I’ve been asked, “Why bother filing a resolution to preserve the Second Amendment at the local level?” My reply is that local municipalities and counties are having to handle the issue on a daily basis while our state and federal officials dither and haggle. And we shouldn’t shrink from doing so.
The free exercise of the Second Amendment is an inalienable right and fundamental to our way of life. There is no elected official at any level of government who should avoid taking a stand on this issue. Anything less than the strongest possible statement to affirm our Constitution is an abdication of their oath of office. The oath of office we public representatives have sworn is very clear about our duty to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.
“I, Heidi Thiess, do solemnly swear, that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of Council Member Position No. 3 of the City of League City of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.”
I take my oaths very seriously and won’t back down from my responsibility. It is unthinkable to me that I would swear such an oath and then be expected to stand by silently and watch our Constitution undermined and forsaken. That will not happen on my watch! It is a shame that anyone with a smidgen of civic responsibility would not want us to take such a stand by claiming that municipal officials should busy themselves only with sidewalks, ditches, and parks. Council members are the closest possible representation that our citizens have! We, of all elected representatives, have the weightiest duty to stand up!
“There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.” -Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper #78
The fundamental principle behind the Second Amendment is actually pretty simple: it is the duty of the People to preserve Liberty and to do so they must keep and bear arms. Many politicians say they “support” the Second Amendment for hunters and sportsmen and personal protection. That is rhetorical nonsense and has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of the Second Amendment. The true intent is to protect the citizens from tyranny: to keep us from becoming enslaved to a central government; to keep the federal government from levying and enforcing unjust, unconstitutional, and oppressive laws; and to preserve liberty and protect our Constitutional republic from men who act to infringe upon our liberty.
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” -Patrick Henry Virginia Ratifying Convention June 5, 1788
What many citizens and legislators do not understand is that the federal government has no right to prevent any law-abiding citizen from owning or possessing any firearm. The Constitution and its history is unequivocally clear on this!
You simply cannot preserve Liberty by compromising the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment reads “the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” That literally means the government is completely forbidden to violate or transgress the peoples’ right to bear arms. Yet Barack Obama and gun control advocates believe that it’s only “common sense” to allow the central government to decide who and on what terms the people can bear arms. Do you see how that is contrary to the very core of the Second Amendment?
Furthermore, Barack Obama says he is going to “direct the U.S. Attorney General [Eric Holder] to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun and make recommendations to ensure dangerous people aren’t slipping through the cracks.” I thought we were trying to make sure only criminals didn’t own guns. Now the government wants a new classification, “dangerous people”, and the administration gets to define WHO that is. So, according to Obama and his czars, who are the “dangerous” people today? Who will they be tomorrow? And then where does the compromise end? [paraphrase from KrisAnne Hall, Constitutional attorney and author]
Tyranny will reign when a central power determines that a free people are dangerous. That is when patriots become “enemies of the state.” And a move to disarm a free People is the first act of oppression:
“Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command: for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.” -Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787
I resist, and call upon my fellow citizens in League City to do the same. I cited four authorities for the Resolution I’ve proposed for League city: the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments of the U.S Constitution, and Article 1, Section 23 of the Texas Constitution. The authority for the Resolution is undeniable, and sufficient to nullify any attempt by the federal government to infringe on our rights.
The paragraphs that give the League City Resolution some teeth is the paragraph nullifying any attempt by the federal government to register, tax, restrict, or confiscate our firearms. That section in particular is taken directly from current legislation filed in Austin (HB 553). The state legislation goes even further to make it a criminal offense for anyone who attempts to infringe on our inalienable Second Amendment rights. The bill has a good chance of passage and will completely undergird our local Resolution. Even if it doesn’t pass as-is, then our Resolution will only need its teeth in Section 3 to protect our police officers and citizens if the federal government invades our communities to confiscate our firearms – in which case, we’ve got much bigger problems at hand.
Barack Obama recently said while surrounded by children, “If parents and teachers, police officers, and pastors, if hunters and sportsman, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, enough. We’ve suffered too much pain, and care too much about our children to allow this to continue, then change will come.” I counter with the words of
Statesman Daniel Webster who said, “Is the Constitution worth preserving? Guard it as you would the seat of your life; guard it not only against the open blows of violence, but also against that spirit of change.”