Friday, December 28, 2012

All Founding Fathers Are Created Equal (But Some Are More Equal Than Others)

Over the past few weeks, I counted at least two or three made-up quotes on different social media sites, attributed to the founding fathers on the matter of the right to bear arms. The most painful one is the "Liberty Teeth" speech attributed to George Washington -- jibberish that not only was never uttered by our first president, it actually insults his intelligence. No such worries in the past for both Playboy magazine and the NRA, both having published made-up George Washington quotes, only to retract them when asked to produce their sources (each other apparently).

Let's settle the founding fathers' "RoboCop Directives" debate once and for all, shall we? If anything is self-evident to me it's that nothing kept the founding fathers up at night more that the paradox of establishing and running a commanding government, while allowing its citizens to be armed to the teeth. George Washington's successor, who was also Thomas Jefferson's advisor on the Declaration of Independence, said it best:
"To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws." 
        -John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States”, 475 [1787-1788]

I believe this statement to be accurate, but I encourage its verification. Nothing threatens freedom more than blind zealousness. I am reminded on that note of a famous pig named Napoleon...

The infamous altered commandments from George Orwell's "Animal Farm" (1945)

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