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27 Words That Will Undo the Constitution

27 Words That Will Undo the Constitution

by Sunni Maravillosa

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.

That sentence seems so straightforward, doesn't it? Yet the debate as to what the Founders meant by the Second Amendment to the Constitution continues to rage. As the latest escalation in the war on guns-the lawsuits against gun manufacturers brought by cities across the country-progresses, "rage" is an apt sentiment for those who value and strive to uphold the Constitution. While many other political items get attention from the talking heads and politicians, discontent over the increasing energy with which the Second Amendment is being attacked quietly grows. It is a powder keg waiting for a spark.

Many of the gun-grabbers' arguments for restrictions and bans center on the word "militia". However, the meaning of the term is straightforward: a military force, especially one comprised of citizens rather than professional soldiers. Some, in a convoluted interpretation of the word, claim that the term refers to state militias (e.g., the National Guard). If the Founders intended to limit gun ownership in this way, no writings exist to support that interpretation. The second part of the amendment is clear, however, and more difficult for Newspeak experts to argue away. In those days, "the people" meant literally that-the citizens of this nation. Indeed, many patriots of that day are on record as supporting the right of the individual to own firearms. Samuel Adams' well-known quotation is a good example: The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.

Others, recognizing the thin ice underlying linguistic arguments such as these, take a different tactic. It's common to hear arguments that the Founders had no idea that weaponry would advance as it has, leading to automatic weapons that can fire hundreds of rounds in seconds, missiles that can strike a target across a continent with deadly accuracy, and even nuclear weapons with their global capacity for death and destruction. While that may be true-something I'm loathe to grant, as Jefferson and others were clearly men of great minds, seeing beyond their time and circumstances-it is irrelevant. No one seriously advances arguments such as, "the Founders didn't foresee the high speeds capable by automobiles, so we must control access to them", or "refrigeration is a powerful tool that the Founders couldn't have predicted would be so important, therefore its use must be highly regulated, with mandatory licenses, training, and permission to refrigerate granted by the state".

Others who would trample the Constitution try to appeal to our "self-interest" with their arguments. They point to the violence in our society, and attribute much of it to the presence of firearms. Many also like to emphasize the power of guns, saying that they are "designed to kill". My response to the latter is a simple, "No shit!" Again, these arguments fail to consider all the data, or miss the point entirely. Some who make these arguments don't know-or conveniently overlook-the history of settling the West. There were some violent gunfights, which were popular as movie fodder in years past, but largely Western towns were peaceful places because most citizens were armed, and bad guys knew it. As many satires on gun control point out, people aren't calling for "vehicle control", despite the fact that automobile accidents kill far more individuals than firearm accidents.

Still, many people think that it's "reasonable" to favor some kinds of gun control. Some buy into the "sporting use" arguments offered by gun-grabbers: "Why does a law-abiding citizen need a weapon powerful enough to shred Bambi into a casserole right there in the forest?" Other arguments generally go something like this: "Handguns, shotguns, and some rifles are okay for people to own, but no one needs a fully-automatic rifle or a machine gun. What would anyone need that kind of weapon for?" However, owning firearms was never about hunting-it's about "the security of a free state". How secure-and free-can we be when all we're "allowed" to possess are .22-caliber rifles and 11-round magazines, against the military's .50-caliber automatic rifles and worse?

To Disarm the People is the Best and Most Effective Way to Enslave Them

In recent years, and with increasing fervor in the wake of the attempted assassination of President Reagan, gun-grabbers have been calling for-and getting-increases in so-called gun control, not just nationally with the Brady Bill, but at state and local levels as well. "Handgun violence" has become their slogan-as though handguns had started sprouting little feet, running amok on their own and killing people left and right. They've seemingly convinced the media that it's on the rise. Neither they nor the media apparently care to be bothered with research, such as the Lott and Mustard study. For every instance of a child finding and accidentally discharging a weapon that gets reported, there are many more instances of a would-be crime victim successfully defending him- or herself against a crime with a firearm. Where are these stories in the newspapers? They tend not to be reported, probably because they contradict the image the media wants to project.

