PROGRESSIVES: NO LIMITS

d. hARRY
Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Recently, forty people died in mass shootings in El Paso and Midland, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. We’ve had too many of these, and we need thoughtful and honest discussions about causes and solutions. But as usual, before the bodies are cold and the facts are in, progressives call to ban guns, confiscate guns and hyper-regulate lawful gun owners. Progressives attack the NRA as if the NRA and its members pulled the trigger. Many progressives oppose the 2nd Amendment. While some nominally support it, they could easily change their minds. What’s to stop them from legislating the 2nd A. out of existence?

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Uber-progressive New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pretending to support the 2nd A.  Gun owners: Does seeing Cuomo with a gun make you feel better?

The fundamentals of progressivism should frighten all who value individual liberty as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Progressives believe in a “living Constitution,” which means the Constitution changes with time and circumstances. But as if by magic, their reading of the Constitution always grows government and empowers progressives.

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Woodrow Wilson on the Constitution: “…It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life.  Woodrow Wilson on government: “…no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the state may not cross at will….”

Woodrow Wilson was a founding member of the progressive movement and our 28th President. For Wilson and present-day progressives the Constitution is an evolving document, which makes it possible to evolve the 2nd Amendment out of existence. I can hear the Democrats bleating now: “The 2nd Amendment was written for a different age. It doesn’t work in modern times. To protect our children we must outlaw all assault rifles.” They’ve already done it. Democrats passed an assault weapons ban in 1994. An assault weapon is a political construct. The ban did not reduce gun crime one bit but it did frighten voters, which was the point. And again, progressives attack so-called assault rifles—a stealth attack on semi-autos. That’s one trigger pull and one shot. What happens if the next madman uses a bolt action rifle? Then it will be: ban the bolt. Think it won’t happen here? It’s already happened in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are based on natural rights, the idea that we are born with rights that predate any government. Natural rights are rooted in our humanity. The will to survive and to protect our loved ones is as human as breathing. That is the basis of the 2nd Amendment. Progressives do not believe that we are born with rights. Instead, they believe that our rights come from government. But what the government gives – the government can take away.

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The Constitution codifies the principles of the Declaration of Independence.  Our freedoms are precious and worth fighting for. If we lose them, they’re gone forever.

Progressives are not bound by the principles embodied in the Declaration. Nor are they bound by the text of the Constitution, or by tradition. Theirs is a political philosophy motivated by the needs of the moment, a political movement with no limits, and they are the core of the Democrat party. To them, your right to defend hearth and home is obsolete, a relic of a bygone era and part of a deeply flawed Constitution that needs fixing. Deleting the Second Amendment is high on their to-do list. Don’t let them. They are absent internal limits so it falls to us, the freedom-loving people to impose limits via elections, law, political contributions, participation in political parties and joining organizations that will defend our rights. If they don’t know their limitations, let’s show them what limits are.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

EXCEPTIONAL

What is American exceptionalism? It means that we’re the exception, unique in the world, because our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, says our rights come from God or nature and predate any government. With one brilliant stroke, the Founders made Americans the freest people on earth because no government can grant us rights we already have – but of course government can take them away.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution, our right to self-defense, also marks us as an exception in the world. Few countries trust their citizens with guns. Progressives (Democrats) take a dim view of the 2nd Amendment – they don’t like it and would get rid of it if they could. They say the Founders meant for the 2nd Amendment to apply only to “well regulated militias.” This belief makes it logical for progressives to “well regulate” our guns away from us.

When there’s a crime, Progressives always blame the gun. Next step: take the gun. When Democrats say they support the Second Amendment, that they’re hunters and they own guns, don’t believe them. They vote for gun-grabbers like Schumer and Pelosi.

The Second Amendment is an individual right. The Declaration and the Constitution were based on natural law. They acknowledged timeless principles and our basic humanity. The right to self-defense is obviously and deeply fixed in human nature – the will to survive and to protect those we love. The Second Amendment was part of the Bill of Rights, whose purpose was to guarantee individual rights.

That the 2nd Amendment is an individual right has been made plain by the brilliant Joyce Lee Malcolm. A link to an article about her follows.

https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2018/04/16/the-nice-girl-who-saved-the-second-amendment/

Malcolm’s research demonstrates that an individual right to self-defense originated in England in the 1600’s. The Founders relied on this tradition when they wrote the Constitution.

Follow my logic here. This country was founded on individual rights in the Declaration, which informed the Bill of Rights, designed to protect our individual rights. Therefore, the Second Amendment is an individual right. What other conclusion is possible?

We must remain ever-vigilant to protect every one of the precious rights given to us by our Founders.

 

Michael A. Morrongiello Ph. D.

FIX IT NOW!

FIX IT NOW!

After the horrific school shooting in Florida, Democrats and their allies in the media rushed to exploit the grief of children, blaming gun owners and the National Rifle Association (NRA). This tragedy was not caused by the millions of people who legally own guns for self-defense, nor was it caused by the NRA. But one cause is glaringly obvious: the background check system is full of holes.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was established in a 1993 law that forbids certain people from buying a gun: those convicted of a felony, addicted to drugs, or with a history of domestic violence or involuntary commitment to a mental institution. Gun buyers must pass the background check before lawfully buying a gun, but any computer database is only as good as the information put into it. The system has been in place since 1998 with the support of the NRA. Gun owners and the NRA have complained about the gaps in NICS for years, to no avail.

The monster who killed nine churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015 passed NICS because the FBI failed to discover that he had confessed to drug possession, which would have disqualified him.

The Virginia Tech killer passed two NICS background checks, even though a judge had found him to be a danger to himself and others. He was ordered by the court to get treatment, but his name wasn’t entered in the NICS database.

Prior to Nicholas Cruz killing 17 in Florida, sheriff’s deputies visited his home 39 times to quell domestic disputes. Cruz reportedly had a history of mental health problems, and school officials sounded the alarm about him for years. The FBI was warned about him, as were Broward County deputies, but they did nothing. He should, at the very least, have been unable to buy a gun.

In 2010, 80,000 prospective gun buyers were caught lying to the FBI to illegally buy a firearm, yet only 44 were prosecuted. This is a felony punishable by five years’ imprisonment and fines. Why hasn’t the DOJ cracked down on this? In addition, seven million felons have been left off the NICS database, and 38 states submit less than 80% of their felony convictions to the FBI.

Meanwhile, more that two million mental health records are missing from NICS. States have been slow to provide records, as have the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Defense.

The gun didn’t do it. Nor did the NRA. Mass murderers have free reign because the government that Democrats swear will protect us fails on every level, starting with the NICS. Its shortcomings have existed for as long as Chuck Schumer has been in office. Why haven’t our lawmakers insisted it be fixed?

There are many lessons to be learned here. First, Democrats will use any tragedy, and its victims, for political gain. Second, you can’t trust the government to protect you. The same people who seek to disarm us, powerful lawmakers like Schumer and Pelosi, have done nothing to fix the deeply flawed Instacheck system in the past twenty years. Think of that. They’re too incompetent or too indifferent to protect you, but they don’t want you to protect yourself.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.