Archive | April, 2013

The Real Origin of Our Great Recession

29 Apr

[Despite Obama and other Democrats and liberals, both in and out of the media, blatantly and boisterously bashing Bush over the economy, this is for those of you who didn’t already know that if our so-called Great Recession were a crime scene, Democrat fingerprints would be all over it.]

Quoting from www examiner.com:

“A new study from the widely respected National Bureau of Economic Research released this week has confirmed beyond question that the left’s race-baiting attacks on the housing market (the Community Reinvestment Act — enacted under Carter and made shockingly more aggressive under Clinton) is directly responsible for imploding the housing market and destroying the economy.

The study painstakingly sorted through failed home loans that caused the housing market collapse and identified an overwhelming connection between them and CRA mortgages.

Again, let’s review:

-President Bush went to Congress repeatedly for years warning them that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were going to destroy the economy (17 times in 2008 alone). Democrats continuously ignored him, shut down his proposals along party lines and continued raiding the institutions for campaign contributions on their way down.

-John McCain also co-sponsored urgently critical reforms that would have prevented the housing market collapse, but Democrats shut that down as well, along party lines, and even openly ridiculed anyone who suggested reforms were necessary…to protect their taxpayer-funded campaign contributions as the economy raced uncontrollably toward the cliff.

-No one was making bad loans to unqualified people until Democrats came along and threatened to drag banks into court and have them fined and branded as racists if they didn’t go along with the left’s Affirmative Action lending policies…all while federally insuring their losses. Even the New York Times warned in the late 1990s that Democrats continuing to force banks into lowering their standards would lead to this exact catastrophe.

-Obama himself is even on the record personally helping sue one lender (Citibank) into lowering its lending standards to include people from extremely poor and unstable areas, which even one of the left’s favorite blatantly partisan “fact-checkers,” Snopes, admits (while pretending to ‘set the record straight’).

-Even The New York Times admitted that there is “little evidence” of any connection between the “Republican” deregulation measures Obama blames, like the Gramm-Bleach-Liley Act (signed into law by a Democrat), and the collapse of the housing market.

But non-Fox media have spent years deliberately and relentlessly inoculating people against the facts, training them to mindlessly blame Bush for being in charge when Democrat policies destroyed the economy. So here we sit, to this day, still watching Obama excuse and shrug off endless economic failures, illegal government takeovers and utter national bankruptcy with zero accountability.”

And, as Paul Harvey used to say (and if you don’t know who that is, look it up), “Now, you know the rest of the story.”

The Gun Show Loop Hole and Other Liberal Myths

17 Apr

I think it most appropriate that I publish this on the day in which the world’s reputedly most deliberative body (Uh, that would be the US Senate, don’tcha know?) is voting on some form of gun ban, background checks, or whatever else they’ve talked themselves into at this point, which will inevitably, if it passes, further restrict our Second Amendment rights but probably will not address the real, underlying problems behind mass killings, to wit, reforming our mental health care system. And all this, just so congressional liberals, Democrats and RINOs alike, can say they did something to which they can point with pride and about which they can feel good when they go to sleep at night. (But, the road to you-know-where is paved with good intentions, isn’t it?)

Especially is this so, given the multiple instances of this or that liberal in recent months demonstrably showing that they don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to guns, ammo magazines versus clips, semi-automatic versus full-automatic weapons and often conflating and confusing a military STYLE weapon with a REAL military weapon. The examples of liberal gun ignorance, or intentional disinformation, are simply too numerous and diverse to list here.

Having said that, it seems to me that the so-called gun show loop hole is a red herring, as is the alleged Internet buying of firearms.

I live in Virginia and have attended gun shows, bought a firearm, and had to fill out the ATF form and wait for the electronic background check to clear before I was allowed to pay for and take possession of the firearm, so I don’t know what gun shows don’t follow this same procedure but they don’t seem to be in Virginia. And it makes me wonder how many of all those politicians who talk about the so-called gun show loop hole have ever actually attended a gun show anywhere. Any? Or are they merely operating off of second- or third-hand information provided by one of their obedient staffers?

