Our founding fathers knew that Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court must have certain powers to govern America; however, they also knew that they would abuse these powers if given the opportunity. Simply put, concentrated power, authority and money cannot be harnessed voluntarily, and the separation of powers was written into the core of our Constitution. Many who talk about the separation of powers refer to Congress as the author of laws, the president as the executive in charge and guardian of the Constitution, and the Supreme Court as the final interpreter. I argue there is a fourth, the ultimate arbitrator, WE THE PEOPLE!
The words WE THE PEOPLE are known by all to mean ‘us’; not the federal government, states or municipalities – it is each and everyone one of us.
The NRA is the foremost defender of the Second Amendment – ask anyone who knows of them and you will find this to be true. I see the NRA as the defender of every right expressed in the Constitution and each of the amendments of which we cherish and are willing to fight for, including sending our moms and dads, brothers and sisters and sons and daughters into harm’s way to protect, defend and preserve. This is the assurance of our way of life – the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
So, what does the NRA have to do with preserving the Fourth amendment, which was created to prevent unreasonable search and seizure? What about the Fifth amendment’s intent of providing a trial by jury of our peers, protecting us from double jeopardy, as to not be compelled to testify against ourselves and not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process; nor having our property taken for public use with just compensation? And what is the relevance of the NRA regarding the Sixth amendment that helps to guarantee a speedy trial, the right to know the charge for which one is accused, the right to confront a witness and the right to have a defense, even if we cannot afford one? Then there is the Eighth amendment which prevents excessive bail, and cruel and unusual punishment; where does the NRA come into play with all this? The answer is EVERYTHING we hold dear – the very fundamentals of our inalienable rights.
If we allow the Congress to assume the authority to add, change or delete any part of the Second Amendment; if we empower the president to sign any legislation Congress passes to do the same, and if we encourage the Supreme Court to shift the focus of its duty from interpretation to public culture and public opinion rather than remaining squarely focused on the Constitution, they will use that implied precedent as their basis to take the same liberty with any other right, as they wish — then every right we have under the Constitution is at risk.
Let me explain with an example.
I recently drove past my daughter’s high school and saw a group of students protesting. Obviously these students appreciate their right to free speech and so do I. I took time to read their signs – to listen to their voices. One sign read “We Want New Gun Laws”, or the “NRA must GO!” and another read “We will vote for Legislators who will Write More Gun Laws.”
Unfortunately, I also understood the risks to students themselves if lawmakers take their frustration out in what is lacking in security at the schools they attend and use this current pain to grab power which the Constitution anticipated and precluded. If they were to use their vote and elect legislators who actually wrote “New Gun Laws” that weakened the students’ Second amendment rights defended by the NRA, then they would actually be using their energy and time to undermine their Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth constitutional rights also.
My desire is for all of us to listen and respond with solutions to show our students that we do understand their message, while also helping them to recognize the danger that lies ahead. If students were to use their vote to elect legislators who believe they would have the right to exercise the power to write laws in contradiction to the Constitution, then where do the other amendments go for safe keeping?
Let’s just say that Congress passes a law banning the AR-15. What would keep them from using this ban to walk all over the Fourth Amendment? With that in place, they could possibly search students’ cars in the name of banning rifles away from the schools; or opt to search every purse and back pack of every person entering the school instead of spending money on metal detectors, in the name of keeping banned items off campus. What would prevent school administrators from searching lockers or asking parents to open students’ homes by inviting school administrators in to search students’ bedrooms and closets for any items Congress decides to place on a list of banned items? Where are the rights to privacy, warrants based on probable cause and due process? We need lawmakers who will honor, respect and defend these rights regardless of the circumstances at hand.
Laws based on nothing but speculations, hunches or rumors, rather than facts, evidence and a warrant could result in administrators, police and others having the right to rummage in our lives under a pretense of protection and would not be the America our Constitution guarantees. Situations giving school principals power to compel students to snitch on a classmate or face expulsion from school, also losing possible scholarship opportunities, or searches for banned firearms that turn up a small joint resulting in drug possession charges are several possible scenarios. that could. Is this a price we are willing to pay?
Our founding fathers knew our rights must have certainty and that the only way these rights can be changed is if the WE THE PEOPLE want to change them. Congress can write a proposed amendment, but they cannot implement it – WE THE PEOPLE must agree. If Congress wants to change any part of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or any Amendments thereto, 75 percent of the states must agree.
WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD WE WANT TO CHANGE WHAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS ESTABLISHED AS THE PROTECTION OF OUR MOST FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT – BY THE PEOPLE?
In conclusion, we need to shift the conversation to collaboration, enforcement an awareness. I urge every American to support the NRA and join in the effort to protect and preserve the 2nd Amendment – EVERY OTHER RIGHT DEPENDS ON IT.