Ever since I’ve gotten involved in the movement, I’ve believed that gun rights is an excellent Libertarian litmus test. Not a Democratic or Republican one, mind you, because you can find plenty of folks from both political parties who like guns. No, I’m talking about statism vs liberty. Because the only real way to restrict guns is to embark down a dark path that treads dangerously close to permitting government restriction of anything at all.
The Brady Campaign’s Dennis Henigan illustrates this perfectly. He’s calm and measured, but under that mask lurks a dangerous seed of reverence for absolute government power. Don’t believe me? Read it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Defending our Constitution means defending its specific grant of power to Congress to “regulate Commerce . . . among the several states” and to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper” for executing that power. It also means defending the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, by which federal law “shall be the supreme Law of the Land . . . .” Can there be any more direct expression of contempt for the Supremacy Clause than the premise of the “Firearms Freedom” statutes that individual states have the authority to determine for themselves the extent of federal power?
There is little doubt that the federal courts will make mincemeat of these “Firearms Freedom” laws. The first ruling came down last week, as a federal magistrate judge in Montana struck down that state’s law. Agreeing with the Brady Center’s brief, the judge found the law flatly unconstitutional under decades-old Supreme Court precedent recognizing federal authority to regulate entirely intrastate activity if exempting that activity would undercut federal regulation of interstate activity. As recently as 2005, a conservative majority of the Supreme Court reaffirmed this precedent by recognizing federal power to prohibit the purely local production and medical use of marijuana authorized by state law.
Observe the approval with which he notes that the federal government has used its power to render unlawful the growing and medical consumption of marijuana — acts that are neither interstate nor commercial.
Dennis Henigan is the type of man who, should he succeed in eliminating guns, will go after knives. And toy guns. And bludgeons. And who knows, maybe violent movies next. Perhaps alcohol after that. We already know he’s okay with the federal government having the power to ban anything it wishes, so who knows what’s next?
What a scary man.