The Death of Rule of Law – Part V of VI: The Right to Bear Arms

The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States: “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.”

Definitions

  • Keep: To have or retain possession of.
  • Bear: To carry on one’s person.
  • Infringe: Actively break the terms of a law or agreement.

Here is a list of the thirty-eight states where the individual’s right to keep and bear arms are consistent with or exceeds the U.S. Constitution’s guaranteed protection. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The twenty-six bolded states explicitly protect the right to bear arms even during times of peace when a standing militia is not necessary. (Note that only six states, California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York, have no constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms, theoretically deferring authority to the U.S. Constitution.)

The Death of The Right to Bear Arms

The Constitutional right to keep and bear arms is not completely dead because it is difficult to pull the teeth out of a bear’s mouth even when it is asleep. Every once in while you can ply one out, but it is tedious and requires a lot of persistence. That is why every year hundreds of local, state and federal legislators (all of whom swore to uphold the Constitution) write or sponsor all sorts of crazy, unconstitutional gun-control laws in hopes a few will pass here and there. Legislators such as Oregon’s wacky State Rep, Merwyn Greenlick, who proposed HB3200, a law that would send all owners of high capacity magazines to jail for 10 years and fine them $250,000. Greenlick’s bill failed, but a similar bill passed in New York State, and now owning a magazine that holds 11 or more bullets is a Class D Violent Felony, no different from 2nd degree rape. That is right, folks, New York State has declared that all Americans who invoke their Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms are just as bad as rapists.

Using this shotgun approach, legislators across the country have forced an unconstitutional patchwork of bizarre restrictions to the 2nd Amendment on Americans with the penultimate being Washington D.C.’s ban on empty shell casings. No kidding, if you are from Virginia, and you drive your truck through D.C. on your way to Delaware, you better not have any 22LR brass floating around your rig or you could find yourself in jail. 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? Er… did I miss the news where the District of Columbia seceded from the Union? Then again, if we could turn D.C. into its own little nation, put a wall around it, lock all our politicians inside with all the PACs, lobbyists and Fortune 500 CEOs, and then turn off the electricity, it would solve a hell of a lot of problems… and be really funny at the same time.

The bottom line is that making it illegal for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms does nothing to prevent crime or suicide. As a matter of fact, globally, the risk of violent death dramatically increases as the ordinary citizen loses their right to keep and bear arms. I am sick of progressive, anti-gun nuts going about preaching that firearms cause violence. As the saying goes, “God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal,” and the global statistics prove it. Nothing makes the bad guys think twice more than knowing the good guys can shoot back.

While global suicide rates remain statistically flat as lawful gun ownership rates drop, the risk of a violent death increases for the average disarmed society

Note that when lawful ownership of firearms amongst law-abiding citizens (the Good Guys) drops below 25 firearms per 100 citizens, the Bad Guys are emboldened and the global risk for a violent death dramatically increases and becomes wildly unpredictable.

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The Death of Rule of Law – Part IV of VI: The Right to Petition

Money is the medium of exchange for goods and services in the form of coins and banknotes. It defines wealth, and its sole use is to buy and sell goods and services. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that money equals free speech. Therefore, logically, if money equals free speech, then free speech must equal money equals wealth. Thus a citizen without money is a citizen without free speech. The Constitution of the United States guarantees every citizen the right to free speech and the right to petition the Government for redress of grievances. The majority of Americans are of little economic means – they have no money to speak of – therefore, by defining free speech as money, the Supreme Court has used its power to politically silence most of America. A silenced citizen, one without money, cannot effectively petition the Government for redress of grievances. Unfortunately, since the balance of power in America is dead, the Supreme Court is not subject to any controlling legal authority, and most certainly has no respect for or fear of God Almighty.

Death of The Right to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievances

Not too many years ago corporate America paid about 30% of America’s tax burden while the citizens paid the other 70%. Then along came a corrupt judiciary that ruled that corporations were really people, though they are not, and campaign donations and political action committee dollars were really free speech, though they are not. It would be the same if a rich man pissed down your back and the Nine ruled that it was raining. It does not matter what the Supreme Court says, piss is piss.

