Righting “wrongs” based on wrong interpretations of “rights”
Socialists,from President Obama on down, look at the government as the
creator and administrator of rights. That is why even some on the left
liked the Heller and the McDonald decisions which overturned gun bans
in Washington, DC and Chicago.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic that the Supreme Court ruled
against these the gun bans in these two cities. And I’d rather be in
our shoes today than in the Brady Campaign’s — as they saw their
arguments slapped down harshly by the Court.
So why then would some big-government types like these two decisions
— especially the McDonald case out of Chicago? Because in basing
their decision upon the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, the
Justices perpetuated a false doctrine which has allowed the
Constitution to continue evolving.
The Due Process clause is the place where judges invent rights and
then decide how much the government can control them.
Gun Owners of America argued that the Court should have based its
decision on the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The Court would have then been using a definitive clause dealing with
rights of citizenship rather than the amorphous “substantive” Due
Process Clause where Courts have run wild and seldom come to
Justices love the Due Process Clause because it has been interpreted
in such a way to allow judges to twist the Constitution to fit their
big-government world view. They love this approach because they love
righting “wrongs” based on what they THINK are “rights.”
President Obama complained on a Public Broadcasting radio interview,
when he was a state senator, that the Constitution only protects
negative rights and that such a limitation (in his view) must be
overcome. Obama made it quite clear that a constitutional republic
that is governed by our Constitution is antithetical to his socialism.
He talks of a right to health care, and a right to a comfortable
living, and, well, a right to anything the left thinks will help buy
Indeed, the role of government in the Founders’ Constitution is to
protect liberty, and no more. Socialists want government to provide
for everything, making the people dependent, even at the expense of
The left is hoping to pit their understanding of the 14th Amendment
where courts create rights against the Tenth Amendment. They argue
that the Fourteenth Amendment, being enacted after the Tenth, trumps
the earlier amendment. That is why they are so eager to inject their
view of government-created rights into the 14th Amendment.
If the government is the creator of rights, then the government must
be protected from the people. That means they cannot allow any notion
that the Second Amendment is intended to be a check on the
unconstitutional exercise of federal power. The constitutional militia
was intended to be an instrument of the states to protect their
citizens from the federal government (by legal definition throughout
the colonies). All freemen were required to own military long arms.
Wyoming is on the right path. Wyoming has a Firearms Freedom Act which
“interposes” Wyoming against all federal laws involving a firearm
made in the state and which remains in the state. Unlike the other
seven states with identical laws, Wyoming makes violation of the act
by a federal official a state offense punishable by up to 365 days in
jail. Had they added one more day to the potential penalty, any
conviction would result in the loss of gun rights under 18 USC 922(g)
for any federal official who violates their law.
States and county sheriffs are going to need to take the militia
clauses of the Constitution seriously. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa
County (Phoenix), Arizona has a posse of 3,000. If Arizona were to
create a State Guard and encourage sheriffs to beef up their posse
strength to levels analogous to Maricopa County, and if other states
were to follow suit, the federal government would be less inclined to
assume that there are no limits to their powers.
Such an outcome will not come about until we understand that there is
no conflict between the Tenth and the Fourteenth Amendments, and that
rights come from God, not from government. Government-made
“rights” are the “wrong” rights.