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Power To the People

At a Brady Center event to "Prevent Gun Violence by Jodie Foster Fans from Accidentally Hitting White House Press Secretaries in the Head" the Brady Center Legal Action Project Director asked retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens whether having a right to a cell phone might be a more universal form of self-defense than gun ownership.

"Maybe you have some kind of constitutional right to have a cell phone with a predialed 911 number at your bedside, and that might provide you with a little better protection than a gun, which you’re not used to using," Justice Stevens mumbled.

Stevens, who often seemed unclear on the difference between a right and an entitlement, had a point. Why bother waiting for the laborious process of using a gun, when you can instantly dial 911 and wait twenty minutes while being murdered for the police to arrive.

There still is no Constitutional right to a cell phone, but you're already paying into a Universal Service Fund that does just that, providing cell phones to any and all, courtesy of Lebanese-Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's company, who, when he isn't making high interest loans to the New York Times, shovels prepaid government cell phones into the ghetto.

Gun control advocates have been digging away at the pesky 2nd Amendment for a while now. Their trouble with it is that guns are loud and make big bangs when they go off and enable the peasants to resist when their betters decide that they should be moved off their land. But the true trouble is that gun ownership is an individual right. And they don't believe in individual rights, their gospel is group rights.

If the 2nd Amendment assigned the right to bear arms to each racial group by degree of persecution, they would find it much more acceptable no matter what the annual death toll was. An LGBT 2nd Amendment would float their boat. An amendment that treats it as an individual right, rather than a group right, does not.

Justice Stevens and the Legal Director of the "Brady Project to Build a Time Machine, Travel in Time and Convince Jodie Foster to Drop Acting and Open a Baskin Robbins Franchise" were pondering how to make an individual right fair by universalizing it and redistributing it into a group right.

Some people have guns and others don't. But everyone can have a government mandated right to a cell phone... except perhaps the Amish, and their time is coming. Why the average Amish farm uses child labor and doesn't provide its child laborers with health plan coverage for birth control and abortion, and its barns aren't raised to OSHA standards.

If you assume that rights belong to the group, rather than the individual, then predialed cell phones are a better solution than guns. Just push 1 if you're being murdered, 2 if you're being raped, 3 if your house is being set on fire and 4 if you just realized that your health plan doesn't provide abortion coverage on all major legal holidays and 5 if your next door neighbor is having a Jodie Foster movie marathon at ear-splitting volume at two in the morning.

The police may not get there in time, but they will get there to government specifications and will take action in line with municipal, state and federal policies that are formed in deference to group rights. With 911, the policy hand is strong with the government. With the 2nd Amendment, the balance of power is with the homeowner watching a shadow moving up his staircase.

Governments can issue a directive for how many arrests of how many people they want to see, based on type of crime and race. And that is the kind of enforcement you will get through 911, backed by Federal grants to local communities and Department of Justice lawsuits. Whether or not the police officer will be there in ten minutes or twenty, whether he will even take your statement or just doodle something while you talk, depends on policies coming out of Washington D.C.

Group rights are centralized. They depend on weaponizing statistics to achieve some larger goal in the constellation of social justice whose dim star always hangs over Washington casting its baleful radiation down over all that marble, money and blight, group rights are the right to wait in a government line to find out whether your request will be filled or not based on your socioeconomic status, race, gender, transgender, sexual orientation and surfing abilities, and any gimmick that the latest Harvard faculty member slash White House adviser has decided to experiment with on your skin. And the line, in this case, happens to be the phone line to the 911 system, which will send someone to help you at a rate that depends on all the number juggling involving money, crime statistics and votes.

The 2nd Amendment is a very different creature. The controllers would like to turn it into a group right. Replace the home rifle with an IOU for membership in the National Guard or a cell phone from Carlos Slim that will allow you to dial 911, unless the dam breaks or the earth quakes or the service goes. And they would equally like to turn the 1st Amendment into a right to say the things that are socially beneficial, while outlawing speech that is not socially beneficial.

