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A New Paradigm of Legally Owning a Gun

The Second Amendment serves as a check on the political power of the ruling authorities.

A New Paradigm of Legally Owning a Gun

 A New Paradigm of Legally Owning a Gun

Execution by Firing Squad
The Militarized Police State Opens Fire

“It is often the case that police shootings, incidents where law enforcement officers pull the trigger on civilians, are left out of the conversation on gun violence. But a police officer shooting a civilian counts as gun violence. Every time an officer uses a gun against an innocent or an unarmed person contributes to the culture of gun violence in this country.”—Journalist Celisa Calacal

By John W. Whitehead
June 19, 2017

Legally owning a gun in America could get you killed by a government agent.

While it still technically remains legal to own a firearm in America, possessing one can now get you pulled over, searched, arrested, subjected to all manner of surveillance, treated as a suspect without ever having committed a crime, shot at and killed.

This same rule does not apply to government agents, however, who are armed to the hilt and rarely given more than a slap on the wrists for using their weapons to shoot and kill American citizens.

According to the Washington Post, “1 in 13 people killed by guns are killed by police.”

Just recently, for example, a Minnesota jury acquitted a police officer who shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile, a school cafeteria supervisor, during a routine traffic stop merely because Castile disclosed that he had a gun in his possession, for which he had a lawful conceal-and-carry permit. That’s all it took for police to shoot Castile four times as he was reaching for his license and registration. Castile’s girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter witnessed the entire exchange.

Earlier this year, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Florida police will not be held accountable for banging on the wrong door at 1:30 am, failing to identify themselves as police, and then repeatedly shooting and killing the innocent homeowner who answered the door while holding a gun in self-defense.

Continuing its own disturbing trend of siding with police in cases of excessive use of force, a unanimous Supreme Court recently acquitted police who recklessly fired 15 times into a backyard shack in which a homeless couple—Angel and Jennifer Mendez—was sheltering. Incredibly, the Court ruled that the shooting was justified because Angel was allegedly seen holding a BB gun that he used for shooting rats.

What these cases add up to is a new paradigm in which legally owning a gun turns you into a target for government sharp-shooters.

Ironically, while America continues to debate who or what is responsible for gun violence—the guns, the gun owners, or our violent culture—little has been said about the greatest perpetrator of violence in American society: the U.S. government.

Violence has become the government’s calling card, starting at the top and trickling down, from the more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans by heavily armed, black-garbed commandos and the increasingly rapid militarization of local police forces across the country to the drone killings used to target insurgents.

You want to reduce gun violence? Start with the government.

The government’s arsenal of weapons makes the average American’s handgun look like a Tinker Toy. Under the auspices of a military “recycling” program, which allows local police agencies to acquire military-grade weaponry and equipment, more than $4.2 billion worth of equipment has been transferred from the Defense Department to domestic police agencies since 1990.

In the hands of government agents, whether they are members of the military, law enforcement or some other government agency, these weapons have become accepted instruments of tyranny, routine parts of America’s day-to-day life, a byproduct of the rapid militarization of law enforcement over the past several decades.

This lopsided, top-heavy, authoritarian state of affairs is not the balance of power the founders intended for “we the people.”

The Second Amendment, in conjunction with the multitude of prohibitions on government overreach enshrined in the Bill of Rights, was supposed to serve as a clear shackle on the government’s powers.

To founders such as Thomas Jefferson, who viewed the government as a powerful entity that must be bound “down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution,” the right to bear arms was no different from any other right enshrined in the Constitution: it was intended to stand as a bulwark against a police state.

As I explain in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, without any one of those freedoms, we are that much more vulnerable to the vagaries of out-of-control policemen, benevolent dictators, genuflecting politicians, and overly ambitious bureaucrats.

Writing for Counterpunch, journalist Kevin Carson warns that prohibiting Americans from owning weapons would “lead to further erosion of Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure, further militarization of local police via SWAT teams, and further expansion of the squalid empire of civil forfeiture, perjured jailhouse snitch testimony, entrapment, planted evidence, and plea deal blackmail.”

This is exactly what those who drafted the U.S. Constitution feared: that laws and law enforcers would be used as tools by a despotic government to wage war against the citizenry.

Now don’t get me wrong.

I do not believe that violence should ever be the answer to our problems. Still there’s something to be said for George Orwell’s view that “that rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer’s cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”

The Second Amendment serves as a check on the political power of the ruling authorities. It represents an implicit warning against governmental encroachments on one’s freedoms, the warning shot over the bow to discourage any unlawful violations of our persons or property.

Certainly, dictators in past regimes have understood this principle only too well.

As Adolf Hitler noted, “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that starting in December 1935, Jews in Germany were prevented from obtaining shooting licenses, because authorities believed that to allow them to do so would “endanger the German population.”

In late 1938, special orders were delivered barring Jews from owning firearms, with the punishment for arms possession being 20 years in a concentration camp.

The rest, as they say, is history. Yet it is a history that we should be wary of repeating.


H/T The Rutherford Institute

5 Comments on A New Paradigm of Legally Owning a Gun

  1. Glad for the opportunity to exchange ideas with someone of your credentials.

    First off in support of the police, yes, they operate within an extremely dangerous environment…when they set off on patrol they either are buffered by the knowledge they are patrolling honest educated Americans or hardened by the knowledge that the vast majority are living in a idyll and will violently resist when their bubble is popped with a slight mitigation via the “hope of humanity in general”. Statically to give an indication which is true, Texas from 1990 through 2011 passed 138 out of 154 proposed Texas amendments with from 5.4% to 16.3% of eligible votes participating…that is passage rate of 89.6%…and without anywhere near an acceptable quorum…shoot the Communists ruled the USSR with 5% of the population. Democracy? Good citizens? The police would have to go out knowing what a sham that is. Secondly, if we did devolve into Committee of Safeties and Militia…who would make up the Militia? The same people, by and large, who care to be Law Enforcement Officers now…they care about law, civilization, and order.

