Tag: tyranny

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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Are People Too Blind to Know Their Government is Lying to Them?

By Joshua D. Glawson | United States

Comfort breeds apathy. Most people live simply to work to make a living for themselves and their families. We get focused on our career goals and stick to that path. Anything that distracts us from those life objectives (even when it is a major issue) prevents us from possibly feeding our family, providing housing, and all of the daily comforts of life. So, instead of delving into the serious topics of government abuses (lies, thefts, murders, wars, etc.), we prefer answering only to the immediacy of our direct needs and desires rather than a long fought battle against people that are lying to us.

This may also answer why so many people prefer getting their news from social media and comedians, rather than opening books and discussing things that make people uncomfortable. When we get comfortable with our lives, we tend to shield ourselves from things that will disrupt that comfort.

Likeability is at the forefront of most people’s relationships. Being liked by people, especially your family and friends, is important to most people, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, since most are concerned about being agreeable and liked, they tend to shy away from discussions that could lead them to be viewed in a different and bad light. No one wants to be that crazy conspiracy theorist relative, so they accept mainstream political opinion as fact. Some people also just want to continue positive relationships with those they know they will disagree with any non-mainstream thinking in a positive way.

Education also plays a role in turning a blind eye towards government lies. This may have more to do with public schools being the primary source of education for most Americans. It is ingrained in the public school system not to question your government. It teaches you to admire the Presidents as gods that have come to save us while dismissing all of their corruption, abuses, and lies within a generation or two. Furthermore, when public schools are paid for by states and the federal government, as in the US, with every dollar comes a regulation and control of that schooling system. This is because the state has a monopoly on the use of force. So, public schools will paint the State in a positive image, and many continue to believe that without question.

Philosophy is an ongoing battlefield. For many Americans, the idea that government officials are “just doing their job,” is constantly prevalent in their initial responses. Even when the actions of the government go against the Constitution or laws in place, many shun from contesting. This is the ever-pervasive philosophy that helps to destroy the very questioning of government itself.

Many have come to believe that, although an action such as murder or stealing is wrong for the individual, it is collectively permissible if done behind the guise of government. This also echoes throughout political debate where the majority of the political right only questions and badgers the political left, and the political left does the same only to the right, rather than individuals staying philosophically consistent in questioning everyone. These philosophies perpetuate tribalism, identity politics, and collectivism rather than instilling the reason of the individual to rationally and empirically question authority and philosophies themselves.

A systematic benefit is given to the government itself. When people have found lies within government, it turns against the whistleblower. Oftentimes, it may threaten their property, life, and liberty on the grounds of treason or whatever other charges that can be put on the person. Then, if the person goes to court, who will win? When the government is judging the case, the judges, the lawyers, the politicians, those involved in the charges being brought against them by the whistleblower are typically protected from the highest levels down by the government itself. If a state is suing the federal government, we can only hope that the Supreme Court will respond justly, but there is no guarantee.

How well can we actually use the system in place to charge politicians, military personnel, and other government officials for their crimes against God, Nature, and even the Constitution itself?

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The Paradox of Excessive Executive National Security

By Thomas Calabro | United States

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and American President Donald Trump have always had a somewhat similar style of government. One that supports law, justice, and order, attacks critics in the media, and constantly seeks to garner power for the president of the state. But should the news of Pastor Andrew Brunson be a wake up call to the President of the true nature of the fear tactic employed by both Turkey d the US? In other words, if approach to combat terrorism under the guise of security, were used against us, would we support that same approach, it’s ethics, or even it’s legality?

This comes as the evangelical pastor from North Carolina was sentenced to house arrest for supposedly aiding terrorist groups such as the one that is believed to have  a orchestrated the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. After this attempt to oust Erdogan, the Presidency saw itself garner new powers, and attack enemies in the media all in the name of combating terrorism. Events that create this level of unsettlement in the civilians usually brings the debate to an emotional state where the environment of debate becomes more unstable, and hostile towards the ideas of freedom, liberty, and individuality. For the US, the September 11th attacks were a defining moment where Americans truly feared for their lives of terrorists, and in Trump’s case, the murder of Kate Steinle seemed to have had the impact of “proving” to Trump’s future supporters, the harsh rhetoric against immigrants. 

The environment in the debate on national security is one becoming less reliant on fact and logic, and grows based on emotion. While many do worry about the stability and security of the state, and it’s citizens, we must be able to acknowledge that leaders are more than willing to use compromising moments, that instill fear and anger, to grab new powers. In those moments when your emotions overwhelm you, authoritarians look to push you to make the decision to give them opportunities to “protect the nation.” Those who object are not seen as having legitimate concerns with the policies and what they entail, but are labeled and dismissed as naive and out of touch with reality. Some are even labeled as traitors, who wish to create chaos, and let the bad guys win.

