Fox News report from my beknighted state of Illinois. My late father (Arkansas-born and bred) used to call it "Ill-annoyed." For good reason.
Despite the clear ruling from the United States Supreme Court that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly recognizes an individual right to keep and bear arms, and despite the continual polls showing a majority of Americans back that right, the now extremist Democratic Party in the state is determined to say in essence, "Constitution be damned!" They are bound and determined to make otherwise law-abiding citizens into felons, and if they can't take away every gun they possibly can, they'll try to make it as difficult as possible to exercise the right to keep and bear arms.
It's kind of funny, in a way. The Democratic Party is really misnamed. They should be called the Left-Wing Dictatorship Party. They applauded former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor for upholding the right to kill an unborn child, saying any abortion regulations must not place an "undue burden" on a woman. The "right" to an abortion is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution, but the very real right to keep and bear arms is. And they have no problem whatsoever placing an "undue burden" on legal, law-abiding gun owners.
My hope is that Republicans and Democrats in the legislature who actually believe in our freedom are still in enough of a majority that they can block this nonsense. At this point, I don't know how this will end. I can pretty well guarantee that if such draconian laws are put in place, they will immediately be litigated. I am also pretty well sure that they will be widely ignored. And we will see if the state intends on trying to confiscate guns door by door, and to put a significant part of the population in jail.
There's something else doubly tragic to me about all this. You know human nature as well as I do. I would hope that enough people have at least some knowledge of history. You can only infringe people's liberty so far before there is an explosion. That is precisely what led to the American Revolution and the formation of this country. That is what caused the Founding Fathers to draw up the Constitution that they did, and it is also what gave many great pause about even putting a "Bill of Rights" in the Constitution. All sides recognized that rights were inherent and did not come from government. All sides recognized that it was the government's responsibility to PROTECT rights, not take them away. They understood and believed that rights are unalienable. Government has NO right to take rights away. But some wanted the Bill of Rights to make sure the enumerated rights were "set in stone" for future generations. Others were concerned—in retrospect wisely—that the amendment powers in the Constitution might tempt a future government to try and tamper with the Bill of Rights. A future government might not find certain enumerated rights so convenient for their purposes.
We've heard as much out of many Democrats' mouths, especially that of President Barack Obama. In an unguarded interview, he pretty much said that the Constitution is an impediment to the government. Here is a written article on this, and next is a video clip of Obama's doublespeak. Regardless of all this, the Democrats seem to be making it pretty clear that they really don't care what the Constitution says. (In fairness, some Republicans have played fast and loose with the Constitution as well. All deserve the sharpest condemnation for it.)
But back to my fear and tragic sense. How far is this going to get pushed on either side? Are we going to see violence and bloodshed as a growing number of people come to the view that enough is enough, and they have to resist with force their rights being taken away? Will the government, in its zeal to force its will by diktat, get so brutal that they're willing to arrest, incarcerate and even kill their own citizens for not being compliant enough with the demands of the state? Will the American experiment with liberty finally end because the fallen human nature recognized and restrained by our Founding Fathers (not to mention fear of God) won out at the end of the day? I am not liking what I am seeing. At all.
In the last studio album by Genesis, there is a song called "One Man's Fool." The lyrics ran something like "One man's saint is another man's fool, one man's hot is another man's cool." There are two sides to this debate, with plenty of demagogues to go around. Many are yelling but no one is listening. The one who will "win" the argument seems to be those who can yell the loudest and intimidate the most (or even lay on the best guilt trip).
But on this issue I fear, demagoguery is not necessary. We are in severe danger of losing our very identity as a nation—our very freedom. The Second Amendment was intended as the guarantor of all the other rights in the Constitution. It was to be the last means of the people to defend themselves from a government gone tyrannical. And I cannot think of any right-minded person (especially any Christian) who wants such a situation to arise. God forbid! But we are seeing the fruit of a nation in rebellion against God, and when God lifts His hand in judgment, bad things happen. The people lose all manner of self-restraint, and then come the cries for government to step in and "save us from ourselves." Just the conditions that any slick-tongued dictator dreams of having. "Never waste a good crisis!"
It is no accident that left-wing control of our educational establishment and much of the media has done much to remove the "Spirit of 1776" from as many children and young adults as possible. Steady indoctrination over time, with sometimes even overt mockery of patriotism and the idea that the U.S. is an exceptional nation in world history in terms of liberty and prosperity. Instead, we're raising them to be "good global citizens," and to believe that government is their god.
There is a solution where none of this is necessary. That involves the nation recognizing its sin and rebellion against God, and turning back to Him in repentance. It also involves rekindling the memory of what made America a great nation in the first place. The task will not be an easy one given the hostility and hatred of the opposition. I use those words regretfully and gingerly, but all one has to do is read a Twitter exchange and listen to comments aired on talk shows to see it's not much of a stretch. Christians, of course, have an eternal perspective and hope that goes beyond the events of this world. But that certain promise doesn't mean we will always be spared the trials that earthly life brings. The growing darkness of times like these are hopefully what makes faith shine all the brighter
Ben Franklin is said to have told a woman (in response to her question about what kind of government the Founders had given us), "A republic, madam. If you can keep it." Can we keep it?
That is the ultimate question, and I don't have the answer.