Posts Tagged ‘Constitution’
Gun control tends to be one of those topics where arguing for the individual’s inherent and Constitutional right to own firearms is a tough sell. Many anti-gun advocates do not care that the 2nd Amendment protects this right. They seek to improve society by making everyone safer. However, many anti gun advocates only look at the surface of the problem rather than the root. The generic anti gun reasoning is that gun control is necessary because too many dangerous people own guns. The question then becomes, how do you decide which individuals are inherently dangerous? The most common answer is individuals convicted of felonies. Who comprises the majority of convicted felons? Easy answer, people convicted of drug and/or gang related crime, about 50% of US inmates are drug offenders.
This is the root of the issue. If the desired outcome of gun control is less gun crime, then the answer lies not with guns, but with those using the guns to commit crimes. In this case, the majority of crimes are gang related. Why do gang members commit so many violent crimes with guns? They do so because gun crime is an inherent aspect of any black market. The current black market is primarily comprised of the production and distribution of illegal drugs. The profits of this trade are then used by gang members to purchase firearms and thus ensure their ability to continue their trade. Keep in mind that the government has outlawed the products they are providing. But wait, outlawing something is supposed to make it go away, right? Two reasons exist as to why it is impossible to deny an individual access to something he or she desires. First, natural law dictates that as long as what you do does not hurt or infringe on the rights of someone else, it is permissible. This logic can be extended to the mere ownership of guns as well as the consumption of drugs (the government does not own your body, you do). The second is demand. As long as a demand for something exists, there will be a supply.
Here is where it all ties together. Gun crime is so high because prohibition of drugs has created an enormous black market. Black markets deal with illegal products; calling the police when your drugs have been stolen is out of the question. You need to build an army and then arm it. Currently these armies are called gangs, while during the prohibition of alcohol they were called mafias. Just as gun crime sky rocketed during alcohol prohibition, so has it during drug prohibition. When you ban a substance or product, you create an environment where gangs and mafias can thrive. The only competition they have is with each other, and since what they are doing is already illegal, guns provide a quick and easy solution to their problems.
So why shouldn’t we ban guns? Banning guns will create a black market that sustains itself through gun violence. Banning guns to eliminate gun crimes ignores the reasons the crimes are being committed in the first place. You want to reduce gun crime? End drug prohibition, thereby eliminating the primary purpose gangs exist and the funds they require to purchase guns to commit gun crimes. Think about it and ask yourself: Which came first, the gun or the crime?
Stats are always fun:
- In 2004, estimated gang members totaled 2,000,000
Justice Policy Institute report, Gang Wars 2004
- Total Prison population is around 2,400,000
- 51.4% of inmates consist of drug offenders
- Only 7% of nonfatal violent crimes involve firearms
Bureau of Prisons Website, 2010
- United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, 756 per 100,000
- Russia is second with 629, followed by Rwanda at 604
International Centre for Prison Studies, 2007
- According to the American Corrections Association, the average daily cost per state prison inmate per day in the US is $67.55. State prisons held 253,300 inmates for drug offenses in 2007. That means states spent approximately $17,110,415 per day to imprison drug offenders, or $6,245,301,475 per year.
US Department of Justice, 2007
Writing an article explaining the meaning of the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution was on my to-do list for this week. But then I found this superb article. Not only does it save me the trouble, Dr Brion McClanahan writes far more effectively than I, so…
To read real history, click here.
There has been a great deal of interest in the 1st District of Mississippi about Angela McGlowan’s exchange with a group of Ole Miss YAL students concerning the Bill of Rights and her ability to name all of them. As a background, James Robertson and a few other YAL members approached Congressional Candidate Angela McGlowan before an announcement she was about to give in front of the steps of the Ole Miss Student Union. They asked her if she could name all 10 of the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution. Her reaction was anything but expected. Go here to read the full article on the confrontation.
Paul Gallo took some interest in the story and we thought it would benefit all interested to share her side of the story spoken to Paul Gallo as well as YAL’s side of the story. Enjoy! (The second audio clip is worse sound quality so the volume is lower. Sorry about that.)
The freedom movement has stated as its central goal the return to a strict adherence of the Constitution. Ron Paul, the godfather of the modern movement, consistently introduces himself as a “constitutionalist.” Numerous states throughout the Union have passed resolutions affirming their states rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.
By: James Robertson
President Obama’s summit on health care reform today marks an unprecedented move by the administration to offer Republicans a final say on proposed health care legislation before it is inevitably forced through a divided Congress. While Obama claims that the summit represents a move by Democrats to “reach out” to Republican opposition and allow them to reconcile their differences with the reforms, the meeting more obviously represents a last-ditch effort on the part of the administration to ensure that their top domestic priority doesn’t die on Capitol Hill. Such a failure would undoubtedly cripple the public’s faith in the current administration and significantly reduce its ability to govern. Of greater importance, though, is not the success of health care reform for the sake of this administration, but the success (or failure) of this summit for the sake of policymaking in the American republic.
The founders established democracy in the America by vesting the main legislative power in a national congress. The bicameral design of the U.S. Congress evolved to ensure equal representation of individuals and states in the policymaking process. Today, the Congress finds itself plagued with a mountain of debt and deeply divided along partisan lines, seemingly incapable of addressing public concerns or accomplishing much of anything at all. While not advertised as such, Obama’s summit represents an executive effort to counter the legislature’s ineptitude by removing the policy discussion from the halls of Congress itself to an executive suite in the Blair House, right across the way from the Oval Office.
