Second Through Tenth Amendment Explained: Our Constitution is still alive and applicable today! As citizens, we all have a duty to study the Constitution, to understand where our rights and our freedoms are laid out in that document, and how our government structure should work. The reason our government continues to overstep its boundaries is that “€œwe the people”€ don”€™t know what those boundaries are! Tune in now for the second part of our three-part series! 

Air Date: 08/08/2019

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture


Welcome to the intersection of faith in the culture this is WallBuilders Live! You’ve tuned in for a special couple of days here. We’re doing a three-part series from Constitution Alive!

It’s Section 9 out of that entire program on the Constitution, specifically Section 9 diving into the Bill of Rights. So, we’re bringing that to you here over the airways and encourage you to get the DVD so that you can share it with your friends and family. Open up your home, Sunday-school class, whatever it might be, to get them educated on the Constitution so that you all can help to defend that Constitution and restore our Constitutional Republic. We’re going to jump right in where we left off yesterday.

If you missed yesterday, that program is available on our website right now at in the archives section. We’ll pick up where we left off from yesterday. Then, tomorrow we’re going to get to conclusion.

So, it’s three parts here on WallBuilders Live! And, all three pieces will be available on the website after tomorrow; and, you can share it with your friends and family. Let’s pick up right where we left off yesterday with Constitutional Alive!

“€œCruel and Unusual Punishment”€


Okay, Eighth Amendment: excessive fines and bail, cruel and unusual punishment. The actual language says: “€œExcessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.”€ And, of course, we all know that what that means is if you go to prison, you should get a very nice fluffy pillow, a color television, and movies”€”No.

It used to be that bad, right? Do you remember when the federal courts ran the prison system for so many years; in Texas it was that way. And, they put the most ridiculous–now we’re getting back to busting rocks and saying, “€œWhen you’re in prison, it ought to be a painful, bad experience, where you have to be working hard, not just sitting around.”€

So, hopefully, that that tide has turned back to a clearer understanding of what they thought “€œcruel and unusual”€–“€œcruel and unusual punishment”€ is not busting rocks. “€œCruel and unusual punishment”€ is not staying in a tent or not having the most perfect surroundings, air conditioning,, and all that kind of stuff.


What about those prisons that are letting people out because they say they don’t have enough money and resources to keep them in prison?


Yeah, I have a couple of thoughts on that. My first is that the way our culture is working right now, the state has a duty and responsibility to protect us from dangerous people. And, they need to make that a priority over a lot of the programs that we spend money on that are not the state’s jurisdiction and responsibility to do.

So, I think the government is failing us when they let someone out that has not served their time or for good behavior is getting out early because they deserve it. If they’re just getting out because we can’t afford a prison cell, our priorities are messed up. But, I would also add to that, that I personally am not for imprisonment in a lot of the cases that we’re putting people in in prison for.

Restitution As Opposed to Prison

I believe very much in restitution. I believe”€”and, this comes from my personal faith–as a model of punishment that is defined as restitution, not jail. Therefore, you should have opportunities for someone that does a nonviolent crime. If they steal a car–a theft is a perfect example–for that person to have to work and repay two times, four times, whatever, or at least what they stole.

See, our problem in society today is, we punish the perpetrator; yet, there’s never any restitution to the victim. There’s no–in most cases there’s none. Some states have done a little better at having funds and whatnot go to a state fund where there’s counseling and different things provided for victims; but, it’s not actually funding the loss of property or economic loss of that person.

So, I think it’s a much better system to have restitution so that the person that commits the crime has a chance to be rehabilitated, to seek forgiveness from the person that they hurt, and to make right what they did. And, part of this–I just happen to read a book. Well, actually I got to hear him speak and then read his book Kingdom Agenda.

Kingdom Agenda and Shock Probation

He was a pastor in Texas named Tony Evans. I don”€™t know if you ever heard of Dr. Tony Evans; but, he’s just a great black pastor in Dallas that has done such a great job of helping to reform his community. And, he came to us and he said, “€œGuys, look; what we do in our church is go to the judges and say, “€˜Hey, if a kid from our church gets busted stealing a car or whatever it might be, you give that kid to us, and we will make sure that he goes to work, pays back what he stole, and that we rehabilitate him.

“€œ”€˜If we don’t do that, then throw him in jail.”€™”€ And so, he got judges to start doing shock probation where they put him in the jail for two days and then say, “€œOkay, you’re now being turned over to the elders of this church, and you’re responsible to them. If they tell us you didn’t do what you’re supposed to do, then you’re going to come back to prison.”€

And, that works great and is such a better way to do it. It’s better for the victim and for the person that committed the crime. We have a lot of people, especially in those situations where we have a 15-year-old kid or somebody early that–all of us make mistakes, right?