In Europe, free speech means speech that is in the public interest, not speech that undermines the public good. That latter kind of speech can get you a trip to a jail cell. And that is the only kind of speech that can exist in group rights. When the group comes first, then the individual is the last one on the line. When rights serve the group, or the idealized arrangement of groups meant to provide the perfect statistical balance between skin colors, genders, lack of genders, and choice of partners, then the individual has no rights except as a member of Team White, Team Black, Team Gay or Team Badly Confused.

A gun is an individual thing. It's hard for a group to own a gun. You can give Team Gay, Team Union or Team Korean Men in Wheelchairs a cell phone link to a central network of law enforcement support services, but a gun is a thing that an individual buys and learns to use. It is not a network, but an object, its power does not come from pushbutton access to a plea for government aid, but from the skill and courage of the individual. Gun power is merit based.

Effectively using freedom of speech, of religion, of protest or the press has become more difficult in an age where all four tend to be vested or barred by massive institutions. You can still start your own blog, your own religion, your own protest rally or your own printing press in a shed out back, but your ability to effectively make use of them in defense of your own interests is likely to be limited. But when the door breaks down, then you do not need permission or access to large institutions to defend yourself or your family courtesy of the 2nd Amendment. And that is what infuriates group rightists about the 2nd Amendment. Its function does not require their consent or approval. It does not even require their notice. It just is.

There is no conflict between the 1st and 2nd Amendment as loudmouths like Piers Morgan have been complaining of late. There is a conflict between a 2nd Amendment made use of by individuals and a 1st Amendment that has been thoroughly colonized by institutions and corporations that believe in the rights of the group, not the rights of the individual. David Gregory's belief that he was immune from the law because he was acting as a media agenda spokesman is just another reminder that the institutions that have colonized the 1st Amendment consider themselves in all regards above the law.

In an age of group rights, the Fourth Estate is claiming the special status that it is entitled to. But under the 2nd Amendment there are no estates, no groups that are more or less entitled to defend themselves, and no individuals with more or less claim on the right to own a firearm because of their race, religion, gender, bed partner, class or cleverness. It is a right of the people, back when the rights of the people referred to the people as a whole, not some idealized urban peasantry living off welfare checks or a coalition of official victim groups whose tears count more than those of anyone else.

In its purest form, the people means everyone. It means a nation of individuals who are not broken down into any other group and whose rights are not allocated from any secondary source. The left spends a great deal of time shouting, "Power to the People", but the 2nd Amendment with its sharp statement, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" is a literal invocation of power to the people. A people who are not designated as such by any category other than their peoplehood.

The left shouts "Power to the People", but doesn't truly mean it. It would like to replace Power to the People with Predialed Cell Phones to the People and Lines at Government Offices to the People and Write to Your Local Congressman to the People.

The people aren't supposed to have guns, they're supposed to have government on speed dial. The people aren't supposed to have power, they're supposed to have a hand out to the government which will decide whether to help them or not based on its own priorities. And if the help doesn't arrive, then they can shout "Power to the People" outside government offices and demand that the rich people give more money to the government so that it can help them faster.

The Director of the "Brady Legal Project to Give James Brady a Cybernetic Body Made of Titanium So He Can Destroy All Guns Everywhere" asked the retired Supreme Court Justice, "The Supreme Court held that the 2nd Amendment assures our right to have a handgun in the home for self-defense as you say. This question’s asked: ‘That protects only gun owners. What about those who don’t have guns? Surely they have a right of self-defense. Instead of relying on the 2nd Amendment and dealing with gun laws, wouldn’t it be more rational to rely directly on the right we all have to self-defense."

Like all gun control proposals, it would be rational. Just as it was rational in the USSR to move all the farmers to collective farms in order to increase wheat production and just as it was rational for China to protect crop yields by killing all sparrows and just as it was rational to bail out the banks and then spend billions more stimulating the economy. Putting all your eggs in one centrally planned basket is rational. It’s also stupid. Rational is not the same thing as right and it's certainly not the same thing as individual rights..

The Constitution is not rational. Not in the sense that word is used by the modernist technocracy, the worshipers at the altar of progress, who deem a thing rational if it can be used to social control their way to utopia. It holds instead to the irrational idea that power should be vested in the individual and that fairness comes from respecting individual rights, rather than from feudal structures that rely on government to level all the playing fields and all the heads.

