U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- Tuesday was Bill of Rights Day, December 15, celebrating the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It’s a day I commemorate every year, either with a column or a post on my The War on Guns blog, sometimes with unexpected results.
Case in point: Two years ago I invited readers to “Have a Contemplative Bill of Rights Day,” to reflect on what the document and the rights it articulates mean. I posted a link to it on my Facebook page only to receive notice that it was blocked from others being able to see because it “goes against our community standards”!
If you think about it, it probably does.
This year brought another surprise to me, a recorded speech President Harry S. Truman gave on the importance of the Bill of Rights. I always appreciate seeing examples of how old school Democrats still had some understanding of the Constitution, or at least felt compelled to pay it lip service to the electorate. That’s why from time to time I remind readers of statements on the Second Amendment by John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey where they indicated they understood perfectly well that it was intended as a safeguard against a tyrannical government.
How times have changed.
Doing some research on Truman to put his speech into context, I noticed posts about his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and a “second bill of rights.” He had been the president who in 1941 first proclaimed Bill of Rights Day, so seeing what “New Deal” he had in mind caught my guarded interest.
- The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
- The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
- The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
- The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
- The right of every family to a decent home;
- The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
- The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
- The right to a good education.
All that’s missing is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
Every time politicians presume to “improve” on the wisdom of the Founders, they screw everything up. The Bill of Rights had a preamble that made clear what their intent was:
“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
It has “restrictive clauses” against the government. Unalienable rights, as the Declaration of Independence states, are “endowed by our Creator.” The Supreme Court understood that about the Second Amendment when it noted:
“[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.”
Just be careful pointing that out. The last time I did in a national magazine, a few angry gun owners called me a “Trojan Horse,” an “idiot,” and a “clown,” and one even threatened to cancel his subscription.
Back to Roosevelt’s abomination: Every “right” there is not only “granted” by the government, but it also usurps power nowhere delegated to any branch by the Constitution. It empowers the central government to set wages and prices, mandate wealth transfers, and literally enslave the people in order to force them to provide education, housing and health care to others. And, of course, what an all-powerful government can grant, it can take away.
That’s what concerns me about President Donald Trump’s “Proclamation on Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week, 2020.” He, or more likely his writers (and he just doesn’t catch it), have not learned a thing since ignoring pleas to correct the White House website assertion that “The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms” (and it still says this a year-and-a-half later).
Before anybody turns into a clone of my Trojan Horse critics and gets mad at me for “Trump-bashing,” that the farthest thing from what I’ve been trying to do. I’ve been hoping someone who has his ear will take the man aside and let him know why taking fire out of the bellies of his core constituents is not pragmatic politics. And I’ll challenge anyone who wants to get into it to show me where they are regularly doing more to “stop the steal.”
Here’ my beef: By lumping the Bill of Rights with the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the President of the United States is in effect placing a superior document that acknowledges real rights on a coequal footing as an inferior one that presumes government bestows them. High-sounding language aside, let me give you some examples from Article 29 where the UN shows its all-controlling hand:
- Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
- In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
- These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Basically, they’re saying you’ll take what they give you and like it. And no, you can’t have guns, that is, unless you work for them, and use them only to enforce their orders. These mere men have assigned to themselves the Creator-like ability to endow rights, albeit theirs are alienable. I can see where some would consider that not only tyrannical but blasphemous. (And I can see where “progressives” should get triggered over pronouns.)
Let’s hope someone brings the difference between worldviews to the president’s attention so that if the steal is stopped, next year his message will reflect that understanding. It’s for damn sure a President Harris (don’t be surprised) will have no incentive to do anything but exploit the lie as she “creates” a right to be free from “gun violence” and a duty to disarm.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.