Gun Control, Evidence That Widespread Gun Ownership Keeps Us Safe: It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, a special day of the week where we get to answer questions from you, the listeners! Always answering your questions from constitutional principles! Tune in today as we answer your questions such as why is it taught that the American form of government is a democracy? Does the Second Amendment mean I should be able to own any weapon at all? Is it possible to eliminate all guns from the citizenry of this country? And so much more, right here on WallBuilders Live!

Air Date: 03/15/2018

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

Intro:

President Thomas Jefferson said, “€œI know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves. And if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”€

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we talk about the day”€™s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, he”€™s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator.

You can find out more about us at WallBuildersLive.com – that’s our radio website where you can get a list of the stations around the country and also some of the archives from the past few weeks. You can also go to WallBuidlers.com – that’s our main site with a wealth of information and tools for you and your family to get equipped and inspired to make a difference in the culture.

And this particular day of the week is Thursday, it’s what we call Foundations of Freedom Thursday. It”€™s where we dive into foundational principles and we let you guide the conversation. So, you can send in your questions and we’ll dive into them. Send those questions to [email protected], that’s [email protected].

David, Tim, you guys ready to dive in?

Tim:

Absolutely!

David:

Let”€™s hit it!

A Democracy?

Rick:

Alright, first question comes from Bill and he says, “€œI heard David say to visit Philadelphia, Boston, and D.C. I visit Philadelphia in November and plan to do Boston in the spring and D.C. in the fall.”€ So, Bill is hitting all the good places.
He says, “€œIn Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center Museum I saw displays in two places that stated the American form of government is a–“€ wait for it, wait for it, any guesses?

David:

Oh yeah. If you’re at a museum, you’re going to be told it’s a democracy.

Rick:

Yeah, that”€™s exactly.

David:

If you”€™re in school, you”€™re going to be told it”€™s democracy. If you”€™re at a political gathering, yeah, you’re going to be told it”€™s a democracy.

Rick:

Yep, that’s what he said. So, that the form of government is a democracy. “€œI listened to a museum guide–“€

David:

Now, wait a minute – that’s at the National Constitution Center?

Rick:

Right.

David:

Yeah, uh-huh. Right.

Rick:

“€œ–I listened to a museum guide and he acknowledged the mistake and blamed it on the company that created the displays.”€

David:

Well, now, good for them.

Rick:

Yeah, so at least the– that’s surprising that the guide knew. “€œHe said he hopes it’ll be correct in the future. Bus loads of school students go through this magnificent place to learn about our country. What a crime it is to teach them a lie that the American form of government is democracy.”€

Bill, thanks for your question or statement. This is– David, Tim, we’ve talked about for years the difference between a republic and a democracy and how this does mislead schoolchildren to think we’re something that we’re not because they are very different.

The Constitution Forbids America From Becoming a Democracy

David:

Well, I think a key point to make here is the Constitution, which is why I was quipping about the National Constitution Center, the Constitution itself in Article 4 Section 4 specifically prohibits America from becoming a democracy. Which means that they believed that we were not a democracy, that they didn’t want us to become one. Which means that we must be something else and they said what it was. They required us that we maintain a “€œrepublican form of government”€. And that’s a small “€œr”€ for republican form government.

So, today people say, “€œWell, there’s no difference between a republic and a democracy.”€ Well, there’s enough differences that they forbid us in the Constitution to become a democracy and required that we be a republic. So, there is a big difference and they saw a big difference. And they– I don’t know that there’s much more– I don’t know there’s much that they hated more than a democracy. And they really did hate democracies.

Rick:

Called it evil, right? They called it “€œmobocracy”€ and one of the greatest of evils.

David:

Let me just take some of the major founding fathers and let me just read you statements from them real quick.

Tim:

Wasn”€™t it John Adams who said there hasn’t been a democracy which hasn’t killed itself?

Founding Fathers On Democracies

David:

That’s it. John Adams he says, “€œRemember democracy never last long. It wastes, exhausts, and it murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”€ So, that’s a good reason they didn’t want a democracy because they all end up committing suicide.

Here’s James Madison, he said, “€œDemocracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”€ Now he’s just saying from history no democracy dies a peaceful death, they die a violent death, and they don’t live very long, and they are not compatible with personal liberty and security. And I would think people like personal liberty and security which means you don’t want a democracy. So, you”€™ve got Madison who’s fairly outspoken on that.

