States’ Rights the Answer to Gun Control
David A. Lombardo
On December 15, 1791, when the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, were adopted as a result of ratification by three-fourths of the states, it was a reflection on the justifiable paranoia of the framers of the constitution.
The Bill of Rights was written by James Madison, the youngest member of the Continental Congress. Madison, who authored some of the Federalist Papers, wrote the Bill of Rights in 1789. While Madison was born in Virginia and not England, it’s not difficult to imagine that his older cohorts spoke at great length of the tyranny of King George and a government that did not respect its citizenry.
Despite the fact that Madison was born in America, he and the vast majority of the colonists were concerned about government getting out of control. The truth of this is hardly hidden or obscured by time; rather it is loud and clear in all the writings of the framers of the Constitution. The importance of this irrefutable fact is that the Constitution of the United States has never been about federal power but rather the power of the citizen. It is written specifically to limit federal power and keep control of the government in the hands of John Q. Public.
Today every outhouse lawyer is crawling out of the woodwork and weighing in on what John Q can and can’t do about the government’s excessive reach into John Q’s personal life and the diluting of the intent of the Constitution. The topic du jour is federal gun control and the notion that Obama has no authority to issue firearms laws that Congress has rejected. Truth be told, there is a strong case to be made that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in firearms at any level other than assuring no force interferes with interstate commerce.
The Second Amendment is admittedly a bit murky in its language.
“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The anti-gun cabal loves to equate the reference to “militia” with the National Guard, but that’s because they’re either ignorant or lying. In the United States the term “militia” has changed over time from the original intent of the Congress. If one reads the words of the framers of the Constitution, the term “militia” has historically been used to describe all able-bodied men who are not members of the Army or Navy. The militia is John Q, and today, more than ever, the reason for John Q to be armed is to protect and defend the Constitution and not some rogue, socialist government elected by individuals who are more concerned about their next free government handout than their own freedom.
In 2008 the Supreme Court weighed in on the meaning of the Second Amendment, and in an opinion written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the court articulated the modern existence of the ancient personal right to keep and bear arms as a pre-political right. The issue at hand is what we can do about a president who is determined to disarm John Q even if it means violating the Constitution, the Congress and the Supreme Court, which brings me to the point.
John Q, like the Founding Fathers, has always been about states’ rights in contrast to an ever-growing, bloated federal government that lives like a parasite, sucking the life out of its citizenry. The solution to our current problem is states’ rights. It’s time for the various states to take back control of this country, stripping the federal government of everything beyond the simple basics envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
Last week the Tennessee Senate gave final approval to a bill setting the foundation to stop enforcement of gun control imposed by international law or treaty. The move began with Tennessee House Bill 2389, which would prohibit law enforcement officers from enforcing provisions of international law and treaties that limit gun rights as specified by the Tennessee State Constitution. The bill awaits action by the governor. Dozens of other states, such as Idaho, Mississippi, Arizona, Alabama and Missouri, are following suit.
There are those who say such laws do not stand up to federal law; maybe so. But in my opinion the federal government has slowly eroded our rights over decades, passing laws and manipulating the system to stack the deck against John Q. I think it’s time to pick up the cards, shuffle and redeal, sending those federal laws to the junkpile of bad history.