House Resolution 666 may just be the final straw
[first published as "The Line is Drawn", Dont Tread On Me fax release, February 11, 1995]
The House of Representatives has passed HR 666, which will now go to the Senate. This appropriately numbered bill is titled "To control crime by exclusionary rule reform" and was submitted by Republican Bill McCollum, of Florida. The exclusionary rule which is to be reformed excludes evidence if it was obtained without proper authority. The rule, as it was, allowed evidence to be used if it was obtained by means which might be questionable in regard to the specificity requirement of Article IV of the Bill of Rights. The new law, if passed by the Senate, will allow any law enforcement officer who collects evidence to simply believe that he is acting within the authority of the 4th Amendment. Assuming that these law enforcement types watch the plethora of real live crime shows (such as COPS and the FBI Story), they may begin to believe that the 4th Amendment is simply an obstruction to justice (just us). The law enforcement officer"s illegally obtaining of evidence (if he has reason to believe that it is not in violation of the 4th) will no longer be "excluded" from consideration at trial. How did we get here?
In Article V of the Constitution we find the process REQUIRED to amend the Constitution. First, either after two-thirds of the States shall call for an amendment, or the Congress, by two-thirds vote, approves it to be submitted to the States. The States then must ratify the amendment by three-fourths. A simple process, but one which requires an interaction between the Congress and the state legislatures. It has been used eighteen times to amend the Constitution, so there is little doubt as to how it is supposed to work.
We all witnessed the service of search and arrest warrants near Waco, Texas, and we are all aware of the alleged service of an arrest warrant at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. While I was in Texas covering the siege, I was made aware of §9.31(C) of the Texas Penal Code. This law allows that if "greater force than is necessary" is used in the service of a warrant (that is any warrant, the lawfulness is not even considered), force may be used to resist that service -- even deadly force. Obviously, this law recognized that both the law enforcement and the other party to the event were human, and the right to defend oneself was inseparable, even under the law. The wisdom of those who enacted that Texas law may have been lost to the past, and relegated to history.
Another incident that occurred two years [November 1993] that has brought forward a question of "what is happening to our rights?" occurred in Opelika, Alabama. In that incident, two people from Florida ended up in a gunfight which resulted in the death of a law enforcement officer. The officer was attempting to arrest one of the people. The gunfight began when that person resisted being unlawfully arrested. Here I must quote from the 5th Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America, "No person shall he held to answer for a criminal, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury,...". The phrase "held to answer" quite simply means "arrested". The only "entity" that could cause an arrest was the people, in the form of a Grand Jury, not the government. Government was never given the authority to make arrests, except when authorized by the people themselves.
The two people mentioned are now on death row. Convicted and sentenced to death in the electric chair. I remember that back when these events were occurring, nearly everybody reacted by saying, "you can"t kill a cop". Well, back in 1900 the Supreme Court was called upon to determine what the Constitution had to say about the use of deadly force to resist arrest. The case was John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529. The Court made clear that the use of deadly force was a right so long as there was no lawful authority for the warrant. So, we know that from 1776 to 1900 each and every one of us was deemed responsible enough to look out for ourselves. Somehow, in the past 95 years, we have allowed the erosion of the Constitution to the extent that we are denied that right of self defense. And, the law enforcement officers can murder with impunity, as they did in Idaho and Texas, and without consequence. The only punishments meted out by the FBI and the ATF had to do with lying, misjudgment or lack of leadership. None of the punishments had to do with the murder of people in their own homes.
Now, we are witnessing the erosion of the Constitution by statutory enactment. This does not satisfy the simple process laid out in the Constitution, Yet, we stand meekly by and observe as another nail is pounded into the coffin of our Republican Form of Government, which is guaranteed us by Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution. -- We Stand Idly By!!!
Back on March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry gave a speech that was considered then to be outrageous. Within just a few months, however, many began to understand that what Mr. Henry had to say was appropriate, and, had they not then decided to heed his words we might never have become the United States of America. A few passages from that speech, which was given in response to recent enactments of the Parliament: "Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation… What means this martial array if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it?"
As Henry drew toward the conclusion of his speech, he suggested what was to soon become the only solution, and argue that what was to be accomplished would be so by the grace of God.
