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Senator Sheila Kuehl, to the approving nods of the
Senators whose duty is to protect the liberty of the citizens.

She said, "There is only one constitutional right in the United
States which is absolute and that is your right to believe anything
you want."

Western CPAC Conference, Los Angeles, June 9, 2001

Freedom and Firearms
A Speech by Senator Tom McClintock

There are two modern views of government that begin from entirely
different premises.

There is the 18th Century American view propounded by our nation's
founders. They believed, and formed a government based upon that
belief, that each of us is endowed by our creator with certain
rights that cannot be alienated, and that governments are instituted
to protect those rights. This view is proclaimed in the Declaration
of Independence and reflected in the American Bill of Rights.

The second view is 19th Century German in origin and expressed in
the philosophies of Marx and Hegel and Nietzsche. It is a restatement
of philosophies of absolutism that have plagued mankind for millennia.
In this view, rights come not from God, but from the state. What
rights you have are there because government has given them to you,
all for the greater good - defined, of course, by government.

In the 20 years I have been actively engaged in public policy, I
have seen the growing influence of this 19th Century German view.
It disdains the view of the American Founders. It rejects the notion
of inalienable rights endowed equally to every human being by the
"laws of nature and of nature's God." In this view, it is the state,
and not the individual, where rights are vested.

I mention this, because of a debate that occurred last week on the
floor of the State Senate. It was a debate that occurred under the
portrait of George Washington and the gold-emblazoned motto,
"Senatoris Est Civitatis Libertatum Tueri" - "The Senators protect
the Liberty of the Citizens."

At issue was a measure, SB 52, which will require a state-issued
license to own a firearm for self-defense. To receive a license,
you would have to meet a series of tests, costs and standards set
by the state.

We have seen many bills considered and adopted that would infringe
upon the right of a free people to bear arms. But this was the most
brazen attempt in this legislature to claim that the very right of
self-defense is not an inalienable natural right at all, but is
rather a right that is licensed from government; a right that no
longer belongs to you, but to your betters, who will license you
to exercise that right at their discretion.

During the debate on this measure, which passed the Senate 25 to
15, I raised these issues. And I would like to quote to you the
response of Senator Sheila Kuehl, to the approving nods of the
Senators whose duty is to protect the liberty of the citizens.

She said, "There is only one constitutional right in the United
States which is absolute and that is your right to believe anything
you want."

I want to focus on that statement. "The only constitutional right
which is absolute is your right to believe anything you want."

Now, compare that to the Declaration of Independence: "We hold
these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal;
that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable
rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted
among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the

What rights have a slave? There is only one: a slave can think
anything he wants: as long as he doesn't utter it or act on it -
he may think what he wants. He has no right to the fruit of his
labor; no right to self-defense, no right to raise his children,
no right to contract with others for his betterment, no right to
worship - except as his master allows. He has only the right to
his own thoughts. All other rights are at the sufferance of his
master - whether that master is a state or an owner.

Now, let us continue to look at this new constitutional principle
propounded by Senator Kuehl, under the portrait of George Washington
to the delight of her colleagues whose duty, according to the proud
words above them, is to "Protect the Liberty of the Citizens."

She continued, "Other than that, (the right to your own thoughts)
government has the ability to say on behalf of all the people - I
will put it in the colloquial way as my grandmother used to - your
right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. It's a balance
of your rights and my rights because we all have constitutional
rights. And the question for government is how do we balance those

Indeed, the right to swing your fist does end where my nose begins.
An excellent analogy. Shall we therefore amputate your fist so that
you can never strike my nose? And would you deny me the use of my
own fist to protect my nose?

Senator Kuehl and her colleagues believe government has the legitimate
authority to do so. It is simply the question of balancing.

It is very important that we understand precisely what Senator
Kuehl and the Left are saying.

A thief balances your right to your wallet against his right to
eat. A murderer balances your right to life against his right to
freedom. A master balances your right to "work and toil and make
bread," against his right to eat it. These are matters of balance.

The American view is quite different. In the view of the American
Founders, the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God endow each of us
with rights that are inalienable, and we are each equal in those
rights. It is not a balancing act. These rights are absolute. They
cannot be alienated.

But in a state of nature, there are predators who would deny us
those rights. And thus we come together to preserve our freedom.
In the American view, the only legitimate exercise of force by one
person over another, or by one government over its people, is "to
secure these rights."

Senator Kuehl continues, "My right to defend myself in the home
does not extend to my owning a tank, though that would make sense
to me, perhaps, that no one would attack my home if I had a tank
sitting in the living room."

Let us put aside, for a moment, the obvious fact that a tank is
only an instrument of self-defense against a power that employs a
tank. But let us turn to the more reasonable side of her argument:
that rights can be constrained by government; that there is, after
all, "no right to shout `fire' in a crowded theater. How can a
right be absolute and yet constrained by government?

To Senator Kuehl and the Left, the answer is simply, "it's easy --
whenever we say so." Or, in her words, "government has the ability
to say (so) on behalf of all the people."

The American Founders had a different view, also, not surprisingly,
diametrically opposed to Senator Kuehl's way of thinking.

The right is absolute. In a free nation, government has no authority
to forbid me from speaking because I might shout "fire" in a crowded
theater. Government has no authority to forbid me from using my
fist to defend myself because I might also use it to strike your
nose. And government has no authority to forbid me from owning a
firearm because I might shoot an innocent victim.

Government is there to assure that the full force of the law can
be brought against me if I discharge that right in a manner that
threatens the rights of others. It does not have the authority to
deny me those very rights for fear I might misuse them.

