Alexander's Column

Leftists Reset Their Sights on the Second Amendment

Memo to Republicans: The Topic Is Liberty, Not the 'Rights of Hunters'

By Mark Alexander · Jul. 26, 2012
“The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone. … The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition.” –James Madison (Federalist No. 46)
The Palladium of Liberties

In the wake of the tragic mass murder in Aurora, Colorado, last week, three groups weighed in on the “gun problem.”

Predictably, the first two groups were Obama and his Leftist cadres, including his Leftmedia sycophants, who never “let a crisis go to waste” to advance their political agenda.

In what amounts to a major policy shift for Obama, he has made a political calculation that proposing new “gun control” measures will be a winning issue this fall. For the last two decades, gun control has been a losing proposition for Democrats, but in a desperate measure to create campaign traction, the King of Hubris has decided he can turn that around. Make no mistake, this may be a policy shift but Obama has a long history of Second Amendment opposition.

Obama was banking on the Supreme Court overturning his socialized medical care agenda so ObamaCare could be the centerpiece of his campaign, but Chief Justice John Roberts disabled that strategy.

Obama can’t win on “jobs” or the success of his socialist “economic recovery plan,” though, astoundingly, he is still trying to sell it as a success. From the guy who recently claimed “the private sector is doing fine,” and, “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen,” comes this assertion about Mitt Romney’s plan to cut taxes and spending: “[Previous administrations] tried that and it didn’t work.” Of course it did work, but what Obama said next is the acme of his obfuscation: “Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan – and it worked. That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.”

OK, well that BIG LIE will only work with Obama’s most devoted lemmings, and he can only get so far with the other two pillars of his re-election campaign, tax “fairness” and class warfare.

So where is Obama to go for the five percent voter shift he needs to win in November?

Preying on the dead in Aurora, he has decided to target the Second Amendment, hoping he can muster sufficient emotional support from female voters, who have been trending toward the conservative side of the ballot since 2008.

After all, the most significant obstacle to Obama’s ability to fully implement his socialist agenda is that pesky amendment codifying the inalienable right of American Patriots to defend Essential Liberty, since 1776.

So Obama is gambling that Aurora will give him an opening to reverse course, and set a new heading toward disarming American gun owners. He set the tone for that heading, telling National Urban League convention attendees that, though he appreciates the tradition of hunting, “I believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals, that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

“AK-47s”? That was an interesting choice of weapon, since those Russian and Chinese arms are carried “on the battle field of war” by Islamists killing American soldiers – not that we would expect Obama to know the difference between an AK-47 and a Red Ryder BB gun. As for putting weapons “in the hands of criminals,” see Obama’s “Fast and Furious” initiative.

Obama insisted, “We should leave no stone unturned and recognize that we have no greater mission as a country than keeping our young people safe. Even as we debate government’s role, we have to understand that when a child opens fire on another child, there’s a hole in that child’s heart that government alone can’t fill.”

Obama's Solution

Actually, the only “children” who are opening fire on other children, are 15-18 year old gang bangers, who, along with their 19-25 year old “brothers” account for most of the violence in the United States. And it is with great irony that Obama suggests “government alone can’t fill” the void in their hearts, since generations of Leftist social policies have instituted the cultural degradation that creates those holes. But, as noted earlier, suggesting that gun control measures are all about “protecting the children” tugs at the emotional strings of female voters.

Obama’s assault on the Second Amendment, like the rest of his socialist propaganda, must be countered with clear and concise rebuttal.

But the most distressing reaction to the tragedy in Aurora was from the third group of respondents – Republicans – who attempted to rebut Obama’s politicization of the tragedy with data comparing the rate of murders with guns to negligent highway deaths cause by alcohol use or texting while driving, etc. It’s not that such data isn’t important when rebutting the Leftist’s gun control agenda – I’ve researched and provided great detail on comparative causes of death and other vectors for challenging the gun controllers. But that data is only tangential.

