Once, after a particularly vivid dream, I did a bit of research as to what dreams are; what causes your mind to create such realistic, and often bizarre, images while you sleep. I can’t recall who said it, but in one of the articles I read, the author proposed the premise that a person would go insane if they did not dream every night. I don’t know about that; I’ve often wondered if people don’t go temporarily insane while they sleep; which is what causes them to have such bizarre dreams.
Whatever the case may be, this morning I awoke rather abruptly from a dream I was having, and before the memory of it faded off into the recesses of my mind, I scribbled down a bunch of short notes to help me remember the gist of it later. While the dream has faded, like so much fog on a warm spring day, my notes will help me recreated the gist of what I dreamt. Of course, I’ll have to take a certain amount of creative license with the details, but since it was my dream, I don’t foresee any legal problems with that.
It’s kind of funny that my dream began with me asleep in bed; being awakened by a sea of flashing red and blue lights in front of my house, and an army of law enforcement officers standing around in riot gear with automatic weapons drawn. (This is the dream now, not reality) A few of the officers approached my front door, about a dozen or so, with a battering ram. I knew what that meant and I pondered making a final stand, or just going with the flow to see how it all ended.
I chose the latter option; not because I lacked the courage to go out in a blaze of glory, rather more out of curiosity over how things would play out. So, as they approached my front door, I calmly sat on the couch, turned on the TV, and waited for my door to come crashing off its hinges.
It didn’t take long, and soon I was staring down the barrel of a dozen or so rifles, while the one in front screamed, DON’T MOVE! I was zip tied and escorted outside and placed in the back seat of a police cruiser, while I watched with detached amazement as they went straight for my garage.
I knew what they’d find in there; prepper shit, a gun case with all sorts of rifles, and a heavy-duty tote; packed to the gills with marijuana. (Remember, this is just a dream, so don’t think about breaking into my garage, looking for guns and drugs; you won’t find any and you’ll probably get shot) Apparently, that was what they came for, because the guy who’d screamed for me not to move came back out, read me my rights, and told them to take me to the station and put me into an interrogation room.
Eventually, possibly an hour or two later, (remember, this is dream time, and things happen much faster in dreams), two plains clothed detectives came in and sat down opposite me. They seemed quite polite in comparison to the savagery I’d just witnessed by the jack-booted thugs who’d broken down my door and held me at gunpoint. One of them asked me if I’d been read my rights, and I responded in the affirmative. He then asked if I wanted a lawyer present, to which I responded: That won’t be necessary as I do not intend to answer any of your questions. You may as well book me, lock me away, and prepare your case against me. I’ll be representing myself, and I’ll see y’all in court.
The other guy then chimed in, saying: You do realize the seriousness of the position you find yourself in, don’t you? I said, I most certainly did; the question was, did they. That left them with a puzzled look on their faces, but seeing as how I did not respond to any more of their questions, I was booked and placed into a holding cell to await my arraignment.
(Now this is where dreams can get a bit bizarre. I don’t recall my time in the holding cell, nor my arraignment; that period of time is as if it never existed. The next thing I know I’m in the courtroom and the prosecuting attorney is finishing up his closing argument. Once he finishes, the judge asks me if I have anything to say in my defense; which is where the dream picks up again)
I rise slowly, with a sense of calm, and slowly turn and take in the entire courtroom as if I were searing it into my memory. I then turn to the jury and look each of them in the eyes. Some of them look away, as if they were gazing into the eyes of the devil himself, others look at me to try and see if they can read anything into my expression. Once I have made eye contact with each of them, I begin to speak:
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, everything the prosecution has told you is true. The police did enter into my home and find large quantities of marijuana, rifles, and ammunition. Those items were mine; I won’t deny that fact. Apparently, the possession of those items is against the law; the law I’ve been charged with violating.
I realize that y’all are not allowed to ask questions of me, or the prosecution, but when you begin your deliberations, I would ask that you ask the court to provide you with any records they may have as to past criminal activity on my part. It may come as a surprise to you that, aside from a couple of minor traffic violations, I have led a crime free life; and I believe the charges for which I’m now standing trial are a farce, and a threat to, not only my rights, but each of yours as well.
I would like for each of you to now ask yourself what you consider a crime. I believe that most of you will probably think that murder, assault, theft, and rape are all crimes; and you’re right, they are. I now ask you to think about what it is that constitutes a crime. For a crime to have happened, two things are necessary; a victim and a perpetrator.
According to the law I’m accused of violating, I am the perpetrator. But I ask, where is my victim; who have I killed, harmed, or stolen from? The rifles and the marijuana the police found at my home were mine, as I’ve said; they were for my own personal use. I doubt that he’ll deem to reply, but I would ask the prosecutor to name one crime I have committed with those rifles; other than the mere fact that their possession is considered a crime by the law.
