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Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’

Is the Second Amendment Absolute?

Posted by M. C. on June 15, 2022

By Laurence M. Vance

The Second Amendment does not grant to any American the positive right to keep and bear arms. It recognizes a preexisting natural right. The Second Amendment is an additional limitation on federal power to infringe upon gun rights besides the fact that no authority is granted to the federal government in its limited, enumerated powers to infringe upon them in the first place.

In a recent speech where he said that Congress should reinstate the assault weapons ban, raise the minimum purchase age for firearms, limit magazine capacities, and pass red flag gun laws, President Biden made the statement that “the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.” This echoes what he had previously said after the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school: “The Second Amendment is not absolute. When it was passed you couldn’t own a cannon, you couldn’t own certain kinds of weapons. There’s just always been limitations.”

This should have come as no surprise, since Biden said last year that “no amendment to the constitution is absolute.”

This flawed idea about the Second Amendment was repeated by an assortment of Democratic politicians, even as they denied that they were coming for Americans’ guns. Some progressives, echoing the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, have even called for the repeal of the Second Amendment.

Is the Second Amendment absolute? Does it have any exceptions? Could the Second Amendment be repealed? What would happen if it were?

The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

I don’t see how it could be any more absolute. The only exceptions have been invented by judges and legislators.

The Second Amendment does not grant to any American the positive right to keep and bear arms. It recognizes a preexisting natural right. The Second Amendment is an additional limitation on federal power to infringe upon gun rights besides the fact that no authority is granted to the federal government in its limited, enumerated powers to infringe upon them in the first place.

This means that from a constitutional perspective, the federal government has no authority to ban or regulate handguns, shotguns, sawed-off shotguns, rifles, assault rifles, extended-capacity magazines, high caliber guns and ammunition, automatic weapons, bump stocks, or bazookas. And neither does the federal government have the constitutional authority to establish or mandate gun bans, gun-free zones, background checks, waiting periods, limits on gun purchases, licensing of gun dealers, gun-owner databases, gun licensing, trigger locks, rules for gun sales or transfers, gun registration, age restrictions, gun storage requirements, or concealed weapons laws.

This means that all federal gun laws are illegitimate and should be repealed, and that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) should be abolished. There were no federal gun-control laws until the 1930s: the National Firearms Act in 1934 and the Federal Firearms Act in 1938. If there are to be gun-control laws, they must exist only on the state level.

Even so, there is more of a constitutional right to own a gun than to have an abortion. Yet, liberals and progressives deny the former and insist on the latter. Comedian turned political commentator Dean Obeidallah recently said on Twitter:

There is NO constitutional right to own a gun. That was literally made up by 5 GOP Justices in 2008 decision of DC v Heller. We need to make overturning Heller a cause like the right made overturning Roe v Wade.

Reminder: Between 1789 and 2008 NO federal court found 2nd Amendment created a PERSONAL constitutional right apart from being in a militia to own a gun. In 2008, five supreme court justices INVENTED that in DC v. Heller. We must OVERTURN Heller so we can pass gun safety laws!

It is true that the Supreme Court ruled in the Heller decision that “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home,” but as every child learns in school, the judicial branch is not the legislative branch; it doesn’t make the law, it interprets the law.

But what if most Republicans in and out of Congress support most federal gun-control laws? This just means that they are enemies of the Constitution they claim to cherish.

But what if the Supreme Court has declared that existing federal gun laws are constitutional? This just means that they are ignorant of the Constitution they claim to judge all laws by.

But what if the Second Amendment only applied to the states’ ability to maintain militias? Then it wouldn’t affect Americans’ right to keep and bear arms at all. It would just be an amendment concerning state militias.

But what if the Second Amendment only protected the right to keep and bear arms in an organized militia? It wouldn’t change the natural and moral right of all men to arm themselves. It would just be an amendment to protect the right to keep and bear arms in an organized militia.

But what if the Second Amendment were repealed? That is certainly a possibility. The Twenty-first Amendment of 1933 repealed the Eighteenth Amendment of 1920 that instituted Prohibition. But because no authority has been granted to the national government by the Constitution to infringe upon gun rights or have anything to do with guns, if the Second Amendment didn’t exist, Americans would still have the natural right to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment is absolute and therefore has no exceptions. And it is absolute in spite of the many attempts by politicians and judges—both Democrat and Republican—to infringe upon Americans’ natural right to keep and bear arms.

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Joe Biden’s New Gun Control and How to Stop It

Posted by M. C. on March 9, 2022

https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2022/02/23/

In the current political climate, it’s difficult to pass new federal gun control through Congress. But that hasn’t stopped the last two presidents from implementing new rules on firearms via executive fiat. Trump banned bump stocks with an executive order. Now, two EOs by Joe Biden set to go into effect this summer will impose additional federal gun control.

The first EO would require registration of “80 percent lowers.” These are basically unfinished firearm parts that you can use to build your own gun. Because 80 percent lowers fall outside of the FFL process, they effectively allow the private manufacture of unregistered rifles. Some people refer to them as “ghost guns.”

This EO is expected to be finalized in June.

The second executive order set to go into effect in August will place regulations on “pistol braces.” This device serves as a stabilizer that enables a shooter to fire a rifle with one hand. Pistol braces are popular with disabled people who can’t use both arms. But the feds claim they are a dangerous firearm accessory.

Under the executive order, pistol braces will fall under the National Firearms Act. This is the same law used to regulate machine guns, silencers, and short-barrelled rifles. The EO won’t ban pistol braces, but it will require anybody that has one to register it with the feds. This will come with a $200 tax, and it can take up to one year to complete the registration. In effect, it registers the gun with the federal government.

