What is a crime? According to the dictionary a crime is: an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government. I suppose the next logical question then is; what makes an act illegal? Again, returning to the dictionary, illegal is defined as; not allowed by the law: not legal. Who then, and using what criterion, make an act illegal?
The simple answer, in our case, is that government makes laws which make the doing of certain things illegal. The criterion which government uses could be almost anything from a majority of the public clamoring for certain acts to be made illegal, to its own arbitrary will to make certain acts, or activities, illegal. The real question then, for any critical thinking individual, should be; What is the purpose for which laws should be written?
Before you go blurting out; to keep us safe, I want you to think about the purpose for which governments are created; after all it is government who enacts these laws which we must all obey, and therefore the laws they pass must serve the purpose for which government was created to be valid.
The Preamble to our Constitution is not a grant of any powers, it is a declaration of intent; the reasons for which our government was established. Therefore we should look to it to find out why our government was established in the first place.
The Preamble to our Constitution states; We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Preamble is divided into three sections. First it declares who is performing the act. Secondly it declares why the act is being performed. And finally it declares what the act is. Therefore, the people of the United States ordained and established a constitution for the purpose of forming a more perfect Union, establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense,, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity.
According to Merriam Webster one of the definitions for justice is; the administration of law; especially: the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity. The Preamble also declares one of the reasons this form of government was created was to ensure the blessings of liberty to the people and their posterity. Liberty is defined as; the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely: the power to do or choose what you want to.
Couldn’t it therefore be concluded that one of the reasons for which government was established was to secure the ability of the people to speak and act freely; do whatever they wanted as long as in so doing they harmed no one else, or infringed upon that person’s rights?
Therefore, going back a bit, couldn’t it also be concluded that any law which does not serve that purpose is an unjust law; one which goes against the very reasons for which government was established?
Prior to our Constitution being written our Founders also produced another document; the Declaration of Independence, which contained a few important principles of its own. First it declares, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Next it declares, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” Finally, it declares, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”
It does not say that the people have to ask government’s permission to abolish government, or that government has any say in the matter whether or not it continues to exist; only that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish government should it cease to perform the functions for which it was established.
While the dictionary may have its own definition for the word tyranny, I have my own thoughts on the subject. Tyranny, at least according to my definition of the word, is whenever government enacts laws which run counter to the purpose for which government was established, and seeks to use force or coercion to enforce those laws.
Five years before Jefferson put quill to parchment and wrote our Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams wrote something called The Liberty Letters, wherein he states, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”
These are Natural Rights, or to put it another way, rights that do not depend upon the existence of government or not for their existence; they are part of man’s nature as a human being. Government cannot violate these Natural Rights without the most gravest of injustices being committed.
Note the order in which Adams places these Natural Rights. First comes life, then liberty, then property. He then states it is our right to support AND DEFEND all three in the best manner we can.
Therefore, if governments are established to ensure justice and secure liberty, then the very purpose for which the laws government enacts must coincide with the purpose for which governments exist; otherwise the laws become tyranny. Or to quote Bastiat, “If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.”
What is government; I mean what does it consist of? Well let’s see; there is a President, a Vice-President; 100 United States Senators and 435 members of the House of Representatives; and 9 Supreme Court Justices. That makes our government a total of 546 people.
How therefore can 546 people cause over 300 million to abide by the laws they enact? They certainly do not say, “Okay now people; we’ve enacted this law and we expect you to obey it.” No, they must have the means of enforcing it. As Alexander Hamilton writes in Federalist 15, “Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation. This penalty, whatever it may be, can only be inflicted in two ways: by the agency of the courts and ministers of justice, or by military force; by the COERCION of the magistracy, or by the COERCION of arms.”
And here we get to the crux of the issue; who is it that enforces the laws our government passes? Whenever our government enacts a law it isn’t Barack Obama, or any of the members of Congress who come to your home to enforce it; it is law enforcement.
Again, I beg you to ask yourself, who is to be considered guiltier of committing a crime; the person, or persons, who enact unjust laws, or those who enforce those laws? Does it make it any less of a crime against us and our Natural Rights that law enforcement claims it was only upholding the law, or following orders?
At the time our Constitution was written there was no police force other than local sheriffs. The coercion of arms, more often than not, came not from these sheriffs, but from standing armies. When King George III sought to impose his tyrannical laws upon the Colonists he did not hire more sheriffs loyal to him; he sent an army to impose his will.
That is one of the reasons why our Founders were so against a perpetual, or standing army. I’ll bet you didn’t know the clause in the Constitution which allows for the funding of an army only allows it for a period of two years; after which Congress must again vote to either continue or dismantle; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years. (Article 1, Section ‘8’) To this day that clause has not been amended; yet our nation continues to have a standing army.
