ANOTHER LOOK AT BACKGROUND CHECKS
As this writer has stated before about when I was a lad in the U.S. Army, my First Sergeant claimed that the purpose of a pistol was to defend oneself until he could reach his rifle. And the rifle contained more than ten rounds. A previous Montana Secretary of State has written that “clips” (those of us who have actually used them in combat call them magazines) of more than ten rounds are redundant, and that an expansion of “background checks” is not only necessary, but prudent and necessary. To someone defending their life and/or loved ones, having lots of ammunition is reassuring, not redundant. He also implied that “red flag” laws would be another tool to help prevent “gun violence”.
With all due respect to the good people who are so concerned about “gun violence”, guns are not violent. Guns, firearms, weapons, etc., are inanimate objects that can be used for a multitude of uses. The intent of the person using these items determines the morality and its’ level of violence. Any attempt to portray guns as “violent” is a false narrative disguising their true intent. And make no mistake about it, the intent is disarming the American populace rendering them impotent in the face of danger.
“Background checks” introduce another legal question that has been ignored in the ongoing debate about the illegal use of guns. What “background checks” demand is that you get permission from the government before you exercise your 2nd Amendment rights. This concept is known in law as “prior restraint”. The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently denied the right of the government to use “prior restraint” in restrictions upon freedom of speech, press and petitioning the government. Even regarding the “right of assembly”, any prior restraint must be minimal and reasonable. The ability to deny permission in advance of one’s exercise of a protected right is the ability to render that right unusable. The clamor over “background checks” and “red flag laws” is a disguised attempt to get the people to accept the principle that the government grants your rights instead of protecting them. Accepting that would mean that the American people would overturn the American Revolution and the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence.
Consequently, I would remind the reader of the words of President Ronald Reagan when he stated, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on to them to do the same.” I urge the reader to do the same.
Montana House of Representatives, District #8
Chairman, Flathead Valley Republican Central Committee
SEPARATING BRAVE PEOPLE FROM SCARED PEOPLE
There are many times in a person’s life when they are confronted with fear. Physical danger, moral dilemmas, and emotional distress are just a few of the immediate causations of what is called fear. Bravery is often defined as the suppression of fear (it never is really conquered) and is rightfully acknowledged as a virtue to be developed and encouraged. When faced with a situation involving peril, people can be divided into two groups, those who become brave and those who remain scared. The current debate over providing a safe environment for our school children is such a moment.
Scared people hope and rely on someone else to save and/or rescue him or her from their dilemma. People who become brave seek a solution to their situation themselves. In the ongoing dialogue about providing safety for our children, we see this tendency displayed. Scared people want to defy reality by providing an environment devoid of danger. Such instinct fails to recognize that evil in people is the real danger, not their tools. Such attitude and action is immoral, because it necessitates placing our collective security upon law enforcement alone. This attitude declares that the lives and safety of law enforcement is worth less than our own since we are not prepared to defend ourselves but demand law enforcement do it for us. This writer rejects that position. Declaring that the training and arming of teachers is “lunacy” is not only immoral, but also insulting. Other than parents, no one is more prepared, willing and devoted to defending our school children than their teachers. Should they not be allowed to utilize effective tools for that brave task? (Full disclosure: This Vietnam veteran spent 42 years as a public high school teacher)
Since the discussion of children’s safety is on the table, isn’t it also time to discuss something that kills almost a million children every year? This nation engages in infanticide by abortion, yet we are consumed with the idea that reducing the inalienable right of self-defense will make children safer.
REPUBLICANS: UNITED OR NOT?
Several years ago, I wrote the following op-ed for the Flathead Beacon. BTW, it wasn’t long after that the editor fired me for being too “obstinate and partisan.”
The establishment of political parties was not an intended consequence in the creation of this Republic. But parties were the predictable result of the struggle for ratification and implementation of the new Constitution. Since that time, we have had a two-party system with a remarkable consistency of constituency. The Federalists-Whigs-Republicans have generally represented those who envisioned an America that needed commerce, business, trade, industry and protection of private property. The Jeffersonian Republicans-Democrats have generally represented those who visualized an agrarian future and later those labeled as “disadvantaged.” Notice there is no mention of a philosophical orientation of liberal vs. conservative.
As the 20th Century dawned, progressives infested with socialist-Marxist doctrine began to usurp the Democrat Party. Over the past 100 years, believing that only enhanced government power could achieve their social agenda; Democrats have worked diligently to destroy the Christian-based Federalism of the Founders. Republicans have been on the defensive ever since.
