The American Citadel

“Take the Firearms First, and Then Go to Court”

Tyranny: “Arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; the exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government.” – Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.

On February 28, 2018, President Donald Trump talked to reporters about guns as they relate to people with mental illness or instability. In these cases, he said: “Take the firearms first, and then go to court . . . Take the guns first; go through due process second.” This is a truly stunning and tyrannical statement! In making this remark, President Trump showed his true colors as an enemy to the Constitution and to the Liberty of all Americans. His words betray the fact, as some of us were bold enough to point out in 2016, that his sudden “conversion” from lifelong liberal to Liberty-loving “conservative” prior to the election was not genuine.

In his book The America We Deserve, Donald Trump wrote: “I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”

For those of you who are pro-2nd Amendment, yet supported Trump, ask yourself: Did you know that Trump was anti-gun and had proposed an assault weapons ban? Likely, you were only told what Trump said so loudly during his election posturing, which was: “I promise you one thing, if I run for president and if I win, the Second Amendment will be totally protected, that I can tell you.” Those who heard Trump make these and similar declarations and believed them were conned by an expert conman.

How can a person simultaneously support the 2nd Amendment and yet be pro-weapons bans? He cannot. To support weapons bans of any sort flies in the face of the plain wording of the 2nd Amendment. The only assumption we can therefore logically make is that Donald Trump was lying. Was he lying about his support for an assault weapons ban or was he lying about his support for the 2nd Amendment? Recent developments confirm that he was lying about his support of the 2nd Amendment.

In the wake of the tragic Parkland, Florida school shooting – a shooting that only happened because police and FBI agents were grossly negligent and criminally derelict in their duties, and because Nikolas Cruz had been placed on mind-altering anti-depressants  – President Trump threw aside his pro-Constitution façade and fell into lockstep with the likes of socialist Dianne Feinstein and other rabid anti-Americans.

President Trump has proposed at least four separate measures that would violate the 2nd Amendment. These are:

  1. He has proposed banning bump stocks
  2. He has proposed a longer waiting period for purchasing firearms
  3. He has proposed to raise the minimum age a person can buy a firearm
  4. He has proposed to ban so-called assault weapons

Each of these measures is blatantly and flagrantly anti-2nd Amendment, not to mention anti-common sense and anti-human experience. Let us examine each of these points briefly.

First, President Trump has threatened to sign an executive order banning bump stocks and said they will be “gone” shortly. For those who do not know what a bump stock is, I quote from a Reason article:

“Bump stocks are accessories that increase a rifle’s rate of fire by harnessing recoil energy to help the shooter slide the weapon back and forth against his trigger finger.”

In other words, bump stocks – though severely decreasing the accuracy of a weapon – increase a semi-automatic weapon’s rate of fire, making it essentially a fully automatic weapon. Trump wants to ban these useful accessories in accordance with his hatred of “assault weapons.” The only things this ban would do would be to put the American People at a severe disadvantage to the military if their government ever decided to enforce its tyranny at the barrel of the gun, and to put law-abiding people at a disadvantage to evil people who would circumvent the law and seek to harm them or their families.

Second, the president wants you and me to wait longer to purchase a weapon. The logic behind this move dictates that a longer waiting period will give the government a greater chance – through background checks – of catching a person who harbors ill intent. Needless to say, this is no logic at all. Most of the “mass shooters” in recent years had no criminal records. They would have passed a background check with flying colors. Thus, the only people who would be affected are the law-abiding citizens who would be denied their right to possess a means of self-defense simply so that lawmakers and ignorant people could delude themselves into thinking the world is sunshine and rainbows.

Third, Trump wants to increase the minimum age required to purchase a firearm. Under this ridiculously faulty logic, someone would be able to vote and buy cigarettes, but not purchase a gun for self-defense. This is an absurd violation of the 2nd Amendment.

Fourth, in violation of his solemn oath to defend the Constitution, President Trump wants to violate the 2nd Amendment and ban what he calls “assault weapons.” Simply, the 2nd Amendment says that the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” Period. Shall not be infringed. Not by Trump, not by Obama, not by any body of lawmakers in Washington, your state capitol, or the United Nations.

Truthfully, the issue at hand is not one of guns. Guns are irrelevant to the debate. The issue is whether you or I have a right to self-defense. If I have a right to self-defense, then it matters not whether I use an automatic weapon, a semi-automatic weapon, a shotgun, a handgun, a baseball bat, a knife, a machete, a chainsaw, or a Sherman Tank. The means of self-defense is wholly irrelevant. If self-defense is a right – as it is – it cannot justly be infringed, restricted, or taken away by anyone, for any reason, at any time. Anyone who would restrict or infringe that right is a tyrant and an enemy.

The best handbook on the true nature, substance, and intent of the 2nd Amendment is The Second Amendment Primer: A Citizen’s Guidebook to the History, Sources, and Authorities for the Constitutional Guarantee of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms written by Les Adams and published by Palladium Press. In its pages, you find gems about the right of self-defense such as the following:

“To disarm the people [is] the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason

“That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals” – Minority of the Pennsylvania Convention, December 12, 1787

“The right of bearing arms – which with us is not limited and restrained by an arbitrary system of game laws as in England; but, is particularly enjoyed by every citizen, and is among his most valuable privileges, since it furnishes the means of resisting as a freeman ought, the inroads of usurpation.

