Second Amendment -- Still 'The Palladium of Liberties'

By Mark Alexander · Thursday, March 4, 2010"The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition." --James Madison James Madison's words regarding the "ultimate authority" for defending liberty (Federalist No. 461) ring as true today as in 1787, when he penned them.

Likewise, so do the words of his appointee to the Supreme Court, Justice Joseph Story, who wrote in his 1833 "Commentaries on the Constitution," "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

In recent decades, the "enterprises of ambition" and "usurpation and arbitrary power" among Leftist politicians and their corrupt judicial lap dogs2 have become malignant, eating away at our Essential Liberty3 and our constitutional Rule of Law4. This has never been more so than since the charlatan Barack Hussein Obama5 duped 67 million Americans into seating him in the executive branch.

Now more than ever, armed Patriots6 must stand ready, in the words of Patrick Henry, to "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel."

In June 2008, the Supreme Court, by a narrow 5-4 vote (Scalia, Alito, Roberts, Thomas and Kennedy), reaffirmed, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that the people's inherent right to keep and bear arms is plainly enumerated in our Constitution. The Court ruled that the Second Amendment ensures an individual right, that DC could not ban handguns, and that operable guns may be maintained in the homes of law-abiding DC residents.

This was an important decision affirming the plain language of our Second Amendment and its proscription against government infringement on "the right of the people to keep and bear arms."

However, Heller pertained to a federal district, and while our Bill of Rights has primacy over state and municipal firearm restrictions, a Supreme Court case to give judicial precedent to that primacy has yet to be decided.

In his dissenting opinion in Heller, 89-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens expressed concern that the case "may well be just the first of an unknown number of dominoes to be knocked off the table," should "the reality that the need to defend oneself may suddenly arise in a host of locations outside the home."