Monday, June 24, 2013

A Dark and Desperate Hour

This is the text of my address to the Pike County Board
June 24, 2013
Dan A. Mefford, D.C.

Little did the preacher know yesterday I would borrow part of his text for my introduction remarks this evening?  Pastor took part of his text from this verse in Galatians:  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Let me repeat that:  Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  This a directive to the people, “…do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery!  The people are directed to participate in their own freedom.

Let me tell a very short story. 

On Christmas Day 1776 George Washington was desperate.  That year had been the darkest in American history. He had just endured a whole chain of military disasters. The morale of his remaining army, starving and freezing, was very low; hundreds desert during the night. He is down to 2,400 troops. At least one-third have no shoes and wrap their feet in burlap during the all night march, leaving a trail of blood in the snow as a sudden and fierce northeast storm engulfs his Continentals. It all has come to this; facing impossible odds the American Revolution is down to one last desperate attempt to succeed.

Listen to Washington’s own words on this night: 
“The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep.  Few people know the predicament we are in.” (G. Washington)

Washington goes on to lead a tremendous surprise attack with his men, many with no shoes and bleeding feet on a cold stormy Christmas night crossing a dark icy river. 

A few weeks ago at our March meeting this body considered the Self Defense and Firearms Freedom ordinance for the first time.  I mentioned that in my opinion our country and our state was indeed at a time in its history when we were at a dark and desperate hour.  I further mentioned a number of reasons why I said that, primarily the travesty of national healthcare run by the IRS and not by, for instance, the Center for Disease Control.  I mentioned federal agencies arming themselves with enough rounds of hollow point ammunition to last over 20 years if the agencies burned up ammo at the same rate as the height of the Afghanistan war.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Founders' Dilemma

A dilemma is a situation in which one is faced with two or more unhappy choices.  The Founders were faced with just such a choice.  Sign the declaration and become traitors and virtually sign their own death warrant or live life under the thumb of a cruel king/dictator. 

According to Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers, a “pensive and awful silence pervaded the house as we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress,” Rush said, to sign “what was believed by many at that time to be our own death warrants.”*There was no high fiving celebration taking place.  There was no hoisting of the mug to heartily thumb the proverbial nose at King George.

Many of the Founders lost family, property and some their lives in the cause of Liberty after that fateful day.  Some were subjected to cruel torture and abuse in British prisons.  Today we find ourselves in a situation in Pike County locked in our own “battles” against primarily a Chicago Machine ruler and federal government that is determined to rule over every aspect of our lives.  New York City is even worse in that the Mayor thinks he is so intelligent that the people he ‘rules’ need him to save them from themselves by deciding even how much soda they can have in one cup.  We don't need to go into scandal after scandal apparently perpetrated by those within the current leadership in Washington D.C.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Second Amendment Logic - If A = B and B = C, then C = A...

Logic.  It’s a course you can take in college.  There are a lot of sophisticated rules to make things work out to a realistic conclusion.  I wonder, can we apply these principles to the Second Amendment (2A)?  Logic would say that, if A = B, and B = C, then it is logical that C = A.  Where the rub comes in, not all can agree on the various premises that come in to play.

However, I have never drawn back from traveling in places where angels fear to tread; therefore I will give this a “shot.”  Yes, the pun was intended.

Assuming the Founders meant what they wrote in the 2A, then the operative portion (Heller v. Washington D.C.) is, “…the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  The courts have stated repeatedly that the first place to look to understand the meaning of any statute is the statute itself.  Illinois v Holmes, states, “The best evidence of legislative intent is the language used in the statute itself, which must be given its plain and ordinary meaning.”  We will designate the 2A as, “A” which is the “supreme law of the land.”

In McDonald v Chicago, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) stated that the 2A applies/incorporates against and/or to the states.  Therefore 2A applies to the states becomes “B.”  Therefore “B” is now the “supreme law of the land” for Illinois.

Now, assuming that Pike County is a subdivision of the state of Illinois; and further that the “supreme law of the land” is operative here we can conclude that the operative phrase of the 2A, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” applies in Pike County, designated as “C.” 

Now let’s check our statement: 
  • 2A is the supreme law in the US, “A,” is equal to, “B” which states that 2A is the supreme law of Illinois, since Pike County is a division in Illinois the 2A must be the supreme law of Pike County, “C.” Therefore Supreme law of Pike County "C," is equal to, "A" the supreme law of the US.

The question then becomes; “If the 2A is already the law of Pike County then why would making it an official part of the code create any change in liability to the County?”  

