Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Congress vs the Constitution and Natural Rights

For those who have read the US Constitution, and especially for those who understand the debates surrounding the creation of the Constitution, the plain language it contains, and the prevailing “original intent” offering context to the document, there are myriad federal laws, rules, policies, and court rulings whose lack of constitutionality are glaringly obvious.

All federal public servants (congressmen, judges, and members of the executive branch) swear an oath to uphold the US Constitution. It is unconscionable for them to enact or enforce anything in defiance to the Supreme law of the Land -- the Constitution. Yet, they do so all the time with the full expectation that the other branches of the government will let them get away with it.

Why must almost everything be a federal crime -- especially the practice of Constitutionally-enumerated rights? Here is an egregious example:

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution says, "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." The US Supreme Court has confirmed that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right.

In spite of the Constitution's clear and specific restriction on the infringement of the right to arms, Congress and many of the agencies it has created have clearly, defiantly, repeatedly, and willfully infringed on that civil right. For example:

18 USC § 930(a) says, in part, "Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both." Subsection (d) lists some exceptions to the above restriction including "...the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes." Incomprehensibly, several federal agencies, including the National Park Service, do not accept self-defense as a "lawful purpose" for having a weapon in a federal facility.

What is so special about federal facilities, in general, that justifies a blanket denial of a constitutionally-enumerated right? And, what reasoning person really believes that such a prohibition would ever convince a criminal to leave his weapons outside any federal facility?

The US Postal Service has its own, more severe, infringement on Second-Amendment rights: 39 CFR 232.1(l) says, “No person while on postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, except for official purposes.” This prohibition clearly was of no help to the two postal workers who were recently shot while at work.

Natural law has given us sufficient restrictions on behaviors which are, in and of themselves, harmful to society and to the natural rights of the people. When lawmakers expand on natural laws, prohibiting or demanding behavior "because we say so" or creating new rights "because we say so", they invariably mess things up.

Instead of focusing on doing something about everything (I say gridlock in Congress is good), perhaps Congress should focus on undoing everything wrong it and the federal courts have done over the past 100+ years.

I urge Congress and the Whitehouse to initiate a full audit of all federal laws, rules, policies, and court rulings that are silly or unwise or counterproductive or unnecessary or that violate the US Constitution and the natural rights of the people. Then, initiate legislation that will make the necessary corrections.

There must be no compromise. Compromise on principles always moves the nation in the wrong direction albeit more slowly that the opposition desires.

Removing all unwise infringement of the Second Amendment found in 18 USC § 930 and 39 CFR 232.1 is a good place to start. History shows that restrictions on firearms have absolutely no effect on criminal behavior.

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