It holds to the irrational idea that a man has rights, apart from his group or even from the public good, and that these rights are innate, that governments may take them away physically, but never morally. And it holds to the stranger notion still that individual rights become universalized through individual power rather than government power. And from these premises it determines that the people shall have power, while from their premises the gun controllers determine that the people shall have a place on a government line. From these premises it determines that the people shall be armed and from their premises the gun controllers determine that each man, woman and child shall have the right to spend the last 30 seconds of their life begging the government to save them.


  1. There are 18 powers enumerated to the federal government by the document which created it, the Constitution.

    Infringing on any of the 10 inalienable rights of “we the people” which that document affirms is now something the federal government does at the risk of civil war.

    Thank you, Daniel, for another well reasoned essay.

  2. Anonymous3/1/13

    Perfect Daniel. You have a gift for explaining freedom, which makes humans human. Might we all recognise that freedom is infinitely more valuable to humanity than government granted 'security' which is really slavery.

  3. Anonymous3/1/13

    I would like to see the Time Publish Daniel's piece as a counterpoint to this mush they posted today:
    Obviously the editors at the NYTimes forbid any commentary on this dreck.

  4. When I read words like this it makes me wonder how in the world we are not winning this argument. The position of the gun grabbers on this issue doesn't even make any sense. Over Christmas, I went to my wife's family for the annual dinner. Being that they are all extreme Leftists, Sandy Hook was fresh on there minds. My Brother-in-law being a High School Principal shared there plan with us and it was reaffirmed by one of the school age children and there parents. The plan now is IF a shooter enters there school, they (children, teachers and staff) are trained to wait until he reloads or the gun jams, throw books at him and all at once charge the shooter and tackle him. No, I am serious. This was followed by the mocking of the NRA spokesman's idea to have people armed in schools. They think this is ridiculous.

    So when I could take no more I finally simply asked them, "If armed guards are such a bad idea, why do we have them at the State House?" "Are the State Reps more important than these children?" Then of course I looked at my wife's nephew and clearly told him, "If a shooter enters your school, ignore everything these retards told you and run and hide."

    I then ended the conversation by pulling out my .45 that I had hidden in my waist and placed it on the table and asked if anyone wanted to tackle me!

    True story.

  5. Some people fight for their lives; others die like sheep. Politicians, movie stars, banks, etc. all have armed guards. There is a reason for this, but they consider us peasants not important enough to live. That is why, in this country, they will never take our guns away without a revolt. The peasants outnumber those who consider us unimportant. I've fought for my country, lived by the law, and watched as scumbags and crazy people try to destroy the nation and get away with it. They will not disarm us, period. Guns represent our power against becoming victims.

  6. Anonymous3/1/13

    You have written the kind of reasoned, intelligent article that I have come to expect when I visit your site. Keep up the good work -- it is much appreciated!


  7. becaz3/1/13

    Awesome article. This "groupism" that has infected our society has bothered me for a long time. Sadly, nowadays, it seems you are nobody unless you belong to a group. Thank you for applying this logic to the gun control debate.

  8. VA_Rancher3/1/13


    I salute you sir!


    Awesome essay, as usual...

    Be well all.

  9. Anonymous3/1/13

    Relevant here, I believe is this outstanding letter to Feinstein, 100% correct, written by a U.S. Marine, of 8 years duration active, that displays the proper attitude every citizen of America must have or somehow learn to develop. Or all will be mere subjects to a very disturbed emperor of America.

    See the whole article here: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/marines-scathing-response-to-sen-feinsteins-gun-control-proposal-i-am-not-your-subject-i-am-the-man-who-keeps-you-free/

    The essence is this:

    Senator Dianne Feinstein,

    I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

    I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

    I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

    I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

    We, the people, deserve better than you.

    Respectfully Submitted,
    Joshua Boston
    United States Marine Corps

    To which I can only give a very loud "Oorah!" This U.S. Marine knows our U.S.Constitution and our brilliant Founders purposes, to Liberty and Freedom, and responsibility.


  10. Fred C.3/1/13

    We need to control the use of high powered weapons. There is little need for the average soul to have an automatic weapon in their possession.