"...There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free -- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending - if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained - we must fight!! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and the God of Hosts is all that is left us!
"They tell Me, sir, that we are weak - unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger" Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of Hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? ... The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too tale to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged, their clanking may he heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable - and let it come!! I repeat it, sir, let it come!!! It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace - but there is no peace. The War is actually begun... Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have ? Is Life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to he purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, Give me Liberty or Give me Death!
Had the events which are occurring now occurred two hundred years ago, those responsible would, most likely, have been tarred and feathered. Every member of the House who voted for this bill has violated his oath of office. He has sworn to "uphold" the Constitution, yet he has chosen to circumvent the fundamental concept of revision and assumed an arbitrary authority over us. He has chosen to undermine the value and integrity of a document which was once held, and should now be returned, to high esteem by those who cherish Liberty.
The elements of subjugation continue to be asserted by those in authority. The First Amendment has been denied over and over again, at least in regard to Christianity, but the denials do not extend to religions foreign to the foundations of this great nation. The Second Amendment has been reduced to a means for hunting, yet hunting is no longer necessary for our subsistence. The Fourth Amendment has suffered severely for many years, and today its demise is complete. The Fifth Amendment (the authority of only the people gathered in Grand Jury to authorize arrest) has been denied us. We cannot bring those guilty of crimes in Waco and Ruby Creek to justice, yet any policeman can arrest you or me for any reason he chooses. The Sixth Amendment to "counsel" of choice has been converted to submission to an exclusive union called the bar association. The Ninth Amendment reserved all rights not enumerated in the Constitution to be retained by the people. Yet, even those rights enumerated have been lost. The Tenth Amendment, although re-conformed by resolution in many states, stands silent when federal forces seek to impose their will.
The United States of America was not created based upon hope. As the British sought to arrest Hancock and Adams, and seize arms stored in Concord, the citizens of Lexington sought to stand and demonstrate the common will of the people not to allow submission. Two hundred twenty years ago began a process which was not an easy course. Rag tag continental armies took on the greatest military force the world had ever known. The result was the establishment of a great experiment, a gift from God, which is currently undergoing the greatest challenge it has ever faced. Just two years ago, the government proved to us its intentions to force us into submission. Now, two years later, we continue to excuse the actions of those who threaten to take away from us that great gift, our birthright, the United States of America.
Acts of Congress CANNOT deny us what the founders gave us, only we can deny that gift. We can point fingers at those who voted them away, but in so doing, we concur with that vote. Or, we can recognize, as those brave men who sacrificed whatever was necessary to achieve this great experiment, that those rights given by God cannot be voted away by legislation. These acts of TREASON by the Congress are simply acts presumed to give color to their evil laws. Our rights are secured, not by government, rather, by ourselves, only so long as we chose to secure them. If we are to recognize our rights, we must recognize what we may not have seen before. We must understand, as the Supreme Court did in the John Bad Elk matter, that we have every right in the world to defend against these aggressions. Their laws (statutory laws contrary to the Constitution) are not our laws, unless we submit to them. That submission does not mean that we bless and bow down to those laws, rather, it comes by acquiescence to them and refusal to resist them.
Those that would stand for Liberty must stand, as our forefathers did, against the tyranny. We must join together where we can, and we must stand alone where we must, to defy the imposition of this false authority. We must never submit to arrest without an indictment of a Grand Jury of our peers. Nor must we ever submit to a search that does not meet the criteria of the Fourth Amendment. To continue to provide lip service to Liberty is to say that Liberty is simply a part of our heritage, not of our lives. If we continue to refuse to stand against this tyranny then Liberty will be relegated to words on our coins. If we don"t stand now, then Liberty is lost until some future civilization seeks to once again secure those blessings.
Will we watch from afar as the process continues? Or, shall we stand, as our forefathers, defiantly against those who would take rights granted by God and make them simply privileges granted by our masters in Washington? Is that line yet drawn in the sand, that we may see and understand what Patrick Henry did so long ago? Yes, the line is drawn, and we must now decide which side of that line we shall stand on.
As Mr. Henry so aptly stated: --"The war is actually begun. "
Riser Yee Sons of Liberty! Rise and restore that great gift from God
Return to us those blessings of Liberty. Arise, Yee Sons of Liberty!....
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