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A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste

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Stanford economist Paul Romer has coined the term, "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste." Unfortunately, the statist Obama Administration has adopted this mantra in implementing its radical positions on the rest of us. No, I am not talking about how the President is about to sell us out to the New World Order in the name of ensuring that our economy never again faces a crisis of this magnitude. That rant is for another day. Instead, I am talking about the concern that the Administration will and is using crises to violate our 2nd Amendment rights.

Crisis number one is the horrendous drug war violence in Mexico. Even though Mexico has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, it has become one of the most crime ridden, bloodiest societies on earth. First of all, there is only one gun store in the whole country and that is run by the army. It takes months to get a permit to own a gun and if you are one of the lucky to endure the process to the end restrictions are placed on the number of guns you can own and the amount of ammunition you can possess. It is no wonder that Mexico was at one time a one-party dictatorship. It is also no wonder that drug cartels can operate freely within the country without much fear of backlash from an armed citizenry. Mexico is the poster child for the slogan, “When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will own guns.”

This past week, the Administration dispatched Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Mexico City to meet with Mexican president Felipe Calderon and discuss ways to prevent the smuggling of arms from the U.S. into Mexico. As if he hasn’t made conditions in his own country horrific through his intensified War on Drugs campaign of the last 16 months, Calderon has indicated recently that “it is necessary to reduce the sale of weapons, particularly of high-power weapons, in the United States.” Jumping on Calderon’s lead, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin believes, “Americans should feel guilty about, if not responsible for, drug gangs in Mexico shooting each other and corrupt government officials in perverse numbers-because some of the guns may have been purchased in the U.S.”

I mean wow! There is so much to analyze here. First of all, what right does Felipe Calderon have to tell us how to run our country? Isn’t it his reignited War on Drugs that has caused the violence upswing in his own? Before he decided to go after the drug cartels with full force, brutality levels in Mexico were normal for an undeveloped country. Secondly, Senator Durbin’s statement that Americans should feel responsible for drug violence and corruption in Mexico because “some of the guns may have been purchased in the U.S.” is a ridiculous statement. As an attorney Durbin should know that “may have been purchased” doesn’t pass the beyond a reasonable doubt standard for conviction. Besides, where is law enforcement along the border? Aren’t there laws against transporting firearms across the border anyway? If Washington would just get serious about enforcing our border protection laws we would have fewer illegals here and Mexico may have fewer illegal weapons there. In any event, Mexico’s violence should not be used as a pretense to violate the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans under any circumstances.

Crisis number two is the War on Terror. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to enforce a little-known law which prohibits American citizens who reside outside the United States from purchasing firearms while they are in America on visits. According to law 18 USC 922(a) (9), “a person who is a resident of no state can only buy firearms for lawful sporting purposes.” The language of the statute apparently excludes purchases for self-defense and other purposes. The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of Maxwell Hodgkins and Stephen Dearth. Hodgkins and Dearth are natural-born American citizens who currently live overseas and have been denied the opportunity to buy firearms in the U.S. because of their residency status. The SAF is seeking an injunction against the law.

18 USC 922(a) (9) does not pass constitutional muster under either the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms or the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clauses. Attorney General Holder knows this. So what could be the rationale behind the statute anyway? My best guess is it has something to do with the international crisis Washington calls the War on Terror. Are the Feds concerned that Americans living overseas are more susceptible to being or becoming terrorists? Perhaps the fear is that we might befriend terrorists in our travels who subsequently will visit us in the U.S. and have the means available to do harm to Americans when they set foot on our soil? If you survey Americans who live overseas, you will find that many work for the U.S. government anyway –the military, U.S. State Department, CIA, U.S. Agency for International Development, and Peace Corp volunteers. The rest of us are business professionals, teachers, doctors, and missionaries. None of these groups are usually inclined to join al-Qaeda. No, the fear of terrorism is not a justifiable reason to infringe upon Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights, but the Obama Administration is willing to use it anyway.

