Weapons Of War, The True Definition: It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, a special day of the week where we get to answer questions from you, the listeners! We’re always answering your questions from constitutional principles! Today we are answering your question on the definition of, “weapons of war,”€ what weapons did the Founders personally carry, and did they prohibit any kind of weapon to be privately owned in their era? Tune in now to find out!   

Air Date: 04/05/2018

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:

Thomas Jefferson said, “€œThe constitutions of most of our states, and of the United States, assert 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 to the intersection of faith and culture. This is WallBuilders Live and you found us on a Thursday. We call this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. So, every week we try to dive into these foundational principles. We’re always talking about the hottest topics of the day in policy, faith, and the culture. But we always address those things from a particular perspective – we call it a biblical, historical, and constitutional, perspective. And certainly when it comes down to our foundations we want to do exactly that.

So, to have that conversation today we have David Barton with us. He’s America’s premier historian and the founder here at WallBuilders. Also Tim Barton, our President at WallBuilders, he”€™s a national speaker and pastor. And my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator. You can find out more about us, you can also book us to speak, you can get all kinds of great tools at WallBuilders.com and WallBuildesLive.com. So, check out those two websites today.

Then I”€™m going to give you one other thing, it’s an e-mail, and that’s a way for you to ask questions for these Thursday programs. The e-mail is [email protected], [email protected] So, if you have some questions about some of the policies right now that you hear in the news and you want to know what the founders thought about that sort of thing, or you want to know about founding principles from the founding era, or a biblical application of some of these things. Send those questions into us – we’d love to get to them. We’re going to try to get to as many as we can today.

David and Tim, we’ve got a stack, so we’ll see how fast we can get through them. You guys ready?

David:

Let’s fire.

You Shouldn”€™t Own a Cannon

Rick:

First foundational question today says, “€œOnce again with tragedy in the news, we hear talk of, “€˜weapons of war”€™ having no place in the hands of individuals. Statements like, “€˜you shouldn’t own a cannon.”€ Now wait a minute, I’m a big Gonzalez Texas fan. We could talk about cannons. But anyway let’s go to the rest of the question now.

David:

I’ll bet you most folks have no clue what that means with Gonzales Texas.

Rick:

We’ve got to do a program on–

Tim:

Well, just come and take it.

Rick:

Yes. Come and take the flag, the white flag with the black cannon. Okay, whole different program right. He goes on to say, “€œWhat weapons of war did the Founders themselves own? Did they own cannons? What was the most powerful weapon in existence during the time of the Founders? And did they prohibit the private possession of that weapon?”€

This is a good question. It actually fits with a major topic today in the news because I’m hearing that a lot from these young activists that are out there now saying we need to get rid of the Second Amendment, we need to get rid of all these weapons of “€œwar”€. So, what do you guys say? What did the Founders actually use and were they allowed to have those in private possession?

Tim:

Well, there’s a lot of fallacies with the notion of weapons of war because war is a description related to what you are doing with the weapon. So, by definition, a bowie knife is a weapon of war if you’re using it in war. So, if you look to what have traditionally been weapons of war you could look at a .30-06 bolt action rifle that’s been used as a weapon of war. You can look at a 1911 45 caliber pistol – that’s a weapon of war.

There’s a lot of nine millimeters and– you start looking at things that are very basic weapons, but when you use them in a certain setting it becomes a weapon of war. Sniper rifles, well, there’s a lot of people that deer hunt, or that hunt elk, or sheep, or whatever the case is, that hunt with the exact same caliber exact same style of rifle. Now, that difference might be in the military their scopes are anywhere from six thousand to twenty thousand dollars. Generally, a hunter is not going to put something of quite that level of a scope on their gun with that glass.

The Debate is So Skewed

Tim:

But the point is the debate has been so skewed to where now even this notion will an A.R. 15 as a weapon of war even though that’s the most common weapon used in home personal defense protecting your property, protecting your family on that property. So, there’s a lot of things that have been skewed, but it does go back to what’s significant about the question is what was the intent or design of the Second Amendment? And did the founding fathers really think you ought to be able to have the same kind of weapons as, perhaps, the government? Which I think is really where the question is going.

Rick:

And even– typically I don’t necessarily side with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of things. But even the Supreme Court said that an A.R., because it is– anything that’s a common and popular weapon, in this case millions of Americans are using it. That that that even from their perspective fits within this modern sometimes interpretation of the Second Amendment. So that one that seems like everybody’s going after as if somehow getting rid of A.R. 15s is going to stop school shootings – it’s not, but that’s what they’ve got in their heads and that’s what they’re marching, for would in fact violate the purpose of the Second Amendment.