  11. Anonymous3/1/13

    Fred C automatic weapons are already under federal control. Have been since mid 1930's if memory serves me correctly.

  12. Fred C.,

    No, we do not need to control the use of high powered weapons.

    We have a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs.

    The Founders had a great disdain for standing armies, and the Second Amendment was an affirmation of our inalienable right to bear arms equal to that of any standing army in order that we may defend ourselves from a tyrannical government.

    You have much more to fear from our government than you do any law abiding citizen who exercises his/her right to keep and bear arms.

  13. Anonymous3/1/13

    If memory serves me well,( wait until he reloads or the gun jams and throw books at them) I think Stalin tried to give Russia to Hitler using the same technique.

  14. @Fred C. We need to control the use of high powered weapons. There is little need for the average soul to have an automatic weapon in their possession.

    Fred, average souls beg to differ. Before sharing your truly enlightening thoughts "what we-the-marching-drones need to do to control independent people", you forgot to ask yourself the important question "do low powered weapons cover 100% attack scenarios?" Some important education for you here William Levinson | Why Does Anybody Need a 30-Round Magazine? | Jan 3, 2013

  15. It is convenient to steer debate on violence toward "gun control" (as if guns possess mind of their own). Pretending to care about people (appearances), while taking their freedoms and security away (reality). But the real guns with mind of their own are roaming mostly undetected, among them mood and mind altering prescription drugs.

    Today, many of our children are prescribed the same psychotropic drugs as were given to our soldiers, in the children's case for the treatment of such conditions as ADHD and for psychiatric disorders. In fact, the practice of psychiatry has become in many cases nothing more than a license to distribute powerfully addictive, brain-damaging drugs to our children. Charles Gant, Greg Lewis | It's the Drugs, Stupid! | Jan 3, 2013

  16. This looks to me like the essence of bad things which are happening, and of bad things to come (unless stopped in time):

    The American Left, which thoroughly dominates the mainstream media, no longer believes, if it ever did, in the concept of reasonable and respectable people disagreeing in good faith on core issues; it increasingly demonstrates that it believes all opposition to its own outlook and policies must never be tolerated, but only eradicated. Its opposition is never to be engaged on the level of ideas, but only ridiculed and held up as evil. Robert Spencer | Outing the Gun Owners and the Left's New Savagery | Jan 4, 2013

    Apparently, "Journal News" management does not fear well deserved legal action from the gun owners (and from those not owning guns too!), which can potentially put them out of business for good (and frankly should). Interesting times ahead.

  17. Jack, thank you for sharing the information about the letter of brave U.S. Marine. This is the staff stars made of, hope for the mind and oxygen for the soul. I always wished the U.S. military, protecters and defenders were less silent on public arena. But who said the volcanic lava is silent. It is just invisible, hidden by crust, until its time comes.

  18. Anonymous4/1/13

    It really comes down to this: are human rights inalienable, i.e., God-given or are they granted through the power of the state?

    That is the crux of the disagreement.

    The human controllers have succeeded in convincing more people that the state is god-like in that it alone has the authority to determine the specifics of human rights. That is why they simply ignore the Constitution or more accurately, define it as a living document where they and they alone have the authority to determine what it means.

    The transfer of the real and only God to the state as god has been a long battle with the human controllers winning most of the campaigns. Their war against the individual keeps getting bolder and with the election and re-election of Obama, they don't hide their hatred of our founding principles but wage bigger battles against those who dare stop their goal of forcing the individual to secede all of his rights, wealth, and life to the control of the government. --Elaine

  19. VA_Rancher4/1/13


    AMEN sister!


  20. Anonymous9/1/13


    "If Congress won’t crack down on gun control, President Obama is prepared to take the matter into his own executive hands. “The president is going to act,” Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday before meeting with a task force that formed in the wake of Sandy Hook. “Executive orders, executive action can be taken,” Biden told reporters, adding that the task force—a group of cabinet members and government officials—is aiming to establish “concrete proposals” by the end of January to reduce gun violence. The group is also looking at new ways to deal with mental-health care and what the president has called a culture that “glorifies guns and violence,” Biden said." http://www .cnn.com/2013/01/09/politics/gun-control-battle/index.html?on.cnn=1


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