Tag: Constitution

Give the States Some Teeth

Think about powers reserved for the states, powers which the federal government in no way have. Can’t think of any? It is incredibly difficult to find many powers, much less any major ones, reserved for states exclusively.

This is all wrong. As a federalist country, separation of powers between the different levels of government is essential. Once upon a time it was true, but today the traditions of federalism are little more than theory. The federal government has expanded at an extraordinary rate, affecting nearly every part of our lives.

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The Three Biggest Mistakes of the US Constitution

Shiam Kannan | @shiam_kannan

Many regard the United States Constitution as one of the greatest documents in the history of political thought. Indeed, it has a lot going for it. Not least of which the brilliant separation of powers, checks and balances, the Bill of Rights, and the insurance of popular sovereignty. Continuing to this day, they have rendered America the oldest existing Republic in the world.

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On the Spirit of Free Speech

Ellie McFarland | United States

In the wake of what has been dubbed “The Smirk Seen Round the World” questions about the morality of doxxing are arising. In the case of this most recent incident, a video surfaced of a group of private Catholic high school students (attending the March for Life), “Black Hebrew Israelites”, and a Native American veteran ensconced in a what amounted to a commotion of dull screaming and a drum beat. But what caught the internet’s attention was the now infamous smirk of Nick Sandmann– the student pictured most prominently in the video. Soon after the video was released, the internet at large erupted into a tsunami of hit pieces and Twitter hate mobs. Eventually, full-grown adults found the addresses and other personal information of several Covington high school students. This is doxxing.

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The American Constitutional Upside Down

Glenn Verasco | Thailand

If you’re not familiar with Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things, don’t worry; I won’t reveal any major spoilers. A central theme of the show is that a portal into a parallel dimension opens. The terrors that lurk there are spilling out into a small town in our own world. Once the main characters discover this, they refer to the parallel universe as “The Upside Down.”

The Upside Down States of America

A bipartisan majority of U.S. Senators recently decided that America needs a taste of The Upside Down, too. By a 68-23 margin, the Senate affirmed a resolution to block any of Trump’s attempts to remove American troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

The vote comes amid repeated announcements and tweets by the president that he will fulfill one of his central campaign promises by ending some of the U.S.’s endless wars abroad, particularly in Syria. This would fit in well with his America First slogan. Bringing our troops home would allow the government to focus on the country it presides over. Moreover, it enables it to respect the autonomy of the globe’s many states.

When the president began talking withdrawal, establishment members of both parties and a hostile mainstream media scoffed and presented lame justifications for our presence in both countries. Many claimed that Turkey, our NATO ally, would “slaughter” our Kurdish allies if the mere 2,000 US troops still in Syria went home. The Kurds and Turks admittedly have their differences. However, this would be a first in their shared history, not to mention the fact that Kurds are rough and tough; nobody will slaughter them.

Weak Reasons to Remain Abroad

It’s also worth noting that many of the same people who claim we need to protect the Kurds from Turkey lost their minds when Trump suggested the U.S. should leave the outdated and useless bureaucratic leviathan we call NATO. In a transparent display of idiocy, they simultaneously claim (1) we can’t leave NATO because it would be a betrayal of our NATO allies and (2) we can’t leave Syria because it would be a betrayal of our Kurdish allies who our NATO allies would slaughter. Talk about Stranger Things…

Other purported reasons to remain in Syria and Afghanistan are that leaving these aimless 10 and 17-year missions, respectively, would be “precipitous”. And of course, something, something, something, Russia.

Despite the contradictions and hollow fear-mongering, the real reason the situation is so upside down is that Congress never authorized the wars Trump is trying to end. On the other hand, the commander-in-chief’s power to withdraw troops requires no authorization at all.

Presidential Powers

Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power “to declare war”. Article II, Section 2 names the president “commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States”. To me, “commander-in-chief” sounds pretty self-explanatory. Perhaps the Founders would have had to have written “Total Super Ultra Mega Boss of the Military” to get it through the thick skulls of today’s Democrats and Republicans.

It is true that Congress authorized former President George W. Bush to use military force against those responsible for the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. Despite this, he did not get permission to occupy Afghanistan indefinitely for whatever reasons he and his successors could conjure up. The language in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists is admittedly vague. Thus, it might be fair to say that Congress and a gullible public are to blame as much as the executive.