President Trump’s attitude towards this approach shows a level of hypocrisy among statists who support fear-based power-grabs, until they are used against their own beliefs and values, and suddenly find themselves on the opposition. Trump doesn’t seem to like this approach when it affects an evangelical American, so why should we be surprised when others stand up against very similar treatments against other religious, ethnic, and cultural people.

Rather than accepting fear of others, and anger towards those who disagree, we should embrace the ability to use logic and reason to fully vet our government, our people, and those who are deemed as a threat. Even if the state properly exposes threats towards national security, we must still be able to keep our government, and its officials in check, and not simply accept everything they say because they are some benevolent entity that can run our lives, thoughts, and emotions better than we can.

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The Right to Rebel

By Benjamin Olsen | United States

The right to revolution is a concept that seems to have its roots at the beginning of time. The first widespread idea of the right to rebel and the overthrow of rulers was started in ancient China. The philosophy was known as the “Mandate of Heaven.” The Mandate can be summed up as: “If a monarch is behaving poorly, then bad things will happen. If bad things happen, then heaven has withdrawn its support and the people may rise up to overthrow the ruler.” This sentiment is mirrored in a more secular way with the idea of the social contract, the idea that we continue to allow ourselves to be ruled as long as the ruler protects our rights. This idea has been promulgated by John Calvin, John Locke and the Founding Fathers of America. The idea of the right to rebellion has been seen all throughout history, but the most successful execution was seen in 1776.

The philosophy of the American Revolution was rooted in the ideals of the age of enlightenment. Thomas Jefferson and other revolutionaries saw the power these ideas had to change not only their country, but the world. Most of the founders were hesitant at the fact of starting their own country and rather sought to reconcile their grievances with the magistrates of Great Britain. It was John Adams, a founder with an ideology leaning towards monarchism, that lead the charge towards a full separation from the island of Great Britain. This idea was deemed radical and the Congress debated the idea for over a year before finally ratifying the Declaration of Independence. Even after ratification, the general populace was against the idea of revolution. Only 25% of the population was active in the fight against Great Britain. The idea of splitting from a government that the majority of people had familial and other ties to was beyond belief. Revolutions can start small but can grow to be an unstoppable juggernaut. The American Revolution was truly started by a small organization known as the Sons of Liberty. This small fraternity was responsible for the Boston Tea party and the opening shots at Lexington and Concord. What the American Revolution exemplifies the best is how successful a small revolution can be. Starting with a small fraternity and ending with an independent nation and a modern day powerhouse.

Another example of revolution is the Easter Rising in 1916 that took place in Ireland. This revolution is different from the American one as it takes place in what is considered the modern day and it is a failed revolution that sparked something bigger than itself. The Easter Rising is rooted in an ancient rivalry between England and Ireland. Dating back to 1169, England tried to exert its dominance over the British Isles, and in particular Ireland. Irish history, as a result of such occupation and colonization, has a history rife with tragedy and turmoil. Irish rebellions stretch back to the first occupation and extend all the way to the 1990s. The true turning point in the same story of a failed rebellion came in 1916.

In the midst of the great war, a small organization of Irish patriots, ranging in ideologies from socialism and monarchists to classical liberals and fascists, planned to rebel against the English crown while it was occupied in the trenches of northern France. The rebellion gathered its strength in secret and trained with what arms it could manage to procure. On Easter Monday, 1916 the small band of revolutionaries struck. They first seized the General Post Office and rose the Irish Tricolor, that continues to be the flag of Ireland to this day. By the end of the week, the rebellion was defeated. All of the signers of the proclamation of the provisional government were executed. The Easter Rising had failed to free Ireland from the British. However, within the next two decades the Irish people would rise up, their eyes opened to the British atrocities. Ireland would become independent in 1937. Throughout the rest of the century beginning in the early 50s and continuing until the late 90s, Irish freedom fighters fought for the freedom of the North and the ability for it to join the Republic of Ireland. The Easter Rising shows how even a failed revolution can lead to an independent nation.

All people that are governed have a right to overthrow their governor if their rights are not protected. In today’s world, we are taxed at a rate unimaginable by the Founding Fathers. We have atrocity after atrocity perpetrated against us. Rebellion does not always have to be with fire and bullets like the Easter Rising and American Revolution, but we cannot continue to allow our rights to be curbed in the name of security and safety. As Thomas Jefferson put it “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” We should all seek such freedom and the ability to decide our own destiny free from intrusion by a government, that may as well be foreign. Revolution can come through the ballot box such as the Civil Rights Movement. Revolution can be peaceful such as Gandhi’s liberation of India. Only if necessary must a revolution be violent. Let us not suffer to be ruled, but to be rulers of our own lives. A revolution is needed to be freed from the bureaucratic quagmire and corrupt governance that plagues this nation.