According to an op-ed by attorney John Werden, upwards of 40 million Americans own pistol braces. There is no grandfather clause under the order. In other words, when the EO goes into effect, all of those people will become felons if they don’t go through with the registration process.

NOW WHAT?

The federal government lacks the constitutional authority to regulate pistol braces or 80 percent lowers. There is no delegated power for registering firearms accessories or parts, and the Second Amendment slams the door on such federal action completely.

Even if you could strain this kind of regulatory power out of the Constitution, it would have to come from Congress. The president was never intended to be a lawmaker. These executive orders are unconstitutional.

It is clear constitutional scruples won’t stop this federal gun control – or any federal gun control that might come down the pike in the future. But state action can stop it dead in its tracks.

States can nullify these federal rules in practice and effect simply by refusing to participate in their enforcement and implementation. A piece of legislation known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act does just that.

The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”

Based on James Madison’s advice for states and individuals in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, he noted that a single state taking this step would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.

“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”

An Article by The Trace has already questioned the ATF’s ability to enforce the pistol brace order. According to the report, “Biden’s pistol brace rule would put pressure on an already strained ATF division.”

“The plan put forward by the administration this summer will hinge on the efficiency of an obscure division at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that routinely misses its own performance benchmarks. And now, with millions of stabilizing braces estimated to be in circulation, some outside observers are warning the efforts to restrict them could flounder if federal regulators are unable to handle the workload.”

The feds are going to need state and local cooperation.

It should be denied.

States can legally bar their agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine.

Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. Printz v. U.S. serves as the cornerstone.

“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”

No determination of constitutionality is necessary to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.

The battle against federal gun control won’t be won by begging your Congressman to protect the Second Amendment. It won’t be one suing in federal court. It can be one by following Madison’s blueprint – refuse to cooperate with federal gun control.

Tags: Executive Orders, Federal Gun Control, Gun Control, Joe Biden, SAPA, Second Amendment

Mike Maharrey

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He is from the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky and currently resides in northern Florida. See his blog archive here and his article archive here.He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty., and Constitution Owner’s Manual. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

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Should We Get Rid of Guns? | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on November 20, 2021

but Hanna correctly notes that the amendment

says that “the people,” that is, all Americans, have the moral and legal right “to keep and bear arms,” that is, the moral and legal right to own, carry, or use guns, unconditionally…. The further historical question of whether the original intention of [t]he 2nd Amendment was to establish a moral and legal right to own[,] carry, or use guns for militias only, or for all Americans, is irrelevant. (emphasis in original)

https://mises.org/library/should-we-get-rid-guns

David Gordon

You will not be surprised to learn that my answer is no, but what I’d like to discuss in this week’s column is an argument by an eminent philosopher that we should. Robert Hanna is an authority on Kant (Objectivist readers will already see trouble ahead), and in an article published online this month, “Gun Crazy: A Moral Argument for Gun Abolitionism,” he calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment.

He presents his argument for gun abolitionism in two versions, short and long, and oddly the key premises of the short argument are ones that most readers of the Mises page will accept: “1. Coercion is forcing people to do things, by using violence or the threat of violence. 2. Coercion is always rationally unjustified and immoral, because it treats people as instruments and mere things, and directly violates their human dignity.”

You might wonder, “How could you possibly derive support for gun abolitionism from these premises? Hanna has restated the nonaggression principle, and isn’t the right to self-defense, including the right to own guns, an implication of that principle?” If you ask this question, you have failed to notice something, and the fault is not yours. Hanna’s second premise differs crucially from the nonaggression principle, in a way that is so implausible it’s easy to overlook. Unlike the NAP, the second premise does not say that coercion is unjustified, except in response to aggression, or, better phrased, that use of force or threat of force to resist aggression isn’t coercion at all. It says that coercion is always wrong, and this includes the use or threat of violence to repel force initiated against you. From this premise, the argument proceeds apace: the main purpose of guns is coercion and guns are involved in an enormous amount of coercion; owning or using guns is immoral; the Second Amendment gives people the right to own and use guns; therefore, the Second Amendment should be repealed and a universal ban imposed on guns.

The second premise might well support gun abolitionism, but it seems extraordinarily implausible. It would in essence say, “Coercion is wrong, but using force or its threat to resist coercion directed against you is also wrong.” Who but an absolute pacifist, meaning by that someone who not only rejects all war but also violence in all social relationships, could take this idea seriously? And the premise goes further than pacifism, if that is understood as forbidding the use of violence in all circumstances. That view doesn’t rule out the threat of force, so long as you don’t carry out the threat. By the way, there is a parallel between the second premise and Kant’s theory of revolution, as it is often interpreted. Kant thought that political revolutions are always wrong but that if a revolution succeeds, it is wrong for the former government, or anyone else, to overthrow the new regime.

When we come to the long version of the argument, it turns out that Hanna is aware of the implausibility of the consequences of his second premise. He thinks he can hold on to the second premise while avoiding these consequences. He says,

Moreover, please don’t let the fact that under some critical—in the sense of “involving a crisis”—circumstances, then minimal sufficiently effective, last-resort defensive, protective, and preventive moral force is indeed rationally justified and morally permissible, perhaps even morally required, conceptually confuse you. More precisely, it’s true that under some special critical circumstances, when things are not equal, when all else has failed, and the only way to stop bad people from doing something horrendously immoral, and in direct violation of human dignity—for example rape, torture, murder, mass murder, genocide to you, to someone else, or to many other people, then you might be coerced by these people, as Hamlet says, to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them.”

