A Well-Armed Sheep
By Phillip Cowan
The term democracy comes from the Greek word: δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) "rule of the people", which was coined from δῆμος (dêmos) "people" and κράτος (Kratos) "power"
The sage statesman Benjamin Franklin further elucidated the term by analogy: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome."
The American system of government is not a democracy as defined above; it is a constitutional republic governed by three separate and distinct branches of government: the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. Two of these branches are democratically elected by the American populace, hence the mistaken notion that American government is a democracy. (In this writer’s opinion, the judiciary should also be elected by the people rather that appointed by the executive branch.)
The singular commission issued by the people to the three branches of government is to enforce the Constitution. Nothing more, nothing less. Moreover, an intricate system of checks and balances is established intended to prevent any third of the government from dominating the other two. The framers of the Constitution also recognized that strict adherence to the principles set forth therein would not be easy to enforce; ergo, the second amendment:
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.
The term militia used in the first clause refers to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, and paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. This clearly is not the national Armed Forces, but the National Guard under the command of the sovereign state duly elected governors—another check and balance.
The second clause clearly establishes the necessity of the people’s right to keep and bear arms. No doubt Benjamin Franklin was referring to that necessity when he spoke to Dr. James McHenry, a Maryland delegate, at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 saying:
“Well Doctor, what have we got; a Republic or a Monarchy? A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Note well that Franklin did not confuse the terms republic and democracy, and that he recognized the necessity of the second amendment.
Today those who would overpower the republic in favor of a socialistic oligarchy are adamantly intent upon disarming the populace, for they clearly recognize that well-armed sheep defended by a well-regulated militia cannot be vanquished by tyranny.
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