Tag Archives: Constitution

It Won’t Stay in ‘Vegas

The atrocious murdering took barely ten minutes. It is very likely that not one person who was killed or wounded one Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, knew the man we are told was their killer. Ostensibly Stephen Paddock had been accumulating weapons for “years.” He sent his “girlfriend” back to her native Phillipines two weeks ahead of the carnage he was planning, and then wired her money. He may have been trying to set up a shooting a week or more earlier but couldn’t obtain the rooms he needed for his desired perch. So, it’s possible that all of the weapons, volumes of ammunition and loaded clips, and other preparations were solely the work of one secretive, virtually unknown man. Maybe.

The current profile of Paddock indicates that he wanted to shoot at country music fans. On the other hand, he was a Democrat. Does that paint him with a group identity that explains anything? He owned guns – like 50 to 80 million other Americans. That makes him part of the American “gun culture.” It hasn’t been reported whether he owns a power drill or handsaw, or possibly a router, like 50 million other Americans, so it’s not clear whether Paddock was part of the “power tool” culture. However, he must, must, be placed in a hated group and “gun owners” will do perfectly.

One reporter has already been fired for stating that country music fans were likely “Republican gun-toters” who deserved no sympathy. She made the mistake of stating how rabid leftists feel, and that’s a political no-no.

Legal gun owners woke up Monday, October 2nd to find that they were all potential murderers, kept from shooting up public gatherings, nightclubs, elementary schools and churches only by the thinnest of membranes between sanity and insanity. Who knew? Paddock had prepared his “blind” to be relatively immune from armed response. Most of these kinds of attacks place the shooter(s) at the scene where, in good likelihood, armed targets could have shot back.

What liberals never consider, and gun owners fail to proclaim, is that every year in the united States, more than 800,000 times (not every instance makes the papers), a private gun owner stops a crime or a criminal, usually with NO shots fired. In many instances, a non gun-owner overpowers an armed criminal and wrests a weapon from his hands and subdues him. Eight hundred thousand (some estimates are well over a million) are a lot of incidents. Essentially, open America could not maintain a civil society without private gun ownership. Oh, the horror.

The alternative is a police state. Thoughtful people should realize that they do not really want to live in a nation that will confiscate private property that is deemed undesireable by the government! Some think that that same government will somehow add to “freedom” by limiting it… so long as the limits are placed on the “group” they don’t like. Those same accuse President Trump of being “Hitler,” when the exact opposite is the case. Those who want the government to have more power to regulate this or that disapproved group, are playing the game that Germans played as Jews and Slavic peoples were systematically rounded up, stolen-from and finally eliminated in camps. Oh, the ignorance.

It should be clearer, by now, that individual freedom is the most precious of jewels, yet faced with freedom’s challenges, leftists are quick to trade it away for shifting quantities of safety and even for convenience. For shame. While a crude freedom, the ability to self-defend is excruciatingly fundamental to individual freedom. Yet the first reaction of socialists and communists of every stripe (stay mindful of the fact that Hitler, that old ultra-left socialist, disarmed Germans, too) is to limit this fundamental freedom.

In the United States, with supposedly universal public education, the most costly in the world, the lessons of history and the majesty of the ideas of America, ought to be fully appreciated. But, on balance, it appears that the rest of the world appreciates our exceptional promise of individual freedom, far better than we do, ourselves.

Freedom is a tremendous threat to socialist, controller types: those who naturally gravitate toward governments everywhere, especially bureaucrats who, never neutral, impose increasing structure and regulation on populations. By establishing itself merely as well as was done in 1776, the idea that created “America” out of disparate colonies has forever drawn enemies and subversion, and lately, outright attacks.

None of that speaks directly to Stephen Paddock’s craziness, but to the distinctly divided reactions to it. The “Left” immediately wants to restrict everyone’s rights to, theoretically, prevent future murders, mass and otherwise; the “Right” wants to enforce existing laws and employ better methods to inhibit crazy people and proto-criminals from obtaining or using weapons, including strict sanctions on less-murderous misuse of weapons. We can’t make the wild actions of one deranged screwball into a pattern that justifies attacking our rights.