So, I would like to ask you, what is the law; what purpose should it serve? I know this isn’t France, but in 1850 a Frenchman by the name of Frederic Bastiat wrote: 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.
Then of course, there was the esteemed Founding Father, Samuel Adams, who said: 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.
I know that is a lot to remember, and if you wish, I can have copies of those printed out for you to re-read while you deliberate my fate.
Were the rifles I had in my possession hurting anyone? Was the marijuana? If not, then what crime have I committed. Would it not have been within my rights, according to the definition given by Bastiat, to use force to protect my property; and make no mistake about it, those rifles and that marijuana was my property! It did not belong to any of you, did it? It did not belong to the officers who arrested me, or the judge presiding over my case. No, it was mine, and according to those men, would I not have been within my rights to defend them against confiscation; especially considering that they had not been used in the commission of a crime?
I did not do so for the same reason I refused to answer the questions of the detectives who interrogated me after my arrest; I wanted to plead my case to a jury of my peers; for they are not part of the system; a system that no longer serves the function of protecting and defending both the people AND THEIR RIGHTS! I wanted to appeal to your sensibilities rather than give the system valid justification for accusing me of an actual crime by assaulting the officers who uphold the laws this system enacts.
I do not know whether or not any of you have read our Constitution, or the Bill of Rights for that matter. This may come as a shock to you, but I believe the document to be worthless; aside from creating an entity that has ultimately led to me standing here before you, charged with a crime without any victim.
Nevertheless, we are told that each of the 3 branches of our government is delegated with certain powers and specific functions; that there are supposedly checks and balances placed upon each branch so that they cannot infringe upon the powers held by the others. Congress is the branch of government that has been delegated with the power of writing our laws. Of course, the president may either concur or veto them, and the Supreme Court may hold them unconstitutional; yet neither of those two branches can write a law; that power rests solely with the Congress.
The powers given Congress are found in Article 1, Section 8, and they are much fewer than you’d imagine. Nowhere among the powers listed in Article 1, Section 8, does it give Congress, or the Executive for that matter, the authority to make it a crime to own, or use drugs – of any kind.
Are you aware that alcohol is a drug? Are you also aware that it took a Constitutional Amendment to make the sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages illegal? It was the 18th Amendment that did so, which was then codified with the passage of the Volstead Act by Congress. I’m almost certain that you weren’t aware that the Volstead Act was vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson; although his veto was overridden by both houses of Congress; making it the law of the land.
Regardless, it took a Constitutional Amendment to give Congress the authority to make alcohol illegal; and look at the crime wave that happened once they did so. Organized crime, bootleggers, and violence in the streets came about as the result of their effort to prohibit the consumption of alcohol. Eventually, after it became apparent that the people were not going to stop drinking, and in conjunction with the rise in crime, the 21st Amendment was ratified; repealing Prohibition.
No such amendment, criminalizing the possession or use of marijuana, has ever been ratified; therefore, the Congress has no legal authority to make it a crime for me to own, and use the marijuana presented to you as evidence of my guilt.
You may not like the fact that I smoke marijuana, but as long as I bring no harm to others, I am perfectly within my rights to do so. I don’t particularly care for the fact that some people listen to rap music, or eat certain foods; that does not justify me pushing to make it a crime for others to do so. That principle lies at the very foundation of liberty; what this country supposedly stood for…at one point in its history, anyways.
I grow and smoke that marijuana for my own use; it helps me relax and sleep and night, and it helps me appreciate music a bit more. But sir, you say, you were found in possession of over 4 lbs of it! You’re right. Tell me, if you were a rancher and you craved a steak, would you slaughter a cow and throw away the rest of the meat? Yes, I had 4 lbs of it, but that was only because that is how much my plant produced last year. I have no intention of selling it; in fact I probably won’t need to grow it for a great many years; that’s assuming I don’t spend the remainder of my life in prison on the charges that have been brought against me.
As for my guns; well let’s look at what the 2nd Amendment says. The pertinent part reads: … the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Tell me jurors, do you understand the meaning of the word infringe? Infringe means to encroach upon; to limit or restrict. Is not the law I am accused of violating an encroachment upon my right to keep and bear arms?
Now you may be thinking that at the time the 2nd Amendment was written, the weapons I was arrested for possessing were not in use at that period of our history; therefore, they are not covered by the 2nd Amendment. Let me ask you something, do you believe that you have freedom of speech? Do you believe that right includes your right to speak your mind in chat rooms or on the telephone? Why, those implements did not exist at the time the First Amendment was written, so why does your right apply, and mine does not?
