Thursday, March 5, 2009

Two Checks on Tyranny

by Jacob G. Hornberger

The purpose of the Bill of Rights was twofold: first, to ensure that certain fundamental rights were protected from federal infringement and, second, to ensure that the American people were expressly guaranteed certain procedural rights in federal criminal prosecutions. While all of the rights and guarantees enumerated in the Bill of Rights – as well as those that were not enumerated – are critically important to a free society, it is worth noting that two rights – one fundamental and one procedural – are intended to provide the citizenry with a means to resist federal tyranny should such ever befall our land.

These two rights are the right to keep and bear arms and the right to trial by jury. The gun right is found in the Second Amendment and the jury right is contained in the Sixth Amendment.

Tyranny and gun control

There are those who argue that the right to keep and bear arms has to do with hunting and self-defense against robbers and burglars. While guns are an important part of those activities, they are not the primary reason the Second Amendment was enshrined in the Bill of Rights. The main reason for the Second Amendment is one that government officials are usually uncomfortable talking about: the right and the ability of the citizenry to forcibly resist government officials, including those in the FBI, the CIA, the military, and the police, who are carrying out tyrannical orders of their superiors.

Jury nullification

The right of trial by jury, enshrined in the Sixth Amendment, provides the American people with a nonviolent means to resist tyranny. Trial by jury provides the citizenry with the means to acquit people who are prosecuted by U.S. officials for violating tyrannical laws. FULL STORY.

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