“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – From the Declaration of Independence.
Our yearly 4th of July holiday, and it’s ensuing celebration has inspired liberty minded individuals throughout the world for countless generations, in countless countries, where brutal and even sometimes benign leadership abused the rights and assumed little if any “god given” rights exist for their citizenry. Those individuals by our country’s example, seek the opportunities many of us seem to take for granted. The opportunity to raise a family in the size YOU choose, with religious (or non) beliefs which are are your birthright or fit you, or the simple ability to work hard and prosper if it suits you.
Though with few words, the beginning paragraph speaks quite a bit to the truth of our humanity, and not even so much about being a United States Citizen. We are Born with rights. Our BIRTH RIGHTS are individual choice, the ability to choose whether we continue to live, or die, or what we do to pursue our living, or if we serve others in freedom’s stead. The pursuit of happiness is simply that; the ability to decide which path we take that meets our expectations of our freedoms.
The Declaration of July 4, 1776 had much to say about King George, but it’s main message was basically “we’ve had enough! We will not tolerate oppression any longer!” OR as a quote in a film once declared “I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not gonna take it anymore.” The ensuing constitution was prepared to ensure that the type of leadership we empower in future times did not follow the path of the reign of that Monarchy, or similarly oppressive government. The combination of the two historical documents both declared our reasons, and the solution to our problem.
In today’s political environment, we are often promised much by our prospective “leaders,” in order to garner our support and vote (consent to be governed) electing them to offices of power. Often, the promises are contrary to the wishes of a particular grouping of individuals and their “pursuits,” and the debate whether the special interest of one group trumps the rights of others must go before our Supreme Court to be decided. The Supreme Court, designed by our founders as a check AGAINST an oppressive government, both from an imperial Executive branch, and Legislative tyranny is the final say with regard to the protection of our rights.
Recently, the Supreme Court reaffirmed, though not without controversy in it’s nearly defeated opinion, the rights of ALL citizens to keep and bear arms as afforded by our constitution. The decision, in the face of social changes that have continued to weaken the protections of liberty has reaffirmed my belief that we will not come to the following all to soon:
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. ” – Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
The Despotism of government. OUR Government, which under it’s constitutional charter exists to PROTECT our individual liberties, to maintain our freedoms from enemies abroad, and those who are closer. Its original design to protect the continued freedoms of those who would be US citizens, from those who would separate us by force or fraud from our “inalienable” rights.
Political pandering remains incredibly profitable, with reward in power, and money for those who excel in this art. Our “consent to be governed ” has been usurped by those with either a slight regard to our constitutional charter, or they simply do not understand it’s meaning. How many laws are created with each year’s passing that violate our ability to pursue our goals and living and heretofore “happiness?” With each passed measure by our lawmakers and those by executive order, we lose our liberty piece by piece. While we send our surrogates to fight our causes and create safety nets, and restrict growth, and create criminals where once there were none, we defeat our own abilities to individually choose a destiny that benefits from our hands on efforts.
And while I am happy that the Supreme Court has decided we STILL will be protected in our right of self protection, there are concerns I have otherwise. What might our founding fathers have to say about the very air we exhale as classified as a pollutant? What about “takings” and eminent domain used to enrich other individuals? THESE rulings, in the face of the constitution stand, and speak greatly about a society which is increasingly distanced from the intent of our founders with regard to our protected BORN INTO rights.
This Weekend, enjoy your picnics, celebrate our history, pursue your happiness, and live life to it’s fullest. And when it’s over, remain ever vigilant, and be wary of those who promise you much, and that which all too often falls at the expense and loss of liberty of your brother.
God Bless us all.