Tim:

Which also, so let me throw out a thought as long as we’re just kind of unfolding these arguments and attacks against it. One of the leading arguments against the A.R. 15 is that it’s this leading instrument and causing all of this death and harm. Which of course, statistics, FBI data, shows that’s not even close to accurate. What’s interesting though is just very recently there was a news report coming out of London where the London homicide, the murder rate–

David:

Now, wait a minute, let’s be real clear, London not only has stricter gun control laws than New York, Chicago, Baltimore, every American city, they don’t allow guns at all.

Tim:

They completely ban guns. Now, people would argue, “€œWait a second, there are some exceptions.”€ No, there are exceptions for some hunters – they can own certain shotguns, but they have to keep those locked up and in a certain kind of safe. And when they transport– it’s so heavily restricted. Citizens can own firearms, you have to do special applications, and have to have hunting grounds, and it’s all kinds of loops they have to jump through.

Murder Rate Surpassed Because of Stabbings

Tim:

So, London, which has essentially banned guns, has a higher murder rate than New York City.

Rick:

Wow.

Tim:

And so this place where–

David:

There are no guns–

Tim:

–there are no guns–

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

How did that happen? Well, because they’ve had an increase of stabbings over the last month or so. And so because people are now turning to knives, the death rate has risen so drastically in London it has surpassed New York City.

The reason I point that out is the advocates against guns, against the A.R.15, against the Second Amendment, would always say, “€œIf you get rid of guns we can solve this violent crime. We’ll have no more problems because without guns people won’t kill each other.”€ Which is just stupid to say, but now you can even look at London where they’ve banned guns and their homicide rate, their murder rate, has surpassed New York because of stabbings. So, even some of this notion from the other side, just major fallacies in what they’re communicating. But again, back to the founding fathers, what did they really intend when they did the Second Amendment?

David:

And by the way I’d point out that people can go to the WallBuilders YouTube channel and we’ve got some great clips on there about how the founding fathers thought you should be able to fight crime, and how you can control crime, and what you did to keep violent crime from occurring. So, on the youtube channel, WallBuilders YouTube channel, you find great short videos – one particularly called “€œgun control”€. And look at that and look at the others – you’ll enjoy them.

Rick:

Alright, guys, quick break. We’ll be right back, we”€™ll answer this question of what the founders actually used as weapons when they were in war and whether those were also personal weapons that they kept. Stay with us – you’re 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.”€

Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton with another moment from American history. The Second Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees to every individual the right to keep and bear arms, has been targeted for years now by those who are determined to dismantle the individual right to self protection.

Opponents argue that, “€œOnly the militia, the military, and law enforcement are to have and use firearms.”€ But those who wrote the Second Amendment strenuously disagreed, including Founding Father Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the declaration, a president of the Continental Congress, and one of those who actually framed the Second Amendment.

He declared, “€œTo preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”€

For more information about Richard Henry Lee and the history of the Second Amendment go to WallBuilders.com.

Intro:

George Washington said, “€œThe constitution approaches nearer to perfection than any other government instituted among men.”€

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. It”€™s Foundations of freedom Thursday today and we’re taking your questions. We’ve got one here that has to do with this new idea of weapons of war needing to be outlawed for citizens to be able to have. And, boy, how we would define that I don’t even know. But David you were back to share with us a little bit about the founding era “€œweapons of war”€, what was used in the war. I’m thinking muskets, and knives, and that sort of thing. And were people allowed to actually own the same thing they would take to battle?

David:

Well, a lot of this is what Tim identified earlier. How do you define weapons of war? So, let me just go back to weapons that have been used historically in wars and see if the founders owned any of those. Fists have been used in wars throughout the course of history. I think they all owned fists. I”€™m unaware–

Tim:

Generally speaking.

Weapons of War and the Founding Fathers

David:

–I’m unaware of any amputations of arms. We know a founding father who was missing a leg, amputation, but I know as far as I know, every founder had to fists. So, those are two weapons of war that they had at their disposal. They also lived in houses that had knives and as far as I know, knives are also weapons of war and have been so for thousands and thousands of years.

On top of that they also ownecd matches and fire is another weapon of war that has been used for thousands of years. You take and you launch fireballs, and you start burning houses, and you burn fields, and you burn all sorts of stuff, to destroy the enemy. So, fire, they all had fire. If you go beyond that they all had rocks and rocks are certainly weapons of war – whether you use them as slingshots, or catapults, or just clubbing somebody like Cain.

