The Supreme Court has ruled consistently and countless times that the “police power,” that is, the power to regulate for health, safety, welfare and morality, continues to be reposed in the states, and that there is no federal police power. All of this is consistent with the philosophical principle of “subsidiarity,” famously articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas argued that the problems that are closest to the people needing government intervention should be addressed by the government closest to those people. Its corollary is that all governmental intervention should be the minimum needed.

Now, back to Obama and Biden and their colleagues in the government. If the feds have no legitimate role in maintaining safety, why are they getting involved in the current debate over guns? We know that they don’t trust individuals to address their own needs, from food to health to safety, and they think—the Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding—that they know better than we do how to care for ourselves. Obama and Biden and many of their colleagues in government are the same folks who gave us Obamacare, with its mandates, invasions of privacy, increased costs and federal regulation of health care. They call themselves progressives, as they believe that the federal government possesses unlimited powers and can do whatever those who run it want it to do, except that which is expressly prohibited.

This brings us back to guns. The Constitution expressly prohibits all governments from infringing upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This permits us to defend ourselves when the police can’t or won’t, and it permits a residue of firepower in the hands of the people with which to stop any tyrant who might try to infringe upon our natural rights, and it will give second thoughts to anyone thinking about tyranny.

The country is ablaze with passionate debate about guns, and the government is determined to do something about it. Debate over public policy is good for freedom. But the progressives want to use the debate to justify the coercive power of the government to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding folks because of what some crazies among us have done. We must not permit this to happen.

The whole purpose of the Constitution is to insulate personal freedom from the lust for power of those in government and from the passions of the people who sent them there.



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