“You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments: rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the universe.”
The above quote was the opinion of John Adams, as well as a good majority of the men who wrote the documents which outline our system of government. The Declaration of Independence states that our rights are unalienable, and that governments are instituted to secure those rights. According to the dictionary, secure is defines as, “well guarded and fortified; safe, especially against attack or theft.”
The other day someone made the following comment regarding one of my previous articles, the constitution is a despicable, poorly written document — including your precious “bill of rights”
If that be the case, that the Bill of Rights is despicable, then I suppose this individual believes that we are not in possession of any rights whatsoever, that it would be perfectly fine for someone to just walk up and hit him, rob him of his possessions, and possibly kill him.
But does not the Declaration of Independence state that among our unalienable rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness? Again, going to the dictionary, liberty is defined as, “right to choose: the freedom to think or act without being constrained by necessity or force. Freedom: freedom from captivity or slavery.”
Freedom to act without being constrained, or in words that the illiterate among us might understand, restrict or impose limitations upon you. By that definition, can you tell me, with a straight face, that you have liberty? Does not every law that government has passed, which REQUIRES you to do something, or face some sort of penalty, restrict your freedom of choice?
In a letter to George Mason, George Washington once wrote, “That no man should scruple, or hesitate a moment to use arms in defense of so valuable a blessing [as freedom], on which all the good and evil of life depends, is clearly my opinion; yet arms…should be the last resort.”
Ronald Reagan also said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Finally, In The Crisis, Thomas Paine writes, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”
I cannot see how anyone in their right mind would say that a document which defines certain rights, rights which place our rights outside the bounds of governments powers, is despicable. The only reason that can justify such a statement is that this person wishes to live as a slave.
I would hope that, aside from our government, this individual is a minority of one in his belief that the Bill of Rights is despicable. Yet, people too often assume that the Bill of Rights lists the only rights, lists the ONLY rights that were to be place off limits to government. Not so.
In Federalist No. 84, Alexander Hamilton writes, “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted.”
If Madison had compiled every single right the Constitution would have, literally, hundreds of amendments. So, just because certain rights are not listed, it does not mean that they do not exist. The amount of freedom you enjoy, or the extent of your liberty, is defined by the number of rights you are free to exercise. The more restrictions your government imposes upon your ability to freely exercise your rights, the more you have become a slave.
Your rights reserve around one basic principle, possession of property. When you are first born into the world, your only possession is your body. However, as you grow older, begin to work and accumulate material goods, these too become your property.
Therefore, your pay is your property. It is yours as just compensation for services you provided to an employer. Do I have the right to come to your home and demand that you give me money for food, just because I can not find a job, or because I overextended my credit and now face bankruptcy? Do I have the right to hire someone to perform that task for me? The answer to both questions is no.
Then why do we allow our government to tax us so that our money, our PROPERTY, is spent providing goods, or services to others who are less fortunate? If you find it within your heart to donate of your money to those less fortunate, but to have it mandated by law is not charity, and it deprives you of your right to enjoy the fruits of your labor to the fullest extent.
Also, your home is your property. You purchased it with the money you earned. Why do you have to pay taxes to the government just to occupy what is rightfully yours? Why do you need to pay for a building permit to make changes to, or add structures to your property?
Some may have heard the saying, ‘A man’s home is his castle.’ What that means that since your home is your property, you are free to do as you please within the walls of your home…as long as you do not violate the equal rights of anyone else.
However, I am not free to enter your home and demand that I be allowed to do whatever it is I do inside my home. My rights end at your property line, and vice versa. Anyone who enters the property of another is obligated to respect the rights of the owner of their property. If they do not like the rules imposed upon them they are free to leave.
So, if your home, and everything in it, is your property, are you not free to defend it against attack? If someone enters my home, with the intent of taking from me what is not theirs, including my life, as a free man do I not have the right to use deadly force to defend my property?
Now some may say that the law states you must not use excessive force. Just what is excessive force? Did not the United States use excessive force when we dropped atomic weapons upon the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Aw, but you say we shortened the duration of the war, saving untold numbers of lives. Well, applying the same principle, if I kill an intruder to my home, am I not possibly saving the lives of other homeowners who might become victims to this criminal?
My home is mine, hence the term private property. Neither you, nor the government, have the right to come in, and either dictate to me what I can do inside my home, or take from me property, (including my earnings), and distribute it to others. That is theft, plain and simple. It is why when the founders wrote the Constitution they made sure it stated that there were to be no direct taxes.
It wasn’t until the 16th Amendment was ratified, which allowed government to tax your earnings, your PROPERTY, that you people became slaves to their government. You may say that the state legislatures duly ratified the 16th Amendment. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, it is irrelevant really. Did the people have any say in whether or not the government would suddenly be allowed to take from them a portion of their earnings? Remember, the term government does not solely apply to the federal government, it applies to any agency which was established to carry out the will of the people.
I could go on and on, and on, listing rights that have been restricted, or taken away entirely. Yet you would still say you are free to do as you please. If you would, think about the following for a moment.
Imagine your liberty is like a computer. The computer is your liberty and the various circuit cards inside it are your rights. Say you remove the audio card from your computer. You can still access the internet, write documents, do finances, or whatever. The only thing is that your ability to listen to sound will have been taken away from you.
Then imagine you remove the card which allows you to connect to the internet. You can still type, play some games, and do your finances. But slowly, your computer is losing its ability to do all that you want of it.
The same principle applies to your rights. With each right that is infringed upon, you become less of a free man than you were before. You may consider yourself free because you can still do certain things, but you are not free to fully exercise ALL your rights.
Therefore, my question to my fellow countrymen is this, are you content to see yourself slowly becoming a slave, or are you man enough to stand up for what are rightfully yours? It is only when enough people have been pushed to far, that they begin to push back, that we can restore our rights. Our government does not care about our phone calls and letters to them. They will only understand when large numbers of people have had enough, and decide to stand their ground against any further infringements upon their rights.
But, before anyone can take a stand for their rights, they must first know their rights, and from whence they derive. Hopefully I have provided you with food for thought as to the extent of your rights, and the extent to which they have been infringed upon. Now it only remains to be seen if people have enough courage to stand up for them, or if this nation is filled with a bunch of whimpering cowards who prefer slavery to freedom.