Background Checks Secure Citizen Constitutional Rights
I own guns. I support the Second Amendment. I support ensuring my rights to both the aforementioned are only afforded to those guaranteed the protections under our U.S. Constitution. That is where, I think, too many are not realizing their own rhetoric is making them sound irrational. To demand that only those entitled the protections, services and liberties of the United States of America be afforded them under the Constitution and subsequent laws, its citizens, legal residents and aliens, and then to demand blanket, carte blanche approval of every weapon sale without verification is antithetical.
For years the U.S. has been battling domestic spending issues and when a family (our country) has money problems, almost everything gets brought to the table: unemployment, welfare, healthcare, education, defense spending and immigration. Yes, the United States has spending problems, illegal immigration issues, ongoing security threats. While I believe many of these get micro-targeted for quick headline grabs and blown into an attempt at hellish hyperbole headline grabs, they are real issues, they are real problems, and they do require our objective analysis, attention and action. We must first, however, stop and listen, mostly to ourselves, realizing that many of these issues are in fact related.
U.S. Constitution Protects U.S. Citizens
So who is guaranteed protection under the United States Constitution? The answer seems, to me, simple enough, as the Preamble begins, “We the people of the United States.” The supportive logic that it exclusively pertains to citizens (citizens and residents at time of adoption and as determined by law or later Constitutional Amendments) of the U.S. with “… to ourselves and to our prosperity … for the United States of America.” is established from the start and continues throughout. Articles I and II further clearly limit the eligibility of federal office holders to U.S. citizenship: President (and anyone who may succeed), U.S. Representatives, Senators. Continuing throughout the Constitution, the language is for legal aliens, residents and citizens of the United States. Subsequent Amendments to our Constitution further strengthened the role and definition of the people [citizen] in government.
We The People
I am curious, if not perplexed, when people pretend that the U.S. Constitution is a granite document. On one hand, it would seem unchangeably chiseled forever into the stone and to do so, would be to deface or destroy its sanctity. On the other hand, we the people, have demanded and retained the right to do exactly that. Some framers and members of the Constitutional Convention actually refused to sign the final document, because it did not contain the rights of the citizens, to continue the embodiment of we the people, resulting in what would become the first ten amendments to the Constitution, The Bill of Rights.
The foresight the Constitutional Framers had to make this sacred document sound enough to stand on its foundations but fluid enough to grow with society forever rests in the hands of we the people as a grand charge to be mindful, not go forward with blinders. Ultimately, the power of the government is, we the people, as firmly expressed throughout the Constitution, The Bill of Rights and to a greater degree of specificity in the Ninth Amendment, such that it may not be “… construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” and even further in the Tenth in that “the powers not delegated to the” federal authority, “nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Framers Foresaw Future
The process of framing, compromising and ratifying a Constitution meant allowing for the future; hence Article V. After ratification, the U.S. Constitution has had twenty-seven Amendments. Our Constitution is solid. Our Constitution is treasured. Our Constitution is revered around the world. Our Constitution has been, can be, and must allow fluidity. It doesn’t guarantee me the right to drive, but I’m allowed by law. It doesn’t guarantee my kids the right to an education, but they must obtain one by law. It doesn’t guarantee or forbid many things that have come into being and that is exactly the process intended, allowed and foreseen by its Framers.
It took Dr. Franklin’s invention of the lighting rod to dispel the myths of lighting and begin the discoveries of electricity. We will continue to deny our Constitution’s ability to change as we the people progress through time? The founders and framers did not weigh us down with an anchor to forever be subjected to antiquity of thought but instead empowered us to evolve with time, circumstances and need.
Protect Second Amendment vs. Uphold Oath
I listen to the political one-liners about the infringement of rights against the Second Amendment for background checks from the same people who antithetically complain about voting fraud, immigration control, entitlement spending, counter-terrorism, etc. If a background check is good enough at a brick and mortar gun dealer store sale, why not for a gun show purchase to ensure an easy loophole for an easy purchase for someone who wouldn’t be able to legally, easily obtain otherwise? I’m certainly not trying to fan the flames of xenophobia, but if we’re worried about who is entitled to what, let alone their legal status or legitimacy to be in the country, then it seems the two are not so far separated, except by the blinders of one-liners.
It’s was 23 years this month that I took my oath of enlistment for the United States Army. I remember it still; I uphold it still; I honor it still:
I, William Robert Mineo, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
The liberties for which we are so eager to fight, are we equally willing to support?
— wrmineo (@wrmineo) May 1, 2013