“Now the natural right of self defence is nothing more than the liberty which the law of nature allows us of defending ourselves from an attack which is made upon our persons or of taking such measures as may guard against any injuries we are likely to suffer from another. . . .

“. . . [A]s the law of nature allows us to defend ourselves, and imposes no limit upon the right, the only limit we can impose is the necessity of the case.” – Henry St. George Tucker

“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a Republic.” – Joseph Story

“[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” – Tench Coxe in the Pennsylvania Gazette, February 20, 1788.

Every honest man cherishes the right of self-defense and embraces the duty he has to defend not only his country, his rights, and his Liberty, but his family, home, and possessions. The Founding Fathers, being real men, understood and accepted this right. They instituted constitutional safeguards to ensure this right of self-defense would remain “in the hands of the people.” I, too, pray to God that no tyrant in the White House, Congress, or Supreme Court will ever steal that right from the American People and that, if it does happen, the American People will not tolerate it and acquiesce to their own enslavement.

God gave man a right to own private property, a right to live, a right to pursue his goals, a right to worship, a right to privacy, and a host of additional rights and privileges. Consider for a moment how ineffectual and pointless all of these rights would be without the parallel right to defend them. Without a right to defend my home and my property, I could never be secure and Liberty would be a figment of imagination. Without the right of self-defense, Freedom does not exist. Freedom cannot logically exist without a means to safeguard it from infringement and oppression.

Our wise Founding Fathers understood this sacred principle and wrote into the Bill of Rights an explicit guarantee that an individual’s right of self-defense “shall not be infringed.” “Shall not” is not a suggestion – it is a direct and explicit order. When President Trump put his hand on the Bible and swore his oath of office to Heaven and to the American People, he swore to defend all our God-given rights in their entirety. He swore to uphold the Constitution which protects an individual’s right of self-defense and forbids the government from infringing upon it. Yet, in proposing to ban certain weapons and accessories and increase waiting times and minimum age limits, he utterly violated his oath to God and the American People. He has come out in open rebellion to our Liberty. President Donald J. Trump is a tyrant.

Not only do President Trump’s proposals violate the 2nd Amendment’s explicit language guarding our right to defend ourselves by any means necessary, but he has assaulted the Fourth and Fifth Amendments as well. In proposing to confiscate guns first and go to court later, President Trump is throwing out the entire notion of due process. Due process is the bulwark of the entire Bill of Rights. Without the right to due process, citizens would be at the mercy of every whim of government. Yet, as it is, the Founding Fathers, in their foresight and wisdom, wrote guarantees of due process into the Bill of Rights.

The 4th Amendment states:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The 5th Amendment states:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Let’s analyze these two amendments briefly. The Fourth Amendment guarantees our right to privacy, along with the right to not have our person, homes, or property searched or seized without a warrant and without probable cause supported by an oath of accuracy. In other words, our property and persons cannot be searched or seized for any reason “without due process.” This right “shall not be violated.” Yet, what did President Trump say? He said, “Take the firearms first, and then go to court.” Trump’s philosophy is 180 degrees opposite of what the Fourth Amendment affirms so plainly. His philosophy is the exact opposite of that espoused by our Founding Fathers. Our forefathers were true patriots – Donald Trump is not.

Similarly, the Fifth Amendment clearly states that “without due process” no person shall be deprived of their life, Liberty, or property; property such as a firearm or a firearm accessory. “Without due process” is very straightforward language. It offers no wiggle room. Unless someone is an immediate, imminent danger to another person, to deprive him of his rights, life, or property “without due process” is utterly tyrannical and evil.

To summarize these two amendments, our life, Liberty, and property shall not be searched or taken from us “without due process,” without a warrant, without an oath affirming the accuracy of the information against us, and without a judge’s signature approving the measures. If police have legitimate evidence that a person is unstable or dangerous, or that they are making threats or pose a legitimate danger to others and their rights, they may take that evidence to a judge who will, upon presentation of credible evidence and testimony, issue a legal warrant. With this warrant, a person and his property may be either searched or seized. With an additional trial to confirm the evidence, the man may later be imprisoned or fined or have his property taken. Without this due process, a person – no matter how “dangerous” or “unstable” he may appear or actually be – shall not have his rights violated nor his means of self-defense taken from him.

The fact that President Donald Trump, like so many presidents before him, wants to do away with due process and an individual’s right to defend himself shows his utter lack of knowledge of the Constitution and of Liberty. It shows his antipathy towards our God-given rights. It shows his disdain for the Constitution and the good men who crafted it. And it perhaps shows his future intentions regarding American Freedom.

If you support gun bans, you oppose Liberty, the U.S. Constitution, and the Founding Fathers. If you support any of the measures President Trump has proposed, you support direct infringements of the 2nd Amendment and you are no true advocate of the Bill of Rights. If you support taking away a person’s rights, without due process, simply because they appear to you to be “mentally unstable,” you are by definition a tyrant.

May we ever defend our God-given right to self-defense against all infringement. May we ever cherish our God-given right to privacy and to the security of our property and persons against government intrusion. May we ever support the U.S. Constitution which was established by wise men acting under the inspiration of Almighty God. May we ever defend our precious Liberty against all enemies, even – and, indeed, especially – when they sit in the White House.

Sic Semper Tyrannis!

Zack Strong

March 4, 2018.