You’ve got John Quincy Adams who says that of all human governments democracy is, “€œthe most unstable, the most fluctuating, and the most short lived.”€ These guys just go on and on about democracies. Benjamin Rush says, “€œA democracy is one of the greatest of evils.”€ It’s a “€œmobocracy”€ is what he calls it. I like this one by Fisher Ames, founding father, he says, “€œA democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and they will carry desolation in their way.”€ It’s unequivocal.

Rick:

So, they didn’t have strong feelings. It was just– they were kind of wishy washy on it, didn’t really know–

Tim:

Yeah, whatever you want to do is fine.

Rick:

Yeah, yeah.

Tim:

We don’t need a constitutionally bound Republic. No, that”€™s not what we have. Democracy is fine.

To Be a Fly on the Wall

David:

I think it would be humorous to be a fly on the wall if the founding fathers ever came back and toured through some history museums on the American Revolution. And they would see statements like that America is a democracy and they would look at each other, probably turn really red in the face, probably have have a little anger flashback, call for management, “€œHow can you say that?!”€ This was a big deal to them. It’s not a big deal to us because we’re so undereducated on these things. How many people know that the Constitution prohibits us from becoming a democracy.

Tim:

Well, and I’ll even point out – not only does the Constitution say we’re not a democracy and prohibits democracy. I think even the idea of definition of words has become a problem. Because now people think we’re a democracy because everybody gets to vote. Well, that’s not what democracy is, right. You get a vote, sure, but we still have a Constitution by which we are governed and we elect officials to represent us to help make laws, therefore that’s a republic.

So, we are a constitutional republic, but because we don’t know the definitions of words anymore, and we’ve kind of conformed words to be whatever we felt like they need to be, it’s allowed us to change based on modern definitions what the original intent was and certainly misconstrue what the Founding Fathers intended.

David:

Well, let me give the example difference of what it is. Each session of Congress every U.S. congressman will cast about a thousand votes on various bills. We elect them to go do that, to study, to go to all the hearings that they have to go through day after day, debate the bills, listen to both sides, listen to the experts, give input, and then they cast their votes. If we were a democracy, every one of those votes we would all get online and all 330 million of us would vote about 1000 times every session of Congress on every vote that came up everybody in the nation gets to vote on it.

Why a Democracy Never Lasts Long

David:

Now we haven’t had the debates back and forth, we haven’t had the experts to testify, we haven’t had the seasoned judgment that comes, we’re just voting on the issue. What is this? I don’t know – this is the fifth vote we’ve had today. I don’t know what this is about. Or we’ll listen to a TV commercial, or something on the internet we read, and then we’ll cast our vote. That’s why democracy never last long because you don’t have educated people who are educated.

Not– and I don’t mean educated in the sense of dumb, it’s just they’re ignorant of what that issue is about, or what it means, or why the bill is being written.

And so democracies where everybody gets to vote on every decision, as Benjamin Rush said, that’s a “€œmobocracy”€ and it goes with whatever the mob is saying. In a republican form of government, it slows everything down, we gripe about how slow government moves, but because it moves slowly we don’t make rash judge much, generally, and we don’t get into really stupid decisions. The Bible says when you haste with your feet you sin. When you make quick pop decisions you usually end up regretting them and that’s why the founding fathers prohibit us from becoming a democracy.

Rick:

Alright, guys, we”€™ve got more questions coming up. Let”€™s take a quick break. It”€™s Foundations of Freedom Thursday here on WallBuilders Live.

Outro:

Abraham Lincoln said, “€œWe the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts. Not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”€

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Intro:

Thomas Jefferson said, “€œThe Constitution of most of our states and of the United States asserts that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves. That it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. That they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press.”€

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Before we dive into our next question, just wanted to share a quick e-mail from Helen.

She said, “€œThanks for your ministry. I’m reading The Jefferson Lies and learning so much. I’m 67 and I realize that my public school education, even in the 50s and 60s, even back then, not only lied to me, but also omitted – should I say censored – the history I was taught. I’ve been sharing what I’m learning with my family and friends.”€ Helen, thank you for your email and thank you for reading The Jefferson Lies. And big time thank you for sharing it because that’s the key.

It”€™s Not Enough For Us to Get Educated

Rick:

David, I’ve heard you say that many times – it’s not enough for us to get educated.   Whatever you do for a living, you got to be talking to the people that you interact with, you”€™ve get to be sharing this church, sharing this with your family, teaching these things. And Helen specifically mentioned The Jefferson Lies. Here we are on Foundations of Freedom Thursday, it’s a great time to remind people how important it is to know the truth about this very important founding father.

