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Striking at our heel

By Alisa Craddock
web posted July 16, 2007

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the    United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. – Congressional Oath of Office.

…But then, of course, it all depends on what the definition of "is" is.  Who are its enemies?  If you're a liberal, there are no such things as enemies, or rather, it's politically incorrect to acknowledge that there are—except George W. Bush, anyone who actually follows their Christian faith, or anyone with conservative political views.  By what standard do you measure "true faith and allegiance" when we don't even agree on what the Constitution means?  The enemy within may be your next door neighbor.  If "true faith and allegiance" means, as Holy Scriptures do to social and theological liberals, whatever is fashionable for it to mean, or whatever you decide it means, whatever it is politically expedient at this moment for it to mean, then of course, by being true to your own interpretation, you are bearing "true faith and allegiance".  But then, doesn't that qualify as a "purpose of evasion"?   

Aren't you, in fact, taking the oath, figuratively speaking, with your fingers crossed behind your back?  We live, after all, in a republic.  But is a republic simply the absence of a monarch?  If we still have "representative" government, and those who represent us impose upon us laws which we find dangerous or tyrannical, is it still a republic?  In the view of Thomas Paine, England, though it had representative government, could not be called a "republic".  Its freedom depended on "the virtue of the House of Commons (the republican part in the Constitution)," and with that part corrupted and "eaten out," a corrupt monarchy had full sway.  "When republican virtue fails," said Paine, "slavery ensues."

To John Locke, it meant a representative government which moves "that way whither the greater force carries it, which is the consent of the majority".   Thomas Jefferson would add "that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable." 

Most with a modicum of historical knowledge would agree that the republican form of government envisioned by our Fathers had a narrowly defined role having to do primarily with national security and enacting treaties, regulating the currency, and other concerns that are of a national character.  In situations such as treaty making and mutual defense agreements where the people may not be directly involved in the decision, it should, nevertheless, be in the best interests of the people in accordance with the Constitution, and not infringe upon those rights which are understood to be natural rights of the citizens in whose name they are being made, or diminish the sovereignty of that nation which exists to secure the rights of those citizens.  Such a role presupposes that the treaties you sign on behalf of your nation do not undermine the Constitution itself, or the will and benefit of those who live under that law.  Adams described a republic as "an empire of laws, not of men."   Our Constitution is the foundation of our laws, and the compass by which our society determines whether or not its government is acting in its interests.   If we are inconsistent about the meaning of the laws, or if the laws which are enacted are unreasonable, that is, defy the truths and the standards of virtue by which men live, confusion ensues, corruption enters, freedom is eaten away.

Such a government, as John Adams reminds us, is to be "bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend."  And yet, here we are, with a schism of ideologies, struggling by all political means against an increasingly powerful shadow government and an official government which is quite often deaf to those who elected them.  The schism is not precisely along party lines.  Both claim the patriotic high ground, but only one vision represents authentic freedom.   The conflict is not between political parties, but between Truth and untruth.  Some wisdom may be found an ancient story familiar to most of us: 

"I will put enmity between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers.  They will strike at your head and you will strike at their heel."  Gen 3:15

The Church calls this the protogospel, a story which foreshadows the battle between the Serpent who is the devil, and the Woman and her Offspring, meaning Mary and her Son, Our Lord, described in the Apocalypse.  [Though most translations say "he" will strike at your head, earlier translations said "she", and the Hebrew Torah translates it as "they";   Catholics do recognize Mary's role in salvation, as also Eve's role in the Fall.] 

It is in the nature of the Serpent to strike at the heel, metaphorically speaking.  His promise is the same in every age:  "You can be like God.  You can decide for yourself what is good and what is evil", and God help us, we never learn, and so we experience "The Fall" all over again.  The devil is often portrayed in stories offering something very enticing, some "needful thing" (to borrow the title from Stephen King) that a person wants, but he soon learns there is a price to pay for gifts or favors from the devil.  In political terms, for most of us, that "bargain" may take the form of government promises of a better life if you "vote for this candidate", or "support this regime".  Leftists, Socialists, and Communists frequently use promises of redistributed wealth to gain the support of the oppressed masses in order to gain power, but their solution is always an increase in taxes, which somehow never translates to more money in our pockets (go figure), and the cost in loss of freedom is never measured until it is too late.  And, of course, they promise peace, but the peace is obtained through oppression, made easier by disarmament of the citizenry.  No one dare "disturb the peace" by objecting to government policies in a Left-wing dictatorship.  (It won't keep you from being shot in a burglary, though.)

