Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bill Providing for the creation of a firearms registry introduced in Pennsylvania Legislature

While widely attributed, it is most often Mark Twain who is credited with this pity observation:

“No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”

While Pennsylvania, more than most states, retains its remembrance of Liberty, the current carnage in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are testing the common sense of our elected officials. Several of them have introduced a bill which would create a registry of all firearms in the Commonwealth. With history as a guide, it is quite clear where this is headed.

As a purely academic and theoretical proposition, I'd like to see what would happen if this registration bill passes.

My guess is that you would see, right here in Pennsylvania - the cradle of Liberty, the first stirrings of a popular uprising against the authoritarian socialist welfare state that the United States has become.

There would be mass non-compliance and the government of the Commonwealth would have the choice of either using serious force to get its way - or backing down and repealing the law. Besides bombarding state legislators with demands for its repeal, other tactics might include refusing to pay state income tax - and hope that enough joined in to throw Harrisburg into shock; then we might refuse to register our cars - maybe even take the license plates off. I'd toss away all government ID and if asked, tell whoever asked me for it that I refuse to use it. Again, if enough of us did this, the powers that be would be overwhelmed and wouldn't be able to respond.

As a practical matter, even if the law was eventually repealed, some of us would be prosecuted - and they'd want to make examples of those that they caught. It would be bad for some of us - for a while. People would get run over by the government and many would go to jail or worse before we reasserted our rights.

We would have to use the strategies given us by Gandhi and refined by King. As soon as we started shooting – no matter how righteous our cause - we’d be written off by the rest of the country and the state could use all the force it wanted with the blessing of the people. Of course, if THEY started shooting first, well, then….

When, periodically, I re-read our Declaration of Independence, I am struck by the fact that the "injuries and usurpations" committed by the government of His Majesty King George III against the colonists in 1776 utterly pale next to those done to us daily by our own freely elected government in 2007. And I lament that I, seemingly, have not the fortitude which my ancestors showed in standing up to this repeated abuse – and crying, “No more!”

America is at a crossroads.

As Mr. Lincoln told us, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”

If you think, as many of our “citizens” today do, that living under an all-powerful federal government which can tell you not to smoke, not to eat trans fats, to not say certain words, or say anything which may offend someone, that takes your hard earned money from you before you even see it so that it can give it back to you when you turn 65 at less than 2% interest, that countenances the abrogation of property rights, that tells you to your face that it can use your money more wisely than you can, that tells you that you may not engage in your chosen profession without its approval and, finally, that tells you that you have not the right to an instrument by which you may effectively defend your property and your life - is not slavery, then yours is indeed a mean and craven existence.

Either we will reclaim our liberties, or we will become like China – outwardly prosperous, but hollow inside.

There are none now who remember, personally, the bravery and faith which our founders demonstrated, but we can remember that student who stood in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and those who stood up to the storm troopers in Gdansk in 1979 and those who fought against overwhelming odds against the Soviets in Afghanistan throughout the 80s. Ours is no less a revolution than that which occurred in 1917 – and like that one it has to be continually fought. People of the West today don’t remember, or never knew that for the vast majority of history, the normal state of human affairs is one of subjugation, brutality and misery.

Stalin enslaved, tortured and killed more people than Hitler ever dreamt of – but he gets a free pass from the intellectual left today. Why? Because he was trying to help. He was trying to make everybody equal. That’s all that matters to these people. And “these people” are currently running our country. Believe it. Unfortunately, for us, they are smart enough to know that they have to take away our liberties and freedoms slowly, imperceptibly, incrementally, daily chipping away at the foundations of our liberties so that when they've all been taken away, we won't even notice. Sadly, it's not a matter of 'Where will we draw the line?' but do we realize that the line has to be drawn? At what point will we say, "Enough!" when we don't even know what's happening?

"We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately." Thanks for the reminder, Ben. Are there any today who could do what you did?

Maybe, if this bill becomes law, it will be enough to convince people that they've lost much and - God willing - they'll want it back. Perhaps it will start here in Pennsylvania. The second American Revolution. But first we'll have to shake ourselves out of our funk. Clear our heads of the soft, soothing, sweet and melodious strains of the Nanny State's lullaby. I am not at all certain of the outcome. But I know this much, I won't be around to see the curtain come down on Liberty in Pennsylvania. In the immortal words of Davey Crockett, "You may all go to hell, I will go to Texas."


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