Who is the Rebel Here?

Many Americans balk at the idea of states nullifying unconstitutional acts because they view it as rebellion against the United States.

I think this stems from the fact that so many Americans view the federal government and their beloved country as one and the same. We learn this from our very earliest days in grade school. Teachers line the walls with pictures of presidents. We take school trips to Washington D.C. to see the magnificent buildings and monuments built to and for government. We learn history through the lens of government action – military triumphs and legislative successes. And gradually, we begin to perceive any criticism of the U.S. government as criticism of the United States itself. To challenge the federal government and its policies in any way is to denigrate the greatness of the country.  And as good, patriotic Americans, that makes us angry.

But in truth, we don’t find America’s greatness on Capitol Hill, or in the White House Oval Office, or in the judges’ chambers in the Supreme Court building. It’s not the IRS, the TSA or the FDA that make the United States a place people risk their lives to come and build a life. We find America’s greatness in the fundamental principles written into the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence – principles rooted in freedom and liberty.

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“Constitutional Rights”? Not Really

I frequently hear people talk about how many “constitutional rights” we have lost under (fill in whichever President’s name). This brings up a very interesting misunderstanding about the origin of our rights… For one thing, our rights don’t come from the Constitution; the Constitution merely recognizes that our rights preexist it.

For instance, in the 2nd Amendment it goes like this:

“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.”

It says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” ..not “the people shall have the right to keep and bear arms” – this is a very important difference in syntax! This is true throughout the document, and the document even recognizes in the 9th Amendment that we have all the rights not specifically mentioned.

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

If the Constitution gave rights, then the syntax of the 9th would say something like “that the people shall enjoy” or “that the people shall have” instead of retained by the people.”

The meaning of the subtle difference here is profound, and has vast implications!

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Ice-T Defends Gun Rights “It’s Part Of Our Constitution”

Host – “So you have got guns in your home?”

Ice-T – “Yeah, it’s legal in the United States, it’s part of our Constitution. You know, the right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.”

Host – “And do you see any link between that and this sort of instance (Aurora shooting)?”

Ice-T – “No. Not really. If somebody wants to kill people, they don’t need a gun to do it”

Ice-T gets it and perfectly summed up what those us us that support gun rights have been saying all along.

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