Fill Yer Hands

you son of a

Read This in a Loud Voice

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

(signed)

John Hancock
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Using A Hot News Item to Advance Gun Rights

FlagsGiven today’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, many are calling for using the same argument of 14th Amendment guarantees of equal protection under the law to push for national reciprocity for concealed carry licenses.

While I have pointed out previously that a national law requiring reciprocity would be unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment (and I won’t go into that argument today), I can see where a 14th Amendment argument might have some merit, provided the result isn’t that they then say that we must adhere to the most stringent carry licensing requirements. And don’t think the left wouldn’t make that argument.

But my point today is that while we need to strike now to take advantage of the hottest news item, let’s go one step further, and take advantage of the slightly less recent full court coverage of America’s new-found abhorrence of all things Confederate.

It should be obvious to anyone who studies the history of gun control in America, but the current concept of licensing concealed carry goes back to the Jim Crow era in the South, following the war. So, we should strike while the anti-racist iron is hot, and demand a repeal of concealed carry licenses altogether. 

If we are going to take advantage of a hot news item, let’s go all the way. Demand equal protection under the law, without government interference, and take it to its logical conclusion.  Anything else is a waste of a good opportunity.

Thoughts on the Confederate Flag

Confed Flag

I was born in Georgia, which, for those born abroad or on Mars, was at one time part of the Confederate States of America. I had relatives on both my father’s and mother’s side of the family who fought for the CSA, and in fact, my mother’s grandmother’s uncle died in the war. But we never owned slaves, and no one in our family ever talked about the war being about anything other than defending our home.

Growing up less than a hundred years after “Reconstruction,” there was still quite a bit of attention given in my home town to this period in our history. In fact, playing in the woods behind our home, we came across wide ditches, which we found out later were entrenchments.

Now, it’s not like my family were living in some Olde South bastion, where we recalled the grand old days. It’s just that this was our heritage, and we thought about it, and talked about it. And some time growing up I acquired a Confederate Battle Flag. It wasn’t any symbol of defiance as I remember, I just got one.

It wasn’t a big deal.

Soon, I was studying chemical engineering at Georgia Tech, and I took the opportunity to join the Co-op Program, which allowed me to essentially work as a full time engineer every other quarter, then come back and study. My engineering job was at an oil refinery in Kentucky, and I spent 6 months a year away from home. Now, despite the southern heritage of our neighbors in Kentucky, there were not many Southerners participating in the Co-op Program, and to show my Southern ass heritage, I took to flying the Battle Flag draped over the curtains in my bedroom in the apartment where I stayed. The Yankees from Purdue and Michigan State and Ohio State all gave me hell for it, and I strutted even more my Southern Pride.

Then, one quarter, a strange thing happened. I had a black roommate, from nearby in West Virginia.

Soon he and I became friends, and we shared our faith, and he shared some really good food that his Mom would send back with him after a weekend at home.

But after a few weeks, he came to me one afternoon, and asked me why I had the flag in my bedroom. I told him, honestly, that I had it for a while, and that I displayed it mostly to confound the Yankees in the other apartments.

Then he, quietly, told me about what it meant to him. Segregation. Hate. Violence. He told me about growing up black, and how he knew what it meant to certain whites, who meant him and his family harm. He told me, too, that he suspected that I had it just because, and not as any symbol of hatred, because I never showed him anything other than respect and friendship. But, he still got those feelings every time he saw it in my room, and he felt he needed to tell me.

To be honest, I had heard that before, but to hear it first hand, from someone I knew, was different.

Jesus taught that we are to love one another as He loved us. And He taught us that, if our hand causes us to stumble, or to be an offense, then we are better off to cut it off, than to risk the offense.

So, I took down the Battle Flag, and I have never flown it again.

An Argument Against Campus Carry

Courtesy of Robert M at Great Satan Inc., I ran across a statement from Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University.

Mr. Crow writes:

Can you imagine a crowded college lecture hall in which one student pulls a handgun and fires a shot, then a dozen more students, untrained in the use of firearms and how to handle potentially deadly situations, all pull out their guns? Innocent people would be caught in a deadly crossfire of panicked students firing in every direction. And what does the SWAT team do when it arrives? How do they know which of a dozen or more armed and possibly firing shooters is the bad guy? Or do they take out everyone with a gun?

As Robert points out, we are asked to imagine, because no such incident has ever occurred.

Instead, I suggest to the reader, and Mr. Crow:

Can you imagine a crowded school where two disaffected students fire at students at will, and kill 12 students, because no one at the school is armed? Of course you can, that was Columbine.

Can you imagine a crowded school where a disaffected student fires at students at will, and kills 2 students? But this time, his rampage is halted by a teacher who retrieved his own legal gun from his car? Of course you can, that was Pearl.

Can you imagine a crowded school where any number of disaffected students thought better of bringing guns to school, because the teachers and staff were armed? Maybe not, because that doesn’t make the news. But carry at school is legal in Israel, and when was the last time you heard of an Israeli school massacre?

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