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Front Page » February 12, 2013 » Opinion » Letters to the Editor
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Letters to the Editor

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By Lou Sansevero

A look at gun control

"The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic based on democratic principles." Every school child has, or should have, learned this basic fact in elementary school but just what does that statement mean? Does it mean that there is a document, the Constitution, that codifies the rights of citizens? Well yes, sort of. A portion of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, does delineate the inalienable rights guaranteed to every American citizen but it and the Articles and Amendments of the main body of the Constitution go far beyond that; they delineate the absolute limits of the power and authority of the Federal government and its three branches and makes up the basic foundation of all other laws. Every member of the legislative, the executive, and judicial branches of government (both federal and state), every member of the military and every member of every law enforcement agency swears an oath that says, in more or less the same verbiage, "I, , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same."

Notice that this oath is not an oath of allegiance to an individual, regime, political philosophy, nor even to the nation but to the Constitution itself. What does violation of this oath of office, by circumventing or condoning the circumvention of the Constitution, mean when the violator is a member of one of the three branches of government? In my mind it means the member has sworn a false oath and is no longer worthy to hold their office, has lost both the legal and moral authority to govern, and is guilty of treason in undermining the Republic. Over the course of the past 100 years we have seen, as we have slowly moved further and further away from rule by the Constitution, further from our founding principles and further to the left and socialism more incidents of our elected officials swearing false oaths, betraying of the Constitution, and the erosion of our inalienable rights especially in the areas of the First and Second Amendments.

In regard to the Second Amendment, the Constitution makes a clear and unambiguous statement concerning the right of the people to keep and bear arms ". . . , shall not be infringed." The Constitution does not place any conditions on that right such as it does in the case of the third, fourth, and fifth Amendments in the Bill of Rights each of which expressly contain exclusions or conditions. In other words, wherever the original intent was to limit a right it is expressly stated. The Supreme Court has affirmed the absolute right of the people to keep and bear arms. In the words of Justice Alito "The right to keep and bear arms was considered no less fundamental by those who drafted and ratified the Bill of Rights."

Most, if not all, federal gun control statutes which undermine this most fundamental right are based in whole or in part on a perverse "interpretation" by activist jurists of the Federal government's power to control interstate commerce found in the commerce clause (Article I Section 8) of the Constitution. The clause simply says that Congress has the power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." In its original meaning the clause functioned primarily as a constraint upon state interference in interstate commerce but in an abuse of the clause Congress has used it, and the courts have twisted the intent, to justify the numerous restrictions of those inalienable rights associated with firearms ownership protected by the Second Amendment. By this perverse interpretation the Congress has given itself the authority to override and/or add conditions to the right granted to citizens by the second amendment under the flawed logic that firearms are sold across state lines and/or through the mails and therefore fall under the Commerce Clause. This is a dangerous perversion with the potential to provide the federal government with a means, if similarly supported by activist jurists, to limit freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion with the perverted judicial logic that since newspapers, magazines, and books are sold across state lines or delivered through the postal system; since, similarly, speakers advertise their services across state lines or speak in different states and are paid to speak in different states; or since churches may have branches in different states it then follows that the federal government, through the commerce clause, has the authority to control what is printed, what is said by speakers, or what is preached. "Impossible" you may say, "This is America and our leaders respect the constitution." In response I would answer, "Look around, have they demonstrated that respect or have they presided over the erosion to individual rights and constitutional protections?" I say the latter is true.

We as Americans must understand that government only grows at the expense of liberty, but there is a balance to be struck and it is to be found in the Constitution not as interpreted by activist jurists under what has developed into the "dictatorship of the judiciary" but as found in the original intent of the articles and amendments as written and we must demand that the President and Congress return the Constitution, its Articles and Amendments to their original intent, that the Federalist government be shrunk to only those powers enumerated in the Constitution and that the 10th Amendment be obeyed. Thomas Jefferson has said, "The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors." I give you that the safety and happiness he spoke of lies in strict adherence to the Constitution. I have and would admonish every reader of this comment to write to the Governor, the President, and your elected representatives and voice your strong opposition to existing "gun control" laws and to all new ones.

The President and the liberal-left may dismiss opposing reaction to new anti-gun regulations as unfounded, hysterical, and unreasonable fear but if we allow our petition to be dismissed off hand we are risking more than just the erosion of this one right by these "reasonable", albeit unlawful limitations we are risking the loss of all of our rights because the rights embodied in the second amendment are, and were meant to be, the teeth of the Constitution.

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February 12, 2013
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