Hanna can’t have it both ways. The long version of the argument denies just what the short version asserts, i.e., that coercion, in his definition any use or threat of violence, is always wrong: it says that coercion can be permissible or even morally obligatory. He tries to get out of this predicament with a transparent evasion: he says that if you use defensive violence, you have been coerced by the perpetrators of coercion to a coercive response. This isn’t a slip: he repeats this a few sentences later. He compares a case where you use defensive coercion to a situation where you “are being coerced by bad people—say by threatening you with a gun—into taking opioids.”

But if someone attacks you, he isn’t forcing you to use force to defend yourself. Someone who fires a gun at you probably prefers that you don’t fire back. Maybe Hanna means that in certain situations, you have no choice whether to respond with force, so your doing so is excusable, but this is mistaken. You do have a choice how to respond.

If the long version of the argument is accepted, i.e., it’s all right, or maybe even required, to use defensive violence, then there is no argument at all for gun abolitionism. Hanna has first given us an absurd premise that does lend support to gun abolitionism, withdrawn the premise in a way that eviscerates the argument for gun abolitionism, and then pretended the second argument is just a minor variant of the first. Given these gross errors, it’s a comparatively minor failing that he has misread the quotation from Hamlet that he uses to characterize defensive violence. When Hamlet talks about “taking arms against a sea of troubles,” he isn’t thinking about how to resist bad people; he is contemplating suicide.

Hanna does make a good point about the Second Amendment. Many people who oppose private ownership of guns say that the amendment applies only to people serving in the militia and isn’t an individual right to keep and bear arms, but Hanna correctly notes that the amendment

says that “the people,” that is, all Americans, have the moral and legal right “to keep and bear arms,” that is, the moral and legal right to own, carry, or use guns, unconditionally…. The further historical question of whether the original intention of [t]he 2nd Amendment was to establish a moral and legal right to own[,] carry, or use guns for militias only, or for all Americans, is irrelevant. (emphasis in original)

That is an excellent point and remains so even though he misdates the amendment’s ratification to 1788, the year before the new government under the Constitution came into effect.

If you know him only through this article, you might not suspect that Hanna has published outstanding philosophical work. But not this time.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

Author:

Contact David Gordon

David Gordon is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and editor of the Mises Review.

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Don’t Draft Women (Or Men Either) | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on October 13, 2021

But the NDAA also often contains domestic innovations like this year’s inclusion of provisions “grant[ing] military courts the authority to strip servicemembers of their Second Amendment rights without due process and without the servicemember being present in court to defend themselves.”

After all, if women want to go help bomb children in Afghanistan—and join the Pentagon in losing wars across the globe—they are free to volunteer.

You can count on war party water carriers like Kelly, Toomey and Casey to jump on the NDAA bandwagon.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/dont-draft-women-or-men-either/

by Ryan McMaken

As in many previous years, this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is chock-full of terrible legislation slyly inserted for the purposes of concealing matters from the public. Both parties have been long guilty of this, with both groups using the NDAA to pass police state legislation increasing federal spying and law enforcement powers.

All of the NDAA should be considered controversial, since so much of it is devoted to perpetuating the US’s aggressive, wasteful, and counterproductive efforts at global hegemony. But the NDAA also often contains domestic innovations like this year’s inclusion of provisions “grant[ing] military courts the authority to strip servicemembers of their Second Amendment rights without due process and without the servicemember being present in court to defend themselves.”

Unfortunately, though, the only provision that seems to be attracting a lot of attention is the so-called daughter draft which expands mandatory Selective Service registration to women.

In other words, the legislation expands what is de facto conscription, since it sets up the US government to enact an active draft with ease and to track down all the young people who are to be forced into military service should the federal government decide to do so.

Any opposition to expansion of the draft is welcome. Yet the reasons for the opposition—mostly coming from conservatives—amount to little more than weak-tea arguments wrapped up in the usual promilitary pablum we’ve come to expect from the Right. These arguments ultimately boil down to saying, “Yes, it’s perfectly fine to enslave young men for a period of years in service of the state. Just don’t do it with women.”

With “opponents” granting such draconian state acts this level of deference and legitimacy, it’s no surprise the regime turns around and decides “the draft is for everybody” after all.

Of course expanding the draft to woman should be opposed, but meaningful opposition must come in the form of opposition to conscription overall. After all, the worst part of conscription is the fact the real-world effect of any draft is a massive expansion in government power over the lives of the population.

Conscription as a 100 Percent Tax

“Conscription is slavery,” Murray Rothbard wrote in 1973, and while temporary conscription is obviously much less bad—assuming one outlives the term of conscription—than many other forms of slavery, conscription is nevertheless a nearly 100 percent tax on the production of one’s mind and body. If one attempts to escape his confinement in his open-air military jail, he faces imprisonment or even execution in many cases.

States have long implicitly recognized the fundamental nature of conscription as a form of taxation. In Switzerland, for example, young men who are found unfit for military service are assessed an additional tax for a period of years in lieu of military service. In other places, such as the United States, where state and local conscription existed prior to the Civil War, those with means were able to avoid military service by paying an additional tax of various sorts or paying for “substitutes.”

Conscription remains popular among states because it is an easy way to directly extract resources from the population. Just as regular taxes partially extract the savings, productivity, and labor of the general population, conscription extracts virtually all of the labor and effort of the conscripts.

