In order to enslave a people, you must first remove their ability to defend themselves. The easiest way to do this is to make them believe that doing so is for their own good. This can be described as a false idea of utility, and it is not a new concept.
"A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, 'Be thou a slave;' who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.
The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons." (Cesare Beccaria, An Essay on Crimes & Punishments, translated from the Italian with a commentary, attributed to M. de Voltaire, translated from the French (New York: Stephen Gould, 1809), 124-125.)
The above quote is often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, however the proper attribution is given above. Thomas Jefferson did, however, quote the above statement in a personal compilation of references in his “Legal Commonplace Book.”
Jefferson's notation on this passage was, “False idee di utilità.” False idea of utility.
The Texas Senate hearings have already begun on one of the several open carry bills that seek to reduce the regulation of our unalienable right to keep and bear arms in this state. It is unusual to have hearings held on issue bills this early in the legislative session, as usually such bills are done only after the necessary budget and other day to day bills have been dealt with. In the Senate hearing testimonies that I did watch, the ignorance, logical fallacies, and false statistics were prominent in many of the poorly done arguments for regulation.
The mere idea that people have to ask nicely for the government to recognize their rights makes me sick. Our rights are unalienable. Unalienable means that such is unable to be taken away or given up. They exist, regardless of any legislation or court rulings. Despite the fact these legislators have taken it upon themselves to determine whether or not to “allow” the open carry of arms whether with, or without, a government permission slip, they have absolutely no authority to regulate the keeping (ownership) or bearing (carrying) of arms.
Many refer to the Second Amendment, and it is often cited in gun control debates by both sides. However, even the federal government has admitted that the Second Amendment does no grant anyone any right to own, use, buy, sell, or carry arms. The Supreme Court has held that, in reference to the right to bear arms:
“This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” (US v. Cruikshank, 92 US 542)
The ownership, use, and carrying of arms is one of our most fundamental civil rights. The definition given to the term "civil rights" in Bouvier's Law Dictionary is very concise, and is supported by the best authority. It is this: "Civil rights are those which have no relation to the establishment, support, or management of government."
What we have in Texas is a large group of persons that wish to exercise their civil rights. Despite the fact that no entity has the ability to take away unalienable rights, this is yet another case where the State has attempted to do just that. Despite the historical and legal precedent, the State continues to write laws governing every aspect of our lives, from who we can marry, to what we can eat or drink, or what plants we are allowed to grow, and whether or not we may own arms of certain types, or carry them if we do own such.
Our right to defense, and the right to own and use tools designed for said purpose, is considered by many to be more highly prized than any other, as this relates directly to our personal safety and our duty to protect our families and others from violence.
We are tired of these infringements on our rights, and we are now asking nicely that they take into account the well-established fact that these rights exist regardless of their laws and regulations, and begin to respect said fact. We have allowed these infringements to continue for far too long. As of yet the State operates a monopoly on violent force, and claims the right to kidnap, cage, or even kill, those who dare violate the dictates of the ruling class.
We as citizens are peaceful, yet we have had enough of this meddling in our lives, and particularly this attempt to legislate away that which is unalienable and quite dear to us.
As of yet we are asking peacefully, but legislators, please take note that further hindrance on our liberty may well result in Unintended Consequences. I beg of you to respect the fact that some things are not only out of your purview, but also quite dear to us. The next step will be to exercise our rights, and defend ourselves against those who would dare to try to stop us. We have lives and families, so we wish for peaceful resolution in this matter, and ask that you facilitate such. I ask that those who (falsely) claim the power to control our lives please remember what John F. Kennedy said in regards to such matters, to wit: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”