The wonderful thing about molecules is that no two of them can exist in the same space at the same time. It’s very binary. Black/white. On/off. Here/Not Here. Would that society operated on such clear-cut, easily-definable rules. You’d have to be living under a rock for the last 20 years or so to have overlooked the battle within the USA over the individual’s right to own guns. But that is but a part of a larger battle, a battle for the hearts and soul of the Nation. And unfortunately, I think not enough people realize that this battle is in fact far more black and white than they believe.
We live in a nation that was founded on some unique principles. Our Founding Fathers created a Constitution that is unique in the world. From their perspective, We the People created a government that works for us, not us for them. They wanted a government that was as small as possible. They recognized, all too well, the dangers of bureaucracy run amok. The eschewed a pure Democracy (one man – one vote) for a Representative form of government that would insulate us from the dangers of the tyranny of the majority. And they believed, fervently, that any power not specifically granted to the Federal government was to be retained by the States and We the People.
That was then. This is now. Since the 1920s, “Progressives” have been trying to gut the Constitution, to shift the balance of power away from the States and towards the Federal government, and to reinvent America as a place where the government controls everything, and our rights are no longer inalienable, but are ‘granted’ by the government.
Nowhere is this philosophical, revisionist history more apparent than in the battle over the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. I’ve read it. And I’ve read – extensively – the words of the founders regarding this right. But to hear those on the Left tell it, I’m either “misinformed” or locked in the past, with quaint, outmoded thoughts on how our Constitution works.
Progressives believe in a “living” Constitution. That’s language that frames the debate in a very warm and fuzzy kind of way. What that means, however, is that they believe they should be able to rewrite and reinterpret the Constitution, bending and stretching into whatever form they want to justify their goals. Case in point: Stephen Breyer’s recent comments on original intent vis á vis the Second Amendment.
Justice Breyer would have us believe that James Madison was merely throwing the opposition a bone, when it came time for the writing and passage of the 2nd Amendment. Breyer opines that Madison must have been thinking “I’ve got to get the Constitution ratified” and the only way to do that would be to craft a gun-rights amendment as a sop to those who objected to the Constitution. Only problem with that bit of revisionist history: it’s not true.
First of all, nothing Madison wrote jibes with Breyer’s view. Even better, Breyer has his timeline wrong. Turns out, the Constitution had already been ratified by the requisite number of states before the Second Amendment was passed. When it comes to the Progressives, they never let things like “facts” and “history” get in the way of their ideology.
Fortunately, Breyer is in the minority on this one. Hopefully, that situation will remain unchanged for the duration of the term of the current occupant of the White House. Gun owners, along with organizations like the NRA, have opened their eyes to the constant attempts to erode our rights to self-defense and gun ownership, and have let their displeasure be known at the polls.
Unfortunately, there are far too many of us that are still unaware at the greater danger represented by the battle between the Constitutionalists and the Progressives over the form and function of the Federal government.
Here’s the thing. As Ayn Rand said, “A is A. A is not B.” That seems absurdly simple, but it is far from simple when you look at how philosophy and government co-exist. You can’t be a vegan and still eat meat. You can’t be celibate and have sex. And you can’t be a Statist and believe in the supremacy of the individual over the State.
Hang on…is he saying that Socialism/Statism/Progressivism is at odds with our Constitution and the American way of life?
You bet your sweet ass I am. There is, in fact, not a dime’s worth of difference between Socialism, Progressivism and Statism. They are all simply different facets of the same object. And that object is to place the State over We the People.
Philosophically, Progressives believe in a State that exists for our own good. They believe the State must have the power to help us, even if we don’t want, or feel we don’t need that help. In their minds, the State is a beneficent parent, a “nanny state” that we fund, and cede our rights to, so that it can take care of us.
Constitutionalists? Call us “Tea Partiers,” “Libertarians,” “Conservatives,” or whatever you like. We believe, fundamentally, that the individual is more important than the State. We believe in self-reliance, self-determination, and pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We believe the government that governs best, governs least. And we believe that Statism is the biggest threat this Nation has faced since it’s inception over 200 years ago.
Think this doesn’t matter to you? Think again. The 2nd Amendment is just the tip of the iceberg.
Remember a couple of years ago, when OSHA published some proposed regulations on the down-low, regulations that would have controlled how ammunition is shipped and sold? Had they gone into effect, those regulations would have made it impossible to mail order ammo, and you could have kissed the ammo counter at Walmart buh-bye. What about the hoops you have to jump through in order to qualify for a CHL? Ever run up agains the EPA when you simply wanted to develop a piece of land you bought? Well, welcome to the Brave New World of Statism.
In The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand postulated that when something didn’t make sense it was time to “check your premises.” Indeed. I challenge each and every one of you to do just that.
Take NOTHING for granted. Believe nothing without confirmation and close examination. Everyone lies. Everyone has motives. The stakes are simply too high to allow someone else to do your thinking for you. I don’t care if you get your news from CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, FoxNews, or the New York Times. Don’t take anything ANY of them report at face value. As Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.” Only I’d say, soft-pedal the ‘trust’ part and kick up the ‘verify’ part by several orders of magnitude.
While you’re at it, you might want to carefully re-examine your own frame of reference. See if it passes the ‘sniff’ test. See if it can stand up to scrutiny. See if your believe system is consistent, and makes sense when you are confronted with facts. Above all else, WAKE UP. There is a battle going on around you, for the hearts and minds of the country, a battle that will determine the future of not just America, but the world. Which side are you on?