Thursday, November 20, 2008
Concerning HR 1022, Assault Weapons Ban renewal
It’s seldom you’ll read an out-and-out political article on this blog. There are so many writers more eloquent than I, more qualified than I am, that it seems presumptuous of me to try to influence others. Well, here’s a rather out of character bit of writing. Please bear with me for a few minutes.
My old friend Stephen A. Camp sent along the link to this petition, with the comment that he doesn‘t know if these do any good but doesn’t think they can hurt. I believe that the situation now pending compels us ALL, not just firearms enthusiasts and gun owners, to do all we can to halt additional restrictions on our liberties.
It is a lot of trouble to send personal mail, paper or e-mail, to each of your legislators asking that they ALL oppose HR 1022, the proposed reenactment of the “Assault Weapons Ban.” Bothersome, but definitely worthwhile. At least SOME of the lawmakers in Washington and in the state capitols recall that they are there because the voters sent them to represent our interests. Justice and basic human rights should NOT be a popularity contest, but the fact remains, most representatives see their PRIMARY job as being re-elected. I believe that if we show them that a great many citizens decide our votes based on how THEY behave in the capitols, we can get their attention.
A personal request, friends - - Whether or not you sign THIS petition, please take a look at it. It will cost you maybe five minutes to look it over, make your decision, and sign up if you agree. Lots of individuals want to “keep a low profile,“ and not be noticed, lest the faceless “THEY“ single them out for attention. Well, think of it this way: The more good people who DO NOT MIND being noticed standing up for their rights, the less likely the anonymous functionaries can victimize individuals. Per Benjamin Franklin, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “. . . we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
Now, RIGHT NOW, is the time to stand up and be counted. In two years, in even ONE year, we'll be too far behind the curve and it’ll be too late. Let us take every opportunity to place legislators on notice that we, the people, are watching what they do. Do they represent our best interests, or are they more concerned with silencing dissent? Please, write the letters, send e-mails, make phone calls, talk to friends who are NOT particularly active “gun people.” Don’t be shrill, but give them to understand: If the second amendment is trashed, diluted, ignored with impunity, what then of the REST of the Bill of Rights? Shall the government act “for our own good,” and regulate the news media? What about your church? Any thoughts on being secure in your possessions and papers? How about forced self-incrimination, or that bothersome idea of trial by jury?
Hey, make no mistake. I am NOT a rabble rouser. I do NOT advocate the violent overthrow of our form of government. Far from it. But, by the same token, I don’t want to see this government, our veery freedoms, “regulated away,” one step at a time. I spent an entire career as a peace officer, a minion of the government -- of LOCAL government, subject to laws and ordinances mainly enacted by my community and state. City councilpersons, county commissioners, or state legislators sent to Austin from their home districts - - If any of these fail to represent their constituencies properly - - Texas voters are not bashful about replacing them. The system is not perfect, but it can work. So why not insist it work in our nation’s capitol?
Help us, friends. Help YOURSELVES. Do all in your power to resist passage of HR 1022, the reenactment of the "Assault Weapons Ban.” If Amendment II is made to fade away, what hope is there for the other nine?