Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tragedies Give Government Opportunities To Usurp Rights

Tragedies Give Government Opportunities To Usurp Rights
In a column published in today's Charleston City Paper, Jack Hunter argues that, given the excellent opportunities for rights usurpation recent national tragedies have provided our government (namely 9-11 and the school shootings), liberty-minded individuals should embrace their "extremism" in defense of their unalienable rights (highlights mine):
Before President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act in 2001, he said, "Today, we take an essential step in defeating terrorism, while protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans." At the time, the Left cried out that their constitutional rights were being stripped away, but in the emotional post-9/11 environment, they were powerless to do much about it. And Bush knew it.

Last week, before President Barack Obama issued his executive orders on gun control, he said, "I believe most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale." Afterward, the Right cried out that their Second Amendment rights are being stripped away, but in this emotional post-Sandy Hook tragedy environment, many feel powerless to do much about it.

And Obama knows it. 
Indeed, the government--manifested by both the Left and the Right--has leveraged the American people's' knee-jerk reactions to different national tragedies to expand its power over the populace in different ways. Jack continues:
I too fear that Obama is attacking the Second Amendment in unprecedented and dangerous ways. I also know that most liberals think conservatives are overreacting and that the Right is simply being too extreme on this issue. The Left may be right, but that doesn't mean that conservatives are absolutely right to "overreact." They are right to be "extreme." 
Yes, chipping away at the right to bear arms is quite possibly the government's most ambitious endeavor at usurping our unalienable rights. Throughout history, dictators have expanded their tyrannical reigns by first disarming the people. The next paragraph is key:
It is during times of national tragedy that we must guard our liberties most, precisely because public fear has always been the perfect cover for politicians looking to advance their own agendas through increased government power. I know very few liberals who didn't believe that Bush ­— or more accurately Vice President Dick Cheney and his neoconservative friends — didn't already have an authoritarian predilection for war and the national-security state well before 9/11. I know very few conservatives who doubt that Obama and his liberal friends don't have the same enthusiasm for grabbing guns every chance they can get.
Jack correctly pointed out in the previous paragraph that the latest attack on gun rights could be the beginning of an all-out assault. This is important: the government always provides perpetually-growing "solutions" to temporary problems. The next paragraph summarizes why many liberals and conservatives consider libertarians extremists:
Perhaps the more moderate view is that we should believe government is more honest or benevolent than this —that Bush and Obama both simply responded responsibly to national tragedies. I side with the extremists on this. I believe Bush and friends eventually used 9/11 as an excuse to shred the Fourth Amendment and start an irrational war in Iraq that neoconservatives had been itching for since the Clinton administration. And I believe Obama is using Sandy Hook as an excuse to trample the Second Amendment and pass stricter gun laws that liberals have been anxious to enact since forever.
You can read the rest of the column here. Great stuff, Jack!

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