Free speech can generate money, certainly. I make a few dollars selling my books, and Hillary Clinton makes a healthy living as a public speaker. Neither one of us actually pays people to listen to us. However, money does not generate free speech. All the money does is bribe the politician to listen to what the wealthy have to say. The wealthy are certainly free to say what ever they want to say without spending a dime, while politicians are free to act on the merits of their written or spoken arguments without taking a dime. The money, the material compensation, whether is it front door or back door, simply purchases political action regardless of merit. My employer pays me to do as I am told. I work for them, not on the merit of their words, but for pay. I would not work for them if all I received in return were words of praise and plaudits. The modern American politician counts on these quid pro quos as part of their overall financial plan. Money is not free speech. Money is compensation. At least in the English language, according to Webster’s Dictionary, it is.

Up until the late 1970s big business’s maximum tax rate hovered around 50%. Today, after throwing hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars at D.C. politicians, America’s corporations have dropped their top tax rate to 35%, a whopping 30% reduction in their maximum rate. Corporate America did not stop there. Now, through the steady creation of a bizarre array of tax loopholes, Big Business pays only about 10% of America’s total tax burden, a net 70% reduction of their historic rate. In return, thousands of D.C. politicians have been made into multimillionaires… either while still in office or shortly after leaving office. In fact, in a country of over 300 million citizens, political free speech in D.C. is controlled by less than one thousand wealthy groups and individuals. The common man simply cannot compete. We do not have the sort of money needed to grease the wheels of the political apparatus. No elected official is going to get rich off of us, so we are stuck paying 90% of the taxes while corporate America brags about record profits, accumulates massive war chests, and owns a near monopoly when it comes to petitioning the Government.

On April 2nd, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court further denied the common man the ability to petition the government by striking down significant legal limitations on financial contributions to candidates, parties and PACs. Now the super wealthy can spend their way to an even firmer stranglehold on our government, while the common man has nothing but the poverty of words to convince elected officials to do the right thing. Legally, according to the Supreme Court, money equals free speech, and money is worth infinitely more than words. Because of the U.S. Supreme Court, money talks, not words. Money persuades, not words. Money gets redress of grievances, not words. Frankly, if you cussed out one of those arrogant justices using words, you would likely spend the night in jail and then have to spend a lot of your hard-earned “free speech” to bail yourself out of the clink.

Take a look at the looming merger of cable giants Comcast and Time Warner. In an industry where there is already little true competition, it is an obviously bad deal for the everyday man. These companies have thrown tens of millions of dollars at politicians in recent years to sway their opinion. These companies are leading the charge to kill net-neutrality and change the Internet into a private, pay-to-play, piggy bank for internet service providers. If Uncle Sam approves their merger they will control access in 30% of America’s households. Billions of people around the globe have invested trillions of hours of work and countless dollars over the last two decades making the Internet what it is, yet leading ISPs like Comcast have managed to convince the Government that they did all the work and should be allowed to control access to Internet content. Pay-to-play is the theme here. This scenario plays itself out time and time again as Corporate America, the Radical Left, and the Radical Right repeatedly screw over John Q. Public. The Obligation to Purchase Redress of Grievances from the Government has replaced our Right to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievances. I suggest you write your congressman about it. Be sure to write a big, fat check of “free speech” to go along with your words.

The Death of Rule of Law – Part III of VI: Freedom of the Press

Death of the Free Press

In April and May of 2012 the U.S. Justice Department, headed by President Obama’s friend Eric Holder, in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution, secretly obtained two months of Associated Press phone records. It was a fishing expedition. After all, who knows if someone at the AP is doing something illegal, treasonous or a threat to citizen security, right? Uncle Sam had to check to make sure… just to make America safer for the rest of us. Wow, did this catch the left-leaning, progressive AP off guard! In a time when so many politicians and government agencies are subverting the Rule of Law, the AP has largely given the lefty progressives a pass when it comes to hardball reporting. The AP could have (and ethically should have) reported all sorts of underhanded deals going on in DC, embarrassed the elites and changed the outcomes of elections in the process, yet they did not. Words are powerful, and the AP’s finely crafted words helped make the Obama presidency possible in the first place… and this is how Eric Holder repays them? Oh, the outrage! Oh, the “No one is going to prison for violating our Constitutional rights?” outrage!

Today, as Obama’s FCC, headed by Chairman Thomas Wheeler, plans to embed government observers in newsrooms across the nation to monitor the decisions of the Free Press, you would think the AP would again be outraged… or at least mention the story in passing. After all, the AP is a cornerstone of America’s Free Press. Yet a keyword search of “the news” on the AP homepage turned up no results, like some sort of conspiracy exists. Fox News certainly thinks so. Fox is the only major media outlet that regularly monitors and criticizes Obama’s government from a conservative point of view. They are the ones who will feel the brunt of the chilling effect of embedded government observation. Could it be that the AP is so desperate to stuff a sock in Fox’s big mouth that they are willing to hop back into the sack with a Government that spies on them? It makes me wonder. The AP ought to change their name to GP, or Government Press.