Conscription as a Weapon in the Culture War

If the debate over this issue continues, we’re likely to hear a lot about how “fairness” and egalitarianism require an expansion of the Selective Service System. It’s part of the Pentagon’s much-touted mission in expanding roles for “transgendered” people and other groups who have presumably been unjustly denied the opportunity to participate in the latest “regime change” scheme.

But those claims are all distractions from the central issue here, which is the state’s power over the citizen.

After all, if women want to go help bomb children in Afghanistan—and join the Pentagon in losing wars across the globe—they are free to volunteer. Whether or not women can be directly involved in military acts, however, is a completely separate issue from conscription and the Selective Service. There is a difference between opening up military jobs to women and forcing women into military service.

Besides, if fairness is a concern, there’s an easy way to achieve fairness on this issue: abolish the Selective Service for everybody. It’s as easy as that. It wouldn’t even cost a dime of taxpayer money. Simply shred the records, fire everyone who works for Selective Service, and lease out the office space to organizations that do something useful. Then, we won’t have to hear anything about “discrimination” or the alleged sexism implicit in a policy that outrageously neglects to force women to work for the government against their will.

But Isn’t This Just a Symbolic Gesture?

Some who want to expand Selective Service for egalitarian reasons are claiming that it’s all just symbolic anyway, because the draft “will never happen.”

It’s a mistake to think that the draft could never return because people supposedly would overwhelmingly oppose people being forced into combat. Even if that is the case, there is no reason at all why conscription could not be used to draft people for noncombat positions. After all, only a very small portion of the military ever sees combat. The vast majority of soldiers are involved in logistics, transportation, and desk jobs such as computer programming.

Only a small portion of military deaths occur in combat. Most deaths in the military are due to accidents.

Additionally, there is no reason that Selective Service could not be modified to be used to draft people for so-called national service positions in which conscripts would perform noncombat bureaucratic and manual labor jobs. Austria and Switzerland (which have conscription) allow this option for those morally opposed to combat. And historically—such as during World War II—“service” was imposed on conscientious objectors, who were forced to work on farms or perform other types of manual labor in special camps.

So no, the draft is not “hypothetical,” “symbolic,” or something that “will never happen.”

Numerous countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia still employ conscription, and it is hardly some kind of never-used relic from the distant past.

Military service is one thing, the editors at National Review once wrote, but forcing women into it is “barbarism,” they admit. They’re half right. It is indeed barbarism to force women to fight wars for the state. But the same is also true of conscription for men.

This article was originally featured at the Ludwig von Mises Institute

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ACLU Declares Second Amendment ‘Racist,’ Launches ‘War on Bill of Rights’ | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 28, 2021

In fact, racist gun control goes back further than the constitution. Perhaps the first known attempt at disarming citizens in the new world occurred in 1751 when the French Black code was enacted requiring colonists to “stop any blacks, and if necessary, beat any black carrying any potential weapon, such as a cane.”

This attempt to disarm blacks was repeated under United States’ rule 50 years later when the U.S. purchased the Louisiana territory. According to a paper published in the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy:

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/aclu-declares-second-amendment-racist-launches-war-on-bill-of-rights/

by Matt Agorist

For years, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, has chosen to stand against those who would attack our Constitutional rights. Even the Free Thought Project has been supported by the organization when a California sheriff attempted to force us to delete an article that was damning to his organization. Over the past several years, however, there has been a sort of rift happening inside the organization, with your right to self-defense right in the center of it.

While they have been vehemently fighting for the right of transgender athletes to compete in sports, the ACLU has largely chosen to remain silent on the Second Amendment. Though they have supported most every amendment in the bill of rights, their position on gun rights has remained ambiguous and nuanced—perhaps deliberately. But that all changed this week when they ran an article with an embedded podcast that claimed the Second Amendment is rooted in racism.

As Gleen Greenwald points out:

The ACLU is now waging war on the Bill of Rights.

ACLU’s position on the Second Amendment has always been nuanced: it’s an important constitutional protection, but one that’s collective, not individual.

Now they’re full on proclaiming parts of the Bill of Rights to be racist.

The ACLU is now waging war on the Bill of Rights.

ACLU’s position on the Second Amendment has always been nuanced: it’s an important constitutional protection, but one that’s collective, not individual.

Now they’re full on proclaiming parts of the Bill of Rights to be racist. https://t.co/1lhED1FImu

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 26, 2021

Without a single fact to back up their claims, an article on the ACLU’s website claimed “Anti-Blackness determined the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and has informed the unequal and racist application of gun laws.”

As those who have read history understand, this is not true at all. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Gun control—not gun rights—was pushed with the impetus of anti-Blackness behind it.

Nowhere in the Second Amendment does it say anything about the color of one’s skin determining their ability to own a weapon. However, slave-owning and racist lawmakers throughout history have attempted to disarm black citizens which is the exact opposite of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

When the first U. S. official arrived in New Orleans in 1803 to take charge of this new American possession, the planters sought to have the existing free black militia disarmed, and otherwise exclude “free blacks from positions in which they were required to bear arms,” including such non-military functions as slave-catching crews.

The Ku Klux Klan often times attempted to enact similar “Black Codes” that barred the newly freed slaves from exercising their basic civil rights. One such example of these new laws was an act passed in the state of Mississippi that stated:

no freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife, and on conviction thereof in the county court shall be punished by fine

This law clearly flies in the face of the Second Amendment, yet the ACLU takes their stance anyway.

After the passage of these laws, numerous studies concluded that the newly freed slaves had essentially been rendered defenseless against groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Disarming them, essentially made them slave once again — after their Second Amendment rights were removed.

