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Gun Control, Executive Orders, and Nullification

I am fairly new to the liberty movement, and I started a blogging endeavor to share what I am learning, and how I feel about the state of affairs in the country I love. Here is a post I created shortly after the Sandy Hook Tragedy...

The victims and their families in Connecticut remain in my family and I’s prayers.

My wife and I are also exploring ideas to create a Vicki Soto fund that raises money for better security measures at schools here in America.

Believe it or not… it is these type of private efforts that do more than Washington ever could! There is nothing more powerful than American citizens banding together under a common cause; not because someone tells us to, but because charity compels us to do so willingly.

I was impressed by and even emotional when watching President Obama speak at the inter-faith vigil in Connecticut last weekend. It was great to see our country band together in order to patch the wounds of one of our communities. For me, while it was sad, it also was a breath of fresh air. I was emotional to see the real values of America on full display. Muslims, Christians, and Jews coming together to do what God wants us all to do; lift up the heavy hearted with love and compassion. I was also happy to hear that President Obama was determined to do what every he could do in order to prevent another massacre like New town from happening.

I was also a little alarmed to hear Michael Bloomberg insist that President Obama not listen to Congress but come up with his own proposals on how to move forward with gun control. Now for the sake of clarity, I don’t know if he meant that statement in a philosophical or legislative way.

Executive Orders
I was watching CNN this morning, when I heard Wolf Blitzer make the point that President Obama could go around our polarized Congress in order to enact gun control measures by issuing executive orders. While I was happy to hear that President Obama was serious about coming up with solutions to our gun control problems, this is not at all what I had in mind.

Unfortunately, Wolf Blitzer is right. In modern America, the President can create laws without going through Congress, in spite of the fact that there is no Constitutional provisions for doing so. This is alarming to us who believe our representatives should do what they swear to do when they take office.

Every elected official swears to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Likewise, every soldier who dies swears to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Needless to say, but It is painful to see elected officials go around the Constitution that soldiers die to defend after tragedies like these.

Article I, Section I of the Constitution explicitly states that all legislative powers reside with Congress. This means that it is unconstitutional for a president to create and enact laws at the federal level. Our founders went to great lengths to ensure that the Republic wouldn’t fall into the hands of a king ever again. Unfortunately, through the abuse of executive power, a US president is now able to create decrees, rather than have to be bothered by politics.

What is even sadder to see, is it is becoming more common for people to agree that we need to get rid of our Constitution. Many people today see it as being an outdated document that no longer applies to us. Unfortunately, I wish I could say that such a sentiment is true, but it isn’t. Students of history know that history always repeats itself, and it would bid every American well to understand why our founders created a Constitutional Republic.

Sovereign Citizens of Sovereign States
While it is sad to see the rule of law in such a sad state in the country I love; I am happy to properly understand our history and the true nature of our government. When I was a kid, all the way up until about 6 years ago, I thought that the federal government was at the top, then the states, then our cities, and then we came in last. Unfortunately, this is how most people are taught to understand it. This is actually completely backwards!

When our founding fathers decided to rebel against the crown and build our nation, they set out to do what had never been done before. They decided they were going to learn from history and create a Constitutional Republic where the sovereignty resided within individual citizens rather than a crown . These sovereign citizens would then elect officials to act on their behalf within their communities, states, and national offices. This is extremely important, because it means that the power is in the people individually (not collectively as in a true democracy). The reason why our founders were opposed to a majority ruling, is because history had proven that a majority can be majorly wrong. Our founders wanted to look at people as individuals, not because they were isolationists, but because it was the only way to protect minority rights. It is sad to say, but most of us do not understand this!

This leads us to another important point. This would also mean that the states have sovereignty over the federal government. So, we would have to ask ourselves what we could do if we ever came to a place where we believed the federal government was abusing its delegated powers. After all, the federal government does not actually hold any power or resources of its own; both its power and resources ultimately belong to the people, because that’s where it comes from.

James Madison and the “Duty” to Interpose
James Madison insisted that the State of Virginia had the “Duty” to Interpose, in the Virginia Resolutions of 1798, when he stated…

“That this assembly (Virginia) doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the power of the federal government as resulting from the compact (The Constitution) to which the states are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that compact, as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that, in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties, appertaining to them.”

Very few people have heard of the term nullification. Others have heard of the term, but in a negative, or even treasonous light. With this being said, I think it is fitting to bring some historical clarification of the subject into view.

So, what is nullification?


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