by Kerri Rehmeyer
There have been several gun law related controversies in Parker County recently to which I propose a simple solution — look to the Constitution and the intent of the founders.
The 2nd Amendment says: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
The 2nd amendment enumerates an inherent unalienable RIGHT to protect yourself. Period. Inherent meaning it cannot be extracted. Inherent meaning you were endowed with that right by your creator, not granted that right by any man or piece of paper including the Constitution. Constitutional scholar, Michael Badnarik, defines “a right as something you can do without asking for permission. The opposite of a right, therefore, is something you cannot do without asking for permission. Anytime you need permission to do something it is a privilege.” This means that “rights and privileges are opposites.”
Protecting my life, liberty and property is not a privilege to be granted by the government and on the whim of bureaucrats, it is my RIGHT to do so. The unquestionable right to bear arms was widely enjoyed by Americans until the 1960s. With the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, gun control advocates were able to stir up enough support for their cause to pass the “Safe Streets and Crime Control Act” and the “Gun Control Act” in 1968. These acts contained the most significant restrictions on firearms since Congress enacted the National Firearms Act in 1934. And so it started, but this was only the beginning. Unsurprisingly, laws like this are passed all the time, now without so much as a whimper from most of the general populace. Heck, some even beg for it, as was the case with the recent enactment of an ordinance banning recreational shooting on lots of less than 10 acres in Parker County.
We continue to allow our rights to be redefined as privileges. Privileges can be granted, and taken away, at any time. And don’t forget, throughout history, governments have always been the biggest threat to life, liberty and property. The worst atrocities and genocides have happened under the auspices of government. Thomas Jefferson said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
So what does this have to do with whether or not a student can carry a concealed weapon on the campus of Weatherford College? Or whether my friend with 8 acres may target shoot on her own property? Or whether I can take my handgun with me when I go hiking in the woods? Everything, because according to the “law”, the student can’t, my friend can’t and I can’t unless of course we want to take the chance on being labeled “criminals”. You know, criminals, the people that aren’t allowed to have guns .
Some proponents of these types of ordinances insist that we must give up some of our rights to ensure the safety of the community. I can understand their sentiment, but also know it is very dangerous to promote the idea of “community rights”. Rights are individual not collective. The only limitation on your rights, are the equal rights of other individuals. We’ve been led by our “leaders” and “education system” to believe that we live in a democracy, which rules by the will of the majority (or sometimes by a vocal minority). Fortunately, we were founded as a Constitutional Republic, where the government cannot impose the will of the majority by trampling on the rights of the individual. The Supreme Law of the Land (the Constitution) was written to restrain the government, not the people. Again, I agree with Jefferson who said he “would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
The fact is, any policy, law or statute that infringes upon the Bill of Rights is Unconstitutional. And there are thousands of them. According to former Sheriff Richard Mack, who won a Supreme Court decision (Printz, Mack vs. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) challenging the Brady Bill, “statutes that require the registering of guns, safety locks, waiting periods, background checks, limits on ammunition, or the amounts of guns you’re allowed to purchase, or how you keep a gun in your car, or mental health evaluations for soldiers returning from combat, or prohibition of gun ownership by those convicted of domestic violence 25 years ago, (which is an ex post facto law, also disallowed by the Constitution) and YES, concealed carry permits, are likewise, unconstitutional! Asking government for permission to do that which is already guaranteed by the Constitution is wrong, and we should not be doing it.”
Many people in Parker County can see a clear and present danger to their right to bear arms now that a known gun control advocate occupies the White House. But don’t forget that it was Bush that signed into law some of the most Draconian gun legislation including HR 2640, which many refer to as the Veteran’s Disarmament Act. Most people also know that the County Sheriff is the County’s top lawman. But I wonder if many people, even Sheriff’s for that matter, know that the top means THE TOP. Over and above ANY federal authority or agency. I believe it is their right and duty to uphold the oath they have sworn to the Constitution. If something is unconstitutional, how can it justifiably be enforced?” In his book, “The County Sheriff, America’s Last Hope”, Richard Mack says “Sheriff, you are the sworn protector. You cannot shrink from that duty merely because the violator comes to town with a three-piece suit and a fancy attache case.” My intuition, research and opinion greatly support exactly what Sheriff Mack has said. I believe all of our elected public officials in Parker County need to be held accountable for their decisions, actions and rulings that are contrary to their oaths. It’s easy to understand how even they might be confused on what is correct with the runaway government we all suffer under today. That is why I say one only need to look to the Constitution and study the intent of the founders for their answer.