And, this kid gets in the wrong crowd makes a mistake; so, we put him in prison for five years where they learn how to be a better criminal instead of learning how to make it right. Now,  don’t get me wrong; I’m not some softy. I served on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee when I was in the legislature and am pretty tough on crime; so, don’t get the wrong perception here of me.

There are a lot of criminals that I think we ought to throw away the key and never let them out. But, there are some that we just need to do a better job of dealing with it early on. And, if they don’t straighten up, then get him in prison.

But, there’s a lot of them we could we could do a lot better. And, I’m more concerned about the victim than I am the perpetrator in the first place. So, anyway, I know you didn’t come here for a sermon.

How Do We Make Our System Work?

I didn’t mean to get off on that; but, it’s a great question. And, I think it does come back to How do we make our system work? How do we make our government work? Because we’re going broke, aren’t we?

We’re absolutely going broke, and prisons are a big part of that. And, if you go back to what these guys said, what did Washington say? What were the “€œindispensable supports of political prosperity”€?


Religion and morality.

Self-Control or Government Control


Yes. If you take the morality out, you need a whole lot more prison beds, don’t you? And, what did the former Speaker of the House Robert Winthrop say? “€œYou’re either going to be ruled by the Bible or the bayonet,”€ right?

You’re either going to have self-control, or government has to be involved. In fact, it’s the very reason government has to grow because if we don’t police ourselves, government has to come in and police us. Why do you think we have all the cries for more regulation of Wall Street and all those things?

Because, instead of having ethical capitalism, we got out of hand. And, when you get out of hand, then government people are going to ask for government to come in and stop you from violating the ethics and morals of the society. So, it’s a great question and is an area that we definitely need to come back to these guys, their philosophy, and what they did.

If we’ll get that thinking back in place, we can change even these areas like you’re talking about in the criminal law, back to a system that’ll create a better society. But, I think you’re always going to have more crime and necessarily more punishment if you move away from the concept that My freedom comes from God; therefore, when I take an oath, when I act out, I’ve got to live my freedom respecting His authority. It’s just going to be a difference in culture that will create a different outcome.

Bring A Speaker To Your Area


Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders.  And, as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.

And, you might be thinking, “€œAs incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”€

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you”€™ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And, there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.

9TH And 10th Amendments


The Ninth Amendment. We covered the 10th Amendment last night; so, I’m not going to cover much on that; but, I do want to compare it to the Ninth Amendment. Do you remember how we talked about, with the Tenth Amendment, it defined for us the concepts of enumerated powers, meaning we get a bucket over here with a lid on it.

All the powers of Congress and the federal government are in that bucket, and there’s a lid on it. We listed everything; these guys took the time to list everything the federal government could do.

The Ninth Amendment says it’s the opposite for We the People, that our personal freedoms are not exhaustive in the Constitution. So, let’s take a look at the Ninth. It says: “€œThe enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”€

Which is why the 10th then says: “€œWe’ve got that bucket we gave to the federal government, that bucket we took away from the states. Everything else is left to the people of the states; and, we’re not taking the time to list it because it’s not going be an exhaustive list in the Constitution.”€

You Cannot Violate Other Parts of the Constitution

Now, some say, “€œWell, that’s where you find the right, for instance, to abortion, or the right for other things that that aren’t actually listed in the Constitution.”€ On all of those issues, I would just urge you to make sure that anything you’re going to read into the Constitution, or as Jefferson said, “€œwhat might be squeezed into the Constitution,”€ it cannot violate the other parts of the Constitution or the Declaration, as we talked about last night. That’s the foundation that the Constitution was built on.

So, if you’re depriving someone of life, then you’re violating the 14th Amendment and other parts of the Constitution; you’re violating the Declaration of Independence. Therefore, it is not possible to find some right in the Constitution that would then violate other areas of the Constitution.

So, if the Fifth Amendment says: “€œYou’re not going to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law,”€ if you take a baby’s life without having due process of law, then you’re depriving that baby of life. You’re violating the Fifth Amendment right there.

Anyway, the 10th Amendment we talked about last night, and I don’t need to spend any more time on that. So, there you have it, all 10 out of the Bill of Rights. There’s a lot there, I know, and we could spend a whole lot more time.

But, remember, this is a quick start guide. We’re just flipping out the chart, showing where all the pieces are, showing where to plug it in so that we can ask more questions later and study a little bit deeper.

