L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 253, January 4, 2004
Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise
Traditionally, the New Year is a time for resolutions, promises, and good intentions. People promise to quit smoking, loose weight, be kinder, and all the other meaningless, emotional trivia that tends to plague American society today.
But there is another kind of promise that is often made. Specifically it is made be those who are elected to federal office, appointed to office, and enlisted in our military. Though they may vary in detail, all contain a phrase similar to "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...."
How well have our elected and appointed officials remembered their promise? The supreme court has again decided to duck the issue of the second amendment and what it means. They denied cert to Emerson, and they denied cert to Silveira. The supremes are avoiding their duty to "support" the constitution.
Congress is no better. There is a bill before the House for the "ENCOURAGEMENT OF GUN CONFISCATION POLICIES IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES." (HR 1895) For firearms to be confiscated, "...a law enforcement officer who has probable cause that an act of domestic violence has been committed may
Please note, no court order nor finding of guilt required. Just on the accusation, someone's collection may disappear. Now I am no friend of those who settle their problems by the application of force. I do believe, however, that those accused of domestic violence, or any other crime, still deserve due process.
Then we have the Senate. S.969, the Homeland Security Gun Safety Act of 2003. Among its other provisions it "Prohibits the sale to, or purchase by, an unlicensed individual of two or more handguns during any 30-day period." (link)
It also allows the attorney general to "...by regulation, prescribe security standards, to prevent theft or other loss of firearms, for the storage and display of firearms by firearms dealers that are licensed under chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code." Then, "If a licensed firearms dealer fails to comply with the standards prescribed pursuant to paragraph (1), the Attorney General
If this bill is passed, then all the AG has to do is determine some impossible standard, and then suspend the license of every dealer not in compliance. No sales during license suspension means less and less availability of firearms to anyone. Except the Feds, of course. Think they will be in a hurry to re-evaluate once a license is suspended? How long do you think most dealers could stay in business with no sales?
As far as the President goes, Mr. Bush has already stated his support for the so called, assault weapons ban, during the 2000 election. AG Ashcroft stated during his confirmation hearings, "I don't believe the Second Amendment to be one that forbids any regulation of guns." (link).
There is one more group of people, who have taken an oath to support the constitution, and they are those in the military. Though I don't hold out much hope, considering that everywhere they have been deployed as "peace keepers", as well as currently in Iraq, they confiscate any arms they can get their hands on. The difference in the military, however, is there is a culture of honor, and duty.
The military has, since the founding of our country, stayed out of politics. I, for one, am grateful for this, up to now. But what would happen should those in the military truly consider what the politicians and bureaucrats are doing? What would happen should those sworn to defend the constitution really consider their oath "...all enemies, foreign and domestic..." Could this be why our leaders want to keep the military busy outside the country?
Since 1934 (or 1916, or 1861 depending on your interpretation) our elected and appointed officials have ignored the constitution. Our supreme court has gone along with the farce, refusing to hear certain cases, or in others (campaign finance for one) the court has ignored the plain language of the constitution.
So, how much is enough? At what point to paraphrase Mencken, do we spit on our hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats? For the way I see it, this is the only way we are going to regain our rights.