What we can do is share information to identify unusual purchasing and collection patterns that might identify individuals who are potential threats. But we must guard our Fourth Amendment rights. The visceral urge to control people in order that they’ll be “safe,” cannot be allowed to subvert our privacy and personal sovereignty. Paddock was a monster and he’s now dead. Let’s not destroy our freedom because of him. Far, far more people are killed by handguns involved in gang and drug activities, almost every month.

We don’t count the innocents aborted by the tens of thousands.

Immigration, Emigration, Love the nation

Immigration is a decidedly misunderstood aspect of nationhood. Our Constitution nowhere mentions border protection. At the time of its creation and adoption, everyone was intimately aware of and concerned with frontiers, borders, defense and protecting the existence of our new nation.

Border integrity was so obviously the business of the new government that no one needed reminding. Besides, it was pretty difficult for an individual to get here and hard for him to cause widespread mayhem or murder. Women didn’t do such things in the old days.

And there was still a frontier and unlimited space, or so it seemed. From our side the frontier was where WE were the invaders, which served as a form of border defense in its own way. Manifest destiny.

But border control is inherent to the obligations of government, indeed, primary to them. Without it government becomes simply a facilitator in the demise of it’s ostensible permanence.

Americans have grown up in a dream world. Thanks to instant worldwide communications and the lingering lessons of the 1960’s, Gen-X’ers and Millennials perceive themselves as “citizens of the world,” and borders as inconveniences. To many, the advantages of the United States belong to the world and to everyone who wishes to share the “American Dream.” And he or she has an ill-defined “right” to those advantages, especially if he or she has had a tough life, is poor, and not white… and not a Christian.

As Americans have drifted away from less-than perfect churches, and enjoyed relative peace and fattening prosperity, their children have been taught that religion has no place in their education, and, besides, it imposes restrictions on the wonderful new forms of fun that the “American Dream” has produced. Who are we to withhold this great place to live from non-citizens? How cruel to enforce our own laws.

But, despite our lax mores, the majority of states elected a very different kind of leader in Donald Trump. There is trepidation to be sure, in the early going, but we’re getting what he promised. There is no way – NO way – to reverse the course of national dissipation that outrageous immigration, purposeful lack of border control, and fascination with socialism and communism have wrought, without breaking a lot of eggs… or snowflakes.

Trump, or someone quite like him, was inevitable following the descent into the regulatory, bureaucratic, non-representative state that has eroded the Constitution and the real freedoms enshrined therein. A second mendacious socialist was too much for the heart and soul of the United States. As Ross Perot once stated, 24 years earlier, it was “…time to pick up the broom and go clean out the barn.”

Well, it took us a generation, but we finally hired someone to do so, except he’s “draining the swamp,” which might be better.

Illegal and un-vetted immigration was Trump’s key theme for a year and a half. Daily there are dozens of incidents in which illegal entrants have broken laws as simple as drunk-driving and as complex as home invasion and rape. Sometimes as simple as vehicular homicide or as complex as drug distribution. Sometimes as simple as working under-the-table, or as complex as gang-banging, mayhem and rioting. Sometimes as simple as terrorism with rapid-fire weapons or as complex as terrorism with bombs… or passenger jets.

What is our obligation to illegal entrants, or to false asylum-seekers or to false refugees? Do they have Constitutional rights? How is that possible? When did the Constitution start applying to non-citizens?
What obligations do we have to our legal citizens? Well, everything the Constitution ostensibly guarantees, including the Bill of Rights, which did not create rights, but clearly enumerated them as rights the government we formed henceforth was obligated – is obligated – to PROTECT. Nowhere is the government given license to spread its responsibilities across the peoples of the entire globe – including trying to change their governments.

Our obligation ends at civil, humane treatment of non-citizens, including humane deportation if they are inside our borders illegally. Hell, we even treat them humanely if they commit serious crimes. Since even wealthy drug dealers are “indigent” when caught, we provide attorneys for one and all, EVEN TO FIGHT DEPORTATION when our total responsibility to the citizens of the United States is prompt, humane deportation of them!

The U. S. is not perfect and has been less so in the past, and MORE SO at other times in our past. On balance, we’ve done more good than bad and jump first and fastest to aid anyone who asks when disaster strikes. Our philosophies and the IDEAS that formed this nation are better than those underpinning most countries. That’s not bragging, it’s just so.