    But now to brass tacks and historical precedence.

    Point one, how are the State and County police paid? Via the State with Federal Reserve Notes? How about this law: United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 10, Para 1: “No State Shall….make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts;” That seems like a fairly clear mandate placed upon the States. Wages according to General Accounting Principles are Debts. But not allowing State paid wages to be paid in gold or silver they have tacitly, “in proximity”, and for all intents and purposes made something other than gold and silver a tender in payment of debts…by the sheer fact no other option is available.

    “…a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.” – Thomas Paine “Common Sense”

    Legally, the vast grants the Federal Government has made to law enforcement offices around the country fall outside the point above…but using those Federal Reserve Notes they have escalated the militarization of our country’s Police Forces.

    Point Two, the sheer mismanagement of our Federal Government’s economic affairs, (Normalizing Deficit Spending, Routinely suspending or raising the “Acceptable Amount of Public Debt” clause of the Budget Control Act of 1974, writing off a trillion dollars as unaccounted for which has happened twice since 2001, and much more), means that some one or some group is going to have to play the patsy when it comes crashing down. Will the militarized police be the patsies? No, no, no.

    What Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn relayed in “The Gulag Archipelago” really happened…a huge rich culturally established country imploded and turned on itself within the past 100 years and upwards of 50 million people died via the Police State infrastructure.

    And it is the fear, the marrow chilling fear, of all America Patriots that the egg heads in Washington D.C. are more than a little tainted with Communist philosophy…and we have enough evidence that to ignore the postulation would be folly.

  2. It is understood and Constitutionally protected, the right of every individual in this great country to express an opinion, regardless of the merits of such opinion. Likewise, it is the right of each individual to agree, disagree or remain silent with said opinion. In the case of the opinion stated by the author in this article, I find his opinion to be obtuse, myopic, prejudicial and grossly generalized.

    Unlike the author, I have intimate knowledge of law enforcement practices and policies. I was a career LEO in California before retiring and moving to north Idaho. Seven of those years I was the Chief of Police. Additionally, I am a Life member of the NRA, a Life member of SASS, a member of the Idaho Second Amendment Association, a member of the 3%’ers, a member of the Oath Keepers and a retired FFL dealer. I have put my money where my mouth is. I have also expressed my criticism of law enforcement, on these pages, with respect to the Finicum shooting. But I will not stand silently by while ignorant pundits like this author and Glen Beck generalize and characterize the majority of men and women who wear a badge and lay their lives on the line daily to protect you and me and the Constitution of this great nation. The author cites the Castile shooting as proof of his inflammatory attack on law enforcement. He ignores the fact that the LEO involved in that shooting was tried in a court of law and found INNOCENT of any wrong doing. And he paints Castile as a “victim” of the “police state” while completely ignoring the fact that Castile was under the influence of drugs at the time of the shooting. I have carefully reviewed the dashcam video of the shooting, frame by frame. If the author had any knowledge of survival tactics and police procedure, he would see that at the 32 second mark, the officer reached into the suspect vehicle with his left hand in an obvious attempt to stop Castile from drawing his weapon. It was only after this split second attempt and failure to stop Castile from drawing the weapon that the officer fired in defense of his life. And that is what a jury of 12 honest souls saw and rendered a verdict of not guilty.

    I will not say, nor do I believe, that ALL law enforcement shootings are justified. There are indeed occasional bad shootings. However, these bad shootings are an anomaly, not a pattern and practice. The majority of LEO’s are honest, sincere, caring and hard working men and women trying to do a very difficult job in a very complicated legal system and a very dangerous environment. Since 2008, the left, led by Obama, have sought to divide LEO’s from the public they serve as a means to push their leftist agenda. And many so called “intelligent” individuals have followed lock step in the progressive’s lies. It would appear that this author is proof positive!

  3. When the Spanish ruled the American southwest it was a capital crime to give a gun to an Native American…for the same reasons pointed out in this article.

    As an affirmative example, the Souix who are closer to Hudson’s Bay than Washington, D.C., were better armed than the Calvary under Custer who came to subject them. And were able to defend themselves.

    Another affirmative example is what happened in Athens, Tennessee:

    And don’t forget the “Felons Can’t Own Guns” percentage of the population. Couple that with the numerous ways administrative felonies can be acquired and another facet of disarming comes into view. And let that sink in a minute…the USA is saying that a citizen who has a felony and successfully completed all punishment requirements with that felony…cannot own a Matchlock which the Pilgrims in 1620 defended themselves with from native attacks. Not can ex-felons own a primitive flintlock as shown being used by the Seediq Bale in the movie “Warriors of the Rainbow”.

    • I would respectfully suggest you re-visit the subject of firearm possession by convicted felons. Point in fact, certain “administrative” felony convictions (white collar crimes) do not prohibit a convicted felon from owning a firearm. Additionally, federal law permits a convicted felon to own and possess a bona fide antique, black powder, muzzle loader firearm. An unmolested antique flintlock or matchlock, as you alluded to, would be legal for a convicted felon to own under federal law.

      • Yes sir, I could have been more clear. Federal laws provide just as you say, moreover; I believe the Federal Laws even allow for working replicas of antiques. It is some State Laws which bar felons from owning antiques. Texas allows a convicted felon to own antiques/replicas…but Nevada, Idaho, and Utah among others do not.

        This is a case of States Rights being an asset or a liability.

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