Don’t Conflate Freedom to Protest and Insurrection


You have a right to bear arms. You do NOT have a right to take up arms against the government of the United States. That is called insurrection. That is a crime. You go to jail. You may not like the government we have now. You may be furious at the ineptitude in DC. You may rail against the corrupt, illegal actions of those in power. You may not like what they do, but you have recourse in courts, law and most importantly in the political sphere. You have power in the press. You have power in petitioning the government. You have power in free association. You have power in speech.

Whether certain aspects of our society like it or not the power of the federal government over land has grown for over 100 years. This power is not something new. The federal government has declared itself, through an act of Congress, to be the overseer of our land preservation. That there is overreach, and especially an overreach for self-aggrandizement by person(s) in DC does not change the law. It should also come as no surprise. It is also not something that just started over the last few years. Corruption is nothing new in DC. Corruption and politics go hand in hand no matter the nation.Weeding out the dishonest is the job of the citizenry. Holding those in power to account is the job of the citizenry. If WE THE PEOPLE fail, we have no one to blame but themselves.

Here in the United States, you can go to court to challenge the actions of the government. In fact on several occasions citizens have even won. Yes you can fight city hall. It may be long, protracted and uncomfortable, but you can do it if you have the stamina and the fortitude. But when you lose you are obligated to follow the law. You cannot just decide that you are going to do what you want to do because you want to do it. This is called anarchy. You become no better than the pot smoking, molotov cocktail throwing, Guy Fawkes mask wearing hooligans that attack every G-8 summit meeting.

Our form of government is built upon several levels of action. The first being the right of the citizen to vote. These votes send a person to Congress, aka the second level of action. If you don’t like what your elected officials do, you have the right to change them. Throw the bums out of office. This is the hallmark of our republic. Meanwhile the third level of action is the judiciary. If the government unfairly applies laws to the citizenry you have a right to defend yourself in court. Under many circumstances you can challenge the actions of the government by bringing a lawsuit (with leave to sue despite sovereign immunity), especially if it is a property taking. But once the court rules, the court rules. How the law is interpreted by the Court, and what it means, becomes the law of the land. In fact  courts can and do, rewrite the definition and meaning of a law as it has on occasion. The Supreme Court can find hidden rights, such as privacy, in the Constitution and apply it in ways not meant by our founding fathers. They can expand the reach of the federal government using the commerce clause and taxing power, equal protection and substantive due process. Legislating from the bench is a favorite and recognized past time. And YOU, as a citizen are obligated to follow that law. It is part and parcel of your contract with the government.

We, as citizens, do not have the right to pick and chose which laws to follow. We do not have the right to decide to nullify a law and not expect consequences to rain down. You do not have the right to go to court and ignore a court order. You do not have the right to decide that the government cannot take your living because you have been in business for generations if the law says it can. You do not have the right to decide which laws to follow or not. You do not have the right to decide who you pay your taxes and fees to. You do not have the right to decide what you will pay and when you will pay it. Not if you want to keep your freedom. Not if you don’t want to have your assets seized.

Yes, the government can and does overreact. Hot heads and bully-boys abound who carry badges and guns. (Remember though, the majority of law enforcement are those who sacrifice in service to their fellow countrymen.) But there are also laws to control them and to bring them to justice as well. There are news outlets, the internet and the strength of the pen to get the word out. You can start a political movement and challenge the powers that be as well. No one said such a course would be easy. It is not really meant to be. Freedom is a challenge and freedom takes work.

We do not live in a tyranny despite the rhetoric of many. We do not have a terroristic government, despite some of their actions. This is neither Nazis Germany, Communist Russia, an oligarchy nor a socialist hellhole. Congressional hearings abound dealing with the  failures and excesses of the executive branch under each and every administration. We the people, elected these miscreants to government. Don’t like them, elect them out. But the majority rules in our republican form of government. Other wise, you will have civil war, death, destruction and mayhem. This is how the Constitution of the United States works. The arguments, issues and problems of government overreach, along with the question of  federalism have been going on since the founding of the republic.

Ask yourself  what do you want, all you who make noise, threaten action and take up (or support those who take up) arms against the duly sworn representatives of the government of the United States? Do you want anarchy? Do you want insurrection?  When taking up arms in such a situation you are basically going to war against your country. Remember that when you make your choice.

 

 

About Elise Ronan

Political independent, US Constitution, Bill of Rights, special needs advocate
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