The Founding Fathers said that the Second Amendment is the one that protects all our freedoms. “€œThe right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”€

All right, David. So, there are those individual rights, the second through the 10th.

We’ve covered everything now, in terms of specifics.

The Great Compromise // The Father of the Bill of Rights


Let’s go back for a minute and talk about why we have the Bill of Rights.  You go back to those guys at the Constitutional Convention; and, George Mason is the guy. He’s one of the 55 who literally–interestingly, he didn’t sign the Constitution.

One thing is, he’s a slave owner. But, the Constitution didn’t abolish slavery. Now, they tried to do that and there were three Southern states that particularly didn’t want to abolish slavery. And, they said, “€œIf you do that, we’re walking out.”€

They wanted the United States. And so, it’s called “€œThe Great Compromise.”€ It”€™s not a very good compromise; but nonetheless”€”


There was a lot of debate and discussion about that for sure.


He is a slave owner. He said, “€œThe Constitution did not abolish slavery. I’m not signing it.”€

Why would a slave owner do that? Because in Virginia, it was illegal for guys like him to release their own slaves.


So, he wanted to end it.


He wanted it ended. And, that’s why he wanted an end to it, because in the convention, he reminded them that there is a God, He is just, and if we maintain slavery, we’re going to be in trouble with Him. Actually, you have Madison and others predicted that a great civil war would be the result.

And, lo and behold .



They Knew the Propensities of Government


And so, Lincoln had that same viewpoint. He said, “€œHey, a just God”€¦ every drop of blood shed on the back of a slave is going to be extracted during this war”€¦ and a just God.”€

So, number one was it didn’t end slavery. But, number two is: knowing the propensities of government and having experienced so many in their life, bad state governments and bad federal governments–or in that case, international governments with Great Britain, but that would be the federal level for us–having experienced bad governments, he wanted a lot more boundaries put around government.

So, even though they made it clear that the only things Congress can do are these 15 things right here, nothing more than that, though two later added in the amendments. That’s the only things Congress can do, nothing more. He still didn’t think that was enough.


He wants an extra layer of protection, just in case you get bad people in office or people that are ignorant and don’t”€”or acting stupid.


That”€™s right.


Or, they don’t know what these protections are and the original intent. “€œI want that extra to protect from government.


So, he gets with other delegates that  didn’t sign. Then, you have other delegates who didn”€™t sign, like Elbridge Gerry and Richard Henry Lee, et cetera. They didn’t sign, yet they’d been chosen to be part of the convention.

Ratification Almost Fails

And, he says, “€œOkay, you guys go back to your states; let”€™s agitate for this.”€ So, when the ratification of the Constitution came to several states, it almost failed in several states because they wanted specific exceptions. “€œWe want something that says that government cannot mess with our rights of conscience, our free exercise religion, with our speech, our property, our assembly, or with our petition.”€

And so, that’s the impetus behind the Bill of Rights.


Now, even as the Constitution was being ratified in these state,s this movement is happening; there’s a growing sense”€”


There’s a growing sense to have the Bill of Rights. And, he was kind of the catalyst on that. And so, the Bill of Rights is as much the result of his spurring this on, which is why he gets called the Father of the Bill of Rights.

Principles of the Declaration

Now, going to the Bill of Rights and what they did specifically, go back to what we said about the frame of the Declaration. We’ve got 155 words that say they are for six immutable principles. Principle number one: there’s a Divine Creator.

The second is that rights come from God. And, number three is that government exists to protect those rights.

All right, that fixed moral law we talked about in the first part with Blackstone, becomes the basis of [inaudible]: “€œWe’re going to tell government there are certain things it cannot touch because there are inalienable rights, the rights that come from God that are part of the laws of nature and nature’s God; and, they’re off limits.”€ So, that’s literally what we get.

And, Blackstone is the one who gives us that phrase “€œthe laws of nature and nature’s God. “€œ That’s what we discussed before we looked at those amendments. Now, having said that, when you look at the Bill of Rights, let’s take a few of those amendments that you really get into well.

And, I just want to kind of pile on while we have the opportunity.


Let’s do it.


Let”€™s kick this can so hard that nobody can ever reshape it. Let”€™s get this thing really done.


So, I’d like to know more of the Founders views on some of these amendments because even in Philly, we went through what they are; but, for some of those, we didn’t have a lot of quotes from the Founders to back up the intent, the original intent, of that.

The Second Amendment


Let’s take the Second Amendment for a moment. And, let me go back because what you’re going to see are several quotes on the Second Amendment from the Founders saying, “€œGovernment cannot restrain, cannot repeal, cannot regulate this right.”€ Now, the Second Amendment is the right of self-defense.

