Allowing government infringement on gun rights is a slippery slope
James D. Kellogg
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
President Obama and Congressional Democrats are engaged in an assault on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Predictably, a majority in the media is softening up resistance, highlighting terrible crimes like the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and the theater in Aurora, Colorado. Politicians and pundits alike assert such mass murders warrant executive orders and Congressional legislation to limit the Constitutional right of Americans to bear arms. If you buy that, you’re sliding down a slippery slope with government tyranny at the bottom.
The Constitution of the United States established a government to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” It is the framework for a government with the power to guarantee the rights decreed in the Declaration of Independence. Yet government is limited to a republic that reflects the will of the people, not politicians or judges. Our Constitution provides for adequate but limited government authority, implemented through a system of separated powers.
Amendment Two of the Constitution clearly states, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Ours being a government of the people, Congress has no authority to write laws that limit the Constitutional rights of citizens. That would be unconstitutional. And the President certainly has no power to issue executive orders that diminish Americans’ liberties.
Notwithstanding, our nation’s founders foresaw that Constitutional amendments would be required from time to time. The procedure for such is stipulated in Article V. Changes to the Constitution must be proposed with support of at least two-thirds of both houses of Congress or requested by legislatures of at least two-thirds of the States. Final approval of an amendment requires supporting votes in a 75 percent majority of the State legislatures or the consent of Constitutional conventions in at least three-fourths of the States.
By the founders’ intent, it is not easy to amend the U.S. Constitution. Regardless of media spin, the president and his party are not likely to garner the necessary support to alter gun rights pursuant to Constitutional law. That’s why today’s cast of characters in Washington, D.C., is casting aside founding principles and making up new rules.
The beltway elite want us to believe that less freedom for law-abiding citizens will thwart the murderous acts of sick people. The president proclaims that if one life can be saved, his personal agenda of gun control should trump Constitutional law. Well, if government is savings lives, why not plunge down the slippery slope with abandon? Americans should let elected leaders ignore the rule of law whenever lives can be saved.
We could re-examine the First Amendment. It’s time to surrender individual liberty and let government monitor and approve “free speech.” According to consensus of the politically correct, bullying and offensive speech can drive the mentally ill to commit murder with guns. The president could issue an executive order to mandate censorship of speech for law-abiding citizens. That way government will ensure that nobody utters a word that might incite violence by the mentally unbalanced. If at least one life is saved, would it be worth it?
Next Congress could pass legislation to limit the Fifth Amendment. Among other things, it guarantees citizens shall not be “deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” That’s outdated. In today’s society, government must mete out justice the way it sees fit. For instance, the parents of mass shooters could be presumed guilty for circumstances that led to the crimes of their murderous offspring. Severe consequences would lead to fewer parents allowing their kids to become killers. If it saves just one life, aren’t we responsible to act?
Something tells me liberals willing to trample on the right to bear arms wouldn’t go for these changes. What’s the difference? From a Constitutional standpoint, there is no difference. But it illustrates that the issue for the left is separating Americans from guns, not saving lives.
Here’s an idea for progressives. Move beyond the Bill of Rights to Amendment 22. Congress could write legislation to give Mr. Obama the chance to run for more than two terms as president. How about getting rid of elections altogether? That would demonstrate the irrelevance of the Constitution. After that, gun control will be a snap.
James D. Kellogg of New Castle is a professional engineer, the author of the novel E-Force, and the founder of LiberTEAWatch.com. Visit JamesDKellogg.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
The Healthy Rivers Youth Water Summit brought together water policy experts, decision makers and more than 100 students from Roaring Fork Valley middle and high schools to learn about and discuss water issues.