Gun Seizures are Unacceptable, Mr. President. This Must Stop Now!
New Orleans Begins Confiscating Firearms as Water Recedes
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
--2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
This is more frightening than any horror movie coming out of the inventive minds of Hollywood or terrorist attack coming out of the Middle East. When the Government of the people, by the people, for the people, becomes a government against the people, I begin to fear for the survival of this great nation. The Mayor of New Orleans is attempting to do in a couple of days that which has eluded the power of the anti-gun factions in this country for 218 years, strip law-abiding citizens of their right to keep and bear arms. In spite of the fact that the Constitution clearly reserves this right for the people, and under the 9th and 10th Amendments proscribes those rights among the many Americans have, specifically from the Federal and State governments; this is being allowed to occur. Mr. President, you must step in and stop this violation of the Constitution. What part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you and your administration understand? In the above linked article, the New York Times is reporting that the City of New Orleans is set on confiscating the firearms of the citizens of New Orleans. Yes sir, that’s New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A., American citizens being stripped of their lawfully possessed and constitutionally protected firearms. You remember America don’t you sir? Land of the Free, Home of the Brave? Ring any bells Mr. President? Now I understand the Mayor of New Orleans’ viewpoint and willingness to confiscate firearms, he’s a Democrat and a Liberal, and those on the Left rarely support the right of the people to possess firearms. So too, the Governor of Louisiana, but Mr. President, how can you or any in your administration sit still when this travesty is being visited upon the people of this nation you love so much? How can any American who believes in the Constitution and the rights and freedoms of this nation stand for this? This nation exists to protect the rights and freedoms of the American people. It exists at the sufferance of the people, not the other way around. I quote:
NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 8 - Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.
No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.
But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.
And that last, even worse, if possible, the selective enforcement against the average private citizen and not the wealthy or the “security guards.” It is an outrage beyond comprehension for those of us who understand the Constitution. Food stamps and Medicaid will not suffice Mr. President, why aren’t you sending troops to New Orleans to protect our citizens from this act of oppression. Forced evacuation is bad enough, and questionable as to its Constitutionality, but there can be no question as to the rights of free Americans to possess firearms. Since when, sir, do rich people and private armies have rights superior to those of the citizens of this nation? When was this new Constitutional Amendment passed? I must have been asleep. The right of Americans to keep and bear arms is no false right “discovered” by the light of “penumbras of...emanations” by an activist judiciary bent on the killing unborn children, it is a right specifically laid out in the Bill of Rights. Our founding fathers believed this right to be of such profound importance, that they took the time and effort to specifically mention this right, unambiguously, by name in the position of penultimate importance just below the rights of speech, assembly, religious expression and petition. They must have wanted to make sure that some judge didn’t have to search for and “discover” that right.
No society can long remain free which has disarmed its citizenry. The temptations of power are far too strong for that. Those who begin, in earnest, to regulate “for the good of all people” will eventually begin to seek more and more control of the actions of those people “for their own good.” Already in this society, there are those who seek to control others for their own good. We have in the recent past, instituted mandatory seat belt laws, “for the good of the people.” We have helmet laws for motorcycle riders in some states, and helmet laws for bicycle riders “for their own protection.” There are, unfortunately, “do-gooders” in this society, for whom no regulation is too extreme as long as it “protects the people” presumably from themselves. Perhaps it is our fault, the average freedom loving citizen, for allowing these feel good laws to pass without much comment or objection. Perhaps those of us who truly believe in the Constitution are guilty of relying too much on the presumed wisdom of our legislators. Certainly laws have been passed which are very clearly beyond the pale when measured by the limitations set forth within the Constitution.
