by Diane Rufino, Deputy Director of the NC Tenth Amendment Center and Resolutions Chair of the Pitt County GOP. The following resolution will be presented at the 2014 Pitt County GOP Convention on March 8.
A RESOLUTION TO PROTECT the SECOND AMENDMENT
Whereas, upon taking office, state and local elected representatives, police and sheriff departments, and other local civil servants must solemnly swear to support the Constitution of the United States and promise to be “faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina..”
Whereas, the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides: “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“; and
Whereas, each one of the first ten amendments (known as the Bill of Rights) holds a particularly significant LIMITATION on the function of the federal government, as proclaimed in its Preamble: “The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire to add further declaratory and restrictive clauses in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, to extend public confidence in the Government, and to best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”;
Whereas, the Second Amendment is meant to be a check on the government by the People and not a check on the people by the government; and
Whereas, Article I, Section 30 of the Constitution of the State of North Carolina provides: “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; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they shall not be maintained, and the military shall be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice”; and
Whereas, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not establish the right to keep and bear arms but merely recognizes it and protects it from government regulation. Indeed, none of the provisions of the Constitution establish any “natural” rights. They recognize such rights. These rights, as proclaimed “to a candid world” in the Declaration of Independence, are “self-evident.” And therefore, any action by a government body that attempts to repeal or burden these provisions would not end such rights; and
Whereas, the Second Amendment was proposed by the States, acting as agents for the People, in order to secure constitutional protection and assurance that the federal government would not interfere with their right to protect themselves. So strongly did the People feel about such assurances that the Constitution would not have otherwise been ratified by the States. One such comment at the time of the state ratifying conventions was made by Tench Coxe, a noted federalist and friend of James Madison, who wrote: “Their swords, and every other terrible instrument of the soldier, are the birth right of an American… the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or the state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
Whereas, the Second Amendment articulates the natural right of self-defense, from persons with evil intent, and even from one’s own government, if that need should ever arise; and
Whereas, the Second Amendment also recognizes the right, power, and duty of able-bodied persons (originally males, but now females also) to organize into militias and defend the state; and
Whereas, the United States Supreme Court in recent months has twice upheld the Second Amendment as applying to individuals’ right to keep and bear arms [District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010)]; and
Whereas, Article V of the US Constitution outlines the ONLY avenue to alter the meaning and intent of the Constitution and that is through the rigorous requirements of the amendment process; and
Whereas, all elected officials and public servants in the state of North Carolina are required to take an oath before executing the duties of their office, and this solemn oath demands that each official and servant support and uphold/maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina; and
Whereas, esteemed Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, who presided on the bench during the very early years of our nation’s birth, offered this opinion: Any state officer or civil servant, particularly those with enforcement authority, who violates his or her oath will “be utterly worthless for…the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people.”
Whereas, recently the federal government has shown its intent to use the current climate of school-centered violence to propose legislation, regulations, qualifications, and actions which would have the effect of infringing on the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms; and
Whereas, the reasons given in support of such infringements as gun registration, banning certain kinds of weapons and accessories, requiring extreme background checks, restricting the bearing of arms such as excessive restrictions on concealed carry and possibly other restrictions, have not been shown by the substantial weight of scientific evidence to have been effective in accomplishing the stated objectives of such restrictions as compelling necessities for government action to protect the public safety; and
The Pitt County GOP takes particular notice of the “social entrapment” that the progressive element of the federal government has been engaging in for many years in order to disarm Americans of their rights to govern themselves, to express their religious beliefs (especially when they are the same ones on which our nation was founded), and to defend themselves. For years the federal government has taken God out of the public square, taken God and morality of our schools, proclaimed that it “has no business” legislating morality, allowed women to dispose of their unborn babies out of mere inconvenience, protested for the rights of serial killers, protected extreme violence as free expression (so our kids can overdose on graphic violent video games), and ushered in a new era of social reform that fights the family unit at every turn and turns a blind eye to the mal-adapted children of broken homes and irresponsible parents. And then it has the audacity to use the products of its degenerate policies (the ones who bring guns to schools or movie theaters, for example) to argue that people can’t be trusted with the right to own and bear arms and thereby seek to curtain the rights protected by the second amendment.
THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Pitt County GOP fully supports a full and expansive interpretation of the Second Amendment. The right to protect oneself is a natural right and not one that is defined or limited by the federal government. As John Adams wrote, “You have Rights antecedent to all earthly governments: Rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; Rights, derived from the Great Legislator of the universe.” And as Benjamin Franklin once said: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Let it Be Further Resolved that the Pitt County GOP calls upon our local and state legislators and elected officials to join with us in the affirmation of the rights of North Carolina citizens under the 2nd Amendment.
Be it Further Resolved that the Pitt County GOP takes the position that all federal acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, and rules or regulations of all kinds with the purpose, intent, or effect of confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore, infringes upon North Carolinans’ right to bear arms in direct violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and therefore, any such law is not made in pursuance of the Constitution, is not authorized by the Constitution, and thus, is not the supreme law of the land, and consequently, is invalid in the State of North Carolina and shall be further considered null and void.
Be it Further Resolved that the Pitt County GOP takes the position that all officials, local and state, should refuse to support and endorse any policy of the federal government that serves to erode the spirit and intent of the Second Amendment. Any endorsement of such policy shall amount to a clear and palpable violation of his or her oath of office, as well as a negligent comprehension of the notion that we are a “nation of laws, based on the US Constitution.”
Be it Further Resolved that the Pitt County takes the position that all officials and agencies of Pitt County, and indeed, all officials and agencies of the state of North Carolina, should refuse requests and directives by federal agencies acting under unconstitutional powers (enumerated above) that would infringe upon our residents’ second, fourth, ninth, and tenth amendment rights, or other inalienable rights not here explicitly enumerated, and no local or state resource shall be used to assist in the implementation of any such unconstitutional federal policy, directive, law, or executive order.