A Layman’s Response to NYSR&P v. Bruen: What’s Next?

by Cathy L.Z. Smith
Cathy L.Z. Smith <[email protected]>

Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

In this layman’s opinion this ruling, as is the case with all such rulings regarding every aspect of The Second Amendment (and not only The Second), is deeply flawed at its core.

The flaw stems from the seeming inability (or self-serving refusal) of not only those who interpret it, but those who would seek to modify it, to understand the meaning and purpose of the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, commonly referred to as The Bill of Rights.

No small part of the blame for that must be attributed to those who consented to this devil’s bargain (The Anti-Federalists). The Federalists, in order to gain what power they sought, and which their successors have striven endlessly to pursue and expand, generously (and maybe sincerely) offered up what they saw as protections against the ravages of an authoritarian regime. They perhaps failed utterly in their understanding of the nature of the quest for power, and more specifically to the nature of those whose seek out power over their fellows. Or perhaps I give them too much credit, and such was their intent all along.

That observation to one side, the misnaming of The Bill of Rights has not only permitted, but actively encouraged, the rapacious nature of those who seek to control their countrymen through the utterly false implication that the rights that we as human beingspossess are “granted” by any piece of parchment, no matter how august its pedigree.

The Bill of Rights does not grant rights. Nor, sadly, does it do an adequate job of recognizing or defending them.

The misnamed Bill of Rights is, in fact, a Bill of Limitations on the actions, not of the people of The United States, but upon those who are elected in (seemingly misplaced) good faith to carry out the will of the citizens of the republic.

This failure to comprehend the difference between recognizing that these rights exist in the nature of man as man–as opposed to the ostensibly beneficent granting of these rights by a body of the servants of the people–has led, and continues to lead, to the downfall of what was once a great and powerful engine of peace and prosperity.

Because where there is success there are parasites. And it is a peculiarity of human nature that we exhibit a misguided tendency to elevate those parasites to positions of power. Perhaps there is a lesson here we need to learn before it’s too late.

It’s more than a little dismaying that those who have been elevated by our servants to rule on the proper way for our servants to plunder our successes are so miserably versed in both law and language that we end up with the utterly ridiculous dances on the heads of the philosophical pins of the day.

Here is the single most important fact having to do with the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

The colonies (that would be us) had just fought and won, at great human and financial expense, what we thought would turn out to be our freedom from a rapacious and murderous regime that sequestered itself in a faraway location which made it impossible—even had they been willing to listen—for the average person (those of us for whom this was supposed to be a protective and benevolent improvement) to present grievances in person.

The colonists were faced with a practiced, well-armed, and foreign enhanced army that had no ties to the country or countrymen they were here to subjugate. One member of that foreign army, a Hessian soldier, was an ancestor of mine. There is evidence to suggest that he, among as many of his countrymen who could find a way, deserted and ultimately fought for the freedom that is the natural state of existence of a human being.

With the help of that man, and others like him–both proto-American and foreign—we kicked their asses and sent them home.

Then, in a fit of sublime stupidity, we turned our well-being over to people we thought we controlled. We are now paying the price for our lack of understanding of the nature of power. The people who won a revolution were not worried about hunting. They were not worried about self-defense which they understood was theirs by right (they were smarter and hadn’t yet had their language defined out from under them). They were worried about the very situation they had just extracted themselves from at great cost. They were worried about the exercise of power.

So what are the next steps?

First and foremost, understand that the things that have happened and are happening now, are not accidental.

Understand that your self-defense is just that. It’s yours. It’s your responsibility. No one else can, by definition, engage in self-defense for another. You may have brothers and sisters in arms, but you are your only thoroughly reliable ally.

Get your children out of the hands of people who have spent the last 200+ years “uneducating” them. If you think the redefinition of language and the destruction of history is accidental, you are mistaken. Find people who can teach your children what it’s important to know. There are millions of them out there. (Maybe we can use this publication to bring them together with people who want their perspectives.)

Read, read, read. Understand history. Understand how we got here, and think about how we can avoid such mistakes in the future.

Question All Authority. Always And Forever. Demand Proof.

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