EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter, by Frank Krazalkovich, was written in support of a local 2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution in Pennsylvania. To support Mr. Krazalkovich’s resolution, you can contact Elwood Taylor, the President of the Board of Commissioners. The Board’s web site gives Mr. Taylor’s e-mail address as: firstname.lastname@example.org. Urge Mr. Taylor to bring the resolution up for a vote
I’d like to begin by acknowledging that the problem of gun violence in communities throughout these United States is real; HOWEVER, combatting this threat cannot come at the great expense of mitigating basic, fundamental, unalienable Rights.
The Second, Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the so-called “Supremacy Clause” (Article IV, Clause 2 of the US Constitution) are VERY CLEAR and unambiguous. Therefore, ANY federal acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, and rules or regulations of all kinds (i.e., “gun control” legislation currently being considered in Washington DC) are not made in pursuance of the Constitution, are not authorized by the Constitution, violate its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers, and thus, are not the supreme law of the land, and consequently, SHOULD be considered void ab initio.
Kudos to our neighbors in East Coventry Township for recently joining the likes of the Borough of Gilberton, the Borough of Frackville, the Borough of New Britain, and even Susquehanna County – in passing Second Amendment Preservation Resolutions in PA. These Resolutions are important measures because they 1) Recognize the Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms as fundamental and NATURAL; 2) Assert the sovereignty of the People; and, 3) Rightfully condemn Federal overreaches into areas they are explicitly unauthorized to act within.
During the Upper Pottsgrove Township’s Board of Commissioners’ February monthly meeting, I presented, in a private capacity as a resident of the Township, a Second Amendment Preservation Resolution which I had authored and asked for its consideration and adoption.
This Resolution would 1) Condemn federal overreach and infringement upon the Right of the Individual to Keep and Bear Arms; 2) Express support for, and urge immediate passage of PA House Bill 357 (legislation currently being considered in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives – that would prohibit the enforcement of any new federal restriction, prohibition or registration requirement for firearms, magazines, and ammunition and would also require the Commonwealth to intercede on behalf of Pennsylvania citizens against any federal attempt to register, ban or restrict the purchase or ownership of firearms and firearms accessories which are currently legal products); 3) RESERVE the right of the Township to take measures necessary to prevent enforcement of federal acts respecting the Right of the Individual to Keep and Bear Arms; and 4) Direct the Township Manager to immediately transmit copies of the Resolution to a host of public officials including the President of the United States.
It was tabled until the Board’s March Meeting (Held on 18 March). At that meeting, The President of the Board, Mr. Elwood Taylor, read the following from a prepared text:
“This Board of Commissioners has been asked to consider a resolution that asks us to enact ‘legislative measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal acts (that violate) the individual Right to keep and bear arms within the borders of the Township.’ The resolution goes on to justify nullification of Federal law on the basis of a Constitutional argument first espoused by Thomas Jefferson in his Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and 1799. This Board’s response will be limited to the same response given by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to Jefferson’s nullification proposition.
* The Constitution of the United States (does not empower) the Legislatures of the several states (with) any right or power of declaring that any act of the general government ‘is not law, but is altogether void, and of no effect,’ and this House considers such declaration as a revolutionary measure, destructive of the purest principles of our State and national compacts. Loud and concerted appeals to the passions of the community are calculated to produce discussions more boisterous than wise, and effects more violent than useful.
It is the opinion of the house that it ought not to concur in the design of the resolutions of the Legislature of Kentucky. *”
The Board’s response, however, incorrectly asserts that the Resolution “asks us to enact ‘legislative measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal acts (that violate) the individual Right to keep and bear arms within the borders of the Township.’” The Resolution simply would have RESERVED the Right of the Township to do so.
Regardless, I’ll give credit to the President of the Board who actually appeared to conduct a bit of research, wrong-sided as it was.
Mr. Taylor is correct to point out that those running the Pennsylvania legislature at the time were not sympathetic with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and their assertions of the right of state nullification in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799.
As further research or historical knowledge must inform he and the Board, those same legislators thought it constitutionally permissible to pass the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 which was used to fine, deport and imprison those who criticized President John Adams.
Imagine being thrown in jail today for simply stating disapproval with one of our elected officials?
It must also be pointed out that in the years that followed, our Commonwealth enacted Personal Liberty Laws that nullified or made it near impossible for southern slave owners to retrieve their runaway slaves despite the existence of the federal Fugitive Slave Acts.
In 1826, the Commonwealth passed a law forbidding people from forcibly carrying Pennsylvania citizens out of state. The act was aimed at keeping violent slave catchers out of PA and preserving the liberty of black Pennsylvanians. The Supreme Court of the United States struck down the law as a violation of the 1793 federal Fugitive Slave Act in the landmark case of Prigg v. Pennsylvania in 1842.
Undaunted, Pennsylvania responded with a new law in 1847 that repealed slaveholders’ privilege of travelling through the Commonwealth with their slave “property.” The law effectively freed any slaves voluntarily brought into the Commonwealth by their owners as soon as they set foot on Pennsylvania soil.
One would hardly argue today that nullification wasn’t the rightful remedy then?!
As the argument relates to those who stand in opposition to the Second Amendment – they would have us believe that crimes are committed by inanimate objects which have no will of their own, rather than placing the blame on the criminals who choose, in and of themselves, to commit these crimes. They would have us believe that certain firearms belong only in the hands of police, or that the right to keep and bear arms is about sporting, rather than defending oneself and one’s family.
Crimes in our communities are committed by a minute group of people. Disarming law abiding citizens only serves to create easier targets for those who will, whenever given the opportunity, harm another human being. Any attempt at such an egregious assault on our rights, both recognized and guaranteed in the Constitution, is unconscionable and unlawful under our system of government.
I encourage the Upper Pottsgrove Township Board of Commissioners to reconsider its dismissive response to the Resolution I offered. I would also urge other municipalities throughout Pennsylvania to take a stand, KEEP THEIR OATH, and aggressively oppose any federal legislation that is not made in pursuance of the Constitution and that attempts to take away any of the natural rights of the law abiding citizens they serve.
If elected, I certainly swear to do so.
France W. Krazalkovich
Upper Pottsgrove Township
Republican Candidate for Township Commissioner”