Barack Obama and the forces of the left want to deprive me of my rights. Naturally, they want to strip you of your as well. In that sense, let us admit that they are equal opportunity despots. There’s a problem, however, and it’s simply this: I have committed no crime and no tort, and I have harmed no other living person, and after nearly half a century on the planet, and with nearly thirty years bearing arms, both privately and on behalf of my country, there are no innocent victims littering a bloody trail behind me. Obama and his minions would have you believe that their intention is to reduce gun violence, but that’s simply not true. The real intention is to punish the innocent, and to reward the guilty, but decent Americans who abide the law should have the clarity of conscience to reject the charge and to demand that the Obama administration prove our guilt before depriving us of our liberties. You see, that’s how it is supposed to work: The Constitution accords us each due process of law before our rights may be suspended, violated or infringed. Rather than confront the real problem, the gun-grabbers are building sentiment for punishing the innocent in lieu of the guilty.
There is no such notion in American law as a collectivized guilt to be shared between the innocent as well as the guilty. Both our civil and criminal legal systems are based in individualized concepts of justice. The Fifth Amendment as well as the Second guarantee that neither Obama nor Congress can take our guns simply because they concoct a figment of law in order to compel you. The Fifth Amendment’s text explains the context in which your rights may be suspended or violated:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.“(Emphasis added)
The relevant portions of this amendment make it plain that I am entitled to due process of law, and that due process is every bit as much an individual right as any other guaranteed by the constitution, although the government has gotten in the habit of pretending otherwise. I have a right to my arms, to bear them, and to maintain them in perpetuity without governmental interference, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. So long as that Amendment remains in force, in order to strip me of that right, the government must first accuse me of a crime, convince a jury of my guilt, and sentence me accordingly. I have the right to have my day in court, present a defense, and provide exculpatory evidence on my behalf. Leftists like to pretend that when Congress passes a law and the President signs it, or he enacts new regulations or dicta, this is all the due process to which individuals are entitled, but this is not the case particularly when we are talking about rights explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. The due process clause clearly applies to individuals. The text makes that fact plain, since it is written with a singular pronoun: In describing the “person” who shall have due process of law, it says: “himself.” One needn’t be a constitutional attorney or a Supreme Court justice to recognize the plain language of the constitution and to understand its meaning.
On this basis, I wish then to know when each of us will be charged in some manner, according to some law, on the basis of which Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and their host of Marxist brethren will present indictments against each of us. I want to know the charges against me. I want to know what is my alleged guilt so that I may be deprived of my explicit liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution. Passing a law to outlaw this gun or that magazine, subsequently accusing me of violating it, does not pass the constitutional stricture against post facto law, in the first instance, nor is such a law an individualized process. It is instead mass punishment. Mass punishment of any sort violates all the principles of the constitution, and yet what Obama and his goons would have you believe is that we must be deprived of so-called “Assault Weapons” on the basis of a collective guilt for the actions of a few criminals who have committed horrendous acts, to which we have no relationship.
Still others like Governor Cuomo pretend that the number of rounds we can have ought to be limited, but as one combat veteran explained to me when I was a young private in the Army, “You won’t know how much ammunition you’ll need until the firefight is over.” This is undeniably true, and I was reminded of it when a caller to Mark Levin’s show made much the same point. You don’t know how many bad guys you’ll face, or how they will be armed. Andrew Cuomo screaming at the top of his lungs about whether hunters have a legitimate need for magazines that hold more than ten rounds is a farce, because the Second amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting. Do hunters enjoy the protections of the Second Amendment? Certainly, but they are not the object of the Second Amendment, otherwise we would see an amendment elsewhere defining a “right to hunt.” This illusion the gun-grabbers want you to stumble over is a nonsensical argument because the founders did not enshrine the right to keep and bear arms in the US Constitution so their heirs could shoot deer, or wild turkeys, or ducks. They ratified it as a protection against governmental tyranny.
