading list in 2009. “Child Finder” and its companion sequel novels all won various awards from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) and the Public Safety Writers Association. In 2012, Mike was named MWSA’s “Author of the Year,” largely for work on his third novel, “Child Finder: Revelation.”
As an avid user of social media, Mike can be found and friended on Facebook (mike.angley) and followed on Twitter (@MikeAngley). His website is www.mikeangley.com. Following his USAF retirement, Mike and his family stayed in Colorado Springs, CO where they enjoy daily, majestic views of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains.