Why Our Government Fears an Armed Population
by Tim Case
“If the constitution, offered to your acceptance, be a wise one, calculated to preserve the invaluable blessings of liberty, to secure the inestimable rights of mankind, and promote human happiness, then, if you accept it, you will lay a lasting foundation of happiness for millions yet unborn; generations to come will rise up and call you blessed… But if, on the other hand, this form of government contains principles that will lead to the subversion of liberty — if it tends to establish a despotism, or, what is worse, a tyrannical aristocracy; then, if you adopt it, this only remaining
asylum for liberty will be shut up, and posterity will execrate your memory.”
Between September 1787 and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, which took effect in March 1789, a debate raged among the citizens of the 13 colonies. This debate was over the limits or lack thereof, that should be placed on the proposed federal government. Those that supported a strong central government were known as the Federalists and were championed by men like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. Opposing a centralized federal government and arguing the need for strong state government and limited or no centralized federal power were the Anti-Federalists. The best known supporter of the Anti-Federalists position was Patrick Henry. The argument raged in town halls, newspapers, back yards and the legislatures of all 13 states. In New York State there arose a voice only known as Brutus who published his fears of a federal system and how it would result in the loss of liberty.
No one knows the true identity of Brutus but there was no doubt that during the debate for ratification of the Constitution of the United States, Brutus stood as a staunch Anti-Federalist. Although history has still not yielded the identity of Brutus, within 74 years after his concerns were set in print the prophetic nature of his words along with those of many Anti-Federalists were beginning to be realized in the person of
“If it (the Constitution) has its defects, it is said, they can be best amended when they are experienced. But remember when the people once part with power, they can seldom or never resume it again but by force. Many instances can be produced in which the people have voluntarily increased the powers of their rulers; but few, if any, in which rulers have willingly abridged their authority.”
April 1861 would see the Federal government, under the control of Abraham Lincoln, set the Constitution aside for almost 5 years. Charles Adams in his latest book entitled When in the Course of Human Events, explains:
“After the attack on Fort Sumter, Lincoln assumed dictatorial powers. He circumvented his constitutional duty to call Congress in times of emergency by delaying the meeting for almost three months. In the meantime, he made decisions, which, according to the Constitution, the Congress should have made.”
The dictatorial powers assumed by Lincoln in violation of the Constitution started with his calling to service the militia from each of the 24 states in defiance of Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. This was done within a week after the South fired on Fort Sumter. Then, as an act of war and in circumventing the Constitution and Congress, he ordered the blockade of Southern ports. Charles Adams goes on to say:
“On April 21, he (Lincoln) ordered the navy to buy five warships, an appropriations act requiring congressional approval. On April 27, he started suspending the privilege of habeas corpus, in effect just about nullifying every civil liberty of every citizen. Soon thereafter he started shutting down newspapers that were not supportive of the war on the South. On May 3, he called for more troops, this time for three years, again a prerogative of the Congress.”
“He directed the Treasury Department, at this time, to pay $2,000,000 to a private firm in New York to start buying military equipment, also an appropriations act that required Congressional approval—before the fact.”
It is outside the scope of this work to go into the causes for these extraordinary actions taken by
Lincoln and his cabinet, so I will concede that argument to another work and other scholars. My intent is threefold: First, to show through history how our government has come to be the enemy of our freedoms. Second, what has happened that allows the Federal government to assume powers that are not delegated in the supreme law of the land. Third, to show the results of these historical events in relation to the freedoms of the American people. The results of these actions by a President of the United States are best summed up by the following conclusions:
“When Congress convened in July (1861), it went along with all Lincoln had done: the time for any debate had passed, and any expressions of doubt about all these extraconstitutional acts would have put one in danger of being arrested by a military officer, tried for treasonable speech, and then locked up for who knows how long. Unquestionably, the Congress was scared to death about what the Lincoln administration would do to them if they did not support his acts of war. The Constitution was hanging by a thread, if that.”
Not only was the Supreme Law of the land in jeopardy, but these acts by a president resulted in the murder of 26,576 (numbers published by Lincoln’s cabinet) Northern and Southern non-combatants, the arrest of approx. 20,000 political opponents who spoke out against the injustice; along with a signed arrest warrant for a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and the shutting down of over 300 Northern newspapers along with the threat and/or murder of the owners and their employees. Northern State legislatures were arrested rather than allow even the debate of secession to occur. It also resulted in calls for the wholesale genocide of all southern citizens, regardless of race, gender or age, who supported the Southern cause, not to mention the sacrifice of thousands of young men from both sides who died in battle because of the ambitions of a small group of men who defied the rights of men and presumed to know what was best for the country. If that wasn’t enough when his reelection was in doubt in 1864 Lincoln resorted to corrupting the voting process to secure his second term, (most serious historians who have studied the Lincoln Presidency will confirm this).
July 1st through the 3rd of 1863 saw the battle of Gettysburg take place just outside of the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is important because the southern forces lost this battle between the Armies of the North and Lee’s Army of the South. It effectively broke the back of the South’s ability to resist the invasions from the North and spelled the eventual end to the Confederate cause. Because of the importance of this battle, President Lincoln on the 19th of November 1863 traveled to Gettysburg and gave his now infamous speech entitled the Gettysburg Address.
Lincoln’s address at Gettysburg took less than 5 minutes to deliver and begins and ends with these words.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure… [W]e here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the
As Lincoln finished his address there was a stunned silence that settled over the crowd gathered that November day in 1863. The silence was so long that Lincoln thought people hated what he had said. Historians have speculated that the quietness of the crowd was due to the magnitude and simplicity of the stirring words Lincoln had just spoken. We may never know for sure, but I wonder if the protracted silence of the crowd that day wasn’t due to the realization that indeed the “nation conceived in liberty”, those principles of freedom expressed by Jefferson, Washington, and Adams, wasn’t dead and gone forever. In the previous two years freedom had been abolished in all but the Confederate States. Could that silence have been due to broken hearts and their realization that like Cicero when faced with the loss of his Republic to the military dictator, Julius Caesar, in 49 BC, were crying “Our beloved Republic is gone forever”!? Could this deep sorrow have elicited an urgent prayer expressing a plea for a “new birth of freedom” that indeed a “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth”?
Regardless of the cause for the silence of that day we do know the following:
1. The limited government envisioned by the founding fathers was gone, never to return and was being replaced by the newly born behemoth we deal with today.
2. The European world saw clearly that the American experiment of individual personal freedom and limited government had failed and said so in their daily newspapers.
3. Our freedoms would cease to be a “natural right” in the American experience and became a “privilege” offered by a domineering centralized Federal government.
4. There no longer exists any mystery as to why after John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln and while jumping to the stage floor at Ford’s Theater is reported to have shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis!” (Latin for “Thus always to tyrants”).
5. The first fear of Brutus’s 1787 article had matured into an uncontrollable reality as stated below.
“This (Federal) government is to possess absolute and uncontroulable power, legislative, executive and judicial, with respect to every object to which it extends… It appears from these articles that there is no need of any intervention of the state governments, between the Congress and the people, to execute any one power vested in the general government, and that the constitution and laws of every state are nullified and declared void, so far as they are or shall be inconsistent with this constitution, or the laws made in pursuance of it, or with treaties made under the authority of the United States. —
“The government then, so far as it extends, is a complete one, and not a confederation…! It is true this government is limited to certain objects, or to speak more properly, some small degree of power is still left to the states, but a little attention to the powers vested in the general government, will convince every candid man, that if it is capable of being executed, all that is reserved for the individual states must very soon be annihilated, except so far as they are barely necessary to the organization of the general government… It has authority to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, and property of every man in the United States; nor can the constitution or laws of any state, in any way prevent or impede the full and complete execution of every power given.”
With the close of the War Between the States the Federal government had changed into the supreme law of the land. It no longer was answerable to the people of the United States but had by conquest set itself in the position to literally affect the lives, liberty and property of every citizen of the United States. This can be clearly understood by studying the military occupation of the former Confederate States by the U.S. military, during the Reconstruction period of 1866 to the beginning of the 20th century, as well as the treatment suffered by the American Indian under the new federal system during the latter 19th century. The results of any such study will immediately show the mode of operation the Federal government was to take in dealing with its citizens in the near and distant future.
The problem with this explosion of growth at the federal level was that it takes money for the system to continue to perpetuate itself. The second blow to the liberties of the American people came in 1913 in the form of one Federal Act and one Amendment to the Constitution. The Act is called the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and effectively established what is becoming known as the Shadow Government or the American Oligarchy (a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes). This Act established a central banking system that is regulated only slightly by the government. The effect of this banking system will be immediately apparent by the following example. Alan Greenspan is for the moment the head of the Federal Reserve Bank. He has direct control of every IRA, 401K and the interest rates Americans pay for loans on their homes, credit cards, automobile purchases, etc… Have you ever noticed how when the “Fed” raises interest rates the stock market reacts in the negative thus causing losses in many 401K’s, your local bank raises interest rates, and prices for consumer goods increase in all areas of commerce? This Act is directly responsible for the shifting of the economy of the United States and its money system from the control of the U.S. Congress into the hands of a few powerful bankers in direct contradiction to the Constitution.
1913 also was the year the 16th Amendment was enacted (some say this Amendment was never ratified by the States) giving birth to our income tax and the modern IRS. Senator Richard E. Byrd says this concerning the passage of the 16th Amendment:
"It means that the state must give up a legitimate and long-established source of revenue and yield it to the Federal government. It means that the state actually invited the Federal government to invade its territory, to oust its jurisdiction and to establish Federal dominion within the innermost citadel of reserved rights of the Commonwealth. This amendment... will extend the Federal power so as to reach the citizens in the ordinary business of life. A hand from Washington will be stretched out and placed upon every man's business; the eye of a Federal inspector will be in every man's counting house…
"When the Federal government gets a stranglehold on the individual businessman, state lines will exist nowhere but on the maps. Its agents will everywhere supervise the commercial life of the states... "
The end of 1913 saw the second fear of our 1787 prophet come into being and the eventual disintegration of state independence.
“…[T]he legislature of the United States are vested with the great and uncontroulable powers, of laying and collecting taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; of regulating trade, raising and supporting armies, organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, instituting courts, and other general powers… [T]hey may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual states, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter therefore will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way. Besides, it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over every thing that stands in their way… [T]he authority to lay and collect taxes… is the great mean of protection, security, and defense, in a good government, and the great engine of oppression and tyranny in a bad
During the debate to ratify the United States Constitution an Anti-Federalist position held that the size of the proposed United States did not lend itself to being ruled by either a true democracy or as a republic. Brutus in his final prophetic concern for the new republic expressed his objections this way:
“History furnishes no example of a free republic, any thing like the extent of the United States. The Grecian republics were of small extent; so also was that of the Romans. Both of these, it is true, in process of time, extended their conquests over large territories of country; and the consequence was, that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world.”
“Not only the opinion of the greatest men, and the experience of mankind, are against the idea of an extensive republic, but a variety of reasons may be drawn from the reason and nature of things, against it. In every government, the will of the sovereign is the law. In despotic governments, the supreme authority being lodged in one, his will is law, and can be as easily expressed to a large extensive territory as to a small one.”
The foundation was laid to move our Constitutional Republic to a Constitutional dictatorship in 1917. Woodrow Wilson was our President and America was just about to become involved in the war raging in Europe. On October 6, 1917 Congress passed the Trading with the Enemy Act, which has as its stated purpose,
“An Act To define, regulate, and punish trading with the enemy, and for other purposes.”
As the United States moved closer to being involved in World War 1, it was recognized that there were enemies of the United States, or allies of enemies of the United States, living within the continental borders of our nation in a time of war. Congress passed this act which identified who could be declared enemies of the United States, and the government was given total authority over those enemies to do with as it saw fit as long as they were "other than citizens of the United States." The act specifically excluded citizens of the United States, because it was realized in 1917 that the citizens of the United States were not enemies of the United States. Thus, all citizens were excluded from the war powers in this act and it left all Americans protected by the Constitution.
It is critical that we understand what the Trading with the Enemy Act says, to be able to understand what came next. In Section 5 (b) of this act, the President was given unlimited authority to control the commercial transactions of defined enemies, but credits relating solely to transactions executed wholly within the United States were excluded from that controlling authority. As transactions wholly domestic in nature were excluded from this unlimited authority, the government had no extraordinary control over the daily business conducted by the citizens of the United States, because American citizens did not fall under the definition of enemies. In less than 16 years this was to change.
March 4, 1933 saw America along with most of the world’s economies in the midst of the Great Depression and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as President of the United States. In his inaugural address, FDR says:
“I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption. But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.”
President Roosevelt was telling all who understood that he was going to ask Congress for the extraordinary authority available to him under the War Powers Act of 1917 we discussed above. On the March 5, 1933, President Roosevelt asked for a special and extraordinary session of Congress in Proclamation 2038. He called for this special session of Congress to meet on March 9, 1933, at noon. And at that meeting of Congress, he presented a bill, an Act, to provide for relief in the existing national emergency in banking and for other purposes. A portion of that bill states:
“Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress hereby declares that a serious emergency exists and that it is imperatively necessary speedily to put into effect remedies of uniform national application.”
