By Miguel A. Faria, MD
For many years, the federal government has arrogated more power to itself at the expense of the individual states, including policing actions that should fall within the jurisdiction of state courts and not the federal judiciary. Likewise, federal government intrusion into every aspect of the lives of Americans continues to increase.
Therefore, it is imperative for Americans to realize that centralization of the police force is an authoritarian concept that is contrary to the U.S. Constitution. Our Founding Fathers decried “standing armies” as a feature of tyrannical government. Indeed, the exercise of police powers is a prerogative reserved for the states in a decentralized federal system of government—a constitutional republic.
Thus, the individual states of our nation were to be “laboratories of democracy.” And to be absolutely sure that they preserved their prerogatives, James Madison inserted the Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which specifically states:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, belong to the states respectively, or to the people.
Those powers include the police powers of law enforcement in crime control…not standing federal armies. Little by little, “progressive” jurists have sought to erode the U.S. Constitution with pronouncements to the contrary, assuming that most Americans would be caught napping.
Increasing federal policing actions has only resulted in the militarization of both federal and local law enforcement, which in turn has been responsible for several high-profile police shootings. These shootings have been conveniently used by the sensationalist left-leaning media to denigrate local police, foment racial unrest, and irresponsibly incite further violence, riots, and street crime.
Incredibly, some Democrat politicians have blamed the police and sided with the street thugs. The effect of this denigration and the unrelenting attacks on local law enforcement has predictably resulted in more violence, more urban disorder, and more crime. Although FBI statistics show that “75% of serious crimes at any locality are committed by 6% of repeat criminals or felons,” it is the individual law-abiding citizen who loses his liberty, bit by bit, and suffers from gun control laws.
We know that citizens who have a concealed carry weapons (CCW) license commit very few crimes. In fact, less than one to two percent of CCW permit holders have done so, and the transgressions are usually technicalities. Yet the suggestion by gun prohibitionists is that citizens with lawful firearms are prone to violence and create mayhem, supposedly like in a Wild West scenario. This isn’t only incorrect, but it’s used to demonize all legal gun owners, who carry constitutionally or possess concealed carry licenses.
Gun prohibitionists also misconstrue the legal dictum of “stand your ground” laws, claiming that those laws cause people to instigate shootings. For example, using caustic and inflammatory rhetoric, Boston University Professor Michael Siegel and Research Manager Molly Pahn, two gun “researchers” in the public health establishment, extolled a public database of gun control laws they compiled as a springboard to further regulate firearms.
As they wrote about “stand your ground laws” . . .
States are increasingly enacting laws that allow people to shoot other people as a first resort in public, instead of retreating when threatened. If a person perceives a threat of serious bodily harm, so-called ‘stand your ground’ laws, allow them to fire their gun with immunity from prosecution, as long as they are in a place they have a legal right to be.
How is that for objective phraseology coming from purportedly unbiased public data analysts?
The authors, though, were correct when they reported that between 2004 and 2017, twenty-four states enacted “stand your ground” laws. However, they failed to mention that following adoption of the law there was no increase in the rates of criminal homicides or mass shootings in those 24 states.
That fact was apparently deemed too “inconvenient” to be mentioned in their article because it didn’t fit with their preconceived narrative and was contrary to what they were bent on proving.
Like other gun prohibitionists, Siegle and Pahn also misrepresented the so-called “gun show loophole” by which only licensed firearm dealers are required to do federal background checks. Again, they conveniently failed to reveal that in the past 10 years those who have committed homicides with a purchased firearm had all passed the federal background check—a fact even acknowledged by The New York Times.
Additionally, several studies have demonstrated that common criminals obtain their guns almost exclusively through illegal means — through purchases made between known criminals or via theft, robberies, et cetera — so as not to subject themselves to the legal checks. Moreover, a U.S. Department of Justice study found that for a typical year, “among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of the offense, less than two percent bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, and 40 percent obtained their firearm from an illegal source.”
In summary, the government, assisted by gun prohibitionists — authoritarian Democrat legislators, biased public health researchers, and the liberal media — has sought and continues to pursue the objective of disarming law-abiding citizens in piecemeal fashion. Yet, in the spring and summer of 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdowns and the George Floyd “summer of love” riots, the fact remains that the government failed to protect lawful Americans or legal businesses from the thugs that were rioting, looting, and burning.
Those days clearly demonstrated that American citizens have and must preserve their God-given natural and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self and family protection. The government has shown that when going gets tough, it will not protect us or our businesses and will leave citizens to the mercy of criminals roaming the streets.
Miguel A. Faria, MD is Associate Editor-in-Chief of neuropsychiatry; socioeconomics, politics, medicine, and world affairs for Surgical Neurology International (SNI). Author of Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002), Cuba’s Eternal Revolution through the Prism of Insurgency, Socialism, and Espionage (2023) and other books. This article is excerpted, updated, and edited from his book, America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey Into Politics and the Public Health & Gun Control Movements (2019).