Obama:Constitution 'Constrains' Me
April 4, 2013
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In his pursuit of overarching gun control legislation inthe aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, President Barack Obama has beendogged. He's been relentless. He's been demagogic, too, whether flankinghimself with schoolchildren (the implication being that his political opponentsdon't care about dead kids) or suggesting that if just one life can be saved byhis legislation, we ought to buy into it wholeheartedly (a proposition thatwould justify almost any sort of government overreach).
But on Wednesday,President Obama took his gun control push a step further: He admitted that onlythe Constitution stands between him and full gun confiscation.
Rejecting concerns that new background checks might be a prelude to gunseizures, Obama suggested that worries about gun seizures were empty, and wereonly designed to feed "into fears about government. You hear some of thesefolks: 'I need a gun to protect myself from the government. We can't dobackground checks because the government's going to come take my guns away.'The government's us. These officials are elected by you. ... I am constrainedas they are constrained by the system that our founders put in place."
This is deeply frightening language. The notion that government tyranny isimpossible in an elective republic is insanity of the first order. Hitler waselected chancellor. Mussolini manipulated his way into power throughconstitutional means. Hamas was elected in the Gaza Strip. Mohammed Morsi andhis thuggish Muslim Brotherhood were elected in Egypt. If rights are dependenton votes — if we only have a right to bear arms because a majority of thepopulation elects politicians who say we have a right to bear arms — then wehave no rights at all.
The point of rights is to guarantee them against government. That is why thefounders stated that rights descend not from government — not from"us," as Obama would have it — but from God or nature. And in truth,Obama feels the same way about rights he thinks are universal, including theso-called right to same-sex marriage or the right to abortion. Reverse Obama'sargument by stating that radical feminists worry about a complete ban onabortion, but that feeds into fears about government, which after all, is only"us." Would Obama agree with this? Or would he say that true rightscannot be violated, even by a majority vote?
Government is not us. Government is a group of people elected by us, who thenuse their own judgment. If government were us, we would be a pure democracy.And even if we were a pure democracy, that would not give us the right toviolate the rights of others. The logic Obama uses with regard to gun controlis the root of fascism and oppression. Liberalism is reliant on the concept ofrights that supersede popular whim. And the greatest right — the right thatprotects all other rights, especially when popular whims turn against humanliberties — is the right to bear arms.
If Americans weren'tafraid of government violation of rights before Obama spoke about guns thisweek, they should be now. This is a president who cannot understand or willfully ignores the notion oftyrannical government. And if he refuses to see that possibility, then Americanrights are very much in jeopardy.