Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jefferson's Ghost

Another letter from The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson
Sent to me anonymous | 12/17/07 | The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson

Once the Founding Fathers had broken the chains of tyranny they realized that what stood before them was a task unequaled in history. Civilizations have always risen and fallen, usually due to the enlightened or misguided paths the leaders chose. Having set the stage for a new civilization guided by the ideals of personal responsibility, honor, and freedom, the men who cast off the oppressors of their time found that creating a nation bound by laws that prohibited a government that set itself apart from the people was a task not easily accomplished.

To express the difficulty they faced to future generations so that their intent and desires would not and could not be questioned, they documented much of their discussions. The prime example is of course the Federalist Papers. Notes from the First and Second Continental Congress provide insight as well. Though these documents do exist and are exquisitely detailed as to the intent of the Founding Fathers, most American citizens do not know or understand what is contained within these historic pages. Sadly, while the technological knowledge base has increased over the centuries, the fundamental understanding of history and civic lessons of the past are being neglected, dooming the United States to follow other civilizations that fell to the burdensome weight of their governments. This lack of education is the leading culprit that places the United States in the dire position it now is.

Recent passage of laws such as the misleadingly named Patriot Act and the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act has subtly eroded away the freedoms recognized in the Bill of Rights. The lack of public outcry to such travesties of justice and freedom is purely shocking.

The men who created this new nation knew that the right to express discontent to the Government was a paramount right that only existed if the ability to vocalize such redress of grievance was reinforced by the capability to physically prevent the Government from taking an action that the citizenry felt compelled to stop. This is the foundation of the recognition of the right to use force to defend life, liberty and freedom. The Founding Fathers outlined this in the Second Amendment with the clear intention, as shown by documentation of the period, to prevent a new dictatorship from occurring in the new United States.

A perfect example of the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in action dates back to the late nineteen-forties. Athens, Tennessee became a battleground when armed citizens prevented election fraud and the foundations of a local tyrant. Yet, how many civics textbooks used in the school systems in our nation have even a single sentence in reference to this small but historically significant event?

The men who stood against tyranny in Athens, Tennessee believed in the words and deeds of the Founding Fathers. Instead of kneeling to the iron fist of a dictator, these men risked their lives to uphold the belief that no man is above the law.

Unfortunately, the events in Tennessee were nearly a decade and a half late. During the nineteen-twenties, the first real nationwide push to dictate restrictions upon the citizens became real. Prohibitionists demonized imbibing of alcohol and successfully barred the practice by forcing their position on everyone, even those who disagreed. Two things of paramount importance happened with the passage of the Amendment. The first thing to occur was the willful disregard of the public to abide by the restriction. This set into motion a new view of the Government and laws in which were passed. The response by the Government was one that haunts the nation to this day. The creation of what would be considered one of the most hated agencies associated with the United States Government came into being. When Prohibition was abolished, instead of learning from the experience, the United States Government attempted to follow the same insane path by passing into law the 1934 National Firearms Act. The publicized goal of this law was to prevent access to machine guns and certain other arms by the criminal element that came to exist due directly to the failed attempt at banning alcohol. A database was created and a tax was imposed on the transfer of machine guns, silencers, and long guns with barrels shorter than a specific length. Though the law was highly unconstitutional, most people remained silent on the matter since the precedent had been set less than a decade before when the citizens ignored Prohibition. This silence was considered approval by a greatly misdirected Congress. A new department came into being solely designed to manage the database and to aid in enforcing the law. Within a few decades, this department would grow to become a vile example of tyranny within the borders of the United States.

When Congress passed the 1968 Gun Control Act, one of the worst blows to the Constitution occurred. A seemingly insignificant phrase contained within the new law set the stage for decades of horror. The law delegated to the Attorney General the power to determine the status of a firearm based upon its sporting suitability. The so-called sporting purpose clause allowed the Attorney General to unconstitutionally interpret the law recklessly and loosely. It wasn’t long before the duty of determining sporting purpose was further delegated to the BATF with disastrous results.

Since that time, the BATF has repeatedly re-interpreted the sporting purpose clause to suit its needs of the moment leading to unjust prosecutions and unjustifiable deaths. Instead of addressing those seeking a redress of grievance, Congress has repeatedly ignored complaints from the public and professional firearms community. The result of this has been an emboldening of action by the BATF further infringing upon the rights and freedoms of citizens.

This has culminated to the point where the BATF has openly begun to operate outside the law. Ignoring legal mandate, the BATF is now repeatedly creating evidence using the sporting purpose clause to justify their actions. By using an undefined term called “readily restorable”, meaning that a firearm can be made into a machine gun without setting standards for what defines readily, the BATF is now making determinations with no basis in scientific procedures or standards, leaving the public openly questioning what is legal under BATF mandate and what isn’t.

To say that choices for Congress and the Presidency are lacking is an understatement. No longer do people of good character and upstanding moral qualities offer to sacrifice their time to perform the civic duty of becoming an elected official. Instead, those who would seek to increase their personal power and glory attempt to command the field. With this appalling situation the citizens must seek justice through the courts. When District of Columbia v. Heller was appealed to the Supreme Court, the possibility of justice prevailing became a possibility leaving the political spectrum behind.

This possibility concerns the BATF greatly. Congress has made itself an accomplice to the illegal actions of the BATF by refusing to address the illegal actions of the agency and when it invoked “National Security” to conceal the committee hearings regarding the confirmation of Mr. Michael Sullivan to the position of Director of the BATFE. Instead of addressing the concerns of the people, Congress has decided to separate itself from the people even further. BATF has for many years lobbied Congress, though highly illegal, for its own ends. Without an opportunity to lobby the Court, the BATFE must now decide on how it will address future issues should it survive intact after the District of Columbia v. Heller decision comes down.

The conduct of the BATFE will most likely be of concern to the Court in their decision making process. At least one Justice is familiar with the process required by the BATFE regarding the NFA. Documentation available through the Congressional Research Staff and other documentation available on the internet regarding the less than appropriate conduct of the BATFE and the unprofessional actions by employees of the BATFE in court and during professional contact with the firearms industry should have a great impact on the Court.

Would the Founding Fathers approve of the nation as it rests today? That is something every citizen must ask. It is not time to water that famous tree while hope still exists. Should that change, undoubtedly the citizens will come to understand what their forefathers knew at Concord, Lexington and not so long ago in Athens.

With warmest regards-

The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson

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