Why would FDR use the words above, especially “necessary”? An attorney will tell you that the rule of “necessity” is a rule of law, which states that “necessity” knows no law. Sound confusing? The “rule of necessity” overrides all other law, and, in fact, allows one to do that which would normally be against the law. The law says, “you shall not kill another human being” but if you are being attacked and are in danger of losing your life you can legally “kill another human being” because you have the absolute right of self-defense and your safety “necessitated” the killing of your attacker. That is the ultimate “rule of necessity”. FDR used the word “necessary” because he knew it allows one to do that which would normally be against the law. So it is reasonable to assume that the wording of the enabling portion of the Act of March 9, 1933, is an indication that what follows is something which will probably be against the law. It will probably be against the Constitution of the United States, or it would not require that the rule of “necessity” be invoked to enact it.
Just what was it that Congress changed because of FDR’s request? Congress amended the October 6th 1917 Trading with the Enemy Act! This act was amended in the following ways:
1st. Congress made the amendments to the 1917 act retroactive to March 4th, 1933 to cover any thing FDR may have declared prior to Congress meeting on March 9th, 1933.
2nd. The distinction between enemies of the United States and the citizens of United States was changed so that “We the People”, were included in the definition of the enemy, and were to be treated no differently. All distinctions between the two groups were totally voided and every man, woman and child was made an enemy of their government.
3rd. The Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 was amended to read “during times of war or during any other national emergency declared by the President….” Thus the war powers not only included a period of war, but also a period of “national emergency” as defined by the President of the United States. When either of these two situations occur, the President may:
“[T]hrough any agency that he may designate, or otherwise, investigate, regulate or prohibit under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe by means of licenses or otherwise, any transactions in foreign exchange, transfers of credit between or payments by banking institutions as defined by the President and export, boarding, melting or earmarking of gold or silver coin or bullion or currency by any person within the United States or anyplace subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
What can the President do now to the We, the People, under this amended act? He can do anything he wants to do. It's purely at his discretion, and he can use any agency or any license that he desires to control us. All that is required is for the President to declare a “national emergency” whether it is real or imagined. The United States Federal government had ceased to be the Constitutional Republic designed by the founding fathers and arrived at the constitutional dictatorship feared by the Anti-Federalists 146 years earlier.
In an article entitled Law and Antilaw © 1995 and posted at the Constitution Society website it becomes a little clearer what the Emergency and War Powers order means to the American public.
“…[T]he Emergency and War Powers order. This act, codified as 12 USC 95(b), effectively declared the Constitution
suspended and conferred dictatorial powers on the President, a situation which continues to this day.”
We are now nearing the end of the year 2000. Remember that this order is still in effect and will continue to remain so unless and until Congress acts on it to repeal it. The article Law and Antilaw continues:
“Following this there was a long train of unconstitutional legislation and executive orders, made possible by intimidation of the federal courts…”
“Senate Report 93-549, written in 1973, said ‘Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency.’ It goes on to say:”
“These proclamations give force to 470 provisions of federal law. These hundreds of statutes delegate to the President extraordinary powers, ordinarily exercised by Congress, which affect the lives of American citizens in a host of all-encompassing manners. This vast range of powers, taken together, confer enough authority to rule this country without reference to normal constitutional process.’”
“Under the powers delegated by these statutes, the President may: seize property; organize and control the means of production; seize commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and communication; regulate the operation of private enterprise; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens.’”
The 1973 Senate Report 93-549 also contains a very telling statement in its introduction. That statement is as follows:
“…[I]n the United States, actions taken by the government in times of great crisis have from, at least, the Civil War, in important ways shaped the present phenomenon of a permanent state of national emergency.”
It is immediately apparent what the War Between the States had to do in shaping the permanent state of national emergency. The Senate report deliberately uses the words “Civil War” to define the great crisis. The Senate report could not possibly mean anything that happened in the Southern government from 1861 to 1865 since they had left the Union of States and were existing under their own constitution. It is therefore, the actions of Lincoln and his cabinet with the complicity of the Congress that the Senate report is referring too. The Senate in 1973, fully realized they had in place everything needed to repeat the dictatorial events first used by Lincoln and as I have shown, Lincoln was the model for the present code.
The title for this article “Why the Government Fears an Armed Population” was not chosen lightly. It helps explain why, for at least the last 67 years, the President of the United States has not acted in the dictatorial manner of Abraham Lincoln. Yet, we have to wonder how many times in those 67 years the man sitting in the Oval Office hasn’t contemplated implementing the Emergency and Wars Act and was stopped from proceeding by the thought of over 80 million armed citizens refusing to yield. Volumes could probably be written in speculation concerning the 8 years of the Clinton presidency,
and we will never know how close we may have come to a return of the terror experienced by American citizens under the Lincoln dictatorship. The problem is that the situation exists for ANY president to act as a dictator under whatever circumstances he or she deems advantageous and you can be sure they will act using the catch phrase of “public policy”, “public welfare”, “public safety” or “public good”.
