WASHINGTON, February 7, 2014 — Recently there has been much progress on the front of individual liberty in this country. Ironically, through the influence and efforts of Progressives, states have taken it upon themselves to break with the Federal government and enact legislation strengthening the corps of American individual liberties. These efforts have most notably, and successfully, been carried out in terms of rights concerning marijuana decriminalization and legalization, and marriage equality.
These endeavors are great steps forward in cementing the basic rights of the individual to live their life as they choose. It should not be about drug use and harming your body. It is about the right to do with your body as you wish. It is not about gay marriage specifically, but the equal application of marriage law regardless of sexual preference. Many would take it a step further and argue that the government has no business interfering with marriage to begin with, and perhaps it should be as simple as filing a document that simply informs the government that a couple is married, and will herein be filing taxes jointly.
But there is an underlying hypocrisy in all of this. While the Left is lauding certain states who take it upon themselves to enact legislation on marijuana and marriage equality, championing their daring as they speed by federal law which is moving far too slow or not at all, they condemn states who take measures to protect the rights of their citizens to keep and bear arms.
Just like Colorado and Washington legalizing certain amounts of marijuana despite the federal government laws governing its use, and just like all of the states who have recognized gay marriage despite the intransigence of DC, several states have taken similar steps to stand up to the federal gun grabbers and enacted legislation protecting the 2nd Amendment at the state level.
Most of these laws and efforts come in the form of a state legislature passing a law nullifying all federal gun laws, while making provisions to arrest federal agents who attempt to enforce such laws that the state now deems illegal. Missouri, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Wyoming, and more have all either passed or introduced legislation to bar the enforcement of federal gun regulations.
And Liberals are screaming.
From Thinkprogress.org: “Few principles are more clearly established in American constitutional law than the prohibition on states nullifying federal laws. The Constitution provides that duly enacted federal laws “’shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.’”
This sums up the Progressive sentiment towards gun legislation at the state level.
However many Progressive thinkers fail to make the connection that marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and therefore trumps those efforts by states to decriminalize and or legalize. Before gay marriage was recognized by the federal government after DOMA was struck down in the Supreme Court, several states recognized same sex marriages as legal, despite the prominence of federal law.
So how are guns any different?
The 2nd Amendment, as held up by the Heller Decision, grants an individual the right to keep and bear arms for personal protection. The SecondAmendment also states that “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Many could argue that “shall not be infringed” already nullifies attempts by any government entity to enact restrictive gun legislation. However, we can also look at the Ninth Amendment.
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” One could argue that the right to own firearms is a right retained by the people, and so the Ninth protects the Second from undue legislation.
But there is also the Tenth Amendment.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
This is the right that so many people forget. The Tenth Amendment nullifies all federal powers not explicitly called out in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This includes marijuana consumption, this includes marriage equality, and this includes gun rights. If the Second Amendment states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed that precludes the federal government from making legislation governing that right. If the federal government is barred from governing that right, then that right goes to the States, and if not the States the People.
So, it would appear that considering that violation of the Bill of Rights concerning the right to bear arms at the hands of the federal government, the States have a right to pass legislation concerning the necessity to protect the right of their citizens to keep and bear arms.
But why don’t Progressives see this? Why do they champion states that seek to legalize marijuana and laud those states who defied the federal government before DOMA was passed? And why do they demonize states who make provisions to protect the rights of their citizens?
These rights, the right to live as you choose, to marry who you choose, and to protect yourself how you choose, are fundamental human rights. Legalizing marijuana will strike a severe blow to the criminal element in this country and take drugs out of the hands of dangerous dealers. A nationwide recognition of marriage as pertaining to unions between individuals who love each other is the next step we need to take as a country to prove that there is no such thing as a second class citizen. And recognizing that it is the natural born right of every law abiding individual on earth to be able to procure for themselves the best means possible for their self-defense and survival is necessary for us as the People of this Republic to retain maximum individual liberty.
This country was founded on the idea that the individual is the foundation for liberty. The Bill of Rights and the Constitution were not drafted in order to put restrictions on the people in regards to limit their freedoms as citizens, they were instead drafted in order to restrict the government from infringing upon the individual civil liberties of the people. This is not a new concept, it has been said time and time again by substantially more brilliant men and women. But it seems as though these things are being ignored.
If you are for individual liberty, such as the right to smoke, and the right to marry who you wish, and you are in support of states taking on those issues in defiance of federal law, it only follows that you would also support state legislatures from doing the same for the right to bear arms. Anything else would be hypocrisy.