February 21, 2020

To Regulate Molded Plastic

There’s a meme of two conflicting tweets from President Donald Trump that shows the hypocrisy of politicians, as well as the blind loyalty of many so called conservatives as they follow along the cult of personality down the road to serfdom.

In one tweet President Trump claims to never allow the Second Amendment to go unprotected, not even a little bit, while the second is the promise to ban all devices that convert weapons into machine guns, starting with bump stocks.  

President Trump's bump stock hypocrisy.

Well which is it?

One might be forgiven for continuing to support Trump amidst the dearth of viable alternatives for replacing the Chief Executive.  However, there is no excuse for yielding to the creeping encroachments upon fundamental rights, even by those paying lip service to protecting them. 

The very notion of a ban on bump stocks should spark outrage and deep inquiry into the proper sphere of government authority, not merely because it infringes upon rights expressly protected under the Second, Fourth, and Fifth amendments to the Constitution, but because it evidences a highly invasive executive authority beyond the scope of any power even delegated to the general government.

In other words, a government that claims the authority to prohibit individuals from possessing plastic molded in certain shapes has escaped all semblance of constitutionally limited powers.

Intellectual Property

A bump stock, pistol grip, or any other type of firearms accessory available through advanced technologies and petroleum byproducts is, at essence, molded plastic.  Injection molding allows plastic to be shaped into chairs, keyboards, dress sequins, or any other thing the human mind can imagine.  There is nothing unique about a bump stock other than its intended use.

So what we really have with the executive order to ban bump stocks is a public official that wants to control human intentions.  This is not a legitimate function of government and evidences a design to reduce people under absolute despotism.

To Make Regular By Restraining States

The general government of the United States was delegated an authority to regulated commerce between foreign nations, Indian tribes, and among the several states under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution.  Nowhere does this regulatory authority include individuals, groups, or companies in the original intent of the Commerce Clause.  However, those seeking to use the power of the state as an instrument of plunder will always construe language in such a way as to justify abuses of power and liberty went on the defensive almost immediately upon ratification.

Still, the 2005 US Supreme Court opinion in Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S.1 admitted that for the first century of the union, the Commerce Clause followed the original intent of prohibiting discriminatory state legislation that would restrict the regular flow of interstate commerce or antagonize other states through side deals among themselves or with external political entities.

Preventing restrictions at arbitrary lines on a map or setting a uniform safety inspection rate as goods enter a jurisdiction, which could charitably be called a customs duty, sounds like a decent thing.  Knowing that the individual states were imposing protective tariffs and retarding commerce with petty squabbles prior to ceding this authority to the general government, created through the Constitution, reasonably justifies including the Commerce Clause. 

Properly understood, the Commerce Clause is a restriction on state powers.  Unfortunately, the general government has proven, over time, unworthy of holding such authority as well.

Progressing Toward Tyranny

With the rise of the so-called Progressive Era, and after the 1861-1865 War, voices within the general government began twisting definitions so as to control ever greater swaths of private commerce, culminating in the socialist triumph of the Roosevelt administration’s New Deal policies with 1942’s Wickard v. Filbrun Supreme Court opinion.  In it, the court held that the general government had the power to control an individual’s production of goods for their own use because impact interstate commerce and national price level goals (another undelegated authority assumed by the socialist takeover of the general government).

The US Commerce Clause is the story of a rational authority to prevent state level political entities from imposing restrictions on trade being perverted into the centralized control of individual production and consumption activities.  

Those looking to protect their Second Amendment rights need to understand the fundamentals of political economy.  Left unimpeded, the slippery slope of economic intervention into the free market will not stop before political tyranny reigns.  

The two, political and economic, are one system that cannot be separated.  Compromising in one area surrenders the entire edifice.

People, Power, Purse, and Sword

Defending gun rights requires seeing the American constitutional system of political economy holistically and adhering unwaveringly to foundational principles.

If the Constitution is to deliver on its intended purpose of securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, gun rights (the political) need to be viewed as inexorably tied to commerce (the economic):

The Commerce Clause prohibits restrictions, protectionism, privileges, and cronyism among political entities, including popular public officials, and leaves individuals, companies, and corporations to trade amongst themselves in a free market, regulated by profit and loss.

The Second Amendment prohibits all infringements upon an individual’s right to keep and bear whatever arms are suitable for executing the laws, repelling invasions, and suppressing insurrections because being armed, organized, and disciplined to serve in local militia, is necessary to the security of a free state.

A free market, where individuals and groups can purchase arms suitable for militia service, is also necessary to the security of a free state, one that is capable of protecting the marketplaces therein.  

With this, we see how the economic and the political are both complimentary and mutually reinforcing.  Liberty in both is essential to security, justice, and prosperity.

Obviously, things are a long way off from how Constitutional self-governance was designed to function.  The best antidote to political and economic dysfunction is to become an unstoppable force in your life and career.  

Focus on yourself, it's the one place where you actually have power.

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