Certain factions of the Federal government continue to prepare for the eventuality of using the Emergency and Wars Act of 1933. How else are we to understand reports like the FBI’s, Project Megiddo, which contains statements condemning American citizens for fearing that government will abolish private property rights and private gun ownership, when that is exactly what is happening. They ridicule Americans for their fear that all national, state and local elections will become meaningless! We just watched for 36 days as votes were manipulated into oral arguments between the law and “being fair”. They claim that educating your children at home is a “right wing conspiracy.” Then they claim that supposedly educated people are too stupid to follow arrows on a ballot while getting these same people to stand in a public forum, before national television cameras, and admit their STUPIDITY as if it was the norm!
We can be sure that the reason behind the assault on our rights and in particular the recent all out assault on the 2nd Amendment is in part due to the desire of some in government to fully realize the purpose of the Emergency and Wars Act of 1933. Thereby being totally free to quickly enslave the American people by force. It is, therefore, reasonable to ask how will this be attempted? Since the model of circumventing the Constitution and assuming the position of dictator was the Lincoln Presidency, we can rationally assume the model for assaulting the American public can be found in the “Indian wars” waged by the same government and its willing Generals immediately following the “Civil War.” Therefore, it may behoove us to study the means by which those “campaigns” were waged. We can also be fairly sure that the means used to subjugate the South at the conclusion of the war between the states and up to the beginning of the 20th century has not been lost in the back annals of the government bureaucracy. It would be interesting to know if the recent troop deployments in Bosnia and Somalia have been “tests” to see if it would be possible to subdue an angry public by military force.
In this article I have deliberately refused to use the terms Republican or Democrat. The reason being that anyone even remotely familiar with history will know which political party Lincoln, Wilson, and FDR were affiliated with. I also wanted to make it perfectly plain that the situation we find ourselves in, is strictly a bi-partisan attempt to circumvent the Constitution and the Rights of the American public. Therefore it is legitimate to ask who is our real enemy? We can not throw a blanket over this question with a pat answer and say “the government”. People are people and many that work for the government support the Constitution and Bill of Rights with the same fervor as many of us do. The same can be said for the military, police, judicial system at the local, state and Federal level or any other organization we can name.
We need to LISTEN to what people say and JUDGE their intent by their ACTIONS. If we have public servants who take the oath to uphold the Constitution and then find reasons to enforce adoption of laws that are clearly contrary to the same Constitution, then THEY ARE
TRAITORS!!! We need to stop looking at the outward appearance of men and women and judging them by their social standing or job description. When a person’s intent is to uphold the Constitution their actions will proclaim
it; the converse is equally true AND A TRAITOR CAN COME DISGUISED EVEN AS THE GREAT EMANICPATOR!!! There is no doubt that there are a growing number of Americans who are becoming aware of the situation. These Americans are not as well organized or as well funded yet. Our numbers are growing and this will cause us to become organized and better financed. Believe it or not we are gaining support from within the very government that seeks to enslave us.
Brian Puckett, founder of Citizens of America, wrote and posted an excellent article entitled
What are Rights?. At the conclusion of this article he states:
“Allowing government officials alone to define when an activity transgresses the ‘harm’ restrictions regarding rights, or allowing any narrowing at all of the scope of activities associated with a right, puts that right on a slippery slope to oblivion. This is because those who work for the government automatically tend to usurp, as much social power as possible, and the ability to limit human activities is a key component of social power.”
The truth of Mr. Puckett’s words are in the fact that the “slippery slope” is in place in the form of the Emergency and Wars Act of 1933. The government will continue to “usurp as much social power as possible”. The question is are we going to keep our rights intact? If we are, then we must come to the conclusion that the only rights we will have are those we are willing to fight for. The time is now. I don’t know if our new President will be a friend or foe of the Constitution, but I am fairly sure we have been given a reprieve for at least 4 years and we had better use the time wisely.
i Brutus, To the Citizens of the State of New York ,18 October 1787
ii Brutus, Ibid.
iii Charles Adams, When in the Course of Human Events, (Maryland 2000), Chapter 3
iv Charles Adams, Ibid, Chapter 3
v Charles Adams, Ibid, Chapter 3
vi Brutus, Ibid
vii Brutus, Ibid
Tim Case is a featured writer with
KeepAndBearArms.com. You can see his other recent writing projects at http://www.KeepAndBearArms.com/Case.