As to the Internet purchase of firearms, I have not visited any websites of any weapons manufacturers/sellers which do not make crystal clear that the weapon will be sent, not to your front door in a box as some liberals would like to pretend but instead, to your local licensed gun dealer of choice, which you are required to provide the info on, and you must go there, confirm your identity, fill out the ATF form and still clear the background check before that licensed dealer will let you take possession of the firearm.

The so-called gun show loop hole and alleged unchecked Internet purchases of firearms seem about as truthful as Mr. Obama has been (once again) on his latest gun ban campaign around the country (because all he knows how to do is campaign), citing the 1997 telephone “survey” of only 250 people which allegedly revealed that 40% of firearms were bought without background checks, despite that the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 (that’s way back in 1934, folks) severely restricted the sale of real assault weapons (those capable of full automatic fire) and began requiring background checks, and that the NFA has been modified/augmented since then by the following:

Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968
Gun Control Act of 1968
Firearm Owner’s Protection Act (1986)
Gun-Free School Zones Act (1990) (ruled unconstitutional as originally written; has been upheld repeatedly after minor edits were made by Congress)
Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (1993)
Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994–2004) (now expired and FBI statistics and subsequent studies confirm it had no measurable effect on gun violence while it was in effect)
Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (2005).

And, even with all those laws about guns and bans and background checks, here’s a timeline of mass shootings in the US since Columbine (sources: ABC News and Reuters), first of 2012 alone:

February 22, 2012 — Five people were killed at a Korean health spa in Norcross, Georgia, when a man opened fire inside the facility in an act suspected to be related to domestic violence.

February 26, 2012 — Multiple gunmen began firing into a nightclub crowd in Jackson, Tennessee, killing one person and injuring 20 others.

February 27, 2012 — Three students at Chardon High School in rural Ohio were killed when a classmate opened fire.

March 8, 2012 — Two people were killed and seven wounded at a psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when a gunman entered the hospital with two semi-automatic handguns and began firing.

March 31, 2012 — A gunman opened fire on a crowd of mourners at a North Miami, Florida, funeral home, killing two people and injuring 12 others.

April 2, 2012 — A 43-year-old former student at Oikos University in Oakland, California, walked into his former school and killed seven people, “execution-style.” Three people were wounded.

April 6, 2012 — Two men went on a deadly shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shooting black men at random in an apparently racially motivated attack. Three men died and two were wounded.

May 29, 2012 — A man in Seattle, Washington, opened fire in a coffee shop and killed five people and then himself.

July 9, 2012 — At a soccer tournament in Wilmington, Delaware, three people were killed, including a 16-year-old player and the event organizer, when multiple gunmen began firing shots, apparently targeting the organizer.

July 20, 2012 — James Holmes entered a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in a gun free theater in Aurora, Colorado, and opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon; 12 people are killed and 58 are wounded.

August 5, 2012 — A white supremacist and former Army veteran shot six people to death inside a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before killing himself.

August 14, 2012 — Three people were killed at Texas A&M University when a 35-year-old man went on a shooting rampage.

September 27, 2012 — A 36-year-old man who had just been laid off from Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota, entered his former workplace and shot five people to death and wounded three others before killing himself.

October 21, 2012 — A 45-year-old man, Radcliffe Frankin Haughton, shot three women to death, including his wife, Zina Haughton, and injured four others at a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, before killing himself.

December 11, 2012 — A 22-year-old, Jacob Tyler Roberts, killed two people and himself with a stolen rifle in Clackamas Town Center, Oregon, motive unknown.

December 14, 2012 — The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which 26 people, including 20 children, were killed before the gunman killed himself.

And now for those earlier than 2012, in reverse chronological order:

October 14, 2011 — Eight people died in a shooting at Salon Meritage hair salon in Seal Beach, California. The gunman, 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, killed six women and two men, while one woman survived.

