Having had time to think about the last article in this series, perhaps readers are asking why it’s necessary to discuss political philosophy. Isn’t this, after all, a series of articles about guns?
Gun ownership is an express–not an implied–unalienable right acknowledged by the Constitution. There is no exercise of a fundamental, unalienable right any citizen might exercise more likely to bring them into direct confrontation with government. One may exercise the right to freedom of speech and generally expect nothing worse than an IRS audit, but anyone accidently carrying a lawfully possessed concealed handgun into a prohibited zone may find themselves imprisoned and fined, their Second Amendment right permanently infringed, their property confiscated, their lives hampered, even ruined. Gun owners that do not understand the dynamics of modern American political philosophy are, in a very real sense, as unarmed as those without firearms.
Article 5 of this series ended with a general discussion of the progressive tendency to favor, even praise, criminals and terrorists. Obvious evidence of this can be seen in the Obama Administrations embrace of Palestinian terrorists that refuse to renounce their founding documents calling for the destruction of Israel–our ally–and the genocide of the Jews. It can also be seen in their hatred toward Israel and in Mr. Obama’s serial insults of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli people. When in November, 2014, three American Rabbis were murdered by Palestinian Terrorists while at prayer in a Synagogue in Israel, Palestinians celebrated the slaughter. President Obama drew moral equivalence between the dead and the terrorists.
Domestically, unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers is an obvious example of a terrorist murderer who enjoys great celebrity and acclaim in Progressive circles and is a long time confidant and friend of Barack Obama. There is substantial evidence to suggest that Ayers actually wrote at least one of Mr. Obama’s autobiographies. The National Endowment for the Humanities, which financially supports its Illinois affiliate, had no comment on its affiliate’s fundraiser, the grand prize of which was dinner for six in the home of Ayers and his equally unrepentant terrorist wife, Bernadine Dohrn who was for years on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Ironically, Conservative pundit Tucker Carlson successfully bid for the “privilege” and took the late Andrew Brietbart along. Despite Mr. Obama’s claims to barely know Ayers, White House records reveal that Ayers actually visited the White House on more than one occasion after Mr. Obama took office–odd for just some guy who happened to live in Mr. Obama’s Chicago neighborhood.
In 2013 Mr. Obama nominated one Debo Adegbile to head the DOJ Civil Right Division. Mr. Adegbile was an article of progressive veneration for defending one of the most vile and progressive-celebrated murderers of the last half century: Mumia Abu-Jamal. Abu-Jamal murdered a Philadelphia police officer and Progressives have done their best to lionize and free him for 30 years. Of course, even accused murderers are entitled to representation. What upset many, including the FBI, career DOJ prosecutors and others, is that Adegbile went far beyond representation, praising Abu-Jamal. Readers will not be surprised to learn that Adegbile had impeccable radical progressive credentials, and he looked forward to easy confirmation by the Senate. However, in March of 2014, he was forced to withdraw his nomination. Adegbile was so radical, so hostile to the rule of law, that eight Democrats voted against him, and this after Senate democrats changed Senate rules to allow confirmation with a simple majority vote, an unwise application of the “nuclear option” that promises to blow back on Democrats when Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nomination is inevitably filibustered.
It is now, with the election of Donald Trump, unlikely that people such as Adegbile will be hired to covertly destroy American’s liberties–for the next few years at least–but just as gun grabbers never rest, Americans that support the Bill of Rights may never rest.
Progressives also tend to distrust and hate the armed forces and our intelligence agencies. They are always on the lookout for ways to diminish their size, power and effectiveness, and progressive American presidents such as Jimmy Carter have done their part to fulfill progressive dogma in this regard. In fact, the damage done to our military establishment and intelligence apparatus by Mr. Carter and Mr. Clinton—who adopted insanely restrictive policies that all but eliminated our human intelligence assets around the world—were a proximate cause of 9-11. Mr. Obama, true to form, enacted his own military downsizing at a particularly dangerous time in history when our most dedicated long-term enemies, particularly China, are working very hard to increase their military capabilities and the lethality of their weaponry. In addition, Mr. Obama’s pro-Islamist foreign policy has actually encouraged the most militant islamists to take control of Libya and much of North Africa. Egypt remains a basket case as does Syria, ISIS remains strong, the Middle East continues to be a powder keg, Russia is expanding its control of the Middle East after a decades long absence, and Iran is laughing its way to nuclear weapons as Mr. Obama continues to ignore its serial violations of his “deal.” So desperate is Mr. Obama to have anything he can call a “foreign policy success,” even some Senate Democrats have exposed and turned their backs on his attempt to give Iran diplomatic cover to build nuclear weapons.