There is no question the violence in Mexico and the threat of worldwide terrorism are real. However instead of taking advantage of these crises to take away our constitutional rights, the Obama Administration should reevaluate the causes of the conflicts and act accordingly. By decriminalizing drugs and ending the government’s war on people who use them, the violence in Mexico and the threat it causes to our national security will go away overnight. Thomas Jefferson had it right when he said our foreign policy should be focused on, “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.” Adopting a non-interventionist foreign policy will lower resentments towards the United States and make our people safer. With our national security protected and our people safer, there will be no pretense to violate the constitutional liberties of any Americans.

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About Kenn Jacobine

  • Clavos

    I am a dual citizenship American. On the issue of drugs, I side with my Mexican compatriots:

    There would not be a “drug problem” if the USA were not an insatiable, limitless market for them.

  • Susan Feldman-Bailey

    This story looks like cut and pastes from recent stories that were published by AP or CNN. No, Mexico is not one of the bloodiest societies on Earth. I can’t believe a professional person dares to make such an statement. You can say the society of Ciudad Juarez is victim of bloody acts, just like the one we had yesterday in Upstate New York, of the border, or some cities, but this doesn’t make the whole country of Mexico one of the bloodiest societies on Earth. You should work for CNN or Fox news.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I suppose you don’t mean that as a recommendation, Susan.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    So, here we are, born to be kings, – princes of the universe; and some damned politician is trying to take away our right to bear arms. Good thing I do not live in the good old US of A. Here (in Israel), I apply for a license, get approved and buy a nice Glock (if I have the money for one). What about you, Kenn?

  • pablo

    comment 1

    There would not be a drug problem if drugs were not illegal. PERIOD

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Pablo,

    Check Cannonn’s comment on HR 875, as well as comments by Bill H on my thread (on exceptionalism); to people, so far, who reverberate the kind of things you’re saying. So you’re not a long ranger, it seems.

    Roger

  • Clavos

    There would not be a drug problem if drugs were not illegal. PERIOD

    I disagree. The problems would be different, and probably involve less violence, but legalizing them (which I’m for) is not a panacea — we would still have problems (as we do with liquor, which is a legal drug) with children on drugs, large segments of society stoned and unable to function at a high level, etc.

    However, legalizing them would at least eliminate (or minimize — there still would be a black market catering to children) most of the gang- and criminal-related problems we’re currently experiencing.

    Unfortunately, some of the most popular drugs (heroin, coke, special K, etc.) are debilitating and stupefying. Most are not as benign as pot.

  • Irene Wagner

    #8 Pablo is not a “long ranger?” Hi Ho Silver! I’m not sure what Pablo is, but I hope he will accept my apology for calling him psyops tool. And for the other thing, too.

    Will you please forgive me, Pablo?

  • pablo

    Irene,

    All is forgiven. :)

  • http:// Cindy

    There is a drug problem with kids because there are so many adults in the world who are idiots.

    It won’t be solved it until that that problem is addressed. No matter what laws anyone, anywhere makes.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    I know I shouldn’t have said “idiots”. And when I’m not mad at these idiots, sometimes I even see them for what they are, which is more like dupes.

  • HeddaCabbage

    Pablo — :)

    “Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.” ~FA Hayek

    PS Roger Nowosielski: Probably a typo. Still funny.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    Here Irene, let’s have the whole thing:

    ‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded – and once they are suspended it is not difficult for anyone who has assumed such emergency powers to see to it that the emergency will persist.

    ~ F.A. Hayek

  • bliffle

    Second amendment concerns are among the least of our problems. For one thing, there is simply no way for disorganized USA civilians to mount any kind of effective fight against the government and it’s well-equipped and well-organized military. Fantasies about overthrowing an oppressive government are laughable.

    Besides, the rebels are so deluded and fractious that they couldn’t agree on anything important among themselves anyhow.

    Talk of rebellion with pea-shooters is just silly.

    Besides, most of the presumptive rebels can’t even properly identify the enemy! Their zealous commitment to bogus political notions has them believing that the enemy is ‘liberals’ and not the corporate overlords that REALLY are stealing their money and their freedoms.

    They just can’t change. With all the evidence in front of us demonstrating the utter betrayal of USA citizens by Corporate Chieftans, those guys can’t even recalibrate their aim! What good would such willingly self-deluded fools be in a time of rebellion?