Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Natural Rights – Natural Limits

     Natural rights or what is called fundamental rights sometime seem like big terms that are difficult to understand.  In essence a natural right is a right that comes as a part of being human.  Without these natural rights you would potentially be a slave to anyone who was strong enough to take them away.  An example of a natural right is, let’s say, the right to breathe.  Obviously without the right to breathe you could not exist.  Where did the right come from? Well it came with birth, and I prefer to say, from God, or our Creator, some would say, Universal Intelligence.  Regardless of where you might think it comes from our Founding Fathers (FFs) would say these “natural rights” exist. 
     The FFs recognized that certain rights are extremely important to be able to preserve liberty.  Therefore they “enumerated” certain of these rights as being key to maintaining liberty.  Hence the “Bill of Rights” came about.  The “enumerated rights” included the right to: free speech, free press, free exercise of religion, keep and bear arms, be secure in our persons, houses, effects from unreasonable searches and seizures, to name a few.
     The 2nd Amendment secured the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA), in defense of oneself, one’s family, friends, property and country, is considered by many to be the “First Freedom.”  Without this key natural right all other rights could be seized by a stronger party, usually in the form of government.  I always appreciate Jack McLamb’s (most highly decorated police officer in Phoenix, Arizona) phrase in which he states, “When tyranny comes to your door, it will be dressed in a uniform.”  The founders clearly stated that a standing army is to be feared.
     Recognizing this, the FFs instituted the Bill of Rights.  Some key rights are free speech, free press, and free exercise of personal conscience and it has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword.  However if the politeness of free: expression, press, conscience, and appeals to reason, do not have the desired effect in deterring tyranny, then one must, as in the case of the American Revolution, be prepared to use the sword.
     It is inconceivable to me that the FFs would somehow say you must get permission of the government that was trying to disarm them by seizing, disarming and destroying the ability of the American’s to make their own gun powder, arms and munitions.  I guarantee you the founders didn’t write the 2A to preserve a sporting purpose.  These people were all about preserving their liberty against a tyrannical government.
Earlier I mentioned “enumerated rights.”  There are many other natural or fundamental rights which are not listed referred to as “un-enumerated" or rights retained.  Some examples of these rights would be the right to: travel, marry, procreate, work and earn income, accumulate property, breathe, etc. 
     Now these natural or fundamental rights should not be confused with the false, or government created rights, or what are referred to sometimes as civil or legislated rights.  These so called rights are created and granted by government and you will recognize them as the right to an education, right to a home, right to a living wage, right to a job, right to “free” healthcare.  Here is how you can tell the pseudorights (pseudo = false) from the natural, God given rights.  If the government grants it, the government can take it away.  If the government pays for it, it took the money from someone else to give to another.  Not so with natural rights.  You are born with the natural right to: seek an education; seek a job; business, or profession; seek healthcare, etc. 
     You have a right to live free, and to the results of a substantial portion of the proceeds of your endeavors.  You have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another. 
You cannot have a good conversation about natural or fundamental rights without mentioning responsibilities.  Each of these natural rights generally has some responsibility attached to it.  An example would be you cannot yell, FIRE! in a crowded theater just to watch people get trampled.  You cannot exercise freedom of the press by telling falsehoods about someone.  You cannot sacrifice your child to the Sun god in a religious ceremony, because you would be stealing the child’s natural right to life.  You cannot exercise your RKBA by brandishing your weapon causing endangerment to those around you.  Each and every natural right has a natural limit.  All natural rights have natural limits which start when you interfere with someone else’s natural rights.
     Normal people do not require a nanny state to explain those limits.  The people who are responsible don’t need it explained and those who are criminal won’t care.  Consequently we do not need permission from the government to keep and bear arms.  Only the law abiding will obey the unconstitutional laws.  The criminals are not going to ask permission from the government to keep and bear arms. Your comments can be directed to: carry@pike912.org.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Liberty and the economy and reality………

By Dan A. Mefford, D.C.
     Let’s take a moment and look at our national debt…  Certain portions of economics are relatively simple.  It really doesn’t matter how big the unit is, the laws of economics do not change.  Many things in nature are the same.  Light from a little bitty flashlight travels the same speed as a massive spot light used to light up the night sky. 
     If an individual spends more than he makes he will go broke. The same applies to family, a business, a business “too big to fail” or a country.  Now it is true that the bigger the entity more people there are that have an interest in preserving the entity and more efforts will be made to prevent failure, but no matter how big, if the “law” is broken, the end result will eventually be broke.
     Liberty is the same.  It begins with the individual.  If you have a free individual then you have liberty.  If you have a free group of individuals then you have liberty.  The group can be as big as you can imagine.  It can encompass a nation.  Our country began this experiment in Liberty by essentially declaring the individual to be a sovereign or you could say a king.  Kings are considered free.  Each king in this country rules over one, himself.
     Free men have the ability to make choices.  They can choose to work or not work.  They can choose to be responsible or not.  They can choose…. you name it.  The sticky little part is that they must bear the responsibility and/or consequences of their choices.  No one else is responsible to ‘pay’ for their choices.  The rewards and penalties are meted out by nature and nature’s God, if you will.  These consequences of action had the natural effect of creating responsible people. 
     In today’s society and economy the government has assumed the place of softening the blows of the natural cause and effect.  It has become, what is so aptly termed, the “Nanny State.”  The result of softening the consequences is costly.  In the long run the Nanny State has now become the Master and the citizens have lost their sovereign status and assumed the place of the subject, slave, or servant. 
     When you lose your ability to make choices, even poor choices, then you have lost a portion of your liberty.  Remember the famous William Pitt quote, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”  In America the same people who stand or sit in Washington have said we know what is best for you in nearly every aspect.  We will create OSHA to make the people safe.  We will create the EPA and tell you what light bulbs to use (what a joke?).  We will let you have a gun, if you get on your knees and beg for them.  Only certain guns of course, after all there are a handful of irresponsible people who shouldn’t really have them.  Therefore everyone must jump through our hoop so government can determine who is allowed to have them.
     Our masters in the Chicago Machine and Washington, D.C. are the ‘geniuses’ who think they can defy the basic laws of economics.  They think they can spend more than they take in and escape the consequences.  That is not going to happen indefinitely.  They think they can decide how much liberty we the People are able to exercise safely.
     Now it is time to get off our donkeys and elephants and get good successful business people to run for office and dump the candidates who are supported from ‘on high.’  We the people have to realize if we keep doing what we have been doing we will continue to get the same stinking consequences.
I may be reached for comments at: editorials@pike912.org.