Amazingly, using his pen and phone, Mr. Obama unilaterally made it easier for foreigners who have ties to and/or have aided terrorists to immigrate into the United States. Fortunately, the courts have somewhat hampered Mr. Obama in this unconstitutional pursuit.
Conservative Philosophy: Conservatives, above all, support equality of opportunity and individual responsibility. The two go hand in hand. They believe everyone should have the unrestrained opportunity to succeed or fail on their own initiative, but they do not believe that everyone is owed a living, or anything else, by society. Individuals should be responsible for their success or failure, and it is government’s role only to ensure free and equal opportunity, which can only be accomplished by the application of equal justice under the rule of law. Conservatives do not believe in abolishing public assistance for those truly in need, but they do not believe such assistance is a right or must go on eternally.
Conservatives believe in small government with strictly limited powers–-those enumerated in the Constitution–-which exists to do only what the people cannot do for them selves, such as maintain the military and intelligence agencies, build interstate highways and similar functions. As a result, Conservatives believe in frugal government spending and low taxes. They see every man’s wages and other assets as his property to do with as he likes, and believe in taking only that amount necessary for a small government to properly function.
For the conservative, the definition of “fairness” does not change to fit transient needs. It means the equal protection and application of the law. They believe that no law should be written unless it is necessary and easily understandable. They believe that the law should be equally enforced—all of the laws. The supreme law of the land is the Constitution, which is clear and understandable, and which must be honored in spirit and fact. To that end, the rights of the individual are the basis of American democracy and must be respected. Conservatives believe that the Bill of Rights is clear, easy to understand, and must not be infringed.
Conservatives have no doubt about the existence of evil and of the necessity of combating and defeating it wherever it appears. They tend to be people of faith and are generally accepting of other faiths. They believe that mankind cannot possibly be perfected on Earth, and support rational, non-draconian laws to regulate criminal behavior.
Because they believe in equal application of the law, Conservatives support laws that prevent election fraud, such as requiring photographic ID, and the required purging of dead and ineligible voters from registration rolls, which is actually a federal law ignored by the Obama Administration. They do not want those not legally allowed to vote, such as illegal immigrants and felons, voting, and consider this stance logical and unremarkable. The Supreme Court agrees, nd upheld Indiana’s voter ID law in 2008. This has not, however, stopped the Obama/Holder/Lynch DOJ from suing states passing clearly constitutional voter ID laws.
Conservatives do not support criminals and terrorists. They see such people as uniquely destructive, not only to individuals, but to society and western civilization, and believe they are individually responsible for their actions. They certainly do not defend or praise such people. In fact, they reject victim politics.
Conservatives generally support and respect the police, the military and our intelligence agencies. They see them as honorable and essential parts of a free society and forces for stability, peace and good in America and the world, but only so long as they are truly accountable to, and servants of, the American people.
Conservatives support the Second Amendment because they understand it is the ultimate guarantor of liberty. They tend to be completely comfortable with honest, law-abiding citizens keeping and bearing arms. They also have a healthy skepticism of government, particularly one that tries to assume more power than is granted it by the Constitution.
Racism and Gun Control:
Keeping this brief, general primer in mind, let’s touch on one of the fundamental motivations for American gun controllers: racism. The racist roots of gun control in America are well known to those familiar with non-revisionist history. As I mentioned in part one of this article, an excellent, brief overview can be had in historian Clayton Cramer’s The Racist Roots of Gun Control.
It should also be kept in mind that the Democrat party has historically been the party associated with racism. The politicians–-local, state and Congressional–-that defended segregation and opposed civil rights legislation were virtually exclusively southern Democrats. The urge to control their fellow man, particularly through gun control, runs deeply in the Democrat party, and has always been a fundamental tenet of progressive philosophy.
Circa 2016, Blacks continue to tend to vote for Democrats by substantial margins despite the undeniable history of oppression of Blacks the party has embraced. Yet, because Democrats have provided the entitlements upon which generations of Blacks have come to depend, many Blacks generally support those that promise to maintain their entitlements.
Senator Robert Byrd (D, WVA), was a quintessential southern Democrat. Until his death on June 28, 2010, Byrd was the longest serving member of Congress, having served six years as a Congressman and 51 years in the Senate. Yet, Byrd was the founder of a large chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in West Virginia, vigorously opposed the Civil Rights Act, filibustering against it for an entire night in 1964, and often made racially charged comments that would have immediately ended the legislative career of any Republican, yet because he eventually called his dedicated involvement in the Klan “a sad mistake,” and because he was a reliable progressive vote, was forgiven. The fact that he sent enormous amounts of pork to West Virginia was, no doubt, also worthy of significant forgiveness for past sins.
