What is lawful and what isn’t; that is the subject I would like to discuss today.
Imagine, if you will, that your government passed a law requiring that every man, woman, and child living in America drink one 8 oz glass of horse urine per day. Would you comply with that law? What if they told you the FDA, (Food and Drug Administration), had done extensive studies and found that horse piss was good for the human body; would you then obey the law and drink it on a daily basis?
I’m betting that there is a small percentage of Americans who would obey that law no matter how distasteful, (pun intended), it may be. If you are one such person I have but one thing to say to you; you are a mindless drone that lives your life simply doing whatever you are told. It is to everyone else that I address the remainder of this article to; for those who simply follow orders are beyond salvage as far as I’m concerned.
Before I go any further I want to make it clear that everything I am about to discuss applies only to the federal government located in Washington, D.C.; not your State or local governments. However, that said the same principles still apply towards government overall.
When the drafters of the Constitution gathered together in Philadelphia to abolish the Confederation and establish their Republic; (which is exactly what they did), they still created a government with 3 distinct and separate branches; each with their own distinct and separate powers. The power to create law, or legislate, was given solely to the Congress; which is one of the major reasons I have for my distaste for presidential elections these days.
Why do these candidates campaign on all these promises to do this and do that when it is not within their power and authority to do a damned thing? Their job is to uphold the laws that have been passed, or to veto those laws which they find to be outside the specific powers granted Congress by the Constitution. So why do people pay SO MUCH attention to presidential campaigns, yet SO LITTLE to Congressional campaigns?
What this shows me is that people either don’t understand the separation of powers built into our system of government or that they are fundamentally lazy and it is far easier to follow a presidential campaign than it is to follow the campaigns of those who are running for seats in the Senate and House of Representatives.
Getting back to Congress, there is a crucial question one must ask themselves when they are deciding whether or not to support a piece of legislation they pass; is that legislation in pursuance of the powers given them by the Constitution. You see, if you believe that the government is limited as to what laws it may enact then you must also admit that 99.9% of the laws they pass these days overstep the limits imposed upon our government by the Constitution.
If, on the other hand, you believe that the Constitution is merely a guideline with no set limitations upon the powers given our government, then you cannot complain when they enact a law that you personally find distasteful, (once again pun intended).
What gets my goat more than anything else is when I see the two opposing political parties crying foul when a President, or Congress for that matter, enacts a law which they say is unconstitutional, yet they remain deathly silent when their party is in power and enacts unconstitutional laws of their own.
When discussing the laws passed by our government one must ask themselves what is the purpose for which any law is enacted. If government is the sole agency which has the authority to enact laws that we must obey, then one must ask themselves what was the purpose for which that government was originally established.
The answer to that question, as it pertains to our federal government, is found in the Preamble. 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.”
Now I believe that there are those who feel that the Preamble grants our government certain powers, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Preamble is merely a declaration of intent, and opening paragraph explaining the purpose the document that follows serves.
Bouvier’s Dictionary of Law defines a Preamble as follows: A preface, an introduction or explanation of what is to follow: that clause at the head of acts of congress or other legislatures which explains the reasons why the act is made.
And, as much as I despise Joseph Story for some of his beliefs regarding implied powers, he did get this right when discussing the Preamble to our Constitution, “And, here, we must guard ourselves against an error, which is too often allowed to creep into the discussions upon this subject. The preamble never can be resorted to, to enlarge the powers confided to the general government, or any of its departments. It cannot confer any power per se; it can never amount, by implication, to an enlargement of any power expressly given. It can never be the legitimate source of any implied power, when otherwise withdrawn from the constitution. Its true office is to expound the nature, and extent, and application of the powers actually conferred by the constitution, and not substantively to create them. . . .” (Source: Commentaries on the Constitution, Section 462)
The Preamble merely explains why the Constitution was being written, nothing more, nothing less. The specific functions given our government, in regards to its legislative authority, are found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
When our Constitution was in the process of being ratified the State of New York was a crucial battleground for those supporting its ratification. Therefore, three men, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison joined together to write a series of editorials which were published in the New York press which argued in favor of the Constitution. These articles have since been combined into, what some call, the definitive explanation of the Constitution. We know them today as the Federalist Papers; yet in reality they were a marketing tool designed to appease the fears of the people that the government being proposed would deprive them, and their States of any rights which weren’t absolutely necessary for the general welfare of the nation.
Nonetheless, unless we are to consider Madison, Hamilton and Jay as consummate liars, then we must take them at their word as to what they wrote in their essays written under the pseudonym of Publius. Therefore, it is imperative that you understand what Madison said in regards to the powers given this new system of government he was asking the people to adopt, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” (Source: Federalist 45)
I could devote the remainder of this article to listing laws enacted by our government which are not among those few and defined powers Madison spoke of, but then I’d never be able to say what I came here to say.
But you see, Madison didn’t stop there, he continued his essay with the following, “Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
Not only does our Congress routinely overstep its authority by enacting laws which overstep the limits imposed upon them by the Constitution, they often do so at the request of those they represent.
As an example, take a look at how the people today are crying for tougher gun laws which would place tighter restrictions on what types of guns people may own and requiring stricter background checks on who might be allowed to own guns. Where in the 2nd Amendment, if I might be so bold to ask, does it say that the right to keep and bear arms is limited as to what type arms may be owned, or is based upon a person’s ability to first pass a background investigation?
IT DOESN’T; it merely says that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Do you not realize the meaning of the word infringed? It means to be encroached upon or limited in any way. Yet that is exactly what every gun law ever passed has done; and now they are asking that the right to keep and bear arms be further infringed.