By not reporting such cases, the media does the general public a double disservice. First, as already stated, it skews the image of gun use that most people have, giving the gun-grabbers easy targets for their weak rhetoric. More importantly, it hides the truth of the effectiveness of firearm ownership as a means of self-defense. How else would a 96-pound grandmother be able to fend off a 220-pound bad guy determined to rob her? There's no other equalizer of force as potent as the responsible use of firearms. The right to self-defense is an important, fundamental right all human beings possess. No one has the right to restrict another person's choice in this area, yet that's exactly what gun control laws do. Who seriously thinks that a criminal is going to obey the laws in obtaining a gun? That's why most people who understand how gun control laws work refer to them as "victim disarmament laws". A look at the rate of violent crimes in areas which have passed concealed carry weapons laws, comparing rates before and after their enactment, consistently shows a decrease. Criminals want easy targets, and gun control laws provide them with plenty of them.

Still, many politicians continue to push for more gun control. Why? It's possible that some can't see their way past the arguments of the gun-control lobbyists, not bothering to try to sort out the claims and get to the truth. Increasingly, however, I'm convinced that many don't even try to get at the truth surrounding this issue, because they know it would interfere with their goal, which is to try to control Americans. What better way to push us into submission than by removing the tools that give us the ability to resist? George Mason knew this; that's why he made the statement that heads this section. Hitler knew it, which is why he made it illegal for anyone outside his military to possess firearms. Jackboot Janet Reno is on record as stating that this administration's goal is an outright ban on private firearm ownership. Clinton has also demonstrated his lack of respect for the Constitution he swore to uphold and defend: "We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans." (USA Today, March 11, 1993). Under the guise of escalating violence, and the desire to protect law-abiding citizens, the gun-control crowd is slowly but surely getting its way.

The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed

Where are the "gun nuts"-as we've been branded-while all this has happened? To be sure, there have been protests and complaints from citizens who are pro-gun or pro-Constitution. In all honesty, much of the action from this side seems to be ineffectual thus far. Many choose to voice their dissatisfaction with letters to elected representatives, joining pro-gun organizations in hopes their membership dues will buy some clout for their cause, or to complain amongst themselves. What good will it do to write to the very people who are passing gun control and confiscation measures every session? Does anyone honestly think such a person will suddenly be swayed by the facts?

For years, the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest "pro-gun" organization in this country, has been advertising itself as the best champion of the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA). However, it has written some of the very bills that limit our freedom! Its justification for doing so is that its proposals are less damaging than what anti-gunners want. But any infringement on our rights in this area is damaging. The NRA's tactics are as gun-grabbing as Sarah Brady's, only she has the decency to clearly state her position. In addition, the NRA has a record of ignoring the most pro-gun candidates in elections, choosing instead to support a candidate who seems to have a better chance of being elected, even if that candidate is worse on the gun issue. This does not inspire confidence that the NRA is serious about defending the second amendment. (Fortunately, there are alternatives to the NRA. Gun Owners of America (GOA)- a non-profit lobbying organization devoted to RKBA issues. Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (JPFO)- a non-profit educational organization. Both are staunchly pro-gun.)

Every bit of legislation that has been passed that says you can't have a certain firearm, magazine, or kind of ammunition is unconstitutional. Every law that requires you to be processed, checked, fingerprinted, tested, or "educated" before buying any firearm is unconstitutional. Anyone who tries to tell you that they support the second amendment and advocates any of these actions is either uneducated, trying to put something over on you, or both. It's as simple as that.

Those of us who cherish freedom and the fundamental human right of self-defense need to fully understand the preceding paragraph and to realize just how successful the gun grabbers have been. Once that happens, I predict we will begin to take meaningful action to gain back recognition of our rights. That will be the spark that sets off the powder keg, as the gun-grabbers are accustomed to little or ineffectual resistance, and will be reluctant to back away from their goal. Much as I would dislike to see violence erupt, unless something gives in this area that possibility is increasingly likely. Buoyed by their success thus far, the gun-grabbers will continue to press for their goal of confiscation of all privately-owned firearms. Backed into a corner by such actions, at some point defenders of RKBA and the Constitution will have no choice but to fight back. Such a conflict could well be the beginning of the open abandonment of the Constitution.