What does all of this have to do with gun ownership? It is only because of the foresight of the Founders in writing the Second Amendment—which is echoed in 44 state constitutions—that contemporary Americans have the use of arms. The NRA and other supporters of the Second Amendment have been invaluable resources in education and leading the political fight, not only to inform the public, but to secure the Second Amendment through legislation and the courts.
Bill Clinton admitted that his “assault weapon ban” cost a great many Democrats their seats in Congress, and Al Gore’s focus on gun control cost him the White House. In fact, Gore’s anti-gun views kept him from winning his home state of Tennessee. These and several other clear signs that public views had changed in favor of the Bill of Rights–including a 2014 Gallup poll–have kept most Democrats from overt support for gun control. Their under the radar efforts continue apace, as Barack Obama told the Brady Campaign’s Sarah Brady on March 30, 2011. And of course, since early 2014, Mr. Obama and some congressional Democrats have continued to push for unconstitutional gun control laws. Vice President Biden partially drive the gun control bandwagon, but to idiotically comic results.
One can reasonably argue that Hillary Clinton’s aggressive anti-gun stance contributed to her defeat in 2016. Unlike most Democrats, who tend to avoid the issue, she actually ran on overturning Heller, and promised to work for gun control every day.
Despite the successes such as the District of Columbia v. Heller case (2008), in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment is a fundamental right that applies to individuals, and the McDonald v. City of Chicago case (2010) which applied the Second Amendment to the states, the battle to maintain the freedom enumerated in the Second Amendment is constantly raging on many fronts:
(1) Despite the Heller and McDonald decisions, many states and cities, almost exclusively those controlled by Democrats, continue to do all they can to harass, imprison, and hinder gun owners. They continue to keep laws on the books that are plainly unconstitutional, essentially demanding that they be sued—wasting millions of taxpayer dollars—rather than comply with the Constitution. Gun ownership remains all but impossible, or so tightly regulated as to be nearly impossible in California (which recently passed a raft of new gun control measures), Chicago, New York state, New York City, the District of Columbia, Connecticut and other Democrat strongholds.
(2) State and federal progressive politicians are constantly proposing restrictive, unconstitutional laws they know, for the moment, they cannot pass, but they never miss an opportunity to exploit a tragedy or sensational crime (such as the Newtown Massacre) in the name of gun control in the hope that the public will ignore rational thought and respond emotionally.
(3) My former co-blogger at the now retired Confederate Yankee, and the Editor of Bearing Arms, Bob Owens (his PJ Media Archive containing his Fast and Furious posts is available at this link), took the lead on the Internet in investigating the Obama Administration’s Fast and Furious Scandal, while I added several articles in support. In that ongoing scandal, the Obama Administration ran thousands of guns, through the BATFE and the State Department, directly into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. More than 200 Mexican, and two American, law enforcement officers and countless Mexican civilians have been killed by those weapons. All available evidence indicates the program was a cynical, foolish and deadly attempt by the Obama Administration to build public support for gun control policies that could not be obtained through the Congress. The majority of Democrats would not support them even when they controlled both houses of Congress. The guns given to murderers by the Obama Administration continue to turn up at the scenes of murders, and the Obamites have successfully stonewalled the truth.
(4) Legislation by Regulation: The BATFE—at the direction of the Eric Holder Department of Justice, instituted additional reporting requirements for gun dealars in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and California. Dealers are required to report multiple sales of long guns, despite the BATF having no legal authority to implement such rules. It was the BATF that ordered dealers to make multiple sales of long guns to people they knew were breaking the law. The regulation is a transparent attempt to distract attention from Fast and Furious and to try to diminish gun sales.
(5) Executive Branch Lawlessness: President Obama is infamous for doing by executive fiat what he cannot accomplish otherwise. Under the banner of “we can’t wait,” he made recess appointments of a number of unaccountable federal officials so radical they could never be confirmed even in a Democrat controlled Senate, violating the Constitution in the process. His NLRB appointments have been ruled unconstitutional, but the NLRB is simply ignoring the court and continuing to regulate. The Environmental Protection Agency is implementing countless regulations that are closing power plants, and all but destroying the American coal industry, making our energy costs “necessarily skyrocket” as he has long fervently wished (he was not able to accomplish it through the democratically controlled Congress by means of Cap and Trade). The Holder DOJ has demanded that police agencies hire the plainly unqualified–but racially favored–in the name of eliminating “disparate impact.” The Holder (and Lynch) DOJ also forced American schools to adopt race-based discipline policies. Mr. Obama has capped his run of lawlessness–for the time being–with his unilateral November 20, 2014 imposition of immigration law.