Contrary to the ACLU’s inaccurate assertion, it wasn’t the Second Amendment that sought to disarm black people, it was attacks on it—which were similar in kind to what the ACLU is doing right now.

When Republican congressmen passed the Freedman’s Bureau Bill attempting to secure the right to bear arms for Blacks in the south, the Supreme Court overturned it in what was known as The Cruikshank decision. This decision emboldened groups like the Klan, who in turn began gaining control over local governments to pass racist new laws. As Reason magazine noted:

In deference to the Fourteenth Amendment, some states did cloak their laws in neutral, non-racial terms. For example, the Tennessee legislature barred the sale of any handguns except the “Army and Navy model.” The ex-Confederate soldiers already had their high quality “Army and Navy” guns. But cash-poor freedmen could barely afford lower-cost, simpler firearms not of the “Army and Navy” quality. Arkansas enacted a nearly identical law in 1881, and other Southern states followed suit, including Alabama (1893), Texas (1907), and Virginia (1925).

As Jim Crow intensified, other Southern states enacted gun registration and handgun permit laws. Registration came to Mississippi (1906), Georgia (1913), and North Carolina (1917). Handgun permits were passed in North Carolina (1917), Missouri (1919), and Arkansas (1923).

Pro-Black groups have been advocating against these attacks and racist interpretations of the Second Amendment for decades.

In 1966, California law did not attack the Second Amendment like it does today and it actually allowed citizens to open carry firearms. The Black Panthers exercised this freedom by organizing armed patrols to follow police and ensure they performed their duties professionally. The following year, thirty panthers staged an armed protest in front of the California state house declaring, “The time has come for black people to arm themselves.”

The protest frightened former California Governor Ronald Reagan who, in response, worked with the NRA to support the 1967 Mulford Act. The act lead to California having arguably the strongest gun laws in the nation. As Adam Winkler, the author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms later noted:

“The law was part of a wave of laws that were passed in the late 1960s regulating guns, especially to target African-Americans.”

Again, it was not the gun rights that were racist, as the ACLU would lead you to believe, it was gun control.

Fortunately, the National African American Gun Association, NAAGA, does not hold the same opinion as the ACLU. This group, which was officially started and launched on February 28, 2015, in honor of Black History Month with a single chapter in Atlanta, has grown to more than 75 chapters nationwide with more than 30,000 members.

Thankfully, according to NAAGA, most Black folks don’t agree with the ACLU’s stance on the right to self-defense.

According to NAAGA, the perception and reality of African Americans owning guns is changing. In 2012, the Pew Research Center conducted a national survey and found that only 29% of African-American households viewed guns as positive. In 2015, that same survey showed a dramatic jump to 59% where now a majority of African-American families see guns as not only a positive thing but, in many cases, a necessity. In today’s society, every member of our community, if they want, can legally purchase a gun. African Americans in record numbers are now joining gun clubs, going to the gun range, participating in outdoor hunting, and even participating in competitive shooting events. Single Black women are now one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the African-American community who are purchasing guns for protection. The future is bright for active firearm ownership within our community now and for years to come.

If you would like to know how all gun control is racist, listen to our podcast with Maj Toure, who educates people in urban communities on their Second Amendment rights and responsibilities through firearms training, when he says, “Black Guns Matter.”

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project

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Private Cannon Ownership in Early America – AIER

Posted by M. C. on June 29, 2021

https://www.aier.org/article/private-cannon-ownership-in-early-america/

Robert E. Wright

Robert E. Wright

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. claimed in a speech on Wednesday, 23 June 2021 that “The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn’t buy a cannon.”

Oh, Joe, all the things you don’t know! Your claims are factually inaccurate; Internet patriots should censor these particular ones as dismisinfoganda. Other fact checkers have already pilloried your ignorance of these matters! You, or at least your speechwriters, should read a book, literally my One Nation Under Debt (McGraw Hill 2008). In it, and the copious sources cited therein, you will find that private individuals could, and did: 

  1. form their own military units, usually termed “Legions,” that included artillery units. That of Charles Dabney of Virginia is discussed in my book based on primary source research that I conducted at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture and military histories include plenty of other examples.
  2. organize and charter private militia units as nonprofit corporations. On 28 October 1801, for example, Thaddeus Rice, John Hastings, James Godfrey, Reuben Rice and others incorporated a private artillery company in St. Albans, Vermont (see pages 120-21 of that state’s annual statutes to verify). On 3 November of the following year, 40 individuals did likewise in Shrewsbury, Rutland County (pps. 44-46). Other examples abound.
  3. own cannon, individually and as part of mercantile partnerships, for use on their ships, for protection against pirates and for use as privateers, private ships licensed by the U.S. federal government to seize enemy ships for lawful sale, a power granted Congress in the Constitution (Article I, § 8, clause 11). During the War of 1812, more than 200 American privateers seized and sold over 1,000 British ships. The details can be found in Timothy S. Good’s book here.
  4. develop, manufacture, stockpile, and sell cannon to meet the demand of private individuals as well as the government. Consider an article in the Congressional Weekly Register on 7 January 1812 (pps. 342-43) complaining “that the least rumour of war” caused the market price of military goods like cannon to increase 50 to 100 percent. Nevertheless, the stock of “cannon and small arms” remained “adequate to emergencies” and the art of boring cannon was “so well understood” in this country that thousands more cannon could be quickly and flawlessly manufactured if necessary. Twenty years later, the nonprofit Franklin Institute in Philadelphia announced that it had developed a superior new portable cannon percussion lock (Journal of the Franklin Institute, 1 March 1833, p. 152), one of many such announcements it made over the decades.
  5. fire their own cannon for celebratory purposes. An interesting court decision from Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1833 stated that for almost three score years it had been a “universal practice throughout the whole land, to fire cannon” to celebrate Independence Day and other major events (Hazard’s Register of Pennsylvania, 19 October 1833, pps. 247-48; Niles’ Weekly Register, 26 April 1823, p. 114). Shoot ‘em if you got ‘em appears to have predated “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”

And although I hesitate to bring this to Joe’s attention, individuals and nonprofits own cannon today. In 2019, for example, Brown’s Company of Artillery fired for five hours in Lebanon … the one in Connecticut. And the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, a private artillery company organized in Massachusetts in 1638, still exists! Yes, they fire smoothbore muzzleloaders, which remain completely federally unregulated to this day. Breech loading cannon with rifled barrels are federally regulated, but not banned.

