Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"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."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2nd Amendment and Foreign States

By Brian Palmer  - Courtesy of

Do any foreign states guarantee the right to keep and bear arms like we do in the United States?

Yes. Mexico, Haiti, and Guatemala all enshrine the right to pack heat in their constitutions. Guatemala's Article 38 is the only one that's as broad as our Second Amendment (it guarantees "the right of possession of arms for personal use"). Article 10 of the Mexican constitution and Article 268-1 of Haiti's constitution limit the right to the confines of the home and allow the government to pass laws significantly restricting ownership. Mexicans, for example, are supposed to get a permit, renewable every year, from the military, and all firearms must be registered. (The law is widely ignored. Only 4,300 licenses have been issued for Mexico's 105 million people.) Handguns must be .380 caliber or less, shotguns can't be greater than 12 gauge, and rifles must be .30 caliber or smaller.

A constitutional provision doesn't necessarily guarantee easy access to firearms or a country full of gun enthusiasts. While the United States has 90 guns per 100 people­ the highest ownership rate in the world­ Mexico has just 15, placing it 22 among the 59 countries for which data is available.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2nd Amendment -- Ignoring the "Will of the People"

By John Lott

President Obama keeps pushing for gun control. "I just want you to know that we are working on [gun control]. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar,” President Obama told Sarah Brady, the former president of the Brady Campaign, this past spring.

His push as been quiet but relentless.

Just this past week Obama signaled that he was going to just ignore two new parts of the 2012 Omnibus Spending bill. Although he signed the spending bill into law, he simultaneously issued a so-called "signing statement," a note that presidents have started attaching to legislation stating how they interpret the law they are signing or whether they believe part of it is unconstitutional.

Obama’s statement claimed that Congress couldn’t put restrictions on how he wanted to spend to fund lobbying for gun control and the National Institute of Health studies of gun control.

But why should the federal government use taxpayer dollars to pay for lobbying?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The 2nd Amendment’s Forgotten Clause

By Jim Pontillo

For those who lament America’s cultural evolution toward secular society devoid the moral absolutes that served our Founding Fathers and guided them with providential authority to set to parchment the most “progressive” government the world had seen, our national degeneration is viewed with sadness.

We find ourselves trying to reconcile cultural reality with factual reality where morality would suggest they both are congruent, and yet, increasingly we find truth has become more a component of personal whim than one of real life circumstance.

As a person who has spent his life in the business of manufacturing, where compensation is intimately connected to real output and production of goods, it is difficult to comprehend the esoteric idea that value and worth is somehow a nebulous concept that politicians can debate over. To exasperate this inability to comprehend, my company serves an industry which caters to the down to earth blue-collar man who more often than not is making his living as I do, by producing some product or service of value that he/she must sell in an open and free market.

“Customers” of our wares are often disparaged by the political class and by the main stream media as “dim”, “stupid”, “simplistic”, and my personal favorite, “red-neck”, where only such people of lowly station would be interested in obtaining and possessing such an artifact.

My firm manufactures handguns.

Happy 220th Birthday, Second Amendment!

On December 15th, 1791, 220 years ago, The United States of America adopted the 2nd Amendment along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Early American settlers viewed the right to arms and/or the right to bear arms and/or state militias as important for one or more of these purposes:

 - deterring undemocratic government;

- repelling invasion;

- suppressing insurrection;

- facilitating a natural right of self-defense;

- participating in law enforcement;

- enabling the people to organize a militia system.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Media Silence Is Deafening - 2nd Amendment

By John Lott

Murder and violent crime rates were supposed to soar after the Supreme Court struck down gun control laws in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Politicians predicted disaster. "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence," Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty warned the day the court made its decision.

Chicago’s Mayor Daley predicted that we would "go back to the Old West, you have a gun and I have a gun and we'll settle it in the streets . . . ."

The New York Times even editorialized this month about the Supreme Court's "unwise" decision that there is a right for people "to keep guns in the home."

But Armageddon never happened. Newly released data for Chicago shows that, as in Washington, murder and gun crime rates didn't rise after the bans were eliminated -- they plummeted. They have fallen much more than the national crime rate.

Not surprisingly, the national media have been completely silent about this news.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Second Amendment: A Legacy to Our Children

BY da Tagliare

There is a war raging right now in the United States concerning the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Our socialistic leaders are pushing harder and harder to outlaw all possession of all firearms by private citizens.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is even using the United Nations and their Small Arms Treaty to supersede the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. President Obama has also been outspoken about his desire to see stricter nationwide gun control laws passed supposedly to help prevent crime and we all know what a crock of manure that argument is.

