R. Cort Kirkwood
frequently and rightly accuse liberals of inconsistency in interpreting
the federal Constitution, particularly on the Second Amendment.
Second protects the "right to keep and bear arms," the right-wingers
quote our primordial document. Why aren't the liberals, they ask,
as fervent about that amendment as they are about the First Amendment,
which protect the "right" to free speech.
admonition: Conservatives should take the logs out of their own
eyes. Then they would see that the Second does not forbid all anti-gun
laws, and the federal Leviathan would be a lot smaller.
have no more respect for the Constitution than liberals.
discussion arises from the coming confrontation over the unconstitutional
assault-weapons ban that Republicrat George W. Bush supports. However
right the NRA is in this case, its members and Bush have a lot to
learn about the Constitution.
starters, the Constitution does not create "rights," and neither
does it "protect" them, at least the way most Americans believe.
The Constitution does not "empower" the federal government in the
liberal sense of "empower."
limits the federal government's power by strictly defining its duties.
The Bill of Rights, added at the insistence of anti-federalists
such as Patrick Henry and George Mason, forbids the federal government,
not state governments, from abridging what the framers believed
were the natural and political rights of free-born Englishmen. Thus,
they laid out a list of things neither Congress nor the federal
government, can do.
guns and original intent go, the Second prohibits Congress, not
the states, from regulating guns.
federal gun-control laws are flatly unconstitutional.
by the way, is most of the federal government, including this new
Homeland Security department.
an old-fashioned view.
1925, the Supreme Court decided the 14th Amendment "incorporates"
the Bill of Rights into the laws of all 50 states. That gave the
feds control of matters once the preserve of states, including gun
laws, criminal convictions and civil lawsuits. Other ludicrous court
dicta, such as those pertaining to the "commerce clause," completed
the federal coup against state sovereignty.
irony about incorporation is this: If the liberals are right about
the Constitution (they aren't), state gun-control laws are unconstitutional
because the Bill of Rights applies to the states. So conservatives,
it seems, support the incorporation doctrine, which should be anathema
conservatives want to regain control of federal courts and the Leviathan
bureaucracy, they must be consistent and accept state gun laws.
They must reject the liberal view of the Constitution, which says
that it's a "living document" that must "evolve," the ornate way
of saying the Constitution means whatever the liberals say it means.
must work to repeal not only the incorporation doctrine but also
the rest of the Supreme Court's unconstitutional "precedents," as
well as all legislation creating unconstitutional agencies such
as the federal education department.
it is a task akin to cleaning the Augean stables.
don't expect it. So-called conservatives profit from unconstitutional
programs. They buy votes with unconstitutional subsidies for everything
from roads and farms to education, foreign aid and birth control.
government empowers conservative politicians and lobbyists as much
as it does liberals. So rather than dismantling Leviathan, conservatives
vie for control of it.
crucial issue here isn't the Second Amendment. It's the Constitution.
have helped destroy it.
columnist R. Cort Kirkwood [send
him mail] is managing editor of the Daily News-Record
in Harrisonburg, Va.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com
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