David, you’ve read, I think, probably more of the founders actual handwritten documents and original documents than maybe anybody alive today. And I’m just going to guess, but it seems like Jefferson is probably the one founding father that’s been most distorted among– more so than any of them.

David:

He is one of the most identifiable founding fathers. He is one of the most easy to characterize and therefore mis-portray. And because of that, because we think we know who he is, and because everybody knows the name Jefferson because he’s on our currency, because we have memorials to him, we just figure that when they say something about Jefferson surely they wouldn’t say it wrong. Well, they have for the last couple of generations there has been, started as deliberate efforts and now I think it”€™s probably repeated by ignorance, or I saw it on the web, or repeated it, or put it in my school report.

But Jefferson has been one of those guys that because he’s very recognizable, if you can twist him and make him into something radical, you can move an agenda along with that. And that really has been part of what’s happened with the mis-portrayal of Jefferson. He’s been made into something that not only he loathed and repudiated, but something he never was.

An Eye Opening Book

Rick:

Well, it’s an eye opening book and I remember when you first came out with it, I could not believe some of the things that I– and I live, breathe, eat, this stuff like you guys– things that I had no idea. I had bought a lot of those lies and you cover a lot of it.   Everything from did he father a child with a slave, to was he proslavery or antislavery, did he actually support the printing of Bibles?

There’s so many important issues that you’ve answered here that I would encourage others to do the same thing Helen did. Get that book, and read it, and learn it, and share it. It’s called The Jefferson Lies and you can get it at WallBuilders.com today and bookstores everywhere. But check out WallBuilders.com. It”€™s a bestseller and it will definitely inform and inspire you.

Okay, guys, let’s jump into the next question that we got from an e-mail. This one’s from John in Gainesville, Florida. He said, “€œThanks for answering my previous questions recently. Additionally, I was able to see your special on TBN. I think it was called Hidden History. It was great. I hope you can do more of those.”€

Now before I get to his question, guys. You’ve done several of these – so Hidden History, you’ve done some on Reverend Shuttlesworth in Birmingham, you’ve done some others on the founders. Tell us a little bit more about that before we go on.

Tim:

Rick:

The one you’re referencing with Reverend Shuttlesworth is really a black history program. So, for Black History month we actually had Bishop Jim Lowe who was a survivor of one of the bombings in Birmingham. He was a child, his church was blown up, he actually got shrapnel on his body, still has some of those scars from what he went through, told this story. But one of the things we identified was just how many black heroes we had in American history and largely have been forgotten. Names that we should know, names that were significant in helping America become a nation, become a free nation, and today we just don’t know that.

And so in Black History month we did a program celebrating them. We did a program for Presidents Day, we did one for Thanksgiving, we have one coming up for Memorial Day, and so we’ve done several and have several more scheduled throughout the year.

Hidden History

Tim:

The program title is Hidden History and it’s just trying to bring some of that history that either hasn’t been taught, or has been forgotten, or in this case, has been hidden. We’re trying to bring that hidden history back to light and really help bring some heroes, some stories, whether it”€™s sacrifice or courage, really inspiring things, very educational. Of course using, as we always do, a lot of original sources, a lot of the actual books, or the actual artifacts, and documents are there, and you can see them on TV, and we have special guests in. So, it really is a fun program, very engaging, very informative, and we’re doing those all throughout the year.

Rick:

I get in trouble for saying this, guys, but I think some our listeners probably need to hear this. TBN is not the– this is not your grandfather’s TBN. It’s different because some people don’t tune into TBN anymore because it was just not what they were interested in. Let me put that as best I can–

Tim:

And, Rick, let me let me add onto this.

Rick:

Yeah.

Tim:

So, the idea where you’re going– so, if people know Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs.

Rick:

Yeah.

Tim:

Mike Rowe has done a lot of really great things, he has some PragerU videos, but done a lot to help military heroes, and veterans, and get people on their feet – just some really cool stuff he’s doing. Well, he has a program on TBN now. And so if that gives you an indication at all, if you know who Mike Rowe is, and if you don’t, he’s worth Googling, YouTube-ing. He is a very good communicator when it comes to just the practical work ethic, when it comes to trades/craftsmen kind of jobs and skill sets. But he’s somebody that certainly is not your stereotypical evangelical Bible teacher.

Rick:

Right.