September 6, 2011 — Eduardo Sencion, 32, entered an IHOP restaurant in Carson City, Nevada, and shot 12 people, of which five died.

January 8, 2011 — Former US Representative Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head when 22-year-old Jared Loughner opened fire on an event she was holding at a Safeway market in Tucson, Arizona. Six people died, including Arizona District Court Chief Judge John Roll, one of Giffords’ staffers, and a 9-year-old girl. A total of 19 were shot. Loughner has been sentenced to seven life terms plus 140 years, without parole.

August 3, 2010 — Omar S. Thornton, 34, opened fire at the Hartford Beer Distributor in Manchester, Connecticut, after getting caught stealing beer. Nine were killed, including Thornton, and two were injured.

November 5, 2009 — Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire at Fort Hood Army post, killing 13 and wounding 29 others. His court martial, after much delay, is still ongoing.

April 3, 2009 — Jiverly Wong, 41, opened fire at an immigration center in Binghamton, New York, before committing suicide. He killed 13 people and wounded four.

March 29, 2009 — Eight people died in a shooting at the Pinelake Health and Rehab nursing home in Carthage, North Carolina. The gunman, 45-year-old Robert Stewart, was targeting his estranged wife who worked at the home and survived. Stewart was sentenced to life in prison.

February 14, 2008 — Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University, killing six and wounding 21. The gunman shot and killed himself before police arrived.

February 7, 2008 — Six people died and two were injured in a shooting spree at the City Hall in Kirkwood, Missouri. The gunman, Charles Lee Thornton, opened fire during a public meeting after being denied construction contracts he believed he deserved. Thornton was killed by police.

December 5, 2007 — A 19-year-old boy, Robert Hawkins, shot up a department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska. Hawkins killed nine people and wounded four before killing himself. The semi-automatic rifle he used was stolen from his stepfather’s house.

April 16, 2007 — Virginia Tech became the site of the deadliest school shooting in US history when a student, Seung-Hui Choi, gunned down 56 people, of which 32 died.

February 12, 2007 — In Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square Mall, five people were shot to death and four others were wounded by 18-year-old gunman Sulejman Talović.

October 2, 2006 — An Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was taken over by 32-year-old Charles Carl Roberts, who separated the boys from the girls, binding and then shooting the girls, of which five died, while another six were injured. Roberts committed suicide afterward.

March 25, 2006 — Seven died and two were injured by 28-year-old Kyle Aaron Huff in a shooting spree through Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington.

March 21, 2005 — Teenager Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend before opening fire on Red Lake Senior High School, killing nine people on campus and injuring five, then killing himself.

March 12, 2005 — A Living Church of God meeting was gunned down by 44-year-old church member Terry Michael Ratzmann at a Sheraton hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Ratzmann was thought to have had religious motivations and killed himself after executing the pastor, the pastor’s 16-year-old son, and seven others. Four were wounded.

July 8, 2003 — Doug Williams, a Lockheed Martin employee, shot up his plant in Meridian, Michigan. He shot 14 people, most of them African American, and killed seven.

September 15, 1999 — Larry Gene Ashbrook opened fire on a Christian rock concert and teen prayer rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He killed seven people and wounded seven others, almost all teenagers. Ashbrook committed suicide.

July 29, 1999 — Mark Orrin Barton, 44, murdered his wife and two children with a hammer before shooting up two Atlanta day trading firms. Barton, a day trader, was believed to be motivated by huge monetary losses. He killed 12, including his family, and injured another 13 before killing himself.

April 20, 1999 — In the deadliest high school shooting in US history, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold shot up Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. They killed 13 people and wounded 21 others. They killed themselves after the massacre.

I would bet that most of you weren’t even aware of some of these mass shootings, in which some of the shooters obtained their firearms legally and some did not, but the point is that none were stopped by having those laws mentioned earlier on the books and in most cases, it is clear the shooters were suffering from some form of mental disorder.

