Personal freedom begins with gun rights

By Gerard Valentino

Of all the issues being debated in today's marketplace of opinion, one issue remains inviolate – the belief that everyone is free from bodily harm. Whether it takes the form of being beaten, murdered, raped or unfairly searched is irrelevant - any attack, no matter how placid, on a person's own body is, by definition, immoral.

How that right is protected is where the true arguments begin, and where the arguments will continue in today's political world.

Although the Bill of Rights was hotly debated prior to ratification, there was little disagreement among the Founders on how to determine whether a person's body was being violated.

Many of the clauses in the Bill of Rights directly affect how a person's body can be properly violated by being put in jail – or worse. The government, and rightfully so, is forced to overcome a long line of procedural obstacles to take away a citizen's liberty, or possessions.

There is a reason: "reasonable doubt" is a vital part of our criminal legal system. Seeing the amount of power the government can bring to bear on any individual terrified the Founders, so they peppered the Bill of Rights and Constitution with road blocks designed to hamstring a tyrannical bureaucrat, police force, or other governmental authority.

Yet, in today's America you can have all your cash confiscated if a law enforcement agent "suspects" the money is drug-related. An Ohio State Representative, Gerald Stebbleton, claimed a police officer can confiscate your gun if the officer is "suspicious" that your control of the gun is going to put them in danger. Remember, no action is required to prove the suspicion, all the LEO needs is some vague idea that you're dangerous. Both situations throw probable cause out the window and replace it with some vague definition of "suspicion."

In today's America, parents are afraid to take their injured kids to the emergency room after an accidental injury for fear of being tagged a "child abuser."

All these issues should terrify honest Americans.

Gun rights are also vilified by certain politicians and a very small percentage of law enforcement administrators. For the most part, however, LEOs are on the side of honest people when it comes to confiscating money, arresting parents for abuse or confiscating a gun.

But, the few who will gladly take your money are the evil doers the Founders had in mind when they used the Bill of Rights to hamstring governmental power.

Now that Barack Obama is officially our president, we have a socialist as our nation's leader. Compared to all of our recent Presidents, Obama is most likely to steal away our individual rights and the most important civil right is also the one in the greatest peril with Obama running the country – the right to bear arms.

Anyone claiming the Second Amendment is outdated, or a collective right given to the states, is living under a false pretense, and that was true prior to the Supreme Court ruling the right to bear arms is an individual right.

The Founders were rightfully terrified of a strong central government, and as we enter the first years of an Obama administration those past fears need to percolate to the surface. Now, more than ever, the American people need to be vigilant about protecting our rights. When Obama commits his first treasonous anti-gun act we need to howl in every possible communications outlet.

That means a never-ending supply of letters to the editor, calls to political radio programs, calls to our direct representatives and calls to political television shows.

Nothing short of a complete effort by pro-freedom Americans will suffice in this situation. If we react with such zeal when he tries the first time, we might dissuade Mr. Obama from trying to do it again. That worked with Bill Clinton, and Obama is cut from the same power hungry cloth.

Ideology doesn't matter to Mr. Obama, only staying in power matters in his world and that is his weakness. During the election he told gun owners we didn't need to fear his presidency, now it's time for him to act on his election year transformation to being pro-gun...not that anyone in the pro-gun movement believes him.

Still, it is a chink in the armor we need to exploit if we want to keep our gun rights, and we need to bring the pro-gunners fooled into voting for Obama back into the fold. Unless they can see the light of day on the issue all is lost. This fight is too important to let gun owners not fight – each and every gun owner.

That is the only way we can continue to keep ourselves free from the tyrannical control of government. Gun owners and liberty-minded people everywhere need to band together to keep the Obama administration from becoming a de facto socialist revolution. Part of that revolution, will undoubtedly include the confiscation of privately-owned firearms, because that is the first step in the process.

First, the right to bear arms is taken, and then the rest of the rights follow shortly thereafter.

If you don't think it can happen here, you are a fool. Not only can it happen here, people like Mr. Obama want it to happen, and will try whatever possible to see it happen. To allow him to go unchecked in this area is in essence giving away our liberty and with it, the safety and security of our very body.

Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Treasurer/Secretary and writes for .

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