Senator Kuehl continues, "In my opinion, this bill is one of those
balances. It does not say you cannot have a gun. It does not say
you cannot defend yourself. It says if you are going to be owning
and handling and using a dangerous item you need to know how to
use it, and you need to prove that you know how to use it by becoming

How reasonable. How reassuring. How despotic.

We must understand what they are arguing, because it is chilling.
They are arguing that any of our most precious rights enshrined in
the Bill of Rights - any at least they decide are conceivably
dangerous -- may only be extended through the license of the

If that is the case, they are not rights. With that one despotic
principle, you have just dissolved the foundation of the entire
Bill of Rights. You have created a society where your only right
is to your own thoughts.

Inalienable rights are now alienated to government, and government
may extend or refuse them upon its whim - or more precisely, upon
a balancing act to be decided by government. Let us follow - in
our minds at least - a little farther down this path.

Hate groups publish newsletters to disseminate their hatred and
racism. Sick individuals in our society act upon this hatred. The
Oklahoma City bombing killed a score of innocent children. Shouldn't
we license printing presses and Internet sites to prevent the
pathology of hate from spreading? Such an act doesn't say you cannot
have a press. It does not say you cannot express yourself. It says
if you are going to be owning and handling a printing press, you
should know what not to say and prove that you can restrain yourself
by becoming licensed.

And what are we to do about rogue religions like those that produced
Heaven's Gate and Jonestown. How many people around the world are
killed by acts of religious fanaticism every year? Should we not
license the legitimate churches? Such an act doesn't say you cannot
have a church. It does not say you cannot worship. It says if you
are going to be running and conducting a church, that you must know
how to worship and prove that you know how by becoming licensed.

The only right you have is the right to believe anything you want.
The only right of a slave. The rest is negotiable - or to use the
new word, "balanceable."

In 1838, a 29 year old Abraham Lincoln posed the question for which
he would ultimately give his life. Years later, he would debate
Stephen Douglas, who argued that freedom and slavery were a matter
of political balance. But in this speech, he spoke to the larger
question that we must now confront:

"Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step over
the ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! -- All the armies of
Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the
earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte
for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio,
or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a Thousand years.
At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I
answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot
come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be
its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live
through all time, or die by suicide."

The American Founders worried about the same thing. Late in life,
Jefferson wrote to Adams, "Yes we did create a near perfect union;
but will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty,
lose the memory of freedom. Material abundance is the surest path
to destruction."

And as I listened to Senator Kuehl proclaim that "the only
constitutional right in the United States which is absolute . is
your right to believe anything you want," and as I gazed at the
portrait of George Washington, and as I thought about the solemn
words, "the Senators Protect the Liberty of the Citizens," I couldn't
help but think of an aide to George Washington by the name of James
McHenry, who accompanied the General as they departed Independence
Hall the day the Constitution was born. He recorded this encounter
between Benjamin Franklin and a Mrs. Powell. She asked, "Well,
Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Answered Dr.
Franklin, "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."

For this generation, that is no longer a hypothetical question.
History warns us that to one generation in five falls the duty -
the highest duty and the most difficult duty of this Republic - to
preserve the liberty of the citizens. It is the most difficult,
because as Lincoln warned, it is a threat that springs up not on
a foreign shore where we can see it - it springs up amongst us. It
cannot be defeated by force of arms. It must be defeated by reason.

Have you noticed yet, that ours is that generation? And how ironic
it would be that the freedoms won with the blood of Washington's
troops, and defended by so many who followed, should be voluntarily
thrown away piece by piece by a generation that had become so dull
and careless and pampered and uncaring that it lost the memory of

The Athenian Democracy had a word for "citizen" that survives in
our language today. "Politikos." Politician. The Athenians believed
that a free people who declare themselves citizens assume a duty
to declare themselves politicians at the same time. It is time we
took that responsibility very seriously.

In 1780, the tide had turned in the American Revolution, and the
Founders began to sense the freedom that was within sight. John
Adams wrote these words to his wife that spring. He said, "The
science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other
sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation
ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other
arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty
to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study
mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval
architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give
their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture,
statuary, tapestry and porcelain."

Ladies and gentlemen, the debate is not about guns. It is about
freedom. And the wheel has come full circle. Our generation must
study politics that we may restore the liberty that our parents
and grandparents expect us to pass on to our children and grandchildren.

If we fail, what history will demand of our children and grandchildren,
in a society where their only right is to their own thoughts, is
simply unthinkable. And be assured, history will find it unforgivable.
A generation that is handed the most precious gift in all the
universe - freedom - and throws it away -- deserves to be reviled
by every generation that follows - and will be, even though the
only right left to them is their own thoughts.

But if we succeed in this struggle, we will know the greatest joy
of all - the joy of watching our grandchildren secure with the
blessings of liberty, studying arts and literature in a free nation
and under God's grace, once again.

Ladies and Gentlemen, isn't that worth devoting the rest of our
lives to achieve?



jewn McCain

ASSASSIN of JFK, Patton, many other Whites

killed 264 MILLION Christians in WWII

killed 64 million Christians in Russia

holocaust denier extraordinaire--denying the Armenian holocaust

millions dead in the Middle East

tens of millions of dead Christians

LOST $1.2 TRILLION in Pentagon
spearheaded torture & sodomy of all non-jews
millions dead in Iraq

42 dead, mass murderer Goldman LOVED by jews

serial killer of 13 Christians

the REAL terrorists--not a single one is an Arab

serial killers are all jews

framed Christians for anti-semitism, got caught
left 350 firemen behind to die in WTC

legally insane debarred lawyer CENSORED free speech

mother of all fnazis, certified mentally ill

10,000 Whites DEAD from one jew LIE

moser HATED by jews: he followed the law Jesus--from a "news" person!!

1000 fold the child of perdition


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