In addition to writing your congressmen and senators and contributing to gun lobby groups such as the NRA, one of the other things you can do to help support the Second Amendment is to teach your children and grandchildren to shoot and respect a gun. Start them as young as possible.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2nd Amendment - Citizens as Sovereigns

By John Longenecker - Andrew Breitbart . . .

Gun owners often remark that they carry a gun because a policeman is too heavy. This is cute, but it makes the point. In this country, the citizen is supreme authority, and when a citizen is armed, the law is present. It is on our authority that we delegate to law enforcement powers we wish them to have in order to do the jobs we ask of them. In doing this, however, we have never surrendered the totality of our supreme authority as the Sovereign. It is this which is recognized by forty-eight states who affirm the armed citizen within their borders, and who respect the rights of visitors from other states to be armed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2nd Amendment - Just Words on Paper

By Marc J Victor

I was recently asked to write an article which would be of interest to people who cherish the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution says, "…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Few people have more experience talking to others who cherish the 2nd Amendment than me. I am the only attorney who is regularly invited to speak to groups of people in Arizona who attend the huge Crossroads of the West gun shows about their rights and responsibilities as firearms owners. Indeed, I enjoy talking to people who cherish the 2nd Amendment, and I acknowledge, agree and respect the rights of free and responsible adults to acquire, possess and sell whatever weapons they peacefully obtain. I am far more concerned about the government bearing arms than I am about responsible citizens bearing arms.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Baseball Bats and the 2nd Amendment

By Chris Cox

If you want to see what a disarmed society looks like, look no further than England.

Thousands of angry, drunk, violent thugs running wild and stealing anything they can carry. Shopkeepers and homeowners crippled with fear, unable to defend their loved ones or their property. Innocent citizens forced to watch helplessly while their life’s dreams ­ everything they worked so hard to build and acquire ­ are carried out the door, or smashed to pieces, or burned to the ground.

Men, women and children forced to strip naked in the streets, while packs of criminals laugh and ridicule them before making off with their clothing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pennsylvania -- 'Deadly Force' and the 2nd Amendment

Castle Doctrine goes into effect -- August 27, 2011

Now in Pennsylvania, the Birthplace of the 2nd Amendment, anyone inside a "home" can use deadly force to protect himself or herself against an attacker or intruder who unlawfully and forcefully enters that home with the intent to do great bodily harm to any occupants.

The Castle Doctrine covers a dwelling (including porch, deck or patio), or residence (defined as any dwelling in which a person resides, temporarily or permanently, or visits as an invited guest) or occupied vehicle.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

First they came . . . .

By JW Ross

First they came for the guns of the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the guns of the Catholics, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Catholic.

Then they came for the guns of the Protestants, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Protestant.

Then they came for my guns -- and there was no one left to speak for me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gun Registration: The Nazi Paradigm

Throughout history restrictions on the possession of weapons by citizens by governments, be they dually elected or tyranical, are nothing new and, in fact, date to ancient times. However, the inevitable consequence of restrictions is no better illustrated than by the plight of the Jews in WWII. 

Gun Registration: The Nazi Paradigm
By Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D.

New research into Adolf Hitler's use of firearms registration lists to confiscate guns and the execution of their owners teaches a forceful lesson -- one that reveals why the American people and Congress have rejected registering honest firearm owners.

After invading, Nazis used pre-war lists of gun owners to confiscate firearms, and many gun owners simply disappeared. Following confiscation, the Nazis were free to wreak their evil on the disarmed populace - such as the Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Guns & Freedom of Speech

JW Ross - President - Birthplace of the Nation Foundation

I am the purveyor of The site promotes the origins of the 2nd Amendment often known as the "Right to Bear Arms". The site has been up for a year and has tens of thousands of "hits" or responses. Based as it is in Mercersburg, it covers the historical origins of our 2nd amendment rights which were "born"on the Pennsylvania frontier in 1765.