Although the Posse Comitatus Act specifically prohibits the use of the Army for domestic law enforcement purposes, it does allow for the use of National Guard troops if called upon by State Governors. And what are National Guard troops if they are not just part time members of a standing army?
Therefore, if either local law enforcement, or members of the military serving as National Guardsmen, enforce unjust laws upon the people, who is to blame; those who gave the orders, or those who followed them?
Those who serve in the military, be they regular active duty personnel, or reservists, all take an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. If our government enacts laws which go against the tenor and spirit of the Constitution, wouldn’t you consider them to be enemies of the Constitution, and therefore those in the military should place their allegiance to the Constitution above their allegiance to the orders given by the government created by the Constitution? But how much are you willing to bet that, should unjust laws be passed, and unjust orders given, that a majority of those serving will simply follow orders without giving any thought to whether or not in obeying them they are violating their oaths of enlistment?
As for law enforcement, their motto is to protect and serve. One has to ask, whom are they protecting, and whom are they serving? Of course they serve the function of maintaining peace and order in society, but that is essential if government wants to maintain order and keep things running in this country. Without law and order there would be chaos and anarchy. But is law enforcement serving us, or serving government?
One has to but look at what laws they enforce to answer that question. Certainly laws which prohibit murder, rape, assault, and theft are protecting us as individuals as well as society as a whole, but remember, government only acts as a substitute for what are originally our powers as citizens under Natural Law. If, as Adams said, we have the right to defend our lives, or liberty, and our property in the best manner we can, and then government makes it a crime to do so; who is in the wrong? If I shoot someone in my driveway attempting to steal my truck, according to California law I will go to prison because the person was not in my home and I did not fear for my life. Yet am I not merely defending my property?
If I drive down the road without a seat belt and am pulled over I can be fined by local law enforcement, and jailed should I refuse to pay the fine. Who am I hurting for not wearing a seat belt?
If the purpose for which laws are written is to allow people the ability to do and say what they please, as long as their actions do not harm another, then how can it be a crime for a person to drive without a seat belt? Or is the law merely a means of deriving income, or revenue, for local government?
When one asserts their rights today they are considered a danger to society, or anti-government radicals. I have been told time and time again that if I have nothing to hide I should cooperate with law enforcement and let the justice system clear me of any wrongdoing.
Using that logic, Samuel Adams and John Hancock should have surrendered to the Kings authorities, and the people of Lexington and Concord should have given up their arms to the Kings men, and hoped the justice system would have returned both the men, and their arms to their rightful status and owners.
For the most part, law enforcement, or cops and sheriffs, serve a much needed function. But make no mistake about where their loyalty lies; and it certainly isn’t to the public. With increasing frequency law enforcement is coming to view each and every one of us as suspects and they treat us as though they are always right and we are always in the wrong.
What happens when the law is in the wrong and they enforce that law upon us? Does that make them public servants, or servants to the government which enacts these unconstitutional and unjust laws?
One has to but look at what happened after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans when law enforcement, in conjunction with the National Guard, went house to house seizing the arms lawfully owned by the people of New Orleans. That is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment, yet they followed orders without question, and those who resisted were treated like common thugs. Yet, in truth, who were the thugs?
Although there may be some in the law enforcement profession who are honest and loyal to the principles contained in our Founding documents; they are few and far between. If it ever comes to us against government, you can bet your ass which side most will take.
I’m awful tired of all this support law enforcement nonsense when law enforcement itself does not support our rights; both under Natural Law and those rights protected by the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
If law enforcement wants our support, then maybe they ought to start respecting our rights first and stop treating us as if we were inmates in a huge prison and they are the prison guards.
Our Founders warned us of the dangers of standing armies, and if they were alive today they would see all these government agencies such as the ATF, DEA and Homeland Security as part of that standing army. They would also see the militarized police forces which roam our streets, enforcing unjust laws upon the people, as a standing army as well.
The problem lies in the fact that the laws being written do not serve the purpose for which government was established; to secure justice and the blessings of liberty to the people of this country. Those in the military and the law enforcement career field must ask themselves to whom, and to what they serve; the people or the government.
In 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
Prior to that Patrick Henry warned, “A standing army we shall have, also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny; and how are you to punish them? Will you order them to be punished? Who shall obey these orders?”
I am all for law enforcement, but you have to realize that our Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, is the Supreme Law of the Land. If those in the military and law enforcement career do not abide by what the Supreme Law of the Land says, then in my opinion they are the lawbreakers, not those who are only attempting to assert their God-given rights. Therefore, they may be opposed as would any tyrant when one feels that their life, their liberty, or their property is threatened by their actions.
I know this may have offended some who blindly support law enforcement. It was not my intent to do so. I only ask that you ask yourself whose laws are they enforcing, and do they serve justice or secure your liberty?
If you cannot answer that question in the affirmative maybe it is you who should reconsider your stance on the issue. And keep one other thing in mind…