America’s ablaze with talk of controlling firearms, “assault” rifles, and even ammunition. We can’t turn on the TV or radio without being inundated with news about politicians or commentators weighing in on the gun debate. The usual rhetoric is floated that they don’t want to take away our guns, but we need to rid this “civil society” of these horrible machines of destruction that can kill many people very quickly.
What is conveniently “forgotten” is that these high-powered firearms with large ammunition capacity can also protect a person (or people) from many other people who wish to do them harm. All one has to do is envision how a large swaths of property in Koreatown was left relatively unscathed during the LA riots to see clear evidence of the appropriate use of these high-capacity firearms. Visions of post-Katrina lawlessness can stir the most adverse-to-guns person to grasp the absolute necessity of access to powerful firearms when help is not around the corner. As the saying goes, for when seconds count, the police are always minutes away. Even if they were nearby, they are not only a finite force, but they are not employed to keep you or me safe. They are employed to enforce statutes and laws. And hey, that’s a good thing for a society held together by the rule of law!
Back to those darn politicians…
When the DC’vers gather in Washington to discuss "gun control" (as they’re doing right now), they're simply identifying how to circumvent the limitation of the 2nd Amendment and usurp power that was never delegated to them in the US Constitution. Many gun control advocates have worked at this incrementally over many years, but the DC’vers now see a “crisis” that they can’t let go to waste!
However, the DC'vers in Washington do not have authority to control arms. Wait, did I hear someone just say that the 2nd Amendment codifies our ability to keep and bear arms, but it doesn’t stop the Federal government from regulating or limiting them? Nope, that’s not how it works. The Bill of Rights was very specifically ratified to be an agreement of further limitations on the Federal government, period. Just read the Preamble if you’re skeptical of this fact.
The U.S. Constitution was written and ratified to document the exact powers that the (people of the) States delegated to the Federal government. Because something isn’t articulated in the Bill of Rights, does not mean the Federal government has the ability to exercise that power. A power can only be exercised by the Federal government if the U.S. Constitution specifically identifies that power to be delegated to the Federal government.
So, getting back to controlling the guns…
This power was retained by the (people of the) States and is why we see many states with less "control" and some states with more "control." The people of some states delegated "control" (i.e. authority) to their State government and people of other States limited this control by the State government. These delegations and/or limitations were documented in constitutions for each State by the authority of the people of the States. Are you still skeptical? Then just check out your State Constitution.
This current debate is a perfect example of why many Constitutionalists have been trying to help friends and foes alike understand the importance of strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution. The scope creep of Federal power isn’t something that happened overnight; it’s been going on for generations. When a representative breaks his/her oath on even the slightest deviation from their delegated authority, he/she is actively chipping away at the very fabric of what affords us liberty. Over time it leaves us looking back and asking the inevitable question, “How in the heck did we get here?” We’re now at the point where most people don’t recognize virtually any semblance of the Republic.
But there is a way back!
If the (people of the) States push back on the DC'vers using the power of our State governments with regard to the unalienable right to protect ourselves and our property (via arms), we can begin to restore federalism and proper diversity across America; all States do not have to have the same laws! If the people don’t push back on the DC’vers using their State governments (and soon!), then we will continue down the slippery slope towards hardcore tyranny on an increasingly quicker pace.
The CALL TO ACTION is to support and embolden the representatives in your State governments to pass legislation telling the Federal government that A) the States will not comply with unconstitutional Federal laws and B) for the Federal gov't to stick to the restricted authority specified in the U.S. Constitution! Additionally, make sure to connect with organizations focused on these solutions.
Expecting some of the DC’vers to stop further usurpation of power in Washington is like expecting a piranha to become a vegetarian…it ain’t gonna happen!
DC will NEVER fix DC! The DC'vers are the problem. The (people of the) States are the solution!
Joshua is the co-host of The Forgotten Men radio show, which airs Saturdays at 12 noon ET on AM930 WFMD. The Forgotten Men focus on the current political and economic challenges through the lens of the Constitution and federalism.