I’ll Take The Tenth

On the Northern Alliance broadcast this yesterday, Ed and I talked with Minnesota State Representative Tom Emmer.  Emmer is seeking the GOP nomination to run for governor in 2010, and at first meeting he seems like a great candidate; I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the GOP contenders (and in cases, meeting them again).

But he wasn’t on the show to campaign this time.  He was there to promote his latest legislative initiative, House File 2376 – also known as the Firearms Freedom Act.

And I think that there is genius in this initiative – not just in strengthening our Second Amendment rights, but in re-establishing the Tenth.

Work with me, here.

Thirty years ago, the Second Amendment was practically dead in the United States.  Gun control was sweeping the nation.  The courts accepted a vapid and fraudulent interpretation of an otherwise-insignificant case as the primary legal precedent dealing with the Second Amendment.  The rights of the law-abiding hit ebb-tide by the mid-seventies.

And then a grass-roots movement germinated, and took hold; the plebeians, infinitely wiser than their putative masters on matters of liberty, started fighting back.  And starting in the early 1980s, they started turning the tide – one vote, one town, one legislature at a time,

“Shall-Issue” concealed carry laws – which put the burden on the state to prove that the citizen sould not have the ability to bear the arms they keep – are a useful bellwether.  In 1983, there were all of eight states with these laws.  But the movement – a force of workadaddy, hugamommy citizens who squeezed activism into their spare time between work and family – started organizing movements, city by city and state by state, to change the laws.  And now, 26 years later, 39 states are either shall-issue or have no restrictions on the law-abiding whatsoever; only two states (Wisconsin and Illinois, which has such a peaceful place) still pay unthinking, lobotomized fealty to the orc ideal that a disarmed, passive citizenry is best.

And this victory was won one voter, one street, one bill at a time.  From the “bottom”, “up”.

And Tom Emmer’s bill – actually borrowed from similar bills that have become law in Montana, Tennesee and South Carolina – is part of a national, grassroots effort to start that same dynamic for the second-least-appreciated amendment in the Constitution, the Tenth.

The Tenth Amendment has fallen on hard times since the 1930’s; the Fed, operating under the cover of several key court cases, has been able to insinuate federal power into a range of places and subjects that would have made the founding fathers blanche.

(For the benefit of the Obama supporters in the audience, the Tenth Amendment reads “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” where “the people” mean exactly what Heller says it means; you and I).

The overreach of the Obama Administration casts this effort into stark relief; it underscores the urgency of the mission.   The Tenth Amendment is supposed to help protect the people from gross overreach by the federal government.  The implications of a weak Tenth Amendment are obvious; the government can claim almost anything is “interstate commerce” as a pretext for regulation.

The benefits of a strong Tenth?  The implications everything from taxation to Roe Vs. Wade.
And I think the Firearms Freedoms acts being introduced in other states (as Emmer’s is being introduced in Minnesota) are a great way to marry the power, passion and grassroots savvy of the most freedom-loving people in America with the need to push government back out of huge swathes of American life, and to do to the Interstate Commerce Act what the Right to Keep and Bear Arms movement has done to Gun Control.

If you live in Minnesota, get on your phone, call your legislator, and let them know that the same groundswell of people that pushed the Minnesota Personal Protection Act through to law after eight years of trenchfighting is still out there, looking for more notches on its belt.

If you live elsehwere?  Your mission is clear; let your legislators know that the Tenth Amendment isn’t (overregulated, over-taxed) chicken-feed.  Support the Firearms Freedom Act in your state.

It’s not just about guns.

11 thoughts on “I’ll Take The Tenth

  1. Pingback: The Greenroom » Forum Archive » I’ll Take The Tenth

  2. WI allows open carry wo a permit. It has recently had a few protest style rallys with supporters open carrying in WI parks in Lacrosse and in Milwaukee with relatively good press.

    WI still has problems with thier carry laws. However, they are less draconian than some may issue States.

    Ramsey County here in MN also seems to be a may issue fiefdom all its own under Sheriff Fletcher.

  3. When you can be said to speak for the founding fathers, I’ll worry about whether you think they’d blanche.

    Frankly, there is NO question about the Constitutionality of things like Social Security or Medicare, except among the right-wing chattering types.

    However, if you had such qualms, where was your outrage when FISA was violated without restraint, when personal communications between people were randomly searched without restraint, when a Vice President effectively took upon himself Presidential authority, nearly without limit, and failed time and again to conform to advise and consent?

    Your concerns seem cherry-picked at best.

  4. First, I applaud penigma for a comment-sized comment.

    Second, the comment is like a bucket of stupid, but in a convenient comment-sized size.

  5. When you can be said to speak for the founding fathers…

    What? They’re your neighbors too?

    I’ll worry about whether you think they’d blanche.

    I suppose it’s bit pollyannaish to assume you’ve read the Federalist Papers, when you haven’t really even twigged the context of this post, isn’t it?

    Blanche? I was being polite. The founding fathers would puke if they saw the crimes committed under the aegis of the interstate commerce act.

    where was your outrage when FISA was violated without restraint, when personal communications between people were randomly searched without restraint

    Er, without getting into specific allegations which may be either worth discussing or unfettered moonbattery, you are arguing apples and crankcases here. Whether FISA, intelligence surveillance (which FDR practiced far more intensely than Bush was even alleged to have) and the like were right or not (open to debate!) there is no rational question that defense is a Federal power and responsibilty.

    Which means your entire screed is utterly irrelevant.

  6. Utah and Texas also have similar bills pending in their Legislatures. Your readers in these states need to make sure that it gets passed there.


  7. The last time I got into a discussion about the constitution w peev he wrote like a thousand word comment on the 4th amendment instead of Federalist #4 by mistake.
    Guess ya had to be there.

  8. Right-wing chattering types? Good Lord. Peevey, your new President has not only magnified FISA and “intelligence surveillence”, he has appointed some 40 “Czars” who are not even subject to Congressional oversight. Where the Hell is you outrage over that super-Constitution overreach?
    You are are such a tool.

  9. Well, Kermit, I know that when Bush made the statement “your either with us or you’re against us”, even though it was at a news conference after a meeting with Chirac about fighting terrorism, and the specific topic was about the message that he would deliver to the United Nations re terrorism, and even though the full, in-context quote is:
    “Over time it’s going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity, you’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.”
    Peev still believes Bush was addressing Americans who may not support the GWOT.

  10. Peev could save a lot of bandwidth by simply exclaiming “Republicans bad, my Nobel laureate neighbor agrees, link to CBS News website.”

  11. Pingback: » Morning Report 7/13/2009

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