L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 49, June 30, 1999
Letters to the Editor
by Our Readers
Send Letters to TLE@johntaylor.org
Letter from James J. Odle
Here's an open letter that I have just dispatched to my representative.
It might be suitable for the LE.
James J. Odle
4122 West Boca Raton Street
Phoenix, AZ 85053
Honorable John Shadegg
United States House of Representatives
430 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Honorable John Shadegg,
I am pleased to learn that the latest unconstitutional gun control
law went down in well deserved defeat.
I am not pleased to learn that the bill reached the floor in the
Apparently, there is some confusion as to the role of the Bill of
Rights and the Constitutional limits upon power that it imposes and
the resulting range of options that are therefore legitimate arenas
of legislative action.
In my basic high school civics class I was taught that the purpose of
the entire Bill of Rights was two fold:
- To protect each of us as individuals from the tyranny of majority
- To protect us as individuals from the tyranny of a strong central
This means that, where any one of our individual rights are
concerned, they are beyond the purview of legitimate legislative
action. The only proper and legal method of getting legislation that
effects our rights is through the amendment process.
Does following the rules pose an incredible inconvenience to
Of course it does! But then that is the entire purpose of the
Constitution. That is its job. The very reason for the existence of
the Constitution is to impose upon and to constrain the range of
options available to law makers, law enforcement agencies and other
bureaucrats. They are all supposed to be inconvenienced!
Isn't this basic civics lesson taught to anyone any more? Doesn't
anyone remember and apply it? Why aren't these fundamentally American
ideas on prominent display on the floors of the House and Senate? Has
Washington gone completely power crazy? Are the vast majority of
Washington politicos in desperate need of some serious, no nonsense
couch time with Dr. Laura? Apparently so.
Why am I so upset?
Imagine, if you will, that tomorrow you rose -- opened up the morning
newspaper -- and discovered that one of your employees had, without
your knowledge or permission, put your house up for sale.
You would be outraged!! You would storm your place of business and
try to find out what the heck was going on, wouldn't you?
That is how I feel whenever I see Congress negotiating laws that
effect our rights.
MY RIGHTS ARE NOT CONGRESS'S TO BARGAIN WITH!
Since when do employees determine the rights of employers? Since when
do agents have determine the rights of the principals they work for?
Just for the record, politicians are our employees -- they are not
our leaders! This political arrogance is getting out of hand. Some
Washington politicos have even gotten it into their heads that it is
their job to be the leader of the nation or the leader of the free
Where in hell, are these silly ideas to be found in the Constitution?
I'll give you a hint -- they ain't there!
I, for one am not a sheep and I don't need a shepherd. When I enter
that voting booth, I am looking for someone who wishes that the
government live within Constitutional constraints.
The Constitution doesn't permit bureaucrats to do anything they
please. Roughly 80% of everything the Feds do everyday is
unconstitutional you know.
Let us all try to get a grip on this pathetic lust for power. Is
pushing people around -- that is, bullying -- really that much fun? I
don't think so!
We don't want to wind up as a desperate antisocial power crazed
psychopath like William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, do we?
Let us all get a grip!
James J. Odle
to the Letters to the Editor page
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 49, June 30, 1999.