Even though according to WaPo candidate Biden spent plenty of time in his basement during the pandemic apparently doing nothing, it would be unreasonable to expect that President Biden would have as firm a grasp on American cannon ownership as an economic historian like myself does. But all Americans should expect that their president won’t spread dismisinfoganda. Wasn’t that one of the reasons why we weren’t supposed to vote for Trump?

In short, it is high time that Biden apologize for breaking his campaign promise not to lie to the American people. And somebody should take down Googzon, Twitbook, Instatok, etc. for allowing his lie to spread over the interwebs because apparently their biggest fear is that somebody with a lot less influence than the president might communicate a dubious idea on one of their platforms and thereby end them forever somehow. Imagine what allowing presidential lies to circulate could mean for those patriots!

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Republicans Want To Take Your Guns – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 31, 2021

Now, some would argue that felons shouldn’t be allowed to own guns. What qualifies a felon? Well, according to the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, if you’ve loaded this web page and are reading this right now, you’ve committed a felony. Specifically, you’ve obtained information and are engaging in interstate or foreign communication. According to the CFAA, those are felonies

The Democrats want to take our guns, but the Republicans will swindle us out of them. Having depression or PTSD or opening your mother’s mail for her could result in a gun ban under Republican legislation. Republicans are not the gun advocate saints they claim to be. Their ideas are far more harmful than they claim to be. The Democrats will tell you that they’ll take your guns. The Republicans will tell you everything’s fine while robbing you blind.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/03/dakota-hensley/republicans-want-to-take-your-guns/

By Dakota Hensley

Republicans like to portray themselves as the most ardent and dedicated protectors of gun rights and the Second Amendment. Those like Ted Cruz claim that it’s Democrats that want to take away “guns from law-abiding citizens because that’s their political objective.” Republicans claim that if you put them in the driver’s seat, your guns will be protected. Is that true? No. It hasn’t been true for a long, long time.

Which is worse: being robbed or being swindled? If someone robs you, you’ll know they’re robbing you. You can stop it from happening again. If someone swindles you, you may not know about it for days or weeks or more. Democrats will rob you of your guns. Republicans will swindle you out of your guns and you’ll be none the wiser.

Ted Cruz claims Democrats want to take your guns. Republicans would never do that. Is that why he co-sponsored the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act  of 2019, a bill that bans the mentally ill and felons from owning guns? That sure seems like gun control to me. Cruz was endorsed by GOA, the no compromise gun lobby. I guess they’re ok with compromise as long as it “preserves communities.”

Now, some would argue that felons shouldn’t be allowed to own guns. What qualifies a felon? Well, according to the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, if you’ve loaded this web page and are reading this right now, you’ve committed a felony. Specifically, you’ve obtained information and are engaging in interstate or foreign communication. According to the CFAA, those are felonies. Ted Cruz and Chuck Grassley, the bill’s original sponsor, think you should now be banned from owning a gun. Possessing marijuana can also be a felony. So is posting fraudulent information on someone’s social media account, egging a mailbox, opening mail not addressed to you, downloading music without paying for it, giving a friend viagra, and failing to report your tips. Under the Grassley-Cruz bill, if you’ve done any of this, you’ll be banned from owning a gun.

There’s also the deal with mental illness. Mental illness is not as rare as politicians claim it to be. 1 in 5 people have depression and 1 in 5 have anxiety. 1 in 100 have schizophrenia. Almost 8% have PTSD, including 30% of veterans. Should all these people lose their guns? Should almost a third of veterans lose to their Second Amendment rights? Some say mass shooters justify this idea yet only 25% of them have a mental illness. Over 51 million people have a mental illness. Who’s going to take all those guns?

Modern Republicans like Cruz and Grassley aren’t the only ones who endorse gun control without really saying it. Ronald Reagan, as Governor of California, signed into law the Mulford Act, banning open carry. The bill was introduced because of the horror of black people walking around carrying guns. The Act was even endorsed by the NRA. Reagan also endorsed the Brady Bill in a 1991 op-ed. In 1989, he said, “…I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed in defense of a home” and should be banned with other “assault weapons.” In 1983, however, he told the NRA in a speech that, with gun control, “…police would be so busy arresting handgun owners that they would be unable to protect the people against criminals. It’s a nasty truth that those who seek to inflict harm are not phased by gun control laws. I happen to know this from personal experience.” Republicans like Reagan and Cruz say one thing in public yet do another in private. It’s rather swamp-like behavior. Conservatives deserve better.

According to the Daily Caller, this swamp-like behavior continues. Mitch McConnell and Pat Toomey are open to compromising on gun control. Cruz and Grassley are even discussing resurrecting the PCPSA act I mentioned earlier. Reading these words could get your guns taken away. Excessive? Maybe, but we all know that the government always deals in excess.

