Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Scary Friend with Even Scarier Friends

The following post is long and scary. I have this friend from back when I worked for the Air Force in the 1980s. He's a Pennsylvania Republican, gun nut, and convicted right-winger. But he's not incapable of thought. We've been arguing for years. But sometimes  I wonder. The people he tends to support are really crazy. For example, here is something he just sent me. (He never ceases to believe I'm going to see the light one day.) 

First comes the attachment he included with his post. This is followed by my response.

HOMELAND REBELLION -- State plans $2,000 fine for feds over gun rules -- 2 years in jail also possible for US agent enforcing U.S. regulations on firearms in Wyoming        BY: Bob Unruh, © 2010 WorldNetDaily    SEE:

Wyoming has joined a growing list of states with self-declared exemptions from federal gun regulation of weapons made, bought and used inside state borders – but lawmakers in the Cowboy State have taken the issue one step further, adopting significant penalties for federal agents attempting to  enforce Washington's rules.

According to a law signed into effect yesterday by Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal, any agent of the U.S. who "enforces or attempts to enforce" federal gun rules on a "personal firearm" in Wyoming faces a felony conviction and a penalty of up to two years in prison and up to $2,000 in fines.

This was reported just days ago when Utah became the third state, joining Montana and Tennessee, to adopt an exemption from federal regulations for weapons built, sold and kept within state borders.

A lawsuit is pending over the Montana law, which was the first to go into effect.

But Wyoming's law goes further, stating, "Any official, agent or employee of the United States government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming and that remains exclusively within the borders of Wyoming shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall  be subject to imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000.00), or both."

Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, who has spearheaded the Montana law, now describes himself as a sort of "godfather" to the national campaign.

He said the issue is not only about guns but about states' rights and the constant overreaching by federal agencies and Washington to impose their requirements on in-state activities.  He also said South Dakota, Oklahoma, Alaska and Idaho also appear to be close to adopting similar legislation, and several dozen more states have proposals in the works.

According to an analysis by Michael Boldin at the Tenth Amendment Center, the federal government has used the Commerce Clause**, which authorizes the regulation of commerce that crosses state lines, to regulate just about anything.

In the Montana lawsuit, the Federal Government's brief argues it can regulate intrastate commerce because of the Commerce Clause**.  This analysis said what the states are doing is simply a nullification.  "Laws of the federal government are to be supreme in all matters pursuant to the delegated powers of U.S. Constitution. When D.C. enacts laws outside those powers, state laws trump. And, as Thomas Jefferson would say, '[when the federal government assumes powers not delegated to it, those acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force]' from the outset," Boldin wrote.

"When a state 'nullifies' a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or 'non-effective,' within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned. Implied in such legislation is that the state apparatus will enforce the act against all violations – in order to protect the liberty of the state's citizens," he continued.

"By signing HB95, Gov. Freudenthal places Wyoming in a position of proper authority while pressing the issue of state supremacy back into the public  sphere," he continued.

On a blog, one commentator noted, "This is a healthy sign. Legislators in several states are working to take back sovereignty and restore constitutional government. The next step that has to be taken is to replace representatives and senators who don't support states rights. Then, the House needs to introduce impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court justices who exhibit bad behavior. Contrary to popular belief, Supreme Court justices do not serve lifetime appointments. They serve for periods of GOOD BEHAVIOR. I contend that erroneous decisions constitute bad behavior."

** See: especially the "regulation column" -- One decision was how much wheat a farmer raises -- affects commerce so he can be fined if he raises too much, even if it is for is own feed use!

Bob, my friend,

What insanity! From all this I assume that the federal government has no responsibility to uphold quaint notions like the "common good" as opposed to the parochial interests or asserted rights of states. And what about individual rights if states are given overweening rights over the federal government, which is the only thing in many cases standing in the way of oppression by a state?

I shake my head in disbelief . . . nullification was tried in 1832 and it failed. Whether a state had sovereignty over whatever the state damn well decided it was sovereign over was decided at the cost of over 600,000 lives in 1861-65. That was when the nature of the federal union was defined, remember? Alas, there's no Jackson or Lincoln on the horizon to do anything about this today.

Who is this Michael Boldin? Following his impeccable logic, the US needs to return the Louisiana Purchase territory to France, since purchase of land is not delegated in the Constitution to the president.

Bob, seriously . . . can you possibly endorse the kind of thinking that says "erroneous decisions" by Supreme Court justices constitute impeachable "bad behavior"? And did you take the time to look at the list of commerce clause cases? I did, and I wonder which of those are "erroneous"? Most of them, I would imagine. Which would mean child labor is OK, transport of prostitutes across state lines is OK, strike-busting is OK, unionization of workers is, of course, not OK. Nor are federal standards for manufacturing, transport, food processing.

This country is turning into the f**king Balkans. I truly don't know or understand what kind of madness has taken hold of people. And I'm sure when the time comes, they will be coming to take people like me and my family away as obvious menaces to liberty, freedom, and democracy.
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