Sunni Maravillosa

[Author's note: This essay was originally written March 5, 1999. I had no idea that things would start happening as quickly as they have.

More of Sunni Maravillosa's Essays can be found at the Liberty Round Table

If you think Sunni's overstating her case and that her fears for our right to self-defense are exaggerated, consider the following information in a recent GOA alert:

    (Friday, April 30, 1999) -- Well, Bill Clinton and the anti-gunners in Congress are doing their best to use the horrible tragedy in Colorado for their own political gain. Even Reuters pointed out yesterday that, "The White House has expressed hope that shock over the 15 deaths last week . . . will help fuel support for the [anti-gun crime] bill."

    No doubt, you heard the President this week parading his laundry list in a nationally televised press conference. His unconstitutional agenda calls for just about everything but the "kitchen sink:"

    * Background checks on buyers at all gun-show sales. With this provision, Clinton is seeking what his ideological predecessor, King George III, was never able to obtain-- a registration list of all gun buyers.

    * Raising the legal age for handgun possession from 18 to 21. (1) This provision will add a little spice to your next target shooting session with the young adult in your house. Your son or daughter will commit a felony as soon as they touch the handgun, if they do not-- as required by federal law-- have a written note of permission from you on their person while engaging in the handgun target practice.

    * Banning juvenile possession of certain semiautomatic rifles. Like the provision before it, this one will do nothing to stop juvenile thugs from using guns. Rather, it will punish law-abiding kids that go target shooting with their parents, or in some cases, will punish those brave teenagers that have used their family semi-auto to kill attackers in the home.

    * Mandatory prison sentences of three to 10 years and $10,000 fines for adults, including parents, who allow children access to guns. To avoid liability, parents will be forced to lock up their safety. How about a novel approach, like punishing the young thugs who use a gun to commit a crime for at least 10 years. The killers in the Ark. schoolyard shooting are going to be out of jail in about five years, which means that the grandparents-- whose guns were stolen to commit the crime-- could spend more time in jail under this provision than the actual perpetrators of the crime!

    * Mandatory "safety locks" on all guns sold. This provision will simply lead to the requirement that parents lock up their guns (see above). But locking up your safety means that a gun will not be immediately usable in an emergency and will actually cost lives. Need proof? The Wall Street Journal (4/23/99) noted how when Beretta tested a "Saf T Lok," it caused 18 of 27 rounds to "totally malfunction." And when Handgun Control's chief attorney attempted to demonstrate the same trigger lock at an HCI-sponsored event, he found, to his embarrassment, that he was unable to disengage the lock.

    * Making buyers of explosives subject to the same Brady law background checks as gun purchasers. This is one of the more comical of the President's proposals. Are we going to have to go through background checks to buy gasoline for our cars, propane tanks for our barbecues, nails for our building projects and fertilizer for our yards--all common items which can be used to make bombs? This could also mean that sportsmen who use muzzleloaders would have to undergo Brady checks every time they buy a can of powder.

    * Halting imports of ammunition clips that hold more than 10 rounds. Don't tell the President, but a shotgun can pump more lead in less than five seconds, than a semi-automatic (with large magazine clip) can put out in a minute. (2) If Clinton finds this out, then he might go after shotguns next.

    * Limiting individual handgun purchases to one per month. If Clinton can ration a constitutional right to one per month, then it can later be changed to one per year, one per lifetime, etc.

    * A lifetime ban on gun ownership for people who commit violent crimes as juveniles. The language for this provision needs to be viewed very carefully. After all, a mere verbal threat to damage property is a "crime of violence" under current federal law. Does this mean that an ill-advised, idle threat made in one's youth should keep that person from protecting his future family for the rest of his life?

    * A three-day waiting period for all handgun purchases, with an additional two days if law officers need them to complete their investigation. Waiting periods endanger the lives of innocent people who need self-protection. Just ask the residents of Los Angeles who fled to gun stores during the riots of 1992 to buy a gun for self-defense-- only to discover that they had to wait through a fifteen day waiting period.

Printer Version

There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws. AYN RAND

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