It can be argued that anyone who commits mass murder is, almost by definition, suffering from some kind of mental disorder, so why don’t our politicians try reforming our mental health care system to identify and stop these mass murderers before they obtain weapons or use those obtained from others to carry out their murderous acts?

Because, it’s politically harder, that’s why. Despite some of them admitting that the real loop hole is that laws don’t require that mental health information already existing on many of these shooters be included in background check information and used to either get them treatment or have them committed, it’s (a) easier to go after the guns, ammo and magazines of law abiding citizens, (b) more flamboyant and therefore more “newsworthy” (it’s like “extra credit” for a politician), plus (c) it’s just more in line with the liberal agenda of ever-increasing government intrusion into every facet of our lives, to include the abrogation of as many of our rights as they can get away with. (See my companion article: “Tyranny’s Creeping Incrementalism — and the Second Amendment”)

As I said in another article, while you or I may be in the business of selling cars or doing yard work, for example, never forget that politicians are in the business of getting elected, then reelected and doing the business of government — and the bigger they can grow government, the more justification they have for their existence and our supposed need for them. Another reason for term limits, but I digress.

So, the 40% figure Obama has used in his gun ban campaign is bogus and seemingly so are liberal claims of gun show loop holes and Internet sales of boxed weapons shipped straight to your front door. But, you know, anything to sell the snake oil…

By the way, have you ever heard anyone claiming these things provide even one, concrete, factual example of such a gun show or Internet purchase, instead of just claiming that since they’re saying it, it must be so? Yeah, me either. Facts always seem to get in the way of liberals making whatever their point du jure is about whatever their latest cause celebre is.

But, if you do have an example of one of these gun ban “experts” actually using a real, factual example, please let me know — and I will publish that, too.

Tyranny’s Creeping Incrementalism — and the Second Amendment

2 Apr

Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (1892 – 1984) was a German anti-Nazis theologian and Lutheran pastor. His statement regarding Hitler and the Nazis should be a warning as much today as it was back in the 1930s:

“First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

There’s a corollary between Niemoller’s cautionary tale and today’s debate about gun bans and the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is the one which protects all the rest of our Constitution’s amendments and our God-given and unalienable rights from the tyranny of an overreaching government. Think about it, there is probably a reason why the First Amendment, protecting our right to free speech, even against our government, is first and the Second Amendment, protecting the First and all the other amendments, is second. They are, as a minimum, the first two among equals of the Constitution’s amendments.

Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (1689 -1755), generally referred to simply as Montesquieu, was a French social commentator and political thinker who lived during the Age of Enlightenment. He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is taken for granted in modern discussions of government and implemented in many constitutions throughout the world, as well as being a concept President Obama and other liberals should study up on. Montesquieu also said, “Useless laws weaken necessary laws.”

Gun bans are useless laws which weaken our constitutional and necessary law of the right to bear arms, which “…shall not be infringed.” I do not understand what part of “…shall not be infringed” liberals do not understand. The Supreme Court has recently “clarified” what any plain, common sense reading of the Constitution’s Second Amendment already made clear.

The Court clarified that the right to bear arms is an individual right, not just that of someone who’s part of a “well regulated militia,” and that the right is for self-defense — not, as many gun-ban-snake-oil-selling liberals propose, to “allow” you to keep your shotgun just for duck hunting. That’s a ploy to get you to accept that they have any right at all to restrict your gun rights. They don’t. If you accept the premise that they can “allow” you to keep your shotgun for duck hunting, you’ve already compromised your argument that they have no right to restrict your gun rights at all — which is what the Constitution’s Second Amendment is really all about.

Liberals want to make the gun debate about something it is not. Political prestidigitational misdirection, as it were. FBI statistics and the former ineffectual gun ban from 1994 – 2004 have shown that more homicides result from hammers than guns, much less from the Left’s much hated and scary-looking, ominously black, military-STYLE but SEMI-automatic, and therefore NOT ASSAULT rifle, the popular AR-15, and that mere gun bans will not solve the problem of mass murders, which at its core is the mental health care issue of identifying and stopping the madmen who misuse guns to commit these horrific events in the first place.