See, there’s no end to what’s a weapon of war depending on how you define it. Because if you look across history at what has been used to kill people in times of war– Let’s go to John Wick – a pencil is a weapon of war in the hands of John Wick.

Rick:

Right.

Tim:

Now, let me just jump in though because a lot of people would say, “€œNow, wait a second. The Second Amendment, though, it talks about guns, right. So, at this point it’s not weapons of war, it’s guns, and we need to change the Second Amendment so it doesn’t say guns.”€ Because at this point, people really aren’t saying knives–

David:

Wait a minute read the Second Amendment.

Tim:

–they’re not saying fists. Well, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed and “€œarms”€, of course, was interpreted to be guns.

David:

Well, some, some.

Tim:

Well, no, nobody”€™s thinking.

David:

I’ve got some more coming for you.

Much Broader Than They”€™re Indicating

Tim:

Okay, I’m just– But understand as we’re having the conversation, right, this is with the other side is saying. And so they are going, “€œOh my gosh, you’re saying things. That’s not even what it’s about. And now you’re changing the subject. Which, really, all we’re doing is defining that weapons of war is much broader than what they’re indicating because describing something as a weapon of war is a description of the action it is used for, right.

Rick

Right.

Tim:

So, I can have a warhorse that is also a pleasure riding a horse, or a plow horse, but in times of war it became a war horse. It’s based on how you use it – not just what the object is that defines, in this case, this adjective that”€™s a descriptive for it with a weapon of war.

But the Second Amendment, they would say, “€œWell, really that’s about guns. It’s not about rocks, it’s not about fire, it’s not about your fist, we’re trying to limit guns is what their argument”€™s gonna be.

Rick:

Well, that might have been hanging over the fireplace, right? The squirrel gun basically that they used right there at their home is what they grabbed and went off to war with – wasn’t it?

Coming Back to Intent

David:

Well, now you come back to intent. And this is what Tim”€™s talking about is the Second Amendment. And U.S. Supreme Court, in 1892, had a brilliant statement that said, “€œIf you want to know what the original intent is, see what the evil was that they were trying to remedy.”€ See what it was they were trying to fix. And the Second Amendment is all about being able to defend yourself. The government cannot stop you from defending yourself with whatever means you have at your disposal, with whatever tools you have available, you cannot be stopped from defending yourself. And so whether that’s defending yourself from the government, when that”€™s defending yourself–

Rick:

Yeah. I was hoping you”€™d add that.

David:

–whether it’s defending yourself from a criminal, whether that’s defending yourself from whatever it is, you have the right, you have the God given right, to defend yourself with whatever tools you have at your disposal. So, that is the purpose of the Second Amendment. So, those that want to say, “€œWell, it’s just about guns.”€ No, it’s just about me being able to defend myself from any attack that comes against me. Now, this leads to a really key point that we’ll get to in just a second.

Rick:

Alright, we’re going to take a quick break. And by the way, since we mentioned Gonzales, that’s what the cannon on that come and take it flag was all about was the people who had that canon being able to say to a tyrannical government, “€˜No, you want this cannon, you”€™ve got to come and take it.”€ They needed that cannon to defend themselves. And in the same way sometimes we need weapons to defend ourselves – either against the bad guy right outside the front door or against a tyrannical government. Stay with us, folks. We”€™ll be right back 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.”€

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 to learn more about this unique opportunity. It’s happening April 13th and 14th and you can attend for free. 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 April 13th. For all the details visit RickGreen.com today.

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:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. We’ve got a great question today – already into our third segment on this one question and it’s all about whether or not “€œweapons of war”€ are protected by the Second Amendment and whether they should be in the hands of individuals.

What Defines Weapons of War?

Rick:

And of course, David, Tim, you guys have already been talking about the definition of that – what is a weapon of war and great points on the fact that that could be your fist, it could be knives, it could be a handgun, it could be a rifle, it could be all kinds of things, it’s a weapon, or it’s an arm, or “€œarms”€ as the Second Amendment would say. Just depends on how it’s used.

David:

Well, go to what Tim said about horses. A horse can be something that’s used in war, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a war animal. It could be used for a pleasure ride–

Tim:

Although, technically, if you’re using it in a way, its become a war animal.

David:

That’s right. That’s right.

Tim:

Right. So, in that sense it’s made it a war animal, but it didn’t start off being a war animal necessarily. It could have been the farm animal, it could have been the kid’s animal, the kid’s horse, it could have been– whatever it is– the trail horse, the pleasure of horse, the plow horse. But it’s based on how you are using it is how we would then use it for the definition.