Now let’s assess our Chicago Attorney Victor’s statement.  Mr. Victor spoke to the Pike County Board at the last meeting, May 30th, 2013.  He stated that passing an ordinance which duplicated the operative portion of the 2A would be unconstitutional.  The part he left out was he gave no supporting documentation to show how incorporating the operative portion of the 2A could conflict with any constitution.  The ordinance would create no new law, it would not supersede any law but simply copy it to the code of Pike County.

He said it might create confusion but didn’t explain how.  He could give no scenario that would create liability but simply stated, "It will expose the county to enormous legal liability, enormous financial liability.”  He further stated that the County cannot presume to interpret the law or constitution.  I can see no attempt to interpret the constitution in this most simple of ordinances.

Perhaps he could elaborate further.  Perhaps another attorney would care to comment.  Would we be having this discussion if the operative portion of the ordinance stated, "Therefore be it enacted that the right of the people to free expression shall not be infringed?"

We can even take this further by interjecting Article VI of the US Constitution, which contains the supremacy clause.
  • "This Constitution ...  shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."
Article VI adds a whole new potential to our equation.  "Apparently all the laws of the state of Illinois must comply with our US Constitution.  Can any of these lawyers tell me in simple terms how the government can comply with 2A and require the People to get permits (permission slips) to exercise of fundamental right to keep and bear arms.  I would like see our Chicago Machine rulers try that logic out and make it work and still pass logic 101.

Who is/are the Chicago Machine?

I was recently asked, “Who, or what, is the Chicago Machine?”  

I think the question is fair enough.  After all, I blame this entity for much of the problems in the State of Illinois.

The Chicago Machine has a history[i] that started early in the 20th century.  It was built primarily through patronage jobs of the Democratic Political party.   The most effective use of this came about during the tenure of the first Mayor Dailey’s tenure.  The Machine lost some of its power through inability of the mayors who followed Dailey the first, in maintaining discipline and power.  Some of the effectiveness of the Machine was also lost through the disallowing of the patronage jobs and number of other issues that eventually saw the power of the Machine reduced but far from eliminated.

In today’s Machine we see much of the mindset of the past that allowed the very powerful few to ride herd and direct much of the power of the around 7 million plus inhabitants to vote over the top of the rest of the state.  The population of this, relatively small geographically, section of the state rules over, what I call, the country folks, who are spread out over the rest of the state.

This large population of City people has a different mindset than the Country folks.  They tend be more dependent on city services for a whole range of things.  Most things require some kind of license, or an inspector or what have you.  Much of this built up through jobs that purchase power and votes.  Now there is a dependency that is just not comprehensible to downstaters or country folks.

This population can elect enough representatives with the ruling mindset, and the dependency on government mindset, that they can heavily influence most legislation at the state level.  The Chicago Machine legislators appear to think, “What is good for Chicago must be good for the whole state.”  The corruption just cannot be comprehended by the Country folks, or the rest of the states for that matter.  For evidence, the number of 2 term governors is enough.  By 2 terms, of course, I mean a term in the “state house” and a term in the “pen house.”

This Chicago Machine has ruled the state by sponsoring the unconstitutional gun laws, such as the FOID card, and the complete ban on the carry of firearms on the public way.  Illinois is the only state with the FOID card scheme.  This scheme allows anyone from any other state to buy ammo and guns without a FOID card, but doesn’t trust its own citizens enough to allow them to buy ammo or guns without it.  All of these gun laws have primarily emanated from one source, the Chicago Machine.

I was at a store in Missouri a month or so ago.  I was behind a man in line checking out with an ammo purchase.  The man was offering to show his identification, a FOID card, when the clerk says, “we don’t need that over here, you must be from Illinois.”  Illinoisans have put up with the Chicago Machine and their iron fist for so long we think it is normal.  Once these unconstitutional laws are in place it can take untold years and much suffering to get them eliminated.  The suffering comes through all the people who have been unjustly charged with the unconstitutional laws that have been put in place; people who have been made felons for exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear an arm of their choice.

I prefer the animating challenge of Liberty, self reliance, and self rule, to the ‘rulership’ of the far off, completely out of touch with the Country lifestyle, Chicago Machine mindset.  I do not feel the need to have “a multitude of New Offices, and … swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out [our] substance.”[ii]  We already have more government breathing down our necks than we need.  If it was so important to society to have all of these alphabet soup agencies, then how did our country ever become such a success?  Now our state has more agencies than it can pay for and leads the country, even ahead of California, for the worst economy and the most corruption.

One of the founders is quoted to the effect, “When the government fears the People, then there is Liberty.  When the People fear the government there is tyranny.”  I will say that I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams any government fearing me.  However I do fear my government.  I fear the consequences of exercising a very clear fundamental right.

[ii] Declaration of Independence July 4th, 1776 (USA)