Constitutional Right Of Self-Defense Historically- Part One: Tune in today for the first part of our three-part series on the Second Amendment and the right of self-defense. We will be discussing the historical and constitutional perspective on the Second Amendment. Today, we will be answering the question, “What did the Founders say about our right of self-defense?” Tune in now to learn more!
Air Date: 08/15/2018
Guest: The Green Family
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 and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
Obviously, one of the hot topics of today is the Second Amendment and the right of self-defense. I was recently out at Frontsight Firearms Training Institute in Nevada and did a presentation on the historical perspective of this, the constitutional perspective of it. Really going back and saying, “What did the Founders say about these things?”
So, we’re going to share that with you over the next three days. It’ll be a presentation, a live presentation that I did out there on the Second Amendment. We’re going to jump right into this introduction coming from their director of training, Brett Agmon. Here we are in Pahrump Nevada at Frontsight teaching on the Second Amendment
Rick Speaks At Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
He is an attorney and a former legislator from the state of Texas. He’s also a Frontsight first family member and a handgun distinguished graduate. Please help me welcome our guest instructor for the evening, Mr. Rick Green.
Thank you brother. Thank you, man. I appreciate it very much. All right. OK, you guys ready?
Did anybody get to throw some lead down range today? Tomorrow you will shoot a lot more than you did today. Got some great stuff that we didn’t get started but it’s going to get even better. We’re going to load you up tonight with intellectual ammunition.
So when you get back home you can do battle with your neighbors, family, whoever it is wanting to get rid of the Second Amendment and destroy our Constitution. You’re going to learn how to restore our Constitution and make sure that it’s protected for future generations.
I don’t know about you guys. I love Front Sight. Been coming for about six years now. I consider this the Disneyland of gun owners. This is where our family would rather vacation- here than anywhere else.
We love coming out to Front Sight. It’s been an absolute privilege for us to get to train here and get to know so many folks. And get a chance to prepare our family for defense. I really appreciate Brad being a part of this as well.
I remember the first time I saw Brad, he didn’t have any idea who I was. Was sitting in the very back there with my son, Trey. And we came and we’re just sitting back there watching and learning from Brad. Watching videos at the time we were watching him give those lectures live.
And we just learned so much. So now to get to team up with him and go to these historical places has been really cool. A great opportunity for us. Just exciting to be a part of this.
I’m thankful to Dr. Braza for allowing us to do this. He loves the Constitution. Wants to see the Constitution protected and defended. And he knows that you as members of Front Sight or for those of you that are here for the first time.
That in learning to use your weapon, in learning to exercise your Second Amendment, learning to defend yourself and your families. You’ve also got to begin to defend the Second Amendment itself, to defend the Constitution. It’s under great attack today.
The Constitution Is Under Attack
Dr. Braza understands that and that’s why he wanted us to be able to do this. So we’re thrilled to be able to team up with him and team up with with Frontsight. I’m a little bit surprised that he’s letting me do this frankly.
I mean to let a Texas politician have the stage for a little bit. But I am a recovering politician just for those of you that are wondering. I am now two years clean off the balance. So my wife is quite happy about that. I would much rather be doing exactly this than run for office.
So we do tend to think of politicians in a very negative light. What we’re going to talk about a little bit tonight is what to look for in leaders that will defend the Second Amendment.
First thing you got to look for is not politicians but Patriots. A politician is only thinking about the next election. Patriot is thinking about the next generation.
By the end of this evening you’re going to learn how you can help to raise up an entire generation of patriots. That are willing to defend not only the Second Amendment but the entire Constitution and how to lead effectively.
In fact, you’re going to hear from some of those folks tonight as well. I want to jump right in. First of all, why I started becoming a patriot, I believe, and patriotic about what we have here in America.
I, like many of you, maybe grew up a little bit spoiled when it came to freedom. Just the idea of we get to enjoy the blessings of liberty. But we don’t really sometimes think about the burden that comes with that. We don’t accept the burden. We don’t invest our time in a way that will defend that freedom.
