20 August 2009

The Constitution: Part Two

By D.C. Wright

OK, here it is Tuesday and time to continue this discussion. Since I’ve heard nothing to the contrary in the comments you have been kind enough to make to me, I am presuming agreement on the purpose of the Constitution and the definition of rights.

What I HAVE heard from you is along the lines of “What do we do next?” and “How can I help?” In my mind, and as a reader passed on to me, in others’ minds as well, the Founders provided essentially four boxes for us to open as needed to protect our Republic and our Constitution. They are, in order:

First: The Ballot Box. We need to always THINK about our choices in elections and always choose LESS GOVERNMENT, rather than more. (So far this has been problematic, as we have often failed to do our due diligence and gone along with the MSM’s pick for us. This last election cycle was abysmal with respect to our choices in the election and in the ultimate result.)

Second: Along with and often tied to the Ballot Box is the Soap Box, where we give public vent to our opinions, feelings and even an occasional dose of reality-based logic. This box can be opened on its own, as I am doing now, in order to persuade others of the rightness of MY views and the wrongness of the views of those holding the reins of power. Whether or not this will work remains to be seen. If not, there is the

Third: The Jury Box. In the history of America, there’s a tale often told by the media, particularly the print media, but mostly to themselves, not to the rest of us. It’s also a tale known to liars, oops, I mean LAWYERS, yeah, that’s it, who pray to whatever god they worship that we, the People, will stay ignorant of it. That is the story of one Peter Zenger, a newspaper publisher in Colonial New York. There was a law passed in Parliament, back in Jolly Olde, which made it a crime to talk bad about the King or any of his minions, the Colonial Governors. Truth was no defense. Well, Peter Zenger published a factual story about one of these muckety-mucks and was duly imprisoned and tried (in about that order, if I recall the tale correctly). During the trial, his lawyer turned the matter on its head by putting both the law and the King on trial with the jury. He pointed out that Zenger had only printed truth and that a law such as that was unjust on the face of it. You can see where I’m going with this, as the jury acquitted Peter Zenger on all counts and the law became essentially a dead letter. Today, of course, if you want what’s known as a Fully Informed Jury, you’re bounced by the prosecutor AND the judge, as they think THEY should be the final arbiters of what the law is and should be. They will tell jurors that they MUST listen to the judge as to what the law is that the accused is said to have broken and judge only guilt or innocence of that. In reality, the jury is ALSO the judge of the LAW itself and can find that the law is flawed or unjust or unconstitutional and acquit on that basis. Once a jury acquits someone under our system, he or she cannot be retried for the same crime. This can be a powerful tool and for further information look up the Fully Informed Jury Association at http://www.fija.org/. This is THE definitive site for prospective jurors, as far as I am concerned.

Fourth: The Bullet Box is the LAST one we want to open, for it is the one most fraught with peril for us as individuals AND for our nation. Yet it is there because the Founders realized that it might well be necessary. They understood tyranny, for they had most assuredly just pushed their way out of one of the most tyrannical of the time and they had no intention of setting up their OWN tyrants. So they put in a clause specifically requiring the government to recognize (but not GRANT) our right to keep and bear the arms of our choice in the event we had to either fight off an invading horde or protect ourselves and our families from our own government. THIS is the thing our current masters (for want of a better word) would have us forget. They do not want us to even DREAM about taking up arms to protect our liberty from them; in fact so many of them (Diane Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Frank Laughtenberg, The One, his minion, Eric Holder, et al.) want nothing more than to see ALL OF US PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS totally and completely disarmed and at their mercy. Oh, yes, they have their protection, you can bet the ranch. DiFi, as the senator is known to us in California, is one of the biggest gun-grabbers in the Senate, yet SHE had (or maybe still has) a carry permit from San Francisco County, where they are like finding a diamond in a bird dropping; possible but about as likely as getting hit by a lightning bolt.

I HOPE it isn’t yet time to open the fourth box, but preparedness is a good idea. Besides, going to the range is FUN. And it’s another skill for you to master. OK, so I learned from the Marine Corps. Big deal. ANYONE can learn to shoot if you have a good and patient instructor and a willingness to learn. And having a good firearm in the home (or on your person) and the skill and knowledge to use it, but most importantly to know WHEN to use it, is an extreme confidence builder. Not cocky, not bullying, not ready to shoot anyone, anywhere. THAT is not the purpose. The purpose of a firearm is to protect you and those around you from ANYONE who would do them harm. Those of us who are veterans know all about that, as that was the oath we took… to protect and defend our Constitution from all of its enemies, foreign and domestic, and by corollary, to protect the PEOPLE, on whose authority the Constitution rests. We swore no allegiance to the President, the Congress or the Government, for it was known when these oaths were written that those institutions could become the enemies of the Constitution and the People. We did swear to obey the LAWFUL orders of the President and/or officers appointed over us, but the key word is LAWFUL. And that means that they must be, at the bedrock, in compliance with the Constitution and then the laws and treaties governing war and the military.

OK. Here’s some more to think about. Things you can do. Prepare for war but pray for peace. Find like-minded folks around you and start making new friends. Stock up on certain things that might come in handy in hard times. I live in earthquake country so I’ve heard that advice for years. And it’s good anywhere in the country. PROVIDED that you do NOT make a big production out of it in front of your neighbors. We may never need these emergency goods. I pray not. BUT if the worst comes to pass, you do NOT want to have made yourself a target.

If you decide to start shooting, perhaps you can learn to reload your own ammo. It’s fairly simple and can be as cheap or as costly as your budget permits. It’s also fun to go out and shoot up the stuff you’ve made yourself!

But that’s enough of this for now. I am not trying to be an alarmist, just a realist. There may well be other things we can do prior to open warfare to take back OUR nation. And it is OURS, for we the People are the sole source of any authority the government has and we can revoke that grant of authority anytime the government gets too far out of bounds. In fact, it is our duty and obligation to do so. Let’s try the Soap Box for a while longer. Go to the townhall meetings, if your congresscritter decides to be brave and hold one. Also, if your state is like Vermont, Arizona and New Hampshire, consider openly packing a piece when you go out, whether it be to a protest, a townhall or even shopping. You know by now that you are NOT going to use your weapon to threaten someone except in the only permissible way: BY HAVING IT ON YOUR PERSON. This makes the liberal gun-grabbers wet themselves for some reason, and it works. Look at New Hampshire over the weekend, I believe, and Arizona yesterday, near the Obama speech at the VFW or the townhall, I’m not sure which. All I can say is that as a VFW member, I’m glad the folks there gave him the cold shoulder he deserves…

Next time, ya’ll.

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