Now we are confronted with a President who wishes to deprive us of our right to keep and bear arms. He presents no charges against any of us, and he offers no evidence in substantiation of the non-existent charges. Instead, he plans to act with despotic discretion in the matter. I have been charged with no crime, and knowing the character of my average reader, they haven’t been charged with a crime, yet this President intends to punish us just as surely as any convicted felon in acting to deprive us of our rights. This is the sort of thing one sees in any growing tyranny, where laws and dicta are written to prevent crimes that may well never be committed by people who may well never have conceived of committing them. Vice President Biden offered that if so few as one life is saved by the actions they will take, it will have been worth it. If that is now to be the argument in favor of banning guns, let us apply it equally to every issue. How many lives will be needlessly ended under Obamacare? How many children are aborted each day? How many doctors make errors each day? How many people are killed in motor vehicle accidents, or are trampled by cattle, or are struck by lightning? Using such a fraudulent rationale, one must construct an endless list of things to be banned.
We must ban knives because if only one life is saved, it is worth it. We must ban doctors, because if even one life is saved, we have done something heroic. We must ban cars altogether, because if even one life is saved… We can go on ad nauseum, but ultimately, what the left will reveal if they don’t know you’re paying attention is that if it were up to them, they would ban people. The left now enacts laws, and too often, the so-called moderate Republicans go along, and the object of these laws is inevitably to punish you for being alive. If you use gasoline, you must be punished. If you use paper, you must be punished. If you use water, air, or anything at all, you must be punished. Only when you are reduced to the level of a slave does the punishment diminish in its frequency and severity.
The entire argument being advanced by leftists is that all we who own weapons are guilty each and every time some lunatic commits a heinous act of violence against his fellow men. It’s largely based on a fear-mongering argument contrived to make people believe that there is something inherently evil about the instrument, and therefore necessarily evil about all those who would possess them. This is roughly as sensible an argument as the idea that because some people drive drunk, we should therefore do away with the motor vehicle, or because some Islamic supremacist nuts flew four airplanes into buildings and a fourth into the ground, jetliners should now be banned in the name of the public safety. By this sort of disconnected anti-reasoning, we should blame Wilbur and Orville Wright for 9/11.
I reject such reasoning, as I reject the authority of all those who would advance it. Law-abiding Americans are not even distantly responsible for the actions of the shooters who perpetrate these crimes, any more than they are responsible for the hundreds of murders on the streets of Chicago. Taking away my guns or the guns of other law-abiding Americans will do nothing to reduce the actions of murderous predators, but more than that, nobody has made a valid charge against them. What is being done in this instance is a travesty, with leftist activists making sure the crisis presented by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut doesn’t “go to waste.” Americans should incensed at the notion that the actions of a handful of monsters somehow conveys guilt upon the rest of us, yet that is the basis of the emotionalized appeal being pushed by the anti-Second Amendment crowd.
The left pretends to adore the first Amendment, particularly those parts pertaining to freedom of speech, yet they would insist, one mustn’t permit people to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, and to that extent we are able to agree. For reasons entirely their own, they are unable to see that in order to prevent the yelling of “fire” in a crowded theater, we do not gag people before they enter. We do not place this prior restraint upon speech because there is a presumption of innocence, and yet this is precisely the thing they refuse to presume on the part of law-abiding citizens who own guns. Just as with the First Amendment, we do not punish or impede people in advance, but instead seek justice when they commit such a crime, so should it be for every other right of free people that might be abused. I will not accept a guilt I had not earned, and neither should any other American.
It is for these reasons that I have resolved that neither Barack Obama nor future politicians shall be permitted to have my guns. If they insist, I will resist them, and they will be compelled to choose whether to murder me, or to relent in their outrageous punishment levied against a man who is peaceful, and who had committed no crime, or otherwise harmed another soul. Benjamin Franklin had wanted the Great Seal of the United States to include the motto: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” If we are to be confronted with tyrants, may we be faithfully obedient to Franklin’s proposition.