They are the reason our growth and wealth have led the world, and why, frankly, so many have come here and try to come here, now. Like no other nation, the United States invites people from every other nation to come here – legally – in order to become Americans. It’s a unique process. Americans, for our part, welcome both visitors and newly-minted citizens. One need not be of the exact same race and origin as those already here, he or she need only share the ideas of America: personal freedom and responsibility, religious freedom and tolerance; honest dealing, respect for law and earning one’s own way.

Those who wail about “illegals” as though they were not only entitled to steal across our borders but are deserving of Constitutional rights as amended and applied for citizens to this day, are deeply confused as to the nature of nationhood, specifically, the nationhood of the United States. These are the same who refuse to acknowledge any goodness in the hearts of patriots of this country, now or in the past, and who, if charged with the task of education, nearly refuse to teach its founding, its ideas or the documents and philosophies that underlay them. For shame.

And so, there is no justice in denying free entrance to all who choose to take our bounty and who, if properly different from U. S. citizens, can help remove the blot of America.

The alternative to erasing the time and impact of Americana is controlling immigration, indeed, limiting it, so that those who come do so to assimilate and share the ideas and ideals of our exceptional nation. All may become Americans, one nation under God.

“OMG, can you say that?”

The Trump Effect

Having been an obvious conservative and Republican for decades, people ask me about Donald Trump and as the primary season has bumped along, my answer now is to divert, slightly, to the “Trump effect.”

The Trump effect has proven to be catalytic. He came in to the race as an erstwhile Republican, and there are fair arguments against the validity of that, but without any political power. He had financial power, but lots of people do and it doesn’t mean they have political power. He had bragadoccio and courage, but those don’t mean political power, either. He had influence, and lots of media exposure, and those are important to political power, but don’t create it.

What is required is some or all of those things plus a key ingredient from among these few: a political or power vacuum in society, an intense desire to gain political power, an intense, patriotic, statesmanlike desire to save society, an intense, sympathetic/empathetic desire to heal and comfort everyone – the penultimate social worker, an idea, or cause, that is shared by large numbers of voters, or a willingness to gain power by hook or by crook for personal, megalomaniacal aggrandizement.

I believe that from these 6 evolve or devolve all the motivations that lead people to desire the presidency and every office below it in hierarchy. Where does the “Trump effect” fit in?

First, Trump seized upon a severe problem that forms the basis of a cause for large numbers of Americans: open borders, or ill-enforced immigration policies. Law-abiding citizens watch in horror as illegal entrants are treated better than citizens, provided welfare of various kinds, granted quasi-legal status despite being criminals, even being allowed to vote, as though the function and sovereignty of the United States is not defendable – or even defensible. He launched his effort with a cause.

The reaction to the cause, however, has yielded intense hatred for Trump and all of his followers. It just happens that the opposition is from the “left,” which, collectively, hates the United States to one degree or another, and which sees flooding the country with illegal entrants – especially racially and culturally very different illegal entrants or supposed Islamic “refugees” – as just desserts for all the cultural crimes the U. S. has committed for so long. This automatically places Trump on the “right,” or in Republican country, a place in which he does not comfortably fit.

Whether or not Trump survives the nomination marathon, “his” widely shared cause will continue to motivate large numbers of citizens. This is the “effect” that we can name as Trump’s for now, but which is a valid political force whose adherents – millions of them – fear will not have a champion if he fades politically. Should that be the outcome of the primaries, caucuses and convention, there will be a real risk of the “Trump forces” breaking away from standard party politics. The reactions of the left to this may not be the smartest, as they perceive a great, false proof of their ability to wield total power.

People who are sympathetic to the “cause” but who are not bound to it, will be unable to stop the breakup of the “right.” Almost by definition, the current “right” would become one end of the “left’s” spectrum. The observed tendency of the Republican “establishment” to cooperate rather destructively with the parts of the governing establishment that desires to disassociate the U. S. from its Constitution, will then make a weird sense. A new “right” will be born.

Suddenly, the political landscape will re-define itself. New alliances among those who are passionate about the Constitution, who are pro-life, pro-individual responsibility, pro-sovereignty and pro-defense of our borders, language and culture, will coalesce. Left and Right will become more distinct and more distinctly opposed. “The Trump effect,” then, is a new politics for both “sides.” Nothing the Republican party – a quite-flawed institution, can do, will put this genie back in a bottle.