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Random Threats of Violence

Trump, the Second Amendment, our Founders, and fighting words.

By Hobbes  |  August 11, 2016

This week's leftist fainting spell du jour was triggered by yet another of Donald Trump's easily-misinterpreted statements.

Donald Trump appeared to encourage Second Amendment supporters to shoot Hillary Clinton — prompting lawmakers and gun-control advocates on Tuesday to call for the unhinged GOP nominee’s exit from the presidential race.

“Hillary wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said in Wilmington, N.C., before uttering the jaw-dropping hint.

“Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” he added, in what seemed to be a suggestion that gun advocates turn their weapons on his Democratic opponent.

Only a loony leftist would instantly jump to this conclusion, seeing that mainstream America has been out of the habit of settling political disputes with gunfire for well over a hundred years.  It's not as if there's any shortage of people wielding firearms against Americans for political purposes, whether they be Muslims, Black Lives Matter thugs, or both - but the politicos who come closest to encouraging it are the Obama administration and even they do so more subtly than that.

No, Donald Trump was not predicting, much less encouraging, his followers to take up arms against a President Hillary Clinton.  Which raises an interesting historical question:

Why not?

Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God

If anyone used the above phrase in a modern political speech, he'd be instantly pilloried.  What, then, are we to make of its usage by Ben Franklin, who proposed it to be on the national Great Seal?

It didn't end up there, which disappointed Thomas Jefferson so much that he put the motto on his own personal seal.  When Mr. Jefferson said that "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants," he wasn't kidding, and he knew whereof he spoke.  Jefferson's home state of Virginia features a motto on its seal that's just as bloodthirsty - "Sic Semper Tyrannis," or Thus Always to Tyrants, meaning death, as depicted on the seal itself.

Nor did he have one rule for himself and another for his descendants: Thomas Jefferson had had the privilege of working on his own country's Constitution and he thought everyone else should get the same chance, by rewriting it every generation

But that's not what the people decided.  Actual American voters, through their representatives, opted for a permanent Constitution that represents the agreement between the people and their government, subject to amendments through a specified process.  Our Constitution wasn't perfect, of course, and we've had to make necessary adjustments over the years - banning slavery, for instance, and clarifying Presidential succession.  We've had a few mistakes along the way too, like Prohibition, which was reversed by a later amendment.

Once upon a time, the Left agreed that, if they wanted to change the rules, they needed to do it according to the rules.  We may not agree with the Federal income tax, but it is perfectly constitutional, because the Progressives duly passed an amendment making it so.

Today's Democrats seem to have harked back to the rejected views of their founder, Thomas Jefferson, that the Constitution should be rewritten constantly.  However, Jefferson meant this to be done freely and openly, in a duly elected convention, according to the rules specified in the first Constitution all America agreed on.

In contrast, our leftist elites don't believe any longer that they should have to go to the people to change the Constitution.  Since when did the Constitution ever contain a right to homosexual unions, to say nothing of a right to go in whichever restroom you feel like at the moment?  It would be perfectly proper for the Left to propose Constitutional amendments to that effect and try to get them passed according to the existing rules, but that's too bothersome for our progressive elites.

What's even worse than creating new Constitutionalities out of whole cloth, is getting rid of the old ones.  Here's Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt:

One of the issues coming before the Court will concern a basic liberty essential to democracy: freedom of speech.  Under assault these days is the freedom to spend (or not spend) money on political speech...

Freedom of religious conscience also hangs in the balance.  We have seen this in the Hobby Lobby case, where the Court protected the right of religious employers not to fund abortions... Similarly, a case may soon reach the Court to decide whether civil rights laws can be used to force, for example, a Christian photographer to use her artistic skills to celebrate a same-sex wedding.

And of course, there's the Second Amendment that Trump mentioned.  Occasional protests by Democrat politicians running for re-election to the contrary, the Left is quite open in telling us how they view the right to keep and bear arms:

The Second Amendment to the Constitution says this: “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.” For most of U.S. history, that was understood to mean that the freedom guaranteed by the Second Amendment was precisely what it said: the right of the people of each state to maintain a well-regulated militia.

In other words: The Second Amendment merely protects the right of your state to have a National Guard.  It doesn't mean anything for you at all.

The Supreme Court wisely disagreed with this view in 2008 in the Heller decision, which baldly stated:

The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

But... the decision was 5-4, with the late Justice Scalia being one of the 5.  President Hillary has but to fill his empty seat with a standard-issue far-lefty, and poof!  No more Second Amendment, for all practical purposes.  Indeed, she has actually been recorded as saying that the Supreme Court was wrong in Heller and that she plans to appoint judges who'd change it, which is just what the left wants.

Even The Paranoid Have Enemies

What will happen if - as is very easy to imagine - this happens, immediately followed by a federal bill banning personal firearms as the Left has advocated for generations?

And, at the same time, if the Hillary Supreme Court finds that your "freedom of religion" extends no further than the boundaries of your personal conscience and possibly your church sanctuary but gives you absolutely no protection from being forced by other laws to violate your conscience?  Again, the Left and the Democrats have made it crystal clear that's what they intend to do as soon as they can.

And, at the same time, the Court strikes down the Citizens United decision and once again permits laws to ban political speech that our Dear Leader would rather you didn't hear?  It's often forgotten, but the whole issue of Citizens United was over an anti-Hillary movie that a private group - not a political party or campaign, but a private entity with private donors - wanted to spend their own money to broadcast.  How is that not free speech?

Yet again, Citizens United was decided 5-4 including Scalia.  Your freedom of political speech is very much in the balance.  This has been said for many years without anything bad happening, but that doesn't mean it is not true.

What's Good for the Goose

So, are we calling for Hillary to be assassinated?  Absolutely, 100% certainly, NO.  For one thing, assassination simply doesn't work - the goals of the murderers of Abraham Lincoln, JFK, and Martin Luther King would have had a better chance if they'd just stayed home in bed.

Are we calling for armed revolution?  No, not that either: as long as we still have reasonably free and fair elections in accordance with the Constitution, that is how our politics must be conducted.

At what point, then, does destroying the Second Amendment arrive at the point that rebellion would be justified?  That's for history to decide, but we know one place we definitely won't go for advice.

Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday brought up the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy while defending her decision to stay in the race against Barack Obama – drawing a furious reaction from the front-runner’s camp.

“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it,” she said, dismissing calls to drop out.

If there is ever an appropriate time for political violence, purely partisan advantages is not it.  We wish we could all agree on this.  Apparently, by her own statements, Hillary herself is unclear on that point, and she's been in politics for longer than most of us have been alive.  Can anyone justly blame neophyte Donald Trump for a similar statement?