Black Wire Blog


Is Phil Murphy New Jersey’s Sir William Keith?

February 28, 2018 5:30 PM | Anonymous member

In Federalist 26 Hamilton wrote,

“Schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community require time to mature them for execution.” [Hamilton, A., Madison, J., & Jay, J. (2000). The Federalist. Birmingham: Palladium Press. 164.]

During the Debates of the Federal Constitution, on August 23, 1787, the Committee of Eleven were responsible for the Militia Clauses in Article 1 Section 8. [Elliot's Debates, Volume 1 pg. 258; See Vol. 1, pg. 248 (naming Langdon, King, Sherman, Livingston, Clymer, Dickinson, M'Henry, Mason, Williamson, C. C. Pinckney, Baldwin to the Committee.)]

George Mason was on the Committee of Eleven with New Jersey’s William Livingston and

>‘Mason (had) introduced the subject of regulating the militia. He thought such a power necessary to be given to the general government. He hoped there would be no standing army in time of peace, unless it might be for a few garrisons. The militia ought, therefore, to be the more effectually prepared for the public defence. Thirteen states will never concur in any one system, if the disciplining of the militia be left in their hands. If they will not give up the power over the whole, they probably will over a part, as a select militia. He moved, as an addition to the propositions just referred to the committee of detail, and to be referred in like manner, “a power to regulate the militia.”’ [Elliot's Debates, Volume 5, pg. 440. Saturday, August 18, 1787.]

But even though Mason had initiated the Militia Clause of Article 1 Section 8 (Congress shall have Power To ...provide for calling forth the Militia), a year later on Saturday, June 14, 1788, Mason became panicked about his own Militia Clause saying “unless there be some restrictions on the power of calling forth the militia … we may very easily see that it will produce dreadful oppressions.” Mason was afraid the Militia Clause could be used to make the people hate militia duty and install a standing army. Mason was looking for some form of Constitutional Protection guarantees and told the following story which means as much to us in New Jersey in 2018 as it did in 1787. Mason said,

>“No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valor. But when once a standing army is established in any country, the people lose their liberty. When, against a regular and disciplined army, yeomanry are the only defence,--yeomanry, unskilful and unarmed,--what chance is there for preserving freedom? Give me leave to recur to the page of history, to warn you of your present danger. Recollect the history of most nations of the world. What havoc, desolation, and destruction, have been perpetrated by standing armies! An instance within the memory of some of this house will show us how our militia may be destroyed. Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, (Sir William Keith) who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia. [Here Mr. Mason quoted sundry passages to this effect.] This was a most iniquitous project. Why should we not provide against the danger of having our militia, our real and natural strength, destroyed? The general government ought, at the same time, to have some such power. But we need not give them power to abolish our militia. If they neglect to arm them, and prescribe proper discipline, they will be of no use. I am not acquainted with the military profession. I beg to be excused for any errors I may commit with respect to it. But I stand on the general principles of freedom, whereon I dare to meet any one. I wish that, in case the general government should neglect to arm and discipline the militia, there should be an express declaration that the state governments might arm and discipline them. With this single exception, I would agree to this part, as I am conscious the government ought to have the power. [Elliot's Debates, Volume 3 page 380.]

Mason never signed the Constitution because it didn’t contain a Bill of Rights to protect against this. [See Elliot's Debates, Friday, June 27, 1788. Vol. 3 Pg. 659. (proposed Bill of Rights 17th Clause "That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."); Elliot's Vol. 5 pg. 502 (Col. MASON seconded the motion, declaring that he would sooner chop off his right hand than put it to the Constitution as it now stands.)]

But to us in New Jersey we have to look at Mason's words (citing Keith), “to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.”

Look at the laws in New Jersey now. No Carry Permits for anyone. 15 round magazines, no flash suppressors, no bayonet lugs, no collapsible stocks, no .50 Caliber, Permit for every handgun, one gun a month &c. &c. 

Look at the Bills ready to be signed by Murphy.

A2761 Magazine Ban: Reduces maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

A2758 Kills right to carry: Codifies regulations defining justifiable need to carry handgun.

A2757 Requires dealer background checks for private gun sales.

A1016 Smart Guns: Establishes commission to approve smart guns; requires firearm retailers to sell smart guns.

A1217 Authorizes gun violence restraining orders and firearm seizure warrants.

A1181 Requires firearms seizure when mental health "professionals" think someone poses risk.

Is Murphy the modern day Sir William Keith?

Is Murphy, like Keith, trying to disarm us?

Is Murphy, like Keith, trying to “weaken us?”

Is Murphy, like Keith, trying to let us sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia?”

Historically understanding a government would try to disarm its own people to enslave them, the only other question becomes, what exactly is Murphy trying to do? 

"Schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community require time to mature them for execution." 

"unarmed,--what chance is there for preserving freedom?" 


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