Typically, most of the time we just enjoy those blessings and we enjoy being free. That’s certainly how it was for me. But I went to a dinner in 1994. It was the last public speech that Ronald Reagan ever gave.
As we’re waiting on President Reagan to come out they were playing some of his speeches they had screened. Just like this right here. They had him going all the way around the room. And they were playing the speeches of Ronald Reagan waiting for he and Margaret Thatcher to come out.
And they played this particular speech and if you recognize the screen right there that’s Pointe du Hoc, France. Point to Ho everyone pronounces it but its Pointe du Hoc. Where our Army Rangers, 225 of Rudder’s Rangers. Any Aggie’s in the room? I know Nathan Macias is back there.
So these were Rudder’s Rangers. And Rudder’s Rangers and taking those cliffs that was the beginning of ****. That was the beginning of taking back an entire continent for freedom.
Well, here’s Reagan it’s the 40th anniversary. He’s standing there atop the cliffs. The monument is behind him. And seated around him, you can kind of see the picture, there are about 15 or 20 of those Rangers that were still alive at the time on the fortieth anniversary.
Of the 225 only 90 survived the mission. Here’s 15 or 20 of them seated around Reagan. And Reagan starts to recount the horrific yet heroic events of that day. Starts reminding them what it was like and and talking about how one would fall and another would take their place.
He’s going through the whole thing and the camera starts kind of panning across these tough old Army Rangers. Every one of them tears welling up in their eyes. As they’re taken back to those days of sacrifice.
Here I was. I was probably 22 years old as I sat there and watched this on the screen. My dad’s on my right. Guy on my left was a man named George McCormick. Mr. McCormick was a bomber pilot in World War II. Great patriot, great American.
I’m sitting and I’m watching this on the screen and I happen to look over at Mr. McCormick. As Reagan has taken us back to those days of sacrifice. And right there at that dinner everybody in their tuxedos Mr. McCormick just got tears running down his face.
Understanding Their Personal Sacrifice
And instantly it suddenly hit me for the first time in my life. I began to understand the personal sacrifice of the man sitting next to me. That he had made that sacrifice for me.
So that two generations later I could be free. He was willing to go around the world and die for someone he didn’t even know. A generation that he didn’t even know. And today I get to live out the freedom that he was willing to die for.
Well, that night I went home I said man I want to become a student of freedom. I want to honor those who died for my freedom. Those who were willing to sacrifice for my freedom. I want to keep this thing alive for future generations.
I go out and give speeches and I talk about how I was proud to be an American. And I talk about why we need to preserve freedom. How important it was for us to do those things. Talked about trying to honor those who had sacrificed for our freedom.
And I start thinking about that scripture that says render honor to whom honor is due. How do you really do that? I mean I teach my kids to walk up to somebody in uniform and say thank you for your service. But I mean what else can you do to truly honor that that sacrifice.
And then I saw this movie Saving Private Ryan. You’ve probably seen the movie. Remember the story of a kid and all his brothers had been killed in action. So the military figures head out and they’re trying to find this kid, Private Ryan and get him out of the theater.
The real story was actually based on a Navy story. But anyway they made it an army story. And Tom Hanks plays Captain Miller. The movie is all about Tom Hanks’ team trying to find Private Ryan. And all through the movie his guys keep getting killed.
They keep laying down their lives for Private Ryan. They’re dying so that Private Ryan can hopefully live. All through the movie we’re losing these guys. And finally at the end of the movie they find Private Ryan.
And just as they find him. Right after they find him Captain Miller gets shot. And so Captain Miller is about to die. Private Ryan goes over kneels down next to him and Captain Miller grabs Ryan by the chest and pulls him in.
He says two words not just to Private Ryan. But to every one of us. He said earn this. In other words earn the sacrifice that we’re making for you. All these guys had died so that Private Ryan could live.