But, fixing the mental health care system to better ID and treat and/or institutionalize such people is politically harder and more complex, you see, than using a tragedy like the killing of the Sandy Hook Elementary School children to sensationalize and push the long-standing liberal agenda of taking guns away from law abiding citizens. For many liberal politicians, the cartoons depicting them grandstanding on the graves of those children for political gain, while morbid, are not too far off target, if I may be allowed that metaphor. After all, it was Obama’s former chief of staff, and a hardcore liberal in is own right, Rambo Rahm Emanuel who infamously and callously said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Thus, liberals have seized on the Sandy Hook tragedy as reason, and political cover, for their latest gun grab guise and even trot out the still-recovering Gaby Giffords, God bless her, to cement the sympathetic, tug-at-the-heart-strings appeal in testimony before Congress. Of course, Mrs. Giffords, a liberal herself, may firmly believe in what she’s saying, so it’s not as if she’s being used so much as she and the other liberals are using us and our emotions over an issue which should be decided rationally.

Of course, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Obama’s lead guy on gun violence and hence on liberal gun bans, thinks your shotgun is for firing warning shots off of your balcony (if you have a balcony, or, I guess, out your front or back door if you don’t). Of course, discharging a firearm of any kind in almost any residential area will probably get you some police response without even having to call 911, but it may get you charged with at least a misdemeanor as well. Of course, Hypocritical Joe doesn’t have to worry about any of this, like you and I do, because he has Secret Service agents protecting him and his wife personally and also patrolling around his house day and night, for which Cheap Joe charges the Secret Service rent on the on-property cottage they use. But, Good Old Joe also evidently follows South African Olympian “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius’ example of using your (“allowed and permitted”) shotgun, or other weapon, to shoot through a door, which didn’t turn out so well for Pistorius’ model girlfriend and might also get you in trouble, too, if you shoot somebody on the other side off your door and before they’ve actually invaded your home. Even if your state has some form of Castle Doctrine, we could be talking about you being charged with at least manslaughter, if not homicide. But, I digress, just because Uncle Joe is so good for a chuckle now and then.

The government and mere politicians, to include good ole Uncle Joe, do not “give” you your “unalienable rights.” If you are born and/or otherwise a citizen of this country, those rights are automatically yours. Unalienable rights are not legal but natural, God-given and inherent. That’s why our Declaration of Independence says, “…these truths are self-evident, that all men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” [emphasis added] and, “…whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.”

Thus, the people (and the states) give the federal government its power; the government does not give the people their power. The people’s power is inherent. Hence, the government and mere politicians cannot take away what they never gave you in the first place — unless you allow the government’s tyranny of creeping incrementalism to do so.

The Second Amendment’s language doesn’t merely use the declarative “…will not be infringed,” it uses the emphatic “…shall not be infringed.” The amendment is not just about hunting, or even just personal self-defense. It’s about the right of the people to be armed against “…all enemies, foreign and domestic.” It’s the reason Japanese Admiral Yamamoto in WWII allegedly said, “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” And those aforementioned domestic enemies also include an overreaching and tyrannical government, whether liberals like to admit that or not.

Constitutional attorney Stewart Rhodes explains the Second Amendment this way:

“The whole point of the Second Amendment is to preserve the military capacity of the American people — to preserve the ability of the people, who are the militia, to provide for their own security as individuals, as neighborhoods, towns, counties, and states, during any emergency, man-made or natural; to preserve the military capacity of the American people to resist tyranny and violations of their rights by oath breakers within government; and to preserve the military capacity of the people to defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, including those oath breaking domestic enemies within government. It is not about hunting, and at its core, the Second Amendment is not really even about self-defense against private criminals. It is about self-defense against public criminals — against tyrants, usurpers and foreign invaders. Thus, any attempt to ban the possession, sale, purchase, or transfer of any small arms or their parts, including their ammo, is an attempt by tyrants to disarm the American people.”