Not Your Grandparent”€™s TBN

Tim:

He’s kind of the very much contrary to that in the sense of even though he’s got a great value system, what they’re promoting is really unique and fun stories. Which are, again, not the typical TBN that, again, that was our grandparent”€™s TBN.

Rick:

Right. And Huckaby’s on there now, and these Hidden History programs, so this is some good stuff there. I wasn’t trying to– hope people don’t take that wrong, but I think a lot of millennials especially need to know there are some really good programming there.

David:

Yeah, Rick, it really is different. Tim and I are doing this series for them. We didn”€™t do it formerly for TBN, we’re doing it for the new TBN because they are headed in a different direction. They are now the nation’s third largest domestic network – which is massive. So, they have refocused. So many of the programs that used to be on TBN are not there anymore, they have moved those programs off, they brought different programs in.

That’s part of what Tim and I are doing is we take these holidays that everybody thinks they know something about and we say, “€œYeah, you do know what Columbus Day is you just don’t know the rest of the story, you don’t know the hidden history. You do know about Presidents Day, but you don’t know the hidden part that you don’t get anymore.”€ And so we’re taking specifically throughout the year 10 major holidays and doing special features on them and they’re really populated. What’s fun to see on TV is you get to see so many of the original artifacts, so many things that are related to history.

Special Memorial Day Program

David:

Coming up on Memorial Day, we’ve got just incredible stories. One of the guys, Rick, we’ve actually had him on before. You remember Edgar Harrell–

Rick:

Oh yeah.

David:

–who was on the USS Indianapolis?

Rick:

Indianapolis, yes.

David:

He”€™ll be one of the guests, and Colonel Brian Birdwell, be one of the guests telling their stories. And then we’ll go through all these other stories of World War II that people don’t know – John Basilone for example, there’s just great stuff there–

Tim:

I know who that is.

David:

Oh yeah, you do. That’s right. Tim knows that. But that’s the kind of stuff we get to do for TBN.

Rick:

Well, check it out, folks. And I’ve still got a question from John in Gainesville, but let me take a quick break. When we come back we’ll get his question. It has to do with the Second Amendment. You”€™re listening to Foundations of Freedom Thursday on WallBuilder Live.

Outro:

Calvin Coolidge said, “€œThe more I study the Constitution, the more I realize that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”€

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Intro:

Thomas Jefferson said, “€œIn questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”€

Rick:

We’re back on WallBuilders Live. It”€™s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Thanks for staying with us and we’re going to get to John’s question now – actually it”€™s three questions. I’m going to rattle these off for you guys. David, Tim, we’ll see if we can get them all answered and if not, we’ll just carry it over to next week’s Foundations of Freedom.

Here we go, John says, “€œWith the recent shooter at Douglass High School in Broward County Florida people are very quick to react and saying that we need more gun control. Second Amendment supporters it seems are an endangered species among Gen X and younger and I hope you’ve observed evidence to the contrary. I recently engaged people in person and on social media and I need some help on the following questions. Regarding gun control, how would you answer the following. Number one, does the Second Amendment mean I should be able to own any weapon at all? Or what principal limits this?

What are the Historical Lessons of Disarming Citizens?

Rick:

“€œNumber two, would have been the historical lessons associated with governments around the world disarming their citizens – like Hitler and Stalin disarming their citizenry? Is there any evidence that Japan did not invade this country because of our widespread gun ownership? Third, would it even be possible to confiscate and eliminate all guns from the citizenry of this country? It seems we’ve massively failed to even eliminate drugs and human trafficking. Thanks so much and I will recommend others to pick up your booklet on the Second Amendment.”€

That”€™s John from Gainesville. I second that motion, John. Everybody should read Barton”€™s book on the Second Amendment. It’s quick, but it gives you so much ammunition, pun intended, but it’s intellectual ammunition on defending the Second Amendment.

Alright, David, Tim, three questions there. I don’t know if you can get to all of them, but dive in. Let’s do the first one first – does the Second Amendment mean I should be able to own any weapon at all?

Tim:

Well, Rick, let me let me jump in on this one. So, the reason that we have this Second Amendment was designed because as we separated from Great Britain, we realized that the king’s, right, the systems of government became very abusive to the people. So, the Second Amendment wasn’t specifically for individual self preservation – although that’s certainly an aspect to it no doubt about it, nobody denies that. On a much larger scale it was actually about protecting people from an abusive government. Because of that, whatever weapons the government had the people also had access to.

