In the wake of two more tragic shootings, we can no doubt expect another major push to curtail our 2nd Amendment Rights. The Fort Hood shooting comes almost five-years to the day after a similar tragedy occurred in the very same place. This brings to mind the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” There is no logical reason for military personnel being forbidden to open-carry side-arms while on base, but of course logic is bypassed when emotions are inflamed and there is an agenda to prosecute, so we can fully expect the anti-gun chorus, including our President and many in Congress, to rise in another crescendo of indignation. Indeed, hardly a day passes without We the People needing to remind our elected representatives about the principles enshrined in the Constitution, principles which many in Washington feel entitled to ignore, apparently by virtue of their having sworn an oath to uphold them. Let us recap:
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Some like to rationalize the meaning of the Second Amendment, suggesting it pertains to hunting and self-defense. Both are important, but neither is paramount. The principle reason for the Second Amendment is to guaranty that “We the People” have the teeth needed to thwart tyranny throughout the ages – tyranny from whatever quarter it might come. No honest assessment can derive any other conclusion.
Nonetheless, to some this conclusion seems like an anachronism. “What tyranny,” they ask. “We live in a free country!” And to play Devils advocate, let me say I can sympathize, not because there is no tyranny – which I will shortly demonstrate there most certainly is – but because we have been conditioned to see through it. The mechanisms for our conditioning are many, and they have built a world of distraction around us – a world filled with professional sports and soap-operas, movie stars and fake science, tall tales and enticing scandals, political theater and contrived divisions, and so much more. These all mask the true nature of our growing predicament.
We are all familiar with the TSA and the shakedowns it provides at our Nation’s airports. Of course airport security is important, but does the TSA really need to feel the scrotums of old men, force incontinent women to remove their adult diapers, or feel inside the pants of toddlers? And do you know the TSA will occasionally insert the image of a handgun into some random traveler’s luggage? This happened to me, and they all seemed to think it was a pretty good joke. At catching would-be terrorists, the TSA has been tested and found ineffective, but the agency has succeeded in raising humiliation to an art form while conditioning many to accept it as normal. This is soft tyranny.
Or how about the checkpoints popping up all over the Country? Cars are being pulled over at State lines and drivers interrogated as to their reasons for travel and the contents of their vehicles. In other cases, drivers are being waved into parking lots and asked to provide breath and tissue samples. Officially, these checkpoints are voluntary, but drivers who encounter them are not told so and are instead intimidated into compliance. People who know their rights and stick up for themselves have escaped these traps, but the rest meekly suffer harassment. This is soft tyranny.
Also consider that the Affordable Care Act. With seemingly noble intentions and an admirable title, this Act includes funding for a domestic security force that rivals most militaries. In the wake of its passage, dozens of domestic Federal agencies have purchased massive amounts of weapons and ammunition, and huge numbers of armored military vehicles have been donated to local law enforcement agencies. Exactly what are all these preparations for? And in light of this, consider the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Nine-thousand armed-and-armored men descended on Boston and the surrounding suburbs in the blink of an eye, all to capture two alleged suspects. Armed teams went door to door, forcing Watertown residents into the street – sometimes at gunpoint – while their homes were searched. Was this soft tyranny, or was it tyranny metastasizing?
Now let’s step it up and look at the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). While this bill funds our military, the Federal Government has also used it to grant itself plenary power to kill any American, anywhere, anytime, or to detain any American indefinitely. While the Federal Government may rationalize why it requires such power, there is no plausible excuse – save for an immediate and dire threat – for suspending the right of the American People to “Due Process” – the right to speak with a lawyer, to notify loved ones, and to receive trial by a jury of peers.
Lastly, consider the ongoing revelations about NSA spying. Is there any real need to go into it? Sadly, the list goes on and on.
In isolation, it might be possible to rationalize many of the steps being taken by our Federal Government, but collectively, anointing itself with such powers over those it purports to serve brings only one word to mind. Consequently, and with all due respect, rather than proposing new legislation to further infringe on the 2nd Amendment, we should demand politicians pare existing laws back. As for those who seek to curtail our Right to keep and bear arms even further, their hubris dumbfounds the sensibilities of humble men. It defies comprehension to witness intellects who presume their wisdom superior to the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, George Washington, James Madison and John Adams to name but a few of our Founding Fathers.
It is patently wrong to punish honorable Americans who stand by and for our Nation’s Founding Principles. If our elected representatives had any humility, they instead would start paying a lot more attention to the Constitution they swore a sacred oath to uphold. Yes, there may be restrictions that should be placed upon individuals under psychiatric care, but any such restrictions must be tightly confined to prevent abuse of what constitutes “mental illness.” Thus we Hope, by the Founders whose voices echo through history, and by the relics and memorials throughout our Nation which stand in mute witness to the sacrifices made to secure these very Principles, and we pray, in the name of God the Creator from whom the Rights of Man flow, that humility and wisdom can prevail once again in Washington DC.
East Greenwich, Rhode Island