When a group or organization seeks to establish any social policy, it helps tremendously if that group remains honest in their endeavor. If its members are forced to lie, tell half-truths or use manipulative tactics in order to fool the masses into accepting its initiative, then the initiative at its very core is not worth consideration. Propaganda is not simply political rhetoric or editorial fervor; it is the art of deceiving people into adopting the ideology you want them to espouse. It is not about convincing people of the truth; it is about convincing people that fallacy is truth.
Nothing embodies this disturbing reality of cultural dialogue more than the ill-conceived movement toward gun control in America.
It isn’t that gun control proponents are impossible to talk to in a rational manner; most gun control activists have an almost fanatical cult-like inability to listen to reason. It isn’t that they are so desperate to paint themselves as “intellectually superior” to 2nd Amendment advocates; intellectual idiocy is a plague upon many ideological groups. What really strikes me as astonishing is the vast and embarrassing lengths to which gun grabbers in particular will go to in order to deny facts and obfuscate history.
According to the White House, John Brennan was sworn in as CIA Director on a “first draft” of the Constitution including notations from George Washington, dating to 1787.
Vice President Joe Biden swears in CIA Director John Brennan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 8, 2013. Members of Brennan’s family stand with him. Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution, dating from 1787, which has George Washington’s personal handwriting and annotations on it.
That means, when Brennan vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, he was swearing on one that did not include the First, Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendments — or any of the other Amendments now included in our Constitution. The Bill of Rights did not become part of our Constitution until 1791, 4 years after the Constitution that Brennan took his oath on.
Here’s a surprise ruling. For many years we’ve written about how troubling it is that Homeland Security agents are able to search the contents of electronic devices, such as computers and phones at the border, without any reason. The 4th Amendment only allows reasonable searches, usually with a warrant. But the general argument has long been that, when you’re at the border, you’re not in the country and the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply. This rule has been stretched at times, including the ability to take your computer and devices into the country and search it there, while still considering it a “border search,” for which the lower standards apply. Just about a month ago, we noted that Homeland Security saw no reason to change this policy.
The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.
The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment” of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices “within 120 days.” More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.
“We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,” the executive summary said.
The memo highlights the friction between today’s reality that electronic devices have become virtual extensions of ourselves housing everything from e-mail to instant-message chats to photos and our papers and effects — juxtaposed against the government’s stated quest for national security.
The President George W. Bush administration first announced the suspicionless, electronics search rules in 2008. The President Barack Obama administration followed up with virtually the same rules a year later. Between 2008 and 2010, 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border, according to DHS data.
According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border. By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.
Over 1000 Green Berets have signed a letter re-asserting their oath to support and defend the Constitution by protecting the second amendment rights of American citizens.
The letter, which originally featured at ProfessionalSoldiers.com, was written by “current or former Army Reserve, National Guard, and active duty US Army Special Forces soldiers.”
It highlights the fact that the Constitution was drafted primarily as a means of protecting citizens against “governmental tyranny and/or oppression,” further citing the words of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, who outlined the purpose of the second amendment when he stated, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
“Throughout history, disarming the populace has always preceded tyrants’ accession of power. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all disarmed their citizens prior to installing their murderous regimes,” states the letter. “At the beginning of our own nation’s revolution, one of the first moves made by the British government was an attempt to disarm our citizens. When our Founding Fathers ensured that the 2nd Amendment was made a part of our Constitution, they were not just wasting ink. They were acting to ensure our present security was never forcibly endangered by tyrants, foreign or domestic.”
As I prepare to retire from Congress I’d like to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for my colleagues to consider. For the sake of liberty, peace and prosperity I certainly hope more members of Congress consider the strict libertarian-constitutional approach to government in 2013.
In just a few days, Congress will solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They should read Article 1 Section 8 and the Bill of Rights before taking such a serious oath. Most legislation violates key provisions of the Constitution in very basic ways, and if members can’t bring themselves to say “no” in the face of pressure from the special interests, they have broken trust with their constituents and violated their oath. Congress does not exist to serve the special interests. It exists to protect the rule of law.
I also urge my colleagues to end unconstitutional wars overseas. Stop the drone strikes. Stop the covert activities and the meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Strive to observe good faith and justice towards all nations, as George Washington admonished. We are only making more enemies, wasting lives and bankrupting ourselves with the neoconservative interventionist mindset that endorses preemptive war that now dominates both parties.
All foreign aid should end, which is blatantly unconstitutional. While it may be a relatively small part of our federal budget, for many countries it is a large part of theirs and it creates perverse incentives for both our friends and enemies. There is no way members of Congress can know or understand the political, economic, legal and social realities in the many nations to which they send taxpayers’ dollars.
Congress needs to stop accumulating more debt. U.S. debt monetized by the Federal Reserve is the true threat to our national security. Revisiting the parameters of Article 1 Section 8 would be a good start.
Congress should resolve to respect personal liberty and free markets. Learn more about the free market and how it regulates commerce and produces greater prosperity ever than any legislation or regulation.
Understand that economic freedom is freedom. Resolve not to get in the way of voluntary contracts between consenting adults. Stop bailing out failed yet politically connected companies and industries. Stop forcing people to engage in commerce when they don’t want to, and stop prohibiting them from buying and selling when they want to. Stop trying to legislate your ideas of fairness. Protect property rights. Protect the individual. That is enough.
There are many more resolutions I would like to see my colleagues in Congress adopt, but respect for the Constitution and the oath of office should be at the core of every single member’s of Congress due in 2013.
It is time the critics of the Second Amendment put up and repeal it, or shut up about violating it. Their efforts to disarm and short-arm Americans violate the U.S. Constitution in Merriam Webster’s first sense of the term—to “disregard” it.
Hard cases make bad law, which is why they are reserved for the Constitution, not left to the caprice of legislatures, the sophistry and casuistry of judges or the despotic rule making of the chief executive and his bureaucracy. And make no mistake, guns pose one of the hardest cases a free people confronts in the 21st century, a test of whether that people cherishes liberty above tyranny, values individual sovereignty above dependency on the state, and whether they dare any longer to live free.
A people cannot simultaneously live free and be bound to any human master or man-made institution, especially to politicians, judges, bureaucrats and faceless government agencies. The Second Amendment along with the other nine amendments of the Bill of Rights was designed to prevent individuals’ enslavement to government, not just to guarantee people the right to hunt squirrels or sport shoot at targets, nor was it included in the Bill of Rights just to guarantee individuals the right to defend themselves against robbers, rapers and lunatics, or to make sure the states could raise a militia quick, on the cheap to defend against a foreign invader or domestic unrest.The Second Amendment was designed to ensure that individuals retained the right and means to defend themselves against any illegitimate attempt to do them harm, be it an attempt by a private outlaw or government agents violating their trust under the color of law. The Second Amendment was meant to guarantee individuals the right to protect themselves against government as much as against private bad guys and gangs.
The reaction to my recent article on why Texas is uniquely positioned to secede from the union and run itself as an independent nation state reveals that very few people on the internet have any real knowledge of history. (Gee, is anyone surprised that people on Facebook have no clue what they’re talking about?)
For the purpose of educating those who simply don’t know these facts, I’m publishing selections from the Texas state constitution that make it perfectly clear: Texas voluntarily joined the union but did not surrender power to the union. It reserves the eternal right to run its own affairs.
From the Texas Constitution, article 1, section 1:
“Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States…”