Saturday, November 14, 2009

Four Sheets of Parchment

The United States Constitution was written on just four sheets of parchment. Compare that to a single bill today submitted by Congress that exceeds 2,000 pages. And I’ll bet the Founders read every single word on every single page of that most precious of founding documents. Not only that, but they understood exactly what they wrote! Today, we can’t even get our legislators to be willing to make these huge bills available for us to try to read, much less read them themselves.

Here is what Gary DeMar recently wrote in an American Vision article:

“The Constitution of the United States was written on four sheets of parchment. If you count the Preamble and all 27 Amendments (remember there were originally only ten), it comes out to 20 typed pages. If you don’t count the signatures and amendments, you’ll have a document of 11 typed pages. No single Amendment is a full page. Many are only a single sentence in length. The First Amendment covers a multitude of freedoms: religion, press, assembly, speech, and the right to petition the government. It does it with only 45 words. Those original four sheets, about 4500 words, were good enough to serve as a document to govern a nation.”

They say the bills are too confusing for them to read. They wrote them! And now they don’t want to read their own writing because it’s too confusing? If that’s the case, then maybe they should take a lesson from the Founding Fathers and learn how to write things that are shorter and easier to read. Our Second Amendment which preserves our right to defend ourselves is only twenty-six words yet speaks volumes. Come on – how hard is it to write something as simple, yet as explicit as that?

So what does this mean to us as gun owners? Take the latest in gargantuan bills, the recent Affordable Health Care for America Act passed by the House of Representatives. In this monstrosity of a bill any number of amendments could spell gun control under the guise of “looking out for our health” and ensuring that we live in “safe environments” in our own homes. Some say there is the possibility of further registration of every single entry of our medical records into national databases. It takes only a little common sense for one to realize that buried in a bill that is over 2,000 pages long can be hidden any number of liberty killing amendments. How about the prospect of turning you into a felon if you don’t buy the healthcare prescribed for you by law? You do remember that felons can’t own guns, right? At the very least, this represents further control of the American people by a government that is growing out of control.

Here is what Gun Owners of America has to say about this bill:

“This bill will...most likely result in all of your gun-related health data being dumped into a government database that was created in the stimulus bill. This includes any firearms-related information your doctor has gleaned... or any determination of PTSD, or something similar, that can preclude you from owning firearms." The bill will also create special "wellness" programs in section 112 which would allow the government to offer lower premiums to employers who bribe their employees to live healthier lifestyles -- and nothing within the bill would prohibit rabidly anti-gun HHS Secretary Sebelius from decreeing that "no guns" is somehow healthier.”

The health care bill above is but one example. There have been several pieces of legislation considered in this past year alone that have been so huge as to be unreadable and un-comprehended by the average citizen.

Now, more than ever, it is crucial that gun owners (and all citizens) get involved and educate themselves on every single bill that our law makers try to push through. ANY bill can have the potential of containing anti-gun content and or amendments. The health care bill, as an example, is in the hands of the Senate. If they pass a bill of their own, it has to be reconciled with the House bill and sent to the President to sign. We must be paying attention every step of the way if we are to have a say in how these laws are passed.

I know – this represents time out from lives, families and friends. But our future as a country depends on us being willing to sacrifice a little in order to help secure our future as a nation. With the voluminous amounts of text in these bills, and the hundreds of amendments being slipped in, an innocent looking and sounding bill can turn into a gun owner’s (or everyone’s for that matter) worst nightmare in a single moment. We must take an active role in our own governance and make sure our elected officials hear our needs and demands. Please – get off the bench and get into the game.

Constitutional Quotes:

Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” Abraham Lincoln

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Patrick Henry

"The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men." Samuel Adams

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin

The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity- unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity” Henry Clay

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