Those of us who are gun owners have sat by and allowed the slow devolution of our gun rights in the interest of not making “too much fuss,” or because we don’t want to stick our necks out too far for fear of being called a “gun nut” or “gunny” or “one of those NRA nuts,” or being targeted by a government hostile to the concept of private gun ownership. Well guess what Mr. President Bush, Madam Governor Blanco, Mr. Mayor Nagin, I am a member of the NRA, and I object! I object to the usurpation of my Constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. I object to the seizure without due process, of private property and even more so because that property is protected by the 2nd Amendment as well as the 5th, 9th and 10th Amendments, recent Supreme Court decisions to the contrary (Kelo v. New London). There are those of us, who hold those rights sacred. There are those of us who are willing to give up our lives for those freedoms, in exactly the same manner as generations of American men and women have given up their lives to protect those exact same freedoms. Our forefathers were willing to give up life and limb to deliver to us, their progeny, the government they so brilliantly set down in the Constitution of the United States of America, preserving in its text, those rights. Please remember, the Bill of Rights is not a delineation of the rights of the people granted to them by the Constitution, but a delineation of rights preserved by the people in granting the government the power to govern. It is not a limitation of the rights of the American citizen, but a limitation of rights allotted to the government.
The “gun debate” has gone on for a considerable time, with arguments back and forth about what constitutes a militia, what is meant by “the right of the people,” is it a collective right or an individual right, etc. The meaning is quite clear if examined in light of recent events in which neighbors gathered together to protect their property from gangs of thugs. Sir, I give you the 2nd amendment in action. People, law abiding citizens have gathered together in their neighborhoods for their mutual security. That is, in essence, a militia. A militia, even a “well regulated” one is an all voluntary force of citizen-soldiers (so far, so good National Guard) who are controlled exclusively by the individual states (oops, I guess that excludes the National Guard), whose officers are elected by a majority vote of the soldiers, and whose soldiers are expected to provide their own weapons. Clearly those last elements fully exclude the National Guard (notice the name, “National” Guard) from consideration. So, it is up to the individual, able-bodied, citizen to voluntarily gather at a time of need, when requested by the state, to provide for the “security of [th]a[t] free state.” For them to be capable of doing so, they must have firearms equal to the task. A good example of a nation with an armed citizenry in the modern world is Switzerland, in which every able-bodied male is required to serve a 300 day stint in the armed forces, and has in their home, following that service, their own modern, fully automatic, standard issue, assault rifle, prepared at the instant to protect their nation. There is no uncontrolled killing there, there murder rate is low by European standards, and by firearm, even lower.
The purpose of the 2nd amendment was to guarantee the rights, collective and individual, which are reserved by the people, again both collectively and individually, in granting our elected officials the privilege of governing the nation. It was not, as I stated in my last editorial on gun rights and the 2nd amendment [Link], to preserve the rights of the hunter to hunt. It was not to preserve the right of the enthusiast to target shoot. That guarantee of rights exists only when the people, the citizens of this nation, have and reserve to themselves the free and unfettered access to firearms, equal to any available to the professional armies under the control of the State. True freedom, as expressed in and by our Constitution of the United States, can only be preserved if the people have nothing to fear from the state, and when the state cannot hold sway over those people by threat of force. The government in this Republic must preserve the loyalty of its citizenry by performing its business, as delineated in the Constitution and in such laws as the Congress and President have passed, well enough to maintain the trust of its citizens. In this ill-advised seizure of arms by the City of New Orleans, this trust is being violated. If it continues, it will certainly result in an armed stand-off at some point, by some innocent citizen who has decided not to surrender his constitutionally guaranteed rights. Should this incredible and horrible incident occur, it will be a travesty of monumental proportion, on a scale equal to or surpassing the Ruby Ridge incident of a few years back. It will mean a further erosion of the trust between the American citizen and the State as represented by the local and federal authorities involved in the proposed confiscation.
At some point, this bond of trust will be completely eroded, and this nation will descend into the morass of revolution and anarchy, or perhaps worse, into the snake infested mire of totalitarianism. Neither of these two possible outcomes is desirable or acceptable. Nor are they necessary. With proper legislation and judicial appointments, the freedoms guaranteed to the people can be fully restored to them. This is my fervent hope and prayer. That all of the rights which have been stolen from us in the name of “social progress” can be restored before this nation destroys itself. The Constitution is not, and should not be considered as, a playbook which the quarterback (the President) or the coaching staff (Congress) can disregard at their slightest whim. It is very inflexible as to what rights belong to the Nation and States, and which rights are reserved to the people.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Link to article