They often called it “€œthe first law of nature,”€ the “€œlaw of self-preservation,”€ or the “€œbiblical right of self-defense.”€


So, this is America giving you the {right} to protect–


We’re going to really nail it. And, let me show you why. Let”€™s understand from Blackstone’s standpoint how this is a law of nature and that you cannot regulate or restrict this.

The Laws of Nature and Nature”€™s God

When talking about animals on our ranch and farm–we also raise sheep. And so, we have a great cat; it’s more like a dog than a cat, which I love this really cool cat. But, with ewes that we have, there’s a ewe.

And, this cat and this ewe really like each other and kind of play together in the field. So, we go through winter, and this ewe gets down at night and has the thick wool. Well, this cat burrows right up in that wool, rubs it; and the ewe and the cat love it.

They have a great symbiotic relationship, until about a week ago when the ewe had twins. And, after she had twins, that night cat goes out to snuggle up. Well, the cat gets pounded in the ground. It suddenly changed because of that instinct of self-protection.

So, the federal government can pass all the laws it wants to prevent sheep from pounding cats into the ground. But, it”€™s not going to make any difference.


Yes, the laws of nature.


And, a lot times it is the government that violates these rights, which is why they wanted to put regulations on the government. So, the right of self-defense could be from thugs who want to break into my home, or it could be from the government who wants to break in my home because what did they just do? They”€™d just fought a war against a government that was unjust and tyrannical.

The Founders Did Not Quickly Pick Up Arms

And, don’t think that they were quick to pick up arms and fight Great Britain. They went for 11 years busting their tail to solve it and have reconciliation any way they could.


Yes, they tried everything that they could.


That”€™s right; they were not looking for a fight, but wanted to avoid the fight. As a matter of fact, it was six years after the British started firing bullets at us before we separated. I I mean, we sent the Olive Branch petition and all of these things trying to reconcile, but we couldn”€™t get it done.

So, don’t think that these guys were quick to jump up and start shooting at a government that was a wicked, evil, tyrannical government. That wasn’t it. They tried their best to use every political means they could, every means of petition and appeal.

They sent a Benjamin Franklin to Great Britain to argue their case in front of the British Ministry and tried everything they could.

Constitution Alive!

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But, it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.

Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive! with David Barton and Rick Green. It’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders”€™ library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.

We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution.  You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And, it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at


So, they end up having to take on their own homeland: “€œI’m a British citizen and have to fight my government? I don”€™t want to do this.”€ But also, watch how they talk about how it is often the governments that are the first to violate the Second Amendment rights.

So, I’m just going to go through some of these really quick. I’m telling you; we’re just piling this on.

The Founders on the Second Amendment

For example, you”€™ve got Zephaniah Swift. Now, this is the Founding Father who did the first-ever law books in America, that”€™s our original law books. It’s from 1795, and he talks about this “€œnatural law of self-defense.”€

And, this is what he said in his law books. It said: “€œSelf-defense or self-preservation is one of the first laws of nature which no man ever resigned on entering the society.”€ You don’t give up your inalienable rights when you come into society.

Then, you get James Kent”€™s law books. He is the American Blackstone because he took what Blackstone did it for British law, all the same principles, and said, “€œHere’s the American”€””€


This one was in Connecticut. Where was he?


This is national. In 1824, he really laid the foundation for American jurisprudence. So, he and Joseph Story are the two guys considered as having made American law.

Prior to that, it was British. So now, we’re doing the same principles, but with American application.

So, here’s what he says in his law books about this: “€œThe [ministry of] the law of our country has likewise left the individual the exercise of the natural right of self-defense.”€ There is again, “€œnatural right,”€ and that’s left with individuals.

He said, “€œThe right of self-defense is founded in the law of nature and is not and cannot be superseded by the law society.”€ So, I don’t care what New York , California, Texas, or Oklahoma says about not having a right to have guns to defend yourself; that’s a law of nature that cannot be superseded by any law society.

Commentaries on the Constitution

Now, keep going. Here we”€™ve got Joseph Story”€™s Commentaries on the Constitution. This is a great book that everybody ought to get a modern version of because it’s great stuff on the Constitution.


You did Kent, a historian. So, back to back, these are the two.


These are the two guys that laid the foundation for American law. His father was one of the Indians in the Boston Tea Party. So, this guy has just a little bit of patriotism in his blood, just growing up seeing and being part of that.

He’s a great guy, but he’s one of the founders of American jurisprudence the way we have it. That’s what he said. He said, “€œThe right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers.”€ Rulers?