David:

So, with that point that horses can be, if you will, they can be part of a weapon of war or not. Listen to how we had early gun control laws in early America. Here, for example, is a gun control law in Massachusetts from 1798. Ready for this? It says that, “€œNo person shall ride or go armed offensively to the fear or tear of the good citizens of this Commonwealth.”€ In other words, if you”€™ve got a gun with you and you intend to use it in an offensive manner that’s what we prohibit. We’re not worried about the gun – we’re worried about what you do with that gun. We’re worried about whether you use it offensive–

Listen to this – this is California in 1849. It says that, “€œNo pistol, gun, knife, bludgeon, or other offensive weapon with intent to assault any person shall be allowed.”€ Now that’s that’s all about intent. A knife is not necessarily a weapon of war unless you have intent to assault someone else and then it is. A gun is not a weapon of war unless you have intent to assault someone else and than it is.

Could You Own a Cannon?

David:

And you have the same law in Delaware in 1852, and District of Columbia 1857, in Maine in 1841. You have it in Oregon in 1853, Pennsylvania 1862, Wisconsin 1858 – I can just go through the other states. We were into this thing of it’s not guns that bothers, it’s not knives or rocks that bothers, it”€™s not horses that bothers – it”€™s the intent you use them with.

And that goes back to the Second Amendment. You have a right to defend yourself from whatever kind of weapon is brought to bear against you. Now, having said that, part of the question was, “€œHey, could you own a cannon?”€ Well, amazingly, there’s a lot of laws on cannon ownership.

Rick:

They actually had specific statutes that spoke directly to cannons.

David:

They did. And here’s one in Massachusetts – is find to own a canon, but we just don’t want that shooting it in town. So, the ban is not on the cannon, the ban is on where you shoot it – just don’t shoot it in town. Here’s a Massachusetts law from 1782 and it”€™s fine to own cannons, but keep it unloaded when it’s in your house. Because they had so many house fires back then. If you have a cannon loaded in your house and you have a fire, that’s a real problem.

Tim:

What would you have a loaded cannon in your house for though?

David:

Exactly.

Tim:

Right, like I’ve heard of being ready to defend your home if somebody comes in, but–

Rick:

Oh, no, that was, “€œKids, you’re gonna behave.”€

Tim:

Oh yeah. Yeah. I don’t know what you’re doing with that cannon in the house, it doesn”€™t seem like the most appropriate place for a cannon.

Rick:

Right, right.

Tim:

Nonetheless, somebody had a cannon in a house at some point or the law wouldn’t have been there.

Requires an Oath of Allegiance

David:

You have a Pennsylvania law in 1779 that says you”€™re welcome to a cannon as long as you’re on our side. It’s says if you take an oath of loyalty and allegiance to the country, if you’re one of us, you’re welcome to have a cannon – no worries at all.

But if you have not taken that oath of allegiance then you don’t get to have– and it says here real clear – you don’t get to have a cannon, or a mortar, or any other piece of ordnance, or any blunderbuss, or any wall piece, or musket, or fuse, or carbine, or pistols, or other firearms, or any handgun, or any sword, or any cutlass, or bayonet, or pike, or other warlike weapon. If you’re not part of us we don’t want you having stuff that can hurt the nation. And so again Pennsylvania– it’s all about intent. It wasn’t about the ability to own these things.

New Hampshire in 1823 it says that you”€™re welcome to have a cannon, just don’t fire it within a mile of the courthouse. So, that’s the limitation on having your own cannon. I want to read you this law from from Ohio – 1877. It says whoever, except in case of invasion by a foreign enemy, or to suppress insurrection, or a mob, or for the purpose of raising the body of a drowned person, or for the purpose of blasting or removing rock, fires any cannon or explodes at any time more than four ounces of gunpowder upon any street or highway, or nearer than ten rides to the same, shall be fined.

So, again, they didn’t care if you had all this stuff and you’re welcome to use it. But you just can’t use more than four ounces of gunpowder with it if you’re within a certain distance of the town. Again–

Rick:

It almost  sounds like a noise ordinance as much as anything else.

David:

It”€™s close to that. It”€™s real close to that. So, I can just keep going through all of these laws.

