Monday, January 28, 2013

Time to expose cowardly NRA, Tea Party

By Noble Collins

Citizens of OZ, we must march over and remove the curtain hiding that cowardly wizard. He sits behind a microphone wrapped in his NRA shirt, blasting threats and murky information in a determined effort to comfort himself and manipulate others. At his feet is his little snarling dog Tea Party. Both must be exposed to the light of facts and truth.

The bedrock issue upon which NRATP (as we will call him) forms his foundation is just this: It is a given that the U.S. government is planning to confiscate all firearms from every citizen. Everything he does or says is built around that one claim.

Distractions aplenty will be put forth and false directions taken in any confrontation, but the principle from which all assumptions are made is that there can be no doubt that the U.S. government has a plan to disarm every citizen. A corollary thesis is that the U.S. is on the verge of becoming a dictatorship, thus paving the way for unilateral action from the president.

Risking a tantrum, which is frequently the defense when seeking a rational discussion with NRATP, it is high time that he (they) be called into account and face his (their) claims head on. The actual facts speak for themselves, after all, so we should be able to rely on them and not clumsy assumptions or empty claims.

Here’s a fact: There is not now, nor has there ever been an attempt by the national government to confiscate all citizen’s firearms, nor can it be shown that it has ever been a serious contemplation. There is no historical evidence to the contrary.

President Obama’s inaugural speech contains this quote: “Through it all we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone.” Cynics may paint that as disingenuous, but there is no evidence that the man meant anything other than his words.

It’s traditional to be wary of central authority, he says. Our constitution is full of safeguards against any one central power gaining control over the entire government. The three independent branches of our government stand as sentinels, guarding and protecting each chamber. Unless we were to completely change our form of government, a president or even a congress is prohibited from taking actions or implementing laws which are contrary to our constitution. Confiscating all firearms would be impossible for all practical purposes. In fact, the Supreme Court has ruled in Heller vs. District of Columbia in 2008 that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms in self-defense.

If there was ever a time when this right might have been abridged, it was during the terrible civil war in the 1860’s. Even then it was never proposed. In fact, as part of the surrender agreement at Appomattox, Southern officers were allowed to retain their sidearms.

So, how would this be possible, and if somehow possible, how could it be implemented? Without ordering the military and all law enforcement agencies to search out and confiscate all firearms, how could this be implemented, and just how could the order for that monumental task be legally given and go unchallenged? NRATP will have to explain their version of possibilities, realistically.

No president has absolute power. Even our most beloved and powerful president, arguably FDR, was prohibited from placing additional members on the Supreme Court in order to make more favorable rulings. Recently, President Obama was over-ruled by a federal panel for placing members on the Labor Relations Board during what he believed to be a Senate recess, which would have been perfectly legal except for the fact that a few Republican Senators kept a skeleton session on going. Presidents are limited. Congress is limited. Even the Supreme Court has limitations. That’s the way our founding fathers wanted it, and it has always been so.

So, how, other than through dark suspicion in spite of overwhelming factual evidence, does NRATP justify the claim that a real threat exists for “taking away all firearms.”? Well informed people given the opportunity to judge for themselves and not blindly follow propaganda, are beginning to see through the bluster and noise. There are simply no facts to back this up.

While we are at it, let’s put some other false claims in their grave where they belong. Many NRATPs loudly point to their belief that Hitler, for example, came to power and became a dictator through confiscating guns. The fact is that Germany already had certain restrictions on civilian firearms before Hitler came to power, and even when he invoked confiscation it was mostly imposed on the Jews, not the entire population.

The same kind of supposed example is claimed for Stalin, who was already a dictator when he actually armed hundreds of thousands of political prisoners and conscripted them into the Red Army. These claims are baseless. They serve only to fan the flames of fearful speculation.

Those who champion the right to keep and bear arms are certainly correct that the constitution makes this guarantee. What they refuse to either recognize or discuss, however, is the first part of that single sentence. It is, after all, one whole sentence, not merely a fragment. The reference to the necessity of a “well-regulated militia” brings up several interesting points, which must be taken into consideration. First, let’s define well regulated. It implies regulations, does it not? The history of the reason for this reference goes back to the fact that there was no permanent national army for a long time. Local uprisings such as The Whiskey Rebellion had to be met by local militias in order to restore order. It seems reasonable to assume that this was the primary thought behind the wording.

Firearms intended for self-defense, hunting or sport shooting appear to be, and probably should be protected from any confiscation by government authorities. Exceptions abound, however, such as those seized from criminals, terrorists or others intended to harm innocent people.

Intelligent discussions and exchanges of legitimate ideas and concerns would seem mandatory and quite welcome among serious people wanting to protect constitutional rights while reducing obvious threats to society. NRATP continues to hide behind a curtain, however, sulking and posing their own threats, implying harm to anyone challenging their beliefs. They don’t appear to want to know any version of reality which doesn’t fit their narrow understanding.

If you observe a person running for their life with no one actually chasing them, what does that say about them? 

No comments: