WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2015 – If you thought last Wednesday’s ISIS-inspired attack in San Bernardino, California, in which 14 Americans died, was an event that would help clarify for the White House brain trust who the enemy is and the need for a strategy to combat them, you were wrong.
More than a decade after 9/11, President Obama addressed the nation saying that America’s best chance to defeat murderous totalitarian Islamists is to strip Americans of their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The president insisted that Congress needs
“to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino. I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures, but the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, no matter how effective they are, cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual was motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology. What we can do and must do is make it harder for them to kill.”
A free society is difficult to police: authorities need probable cause to get a search warrant; evidence collected outside the scope of that warrant is considered “fruit from the forbidden tree” and inadmissible in a court of law; and prosecutors must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”The assumption of innocence (some foolishly call it a “technicality”) is a free people’s due.
Evil, wrote C.S. Lewis, “is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state…”
And it was from the “clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices” of the White House that the “leader of the free world” urged the United States Congress to suspend a basic, founding American civil liberty as a tool for law enforcement to use in the war against Islamic totalitarianism.
Does that sound familiar?
“The liberty of a democracy,” said President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism.”
FDR signed executive order 9066 that in early 1942 deprived American citizens of Japanese descent their constitutional rights (“private power… stronger than the democratic state itself”), interning them in prison camps for the duration of the Second World War.
It was a fascist tool used in America’s supposed war against fascism.
But it is a tactic familiar to Democratic presidents, in particular one whose former chief of staff, now mayor of Chicago, famously said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
The “war on terror” has been turned on its head.
In the name of national security, the National Security Agency has brushed aside our Fourth Amendment right to be secure in our private communications, sanctioned by a secret court. And the president of the United States says he wants to deprive us of our basic right of self-defense as a tool to stop murderous Islamists bent on killing us in our own streets.
In his Sunday evening address to the nation, President Obama made clear that he has seen the enemy.
And that enemy is us.