I tend to think of myself as a realist. I see trends, and follow those trends to their logical conclusions. Then I look at what societal and cultural circumstances might limit those trends. I read news stories, probably too many, and I follow blogs, again probably too many. I also talk to people and try to find out what they are thinking. Now, Mrs. PolyKahr thinks I am pessimistic. Certainly if one looks at trends today, one sees no end to, what for me and many of those I talk to, the bad news. Our rights are being taken by governments at all levels, while our responsibilities and legal liabilities only grow. Witness We have crossed the Rubicon by Eric Peters over at Lew Rockwell. Does Peters sound a little paranoid? Well, maybe, but then after witnessing what has happened over the last two decades, I can't help being just a little paranoid.
For example, a friend the other day happened to mention a hypothetical to try out on me. (Now remember, this was sprung on me, and it is not a complete analysis.) My friend wondered whether he could keep his gun on his person in a flight from Raleigh to Charlotte where he was to purchase a car for the return trip. He would, he pointed out, have no baggage to carry since he intended to return that day. He would not be going to another State so his North Carolina permit would be good for the entire trip. I pointed out that in any case, the State authority that owns the Raleigh-Durham airport doesn't permit guns anywhere on the grounds of the airport. Beside that, the Federal Government has carved out little Federal Reservations at each airport where, we are told without any apparent irony, we don't have any Constitutionally protected rights. At that point, another friend who had been listening pointed out that in the old days we used to carry guns on the plane and nobody thought anything about it. In a mere 40 years we have gone from carrying on planes with no paperwork, to having enough regulation to at least cause you a little bit of concern. Now, the responsibility to know at all times where one's gun is has not been relieved for any of us that carry. If our gun is used in a crime, we will surely be questioned at the least, and may face prosecution. But the best way to know where one's gun is, is to have it secured in a holster on the hip. Government has made that impossible.
While self defense is a fundamental right that has been pared away over time, we have been losing our rights to property, and our liberty a slice at a time for decades. In most urban areas today, a tree can not cut down on your own property without a permit. Do you actually own that tree, or does the government? You must pay taxes on any income you earn for working. So who owns the fruits of your labor, you or the government? The debate the regime is waging right now over how much of his income a wealthy individual should pay would indicate that the government assumes it does. And if the government owns the product of our labor, it must think it owns us too.
A piece at the American Thinker today, entitled We Need Not Repeat 1776, by Deane Waldman paints a picture that seems to be too pollyannaish about our prospects, at least to the realist in me. Waldman makes essentially the same point in his article that I made in the previous post that the Founders gave us a way to hold a bloodless revolution whenever our government did not meet our needs. What he didn't point out is how the will of the majority of the people is being subverted at every turn by collectivists in an effort to get some new voters.
One of the most infamous attempts to disenfranchise large numbers of North Carolina voters comes in the form of the NAACP and the NC Democrat Party suing the leaders of the House and Senate to overturn the new voting districts, which resulted from the 2010 census and the election of a Republican controlled Legislature. What they hope to do is get a court to invalidate the results of the 2010 election. And instead of throwing these rascals out on their ear, it appears that the court is entertaining the case!
I can't help but feel like I have been taken Back in the USSR. Merry Christmas all!
Update: Over at the American Thinker today is The Hitman Cometh: America to be a 'War Zone' touching on similar topics. It is a good read.