On the other hand, President Barack Obama was outright denied authorization to invade Syria in a bipartisan fashion, but he did so anyway. Nice one, Barry.

Make Ending Wars Easy Again

Going to war should not be this easy, and ending wars should not be this hard. Our Founders were right to warn against entangling alliances and sticking our noses in other nations’ business. Engaging in either of these endeavors drains American lives, liberty, and treasure. It also prevents our neighbors abroad from learning to develop themselves. Neoconservatives can spend hours explaining why dependency upon welfare undermines an individual’s ability to develop. For some reason, they are too blind to see that dependency upon a foreign militia has the same result on nations.

However upside down our government is, President Trump cannot blame the potential failure to end the wars in Afghanistan and Syria on Congress. He has unquestioned authority to command the armed forces. No one can stop him from exercising his powers but himself. Playing politics by waiting a little while to accomplish this goal could be a forgivable strategic maneuver. But Trump will deserve total and complete blame if this promise is broken.

Mr. President, it’s time to grow a pair and order things right-side up.

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Constitutional Carry: Defense Against Tyranny and Crime

Tom DiGennaro | United States

South Dakota is now the 14th U.S. state to enact constitutional carry into state law. Governor Kristi Noem signed the bill, introduced by the Republican-controlled State Legislature, into law. Therefore, constitutional carry is the law of the land in South Dakota, effective July 1st.

Constitutional carry, also known as permitless carry, allows full civilian concealed carry. It is a derivative of the Second Amendment; “The right of the people to keep and bear (carry) arms, shall not be infringed”.

Full List of Constitutional Carry States

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

In some states, constitutional carry applies to open carry, some concealed carry, and other both.

The Constitutional Argument

If you need to ask permission to exercise a right, then it is not a right. Rather, it is a privilege, and the Second Amendment is not on the Bill of Privileges.

Government involvement in the process of firearm ownership, as well as carry, essentially defeats the purpose of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment’s protections extend further than just personal self-defense. Rather, the Second Amendment’s purpose ensures that a citizenry has accessed the proper means to form a militia. The militia is necessary to defend a nation from oppressors. Foreign invaders, as well as domestic tyrants. Anyone who swears into office affirms they will defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Obviously, the government controlling the right to bear arms that exists for defense against the very same government is illogical.

Therefore, the only feasible way the Second Amendment can serve its purpose is to eliminate government-issued carry permits or licenses. Imagine one needs a background check, a waiting period, a fee, and a license to publish a news article. It is wrong for the government to suppress ownership and carry of firearms. The same way it is also wrong for the government to suppress speech. Ironically enough, the former protects the latter.

The Benefits

Aside from constitutional purposes, constitutional carry obviously makes it easier for law-abiding citizens to carry and defend themselves.

Accessibility Regardless of Income

This applies especially to those with lower incomes. Carry permit fees can be as low as $10 but can also range between $100-200. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it is difficult to find 200 bucks to shell out. Obtaining a carry permit also requires a business day trip to the licensing agency. Some states will also mandate a training course. Not everyone can afford to take time off work either.

General Public Safety

It may be hard to convince fear-mongering gun grabbers of such, but making guns more accessible to the public correlates with safety. Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire and Idaho report the first, second, third, and fifth lowest crime rates in the country, respectively. They also have constitutional carry laws.

At the end of the day, there is no amount of legislation possible that will eliminate violence. Those who wish to commit crimes with firearms will be able to obtain them, whether they are legal or not. They will carry them, whether it is legal or not. The vast majority of people who walk into gun stores and purchase a firearm do not commit a crime with that firearm.

Deterring Crime

An armed population is a deterrent to crime. A criminal is extremely less likely to rob or assault someone they know is armed. The same thing happens when they are unsure that they are unarmed. Armed citizens are a poor choice of prey.

The Future of Constitutional Carry

A variety of other state legislatures are working to push constitutional carry through. Ultimately, constitutional carry is vital to the preservation of a free nation, common public safety, resistance to tyranny. One can only dream one day the Second Amendment is all the paperwork necessary to carry, in all 50 states.

Gun Owner’s Of America has “take action” links to contact your representatives in the state legislature to push for constitutional carry in Idaho, Virginia, and Texas.


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