Gun-grabbing: Faulty Logic Allows Hypocrisy to Reign
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
Each new report about killings committed by a person wielding a gun brings new cries for restricting, even canceling, the right of the people to keep and bear arms. After the mass killing in Orlando, Florida, dozens of U.S. congressmen swarmed into the House chamber and staged a unique sit-in demonstration as they demanded passage of new laws. But their demands focused on making more difficult the plight of a law-abiding citizen to possess a weapon.
In the midst of their boisterous and truly childish demonstration, several produced photos of the 49 victims of the rampage. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) confronted the demonstrators with a dose of pure logic. Above the self-serving din emanating from the anti-gun legislators, he insisted, “Radical Islam killed these poor people.” Had he an opportunity to add to his statement, he surely would have told the sit-in crowd that the guns used in Orlando massacre didn’t take themselves to the scene of the crime. Nor did those guns pull their own triggers and fire bullets into the 49 victims. Gohmert was urging the use of logic. But he failed completely and the sit-in continued. The anti-gun demonstrators weren’t interested in logic.
On September 11, 2001, hijacked commercial airliners slammed into New York’s Twin Towers. Close to three thousand died in the worst terrorist attack ever committed on American soil. Most of the victims of that sensational crime died because the buildings collapsed crushing the occupants. No guns were used to kill those innocent people. The weapons were two airplanes. Without doubt, this was a unique criminal act.
If crusaders within the anti-gun campaign movement followed their illogical campaigning, they would have called for banning the use of airplanes. But no such demand was ever voiced. The horrible deed was caused by people who guided those planes into the two buildings. Just as the guns used in Orlando, San Bernardino, Fort Hood and other crime scenes didn’t take themselves to the locales where they were used, select the targets, and pull the triggers, those guns were activated by people. And the airplanes that brought down the Twin Towers were also guided by people. The king of logic employed by Congressman Gohmert after the Orlando shooting didn’t escape the minds of gun grabbers in the wake of the tragedy in New York. They were willing to blame persons then, but not when a terrorist uses a gun to kill his victims.
Most would-be gun grabbers blame guns for crimes. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one who would like to cancel the people’s right to be armed. But he makes an exception for himself. The NRA notes that Facebook has banned acceptance of ads for firearms, ammunition, and even weapons used for self-defense. Yet Zuckerberg spent $16 million to equip his residence with security measures including numerous armed guards. While travelling in Germany, he hired armed bodyguards to watch over him as he went jogging. The NRA noted that the message Zuckerberg has sent amounts to “Don’t do as I do, just do as I say.”
At the bottom of outpourings of many would-be gun grabbers, hypocrisy reigns and logic is absent. But the right to keep and bear arms remains. Let’s keep it that way.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.
Nullification of Oppressive Federal Laws is Catching On
by JBS President John F. McManus
Earlier in 2014, the Kansas state legislature enacted a law stating that some federal gun control regulations would not be obeyed in Kansas. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder immediately notified Governor Sam Brownback that this new state law was unconstitutional. He cited Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, specifically its “Supremacy Clause,” to support his stand.
As is customary among federal officials, Holder relied on only a portion of this clause, the part stating that laws of the United States “shall be the supreme law of the land” binding all the states. But a more complete look at this clause shows that federal laws are legitimate only if “made in pursuance thereof” of the Constitution. In other words, if a federal law is not in keeping with, or exceeds, the powers granted in the Constitution, it can rightly be declared illegitimate and not obeyed.
Though not employing the word, Kansas actually issued a decree of nullification regarding the pertinent gun control regulations issued by the federal government. Is nullification of a federal law permissible? Thomas Jefferson thought so. In the 1798 Kentucky Resolutions he penned to help the Kentuckians gain statehood, he wrote:
That a nullification, by those sovereignties [states] of all unauthorized acts done under the color of that instrument [the Constitution] is a rightful remedy.
After he served as President, James Madison offered his view about a state’s power to nullify a federal law in 1834:
… nullification of a law can … belong rightfully to a single state as one of the parties of the Constitution; the state not ceasing to avow its adherence to the Constitution.
Though Attorney General Holder expressed his objection to the Kansas law, he hasn’t taken any action. But the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a private organization, has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn what Kansas has done. In keeping with the Holder view, this anti-gun ownership group is relying on only a portion of the Supremacy Clause while ignoring the requirement that a federal law must be “in pursuance thereof” of the Constitution.
The actual Kansas law being challenged calls for prosecution of any law enforcement official (federal, state or even local) who seeks to enforce federal regulations over firearms made, sold and owned in Kansas. Attorney General Holder will surely watch this case from the sidelines. But so too will millions of Americans who value the private ownership of weapons, a right protected by the Second Amendment.
A related matter may become an issue in this case. It is who shall determine the meaning of constitutional clauses. America has long relied on a belief that the federal judiciary alone has the power to state what any portion of the Constitution actually means. But nowhere in the document itself can any such attitude be found. Leaving such an important matter to the federal judiciary has resulted in judicial mischief.
State nullification of unconstitutional federal laws and regulations is based on the recognition that sovereign states created the national government and delegated to that government only those few powers enumerated in the Constitution. It would surely be helpful for the cause of liberty for this intent to be reinforced along with acceptance of a state’s right to nullify a bad federal law. We can hope that the Brady Campaign’s suit against Kansas will lead to a reaffirmation of state power and a diminution of federal overreach. Like Eric Holder, we shall be watching this very important case.
Learn more about nullification by reading Thomas E Woods Jr.’s book, “Nullification”.
Working at The John Birch Society headquarters in Appleton Wisconsin, each staff member arrives at work every morning knowing they are fulfilling their responsibility to uphold the Constitution. When chatting with Larry Greenley, director of missions here at headquarters, he explained his reasoning for working here relevant to the Constitution; “Pretty much all of my work here at JBS revolves around the Constitution. We fully support the Constitution as originally intended by the Founders. One of our major goals is to create sufficient understanding among the voters to enable the election of a constitutionalist majority to both houses of Congress, and ultimately the election of a constitutionalist to the presidency.”
To secure our unalienable rights, the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1787 by our founding fathers. Otherwise known as the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution originally consisted of seven Articles. Once recognized as the quintessence of liberty, today it is viewed as a hindrance to the greater agenda of the establishment elites.
In order to gain control over mankind, it is essential to destroy freedom. The members of each successive generation have been losing their individual rights, yet the widespread indoctrination is so clever, that the average person is completely unaware. Starting with the act of abortion and finishing with discrimination against elders, at each stage of our lives we are incrementally being stripped of our liberties.
In the last two weeks, the first, second, and fourth Amendments have been put at great risk by the government. Whether focusing on freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, or requirements for search warrants, it cannot be denied that we have to wage a constant battle to uphold our Constitution.
When presenting a problem such as this, it is fashionable to provide a solution. How important it is to know your Constitution and your individual rights cannot be stressed enough. The only way to defend yourself is to know exactly what you are defending.
Take some time to review and understand The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. Coming soon, a more in-depth reading will be provided looking directly at the topic of republics versus democracies as well as how our Constitution established a republic and not a democracy.