Dr. Tim Nerenz – Moment Of Clarity – Constitutional Carry

This is a great column by Libertarian Dr. Tim Nerenz from his website MOMENT OF CLARITY talking about Constitutional Carry:

May 11, 2011

Constitutional Carry

We had such high hopes in Wisconsin for this new Governor and this legislature. The coalition of conservatives, libertarians, and constitutionalists that turned out the liberals had a few priorities that we did not think would be difficult to achieve in short order, chief among them being removal of the unconstitutional restrictions on carrying firearms.

We are not asking for much; only that law abiding citizens be afforded the same opportunities for self-defense that criminals have enjoyed in this state for decades.

Criminals do not have to secure permits, endure training, buy licenses, or track ammo. Criminals are not subject to restrictions on the caliber, magazine size, or firing mechanism of their weapons. When criminals find themselves in need of a firearm for self-defense, they do not have to dial 911 and then wait for a police officer to show up with one. Criminals have no waiting period; no forms to fill out.

We are only asking that non-criminals be afforded equal rights. The fact that oh-by-the-way concealed carry reduces violent crime is a bonus, but we should not have to prove to anyone that there is a benefit to them in order for our rights to be secured.

The bill to remove all restrictions on owning and carrying firearms in the state of Wisconsin should have been written on one page, debated for a minute, and passed on the first day of the legislative session. You either believe in freedom or you don’t; you either believe in the Constitution or you don’t; you either believe in unalienable rights or you don’t. Liberty does not accept amendments or earmarks.

Wisconsin’s Constitutional Carry Bill, LRB 11-2007-1 has finally been introduced and is co-sponsored by Dr. Pam Galloway, a citizen legislator with whom I was privileged to share a panel during the health care debates of 2009-10. It strikes down all of the provisions of Wisconsin law that infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms. Bravo, Senator Galloway and all who support her.

But her more experienced colleagues have subsequently introduced competing bills which introduce new requirements for training, registration, licensing and other infringements. The author of one of them, Rep. Donald Pridemore, argues that his added red tape is “a reasonable compromise between an individual’s second amendment rights and a modern day application of these rights”.

Dear Rep. Pridemore: no compromise of a right is ever “reasonable”. But thank you for helping me point out the difference between a Republican and a Libertarian. We Libertarians are quite unreasonable when it comes to compromising on unalienable rights. It is a heck of a word to say, so we tend to mean it.

The Constitution of the United States does not grant rights to citizens; it limits the powers of government to infringe on the rights which have already endowed upon us by our Creator. One of those is the right to keep and bear arms, to defend our persons and property in any manner we see fit.

In fact, guns are the only product or service mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. While we also clearly have a right to keep and bear food, healthcare, clothing, shelter, and many other necessary things, the framers did not deem any of them important enough to warn the government against any form of infringement – only guns. Think about that.

Who do you imagine they had in mind that needed to be expressly warned by the 2nd amendment? I’m guessing the same folks who are being warned “hands off” in the other nine. Was the 4th amendment aimed at your neighbor, requiring a warrant before he comes in to borrow a cup of sugar? Was the 5th amendment needed to limit the power of your priest at confession? Was the 1st amendment meant to keep the auctioneer from ignoring your bid?

No. It is government that the founders feared enough to bind by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; and their worst fears of government encroachment on our liberties have come true in our lifetimes. The purpose of the second amendment is to protect us from our government; we will not negotiate the dinner menu with cannibals.

Government officials who swear to uphold and defend the Constitution, and who are expressly prohibited from any form of infringement on the citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms, have amassed so many unconstitutional prohibitions in violation of the oath that it takes Dr. Galloway’s bill 19 pages to list all of them which will be struck moot by adhering to the Constitution in Wisconsin. It is time for us to correct this wrong, and to do so in one fell swoop.

The thing about gun rights is not the guns part, it’s the rights part. We do not require citizens to buy a license and pay for training to vote, speak, worship, assemble, secure their homes, serve on a jury, or petition for redress. Constitutional carry is liberty’s demand, not mine; call your representatives and remind them what they were sent to do last November.

“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website http://www.timnerenz.com to find your moment and watch for the upcoming release of his new book, “Capitalista!”

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