In that scene more from that young 19 year old Private Ryan to 50, 60 years later. Now he’s standing over the grave of Captain Miller. And he kneels down and he says to Captain Miller he says tell me I’m a good man. Tell me I’ve lived a good life. Tell me I’ve lived a life worthy of the sacrifice that you made for me.
Earn this. That’s what tonight is about. It’s about learning how to earn the freedom that others fought for and many died for so that we can enjoy it.
At the end of that movie you hear a general reading a letter. And he quotes Abraham Lincoln from the Gettysburg Address. We’ve been to Gettysburg and of course everybody grows up reading the Gettysburg Address. We all remember fourscore and all that good stuff.
The part of the speech though that is so powerful to me that it really speaks to what we’re saying tonight. Is the part he said it is from these honored dead that we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That we highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. But 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 earth.
So the part I want to zero in on tonight is where he says, “We take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” In other words, the way we honor those who came before us and sacrificed is having an increased devotion. Actually, being willing to invest our time and our money.
And as the Founders would have said “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor into this cause that they gave the last full measure of devotion.” What’s the cause? What did they sacrifice for? They sacrificed for the American ideal. They sacrificed for the American value system.
American, So What?
And that brings me back to what I was saying. I started going out giving these speeches and I talk about being proud to be an American. Before 9/11 if you got up in front of a group and you said, “I’m proud to be an American.” They would look at you like you were corny.
People look at me like I was just an old fashioned. They didn’t understand what I meant when I said that. In fact, some people will come up and challenge me and say America, what are you so proud of? American, so what? Big deal.
What’s special about being an American? You act like our way of life is better than other people’s way of life. As if they kind of had this moral relativism of value systems. Basically saying that any government formed in any way was equal to any other.
American, so what? I didn’t know how to respond to that. I mean what do you say to them?
Back then I was a legislator. I wanted to respond to them the same way I used to do in my legislative office. If somebody sent me a particularly nasty piece of hate mail, I sent them a form letter back. It just said, “Dear sir or ma’am I thought you should know that some fool has stolen your letterhead. And they’re writing asinine letters on it. They’re even signing your name and I thought you’d want to know about it.”
In fact, my former legislative assistant is here, Deidra Voigt. Judge Deidra Voigt here with us all the way from Texas. Deidra never would let me actually send the letter out. She would throw it away. Then write something nice and then sign my name.
America Saved The World
But anyway. Oh, I forgot what I wanted to say to you. These people that say Americans, so what. Finally, I started asking them questions. I said, “Wait. Why do you think we called the last century the great American century? Why is that? It’s because we saved the world. Not once or twice, three times. From the evils of Nazism, communism, and despotism.”
If you want a little piece of evidence. I mean here’s just one fact to show you how different the American value system is. We’re the only people on the face of the planet in the history of the entire world to hold a technological advantage in war and not use it for conquest. But instead use it to free and liberate people around the world.
Think about it. 1945 we have the bomb, no one else. We could have taken that weapon and forced every nation on the planet to submit to us. And we could have controlled the entire planet.
That’s been the way of the world throughout history. Any time a nation had an advantage in war what did they do? Conquer their neighbors and conquer as long as they could. We had the ultimate advantage.
We could have conquered everyone. And instead we took that weapon we used it to end a war. Then we took our money and went and rebuilt the nations that had attacked us. Nobody’s ever done that in history, folks. Why would we do that. Because there’s something different about being an American.
We’re Making America Great Again
We’re making America great again. Right? There is something different. There’s something unique about this value system that we talk about. And there’s a reason that we get attacked.
I mean the terrorists didn’t attack us on 9/11 for no reason at all. They wanted to destroy our patriotism. And they wanted us to loathe America. Frankly, the Communists have loved the fact that we now teach that kind of loathing of America. Throughout our system now and in our university systems.
But their attack on us actually rekindled that patriotism. There was this massive wave of patriotism after the attacks on 9/11. And people were waving the flags. Some for the first time in their lives.
