By J. D. Heyes
Noted libertarian author and scholar Ayn Rand explained the Constitutionâ€™s primary function in â€œThe Virtue of Selfishnessâ€Â when she wrote:
â€¦[I]t cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individualsâ€”that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the governmentâ€”that it is not a charterÂ forÂ government power, but a charter of the citizensâ€™ protectionÂ againstÂ the government.
She notes that our founding fathers adopted a form of government which recognizes that all humans have â€œinalienable rightsâ€ â€” that is, those which are not dependent on the whims of government officials but rather natural and inherent. American citizens, Rand notes, were to be empowered by the Constitution, while government was to be restricted.
And for certain, our founders never wantedÂ government officialsÂ to be in a position to deny us our rights.
Case in point: The Los Angeles Police Department is attempting to revoke most of what few remaining concealed carry permits exist for civilians in a city filled with criminal activity and risks of bodily harm.
LocalÂ NBC Los AngelesÂ reports:
Chief Michel Moore said in a sworn declaration he did not believe a group of people who obtained so-called CCWsÂ as the result of a 1994 lawsuit were still entitled to the permits, because it was unlikely the individuals still faced extraordinary physical danger to their lives.
â€œI do not believe the continued wholesale allowance for each to possess a CCW license based on circumstances that may have existed 24 years ago is in the best interest of the public,â€ Moore stated.
In California, itâ€™s â€œlegalâ€ to obtain a concealed firearm license but the decision to issue them is up to local sheriffs and/or city police chiefs. Bottom line: If they donâ€™t think a resident needs one, the resident doesnâ€™t get one, period. End of story.
Americans donâ€™t get their rights from government officials, they get them from the Constitution
It was never supposed to be this way. When the founders wrote the Second Amendment, their intent was to ensure that Americans would never be denied the inalienable right toÂ notÂ be improperly harmed by others, whether that threat came internally (from criminals or their own government) or externally, via an invasion. (Related:Â Florida Carry sues city of Miami Beach over police action against legally armed fishermen.)
They didnâ€™t write caveats into the amendment. They didnâ€™t put a time limit on it. They didnâ€™t distinguish between weapons, either, except to say that â€œthe right to keep and bearÂ armsÂ shall not be infringed.â€ No provisions requiring citizens to petition government for permission to enjoy their right.Â
And yet, how many jurisdictions around the country are just like Los Angeles, where Americans are forced to beg for the â€˜rightâ€™ to bear arms for self-defense â€” and thenÂ deniedÂ the right? Itâ€™s absurd on its face and patently unconstitutional, period.
It doesnâ€™t matter whether Chief Moore â€œbelievesâ€ that Los Angelenos â€œneedâ€ to carry a gun or, at least, itâ€™s not supposed to matter. It isnâ€™t up to him or any other government official to decide what â€œextraordinaryâ€ â€œcircumstancesâ€ should exist before an American citizen is â€œpermittedâ€ byÂ licenseÂ to strap a gun on their hip or carry a rifle on their back, regardless of where they go in the city.Â
Can you imagine being denied the right to speak freely because you donâ€™t have a permit or havenâ€™t taken a â€˜licensureâ€™ course?Â
Chief Moore proves our founders were correct in their concerns about tyrannical government officials being in a position someday to deny us our rights.Â
Itâ€™s time to reclaim them.