I have been pondering the issue of illegal and illegitimate government, that is government unbounded by the laws established by our legislative branch, as well as activist judges who twist the laws and Constitution to say things the writers and the Founders never intended to say, for a number of years now. In the latter category, I would put the collectivist theory of the Second Amendment. We can read the writings of the founders, the Federalist papers on the topic, as well as we can read the Constitution itself, and it is pretty clear to all with an open mind that it was intended as an individual right. Even Alan Dershowitz, that progressive Constitutional scholar, has come to the conclusion that it is an individual right. Historians can look at a number of documents and ascertain that clearly it was intended as an individual right. Indeed, the collectivist theory did not arise until the 20th century, along with the rise of progressivism. Yet despite the relatively recent reinterpretation of the Constitution by progressives, it took thousands of man hours by scholars as diverse as Steven Holbrook, Dave Kopel, Alan Korwin, and Dave Hardy; it took the organizing effects of groups like the Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and belatedly and unenthusiastically, the NRA; it took 40 years of effort by individuals fighting a seemingly quixotic battle, and it took having a Supreme Court that would listen and a spunky lawyer like Alan Gura to bring the case, all to prove what we already knew. Namely that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. Here's something else we know: that States that require a Concealed Carry permit and that restrict that permit in terms of where and when you may carry are also infringing that individual right.
I started off with the Second Amendment because I wanted to show that this sort of thing has been going on for at least 100 years, and it is not just the scheme of the current holder of the Office of President, though that person has greatly accelerated the process. It is also not the scheme of Democrats or Republicans either. Both parties elected officials are guilty of loving power more than their country. The "Gunwalker Scandal" is only the latest, and in some ways the most egregious, in a long line of government actions that either break the laws set out for everyone else, or violate the Constitution that every elected official, and indeed every so called civil servant is sworn to uphold.
A quick review of the "Only Ones" files over at the War on Guns website will illustrate that many police officers have come to view themselves not as paid servants of the people they serve, but as masters whose job is to control us. In many cases, we find that the police have acted in ways that if a private citizen were to act, the private citizen would be arrested, yet they are found to be acting within "police protocols." We find in the Olofson case that the ATF acts with, shall we say, fluid standards and that the judges seem to assume that the prosecution is acting in good faith despite clear evidence to the contrary. The TSA runs grope-a-thons and takes naked pictures of citizens, acts that if a private citizen were to do them on the street, would have him or her arrested and put on the sexual offender registry, and we meekly submit. Has everyone forgotten our history? the Founding generation would be shooting already.
Then there is the slow erosion of property rights, starting with the money you make by the sweat of your brow. Through inflation, the money you earn has slowly eroded to the point that a dollar today is worth only pennies compared to the dollar a person earned in 1900. There are rulings like the Kelo decision that made every one's home a potential target of some developer who wants it to build a higher tax base for the government. Then there are the countless environmental laws and regulations that restrict what you may do and build on your land, yet no compensation has ever been offered. The Supreme Court has even found that carbon dioxide, a ubiquitous gas that every living animal breathes out, and that every living plant uses for food must be regulated by the EPA, a decision that makes no sense scientifically, and which the government has no constitutional authority with which to deal. Rather, it is a move designed to put more power in the hands of the government.
In yesterday's American Thinker there appeared an article entitled Of Rebels and Rebellions, by Jeremy Egerer, that makes the case that it is not we, the Constitutionalists who are "insurrectionists" but they, the Progressives, who are trying to change the government.
It has been claimed, by prominent media outlets and even the American government, that right-wing movements comprise insurrectionary parties and that many conservatives are inherently opposed to the existence of our current government. But by following the writings of a man who greatly influenced the founding of our country, one could reasonably conclude that insurrection in America has already been underway for quite some time -- and that the conservative movement is not its main proponent.Early on in this Administration, the DOJ tried to intimidate Constitutionalists into silence by publishing documents telling law enforcement that Constitutionalists were now terrorists. It didn't work, but for those not paying attention, media reports created a certain taint to anyone who talks about such issues.
But suppose that an official of the government were to act against the common good of his society by disregarding the established laws and infringing upon the man's unalienable rights. Such an act would remove that citizen from the protection of the commonwealth and place him again in a state of war. For any organization which seeks to take property or life without legal precedent should commonly be recognized as an outlaw party no different from any pirate or robber (sect 202).Note carefully the events currently happening in Quartzite, AZ, where the police chief, with the backing of the town council, has taken over the town and is terrorizing everyone in it. So far, neither the Sheriff of the County, nor the State AG have taken action. Why have the townsmen not formed a militia and arrested these tyrants?
Locke argued that a man's position of authority gives him no more license than anyone else to act outside the law, just as anyone who has a greater chance of harming someone should be held by his neighbors under equal, if not greater, scrutiny. To do otherwise -- to grant authorities greater power to act outside their legal boundaries and to break laws -- would place citizens in greater danger than they were in before they formed their society in the first place. For a man defending himself against an entire nation of individuals and small gangs would stand a far greater chance than he would standing against an authority who maintained a total monopoly on violence.Some general principles that ought to be taught to every lawyer, in every law school, if it isn't already, is that the law can not be upheld by breaking the law. If to uphold the law, one must break it, then something is terribly wrong with the law. No man is above the law, no matter his station, status, or authority. The President may not order the death of other Americans without due process. The Congress may not use tax funding to subsidize one individual at the expense of another. Nor can they force individuals to purchase health insurance, or broccoli for that matter. High sounding phrases, and noble intentions do not change the fact that in both cases they are stealing from you and me and providing the money to someone else. Federal agencies may not knowingly and deliberately allow guns to walk across the border, much less sell them directly to drug cartels. To do so is the break the law in order to enforce it. Our Founders would have seen this for what it is.
It is plain to all who read the Constitution that our governmental powers have been transgressing their boundaries for quite some time now, and that they have overridden the original intent our forefathers engineered for both themselves and their children. Of course, some of these advances into the private citizen's rights have been made incrementally, and with the consent of an increasingly lazy, litigious, and immoral citizenry...
Jeremy Egerer closes with:
If the latter be America's leaders, and large portions of the American public be their supporters, then that is America's lot. Such a result is no fault of anyone other than a cowardly, ignorant, unrighteous populace. But those who oppose such traitors cannot be declared either outlaws or the true threat to our great American society. Rather, it is plain to all reasonable men that the opposition of illegitimate governmental pursuits amounts to nothing less than patriotism and self-defense. Indeed, under these circumstances, our very leadership, should it counter that patriotism, acts as a rebel force. So if Americans will not take their stand today for the protection of their God-given rights, it would not be unwise to declare victory for the rebels already.