USA Herald

The Bill of Rights is not a quaint relic of the 1700’s

Isn’t it stunning how liberals can so vociferously defend all forms of speech under the First Amendment while so resoundingly renounce and seek to limit the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment?

Liberal hypocrisy aside, our constitutional guarantees for both of those two amendments come from the very same place, the Bill of Rights, which was necessary for the very formation of our nation. Without the first ten amendments to that glorious document and the assurance provided therein, the Constitution itself likely would never have been ratified.

Even former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice fell into the liberal trap of guilt and remorse following the tragic loss of life from the Parkland Florida shooting when she called for consideration of a host of limits on the rights of lawful gun owners.

Of course, lightweights like former Congresswoman Gwen Graham also weighed in arguing that voters and elected leaders must choose between children and the NRA. Leave it to Graham to try to both capitalize on the deaths of 17 people while simultaneously reducing the argument to a national gun rights group who had nothing to do with the tragedy.

Sadly, Ms. Graham and people of her ilk fail to realize that the argument is about freedom and protection, not guns and certainly not the NRA. The right to keep and bear arms is not guaranteed by the NRA, but by the supreme document of this land.  If Democrats don’t like this guarantee, there is a process by which to amend the constitution and it is not done by name-calling, complaining and whining.

No words can express the deep sadness we all feel for the victims and their families for the tragedy carried out by a mad man. Nothing can right that wrong. But ignoring the liberties granted to us by the Constitution and conjuring up drama by denouncing an organization show the short-sighted failure of liberals to appreciate freedom earned by the blood of patriots they neither understand nor appreciate.

Even the stunning revelations that these deaths could have been avoided had law enforcement acted quicker and paid closer attention to prior threats do nothing to lessen the sting of this horrific tragedy. These killings shake our souls.

Only the shooter committed a crime.  Only the shooter should be blamed. 

Gun rights advocates should not fall into the trap of blaming law enforcement for this shooting any more than gun control advocates should blame guns. Both may have played a limited role in the dreadful scene, but only the shooter committed a crime. There is one man to blame for this tragedy and Nikolas Cruz will most assuredly pay for his crime.

The simple fact is that in free societies, human beings will never be 100% safe from violence.  This is so because we are human, and humans are an unpredictable species. Guns are an easy culprit to blame, but inanimate objects like guns, knives, cars and nails do not kill people.  People kill people, and people are where the focus for solutions and greater protection must lie.

Liberals try to blame an object, while renouncing objectification.

Banning handguns was the target of the left in the 70’s, but liberals like to make good theater, so they have now focused on semi-automatic rifles, even giving them a dastardly name, the “assault rifle.”  Their drama and their use of guns to rally their base is deplorable, but this is the world we live in today where politics for politics sake takes precedence over country, good public policy and respectful civil discourse.

The truth is, no matter what we ban, the only people who will use banned instruments for bad deeds will be criminals. Stunningly, it is lost on liberals that most people using freely available instruments for crimes are criminals. The acts committed by these whack-jobs are already illegal, so a reaction to make them even more illegal by banning the instrument of their evil and expecting a different result is foolish on its face.

Liberals know that guns are not the only things that kill people. They don’t care, they want to control people lives and guns are one of America’s greatest symbols and expressions of freedom. Control guns, control minds.

Instead of looking at the glorification of weapons, guns, killing and the desensitizing of death brought by Hollywood’s liberals and the gaming industry, picking on guns is the approach because conservatives like them. God forbid that liberals consider the dangers of the First Amendment!  Suing Glock is much more fun for the left than attacking their liberal elite check writers in Hollywood.

Logic and history tells us that banning guns, even semi-automatic rifles, won’t stop lunatics from killing. Criminals will use whatever they can get their hands on: airplanes, automobiles, knives, fertilizer and pipe bombs, to name a few.

Banning guns might even lead to more lethal measures and objects, given the readily available instruction manual for mass killings called the Internet. Regardless, banning guns, even semi-automatic rifles would do little to nothing to change their availability to the scum that use weapons to kill.

Even if all guns were banned, criminals and psychopaths don’t worry about breaking the law and are creative enough simply to find other means than guns to carry out their carnage, like the bombs used to attack the Boston Marathon, thus relegating any gun ban to a punishment of the innocent.

Unless we all want to use plastic knives for our meals, organic fertilizers for farming, stop flying and driving for travel and instead ride horses, perhaps we ought to stop with the banning and start focusing on the types of people who commit these crimes and determining how to get them help or at least how to stop them before they shoot.

Banning guns would, however, prevent honest, law abiding citizens from the pleasure of shooting, the ability to protect themselves from harm and eliminate a constitutional guarantee intended as a deterrent to governmental tyranny, which are all part of the reason the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights.

Facts and history matter

Yes, a healthy fear of government as well as the ability to defend a nation, not hunting, are why we have the Second Amendment.  That wise and healthy fear of government was founded in a newborn nation that had an extremely limited federal presence. Today’s federal government would strike fear in even the most ardent federalists of their day, so much so that at least one scholar has recently stated that we “have abandoned our founders.”