I thought we had the right of self-defense against crooks. No, he says “€œrulers.”€ Now, remember, the right of self-defense”€”it doesn”€™t matter who comes at you, whether it’s the government or whether it’s somebody else.



Owning Guns is a Moral Check


But, he says, “€œIt offers a strong moral check.”€ Moral check? You mean owning guns is a moral issue? It’s a moral issue.

Yes, the laws of nature. He says, “€œIt is a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers and well enable to people to triumph over them.”€ The people are going to win this thing one way or the other.

And, you don’t ever want to have to use guns against civil authority. But, if they’re going to do the British thing, you’ve got a right of self-defense.


Well, and if it’s a check, then hopefully by being armed, you prevent that government from ever encroaching.


That”€™s right. And, in our case, because of our form of government, if we ever get to the point where we have to do that, it”€™s because we’ve been so sloppy and lazy that we never used the political tools.


That”€™s right.


Because, again, we have the political tools.


We have the peaceable means.


We have the peaceable means; but, with only one out of six Americans choosing their president and only one out of eight Americans choosing their governors, senators, and reps; if it gets to the point of needing something, it”€™s because we’ve put ourselves in that position.

“€œIndifference May Lead to Disgust”€

So, he continues this: “€œThere is certainly no small danger that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt, and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national Bill of Rights.”€ Grab that. He says that if you don’t respect the Second Amendment, saying, “€œI don’t care about guns,”€ and are indifferent, that may lead to disgust.

Disgust may lead to contempt, and that will undermine the protection intended by the Second Amendment. This is why you protect all the amendments, all the natural rights, all the inalienable rights, even if you don’t use them.


When you’re exercising then–well, that’s really where we are in in many cases. I mean, most of the people that want to infringe on the Second Amendment are at that point of disgust. That’s really where they are. It was indifference; now, they’ve bought this lie that the gun is the problem.


That’s right.


And, now they’ve got discussed about an inanimate object. So, it’s leading to us losing”€”


Which gives the government the authority to regulate it. And, when the government starts regulating any inalienable right, it will start regulating every one. Because, again, there’s nothing higher than government. In its mind, if it can’t take an inalienable right, it’ll do it.

George Mason

Here are some more. George Mason, we’ve talked about George Mason and his influence. This is what he said, “€œForty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British parliament was advised to disarm the people. It was the best and most effectual way to enslave them, but that they should not do it openly, but to weaken them and let them sink gradually.”€

That’s just”€””€œYou keep those guns; but, you don’t need an AR-15 to hunt deer. I mean, a shotgun will do.”€ And so, what they do is this gradual, frog-boiling-in-the-water kind of thing.

If it’s an inalienable right, it is off limits to government, period, all the way across the board. And, that’s the way you have to think if you’re going to keep the government within its jurisdiction.


You would think these guys actually thought maybe this was an individual right too. This is not a government”€”



Inalienable Rights


I mean, they keep talking about this “€œinalienable right.”€ And, today people talk about it like it’s a group right or militia or military. No.


Now, go back to the laws of nature. If ewe has her lamb attacked, is there going to be a whole crowd of sheep that come defend it? No, it’s going to be that ewe standing up defending right there where it”€™s going on.

Now, there are times when they get together and collectively defend, as caribou, elk, and others will do. But, that elk individually is going to work his tail off first to defend everything he can, and if they need to get the crowd, they will.

And, this is why the Founding Fathers looked at the right of self-defense, first as an individual right, but also that I have an individual right to join with you for self-defense.




And, that’s where we start getting militias.


Just because we join together doesn’t take away that inalienable right.


That’s right.


First, we need the individual right to be able to join together.


Well, and that’s why the Pennsylvania provision for the Second Amendment said that the people have a right to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state.


There you go.


Constitution Alive: Second Amendment

So, you do it for yourself. And, if you want to join with others to defend the state, you can do that. But, it’s an individual right.

And sometimes, we exercise that right collectively, as the elk, caribou, or others do, bighorn sheep.


Well, we’re out of time for today, folks. You’ve been listening to Constitution Alive! This was Section 9 out of Constitution Alive!

The full program is available at But, tomorrow we’ll get the conclusion of that particular section. It”€™s taking us three days here on the on the program to be able to share that with you.

Then, all three pieces will be available on the website tomorrow. So, yesterday’s, today”€™s, and tomorrow’s program, all three, will be available on the website; so, you can share them with your friends and family. Don’t miss tomorrow for the conclusion of Constitution Alive! Section 9.