(6) National Insecurity: Mr. Obama’s actions in coddling our enemies and insulting our allies are well known, voluminous and ongoing, even as his time in office dwindles. Informed Americans are also increasingly alarmed at our national debt, projected to be at least 20 trillion dollars when Mr. Obama leaves office (if real terms are allowed, it’s probably well over 100 trillion). The possibility of economic collapse and the societal chaos that would inevitably follow, within our lifetimes, is a real and looming threat.
In addition, external threats such as an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack that would wipe out computer memories and destroy any device regulated by electronics—essentially everything we now rely upon for daily life—are a horrifying reality. Iran, for example, is actively planning for such an attack, and in 2010, what appears to have been a rehearsal for such an attack by one of our enemies took place off the California coast.
(7) Judicial Legislation: Upon being elected, Mr. Obama taunted Republicans by saying “elections have consequences.” Mr. Obama has been hard at work seeing that they do by appointing well over 200 Federal judges that support the progressive agenda. Such judges see the Constitution not as the supreme law of the land, but as an impediment to desired progressive policies. They are inherently dangerous to the Second Amendment particularly, and to liberty and the rule of law generally.
He has also succeeded in appointed two Supreme Court justices—Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor (the self-proclaimed “wise Latina”). During their confirmation hearings, both women claimed to respect and support the Second Amendment. When they actually had the opportunity to prove their loyalty to the Bill of Rights in the Heller and McDonald cases, they voted against freedom, demonstrating their Senate testimony was a lie.
There can be little doubt Hillary Clinton’s defeat was in part caused by her promise to appoint sufficient justices to shift the balance on the Supreme Court from those that decide cases based on the Constitution and the law to those who seek to implement progressive policy from the bench. Were she elected, the Second Amendment would surely have been nullified. At the very least, it would have been so watered down as to be a fundamental right without any application in the lives of individuals. Such a Supreme Court would have found no restriction on the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms—if they did not obliterate it entirely—too much of an imposition on individual liberty.
Post-election 2016, Americans that value the Second Amendment must deal with these issues and more. The Second Amendment seems secure for the time being, but Thomas Jefferson was right in saying the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Remember the basic facts of Socialist vs. Conservative philosophy, and remember that the forces that oppose liberty never rest, and always await their chance.
It’s not always possible to take people at their word—Justices Kagan and Sotomayor being obvious cases in point—but sometimes, it’s vital that we do. When Hillary Clinton, one of history’s most notorious and noxious liars promised to work every day to damage and destroy the Second Amendment, Americans knew that was one promise they could believe. Senator Hubert Humphrey, one of the most famous figures in progressive history said:
Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. . . . The right of the citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against tyranny, which now appears remote in America, that historically has proven to be always possible.
Chairman of the Brady Campaign (the leading American anti-gun organization) Sarah Brady, who was so heartened by Mr. Obama’s assurance that he was pursuing gun control “under the radar,” also said:
We must get rid of all the guns.
The Progressive movement generally shares this sentiment, restraining it only when honesty would hurt them politically.
Mr. Obama’s views on gun control were clear, despite his occasional public statements in faux support of the Second Amendment. His record and actions—such as Fast and Furious–-spoke far more eloquently than his most fluid teleprompter reading. But it would be wise indeed to listen to the late Senator Humphrey, and we ignore the intentions of the entire progressive movement at our risk.
For the moment, perhaps for the next four to eight years, gun ownership is a choice. Even if, after reading and considering this series, you choose not to own a firearm, would not America be better off if Americans continue to have that choice? If you did not before, now you know who wants you to have it and who does not.
The next in this series, explores the practical, moral and legal issues gun owners must consider. It also speaks to the changes in lifestyle that carrying a concealed weapon must, of necessity, impose. I hope to see you again next Tuesday.
The first five articles in this series:
Guns: Securing The Right To Self-Defense And Life, Part 1
Guns: Securing The Right To Self-Defense And Life, Part 2
Guns: Securing The Right To Self-Defense And Life, Part 3
Guns: Securing The Right To Self-Defense And Life, Part 4
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