“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. …there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.”
“The President and the Press” address to the American Newspaper Publishers Association, John F. Kennedy, April 27, 1961
National security is one of the greatest challenges that any government faces. Securing its citizens from foreign attack is a fundamental duty of any administration regardless of political party or philosophy. But when that government crushes the individual freedoms of the people it serves to protect, it is unethical, immoral and must be stopped.
Since September 11, 2001, the American people have been told that to prevent additional terrorist attacks, there is a greater need for intrusion into the privacy of individual lives. We have seen the rise of a national police force – something we have never had – called the Department of Homeland Security. We have seen women, grandmothers, children and wounded veterans violated in airports by the Transportation Security Administration.
We have seen agencies of the government targeting political dissenters and attempting to intimidate and silence them.
We now find out the National Security Agency is spying on all Americans through phone and internet use. In fact, some people suggest that everything, right down to individual keystrokes, is being recorded.
On April 27, 1961, President John F. Kennedy addressed an organization of newspaper publishers. Kennedy was facing the very real danger of third world war, a nuclear war, with the Soviet Union. He recognized the awesome responsibility of protecting the United States from the growing communist threat, and would find himself making grave decisions regarding the placement of nuclear missiles off Florida’s coast just 18 months later.
Kennedy referred to the expanding Soviet threat in these terms:
“For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence — on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day… Its preparations are concealed, not published… Its dissenters are silenced not praised.”
Despite the pressures he faced, Kennedy was very clear about the course our government must maintain, saying “No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary…I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.”
The Founding Fathers attempted to protect the citizens through the adoption of the Bill of Rights. The one thing that the Founders understood, but could build no statutory protection against, is an ignorant citizenry.
The Constitution’s built-in a failsafe protection on the rights of the citizens is the Second Amendment. It is this small addition to the Constitution that served to keep the government in check for the past two-and-a-quarter centuries. But, both the fate of the Second Amendment and the Land of the Free hang in the balance.
Whether they are ignorant, misguided, or simply useful idiots, many of our fellow citizens are seemingly ok with the unconscionable government intrusion and with the further disarmament of the people.
Make no mistake – the reason so many politicians on both sides of the political aisle are for increased gun control is because it increases their control on us. An armed population is one that a tyrannical government fears. Unarmed citizens are merely problems to be dealt with in whatever manner is most convenient.
Eliminating private transfers of weapons is simply a scheme for controlling the people. Gun registration allows the government to identify you as a potential problem worthy of further scrutiny. Cross-referencing this with the data collected by the NSA can automatically rank the most likely enemies of the government faster than you can say Google.
Please don’t misunderstand: I neither want, nor advocate, any kind of armed uprising, rebellion or insurrection. Rather, I believe that the firearms in the hands of the people are an unspoken deterrent that allows the citizens to petition the government for redress of these wrongs.
But, unless we stand up with each other, and do so now, we will lose this country.
The government has not stopped collecting information about all of us. The government continues to single out people and groups for targeted harassment from the IRS and other agencies. The TSA continues to grope passengers in the name of safety, and marked police cars from the Department of Homeland Security appear as an overt show of force outside of peaceful protests.
What we think of as America is in danger of being destroyed by those people we have placed in charge of serving us. Individual liberty will disappear with this country if we decide the Constitution doesn’t matter.
Only through the maintenance of arms and the ending of these secret government spying programs on US citizens can man be in Kennedy’s words, “…what he was born to be: free and independent.”