On Real Respect for the Constitution
by Ron Paul: On
Gun Control and Violence
to Ron Paul
I am pleased
that the Constitution has received a lot of attention in recent
weeks, thanks to the tea party movement. The 112th Congress kicked
off with a reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House.
It goes without saying that Members of Congress should have read
the Constitution many times, and should continue to study it.
particular clause of the Constitution that authorizes newly introduced
legislation is a reasonable suggestion, yet in reality it will do
little to restrain unconstitutional growth of the federal government.
We have had such rules in the past and no benefit came of it.
The laws that
are passed reflect the preferences and personal agendas of those
in charge. For too long those agendas have expanded government at
the expense of personal liberty, regardless of which political party
was in charge. This expansion of government clearly violated the
Constitution, yet it was always argued that this or that program
somehow conformed to that living document.
the general welfare clause, the interstate commerce clause, and
the necessary and proper clause, Congress has justified
every conceivable expansion of the federal government. Congress
also has misinterpreted the 14th Amendment and legislated as though
it had repealed the 10th Amendment. Sadly, Congress has also systematically
abdicated its prerogatives and responsibilities to the executive
branch over many decades.
Too many people,
in and out of Congress, grew up being taught that the Constitution
was a modern living document. Though the authors allowed
for flexibility through the amendment process, this process has
been ignored for the sake of speed and convenience. As a result,
the Constitution now has little actual meaning.
should be viewed as law, and Members of Congress should be expected
to follow, respect, understand, and uphold the law. But a document
is just a piece of paper if those who represent us and promise to
obey it ignore it instead. Celebrating the Constitution without
this understanding will do nothing to restore the greatness of America.
the document distracts from the need for Members to resist special
interests, political self-interests, emergency needs in times of
crisis, fear-based economic myths, and the persistent temptation
to seek security over liberty while ignoring personal responsibility
I wonder: will
this welcomed renewed interest in the Constitution lead to a healthy
reassessment of all of our policies? Will there be no more wars
without an actual congressional declaration? Will the Federal Reserve
Act be repealed? Will only gold and silver be deemed legal tender?
Will we end
all unconstitutional federal departments, including the Departments
of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services,
Homeland Security, and Labor?
Will the Patriot
Act be repealed and all warrantless searches stopped?
Will the TSA
Will the IRS's unconstitutional collection powers end?
Will executive and judicial quasi-legislative powers end?
Will we end the federal war on drugs?
Will we end the federal government's involvement in medical care?
Will we end all of the federal government's illusionary insurance
Will we ban secret prisons, trials without due process, and assassinations?
Will we end our foreign policy of invasion and occupation?
to once again become the standard for a free society, our love of
liberty and desire for peace must far surpass any public display
of fidelity to the Constitution. We must first look to strong moral
character, respect for the rule of law, and an understanding of
the proper role of government in a free society.
the Ron Paul File
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
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