Do you know that in 1943 the Supreme Court held, “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” (Source: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, Justice Robert H. Jackson)
Yet there are those who argue that our Founders could not have foreseen the advances in technology that would lead to these weapons of war being mass produced and available to the public. Is that so? Ever hear of the Puckle Gun; didn’t think so. The Puckle Gun was a pre cursor to the Gatling Gun; which was a precursor to the fully automatic rifles used by our military today.
The Puckle gun was invented in 1718; 50 some odd years before our Declaration of Independence was written, and 3/4 a century before the Bill of Rights was ratified. The Puckle Gun was a manually operated flintlock revolver capable of firing numerous rounds without the requirement that it be reloaded or the trigger depressed for each round fired. The manufacturer labeled it as the ‘first machine gun’.
Although the manufacture and distribution of this gun was very limited; possibly with only one or two ever being sold, it still shows that these type weapons were already in existence when our Founders wrote the Bill of Rights; so to assume that they didn’t know what type guns might be invented in the future is a farce fabricated to further the agenda of limiting our ability to defend ourselves against our government; the very purpose for which the 2nd Amendment was written.
Now I’m gonna stop right here for a minute and defend what I just said; because I know there are those who are shaking their heads saying that I’ve gone off the deep end again. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was not so that we could hunt, target shoot, or defend our homes; it was so we could defend our liberty against tyrants.
Patrick Henry warned of the danger of surrendering that right, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force: Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”
Our Founders exercised that force when they defied their government and sought independence for themselves. It is ludicrous to think that they would deny that same right to future generations by limiting their ability to raise an armed force equal in strength and weaponry to any our government might raise to impose their laws upon the people; absolutely ludicrous!
Before you justify any law which restricts my right to defend my liberty against tyrants you must ask yourself what purpose laws should serve. To answer that I go to Frederic Bastiat’s book The Law where he says:
What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.
Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?
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. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force—for the same reason—cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?
How many laws are already in existence which do just that; destroy the liberty for which government was established to secure? How many laws have been enacted which overstep the few and defined powers that Madison spoke of and which deprive the States of their right to order the affairs of their people as they see fit?
I’ve used this quote before and I will continue to use it until it sinks in; in 1774 Thomas Jefferson wrote his Summary View on the Rights of British America, wherein he stated, “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate and systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.”
And what, may I ask, is slavery if it is not the abolition of all our rights? Political correctness, hate speech laws, the Supreme Court’s misinterpretation of the meaning of the separation of church and state; all these things have all but erased the 1st Amendment. The 2nd Amendment is constantly under attack with the ultimate goal of disarming the American people. The 4th Amendment is all but gone; our privacy a thing of the past with the massive surveillance we are under every moment of our lives.
Yet people say I’m paranoid for fearing our government. I say people are blind and can’t see what’s right in front of their noses. They are more concerned with earning a paycheck or how well their favorite football team is going to do this year than they are the slow, but sure erosion of their rights. They care less about their liberty than they do whether it is a Democrat or a Republican who is turning them into slaves. And finally, they say that people like me are the true danger to society because we talk about standing up to any further encroachments upon our rights.
There isn’t a bloody thing you can do today without some government law or regulation applying to it, or some tax or fee associated to it. You say, “But I can sleep without being taxed or monitored.” Oh yeah, how many regulations do you think there are which govern the manufacture of the mattress you sleep upon or the sheets you sleep under? How much tax did you pay when you purchased them?
And to fund all these programs, these agencies that enforce the laws our government enacts, you are taxed upon everything you do. You have a cell phone? You are taxed upon the use of the airwaves to send your conversations to and fro. You drive a car? You are taxed for the highway’s you drive upon, the gas you consume, and the privilege of having a license which gives you permission to drive. Want to build a house? Sure, get a permit and pay a fee. Your relatives pass away and leave you with an inheritance; you’re taxed on that too.
Taxes out the yin yang and still people say they are free. AMAZING!!!
And who do these laws and taxes benefit? They certainly don’t benefit those who pay these taxes or are the recipients of the fund stolen, (ooops, I mean taxed) from their earnings.
Going back to Bastiat for a minute, he gives us a quick and easy guide to discern when we are the victims of plunder; which is defined as the stealing of goods from a person or group; typically by force. In his book the Law Bastiat tells us how to indentify plunder, ” See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.
Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law—which may be an isolated case—is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.”
I think it’s a bit too late in the game to halt the plunder our government is guilty of committing against the producing people in this country; sorry, there will be no John Galt coming to our rescue.
But we can at least recognize our government for what it is; and that is the first step to any recovery; recognizing the true nature of the problem. It took our government over two centuries to get as bad as it is today, and if you think it’s going to miraculously get better in the 4 year span of a presidency you are both naive and foolish.
Liberty always yields when the public is not willing to defend it; with the end result being their governed by tyrants. Our Founders understood that and that is why they rebelled against King George III; before his tyranny took root and became a system that they were forced to live under without any hope for a redress of grievances.
It is my honest belief that our government has grown too big, too powerful, and too loyal to special interests for us to hope that we can convince it to return to its original purpose. If we want our liberty back and a limited government who honors their oaths of office to support and defend the Constitution, then we are going to have to fight to get it back. It’s that simple.
The minute I hear people say something along the lines of, “Well we gotta vote for this guy so that the other guy doesn’t get elected” I know that that person doesn’t recognize the true nature of the enemy we face, and that party is more important to them than liberty; and unfortunately I hear that a lot.
Our independence was fought for and won by men who cherished liberty above all earthly possessions; even life itself. It will not be restored until America has more of those than it does those who value comfort and security over the animating contest for liberty.
And that’s all I’m gonna say about that…