01 July 2008

The Natural Order of Things

Webster’s defines a right as “Something (as a power or privilege) to which one has a just or lawful claim.”

The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I come before you today to tell you that you have no natural rights. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. What you have been endowed by your Creator with is a condition, that of Life, and nothing more.

If Life was a natural right, there would be no death and the world would become a crowded place indeed. If Life was indeed your right, endowed by your Creator, nothing on Heaven or Earth could take this condition from you. We know this to be false, because people die every single day.

You must, by the sweat of your brow, secure those things that will sustain your own life. These things include food, shelter and such clothing as is needed to protect you from the elements. If you fail to secure these things, you will surely die.

Some choose to secure these things by building or gathering them, some will purchase or trade for these things from those who do build or gather, and some will choose to take these things from those who build, gather or buy them, either legally (through government approved theft) or illegally.

The bottom line is that you have only those rights that you are willing to fight and die for.

This week the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling on the Second Amendment. They decided that the Constitution actually did mean what it said, that the right to keep and bear arms is indeed an individual, rather than a collective one.

The Second Amendment supporters broke into waves of the Happy Dance, while the gun grabbers hung their heads like sad little pandas.

It didn’t take long, however, for the forces to once again muster on the battleground. The supporters rightly recognized that Heller vs. DC is only a start, and the grabbers rightly recognized that the momentum must be stopped before it gains too much speed.

The bottom line is that you have only those rights that you are willing to fight and die for.

The Second Amendment has been under relentless attack since 1934, and those who caved to “reasonable restrictions” were late to the battle. Fortunately it seems that the battle is not completely lost, although the ground that has been lost so far may never be fully regained.

It is sad, however, that those who will stand up for the Second Amendment will all too often allow attacks on the other nine to go on without opposition.

If you have ever said, “Well, I’m not afraid, I have nothing to hide…” when the Patriot Act or the War on Drugs is discussed, you are part of the problem. The War on Drugs is especially destructive to the Fourth Amendment, and if you don’t see a problem with the no-knock raid you obviously haven’t been paying attention. Wake up; the same folks that are behind the no-knock warrants for drugs and the seizing of property and cash without benefit of trial will eventually use the same tactics to confiscate your firearms for the “public safety.” Can’t have you gun nuts knocking off the cops when they bash down your door at 4AM because they have the wrong house, now can we?

If you have ever wished the government would pass laws to shut Fred Phelps or Code Pink up, you are part of the problem. If you don’t have an issue with McCain-Feingold, you are part of the problem. The free speech part of the First Amendment was to protect that speech that others would find offensive, particularly political speech.

If you have ever wished the government would outlaw Islam, you are part of the problem.

If you didn’t see the government’s treatment of Jose Padilla as wrong, you are part of the problem. Jose Padilla was - and is - an American citizen, he was not captured on the battlefield bearing arms against this country, and so does not meet the current definition of "enemy combatant" like the detainees in Guantanamo. He is a gutter turd, but he's our gutter turd.

The bottom line is that you have only those rights that you are willing to fight and die for.

And if you wish to secure these Constitutional rights for yourself, you must also secure them for those you do not personally like or agree with. Like Code Pink, Fred Phelps, or Jose Padilla. They, too, have the right to speak and the right to have their day in court.

I don’t remember where I heard this first, but it’s probably a wise idea to heed this little nugget: Imagine the same power that you are willing to grant the Government in the hands of your worst enemy.

Vote accordingly.

2 comments:

Hammer said...

Well said. I think too many are willing to believe in the fairy tale about the benign dictator.

The heller ruling is only a start. we need to take back the whole constitution.

Larry said...

Darn straight Hammer, and the first thing we need to make clear is that there is no such thing as "reasonable restrictions" on Constitutional rights.
"He who will trade essential liberty for temporary security deserves neither liberty nor security."
Thanks for dropping by.