The Democrats want to take our guns, but the Republicans will swindle us out of them. Having depression or PTSD or opening your mother’s mail for her could result in a gun ban under Republican legislation. Republicans are not the gun advocate saints they claim to be. Their ideas are far more harmful than they claim to be. The Democrats will tell you that they’ll take your guns. The Republicans will tell you everything’s fine while robbing you blind.

Dakota Hensley [send him mail] is from Harlan County, Kentucky. He’s a writer and an individualist anarchist. You can find him on Twitter at @DakotaAHensley

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‘Second Amendment in the Firing Line’ – Ron Paul’s 29 Mar. Column

Posted by M. C. on March 30, 2021

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/2a-115342?e=4e0de347c8

Mar 29 – Gun control was already a Biden Administration priority before the recent shootings in Georgia, Colorado, and Virginia. In fact, the House of Representatives passed two gun-control bills weeks before the shootings.

One of the House-passed bills expands background checks to include private sales, including those made at gun shows. Under this bill, someone who is not a licensed federal firearms dealer cannot sell a firearm without first relinquishing it to a federally-licensed dealer. The dealer must then conduct a background check on the prospective purchaser.

The second bill allows the federal government to indefinitely delay a background check, thus indefinitely delaying a gun purchase. Other legislation introduced in Congress would create a national firearms registry, which would only facilitate gun confiscation.

This same legislation would forbid anyone under 21 from owning a gun. The ban does not apply to the military, so it will not stop the majority of gun violence committed by 18-21 year-olds.

The bill requires Americans to obtain a federal license before getting a firearm, but individuals cannot receive a license unless they undergo a psychological evaluation. The psychological evaluation mandate could lead to individuals losing their Second Amendment rights because they once suffered from depression. It could also cause people to lose their Second Amendment rights because someone told the police they may become violent.

Police officers in 20 states and the District of Columbia already have the authority to take away an individual’s Second Amendment rights based on allegations and without giving the individual due process. These “Red Flag” laws are supported by politicians of both parties, including some who claim to be pro-gun rights.

For example, former President Trump supported Red Flag laws. President Trump and Congressional Democrats were on the verge of reaching a “bipartisan” deal to expand Red Flag laws in the fall of 2019. Fortunately, the Democrat attempt to impeach the President ended all efforts at “bipartisan” deals to take away our rights.

A psychological evaluation could also be used to deny an individual Second Amendment rights because they may engage in “domestic terrorism.” Among those likely to be considered as potential “domestic terrorists” are opponents of US foreign policy, mass surveillance, the income tax, the Federal Reserve, and – ironically – gun control.

There is also legislation to reinstate the assault-weapons ban. Like the original ban, which was in effect from 1994-2004, the new legislation bans an arbitrary list of firearms and will do little to reduce gun violence.

Criminals and psychotics are not going to be deterred by background checks and licensing requirements from obtaining a firearm. There will be a black market to service those who cannot obtain firearms by legal means.

By discouraging law-abiding Americans from owning firearms, these laws leave millions of Americans defenseless against gun violence. There is a reason why most mass shootings occur in gun-free zones.

If Congress is serious about protecting Americans from violence, it would repeal all federal gun control laws. A good place to start would be with the Brady background check law and the misnamed “Safe and Gun-Free Schools” law, which leaves children defenseless against mass shooters. Congress ending the unconstitutional and anti-liberty war on drugs would also greatly reduce gun violence. Gun control, like all attempts by government to control our lives, makes us less safe, and less free.



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A Note on the Second Amendment – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 17, 2021

And neither does the federal government have any authority whatsoever under the Constitution to establish or mandate gun-free zones, background checks, psychological evaluations, training courses, waiting periods, trigger locks, gun purchase limits and age restrictions, gun-barrel lengths, concealed weapons laws, licensing of gun dealers, gun-owner databases, gun licensing, gun registration, or gun insurance.

Too bad that Republicans in Congress support most of these things, otherwise most federal gun laws would have been repealed when Republicans had absolute control of the government for over four years under George W. Bush and for two years under Donald Trump.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/02/laurence-m-vance/a-note-on-the-second-amendment/

By Laurence M. Vance

On January 4, 2020, on just the second day of the 117th Congress, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), introduced the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act (H.R.127) “to provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.” The bill is named after a Pakistani Muslim exchange student who was shot to death in a Santa Fe, Texas, high school in 2018, although seven other students and two teachers were murdered as well.

So far the bill has no cosponsors. That’s a good thing because this is one of the most evil bills ever introduced in Congress (and members of Congress have introduced some utterly evil bills over the years).

Under this bill, “the Attorney General, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, shall establish a system for licensing the possession of firearms or ammunition in the United States, and for the registration with the Bureau of each firearm present in the United States.”

Here is the registration provision:

Under the firearm registration system, the owner of a firearm shall transmit to the Bureau—(A) the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, the identity of the owner of the firearm, the date the firearm was acquired by the owner, and where the firearm is or will be stored; and (B) a notice specifying the identity of any person to whom, and any period of time during which, the firearm will be loaned to the person.

The Attorney General shall establish and maintain a database of all firearms registered pursuant to this subsection. The Attorney General shall make the contents of the database accessible to all members of the public, all Federal, State, and local law enforcement authorities, all branches of the United States Armed Forces, and all State and local governments, as defined by the Bureau.