I mean people were standing together. And saying red, white, yellow, black, or brown doesn’t matter. We’re not hyphenated Americans. We are just Americans.
There was this renewed patriotism. Which is great. But I would submit to you that as the winds of catastrophe died down. As the shock of that day has now faded into history and here we are with 17 years later. We need much more than just renewed patriotism. We need informed patriotism
We Need Informed Patriotism
Informed patriotism is born not out of fear because we’ve been attacked on our own homeland. It’s born out of an understanding of who we are. So that we can wave that flag understanding why that flag is worthy of being waved. It actually represents something.
There’s a reason that we stand for that flag. There is a reason that we say that when the national anthem is played we get goosebumps. And there’s a reason why the things that represents moves our heart. It’s not just because we’re Americans it’s because what being an American is all about.
So tonight I want to try to take you back to the founding formula of what they gave us. And how that relates to a defense of the Second Amendment today. You know these guys created a system that we call American exceptionalism today.
I know some people don’t like that word. They think that’s bragging. You know look I’m a Texan. I know a little something about bragging. Ok, I mean we folks back home in Texas we tend to think there’s only two kinds of people.
There are Texans. And there are those that want to be Texans. That’s it. That is the only two categories out there. And that’s not true but it sounds good. So that’s bragging all right.
Exceptionalism in the form of American exceptionalism is not bragging. It’s like my mama said if it’s true, it ain’t bragging. And exceptionalism, think of it like this, it’s like saying the word extraordinary meaning extra ordinary. Not normal, not ordinary. Beyond what anybody else has ever done.
The exception to the rule. And that exceptionalism produced the greatest nation in the history of the world. But it didn’t happen by accident. There was something producing that. There was a cause for that effect.
Exceptionalism Produced The Greatest Nation In The World
So we want to dive into the cause of what created that exceptionalism. We’re going start with is guy here. I just want to tell you as you look at that picture a warning to you. If you ever have hair that bad or you’re ever that pale do not sit for a portrait. You’ll be around for a couple hundred years.
His is still here. This is George Mason. He’s a father of the Bill of Rights. And his Virginia Declaration of Rights is a big chunk of what the Bill of Rights is based upon.
He helped frame the Constitution. Did not sign it because it did not have a Bill of Rights. And a couple other reasons. Bottom line is he he’s one of our great founding fathers.
And he gave us a quote that will kind of drive what we’re going to do tonight. He said that no free government. How many of you want to live in freedom? That’s better, much better. OK.
If you want to have freedom, he said no free government nor the blessings of liberty. Anybody want the blessings of liberty? Want to enjoy the blessings of liberty? Great.
If you want freedom and you want the blessings of liberty. He said you cannot have that without a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. Not just once but a constant recurrence. Constantly reminding ourselves. What is it that works?
56 Words That Sum Up The Frame Of America
What actually produces the results that we want to see in our system of government? Fortunately for us they laid it out for us right there in the Declaration of Independence. Right in the heart of the Declaration.
56 words that sum up what I call the frame of America. It’s the frame that is holding your freedom in place. It is the frame that is making the picture possible for us to enjoy liberty. Even to exercise our freedom this weekend.
I’m getting some help tonight from a couple of my boys. Rhett’s going to come up and join us. And he’s going to explain those 56 words. The basic principles behind them.
All my boys have DG’s. So they’re all DG’s in hand gun here at Frontsight. My oldest son, Trey, is the one that y’all met. If you came up and got a word with him tonight.
Trey came, he and I were the first ones to come to Front Sight. He DG’d at 16. He was the first one in our whole family to. My son Reagan, who you will hear from in a little bit decided he had to beat Trey. And so at 14 he did.
And then Rhett decided at 13 he was going to beat both of them. So y’all please welcome Rhett Green. Come on out buddy.