Anyway, no matter how you slice it, if we allow our Government to spy on our journalists and embed government agents in our newsrooms at will, our Constitutionally protected Free Press is essentially dead, put down by the Government with hardly a whimper. Without a truly free and independent press to investigate and report political wrongdoing, the people cannot make informed decisions. If the people cannot make informed decisions, if propaganda rules the day, democracy is dead.

The Death of Rule of Law – Part II of VI: Free Association, Free Speech, and Security in Our Personal Effects

Death of Free Association

In most nations on planet Earth participating in political opposition is extremely dangerous. Truly peaceful debate amongst political enemies followed by a vote of the people is the rare exception to the rule. In most nations elections, those in power rig the outcomes, terrorize the voters, and imprison or assassinate the opposition. This fundamentally means that, in those despot nations who purport to have free elections, every election cycle is really a minor civil war, and every change in power is a coup d’état.

Our Founding Fathers wanted a better system… a peaceful system where the people decide who leads and the rules are democratic and fair for the majority and the minority. A system where people of like mind could gather, speak their mind and attempt to effect change without fear of murder, imprisonment or harassment, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances.” President Richard Nixon violated this fundamental tenet of democracy and ended up resigning the presidency as a result. That was forty years ago.

Now enter President Barack Obama. We already know that the NSA tracks all our individual communication networks… just in case. What you may not know is that once he was in office, Obama’s IRS began targeting and harassing many of his political enemies, such as Christine O’Donnell, to such an extent as to actually sway electoral outcomes. A parade of political conservatives have testified about the harassment before Congress, while former IRS official, Lois Lerner, in a tantamount admission of guilt, exercised her Fifth Amendment rights hoping to dodge responsibility for denying President Obama’s enemies their First Amendment rights.

I am confident there will never be any legal repercussions for President Obama and he will finish his term as president unscathed. His people will close ranks and no one of any import will go to prison because Congress will invariably conclude the abuse of power was not illegal. All Nixon did was have his minions break into the office of his opponents in the attempt to steal their playbook. Not even Nixon had the brass to attempt to use a government agency to bully his enemies into submission.

 

Death of Free Speech and the Death of Unlawful Search and Seizure

Freedom of speech is not about gossip or pornography or vulgar language or campaign donations or PAC dollars. Those are the evils of free speech. Our Constitutional guarantee of free speech exists so we can criticize the King and the British East India Company without being punished. Not only do we have a guarantee of free speech, U.S. and international copyright laws say we own the copyright for everything we say and write. Those laws are effectively dead, assaulted by arrogant leaders and rapidly developing technologies, and killed by our malaise.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

In 2013, whistle-blower Edward Snowden, confirmed what everyone already knew. The Federal Government, along with giant corporations of all kinds were recording, tracking, and tabulating our every electronic movement. Our conversations, our correspondence, our purchases, our internet searches, everything. All without warrant or just cause, and without financially compensating us for illegally benefiting from our copyrighted materials. This massive database is then mined to create a profile in black and white of every American – our habits, attitudes, health, movements, associations and the like. Corporations are stealing the copyright of our lives for their own profit and the government is monitoring and storing the data, without warrant, to save for that rainy day some random, law-abiding citizen just might do something they do not like. With a few clicks on a keyboard our lives can be parsed, our characters assassinated and our futures crippled.

All this has a very chilling effect on real free speech – the kind of speech that criticizes the government or takes the rich and powerful to task. For instance, Obama’s IRS used its power to single out and assassinate the character of Delaware Republican senatorial candidate, Christine O’Donnell. In 2010 O’Donnell was in a close race against Democrat Chris Coons. Despite O’Donnell’s outspoken conservative views in a relative progressive stronghold, she was mounting serious threat to Coons’ election. The voters liked her… so someone in Obama’s IRS decided to place a fake tax lien on a property she no longer owned, made the information public to embarrass her, and swung the election in Coons favor. Those in power did not like what O’Donnell had to say, did not want her deal with her as a senator, and made sure she lost – all with a few clicks on a computer. This is not Larry Flint or Catcher in the Rye. This is about the core of our democratic process, and if no one goes to prison, if there is no significant government accountability, then we know for certain true free speech and free association are dead and our personal effects are no longer our own.