Banning guns, yes, even semi-automatic rifles, would deprive law abiding citizens from their constitutional right to keep and bear arms and that would be intolerable.  For those like Condi Rice who think the Second Amendment is a quaint relic of the past, we can only ask why and if it is, why are the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments not in the same category?

The inconvenient truth here is hard for liberals to reconcile and conservatives must fight the trap liberals lay for them with their limited choices of ways to deal with these tragedies.

What people like Gwen Graham will never accept is that guns are about freedom and they are a part of our guarantee of it. Totalitarians and liberal fascists understand this as banning guns is their first deed upon assuming power as it enables the government easier control of all aspects of people’s lives.

There are lessons to learn from the past. Hitler knew that banning guns was a great way to start his quest for a totalitarian Third Reich.  

Greater firepower is no greater reason to restrict the Second Amendment than the Internet is a good reason to restrict the First

Liberals will argue that the Founders meant “muskets,” not pistols or semi-automatic rifles when they considered the Second Amendment.  This argument is an insult to our history and the great men who wrote our nation’s founding documents.

Gun technology has certainly advanced since the Bill of Rights became the law of the land, but let’s take a look at the advancements in the right to associate and speak relative to guns and the advances of technology related to the First versus the Second Amendment.

To be clear, the Bill of Rights is about protecting ourselves FROM our government, not about the rights of the government. When you read Federalist 45 is there is any doubt about the Founders intent and fear of and desire to limit a strong federal power?  That the right to keep and bear arms is the SECOND amendment listed tell us the Founders understood its importance.

Remember, “We the People” empower our government to govern us, it is decidedly not the other way around. The Constitution was written by a Virginian who had a healthy regard for the new nation’s government, understanding its necessity, while also fearing it and its ever-growing encroachment on the lives of the citizenry and having a strong desire to limit its power.

In the context of the Bill of Rights being created to protect the citizenry from tyranny, and there is no other context for it to be considered, it is logical that citizens can have access to the same kind of things to which government has access. This only makes sense.

A closer look at our laws and the reality of the First and Second Amendments shows a clear similarity of the government and the people’s abilities related to the First Amendment, but a radical difference in the government’s “arms” v. the citizenry guaranteed in the Second Amendment.  So why are we beating up the Second Amendment?

In the case of the First Amendment – amazing and radical changes in speech and communication have occurred since the 1700’s where men would stand on soap boxes on street corners to make their point. Newspapers were the way people communicated most prolifically then, at least to the literate elite portion of the population.

Other than the great example of not allowing one to yell “fire” in a crowded theatre, there are very few regulations on speech in this country where crucifixes are doused in urine, flags are burned. Political speech, ironically, is perhaps the greatest regulated speech in the land of the free, given all the disclosure required to pay for it.

Today, between Facebook, Twitter and internet in general, a revolution of speech has been afforded to every citizen on the planet to speak his or her mind. Never could our Founders have foreseen these amazing technologies available to both the government and the people. Nobody is suggesting that they should be solely the domain of the government.

The left has no issue fighting for the rights of the people to freely communicate without government tracking or interference – and the left is correct in doing so.  It is sad liberals are so selective and hypocritical in their embrace of the Constitution to only what they like and favor.

Most assuredly, ours and other government’s use these methods of communications to control, and subvert both here and abroad, but nobody would suggest these technologies be limited to the government’s use.  They are and should be readily available to every citizen of the US and indeed, the world, for free and largely unregulated use, save the Patriot Act (which many liberals and conservatives deeply and wisely mistrust).

Conversely, let’s look at the Second Amendment, an Amendment equal to the First in every way and see how it is regulated. In America today, our citizens can own handguns, shotguns, rifles and semi-automatic rifles. That’s about it.  A quick look at any branch of the military and it is clear that the government’s arsenal trumps the citizenry’s.

Those who do not understand the cause of freedom and wish to suggest that the NRA and its supporters are radicals living in a bygone era, should thank God every day that they have the right and ability to feel, say and write such things. The Bill of Rights ensures their freedom to do so. Of course, many of the same refuse to allow the mere mention of God, so thanking Him might be difficult.

Constant resolute defense of freedom is the only way for America to endure

Citizens who understand freedom and are willing to withstand the ridicule and hate of the left to fight for what is right must forgive their detractors, for they have no appreciation of freedom since they have never had to fight for it. Tolerating liberal insolence, hypocrisy and ineptness however, does not mean stand down and accept it.  To the contrary, freedom loving Americans must rise up and speak more wisely, more profoundly, more loudly, but always respectfully.

It would be better for liberals to appreciate the commitment to freedom but Second Amendment advocates must not allow liberal ridicule and nihilism to discourage their passion.  We can only hope liberals never realize how wrong they are, for that only could occur when our freedoms are gone. Had Hitler conquered England in WWII due to Chamberlain’s appeasement strategy, Churchill would have derived no satisfaction in having been right.

For those of us who appreciate history and damn well refuse to repeat the many examples of governmental tyranny, think only of the words of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, “those willing to forgo freedom for security deserve neither.”