The real Second Amendment debate is not about guns, but is framed in the context of defending Essential Liberty as endowed by our Creator and enshrined in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Justice Joseph Story, appointed to the Supreme Court by our Constitution’s principal author, James Madison, wrote in his “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” (1833), “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

By extension, that debate needs to come right back around to the question of whether Mitt Romney or Barack Hussein Obama will do a better job of defending Liberty against tyranny.

And the presidential question is not so much one of “gun policy” as it is of Supreme Court appointees. Specifically, the next president will likely make two or even three appointments to the Court. If Obama is re-elected, he’ll likely flip the court to a solid 5-4 leftist majority supporting all manner of gun restrictions, in order to circumvent legislative obstacles. Indeed, Obama proudly claimed this week that, regardless of legislative action, “We’ve been able to take some actions on our own, recognizing that it’s not always easy getting things through Congress these days.” If given a liberal SCOTUS majority, that will open up a major thruway for Obama’s agenda.

Fortunately, if Romney is elected, and if he’s able to replace one or both of the High Court’s two aging liberal justices (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 79, and Stephen Breyer is 73), he’ll be able to take the court to a 6-3 majority in support of the Second Amendment.

Yes, as governor of the Peoples' Republic of Massachusetts, Romney acquiesced to overwhelming Democrat state house majorities on a number of key issues, including a so-called “assault weapon” ban. Obama is banking on that acquiescence to undermine the credibility of any rebuttal from Romney to Obama’s new gun control initiatives, which we expect to hear more about in the next week.

However, I believe a President Romney will prove to be a remarkable contrast to the former Governor Romney of a decade ago. After all, the most outstanding president in the last century, Ronald Reagan, was once a Democrat. (Not that I’m suggesting Romney will be another Reagan.)

In 2005, against enormous political obstacles but as a lame duck governor, Romney cautiously revealed his support for the Second Amendment. That year he sponsored “The Right to Bear Arms Day” in Massachusetts. He became a Life Member of the NRA in 2006.

In an address to the NRA in 2007, he said, “I support the Second Amendment as one of the most basic and fundamental rights of every American.” In remarks to the National Shooting Sports Foundation that year, Romney repeated this strong support, calling the Second Amendment “essential to our functioning as a free society, as are all the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights.”

In 2008, Romney told The Washington Post, “With respect to gun control laws, I believe we need to distinguish between law abiding gun owners and criminals who use guns. Those who use a firearm during the commission of a crime must be punished severely. The key is to provide law enforcement with the resources they need and punish criminals, not burden lawful gun owners.”

On the Aurora tragedy, Romney correctly shifted the debate from Obama’s insistence that violence is a gun problem, to the fact that violence is a cultural problem – institutionalized by the Left. “I don’t believe that America needs new gun laws. [What the Aurora perpetrator] did was clearly against the law, but the fact that it was against the law did not prevent it from happening. We can sometimes hope that just changing a law will make all bad things go away. It won’t. Changing the heart of the American people may well be what’s essential to improve the lot of the American people.”

To the issue of Supreme Court appointees, Romney said, “One of the most active fronts in the fight to preserve our Second Amendment rights today is being waged in the courts. … I’ve made it clear that I’ll appoint judges who believe in strictly interpreting the Constitution, judges in the mold of Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas. It’s simply wrong for judges to legislate from the bench. They should follow the law in the Constitution, not make new law. The right to bear arms is the cornerstone of our personal freedoms.”

However, Romney missed the mark by concluding that the Second Amendment is “a constitutional guarantee passed down to us by the founders.” Indeed, it was codified in our Constitution by our Founders, but it is passed down to us as a natural right “endowed by our Creator.”

(Read Romney’s address to the NRA, and if you have pesky relatives or neighbors who advocate for gun control, get them a few of these “Gun Free Household” stickers for their front and back doors.)