In our country, we have the right to bear arms.  The Bill of Rights is a list of what are regarded as natural rights of individual citizen, The 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is no different.  It is this Right which gives teeth to the others, which ensures that you are able to protect your life, your property, your family, and if necessary, your freedom, even, and perhaps especially, in the event that the government should begin too become tyrannical.  As Thomas Jefferson put it, "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

It is apparent to a growing number of us that our government has gotten too power-happy, that they are conditioning the population to take upon itself the yoke of political slavery through various treaties and government "policies" and "regulations" that undermine the rights guaranteed in our Constitution.   It is conquest by stealth, and because it is so gradual and because the changes often come cloaked in the mantle of "progress" toward a more peaceful, more prosperous society, using appealing, progressive sounding euphemisms to disguise the true nature of the controls being imposed upon us, we go along blindly and placidly accepting each new restriction, never realizing the metamorphosis that is taking place. Corporations, too, are being used to foist these changes upon us (and this may be the most telling aspect of all regarding the nature of this most recent threat against freedom) dictating not merely how we behave, but in fact expecting people to sign policy statements that often infringe on their individual rights as a condition of employment or continued employment.  Ultimately it is to the government we look when we gauge our freedom, and the whittling away of that freedom under odious laws, for it is the government that makes the laws, and the corporations must abide by those laws.  If they are partners in the political enslavement of the population, that constitutes a racket; there is a profound threat to freedom indeed, for one needs one's livelihood.

Our right to bear arms is precisely our ability to fight enemies from within as well as without.  It is for this reason and no other that governments desire to disarm their citizenry.  In one after another of the countries where tyranny took hold in the previous century alone, in each case the guns were confiscated first.  Germany, the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, and others, hundreds of thousands, and often millions were slaughtered because they were defenseless and their elimination was deemed expedient in order for the regime to secure power.  But our country was born out of a spirit of rebellion against tyranny:

"…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."  From The U.S. Declaration of Independence

We are a government of the people.  The Right to bear arms goes directly to the heart of our ability to self-govern.  Remove it, and it is the last nail in our coffin as a free people.  Because the Right to keep and bear arms is embedded in the Law of our Land, the Constitution, it is difficult for those who wish to surrender our sovereignty to the global government to find a way to do it.  One method we witnessed during Katrina occurred when the police, using the violence perpetrated by those lawless people who stole guns from damaged Wal-Mart stores as a pretext,  used records of gun ownership to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens, leaving them helpless during a time of extreme crisis against marauding outlaws.  The case went to court, however, and the courts sided with the citizens.

We all recognize that every time there is a school shooting such as the massacre of 32 unarmed students at "gun-free" Virginia Tech, the voices for gun control are raised to a fever pitch, and grieving parents, desperate that something be done, unable to turn back the clock to save their young ones, are easily draw into the false solution of gun control.  But it is a lie.  Only five years ago, students at a Virginia law school ran to their vehicles to obtain guns used to stop a murder spree there.  Kennesaw, Georgia hasn't had a single murder in 25 years since it instituted a law requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun.  A colleague of mine who grew up in Australia and whose family were still there, had gleefully told me several years ago about the newly instituted gun ban in her country.  I told her of the statistics, that disarming the citizens increases violent crime rather than reducing it, because the criminals will always find ways to obtain weapons, and unarmed citizens are easy marks.  A few weeks later, her brother found himself in the crossfire of a drive by shooting and narrowly missed getting shot. 

But the Serpent always goes for the heel.  Our leaders know these statistics as well as we do; better in fact.  But an armed citizenry doesn't fit in with the Plan, so how to do it.  As the Wicked Witch reminds us, "These things must be done delicately."

The stealth solution is at least two-fold.  One solution, according to a World Net Daily article, has been to yank the licenses of gun shop owners on paperwork technicalities, minor rules infractions that involve something as petty as abbreviating the name of a city on a federal form.  (Apparently the space is so tiny, cities like Baltimore or Jacksonville won't fit in the space.)  The ATF sends "auditors" to "find" mistakes (one gun shop owner overhead two of them talking, and one of them said "We're going to keep doing this until we find something.")  Besides being blatant harassment, it has been a most effective means of gradually drying up the supply.  Twenty years ago there were about 250,000 gun dealers.   Now there are only 108,381.

Another method being considered is a proposal by OSHA of a new regulation which, according to the NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation), "would force the closure of nearly all ammunition manufacturers and force the cost of small arms ammunition to skyrocket beyond what the market could bear—essentially collapsing our industry...The cost to comply with the proposed rule for the ammunition industry, including manufacturer, wholesale distributors and retailers, will be massive and easily exceed $100 million. For example, ammunition and smokeless propellant manufacturers would have to shut down and evacuate a factory when a thunderstorm approached and customers would not be allowed within 50 feet of any ammunition (displayed or otherwise stored) without first being searched for matches or lighters."

So if they can't dry up demand, they will go after supply.  That's what I call "striking at their heel."  If our government is trying that hard to take away our guns, you might want to think about what their true intentions are.

Would it surprise you to learn that Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama are all prominent members of the OSHA oversight committee? ESR

Alisa Craddock is a columnist and activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian.  She may be contacted at
alisa.craddock at hushmail.com.


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