Over the weekend, I was on Gun Freedom Radio and had one of those annoying experiences that come up from time to time in live interviews. I realized how I should have answered a question about two minutes after the show was over. I’m sharing it here because it’s an important lesson in personal nullification.
During the interview, I was discussing how states can thwart unconstitutional federal gun control by refusing to cooperate with enforcement. As I often do, I used the success of state marijuana legalization undermining federal prohibition as an example. One of the show hosts played devil’s advocate and brought up the power of the federal government to enforce its will. Quite frankly, I think this is often overblown and flows from unwarranted pessimism. But he did bring up an interesting example. Federal law prohibits medical marijuana users from purchasing firearms.

“If they have a medical marijuana card and they check the box relating to marijuana use on the gun purchase application, they are immediately banned from buying a gum.” (Paraphrased)

I responded by pointing out the feds will always push back. Sometimes we will have to face consequences. I’m not suggesting it’s easy. But we have to be bold and move ahead anyway. We can’t let their actions deter us.

Now, that’s a fine answer. It’s certainly true. But I should have simply said this…

“Don’t check the box.”

If the federal government (or anybody else for that matter) wants to try to enforce unconstitutional, or unjust laws, why in the world should we comply? Why make it easy for them?

Why check the box?

This actually drills down to a more fundamental point. Ultimately, we must take responsiblity for our own liberty. If we want to live free, we have to  live free. We need to throw off this idea of unlimited submission and acquiescence to government rules, regulations and mandates that undermine our personal freedom.

State nullification provides a great tool to break apart the governopoly we currently live under. State power serves as an effective check on federal power. But nothing beats personal nullification when it’s possible. You have to count the cost. You have to be shrewd and strategic. But at some point you must personally act. Ask Rosa Parks. Nobody else is going to do it for you.

Live free. Don’t check the box.


Mike Maharrey

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