By Tom Reynolds, Treasurer
When standing firm for the Second Amendment, we often oppose even the smallest infringement as the beginning of a “Slippery Slope” to losing the entire right. That Slippery Slope theory deserves more attention.
There are main stream - but extremist - political groups within the United States which abhor the United States. The dictionary defines abhor as regarding “with distrust and hatred”, so that word seems appropriate. These extremists want to fundamentally change (destroy) the United States of America. The USA is not just our Constitution but also our values, traditions and principles, written and unwritten. The extremists hate these values, traditions and principles which made the United States what it is and has been - but not what the extremists want for the future. Their goal is to destroy the USA by eating away at our belief in our principles and make distrust and hatred of them commonplace, so they can eventually be destroyed.
Let’s look as some examples of traditions, values and Constitutional principles that are currently being undermined by the politically correct culture, with the long-term goal of destroying them:
The 1st Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.” But now, if you criticize a liberal you are a racist. College students need to be protected with “Safe Spaces” and “Trigger Warnings” from views with which their professors disagree. Social media censors speech to protect snowflakes from distressful speech. Is this protection needed to defend delicate ears? No. Its purpose is to prevent people from hearing the other side of the argument; the side that history has often proven to be correct.
I grew up under the American tradition of, “I disagree with what you said but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. I doubt if that principle is taught in today’s schools. Now, our Constitutional values are being undermined by liberal social values trumpeted in the main stream media.
The 2nd Amendment says, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”. Machine guns / automatic rifles have been heavily regulated for over eighty years because of their capabilities. But semiautomatic AR15s are now vilified and legislated against because they look scary. They are no more dangerous than other models that are equally capable but less scary looking. If you can ban a gun based on looks, the road to overturning the 2nd Amendment will be paved with AR15s.
Extremist political groups hate guns because they can be used as protection from a tyrannical / socialist / communist government. Given that our Constitution and Bill of Rights resulted from a war against government, that is a precedent that the extremist politicians find extremely distressful.
The 4th Amendment says, “...no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause….” and the 5th Amendment says, “no person shall be…deprived of life liberty or property without due process of law…”. The 14th Amendment reinforces this, “…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law…” But under the Red Flag laws, there does not have to be probable cause that someone actually committed a crime in order to be deprived of our “Arms”. It only takes some degree of likelihood that one might, in the future, commit a crime. Of course, that one might NOT commit a crime goes unsaid. The problem with the future is that no one has been there yet, so no one can give first person testimony about it, which causes conflict with the 6th Amendment.
Under Red Flags, who can make a charge that one is likely to commit a crime? Basically, any disgruntled person who has an issue with gun owner. A gun owner’s politics, writings and speech are then put under a microscope by bureaucrats beholden to the extreme left’s ideology. And who is the mind reader that decides if someone might be a future threat? A judge with a law degree. And contrary to what Chief Justice Roberts has said, we all know that there are Obama judges and Clinton judges.
Article 2 of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment set up and redefined what is called the “Electoral College”. The main purpose was to give smaller states some protection from the more populous larger states (protection from the tyranny of the majority). Now we constantly hear from the main stream media that the Electoral College must be done away with as the majority should rule, absolutely.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 2 million votes while Donald Trump won approximately 2,600 counties and Clinton won about 500.The Electoral College worked, as planned, in safeguarding the smaller states.
The Constitution sets the minimum voting age at eighteen. State laws set the minimum age to drink alcohol, drive a car and buy cigarettes to the mid to late teens and sometimes to twenty-one. Adults have, for the most part seen these as necessary steps to protect youth from the more dangerous mistakes of inexperience. But extremist groups rejoice when preteens decide they are a different sex than the one in which they were born. Following that line, some extremists want the voting age lowered to fourteen!
Laws, traditions and values recognized the differences in sexes, provided for different restrooms for males and females and recognized only two genders. Now, extremist groups are mainstreaming the belief that there are a virtually unlimited number of genders and it’s everyone’s right to choose which gender they wish to join, irrespective of chromosomes and genitals.
If I had a dollar for every gender, I would have two dollars and a lot of counterfeits.
There is a great example of how this creeping undermining of our traditions and values happens and it occurred within the last eighty years. Until Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, balancing the federal budget - except in wartime - was an accepted belief. FDR legitimatized heavily unbalanced budgets even in peacetime. This grew, after World War II, into federal peacetime deficits being legitimate as long as they were below a certain percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Then, the Barack Obama presidency blew the lid off of that principle and now deficits receive only lip service, which ignores the inevitable day of reckoning.
The Second Amendment is, quite obviously, bearing the brunt of the unrelenting extremist assault, which goes on over a broad front. Will defenders of our Constitution, values and traditions simply tire and give up under this constant barrage?
Long ago, I noticed a trend when people took on a task that was a “stretch” – that was difficult. When things got challenging, as almost all “stretches” eventually do, people go through a stage I call, “What have I gotten myself into”? Some people quit. But Americans, going as far back as Valley Forge, have labored through defeat, despair, hunger and seemingly insurmountable odds to persevere and win.
The question now is what kind of American are we? Do we surrender to these extremist groups or do we stand firm against even the smallest attack on our liberties? The Slippery Slope is real and it threatens the very core of what it is to be an American.