St. George Tucker’s Second Amendment: Deconstructing ‘The True Palladium of Liberty’
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St. George Tucker, known as “America’s Blackstone” and author of the first commentary on the Constitution in 1803, described the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms as “the true palladium of liberty.” In a recent symposium at the William and Mary College of Law, Prof. Saul Cornell presented Tucker as an adherent of the view that the Amendment guarantees a collective or civic right to bear arms in the militia, not an individual right to have arms for self defense or as a dissuasion to tyranny. In response, my article scrutinizes Tucker’s work in detail to demonstrate that Tucker did indeed interpret the Amendment as protecting individual rights, and that Tucker’s views are a significant reflection of the intent of the Framers.
Constitutional Law; Law and Society; Legal History
Stephen P. Halbrook, “St. George Tucker’s Second Amendment: Deconstructing ‘The True Palladium of Liberty’” (October 11, 2006). ExpressO Preprint Series. Working Paper 1824.
The work noted above is must reading for anyone concerned about the meaning of the Second Amendment. As the anti gun Democrat machine lies dormant until they control all three branches of government it behooves all of us to actually think about todays world.
- As reported by the Congress Hezbola has succeeded in placing agents within the United States.
- The Drug War has fueled gang violence in the cities and towns of America.
- The Supreme Court has ruled that police have no duty to protect you.
I submit that the above is reason (any of them alone much less in concert) to relax or abolish the laws on the books restricting armaments that civilians can own and possess. Terrorists will not be applying for Class 3 permits for their full auto AK 47′s. Nor will the drug gangsters, and the Police will still only act after the fact.
I would go so far as to offer, if not require firearms safety and defense, including basic tactics for dealing with armed attacks in High School curriculum’s. As for concealed carry; Can someone, anyone, please adequately explain why a person needs a permit for a “Right?”
We will soon be confronted in our very streets with armed opponents. We need to prepare for when, not if, it happens.