What is “drawing and quartering?” It was one of the most cruel and terrible punishments every created by the mind of man, and the British used it against subjects who were convicted of treason. The worst crime in the kingdom was not murder, but treason, for it was viewed not only as an offense again the Crown, but against the King himself. It was used as late as 1820, and was finally abolished in 1870.
These sorts of horrifying punishments were what the founding fathers deemed “cruel and unusual punishments.” When they ratified the Bill of Rights in 1791, they delineated strict limits for the scope and power of the federal government. Having been subjected to tyranny – and let it not be forgot that King George II was a tyrant – the founders wanted to be sure that no one would be subject to such terrible punishments in the new country.
The 8th Amendment speaks to this: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Was this a minor issue for them? Absolutely not. The men who put their names in ink on the Declaration of Independence a mere 16 years earlier were signing their own death warrants. It was an act of treason against the Crown, and King George III. If caught, they would lose everything including their lives, in a terrible manner. They knew it and they signed the document anyway.
What other “shall nots” do you see in the Bill of Rights? There are quite a few, and by the time you finish high school, you should have been exposed to every one of them. Such exposure should foster respect and reverence for that brilliant document. Sadly, in many K-12 school systems around the country, very little time, if any, is devoted to the study of the US Constitution, and the history of the violent struggle that preceded its creation. This explains why we see uninformed youth marching in the streets today with their absurd demand to ban guns and to repeal the crucially important 2nd Amendment – the very amendment which reinforces the rule of law and anti-tyranny structure of the US Constitution, by ensuring the government cannot disarm the people.
If guns are banned and the 2nd Amendment is repealed, will we see an immediate return to tyranny under a modern day King George III and a return to “cruel and unusual” punishments? Not likely, but, are you so naïve as to assume that the other rights you now enjoy will not soon disappear as well? What is to stop an unchecked all-powerful government from stripping you of those rights? A sense of “fair play” on their part? A reverence for the wisdom of our founding fathers and the U.S. Constitution? Don’t bet on it, for those same naïve, emotion-driven children marching in our streets today might well be your future legislators and judges tomorrow. A chilling thought, indeed.
— Your age is simply the number of circles you’ve made around the sun. Wisdom is the understanding and insight you gain upon each revolution.
At Semper Firearms Training we encourage you to buy a good firearm, get trained in how to use it, get a Nevada CCW permit, and continue your firearms training as part of a defensive lifestyle.
Image: The drawing and quartering of François Ravaillac, the assassin of Henry IV of France, 1610. Heinz-Dieter Falkenstein