And in the founding era they had the right to have it. Now, people today would say, “€œWait a second, back then all they had was muskets.”€ Well, yes that”€™s true, but the advancement of technology that the militaries had at the time the people had as well. And I understand that’s a very dangerous risky scenario, but at the time it was written, the idea was we did not want to give a level of superiority to a government that could become abusive, that could become oppressive, and divisive. We need the ability to protect and defend ourselves against that government.

Allowing The People the Same Level of Weapon

Tim:

That’s why, really, all the way up to the early 1900s there was no restrictions to speak of on individuals owning specific guns, capacities, right, whatever you’re looking at. And I get it – people are saying, “€œNow, wait a second. You go from a single shot muzzle loader to revolvers and really it wasn’t really that dangerous until you move forward.”€ I understand all those arguments, but the point was we wanted to make sure the people had the same means of defence as a government might have offensive weapons.

So, we need the same level of weapons to defend ourselves that we’re going to be attacked with because we didn’t want to disadvantage the people from being able to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. So, it actually was written, the Second Amendment was written, to protect people with allowing them to have the same level of weapons that was going to come against them is the way it is commonly understood. And certainly that’s the way it acted out in the founding era all the way up, again, until the 1900s when people started putting restrictions on some guns that you could and couldn’t have etc.. So–

Rick:

What you just said totally refutes everybody – all the media and even these kids from Florida. It’s all about you don’t need that gun for hunting. Well, that’s not what the Second Amendment”€™s about. It’s not about whether or not that weapon is for hunting, it’s about being able to stop a tyrannical government from taking over.

Tim

Exactly. One of the funny memes out there about the Second Amendment is the founding fathers did not give us a Second Amendment incase that deer ever rose up and came against us.

Rick:

Right.

One You Disarm the People

Tim:

No, it’s not for hunting. It was in case the government ever comes up against us. Which actually leads to one of the other questions, and I think it was a second question, in reference to what about governments that confiscate your guns? Or in the case of Australia there’s a mandatory buyback where, “€œWell, no we’re not taking them. You’re going to give them to us and we will give you a voucher, or money, what the case is.”€

But essentially, once you disarm the people, history shows us that the vast majority if not–   there might maybe one or two exceptions you could point to, but realistically, it’s almost every single time that people have been disarmed, the people then were shortly after oppressed. And even oftentimes numbers of the population were executed by a government that became very tyrannical and very communistic.

David:

As a matter of fact, I think it was Patrick Henry who said that it”€™s the history of nations to disarm their people before they take their rights. And George Mason that we call the Father of the Bill of Rights, specifically said, “€œForty–“€ Now, remember, he’s one of the guys who helped form the nation. He said, “€œForty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was first formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised to disarm the people–“€ disarm the Americans “€œ–that it was the best and most effective way to enslave them, but that they should not do it openly, but rather weaken them and let them see gradually.”€ In other words, have a series of gun control laws rather than ban guns. Do it slowly, but get the guns away from them.

When Guns Go, Other Rights Follow

Tim:

And one of the thoughts is, as you just mentioned, the founding fathers identified that once you lose your rights of self-defence, self-protection, even as a people, as a collective whole, ultimately you start to lose your other rights. And this is certainly the case when you look at nations – when they lose their guns it’s not very long after they lose their freedom of speech. It’s not very long after they lose their religious rights and abilities. And so really the Second Amendment was second because it wasn’t the same level, right. They numbered them and not that they were all sequentially numbered, this is more important than this one.

But when you look at them there was a reason the First Amendment became the First Amendment. When you look at liberty, religious liberty, and the freedom of religion, you look at speech. But the reason the Second Amendment”€™s there is it protects our ability to have the freedom of speech, it protects our ability to have religious liberty, and if we lose the ability to protect our rights, ultimately the government will take away all the rights that we’re supposed to have. And ultimately the Second Amendment helps protect.

Gun Control, Evidence That Widespread Gun Ownership Keeps Us Safe

Rick:

I think it was Joseph Story that called it the Palladium, maybe it was one of the other guys, but it is without it the other freedoms are not going to– we’re not going to have those. So, it’s absolutely essential. And for those that they need to know more about it – if you’re indifferent to this, as Joseph Story said, it could lead to disgust. And so therefore you need to not be indifferent, you need to study it, and you didn’t know what the real basis is. Get that booklet on the Second Amendment. You can get it at WallBuilders.com.

We appreciate you listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.

Outro:

Samuel Adams said, “€œThe liberties of our Country and the freedom of our civil Constitution are worth defending against hazards. And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”€