What is the Meaning of "Shall Not Be Infringed?"

By Dan A. Mefford, D.C.
July 29, 2011
     Discussion about the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution began to rage in the 1930s when restrictive federal firearm legislation was passed.  Finally the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has made two very important recent findings in this regard.  Many within the gun culture who have studied this topic for years felt certain that due to the tremendous body of literature expressing the founders intent that the outcome of intense scrutiny by the Court would vindicate what we have been saying all along; 1. The right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, 2.  The right is a fundamental right applies via the 14th Amendment to the states, and 3. That the phrase, “shall not be infringed,” actually means what it says. 
     At this point in time the first two issues have been determined as they should have been based on the historical intent.  As I see it, this leaves us with one last major issue or phrase to deal with.  That is the phrase “shall not be infringed.”  The average person might actually believe that the founder’s intent was that the phrase meant what it says, however those who I call the enemies of liberty, would have us believe that the phrase actually means, “shall not be infringed, very much.”  The rules of legislative interpretation are fairly simple, in a complicated sort of way (grin).  The rules, in essence say, that the meaning is what it says in plain language.  Each word has meaning.  It should be clear that each word means what the common meaning is at the time the legislation was passed unless otherwise defined. 
     So I simply went to Black’s Law Dictionary (BLD) and looked up the word “infringe” to get started.  Well it is not in the latest edition of the premier legal dictionary in the U.S.  The latest issue of Mirriam-Webster might be close enough.  Somehow I don’t think this word has changed its meaning in the last couple of hundred years. 
     Infringe means: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another. So then what does the root of the word mean, “fringe?”  Several meanings here, but the ones that seems to apply are, ‘edge’ and ‘periphery.’ 
     The word ‘encroach’ seems important here as well so let’s have at it.  Encroach means: “1. To enter by gradual steps or stealth into the possession or rights of another, to trespass or intrude. 2. To gain or intrude unlawfully upon another’s lands, property, authority.”  (BLD).  I would have to say that to intrude on another’s “rights” could fit in right here. 
     I have said all of this to say that any scheme that would require an individual to get permission from government or jump through some government hoops is an “infringement” of a fundamental right to keep and bear arms.  Presently law abiding people are the only ones who obey the current FOID schemes and government schemes.  The criminal elements are going to continue to get their firearms the way they do now, through theft or straw purchases (purchased by another “legal” person).  Or as in the case recently, with the assistance of that trustworthy bunch in Washington, D.C., the BATFE.  Haven’t they just been caught helping criminals get guns to the Mexican Drug Cartel?  Let’s see, they don’t trust us?  Well I don’t trust them!
     Somehow I have trouble picturing our founding fathers, such as Samuel Adams, and George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, asking permission of the government for a FOID card in order to purchase an ‘arm’ or to carry or bear an ‘arm.’  William Pitt said, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”  Slaves must go to their masters for permission to do anything.  Our Chicago Machine Rulers would have us believe that it is necessary for their minions to review or investigate each individual to see if they are fit to keep and bear a gun.  I say anyone should be able to obtain a gun without permission of government.  If one has forfeited his right through true violent crime against humanity, then when caught he should pay dearly.  Presently the violent criminal is armed anyway, it is the law abiding who are punished and inconvenienced by laws that do not disarm criminals.
     Forty-nine other states have a form of carry for self-defense purposes.  Only our Chicago Rulers seem to think the people in Illinois are not good enough, honorable enough, or responsible enough to carry a weapon.  Vermont has never had any restrictive legislation and now other states are beginning to follow suit.  Eight states at this point in time have adopted Constitutional or Vermont style carry as it is called.  There are people working diligently on solutions on several fronts.  This includes lawsuits against the State of Illinois challenging the Constitutionality of our present highly restrictive rulers.  There is movement on the County level as well.  Please watch the paper in the weeks to come for more information on other possible solutions.  This is a subject whose time has come.  If you would like to correspond with me on this contact me at: editorial@pike912.org.