United States — As the nation experienced collective shock over the hate crime cum terror attack on an LGBTQ-friendly club in Orlando, the leading-by-default presidential candidates decided the time was ripe for declaring war on your constitutional rights.
Donald Trump declared war on an entire religion — and to a lesser degree, journalism, free speech, and sanity.
For Hillary Clinton, whose love of the military-industrial behemoth underpinning foreign policy knows no bounds, your right to own a firearm comprises every perceivable threat to the nation.
Though each moved the goalposts for rational response to tragedy, neither discerned the growing public suspicion that such political wrangling would expose the undergirding motives — Trump’s and Clinton’s opportunistic machinations amount to undeclared wars on rights protected by the most fundamental U.S. doctrine.
But the manipulation wasn’t without precedent; indeed, after the thinly-guised constriction of privacy rights following the attacks of September 11, 2001, many cynically expected politicians to ride the Orlando massacre’s woeful coattails.
Trump’s fumbling series of gaffes via Twitter included an effrontery ‘I told you so,’ as he took credit for warning Americans about “being right on radical Islamic terrorism” — later reiterating his call to effectively ban entry to the U.S. by all Muslims.
“We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer,” the billionaire pontificated in his statement about the mass shooting — utterly failing all legitimate factual litmus tests.
“Remember this,” Trump added, in case any doubt lingered over how much gasoline he intends to throw on this conflagration of fear, “radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-American.”
Not wanting to be outdone in the flame-fanning arena, Clinton joined in capitalizing on the nation’s shock with her own version of Constitution-quashing fervor.
“We can’t fall into the trap that is set up by the gun lobby that says if you can’t stop every shooting incident you should not try to stop any,” she moralized, ignoring the glaring detail of Pulse nightclub’s location inside a gun-free zone.“We did have an assault weapons ban for ten years. I think it should be reinstated.”
Let’s make no bones about Clinton’s pronouncements on the topic of gun control — rather than debating the finer points from either deeply-polarized position — the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect the right of legal, responsible firearm ownership.
And as previously noted, this deadliest act of terrorism since 9/11 occurred inside the illusory comfort of a zone putatively meant to thwart attackers who employ firearms as weapons of offense — as if any attacker ever stopped to deliberate the legal strictures of either gun-free zones or gun ownership prior to waging a mini-war on American civilians.
In Trump’s and Hillary’s ardent mockery of the Constitution to ban Muslims, guns — or in the case of their dwindling supporters, ban anything proffering the thinly veiled guise of security — the most crucial point of all moved conveniently to the policy backburner. If the United States government quit attacking predominantly Muslim countries with guns, perhaps these ostensible radical Muslim terrorists would also quit attacking Americans. With guns.
Our farcical collective penchant to jump headlong into wholly ill-fated bannings of various constitutional rights in the wake of national or international tragedy seriously tests the limits of hope that we do more than simply examine past flounderings of our protected rights.
Do we give up the right allow everyone to worship as they choose, in whatever faith or lack thereof so included, for the inexplicable groping at threads of nonexistent security that banning Muslims superficially pretends to offer us? Would Trump equally garner support to ban all Christians in a similar pretext? All Jews? Hindus? Buddhists? Trade unionists?
Pastor Martin Niemöller is doubtlessly rolling in his grave.
No less to the point, do we rush to condemn our right to own firearms because a Clinton laughably claims the guns, essentially, pull their own trigger — since, as pieces of machinery, they require a person to operate? Hasn’t the hysteria on this issue fully clouded the fact black markets fill in where laws fall short, thus giving any criminal sufficient means of procuring whatever weapon they deem necessary to perpetrate such an atrocity?
If the authors of the Constitution foresaw such political lunacy, the evidence stands in that very document with protections for freedom of religion and speech and the guaranteed right to legally possess a weapon sufficient to, debatably, protect oneself against a government gone awry — as increasingly appears to be the case.
Don’t allow yourself to be quelled into gleefully handing over the bare remainder of liberty we’ve somehow managed to harbor under the governance of such maniacs. Abandoning freedom for the pretense of security — particularly when the absolute contrary is at stake — would mark the most mammoth failure in vigilance.
A previous irrational war on rights manifested as the pernicious and lingering PATRIOT Act — and we probably shouldn’t test how far politicians would be willing to go this time.
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