While our nation grieves over another tragic and senseless mass killing there are many among us who advocate the termination of a constitutionally protected right to stop this from happening again. If a constitutionally protected right is abolished or diminished there is nothing to prevent the same from happening to any of our other rights protected by the Constitution. Even talking about abolishing or diminishing such a right is opening up Pandora’s Box, and since the box has been opened we should talk about banning something else that has killed more people than all the guns in the world: bad ideas communicated via newspapers, news programs, schools, legislators, laws, and judges.
Before anyone shoots others with a gun, stabs them with a knife, runs them over with a car, blows them up with a bomb, or kills them in so many different ways they first must desire to do so. This is why any idea based on a system of beliefs that encourages or even fails to prohibit the taking of someone else’s life without due process of Common Law should be banned.
Many would complain that restricting speech in this manner violates their first amendment rights, but that is exactly what anti-gun advocates are trying to do by attempting to restrict or ban gun ownership, which is a second amendment right. They cannot have it both ways; if these rights are unalienable then none of them should be alienated. (The Declaration of Independence uses the root word “alienate” in reference to a person’s rights; it means sold or transferred.)
Sadly freedom of speech has already been violated and its violation has been upheld by the highest court in our land. By prohibiting public institutions from displaying the ten fundamental laws that were the foundation of all law in America, the Supreme Court is prohibiting the communication and enforcement of morals in our society. For example, in the 1978 Supreme Court case Stone v Graham in which the State of Kentucky’s law requiring a copy of the Ten Commandments be posted on the wall of each classroom in every public school was successfully challenged. The issue was whether Kentucky’s statute violated the first amendment and the Supreme Court held that posting of religious texts serves no educational function but to induce school children to read, meditate upon, and obey, the Commandments. The court’s analysis was that the posting of religious texts in the classroom is not a permissible State objective under the Establishment Clause; i.e., establishment of religion in the 1st Amendment. Besides completely misconstruing and misapplying the very clear words in and original intent of the Establishment Clause, the Supreme Court also restricted free speech in the promotion of ten very good ideas, one of which is, “Thou shall not commit murder.”
It is difficult to understand why anyone would not want their child to read, meditate upon, and obey a commandment like, “Thou shall not commit murder.” If the Ten Commandments were once again upheld in public institutions, our nation would also once again have significantly less or no massacres in schools, movie theaters, McDonalds or other public places. Murder is a physical act that first starts as an idea. Without a moral code commanding that this behavior is wrong; people will do the unthinkable, because there is nothing in what they have been taught to inform them otherwise. As a matter of fact, since the passage of Supreme Court cases Engel v Vitale and Abington v Schempp in 1962 and 1963, which respectively ruled public schools could not mandatorily have prayer and could not mandatorily teach religion, social indicators have gone haywire. Social indicators like teenage pregnancy and violence in public schools have skyrocketed while SAT scores have plummeted. To be clear, correlation does not prove causation, but when so many connected concepts suddenly change at one time it is hard to imagine another root cause. Ideas have consequences and public massacres in America are the consequences of restricting the Ten Commandments as the foundation of United States law.
With the Ten Commandments out of the way and society not functioning as well as it used to, guns have become the prime suspect in a society gone mad, but guns are the method not the motive. Guns have been a part of our nation since its inception and until relatively recently there has been no restrictions on their ownership as the pre-ample to the Bill of Rights demands, “Congress shall make no law… [respecting] the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.” Also until recently, it was unthinkable for anyone to use guns to randomly kill people in public; kids even used to take their guns to school, so they could go hunting after school without first going home and without anyone ever thinking they would use those guns to commit violence against their classmates. In the last fifty years something has changed in America, and now people are committing gross acts of random wonton violence against fellow citizens and school classmates. It is not the existence of guns in our society that has changed in the last fifty years, it is what we as a nation believes and in what we put our faith that has changed.
It is time for public officials and private citizens to stop pointing to guns as the root cause of this endemic problem, because it is the lack of morals being upheld in our society that is killing people and banning guns will only cause worse violence against American citizens. Banned or not, guns will always be available and if law abiding citizens are restricted from gun ownership then they will make an easier target, not only by lunatics in movie theaters, but by politicians in elected offices who want to impose their tyrannical will upon the people. Since New York Mayor Bloomberg thinks infringing other’s second amendment rights is within the jurisdiction of the President, then he should not mind if a President confiscates all his worldly assets, incarcerates him without being charged, and then has him executed. I do not find any of this lawful or desirable, but if we, as a nation, decide to violate a constitutionally protected right, there is nothing to stop the violation of other rights like: life, liberty, and property. If Americans are serious about stopping public massacres as just happened in Aurora, Colorado then we, as a nation, need to restore the foundation of law that restrained those impulses for well over 182 years.