Dear Government: Leave Us The **** Alone (or, How to Begin Restoring Freedom)
Individual liberty. It’s a good thing. We fought some wars over -- and for -- it.
But, sadly, here we are. 602 days into the 2016 Republican trifecta, millions and millions of people are still waiting for Congress to pass pro-Second Amendment bills so that they can finally access their fundamental, individual rights. You know; the kind of rights that pre-exist government itself, that “shall not be infringed,” and that politicians can’t help but hate?
Today, Reason’s Jacob Sullum makes an obvious but important point too often overlooked in the never-ending “debate” about how to preserve or gut the Constitution’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms: “Depriving people of the constitutional right to armed self-defense for such trivial reasons is an issue that you might think would interest an organization whose raison d'être is defending the Second Amendment.”
Well, yeah. That’s pretty much why Firearms Policy Coalition exists in the first place.
We got tired of the false and absurd “right versus left”, “Republicans versus Democrats” nonsense -- as if they both don’t want to ban your rights, take your property, and spend your money -- and wanted to put the People, the Constitution, and sound, rational policy first.
And as we explained over on Twitter, the real reason that marijuana and guns is an issue today is that the government wants the authority to arrest or shoot you if you have both. And both political parties are guilty of passing and perpetuating this travesty of justice.
Period. Full stop.
Want to see what we mean? Just call your representatives -- it doesn’t matter if they’re a Democrat or Republican -- and tell them to repeal 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(3) (“It shall be unlawful for any person . . . who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”).
They’ll be polite. Staffers of members of all political parties are usually really great about being professional and nice to constituents, even those who disagree with their boss. But you will get the most polite version of “**** off” you may ever get. Maybe even an official-looking letter that says nothing over and over again in hundreds of words.
Look, the federal government hates you having rights. State and local governments hate you having rights. (Well, at least the rights they don’t like or that don’t get them elected.)
They passed laws to ban people from having guns.
They passed laws banning people from having marijuana.
And they made having both worth double secret probation.
Just kidding; they actually will just put you in prison. Or shoot you. Or both.
And as an extra special bonus to soothe their show-us-on-the-doll-where-the-Constitution-touched-you inner tyrant, pro-gun control politicians like California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who in 2016 helped pass a marijuana law reform ballot proposition at the same time as he passed a gun control proposition, can now claim victory for disarming -- or at least putting at risk -- millions and millions gun owners who want to [or do] smoke (or vape, or consume somehow) that ol’ Devil’s lettuce -- weed, reefer, whatever -- even if it’s for medical reasons.
Quick note to Newsom (possibly the next governor of California): We know you hate us. But seriously, people who smoke weed have the same right to keep and bear arms for self-defense that you do--just like people who drink alcohol, or people that don’t.
Look, we know that insane, irrational, and despotic policy making has existed pretty much forever. (Politicians love them some “do something!” They gotta get elected, and re-elected, and re-elected, you know.)
Earlier this week, a federal judge struck down a California law that banned gun owners from -- get this -- showing people pictures of handguns (or even the word “handgun”) if it could be seen outside.
That law was passed in 1923 -- nearly a century ago -- in the same bill (AB 263) which enacted the “may-issue” concealed carry scheme and the Golden State’s “waiting period laws”. These laws were designed to … wait for it… target minories and keep “those people” (i.e., non-white people) from getting and carrying guns.
On a related note, California used to be an open carry state. That is, until then-Governor Ronald Reagan and some other white politicians saw black men with guns and decided that the government should… wait for it… ban it.
You’re shocked, we know. (/sarc)
But all is not lost. (Not sarc)
Here’s a couple of ways that we can begin to right the ship.
Instead of spending billions and trillions of dollars in bill after bill, how about Congress and President Trump prioritize, say, the Constitution and our rights?
Instead of banning a metric ****-ton of things, people, and conduct, maybe state legislators and executives could, you know, stop? (And maybe even start repealing some?)
Seriously, this is not hard to understand, folks.
The less powerful the government is, the more the People are empowered to live their lives peacefully and without interference. And maybe not get shot.
If the government wants to do something actually useful, perhaps it should start with this: Make America Free Again.
And leave everyone the **** alone.
The FPC Team
TL;DR: Government: Just leave everyone the **** alone already. People: Stop giving the government the power to **** with you and other people. Make the government leave everyone the **** alone. Kthxbye
P.S. President “take the guns first, go through due process second” Trump and “conservative” “Gun Violence Restraining Order, i.e. “red flag” law supporters, are you listening?
P.P.S. Code Is Free Speech