When faced with destruction, unity is the only recourse. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Either we hang together or we will hang separately.” Conservative Republicans, in order to save Montana and America, must unite, instill discipline, and dismantle the Democrat Party’s tyrannical and socialist creations. There is no room for “crossover coalitions”, RINOs or “bipartisanship.”
That is what I wrote in 2012. Since then much has changed. My basic premise however, remains intact. Montana and America have two very different political parties, both engaged in a struggle for the hearts and minds of the American people, and as Republicans we believe to the bottom of our souls, that if we lose this struggle, America itself will be destroyed.
Republicans are being told that they are a deeply divided party. It serves the Democrats and progressives (they used to call themselves liberals) to perpetuate that myth. Democrats assert that if you admit to being a Republican, by definition, you are racist, homophobic, an unsympathetic cold-hearted, greedy grasper of wealth and would abandon the less fortunate to fates worse than death. Being assailed constantly by such claims it is no wonder that some Republicans back away, avoid confrontation, and compromise just to end the abuse. But the abuse doesn’t end and it never will.
So, are we Republicans united in our defense of the Christian-based Federalism of our Founders, or are we merely a “lite” version of Democrats? Are we fatally divided because we have some members that seem to quake in fear when accused of “crimes against humanity” for defending the Constitution? Are we guilty of “treason” because we defend the “separation of powers” and the Constitutional right of Congress’ “power of the purse?” Are we doomed to brief periods of majority punctuated by the inevitable and inexorable “tide of science and history” that will render the ultimate victory of the liberal/progressive/socialist Democrats?
Another way to look at the present state of the Republican Party might be more realistic. “My father’s house has many mansions.” Being an optimist myself; (I have been accused of calling floodwater only heavy dew), I prefer to believe that the inherent common sense and decency of the American people will prevail. But Christians aren’t supposed to just sit back and wait for Judgment Day and/or the Rapture. We are given the Great Commission, and we have a duty to be disciples and evangelists. Well, so are Republicans. We cannot sit down in the mud and wait for sunshine. We must make it clear that when we oppose the government handing out “alms to the poor”; that doesn’t mean we oppose charity. We must point out the massive difference between charity and welfare. Our national soul determines whether the Constitution is a piece of parchment or enshrines principles like equal rights for all and special privileges for none, that law resides above man, that men are not angels and that we must compel government’s non-angels to control themselves, that it is the job of government and society to protect traditional marriage and families, and that the most important thing in America is protecting the rights of the minority, the most important of which is the individual.
We have two games ahead of us, a short game and a long game. Or in military terms, a tactical plan and a strategic plan. The short game (or tactical plan) necessitates us winning each and every election possible. That does not mean that we come out of our busy, productive and non-community organizer lives only every two or four years. It means we have to win EVERY election we possibly can. ANY Republican is better than ANY Democrat. Remember what Democrats stand for: infanticide, destruction of marriage and family, surrender in foreign affairs, invasion of our country by illegal immigrants, and increasing the crushing national debt upon our children and grandchildren. At the local level, precinct committee elections, county commissioners, local school boards, regulatory commissions, and local sheriff are only the beginning. At the State level, we have to win more than just the State governorship, we need control of the Land Board, which means winning at least three of the five Statewide offices in Montana. And of course, we must win ALL the legislative offices at State and Congressional level. That is our short game.
Strategically we have an even harder task. We must turn around the culture and society that elected a Barack Hussein Obama twice. Fifty years ago this month, Daniel Patrick Moynihan pointed out that 24% of African-American births were to unmarried women. Sensitivity enforcers called him racist and denounced him. Today, 72% of African-American children are born to single women, 48% of first births of all races and ethnicities are to unmarried women, and more than 3 million mothers under 30 are not living with the fathers of their children. 25 years ago, the political scientist Lawrence Mead stated: “The inequalities that stem from the workplace are now trivial in comparison to those stemming from family structure. What matters for success is less whether your father was rich or poor than whether you knew your father at all.”
Recapturing our culture will require a herculean effort and if I had an easy answer as to how to do that I wouldn’t be an obscure pensioner in northwest Montana. But I believe that each of us must do as much as we can and so, after 5 ½ years of retirement, I went back to work, working for our Congressman. We elected him, so we need him to succeed and truly represent Montana Republicans. If I can help him be successful protecting the Constitution and the posterity of the American people, then I cannot retire. Now I am seeking to represent Montanans in the State Legislature. We must win the long game. So I end this missive with two quotations and an old Jewish prayer.
“Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.”
“It is dangerous to be right, when the government is wrong.
“God, why is this happening? Why don’t you send someone to aid your people? Why is there so much evil and misery here? Why don’t you send someone to help?
I did send someone; I sent you.”