By Don Jans
It is important we understand the differences between “rule of law” and arbitrary law. The United States was founded on the principle of “rule of law” with the Constitution of the United States being the ultimate law. Under “rule of law”, the law can not be changed simply because somebody disagrees with it. For instance, the Constitution states in the 1st amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” and the 2nd amendment states, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The laws states in the first amendment that no law can be made that restricts in any way the five liberties specified. The law states in the second amendment that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. The Constitution also says that the only branch of government that is allowed to make law is the legislative branch. The Constitution does provide a means by which it can be changed and that is through amendment, and the Constitution provides the means by which it can be amended.
Any time a restriction is placed on the five liberties in the first amendment, other than by amending the Constitution, we have violated “rule of law” and replaced it with arbitrary law. Any time any restrictions are placed on the right of the people to bear arms, we have violated “rule of law” and replaced it with arbitrary law.
Yes, Chief Justice Marshall did apply arbitrary law when he stated that freedom of speech does not allow a person to yell fire in a crowed theater. The Constitution does in fact allow this action and the Constitution directly prohibits the Supreme Court, Congress, or the Executive branch from denying that right. That does not mean that the person who yells fire in a crowded theater, cannot and should not be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. The only way, under “rule of law” that this action could be against the law would be to have the Constitution amended to say that yelling fire in a crowed theater is not allowed.
Likewise, congress, the Supreme Court, and the executive branch are employing arbitrary law and negating “rule of law” any and every time they place a restriction on gun ownership. The Constitution clearly states that the right to bear arms cannot be infringed. The only way, under “rule of law”, that background checks could be used would be if the Constitution were amended to allow that infringement.
Many people will say that what I have said is simply not reasonable. They would state that people should be restricted from yelling fire and background checks must be used. It is not my purpose to necessarily argue for or against these policies. It is my purpose to argue for strict adherence to “rule of law” and against the acceptance of “arbitrary law” in any form.
Because we have accepted the declaration by Chief Justice Marshall that it is unlawful to yell fire in a crowed theater, we are now accepting that it is against the law to be politically incorrect or to use hate speech. Politically incorrect and hate speech have come to mean it is against the law to say anything that does not conform to the Marxist Doctrine. If Chief Justice Marshall would have been held to the strict interpretation of “rule of law” and insisted that the Constitution be amended to enforce this restriction we would not have people being ostracized and demonized for simply following their constitutionally protected right to speak freely.
Because we have accepted executive actions that infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms, and have not insisted that the only restrictions that could be enforced were those that would be allowed through a constitutional amendment, we would not have reached the point where we are told that guns can be confiscated.
If we are to remain a free nation with individual liberties protected, we must strictly adhere to “rule of law” and reject any and all applications of arbitrary law.
Don Jans is a national acclaimed author and speaker. He is also a lifelong student of history, with a special emphasis on Russian history. His study of Russian history led to 1917 which led to the study of the teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Don has written five books on the topic of Collectivism (Marxism, Communism, Socialism, Fascism, and Progressivism).
Don has been a guest on numerous nationally and regionally broadcast radio programs. He is a weekly guest on a nationally broadcast radio program where he discusses collectivism and how it is impacting the United States, relating current happenings to the collectivist agenda.
Don has spoken to numerous groups across the nation on the topic of who and what is the United States and who and what is collectivism. The collectivist movement has called for a transformation of the United States. What is critical for all to understand is what is the transformation; what are we now and into what will we be transformed.
Don’s speaking approach is the same as his writing approach, and that is to be direct and straight forward with no regard for the current mandated approach of political correctness.
Samuel Adams said, “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” If we are to remain free, we must be about setting brushfires of freedom.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.