Here is the licensing provision:

Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Attorney General shall issue to an individual a license to possess a firearm and ammunition if the individual—(i) has attained 21 years of age; (ii) after applying for the license—

(I) undergoes a criminal background check conducted by the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the check does not indicate that possession of a firearm by the individual would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 or State law;

(II) undergoes a psychological evaluation conducted in accordance with paragraph (2), and the evaluation does not indicate that the individual is psychologically unsuited to possess a firearm; and

(III) successfully completes a training course, certified by the Attorney General, in the use, safety, and storage of firearms, that includes at least 24 hours of training; and

(iii) demonstrates that, on issuance of the license, the individual will have in effect an insurance policy issued under subsection (d).

The insurance policy is issued by the Attorney General and costs $800.

It is surprising that Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) didn’t mention this bill during his appearance on the Laura Ingraham show late last month. According to his congressional website:

A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Congressman Scalise has sponsored and cosponsored legislation protecting citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. The ability of law abiding citizens to bear arms and the right to self-defense is a fundamental constitutional right of every law-abiding American. Congressman Scalise supports law-abiding citizens’ ability to purchase firearms and national reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders. Congressman Scalise’s pro-gun stance has earned him an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. A member of the Congressional Second Amendment Task Force, Congressman Scalise will continue fighting to protect every citizen’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Likewise, there is no mention of this bill Scalise’s website, not under press releases, and not even under the Second Amendment section.

In his appearance on Ingraham’s show just hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference where she engaged in “deliberately scaring people to distract from Biden’s leftist, job-killing agenda—and to set the stage for a Democrat gun grab,” Scalise said:

Look, in the last eight days, president Biden’s probably killed over a million American jobs with these executive orders he did on everything from banning leases—we see that in South Louisiana, the damage it will do to hardworking jobs, to Keystone, to the Paris accord that’s going to kill manufacturing in America.

That’s what they’ve done in the policy, and so look, if there was a real, credible threat that she knew of, no matter who it is, a member of Congress or somebody else, go to the authorities with that. And she didn’t do that. She goes to the press, which tells you what she is really trying to do is scare people, create distractions.

Another thing they’re trying to do, Laura, is take away our Second Amendment rights. Make no doubt—they’re going to be coming sometime this year with a bill to take away our second amendment rights. So they’re building this predicate that, “Oh, my God, everybody better be afraid of somebody with a gun,” and that’s going to be their attempt to then go take away the guns.

As pointed out above, that bill has already been introduced.

I note also that Scalise twice used the expression “Second Amendment rights.” Scalise, like the vast majority of Democrats, Republicans, liberals, and conservatives in Congress, the media, and the general public, misconstrue the nature of the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment was added to the Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution), which the requisite number of states approved on December 15, 1791. The twenty-seven words of the Second Amendment read: “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 does not read: “The people shall have the right to keep and bear arms.”

The Second Amendment confers no positive right. It recognizes a pre-existing right. It is an additional limitation on federal power to infringe upon the right of the people to bear arms aside from the fact that no authority is granted to the federal government in its limited, enumerated powers to infringe upon this right in the first place.

Even if the Second Amendment only applied to the states’ ability to maintain militias—as many liberals and progressives say—or as subject to some other interpretation that limits its language to militias, that would still not affect Americans’ natural right to keep and bear arms. And even if the Second Amendment didn’t exist, Americans would still have the natural right to keep and bear arms.

This is because there is no authority granted to the federal government by the Constitution to ban, regulate, or otherwise infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Therefore, the federal government has no authority whatsoever under the Constitution to ban or regulate any type of handgun, shotgun, or rifle; large-capacity magazine; bump stock; ammunition; assault weapon; automatic weapon; machine gun, grenade, or bazooka.

And neither does the federal government have any authority whatsoever under the Constitution to establish or mandate gun-free zones, background checks, psychological evaluations, training courses, waiting periods, trigger locks, gun purchase limits and age restrictions, gun-barrel lengths, concealed weapons laws, licensing of gun dealers, gun-owner databases, gun licensing, gun registration, or gun insurance.

Too bad that Republicans in Congress support most of these things, otherwise most federal gun laws would have been repealed when Republicans had absolute control of the government for over four years under George W. Bush and for two years under Donald Trump.

The Best of Laurence M. Vance Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom; War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism; War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy; King James, His Bible, and Its Translators, and many other books. His newest books are Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society.

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Turning the Clock Forward – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2020

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/09/turning_the_clock_forward_.html

by Christopher Garbacz

If America returned to 1950s family values with obvious improvements (constitutional civil rights and reasonable environmental regulations), would we be turning the clock back or forward? There is substantial evidence that this would turn the clock forward, given society’s backward trend over the last sixty years –family breakdown, retreat from religion, and educational and moral malaise. When Attorney General William Barr spoke at the Notre Dame Law School, he attributed this decline primarily to the progressive movement.

Amy Wax and Larry Alexander argued for a return to 1950s values (the bourgeois culture that reigned from the 1940s to the mid-1960s) to mend America’s torn social fabric and disparate class gap:

That culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

Wax and Alexander do not offer a path back to the script. Congress has no will to act, and the President cannot legislate. However, a revitalized federal court system, starting with the Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”), can lead the way. President Trump has moved the Court in the direction that would allow it to reverse past activism. Putting a strict constructionist in Justice Ginsburg’s seat is the precursor to another four years of Trump that would move the federal courts in this direction for decades to come.

This essay suggests ten key areas of change for SCOTUS, each of which could help turn America around. These changes might not contain all that needs to be done to restore the republic, but they would move us far down the path. These categories allow a cohesive, united country to emerge to solve our problems in an innovative process not possible under the current administrative state.

Category I. Taxation. Read the rest of this entry »

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