Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Real & imagined

If you picked up this morning's edition of The Columbus Dispatch, maybe you saw the page-one article about the federal government's plan to compel now-encrypted social-networking sites and VOIP networks to allow law-enforcement agents to monitor what you and I say to each other.

Like that'd be something new, right?

All the feds want now is a law that makes it legal to spy on citizens who use these communications media. Sure, it's a development we need to be aware of but hey, we should act with the knowledge that it's happening anyway.

On Dispatch page B7, sandwiched between the obituaries and the weather, is far more pressing

Columbus mayor Michael Coleman, who's cozy enough with New York City's Michael Bloomberg to qualify as an enemy of The People, wants Columbus and other Ohio cities to have the power to enact their own gun-control laws.

Never mind that the state legislature and Gov. Ted Strickland wisely took away that authority three years ago. Forget that nearly all of Coleman's hoped-for laws either are on the federal books or have no effect on crime (or both). Ignore the 2008 Heller decision and (especially) the McDonald case decided earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hell, ignore the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions.

Coleman is a member of
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which means that he's not concerned about constitutional rights or, for that matter, anything beyond the group's Bloomberg-esque agenda. Here's what MAIG says about itself:
"We support the Second Amendment and the rights of citizens to own guns. We recognize that the vast majority of gun dealers and gun owners carefully follow the law. And we know that a policy that is appropriate for a small town in one region of the country is not necessarily appropriate for a big city in another region of the country."
In point of fact, MAIG's aim is to make the exercise of constitutional rights so inconvenient, so onerous, that it results in the de facto disarming of individual American citizens.

Don't believe it? Read MAIG's latest report, Trace the Guns, which is packed with misinformation, disinformation and outright lies. Visit TraceTheGuns.org to see what MAIG has in mind for your state. Check out the NRA's list of MAIG's member mayors and The Truth About Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how the game is played -- gun-grabbers know that enacting unconstitutional local laws is relatively quick and easy, and that citizens' legal challenges take much longer. And while a challenge crawls through the system, people like Coleman and Bloomberg bide their time until the judicial wind blows to the left.

They won't let up and neither should we.

I don't live in Columbus, so in two years I'll have no direct say in who assumes the office of mayor. Maybe you don't live in a city or town governed by one of MAIG's anti-Second Amendment mayors, either.

It'd be a mistake, however, for us to ignore this or any political attack on our right to keep and bear arms. Having Heller and McDonald behind us may be great, but we must never let our guard down.

* * *
"A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." (Constitution of The United States, Amendment II [1789])

"The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power." (Constitution of The State of Ohio, Article I §4 [1851])