Another mass killing in America. The immediate reaction from the left? Gun control! By now, everyone can predict how the left is going to respond to one of America’s periodic mass killings.
One leftist asks, “ Is It Time to End the Second Amendment?” His question only goes to show how woefully ignorant leftists are about the Constitution.
The Constitution established a federal government of limited powers. It was completely different from the type of federal government under which we live today. If a power wasn’t enumerated in the Constitution, then the federal government simply was not empowered to exercise it.
Did the Constitution grant the federal government the power to control, regulate, or prohibit the right to own guns? A close examination of the powers given to the federal government reveals that the Constitution gave no such power to the federal government. Therefore, the federal government is prohibited from exercising such a power.
So, what was the point of the Second Amendment and, for that matter, the rest of the Bill of Rights? Given that the Constitution didn’t grant the federal government the power to enact gun control, why did our ancestors decide to enact an amendment expressly prohibiting the federal government from enacting gun control?
The reason is that our American ancestors were extremely leery about accepting the Constitution. Sure, they were assured that the Constitution was calling into existence a government whose powers were limited to those enumerated in the document itself, but they were still leery. They were concerned about the possibility that federal officials might not honor the enumerated-powers doctrine.
So, they decided to play it safe by enacting specific and expressed prohibitions on the powers of federal officials. That’s why they enacted the Bill of Rights because they simply did not trust people who are attracted to public “service.” They wanted to make sure they got the message with amendments providing for express prohibitions on infringements of specific rights and freedoms.
Consider the First Amendment. It prohibits the federal government from enacting laws infringing freedom of speech and freedom of religion, among other things. Our ancestor knew that the federal government would inevitably attract people who desired to do such things.
Notice that the First Amendment doesn’t give people the rights of free speech and religious liberty. Our ancestors understood that rights come from nature and God, not from government or from a document calling government into existence.
Let’s assume that the First Amendment was repealed. Would that mean that the federal government would now have the power to enact laws infringing freedom of speech and freedom of religion? No! The reason is that the Constitution itself does not grant the power to the federal government to enact such laws. If Americans wanted a federal government to have the power to infringe freedom of speech and freedom of religion, they would need a constitutional amendment expressly giving the federal government the power to do that.
The principle applies to the Second Amendment as well. People don’t get the right to own weapons from the Second Amendment. The right to own private property, including guns, in endowed in people by nature and God.
Since there is no grant of power in the Constitution to the federal government to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms, a repeal of the Second Amendment would not authorize the federal government to enact laws infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.
Rather than reacting to every mass killing in the predictable way, leftists and right-wingers as well should instead be asking why this dysfunctional conduct continues to afflict America. Could it be that this type of dysfunctional conduct is a natural consequence of the welfare-warfare state way of life under which Americans now live?
The IRS. Homeland Security. A formal program of state-sponsored assassinations. Coups. Invasions. Wars of aggression. Imperial military bases. Alliances with dictatorships. Torture. Overseas military prisons. Deadly and destructive sanctions and embargoes. Perpetual wars, including bombings and shootings. The war on terrorism. Massive governmental sales of weapons to dictatorships. Massive military-intelligence establishment. Public schools and state-sponsored indoctrination. Out of control federal spending and debt. Ever-increasing debasement of the currency. A deadly war on immigrants. Trade wars. Lockdowns. Mask mandates. Governmental welfare schemes for both rich and poor. A vicious and deadly drug war. Mass secret surveillance. And much more.
It’s also worth mentioning that all this is sold as “freedom,” especially in the public schools and in many of the government-licensed private schools. People even thank the troops for protecting their “freedom” by killing, torturing, abusing, impoverishing, or destroying people abroad.
How can such a dysfunctional system, one based on a “life of the lie,” not have dysfunction consequences? How can everyone be expected to act normally in an extremely abnormal society? It’s just not going to happen.
Unfortunately, however, the left and the right need to come to terms with what they have done our nation with their welfare-warfare state. They need to take personal responsibility for the natural and proximate consequences of their aberrant way of life. They need to step aside and let us libertarians lead our nation out of this welfare-warfare state morass.
One thing is for sure: If our American ancestors had been told that the Constitution was calling into existence the welfare-warfare state under which we live today, they never would have approved the deal. That would have meant that America would have continued operating under the Articles of Confederation, where the federal government lacked even the power to tax, much less the power to enact gun control.
Originally Published at The FFF
Author: Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.
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