In light of the still very recent calamitous shooting in Parkland, Florida, there has been continuous talk about the authority the U.S. government and its agencies have to restrict the use of individual firearms of American citizens. In my travels, I hear individuals in airports, hotels, restaurants, and all over speaking about it. So I felt compelled to make a non-emotional, Constitutional point.
Barring the words of the Second Amendment, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” the Constitution is silent on this fundamental God-given right to self-preservation. Furthermore, and more importantly, it grants no authority to the federal government to speak to this issue.
Consider with me, if you will, that there are hundreds of thousands of individuals in the United States serving in an elected public office. As a result, there is constant opposition to the way they behave, and for those who vote on bills or resolutions, the way they vote.
Of course, the First Amendment preserves their unalienable right to voice their grievance in this manner. And I’m glad that it does so.
Understanding no one is perfect, we can all be assured that those in office have certainly made their share of mistakes. But as Americans, we must operate on the assumption that the law-abiding people in any specific geographic region want their representative to represent them in a lawful manner. Likewise, those represented should make this their first priority.
But do you realize that just because the media, public opinion, a political party or, furthermore, a legislature, a court, or another public official declares something to be the law, this alone does not make it so?
In the instance of firearm restrictions, in order for it to be lawful, it must meet two objective standards. One is an eternal standard: the moral law. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson calls this the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God. An example of a violation of the moral law (or the Law of nature) might be a law against arson or a law against rape.
Similarly, an act of a legislature must also meet the requirements of the U.S. and State Constitutions.
If it fails to meet either of these two standards, then it fails to be a law, and any public official’s oath requires that they vote against it. They have no choice but to follow their oath.
This is true no matter how good it sounds, how politically expedient it is, or how well-intended it might be.
So, when an elected official disappoints you by voting differently than you demand, I am asking that you consider whether what you are demanding is, in fact, lawful.
If you ask your representative to vote for something that violates the Moral Law or the Constitution, then you are asking him to “break the law,” not to “make the law.”
This is applicable no matter what the legislation is. This is a simple question of authority and whether or not it has been delegated to your representative. Learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.