We Forget What the Second Amendment Was For

Tim:

I would say what’s significant about this is what we’re identifying is the same kind of weapons the military owned, the people were allowed to own, And, of course, today people are going, “€œWait a second. You can’t have the same level of weapons for normal people because they’re going to do more destructive things. But it’s because we forget what the Second Amendment was for. The Second Amendment was not explicitly written for self-protection from a thief. It was not written for self-protection from a lion, or a bear, or a snake. The Second Amendment was written with the understanding of what we had seen governments do for the history of mankind – become abusive, tyrannical, and take away the rights of men.

Rick:

Yeah.

Tim:

And they said, therefore, we’re going to have the Second Amendment to make sure the government can never take away your God given rights. Which, of course, one of those rights was our right to self-defence and self-protection, even from this tyrannical government–

Rick:

Which is why it”€™s security of a free state, right? It’s so that we can have a free state, it’s to protect freedom, it’s not to hunt. And it’s not even, like you were saying, it wasn’t originally intended for just that personal self-protection – which it does allow for, but it is the protection of, literally, the society itself and the freedom from a tyrannical government.

Tim:

Which is why they thought it was okay that you had the same level of weapon as the government did. That way the government would always hold themselves in check and go, “€œYou know what? I’m not sure that I want to go kick in this door because if I don’t come in a suitable manner they might respond in a way I don’t enjoy.”€

Every State Except Texas

David:

Hey, guys, I’ve got a piece of information I found out last night. This is really cool. I was told by a historian last night that when you look at Russia and what they had for the United States they had plans to invade every state in the United States except…Texas. Texas is the only state that– and they said there were too many guns in Texas. They would invade the other states, but they would not invade Texas. That’s on Soviet plans and, Tim, that goes back to– and for people who think this is really strange that you can’t have a gun to protect yourself from the government, read the book on the Second Amendment we”€™ve done. The founding fathers say exactly that, that is specific.

And, guys, before closing I’ve got two laws I want to throw at you. I really like these – this is pretty cool. 1813, Kentucky banned concealed carry guns. So, Kentucky says you– 1813 – that’s back early. They said you cannot have concealed carry guns. That sounds like gun control that we get today. Interestingly, in 1822, the Supreme Court of Kentucky overturned that law and said, “€œNo, no, no–“€ and they quoted the state constitution, “€œThe right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned.”€ They said, “€œYou cannot regulate that because that is an inalienable right.”€

Then if you jump forward a little bit later, when you get to 1837, Georgia outlawed the sale of pistols. And they called them the prevalent use of deadly weapons. So, in 1837 Georgia does a gun control law. And then in 1846 the Georgia Supreme Court quoted the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and said, “€œNo, you can’t have that law because you’re hindering the ability of the people to own weapons and to defend themselves.”€

So, there is a lot of fun stuff back there the people today just don’t hear much about including that we could own cannons, and mortars, and blunderbusses, as anything else, as long as we were not using them in an offensive manner.

Our Constitution Only Works When?

Rick:

Interesting that that language in the Kentucky Constitution and many state constitutions does then go to the personal defense as well as the defense of the state as well. And now we know why Red Dawn didn’t happen in Texas – it happened somewhere else where the Russians weren’t afraid to invade in the movies anyway, but–

Tim:

Well, and, guys, let me point out, too, in the midst of this debate and discussion about guns and what should be legal and shouldn’t be legal, I think it’s important to remember too – the founding fathers said that our nation only works with a religious and moral people.

John Adams says, “€œOur Constitution was made only for religious moral people. It’s wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”€ The only way that freedom works is when you have people that are choosing to operate in morality. The reason we’re having these gun debates now is because we’re seeing so much immorality around us and people are using guns to do immoral things. Now, if you remove guns it doesn’t mean immorality stops because you might see what we talked about in London, right, where they are bringing out knives and stabbing people.

But as people are having this debate removing guns does not solve violent crimes. It doesn’t solve the morality problem. And so in the midst of this, no, the solution is not take guns away – and guns actually can be a part of the solution to helping protect and keep us safe. When bad guys want to do us harm, well, the fact that we have guns, the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. That”€™s just been shown time and time again.

But the ultimate solution is not related to guns, the ultimate solution is related to promoting morality and getting morality back into the nation. Because until you fix the heart, then we’re going to have these kinds of problems and the debate will continue.

Weapons Of War, The True Definition

Rick:

Thanks for listening today ,folks. We’ve got more of your questions, we couldn’t get to all of them today. Next Thursday, Foundations of Freedom Thursday, we’ll get to as many as we can as well. And then of course we have the archives of the last few weeks there at WallBuildersLive.com. Thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live.

Outro:

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.”€