L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 77, June 19, 2000
The Biggest Con
by David Neilson
Special to TLE
Possibly the biggest con job in history has been convincing Americans they can stop the erosion of their constitutionally protected rights by working within the system. At the heart of this scam is the concept that we have nothing to complain about if we don't work real hard to try and elect "honest" politicians who won't legislate away more of our freedom. When we find that neither candidate even remotely fits that description, and the only option on the ballot is some hustler who claims he won't steal our liberty quite as fast as his shark bait opposition, we are told we get the government we deserve.
The Constitution is the law the government is supposed to abide by. But nearly every law passed by our congresscritters is outside the bounds of the Constitution, and almost every activity engaged in by the federal government is prohibited by it. In blatant defiance of the Constitution, the stickup artists in Congress frantically churn out laws that illegally intrude on every aspect of our lives, strangling our unalienable rights and extorting our property from us. The utter genius of this bunco game is that Americans have been flimflammed into believing they are obliged to obey the bogus edicts these snake oil salesmen pawn off on us until they can be repealed or overturned in court.
But the fix is in. There is a better chance Bill Clinton will inadvertently tell the truth than there is a law will be repealed once it is on the books. And the carpetbaggers spew out new laws orders of magnitude faster than the courts overturn them. In 1990, the Democrat controlled Congress passed a law creating gun free school zones. The Supreme Court struck it down in 1995 stating it violated the Constitutionís commerce clause. Less than a year later the Republican controlled Congress fiddled with the wording a little bit and sent it right back to us. The Supremes haven't even heard a case based on the Second Amendment since 1939.
The Constitution is the highest law of the land. But very little of it applies to us as individuals. The Constitution is primarily a law the federal government is bound to obey. The body of the Constitution details the activities the federal government is authorized to engage in, and the Tenth Amendment reserves all other powers to the States and the people. Amendments One through Nine list certain of our individual rights, and they prohibit the federal government from infringing on any of our rights, regardless of whether or not they are specifically listed. The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the States from depriving us of our rights and liberty.
In 1803, when Americans enjoyed considerably more freedom than they do today, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshallís opinion in the case of Marbury v. Madison stated, "a law repugnant to the constitution is void." The Sixteenth American Jurisprudence says, "No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and courts are not bound to enforce it." The countryís founding fathers believed our rights come to us from our Creator. They considered our rights to be unalienable, and that they would belong to us even if they were not protected by the Amendments to the Constitution.
If anyone should obey the law, it is the people who make and enforce the laws. But what we have today is a situation where government officials at all levels blithely ignore their oaths to obey and uphold the Constitution as they steal our property, and kill or imprison people for exercising certain of their rights, all the while perpetuating the illusion that responsible Americans need only exercise their right to vote, and call or write their legislators to fix what is wrong with the system.
The brilliance and audacity of this hoax is that working within the system actually helps the government gangsters pick our pockets and steal our liberty. Our Republic has been perverted from the rule of law to rule by intimidation and disinformation. And the confidence game will continue until we refuse to be marks who can be fleeced at will. We will not reclaim our rights and our liberty until we refuse to participate in their rigged game. The Declaration of Independence says governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. It is long past time for Americans to withdraw their consent to be governed at the whim of political scofflaws.
If we can't regain our rights and liberty through the political system, is there any way to do so short of a bloody revolution? Hopefully there is. We may be able to reclaim our freedom the same way it was lost and continues to be taken from us: in incremental steps. Freedom lovers need to target key laws violating their rights, and begin to openly defy and disregard them in a clear and public statement that we're not going to take it any more.
Will it be easy? No way. Our government crime syndicate has had abundant practice ruling by intimidation. Their storm trooper enforcers are trained to pounce on and eliminate the first signs of resistance.
Can it be done? Absolutely. The Bureau of Justice reported that in 1996 there were approximately 75,000 federal and 665,000 state and local law enforcement officers. Estimates on the number of firearms owners run between 60 million and 85 million. Retired Colonel David Hackworth wrote a column in 1997 complaining that of the nationís 1.4 million active duty military personnel, only 29,000 were qualified rifle shooters. It is no doubt safe to assume that a much a higher percentage of the 14 million American deer hunters are competent with their arms.
Have Americans had enough? The Internal Revenue Service reports that 25 million to 40 million Americans refuse to file income tax returns. That is huge number of people already defying a very scary extortion racket. And it is just one instance where individuals risk going to jail to protect their property and exercise their rights.
How do we begin? There are 22,000 gun control laws in this country, every one of which is null and void. The same goes for each of the thousands of other laws that violate our privacy, or restrict or prohibit our liberty to do anything we please with our lives and property as long as our activities don't infringe on the rights of anyone else to do the same.
Since firearms are both the tools and the symbols of liberty, targeting laws restricting or prohibiting owning or carrying guns is a logical starting point. Chairman Mao said, "Power comes from the barrel of a gun." To paraphrase the current administrationís role model, "Rights come from the barrel of a gun." If they get our guns we will have no other rights. Not only are the anti-gunners continuing to stump for more victim disarmament laws, the National Rifle Association and politicians who supposedly support the Second Amendment are pushing for strenuous enforcement of the illegal gun control laws already in place that will put nonviolent gunowners in prison for years. We have no allies. If we want freedom, we must secure it for ourselves.
Why focus on guns? Only free individuals can keep and bear arms. One of the characteristics of slaves is they are denied access to all weapons. Handguns are ideal symbols of freedom and sovereignty for the same reasons they are such effective defensive tools: they are small enough to be easily carried at all times. Openly carrying handguns needs to be elevated to the status of a First Amendment protected statement that we are free and sovereign individuals.
What is the first step? This is the hardest part. To be successful, a campaign of individuals peacefully, but openly exercising a particular right in defiance of the law would require a large number people to begin doing it at the same time. Publishing inflammatory propaganda like this is still protected speech, but conspiring to break the law is a crime they will put you in prison for. So organizing a civil disobedience movement is not a viable option. But individuals who are determined to be free can be extremely resourceful. If the timing is right, freedom lovers will latch on to this idea, and they will discuss and develop the concept until one day in the not too distant future we will see a million or so sovereign individuals spontaneously rally in the streets exercising their rights and declaring this is once again the land of the free.