Posted: 5/13/2002 5:36:56 PM EDT
Dscott - Of course there are restrictions on all rights. Like you can't yell "fire!" in a crowded theater. Perhaps making full autos illegal is a restriction that doesn't violate the Constitution. It may be since there is no real outcry against it and afterall the people are the final arbiters of the Constitution. But how does that parse with the fact that no one can take away your rights (if they are truly rights) even if 99% of the people agree that said law is Constitutional?
Can the legislature vote and decide that we no longer have the right to free speech without properly amending the Constitution? Is that Constitutional? How about if 99% of the population agrees with the vote? Is that Constitutional? Would fighting, and even killing, to preserve that right be immoral?
I would say that if a right is unalienable, then no matter who says, or how many say, it is void - it cannot possibly be void as it then would be unalienable. The BOR lists unalienable rights and so, even if amended, I don't think those rights can be lawfully abridged. If that is so, then deadly force to protect those rights is warranted.
By standing for those rights and being prepared to use dealy force to protect them makes one a nutcase, then we really have no rights at all. This was the situation in 1775 when Parliament (read legislature) declared that only they had the power to decide what your rights were.
Essentially, many people here argue that our rights are not really rights at all since a legislature can take them away as long as a judiciary agrees. That is not the basis of our liberty.
Hence, of course, the Second Amendment. The power, indeed the power to kill those in power, ultimatly rests with all the people. To ensure that our unalienable rights are preserved no matter what. If that means that only 5 people fight and die to preserve them - well the rights still exist, but their defenders perished in the cause. Most may think they are nutcases, but at least they died trying.
I think that many LEO's get so defensive about all this because they would necessarily be the agents of tyranny and therefore the targets of those attempting to preserve liberty. They are what was known as a 'select militia'. That concept was thought to be dangerous because they are beholden to the state - not the Constitution. They are less likely to disobey illegal orders because they have alot to lose in doing so - a career, a house, their families' financial well-being etc. It is understandable that they would get very defensive about such a conversation because they would likely be targets and at the same time realize that it would be very diffcult to disobey an order that was patently unConstitutional - like the wholesale confiscation fo guns.
I saw video of cops barring people in Seattle from walking down the street with a button on their lapel. They refused to allow citizens to exercise their right to free speech. They followed these orders without blinking an eye. I have seen video of cops yanking a woman from her car when she would not show an ID. They admitted to her that she had done nothing wrong but required her to 'show then her papers' I have seen cops take cars, houses, planes and other personal goods under property seizure laws that are patently and blatently unconstitutional and sell those goods for profit.
Yes, I think most cops would follow almost any order, short of wholesale slaughter, to ensure that they keep getting their pay. I certainly understand their reasoning - but that does not exonerate them from whatever repercussions follow them for their actions.
That is a good reason not to be a cop I guess. It must be a tough row to hoe.