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Equivocation Is As Good As Support To An Aspiring Tyrant

By Craig Axford | United States

Everyone wants to believe their country isn’t headed over the abyss. For Americans in particular, it is an article of faith that the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution are strong enough to prevent a demagogue from becoming a tyrant.

This faith that the founding fathers anticipated the temptation for leaders to abuse their authority, and adequately guarded against it, has ironically lulled many Americans into a false sense of security. Often we equivocate when we react to rhetoric attacking particular groups or government institutions, reassured by the comforting belief that our system was designed to withstand this kind of abuse.

We’ve seen this sort of behavior in electorates before. In his short treatise entitled On Tyranny, the historian Timothy Snyder quoted at length from an editorial published in a German Jewish newspaper shortly after the election of Adolf Hitler:

We do not subscribe to the view that Mr. Hitler and his friends, now finally in possession of the power they have so long desired, will implement the proposals circulating in [Nazi newspapers]; they will not suddenly deprive German Jews of their constitutional rights, nor enclose them in ghettos, nor subject them to the jealous and murderous impulses of the mob. They cannot do this because a number of crucial factors hold powers in check. . . and they clearly do not want to go down that road. When one acts as a European power, the whole atmosphere tends towards ethical reflection upon one’s better self and away from revisiting one’s earlier oppositional posture.

This rosy assessment of the “check” woven into the fabric of German government and society turned out to be as inaccurate as the following years were tragic.

The quotation from the Jewish newspaper provided above also contains between its lines another assumption people within democratic societies often make. When it comes to our politicians we expect their rhetoric, to at least some degree, to be calculated to appeal to various constituencies. In other words, we think they are just telling certain people what they want to hear in order to get votes. Of course, we usually assume that with us our preferred candidate is being sincere.

Statements that make us uneasy or with which we disagree, however, are either ignored or rationalized as bones thrown to groups that must be won over to win the election. Once in office, we tell ourselves, the candidate will back off and the process of making law will dilute the more toxic proposals advocated on the campaign trail. But, as Germany’s Jewish population learned too late, Hitler and his followers meant every word.

While many prominent and smart German Jews comforted themselves with the false belief that Hitler was equivocating, many of the non-Jewish Germans that went to the polls to vote for him were undoubtedly equivocators. You know the type, or perhaps even are the type. These equivocators say they oppose the racism yelled from the dais, but they think the demagogue spewing it will be good for the economy or will nominate the kind of judges he/she supports to the bench, and so forth. Hitler surely welcomed their support in the election of 1932, just as Trump surely did in 2016. The vote of an equivocator counts just as much as that of a true believer.

After the election of 2016 equivocation became a bipartisan exercise. Republicans who had opposed Trump in the primaries, or even after he received their party’s nomination, and Democrats who had issued the starkest warnings about the consequences of electing him lined up in front of TV cameras and microphones to tell everyone that they wanted the new president to “succeed.” Under the twisted logic that conflates blind loyalty and patriotism, a president’s success equals America’s success, even if that president’s agenda threatens our most cherished institutions. No politician ever wants to seem unpatriotic.

But the success of the country is contingent upon the leadership putting the country’s interest first and foremost. Traditionally, both major parties have been led by people that believed in the process even if they disagreed about how best to use it to achieve maximum benefit for the nation as a whole. Now we have a leader that embraces disruption for its own sake. His entire presidency has been dedicated to eroding the last vestiges of faith Americans still have in their institutions in order to better exploit the office of the presidency for his personal gain. From the very beginning of his administration, no one should have been wishing him success.

The progressive activist Jim Hightower once said, “There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos,” a line that later became the title for one of his books. It’s not impolite or unpatriotic to argue forcefully on behalf of the principles and institutions that have enabled the developed democracies of the world to make it this far. No country or institution is perfect, of course, but Donald Trump and his most strident supporters would take advantage of every mistake and weakness to destroy them rather than improve them.

 When the executive branch is exploiting its legal discretion to separate immigrant parents from their children, there’s only one side of the debate standing on firm ethical ground. When a leader dismisses the broad scientific consensus regarding climate change, their point of view is disturbing, not a reason to reconsider our faith in science. When a candidate has been caught on tape bragging about assaulting women, we should be united in our collective disgust instead of rationalizing his comments as “locker room talk.” When a president who took an oath to uphold the Constitution questions the legitimacy of elections and calls the press “an enemy of the people,” we shouldn’t make excuses.

These are the words and actions of a man that must be contained until he can be removed from office. Of course, the Republic may survive this test of its mettle even if all the equivocators out there keep giving cover to the bigots, misogynists and aspiring oligarchs that are finding encouragement in the president’s rhetoric and policies. But can we really risk finding out too late that it was all just too much for our institutions to bear?

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