Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How Asinine Can You Get?

I often take copies of my articles to work and leave them laying around for people to read. So it was with my article entitled "A Few More Thoughts On Gun Control". Today, as I was getting ready to leave, someone mentioned that I had 'just missed it.' Just missed what, I asked. This person told me that someone had been reading my article and made a few comments. Supposedly, this person said something along the lines of, "I hate it when people quote the founding fathers when talking about issues.' This person also seemed to be of the opinion that the amendments, I am guessing he was referring to the Bill of Rights, were not needed anymore, particularly the second amendment. His reasoning, from what I could gather, was that the second amendment was passed because at that time we were fighting the British and every one needed to have a gun. Those days are gone and everyone does not need a gun anymore. His words, not mine.

As I said, I missed it, so this is all just hear say and cannot be confirmed by me. However, if it is true, if this person said these things, I cannot understand how they could come to such asinine conclusions.

It appears that this person feels that the thoughts of the founding fathers are irrelevant in today's society. From my conversations with others, I believe that this person is not alone in that belief. Unfortunately he is sadly mistaken. Who better to understand the intent of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, than those people who wrote it, or championed it during the ratification process? Do we honestly think we are better qualified to discern the reasoning behind the clauses and amendments than those who wrote them? What arrogance, especially when we, due to our lack of understanding of those documents, have allowed our government to grow far beyond what it was ever intended to.

It may be a waste of time to use this quote, seeing as how this person does not like it when people use quotes by the founders, but it is, nonetheless, essential that people understand what George Washington said about our Constitution, "The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all."

What part of sacredly obligatory is hard to understand? If the Constitution is sacredly obligatory upon all, and by all I mean the people, and those elected to represent us, then they must govern within the limitations it places upon them.

Since I was not there to question this person as to what he meant, I am guessing that he meant that parts of our Constitution are no longer relevant? Who is to say which parts no longer hold relevance? The government? Isn't that a precarious assumption, that the very government which was created by said Constitution, is able to decide which of the limitations it places upon them are no longer relevant. That is a recipe for tyranny if there ever was one.

Why don't we just consider what would happen if the tables were turned, if we the people just decided to see what would happen if we chose a law, that our government had enacted, which we decided was no longer relevant to us? How about the income tax, what would happen if we just decided to stop paying income taxes?

Our government is very good at enforcing the laws they impose upon us. Why should we not be any different by enforcing the Constitution upon them? However, since the topic of my article that started this whole discussion was gun control, let's take just one second to consider the second amendment.

If the Constitution not only grants government its powers to govern, but also places limitations upon them by specifically enumerating the powers that document grants them, what is the purpose of the Bill of Rights, of which the second amendment is a part?

Not many know that the Bill of Rights also has a preamble, which states, "The conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution."

Let us take a moment to examine that. The states expressed a desire to prevent abuse of the powers contained within the Constitution by creating "...further declaratory and restrictive clauses..." In other words, the Bill of Rights are declarations of further restrictions that are above the Constitution itself. Those ten amendments protect the rights, of the kind described in the Declaration of Independence as 'unalienable rights', that is to say that no one, not even our government, have the right to infringe upon them.

Our second amendment rights have nothing to do with the fact that the people of this country needed guns to fight the British. If this person recalled their history, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, were ratified AFTER we had one our war for independence.

So, to fully understand the reasons why these ten amendments were considered important enough to be added as further declaratory and restrictive clauses we can only rely upon the writings of the very people who added them, our founders. Therefore anyone who says that they hate it when someone quotes them, has no desire to understand their intent, and is due to their ignorance, a consenting partner to our governments abuse of its clearly defined powers.


tchoden said...

I totally agree. Its kindda scary to see guns sold in your supermarkets.
I guess it starts with parents buying their kids toy guns.

neal said...

I don't think that guns should be sold in supermarkets, just because a supermarket is someplace you go to buy groceries. I have no dispute with gun stores though. The more the merrier.

I grew up with guns and as long as kids are taught the proper safety and handling of them, I don't see anything wrong with kids using them as soon as they are able to.

I had my first bb gun, a Daisy, at age five. I would buy those bags of plastic army men and set them up in my backyard like little battlefields. Then I would lay down and pick them off one by one.

Guns have been villified when it is the people who use them are to blame. I dare anyone to put a gun on a table and say that it will hurt anyone if nobody picks it up.

It is like the abundance of sayings:

Saying guns kill people is like saying...

Spoons make people fat

Pencils are responsible for misspelled words

Cars cause drunk drivers

You can't blame the object, blame the people. To take away a guaranteed right, according to the Constitution, due to the stupidity of a few, is wrong.

tchoden said...

You are right. It’s us who responsible for our own action. The whole karmic effect can be seen in a life time. It’s applicable with individual, small firms, big organization, multi-national and government. As such when you point the mistake of these individual, small firms, big organization, multi-national or government, it’s actually the people who are making these mistakes. The whole race is made of the good, bad and the ugly. It’s a constant struggle among theses three. So I suppose imperfection will always be in existence.

About ‘guns kill people is like saying...Spoons make people fat, Pencils are responsible for misspelled words, Cars cause drunk drivers’.
We do make our lives more and more complicated, don’t we?

The Zombieslayer said...

In a perfect world, I'd pick this guy up and drop him off in China.

tchoden said...

come to think about it, at least spoon and car have useful utility. But guns! the whole idea is to kill. Personally i would love all the armament inductry erased from the globe. The humanity needs to focus on solving problems instead of creating one.