L. Neil Smith's
Number 286, August 29, 2004

"Our society undoubtedly over-reacts to naked breasts"

Survey of the Bill of Rights: Article 3
by Ron Beatty

Exclusive to TLE

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

I must confess that for a long time I didn't see the purpose of this amendment in our modern world. I thought that surely we could get rid of this one! It was meant only to prevent the kind of abuses which had existed under the tyrannical rule of George III, where colonists were forced to feed, shelter, and support in every possible way and at their own expense, the soldiers who were assigned to their homes.

Then I read the Gran'pa Jack booklets published and distributed by JPFO. This made me think of this one a little differently, but what really changed my mind on the need for this amendment was Hope, written by L. Neil Smith and Aaron Zelman.

In an early chapter of the book, Alexander Hope is giving a lecture on the Bill of Rights, starting with the Third Amendment. In his presentation, he brings forth the many abuses of the quartering process, which basically destroys the homes and freedoms of the 'hosts'. Basically, what the Third Amendment means is that the government, or its agents, can not take or use your property, without your consent. Please note that this is not the same as eminent domain, which is addressed in another amendment.

This amendment, with very little thought at all, makes RICO unconstitutional. It makes asset forfeiture unconstitutional. In fact, it makes any and all of the piratical practices of our government as totally illegal as the actions they are designed to prevent! You know, I really hate saying that. Not because it isn't true, but because I really hate insulting pirates that way!

Do you think our Founding Fathers would have approved of the murder of Don Scott, on the pretext of searching for marijuana (hemp, which George Washington grew as a cash crop), so the local law enforcement agencies could steal his estate?

Do you think the Founding Fathers would have approved of laws requiring the confiscation of an innocent person's property, because someone else used it in a crime? A victimless crime, at that? For example, a man who solicited a prostitute in Detroit in his ex-wife's car, was arrested. The car was impounded and confiscated, with the state supreme court eventually deciding that she should have known that he was going to commit a criminal act! Not that she did know, but that she should have known that a criminal act might be committed. Does this make any sense to you? Doesn't to me, but then again, we all know that lawyers and judges are required to not have any common sense. After all, if the law was easy enough for anyone to understand, then we wouldn't need them, would we?) I can't help of Shakespeare, in Henry V saying "... kill all the lawyers!"

Do you think the Founding Fathers would have approved of taking an elderly Ohio woman's family farm because a few marijuana plants were found on the land? Plants she didn't even know about?

What does all this have to do with quartering soldiers in houses? Directly, nothing. However, when you look at the long string of abuses which quartering led to, abuses committed by and with the approval of government agents, it gives a sickening picture of our society today.

Today, many 'police officers' are no better than those redcoat soldiers who robbed, destroyed, raped and humiliated those who were forced to care for them. Today, we are forced, by illegal and confiscatory taxes to support rapacious government officials. We are forced, by lawyers, judges, police officers, federal agents, and politicians, to pay their salaries, provide for their welfare (retirement and benefit plans much better than most of us can afford), and we don't have one thing to say about it! Did anyone ask you if you wanted to spend over 40,000 for a beginning policeman's salary? Did anyone ask you if your local congresscritter was worth over 100 grand a year? Is this really any different than what happened over 228 years ago? I really don't think so. Just as back then, we are being forced, under threat of death or jail to pay for the support of government officials and agents.

I think this is more than enough for such a short, inconsequential little amendment. As always, I invite each and every one of you, look up the facts, prove to yourselves that I am telling you the truth, at least as I see it.


The Home Gunsmith

A treasure-trove of practical home-made weapons for personal defense and home security. thehomegunsmith.com

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.

to advance to the next article
to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 286, August 29, 2004