This summit carries with it the message of hope that pervaded Obama’s campaign for the presidency; a sentiment that has been called into question recently due to the stalling of health care reform. The President clearly seeks to portray the message that, although the legislature as a whole has proven itself unable to deal with the issue, he is willing to take matters into his own hands and force Congressional leaders from both parties to hammer out a proposal, compromised or otherwise. While this move might appear noble and altruistic on the President’s part, its inherent disregard of Constitutional structure poses some dangerous implications for the future of democracy in America.
The U.S. Constitution establishes Congress in Article 1, then moves on to lay out Executive powers in Article 2. This order was not coincidental. The Founders recognized the danger of an over-powerful executive and, for that reason, gave the Executive few explicit duties and left policymaking to Congress. In Constitutional debates, James Madison was quick to note the dangers of a ruling majority. The presidential veto, the bill of rights, and the senate filibuster rule are just a few safeguards that protect Americans from the tyranny of a malevolent majority. Moving policymaking outside of the Congress and into the realm of the executive ignores this structure, bypassing these protections and perilously endangering liberty.
Many will note that Presidents have long involved themselves in the formulation of American policies. The increasing use of Presidential signing statements most clearly reflects a Presidential attempt at policymaking. These informal declarations have become the President’s way of directing, or in some cases limiting, Congress’ actions. Also, legislators judge Presidential proposals on different merits due to their possible political ramifications. However, removing debate on an issue from the floor of the Congress itself and into an executive conference room adjacent to the White House lawn not only symbolizes more executive interference, but very clearly increases Executive influence over the crafting of domestic policies.
This problem, like most facing America today, could easily be resolved by simply obeying the Constitution. Failure to recognize and abide by Constitutional guidelines led Congress to subsidize and socialize American industries while sustaining a Cold War-era empirical foreign presence, both of which contributed to the current debt of astronomical proportions. Exceeding their Constitutional boundaries allowed Congress to act in ways that immediately benefited many Americans and bought them some good will in the short run. Ultimately, though, by ignoring their Constitutional mandate, Congress damaged this brilliant structure of American government and led us to the broken system we have today. The answer to this problem lies not in an Executive takeover of the legislature, but rather in a return to the rule of law and a government that acts within the limited structure set forth by the Constitution.
It was only a matter of time before Obama tried to resurrect the Real ID. Although no state complies with the current Real ID system, and 23 have passed legislation refusing compliance, Obama, once again, doesn’t care what the states want.
He and Congress have hatched up another bill called PASS ID. This bill will allow the government to require ID in compliance with UN biometric format standards. This is obviously another attempt to shred the Constitution. Please go here to sign Campaign for Liberty’s petition to stop this abhorrent peace of legislation.
It’s been a little over 5 months since Obama took office. Now that he’s approaching half a year as our commander-in-chief, I feel as if we can begin to judge his actions thus far and project his future measures. I have been met with much dissent upon my criticism of Obama, usually from his supporters who claim I shouldn’t expect him to solve all of our problems within a few measly months. For those who use this excuse, I would like to point out that this type of argument is a red herring that would be very characteristic of the typical Bush supporter.
I am, of course, not expecting him to fix all of our country’s problems within 6 months. To be honest, judging by his rhetoric and campaign promises, I never expected Obama to fix anything. However, very complex problems, such as the ailing economy, aside, we can begin to evaluate Obama based on the approaches he has been taking compared with his promises.
Let’s hope so. For well over a century Washington, DC has expanded its powers at the expense of local self-government. Federal meddling prevents local communities of citizens to live under laws of their own choosing. While some haughty elites may sneer, some of us still find the notion of local self-government an attractive alternative to federal tyranny.
The early 1990s witnessed a similar states’ rights resurgence, particularly in the West, but sadly it came to nothing. Let’s hope this one produces fruit. Let’s hope constitutional liberty can at last be restored.
Click here for a brief overview.
Things could really start getting interesting in Washington with the passage of HR 1388 by the House of Representatives. If there ever was cause for alarm in the minds of young people, this should be it. The name alone is yet another misleading government acronym created specifically for the purpose of confusion on the bills actual implications. Deviously entitled the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act, this legislation vastly expands on AmeriCorps. It is estimated to cost $6 billion over 5 years and increase the current national volunteer program by 175,000.
Of course, to call this “volunteerism” is a misnomer. Current AmeriCorps volunteers typically receive college scholarships and stipends after completing one of the programs. This idea of government funding and rewarding acts of charity runs contrary to the idea of charity and places morality in the hands of government while taking away private incentives to give back to their communities. The government will pick which areas they believe are in need of the most help, and all “volunteers” will go to work. This, of course, feeds off the idea that government has a better understanding of what is best for a local community than the community itself. Not to mention, this is yet another form of criminality on the part of the American government. If you are in disagreement with this program, the government is politely saying, “Too bad.” This type of legislation reveals the underlying thought process abounding within the halls of big government and the citizens that support it. These are the people that believe they have the right to take your money by force and tell you how to live your life.