Ok, before you throw something at your screen and unsubscribe from The Musa Store, please hear us out; we promise you will have restored faith in the Constitution and the wisdom of our Founding Fathers by the end of this article.
Did you know that there was huge dissent among Founding Fathers as to whether we should include the Bill of Rights in the Constitution in the first place? As a matter of fact, the United States Constitution was ratified by more than a full year before The Bill of Rights was added in 1791. Without boring you with the details, here’s a super simplified summary:
On one side, we had the Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton famous for getting shot by Aaron Burr as mentioned in the 90s Milk Commercial (That, and he also created the Coast Guard). The Federalists stood for a strong Central Government with the financial legitimacy to move forward after our break from Britain, and felt the Constitution as ratified in 1790 was fine as it is without the addition of The Bill of Rights.
On the other side, we had the Anti-Federalists led by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson who advocated for stronger state’s rights. They had some serious issues with the Constitution as ratified in 1790, mainly in that it gave too much power to the Federal government; they just fought off one king and were worried they were just creating a new “king.” This is why they led the charge to incorporate the Bill of Rights. Now if you think the Republican and Democratic Party in modern times can get contentious, members of these two OG groups literally broke out into a fist fight during a convention over this issue. On a side note, who wouldn’t want to see a Celebrity Death Match between OIF/OEF Vet Tom Cotton and Beta O’Rourke but we digress.
So after tense negotiation, it was decided that the Bill of Rights would be implemented as the first 10 amendments in our Constitution, but the players who advocated for and opposed this is critical in understanding the true purpose of the Bill of Rights. Why would a group of “extremists” who had just risked their lives to be branded a traitor to the crown, fight to include or exclude this document?
Essentially, it’s because the Bill of Rights wasn’t for the PEOPLE, it’s a document outlining the limitation of power for the newly founded GOVERNMENT. Take for example, your local statutes. It may state that you can’t exceed a certain speed while driving, or that you can’t litter on the streets. Those statutes are for the people outlining what they can and cannot do. The Bill of Rights isn’t that. Rather, it’s based on previous documents such as the English Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta, which is consistent with John Locke’s philosophy of God Given or “Natural Rights.” It’s the idea that rights such as freedom of speech and right to defend one-self are inalienable rights and endowed by your maker. In another words, the Second Amendment does not grant you your right to bear arms as YOU ARE BORN WITH THEM; it is a merely a document meant for the GOVERNMENT with a clear declaration that the rights you are born with should not be MFing infringed. Only if some of folks in office cracked open a history book every now and then...