by Michael Boldin
The following article is based off a speech given on 09-25-10 at the 25th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in San Francisco, CA.
I’ve often been told that when you’re giving a speech – if all you get is applause and cheers – and you never piss anyone off – you’re no better than a low-life politician, because you’re not challenging anyone’s conventional mode of thought. Hopefully, I get at least a few eyebrows raised here in my 8-9 short minutes….
So let’s start out with the easy stuff, ok? I’m a tenther. That means I believe that the federal government should exercise only those powers that we the people delegated to it in the constitution – and nothing more. For example, no Obamacare mandates, no bank bailouts, and definitely no federal gun laws – period.
Question. How many people here own a gun, or manufacture or sell guns?
And how many of you are proud felons – meaning, when the government makes rules to restrict your right to keep and bear arms, you simply ignore them because they don’t have the authority to do so?
I recently went to an event called Hemp Con down in my part of the state – Los Angeles. This is a big event at the LA convention center – with loads of vendors and businesses from every angle you can think of in support of the marijuana industry. There were home security companies to help protect your weed, solar power companies to help you grow your weed, doctors giving out medical marijuana cards to virtually anyone with $80 and an hour of time. There were even delivery services – you can get your marijuana delivered to you 24 hours a day”¦in 30 minutes or less. The pizza companies have nothing on these guys! It was amazing if you think about it from an economic standpoint – this was capitalism, the free market – working its wonders around an industry.
What’s the point?
Virtually EVERY single one of those businesses was either directly violating federal law, or aiding someone else in doing so because marijuana is illegal, according to the feds – but not the constitution – in all situations. In 2003, Tommy Chong was arrested for merely selling pieces of glass – pipes that could be used to smoke marijuana. And today, 7 years later, we’ve got what seemed to be the WalMart of weed in Downtown Los Angeles. And guess what – no ATF or DEA thugs shut the place down. Business functioned, people did what they wanted to in freedom, and that was that.
FREEDOM TO TRAVEL
Another quick story.
In 2005, the Bush administration got the REAL ID act passed, which was – in the eyes of many – a new form of a national id card. We were warned that if this act wasn’t followed, people wouldn’t be able to travel, enter federal buildings, get on planes, and the like.
Much of my girlfriend’s family lives in Missouri, a state that’s not in compliance with the Real ID act. Her relatives do a little traveling from time to time. They get on airplanes and show their non-compliant Missouri driver’s license. No federal agents stop them and prevent them from boarding a plane.
Well, most state DL’s – including those in Missouri – don’t comply with the Real ID Act. That law is still on the books in DC – it’s never been repealed. It’s never been challenged in court either. But – due to 25 states refusing to comply with the “law” – in much of the country that Real ID act is virtually null and void.
Here in California- the state always seems to be on its knees, begging the feds for something. Well, except on marijuana. In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that state medical marijuana laws were illegal. At that time there were 10 states that had such laws. Do you know how many were repealed? Zero. And today, there’s 14 states defying Washington dc, and getting away with it.
Today, we see the Firearms Freedom Act movement growing along these lines – it’s already passed in 8 states. Following that lead, 5 states have passed laws saying no to Obamacare mandates too.
What’s the lesson? This is the blueprint – when enough people say no to unconstitutional laws, regulations….and mandates….and enough states pass laws to back those people up – there’s not much the federal government can do, but slowly and consistently back off. There’s no tanks rolling into Los Angeles to shut down the dispensaries, and there’s no jack-booted thugs forcing people to get new driver’s licenses in Missouri. This is far from perfect, but it can work, and it is working right now.
So here’s the final question – and the big challenge to you today.
The next time you begrudgingly follow some federal “law” that restricts your right to keep and bear arms – or the next time you hear about a gun rights case that will be decided in 2, or 4, or 6 years – with the hope that some judge will give you permission to exercise your rights, ask yourself this question:
Do you….gun rights activists….have as much courage as the pot smokers?
For the sake of liberty – I hope you do – because I believe that we the people need to exercise our rights whether they the government wants to give us “permission” to or not!