Rhett Green Takes The Stage
All right. So I’m going to start us off by pulling from the actual Declaration and then I’m going to go on to explain it. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their government creator.
They are endowed by their Creator. With certain unalienable Rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And that to secure these Rights Governments are instituted among men. But driving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Now guys, in the words of the Declaration, there are four basic frames that really represent the frame of America. First, the Founding Fathers began with the basic idea that truth is real. It is obvious and it does not change.
Second, they also made it clear that God is the source of freedom. Like Declaration says, “all rights don’t come from any elected or appointed officials, but they come from God Almighty.”
Third, the just powers of government can only come from the consent of the governed. That’s you and me. The word consent is used three times in the Declaration and 11 times in the Constitution. So, obviously the founding fathers didn’t want the government’s use of power without our consent.
They warned us to always remember that the government’s use of power without our consent is tyranny. And the last part of the frame is the pursuit of happiness. This is the free enterprise system that has made America the most successful nation in history.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “A wise and frugal government that shall lead men free to regulate their own pursuit of industries and improvements. And shall not take from the mouth of labor. Bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
Now let’s all do our part in preserving those four basic and yet extraordinary principles. Now please join me in welcoming back my dad.
All right good job buddy. Well, done.
All right just a good time to jump in here and take a quick break. Stay with us you’re listening to WallBuilders Live. It’s a live presentation at Frontsight Firearms Training Institute at Pahrump, Nevada a few months back.
And it’s on the Second Amendment of the foundation of America. We’ll be back with more right here on WallBuilders Live!
Front Sight Handgun Training and Constitution Crash Course
Hey friends, this is Rick Green from WallBuilders Live. Just imagine being able to attend a live class where you learn about the original intent of the Second Amendment, and the rest of the Constitution, while also getting world class training on how to defend yourself and your family with a handgun. I want to personally invite you to come spend the weekend with our family as we get expert handgun defensive training from Front Sight.
We’ll do that during the day and then at night we’re going to provide you with a Constitution Crash Course. Visit RickGreen.com today for the dates and the details to learn more about this unique opportunity. No kidding. No exaggeration. We’re giving away this one thousand dollar course for free to the first 100 listeners on WallBuilders Live that register for the course at RickGreen.com.
You’ll learn the real purpose of the Second Amendment and why the founders believed it was so important for we citizens to be armed. I don’t care if you’re marksman or you’ve never held a gun in your life, I can promise you that you will leave this training with improved skills and the confidence to protect your family.
It’s going to be a great weekend a fun, fellowship, learning, and sending a lot of lead downrange. And that one thousand dollar course registration, again, completely waived for the first 100 WallBuilders Live listeners to register. You’ve got to pay for your own travel and ammo, but we’re giving you the course for free as a gift to our listeners. I look forward to seeing you on the range this fall. For all the details visit RickGreen.com today.
OK, let me dive in just a little bit on that. He mentioned this frame. Right? This is the way we kind of look at the Declaration. It’s essentially holding your picture together.
The Palladium of All of Our Principles
You might have a different picture that you throw up there. Like a white picket fence and the American flag and the house right. But your picture of freedom is held together by that frame. And if we lose the frame the pictures going with it.
So all the things you love about freedom require us to have this frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. In order to hold on to that frame and keep that frame in place. There’s a lot of principles we can talk about. I want to zero in specifically tonight on some principles that the Founders felt were absolutely essential.
In fact, they considered the first principle we’re going to talk about tonight to be the Palladium of all of our principles. The protector of everything else that we enjoy. If you back up in the Declaration one paragraph. Before what it was talking about.
Where it says, when it becomes necessary for one nation to dissolve the political bands which have connected them to another. And assume among the powers of the earth that separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitles them. The laws of nature is what these guys were basing so much on. They were saying look God has shown us in nature how the system should work and how people should treat themselves and be organized.
So the laws of nature were well known to the Founding Fathers. Here’s this guy, St. George Tucker, a Founding Father. That was a soldier in the American Revolution. He was a federal judge. And he was a legal scholar, actually a professor at William and Mary.
