What I Learned This President’s Day Weekend
The long weekend is over, but I never really take a rest from politics, even if I don’t write anything. I often participate in debates, sometimes heated, and sometimes I learn a thing or two.
The main thing I learned from a friend this weekend is that if someone is talking about gun control, they’re not talking about the Second Amendment.
How can you have a discussion on gun control without a discussion of the Second Amendment?
A friend of mine on Facebook started asking if we were fooling ourselves about the gun control debate, to which I responded “There is no debate. Shall not be infringed. End of discussion”.
Of course, he didn’t like that answer, so he started pulling out stats. Homicides dropped 50% per capita in Illinois (not Chicago, but the entire state) and they tightened gun restrictions. Texas, on the other hand, loosened theirs and homicides dropped by a third. So his conclusion was that whether gun laws work or not depends on the area.
People never look at the obvious stat to me: Incarceration. Maybe homicides are falling because people who commit these crimes are being locked up in huge numbers. Chicago is an area where firearm homicides are too common. This will continue, because the victims and the people of the community live with the fear that if they talk to the police, they are next, so the perpetrators have no fear of being caught. Until the people of Chicago take their neighborhoods back and start helping the police, this will only get worse. It saddens me that anyone has to live with that level of fear.
I also learned that if you believe the government is trying to take your rights away, you are crazy, and if you say so, you are ranting. I guess I rant a lot, because I believe the government is trying to take our rights away. Not all at once and not in a rush, but slowly, over time so we won’t notice.
The police everywhere are working hard to subvert the Second Amendment as well as the Fourth.
The Chicago Police Superintendent, Garry McCarthy said that lobbying groups backed by legal guns owners (the NRA, et. al.) are corrupt:
“If there was special interests affecting police work, I believe that would be called corruption. So, if it has do with donating money versus a popular vote, I think we have a bigger problem in this country and somebody’s gotta wake up to that,” said McCarthy.
He also went on to say that he believes the Second Amendment is a threat to public safety.
Here’s the real gem: McCarthy went on to express his belief that judges and legislators should rely on public opinion polls when interpreting our Constitution.
Because the Constitution is all about opinion polls.
Mr. McCarthy, you really need to read your Constitution. The First Amendment specifically protects the right of the people to petition the government to address grievances. The NRA gives money to candidates who they believe will further their interests. Nothing wrong with that. No one says the candidate has to take it.
Notice that it is the people who are corrupt in his eyes, not the government or the candidates who take the money.
How do these idiots get into these positions?
Actually, I think he’s less idiot and more “I would rather see guns in the hands of the police than in the hands of citizens” type person. Most people like to complain that gun control laws only target law abiding citizens, not criminals. It’s not just that, but disarming the population makes it easier for a police state to rise.
I also learned that if you are required by law to let the sheriff into your home for a “look-see”, that’s not a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
I always thought the Fourth prevented such drop in inspections.
I’m not banging on all of our police officers. There are many who are very nice, conscientious people who take their jobs seriously. They put their lives on the line daily, and I am sure the job is very stressful, not just on them, but their families. However, there are some cops who get on power trips and abuse their suspects, thinking they are above the law.
Look at the Chris Dorner situation this last week. LAPD shot up two cars and injured 3 innocent people in their hunt for Dorner. I’m not condoning what Dorner did, but the LAPD did not make themselves look good. Then there was the whole cabin fire thing. The Sheriff’s Department denies burning it down intentionally, but the audio suggests differently.
Then there are the drones that will be taking to the skies in large numbers. Some states and cities are banning them, but not all. Law enforcement is lobbying hard for them, just as they are lobbying for warrantless wiretaps and the ability to snoop on you on the internet. The Department of Homeland Security is interested in smaller drones, you know, the ones we can’t see while they are in flight.
I have no problem in calling them out in a search, like they had wanted to in the Dorner hunt, but I do take issue with them wanting to fly them all day, every day, just because.
Then we have the president, who has decided that he is judge jury and executioner of American citizens if he, or some other “well informed, high level” government official decides they are an “imminent” threat. That these people were overseas is of little consequence. How long before another President decides that if the government could do it over there, they can do it here?
It’s been a busy weekend. We’ve learned even more about the governments attempts to subvert our rights:
- The First Amendment right to petition the government to redress our grievances: Threat to public safety/corruption
- The Second Amendment: Threat to public safety; attempted confiscation by Missouri and Minnesota of all firearms.
- Third Amendment: Right to privacy subverted by spy drones.
- The Fourth Amendment: Washington’s attempt to get police into homes without probable cause/warrants, government spying on internet activity, spy drones
- The Fifth Amendment: Executive branch’s judge/jury executioner drone program, attempted confiscation of legal firearms by State governments.
- The Sixth Amendment: National Defense Authorization Act of 2012; see section 1021 and 1022. Allows the government to detain anyone for indefinite amount of time without Due Process, speedy trial, facing ones accusers, or going before a judge.
- The Eighth Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment. Does anyone seriously think that bails and fines are not excessive these days?
I told my friend that just because the government may have acted like this in the past is not a valid excuse for them to continue, that it is not a valid reason for us to sit back and take it. There comes a time when we must say “Enough!” and stand up to the government and tell them that good government does not come from an opinion poll, nor does it come from oppressing the rights of the people. It does not come from government borrowing money hand over fist to pay for everything. The government is not a friend, and definitely not a sugar daddy.
If speaking out in defense of one’s rights makes me crazy, then I guess I’m crazy.