“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
In the aftermath of the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, it was no surprise to this writer that California Senator Diane Feinstein has introduced legislation seeking extreme controls on private ownership of firearms. As a former resident of the San Francisco Bay Area I am quite familiar with Feinstein’s long-standing record on this subject, while she has also held a California concealed handgun permit; something that is virtually impossible for ordinary residents of that state to obtain.
It was also no surprise to hear Jerrold Nadler declare that the state ought to have a monopoly on the use of “legitimate violence.” Nadler has a similar record to Feinstein’s. and both have developed records as authoritarian statists, which fits right in with their current position on private ownership of weapons.
Both of the above fit right in with a statement from New Hampshire state legislator Cynthia Chase, who believes conservatives are the “single biggest threat” her state faces today, and wants to “pass measures that will restrict” the freedoms of Granite State conservatives.
What we see here are obvious and unveiled attacks on rights guaranteed by the Constitution; specifically, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and First Amendment freedom of speech, which in turn implies that Chase wants to make disagreement with the present political establishment a “thought crime.” The trend is obvious: Authoritarianism is now considered legitimate and dissent and the right of self-protection are considered a threat to state power to the extent that they must be banned.
These statements and others that have appeared in the public forum have shown, not that the anti-gun activists are trying to shame gun owners into giving up their rights, but rather that they are trying to convince gullible members of the public into believing that anyone who owns a firearm; anyone who holds a concealed handgun license; and anyone who believes that the Second Amendment protection is a legitimate and necessary part of a free society is a potential Newtown, Connecticut or Aurora, Colorado type shooter. Nothing could be further from the truth, but logic and statistics are of no consequence. And the fact that no statistics are published regarding the successful use of firearms to thwart crime plays right into the hands of the gun-grabbers. John Lott’s research into the matter has been ignored in favor of policy views that support government power at the expense of individual liberty.
It was several years ago that this writer suggested that the Rahm Emanuel maxim of not letting a crisis go to waste would likely be used as a means of circumventing the Constitution for the purpose of instating an authoritarian and unconstitutional government. The Sandy Hook tragedy, combined with the nation’s present economic problems appear to be tailor made for this type of action. What looms large in the way of such an action are the armed members of the population, many of whom are ex-military. There is also the potential of rebellion by military members who will refuse to attack citizens who stand up for their legitimate rights. Thus, the government is currently attempting to make their case by propaganda, while many informed individuals are actively augmenting their arsenals, or simply buying their own piece of personal protection in the expectation that their rights may be curtailed in the near future. They expect that confiscation may be a tough sell; so buying now is their best bet against the potential future.
The possibility that the present administration, or the next in line may try to eliminate popular sovereignty is real. Statists have been advocating in this direction ever since Woodrow Wilson’s doctoral dissertation described the constitutional checks and balances as mischievous. Wilson was the first President this writer is aware of who saw the Constitution as an impediment to proper government. The current crop of politicians appear to have graduated to the point of seeing constitutional protections as obstacles to their personal power. Government has been altered from an opportunity to serve the nation into one for power over others and even the possibility of despotism. Barack Obama’s ritzy vacations at public expense while the nation is still suffering from significant economic troubles, which are about to become worse, have the trappings of a despot. It is obvious that he cares only for himself, and not for the middle class, despite his oft-stated claims to the contrary.
With the Republican Party appearing to be a weak source of protection from government excesses, the public may be best protected by action at the state government level. Right now it would be reasonable for state governors to simply refuse to cooperate with dictates from Washington DC. If this means that they forego federal money, they will have to prioritize and likely cut their spending in the name of civil liberties. In 1861 this type of action led to war, but the circumstances were different.
Facing significant dissent and public support for it would be easier for DC to take half a loaf of despotism then the whole thing, given the economics of the whole thing. Further, it is likely that any use of force against the general public might turn greater numbers of citizens against government when its true colors show.
The Texas Legislative session will be starting in the near future. While it is not likely that they will undertake legislation to thwart federal over-reaching, it is also certain that they will be receiving missives from a concerned population. Texans like their guns and their Concealed Carry licenses. They are not going to give up on this without a fight.