Contradictions and Errors in the Pennsylvania History McDonald Amicus from Professional Historians
Dealing directly with the Pennsylvania Minority's bill of rights proposals, the historians make this observation:
"This suggests that Madison and Congress knew about the "Reasons of Dissent," read them, and treated them like a menu, selecting some options and rejecting others, including the individual-oriented gun-right provisions. . . .
The proposals of the Pennsylvania dissenters that were incorporated, sometimes almost word-for-word, into the [U.S.] Bill of Rights include the rights in the Free Exercise, Free Press, and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment, and those in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Amendments. . . . But Congress decided not to recognize the individual-oriented gun rights in the Dissent, including the right not to be disarmed except in exceptional circumstances and the right to hunt." [pp.28, 29]
However, contradicting their claim that Congress rejected the Minority's desired protection relating to the right to bear arms, the Second Amendment clearly contains Pennsylvania style language in its second clause, which James Madison altered from a Pennsylvania style declaration into a restrictive form:
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". [OSA, p.654, underline added]
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Minority's provision protected the people's right to "keep" arms by preventing passage of laws for "disarming the people or any of them". Exactly the same purpose was achieved in the Second Amendment by simply adding "keep" to the existing people have a right to bear arms language. It should be clear to any unbiased reader that the historians are in complete denial of period sources they are fully aware of.
For the sake of historical clarity, the Pennsylvania style language found in the U.S. Bill of Rights resulted from the fact that George Mason wrote the model for the U.S. Bill of Rights in the Virginia Ratifying Convention using the Virginia Declaration of Rights as the foundation with added provisions from other states, including Pennsylvania. While there is no doubt that the members of Congress were familiar with the proposals of the Pennsylvania Minority, they did not need to use the Minority's proposals directly as a menu, because their provisions were incorporated in Mason's proposal. All of the first eight amendments are directly based upon Mason's model Bill of Rights, [OSA, pp.388-390] which included the "bear arms" style language of the Pennsylvania Minority that originated in the 1776 Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights. [OSA, p.754]
There is another historical fact also contradicting the historians. A total of fifteen amendments were proposed by the Pennsylvania Minority. [OSA, pp.150-152] Only the first seven were based on quotes of Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights provisions, the seventh one being "the people have a right to bear arms" protection. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, which passed the Bill of Rights amendments, was Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg from Pennsylvania. He stated in an August 18, 1789 letter that the congressional proposal of amendments, mostly bill of rights provisions, about to be passed from the House to the Senate "takes in the principal Amendments which our Minority had so much at Heart". [FVRBA, p.195, OSA. p.799] The principal amendments were bill of rights proposals. That was the reason why the first amendments to the U.S. Constitution were Bill of Rights provisions, the first eight of which were all developed directly from state bills of rights protections. Pennsylvania was the state where "the people have a right to bear arms" language first appeared. That language is the foundation for the Second Amendment's second, restrictive clause.
That the historians are attempting to deny, separate, and explain away Pennsylvania "people have a right to bear arms" language as entirely unrelated to the Second Amendment is evident. Their attempts to do so lead to many more errors of fact than those documented above, as will be noted in future posts of this series.