The 2nd Amendment does not say what kind of arms I have the right to keep and bear, only that I have that right. Every gun law that tells me what kinds of guns I CANNOT own is an infringement upon that right. In the past the courts have ruled in support of that belief; that is before they were overrun with progressive judges who do not understand, or care, about preserving the rights of the people.
For instance, in 1846 a Georgia court held: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the milita, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right.
Then, in 1878, an Arkansas court held: To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm . . . is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege. If you’ll take note, in this ruling the court held that it was the right of a citizen to carry a war arm; or what you would call today, an assault rifle.
This right, these rights, may not concern you. You may not own guns, or smoke marijuana; and that is your choice – but you’re free to make that choice, while the law says I am not. The problem, and history proves this, is once a government begins to infringe upon the rights of certain people, it eventually gets around to infringing upon, or denying the rights of all the people. If you won’t stand up for my rights now, who will stand up for your rights if they impose mandatory military service, or make it a crime to watch professional sports, or eat certain foods.
In the beginning of my statement, I called these proceedings a farce; and now I’d like to tell you why I said that. If you were to visit the office of the prosecuting attorney, I’m pretty sure they have a room filled with legal volumes. Those books go by the name of American Jurisprudence; the codification/encyclopedia of law in this country. If you were to ask him to show you what it says in 16 Am Jur 2nd Section 177, if he was willing to show you, you would find: Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection and justifies no acts performed under it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.
I believe that the laws I’m guilty of violating are unconstitutional. Therefore, the officers who arrested me acted without authority, and the judge presiding over this case is presiding over a farce; a circus; a travesty of justice. Since 16 American Jurisprudence says that no one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law, I chose to ignore the laws that say I cannot keep 4 lbs of marijuana, or own the weapons found in my possession.
We are told that the Constitution was written to secure our rights. If that is so, then aren’t we the ones who know best when those rights are being violated; not the jack-booted thugs posing as law enforcement officers. During the American Revolution the Redcoats were King George’s law enforcement officers; yet the patriots fought them when their rights were being violated. Hitler had his own law enforcement as well; it went by the name, Gestapo. Putting a uniform and a badge on does not give one unlimited power to enforce any law that our elected representatives enact; they too swear an oath; meaning they are obligated to protect the rights of those they serve, not subjugate them by enforcing laws that are blatantly unconstitutional.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, in 1789, Thomas Jefferson, the author of our Declaration of Independence, wrote: I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution. Why would he say such a thing about the power you now hold in your hands?
The question is simple, and eloquent. As all political power is derived from the people, those who serve as jurors are the final check upon a system that may, or may not, become abusive. You, as jurors, although I’m certain that the judge and prosecuting attorney won’t inform you of this, have the right to nullify a jury…
(At with point in my dream the prosecuting attorney screams, I OBJECT, and the judge bangs his gavel, telling me to go no further or he’ll charge me with contempt)
I stop my oration and face the judge. I then say: Your honor, I hold you, and the system that has placed me in the position where I must defend my rights in a court of law in contempt. No sir, I will not be quiet, it is you sir who must sit the fuck down and shut the hell up!
It is your right, even though I am guilty of doing the things I am accused of doing, things I freely admit to have done, to find me not guilty nonetheless; based upon the fact that you find the law itself repugnant. In 1972 the D.C. Court of Appeals heard the case of U.S. v. Dougherty. In their decision they held: The jury has an unreviewable and irreversible power… to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge… The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard uncontradicted evidence and instructions of the judge; for example, acquittals under the fugitive slave law.
Although the court held that it is your right to disregard that law I am accused of violating, they also held that the judge, (pointing towards the judge presiding over my case), is under no obligation to inform you of your rights as jurors.
If the tables were turned, and it was one of you standing here fighting to stay out of prison, and I was in the jury box and found out that the prosecution and the judge had not made me aware of my rights as a juror, I would be furious.
I ask you to look deep within your hearts when deliberating my fate. You do not have to like me, or the things I’m accused of doing, but the very basis of liberty is to live and let live. I have done no harm to no one; I have neither assaulted, stolen from, or killed anyone. Therefore, in all fairness, I have committed no crime. I humbly ask that I be allowed to leave this courtroom a free man. I now rest my fate in your hands; and know this, it only takes one juror with the courage to do what’s right to set me free.
Thank you for your time and patience.
(The sad thing is, I woke up before I found out how the jury ruled…) In any case, these are the kinds of dreams I have. So now you have a glimpse into my subconscious; what makes me tick. I hope I haven’t frightened you too badly…