Far be it from contemporary politicians to pay any regard to the U.S. Constitution; in fact, they seem committed to doing just the opposite, crushing our rights and insulting us in the bargain. Case in point: The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands just signed an “emergency order” allowing the National Guard to seize firearms, ammunition, explosives, and land that they say they “need” to combat the effects of Hurricane Irma.
This is not something people can overlook.
It’s one of the most gob-smacking, outrageous, and arrogant claims of power over free individuals in years, and it is getting very little attention from the state-loving pop media.
Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp signed the “order” (don’t bother wondering about his authority do to so, just read the word “order” and walk in lock-step, comrade) on Monday, just as Irma was gaining strength and heading northwest in the Atlantic.
Have “civil rights leaders” criticized him for breaking the Second Amendment, and literally threatening peaceful people with government aggression if they don’t give up their property (including the property of firearms, ammo, etc)? Nope.
Has Antifa issued a statement condemning this fascistic breach of individual liberty and the right to self-protection?
Is Al Sharpton organizing a protest march in Washington, D.C., to tell the U.S. government to leave people alone?
And it appears that no one in the pop media is asking some obvious questions, such as: Where in the U.S. Constitution does the government find this power, especially since the Constitution explicitly prohibits agents of the state from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms?
Where in the Western ethical tradition is it deemed acceptable for a government -- which is supposed to “protect property” -- to take property any time the politicians want? That’s pretty much counter to the very raison d’etre we’re given for the existence of the state in the first place.
And what does the excuse -- that the National Guard might “need” these things during the storm – tell us about the level of preparedness of the National Guard? If the National Guard is being called to go into the Virgin Islands without sufficient arms and ammo to protect people, and will thus, as the Governor’s order says, need to threaten and take those resources from the people, isn’t that telling us the Guard is not in any way ready to do the job?
How it is possible that U.S. citizens have to remind officials that they do not have the legal or moral authority to engage in this behavior, even as the officials make up lame excuses that government “need” overrides individual rights?
Do they need more education on the matter? Do Americans need to be more vocal about their rights?
In 2006, Congress had to pass legislation to layer on top of the already existing Constitutional provision prohibiting government from seizing weapons, after just this kind of thing happened in the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina. To that end, the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act is supposed to stop this kind of thing via statute (again, statute that is really superfluous, because the Second Amendment already exists). Yet the Guard and Mapp are fully prepared to engage in activities that are completely hostile to their oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution and constitutional laws.
Now, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is getting involved. The NRA has just announced that it is prepared to sue Mapp and those who follow his orders. Chris Cox, Executive Director of the NRA’s Legal Action group issued a very definitive statement on the matter:
(L)aw-abiding American citizens must be able to protect their families and loved ones… The NRA is prepared to pursue legal action to halt Gov. Mapp's dangerous and unconstitutional order.
This should not be necessary. But, as we can see, it is, and Americans in the 50 states should not be so sanguine as to think the same thing couldn't happen here. It has, and it is happening in U.S.-controlled territory right now.
Politicians, backed with military power, are ready to infringe on the right to self-defense. The rationales are abjectly absurd and insulting.
The politicians don’t seem to care. In fact, they will likely paint as “aggressive” or “obstructionist” those of us who point out their wrongdoing.
So be it. The primacy of the individual to be able to defend himself or herself is something worth defending, especially during times of crisis when acquisitive and rapacious politicians are ready to take more and more rights away.