Benjamin Franklin put it more succinctly: “Never trust a government that doesn’t trust its own citizens with guns.”

Mia Love, an American politician and currently the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, was the 2012 Republican nominee for the US House of Representatives from Utah and although she didn’t win, this well-spoken, conservative black woman gained a place on the national stage. Speaking at a recent Second Amendment rally, she quoted Dr. Martin Luther King: “Our lives begin to end when we are silent about the things that matter.”

Love went on to add, “Preserving the right to bear arms matters. The preservation of our freedom and our Constitution matter. They mattered for our ancestors, they matter for us, but most of all freedom matters for our children.”

Mrs. Love is, of course, not only right, as in conservative, she is also right, as in correct. Someone told me one time that there are four boxes which keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the ammo box.

Some, in various ways, have expressed the core idea I’m getting at here as, “Better for the government to fear its people than for the people to fear their government.”

And when you come right down to it, the government doesn’t have a right to tell you what to eat or not, how much to eat or not, where to eat or not, what to wear or when to wear it, whether to drink or smoke or not, what to buy, how much to buy, or what kind of gun you can buy or how much or what kind of ammo you can buy for it.

Society is defined as the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community, or a group of people willingly joined together to gain benefits collectively which they could not achieve individually. Therefore, the government, under the broad societal umbrella of doing what’s for the common good, can recommend what you do about all those things, and more, but is not vested with the right to tell you a damn thing to do about any of them. The government, at all levels, gets its power from the people, not the other way around.

Be mindful, please, that it is the nature of government, once established, to grow itself, ostensibly to provide ever more and better services for its constituents but actually also because all government is also bureaucracy and bureaucracy never voluntarily contracts or shrinks itself. And who is to determine what those more and better services should be and how they should be provided? Under our form of government, that is accomplished by our elected representatives, or politicians, in expressing the will of the people. And just as it is the nature of government to grow itself and for bureaucracies not to willingly shrink themselves, it is the nature of politicians, with few exceptions, to be most concerned about being elected and then reelected.

When those representatives stop expressing the will of the people, it is up to the people to vote them out of office and replace them with those who will. But politicians are in the business of government. Government is what they do for a living. Whereas you or I might sell cars and therefore go to work at the car dealership every day, and our business is to sell cars, politicians make laws and go to work in government offices, and their business is the business of government. And, remember this: each and every time a politician enacts a law at the federal or state level, or even an ordinance or board ruling at the local or town level, they are doing their business of government — but they are also usually enacting something which requires you to do or not do something and are therefore, ostensibly for the greater common good, restricting your natural freedoms. So, the real issue is, are you willing to have your individual rights restricted for the broader, common good by that particular law, ruling or ordinance?

And it is the same with our Second Amendment and our right to bear arms, which liberal politicians want to incrementally, little by little, while smiling and creeping up on our blind side, restrict and restrict again until they are gone, when they have no right to restrict them at all.

But, if you find my argument here not that persuasive, I leave you with multiple quotes (so you can choose your favorite[s] among them) from people much more wise and famous than I — quotes which are as true today as when they were first uttered:

Patrick Henry — “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty — “Society can and does execute its own mandates, and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life and enslaving the soul itself.”

Albert Camus — “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.”

John Adams, 1800 — “The nature of the encroachment upon American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity and frugality become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole of society.”

Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 28, December 26, 1787 — “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government… The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms…”

Thomas Jefferson — “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

George Washington — “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable…the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference, they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.”

Samuel Adams — “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”

Ronald Reagan — “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

And, from across the pond, Winston Churchill — “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Now, reading Churchill’s warning, remember how I began this, with the quote by Niemöller about Hitler and the Nazis? Don’t let governmental tyranny creep up on you in incremental, small and sneaky steps. Sic semper tyrannis.

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