Before becoming mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel was White House Chief of Staff for Barack Obama. While serving in that capacity he was quoted as giving away a dirty little secret about the government, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
In response to the Trayvon Martin shooting House Democrats are now attempting to put a clause into a Commerce Department spending bill that would withhold grants from states that have ‘stand your ground’ laws. In all truthfulness I’m surprised it took them this long to get around to pulling a stunt like this.
My personal sentiments aside, the arrest and upcoming prosecution of George Zimmerman should remain a local issue, confined to the criminal justice system having jurisdiction over the parties involved in the case. The federal government should not, unless the outcome of the trial is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, ever become involved in it.
But of course, being the busybodies they are, and applying what Rahm Emanuel said, the federal government simply couldn’t keep their fingers out of an issue they have absolutely no business, nor authority to involve themselves in.
With the insertion of this clause into that Commerce bill the federal government is attempting to limit an unalienable right because one individual may, or may not, have overstepped his authority and abused that right. What they are attempting to do is to bribe, or bully, states into repealing “stand your ground” laws by withholding funds from them if they do not.
Have you ever heard the term coercion? In most instances it is considered a crime, and is defined as “The intimidation of a victim to compel the individual to do some act against his or her will by the use of psychological pressure, physical force, or threats.” But that is hardly relevant any more as it appears that our government seems to consider itself above the law. So what’s a little intimidation to accomplish its goals? But I digress from the issue at hand.
The goal, or endgame of this clause inserted into the Commerce Bill by House Democrats is to further limit a person’s right, and ability, to legally defend their home. By repealing stand your ground laws the government expects us all to rely solely upon law enforcement for our protection, to dial 911 and cower in the corner until police arrive, or make a mad dash for safety, hoping an intruder does not get off a lucky shot and kill us while we are fleeing.
You know, I could almost, [notice I said almost], agree with that idea if there were a policeman on every street corner, ready to respond at a moment’s notice. But unfortunately there isn’t, and in some instances police response times to burglaries take up to 30 minutes.
It is bad enough that in my home state if I use deadly force to defend my home I must be able to prove that I feared for my life, or that of my family. Am I, upon hearing a noise in my home at 2 a.m., poke my head out the bedroom door and ask, “Do you intend to simply rob me, or do you have plans to kill me” before deciding whether or not to pick up a firearm and discharge it? Sorry, and it’s not that I have no respect for human life, but if that scenario were to happen, that individual would have no right being in my house, and therefore would have forfeited all rights to live.
Have you ever heard the phrase a man’s home is his castle? While simply a phrase, the precept dates back to English common law. The Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins states, “You are the boss in your own house and nobody can tell you what to do there. No one can enter your home without your permission. In 1644, English jurist Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634) was quoted as saying: ‘For a man’s house is his castle, et domus sua cuique tutissimum refugium’ (‘One’s home is the safest refuge for all’).”
While some may see this as a Second Amendment right, it isn’t, it is much more. It boils down to the basic premise of property rights. Does your home belong to you, or does it belong to the government? If it is yours, then how can the government lay any restrictions upon YOU personally defending it?
Many of our laws have, as their origins, English Common Law, as it existed at the time our founders drafted the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. In the 18th century Sir William Blackstone wrote a treatise entitled Commentaries on the Laws of England, from which I quote, “The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defense . . .” The right of self-defense was, at the time our nation was founded, considered a fundamental, inalienable right or natural law. Our founders would have laughed in the face of anyone who told them they must first retreat to safety before defending what was rightfully theirs.
From his treatise The Law, Frederic Bastiat stated, “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.”
Of all the laws my government passes which infringe upon my rights, the ones they pass which infringe upon my unalienable right to defend my family, my property, and myself, are the ones that bring my blood to a boil.
Have you ever heard the term serf? From Wikipedia I quote, “Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century.
Serfs who occupied a plot of land were required to work for the Lord of the Manor who owned that land, and in return were entitled to protection, justice and the right to exploit certain fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence. Serfs were often required not only to work on the lord’s fields, but also his mines, forests and roads. The manor formed the basic unit of feudal society and the Lord of the Manor and his serfs were bound legally, economically, and socially. Serfs formed the lowest social class of feudal society.”
I don’t know about you, but I am not a serf, I am a freeman, with all the associated rights that go along with being a freeman. I don’t like it when my government thinks it can tell me what I can, or cannot do, with my land or my property. And I most certainly do not like it when they tell me I cannot defend what I have worked for all my life!
James Madison in writing about property, once said, “In the former sense, a man’s land, or merchandize, or money is called his property…He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person…In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.”
I don’t know if this bill is going to pass Congress and I don’t know if the states will crumble under the pressure and infringe upon our right to defend what is ours. In Thomas Jefferson’s Commonplace Book he quotes Cesare Beccaria, “False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.”
Our government was instituted to safeguard our rights, and instead it is guilty of violating them every chance it gets. I, for one, am sick and damn tired of it. To close, I’d like to quote the opening comments from Bastiat’s The Law, “The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!
If this is true, it is a serious face, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.” Having said my piece I have called your attention to another attempt by your government to pervert the law. Whether or not you choose to remain silent, or idle about it is entirely up to you. But in this instance, I WILL stand my ground!