And in fact, he was trained by. Before I give you the quote from George Tucker. He was trained by George White. Now George White is another Founder you may not have heard of.
George White The Forgotten Founding Father
When you look at the painting by John Trumbull did of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. You have to look all the way over to the left. He was not a leftist by the way. But he’s way over there.
You barely see him peeking around the corner there. And if you look at the two dollar bill. With the signing of the Declaration, poor George White didn’t even make the cut. Man you can’t see anything they cropped him out. But George White very important Founding Father.
In fact, this guy helped to give us the Declaration of Independence. He actually was a also the mentor not only of George Tucker. Who we’re going to talk about here in a second. He was also the mentor of Thomas Jefferson.
He trained Thomas Jefferson, Monroe, and a lot of other folks. But White had to leave. He wasn’t able to be there for the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
He was so respected by the other members there. And especially the other guys from Virginia that when they went to sign the Declaration of Independence. Because he couldn’t be there on that particular day.
They saved the spot at the top of the Virginia delegation. So that when he came back in September. He was able to be the first name listed on the Virginia delegation. I thought that was a pretty cool story.
But White, we could talk about White for a long time tonight. We don’t have time to dive into that. He trained this guy Tucker. Tucker replaced him as the professor of law there at William and Mary. Here’s what Tucker told us.
And by the way Tim Barton and his wife Gabby are here with us. Tim and David have brought some of the documents that they have in their library for us. David and Tim have the largest private collection of founders documents. Is it in the world? I know it’s in America I mean it’s a private collection anyway.
In the world. Which is America.
Which is America? Yes. Which is over 100,000 documents right? So yeah you guys thank Tim and Gabby Barton for being here with us this weekend. And being a part of this as well. Tim brought some of the documents from the library.
First, I wanna show you tonight and we’re filming tomorrow. We’re going to be doing the rest of this this box. That we’re going to show a ton of these during the DVD programs.
And if you’re not on Frontsight.tv you’ll be able to watch it there as well. So make sure you do that. He basically did an American version of Blackstones Commentaries on the law.
So he took Blackstones Commentary on the law. And basically mixed it with or took it and applied it to our U.S. Constitution and the Virginia statutes. Here’s what he said in there that is so fitting for us tonight. He said the right of self-defence is the first law of nature.
Now don’t forget what Rhett was saying right out of the Declaration. In the first paragraph of the Declaration. We’re told that all of these rights come from the laws of nature and nature’s God. So here’s Tucker telling us that the first law of nature is the right of self-defence.
The First Law of Nature is The Right of Self-Defence
He said, most governments throughout history it’s been a study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. In other words government wants to restrict how much you can defend yourself. Because government can’t control you. If you can defend yourself right.
So, he goes on to say wherever the right of the people. And this is the warning for tonight. Have the right of the people to keep and bear arms is prohibited under any color or pretext whatsoever. Liberty if not already annihilated is on the brink of destruction.
In other words, when you start limiting and you start restricting a person’s right to defend themself Liberty’s in major danger. That’s what Tucker was telling us. It’s the first law of nature.
So, let’s dive in specifically to the Second Amendment. And how the Founders designed it and how it’s supposed to work.
Presentation Continues Tomorrow
Well, we’re going to do that diving in tomorrow. We’ll pick up tomorrow right where we left off today. With this constitutional defense presentation by the Green family. We’re out in Frontsight in Nevada giving this presentation.
It’s going to take three days here on WallBuilders Live to share it with you. We’re going in depth on the Second Amendment. We’ve laid a foundation today on the constitutional foundation of freedom. And the concept in the Declaration of Independence.
And then tomorrow we’ll get specifically into the Second Amendment. On the third day we’ll wrap it up. So stay with us.
Be sure and tune in tomorrow to WallBuilders Live. Or go to WallBuildersLive.com today for more information. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!