Interestingly 80% of the "hits" on my site are from countries where liberty and the freedom of speech are severely restricted - countries like Russia and China. Each of these countries also severely restrict the individuals "Right to Bear Arms" today and historically. Citizens of these countries understand what we take for granted, and that is, without the 2nd Amendment . . . there is no 1st Amendment.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The 2nd Amendment in a Nut Shell

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

U.S. Senate Stands with NRA in Strongly Opposing U.N Gun Control Efforts

Article from NRA - ILA  7/23/11

American Progressives, knowing that their chance of effectively repealing the 2nd Amendment is not likely in the near future, are increasingly turning to international law as a means to bypass the Congress of the United States and the Supreme Court. . .

For nearly 20 years, the NRA has worked tirelessly to oppose any United Nations effort to undermine the constitutional rights of law-abiding American gun owners. The latest attempt by the U.N. and global gun banners to eliminate our Second Amendment freedoms is to include civilian arms in the current Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which will be finalized next year.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Save the Home of Your Gun Rights

Why Donate to Save the Justice William Smith House --

Save the Smith House, Inc., is dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

So why does it matter that there is a place where Second Amendment was "born"? It matters because the critics of the "Right to Bear Arms" can deny the words on the Bill of Rights, but it is hard to look at "brick and mortar" and deny its existence. To anyone who has visited Independence Hall, the Alamo, Gettysburg, or the beaches at Normandy, this concept is easily understood. To be able to stand in a place and know that what they did there (to their extreme risk and peril), some 246 years ago, established the groundwork for one of the most important "rights" in the Bill of Rights.

It is one thing to read the 2nd amendment and its assertions, but it is quite another to stand where the very principles were argued and established.

What Will My Donation Be Used For --

Having purchased the property for the Justice William Smith House donations will be used to:

(1) Reconstruct the Justice William Smith House as it was in 1765 . . . groundbreaking is presently scheduled for Spring of 2012
(2) Secure adjacent space for a Visitors Center and 2nd Amendment Museum to house the artifacts taken from the house.

Who Am I Donating To --

Save the Smith House, Inc., is a non-profit corporation in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Its founders are benefactors, historians, and accomplished community business and tradespeople. The founders receive no salary. The Board of Directors are donors themselves, and 2nd Amendment advocates. They receive no salary. The non-profit corporation is subject to state and federal regulations. The corporation has applied for 501c3 charitable status.

Sons of the Revolution -- Liberty Poles

Liberty Poles
by JW Ross

As the colonists grew weary of the increasing efforts by the Crown to forcefully quell their independence, groups like the Sons of Liberty (sometimes later called Sons of the Revolution) began meeting in town squares in open definace of British authorities.

An organization started by Samuel Adams in 1765 to protest British taxes, their membership grew rapidly in the colonies. The gatherings were often held under a large tree, which were present in most village greens, and these came to be known as "Liberty Trees". However, in towns that lacked a tree big enough, the patriots would erect a tall pole (sometimes over 100 feet high) instead, as a symbol of a Liberty Tree, which naturally, was then called a "Liberty Pole".

Sunday, July 17, 2011

...Let Them Take Arms

The "Right to Bear Arms" . . .or 2nd Amendment is one of the most discussed and contentious of all the amendments of the Bill of Rights. It is, in fact, the only amendment that contains not only the seeds but the actual instruments of the revolution itself.

Further, it gives real affirmation to Thomas Jefferson's quote . . .

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

It is for this reason, if no other, that the Government and its functionaries vociferously assail and obfuscate the text of this simple assertion. More, it is for this reason, and in the face of the perennial onslaught that its defense and affirmation is essential to the survival of the republic.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Administration's Gun Restrictions Target Border State Citizens

Courtesy NRA - ILA- U.S. House of Representatives

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R Texas) today criticized the Obama administration's decision to impose new reporting requirements for gun sales in states along the U.S. Mexico Border. "It is the height of hypocrisy for the Obama administration to restrict the gun rights of border state citizens, when the administration itself knowingly and intentionally allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico...This rule unfairly punishes citizens in Border States who have the right to purchase firearms to protect themselves and their families from dangerous drug traffickers and human smugglers."

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Right to Bear Arms" - It All Started Here

Frontier Mercersburg in 1765 was the "birthplace" of the right we now refer to as "the Second Amendment", or, "the right to bear arms". It was here that individuals for the first time, some would say divinely, embraced the link between "Life and Liberty". . . and struck the first blow for Freedom.

Historically the right to bear arms goes back even before our founding as a nation to the Glorious Revolution of 1689 when William III agreed to the English Bill of Rights. If one can look at revolution like a volcanic eruption in nature, you understand that often from the destruction come the seeds of new human values and beliefs. In this case the independence of the human spirit, the right to know God for oneself, and to trust your conscience was hard won in this revolution of the human soul.

One crucible begets the necessity for another and on the frontier in America the right to defend ones religious beliefs was becoming the right to participate in the decisions of government that impact my "self". Freedom of the soul was becoming freedom of the heart and mind. Smith's Rebellion began as an act they justified under the rubric of defending oneself because government had failed in its obligation to protect Life, Liberty and Property. This was the first assertion of this principle aimed directly at British Military Authority as well as the incompetent government of John Penn - anywhere in the colonies.

In the end, Smith's Rebellion was the first armed resistance against British Military Rule leading up to the American Revolution. It was the first American triumph over the best military force in the world. It was the first time upon defending oneself that Americans had proclaimed we can rule ourselves.

It would be ten years before the battles at Lexington and Concord.

Digging for the Birthplace of the "Right to Bear Arms"

Soil from Mercersburg's Smith House searched for artifacts

By MARCUS RAUHUT Staff writer -

MERCERSBURG -- Standing atop a dirt pile in Mercersburg, historian Tim McCown believes he's on the spot where the American Revolution began.

After the Justice William Smith House was taken down piece by piece, it now awaits reconstruction at its new site, divided among several piles of brick, stone, wood and soil.

Supporters of preservation of the house say it is linked to the first settler uprisings against the British, years before the Boston Tea Party.

With McCown's help on Saturday, children sifted through the earth piles in search of pieces of the house's history.

"The American Revolution started in this dirt," McCown said, holding a piece of plate that was discovered.

Chappell Hill, Texas: Bank Encourages 2nd Amendment

By ARTHUR HAHN/Managing Editor - Brenham Banner Press

CHAPPELL HILL ­ Any would-be robbers looking to walk into the bank here had best think twice.
There’s a new sign in town.

The sign, now prominently displayed on the bank’s front door, says, “Lawful concealed carry permitted on these premises. Management recognizes the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as an inalienable right of all citizens. We therefore support and encourage the carrying of licensed concealed weapons.”

Smith said he made the policy change to send a warning to potential robbers, and also to express support to Americans’ right to bear arms.

“We had the sign on the window, the red circle with the pistol inside and a line through it. And I started thinking, ‘We’ve got this no gun sign up and the guy (robber) can come in and do what he wants.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Illegal Aliens and the 2nd Amendment


Fifth Circuit: Illegal Aliens Have No Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms

The Fifth Circuit holds that "illegal aliens" are not part "of the people" as mentioned in the Second Amendment of the Federal Constitution. Strong concurrence and dissent by Judge Dennis.

This case seems bound for the U.S. Supreme Court and may be far broader than the specific issue (right to bear arms) addressed by the Court.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why the "2nd Amendment House" is Important!

Why the "2nd Amendment House" is Important!
By JW Ross

Why it matters where the principles of our "Right to Bear Arms" were first established! Why the origins of the 2nd amendment are important!

Because it matters to the Supreme Court and the lawyers who argue before them. . . in both of the recent cases, original intent and the history behind the "Right to Bear Arms" amendment were a critical part of the debate, and the decision. It matters in the same way the origins of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence matters.

Why does it matter that there is a place where all this happened? It matters because critics of the "Right to Bear Arms" can deny the words on a page or in a book, but it is hard to look at brick and mortar and deny its existence. To anyone who has visited the Alamo, Gettysburg, or the beaches at Normandy, this concept is easily understood. To be able to stand in a place and know that what they did there (to their extreme risk and peril), some 245 years ago, established the groundwork for one of the most important "rights" in the Bill of Rights.

It is one thing to read the 2nd amendment and its assertions, but it is quite another to stand where the very principles were argued and established.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Historic Smith House Saved - To Be Relocated - New Site Sought in Franklin County

By Len Barcousky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The William Smith House in Mercersburg will be taken apart piece by piece and relocated.

A history-loving physician has worked out a deal to save an 18th-century home in Mercersburg.

Paul Orange said Tuesday that the William Smith House will be taken apart piece by piece over the next several weeks and reassembled on a new site elsewhere in the Franklin County community in southcentral Pennsylvania.

The future of the building has been in question since the structure and land on which it stands were acquired two years ago by a local volunteer fire company. The MMP&W Fire Co., which has its headquarters and garages next door to the Smith House on Main Street, had plans to demolish the building and expand on the property.