Sad, but not surprised. That is how I would describe my reaction to a recent so-called-news report recently broadcast on 60 Minutes on the subject of sovereign citizens. The opening video discussion focuses on a man and his sixteen year old son who shoot and kill several police officers before they are eventually gunned down themselves. Naturally, the lame stream media spin paints everyone in the sovereignty movement as dangerous, murdering, lunatics of this sort. Essentially, one bad apple means that all apples are bad. This wide brush generalization is widely accepted by anyone devoid of a logical thought process.
How many times have police officers used excessive force since the famous Rodney King episode? I have watched video of police dragging a woman out of her car at gunpoint because she didn't respond quickly enough. Another infamous video shows an elderly woman in New Orleans being tackled by a burly police officer because she refused to leave her home. A young man was handcuffed during a university presentation, and THEN tasered - three times - as he painfully shouted, "Don't taze me, bro!". Very recently my friend Adam Kokesh was body slammed to the ground by officers who didn't like the fact that he was dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. How easy would it be to suggest that all police officers are aggressive, jackbooted thugs who are prone to overreact? This type of statement is often met with ridicule and derision. There is a widely held assumption that most (if not all) police officers are just doing their jobs.
The 60 Minutes report interviews a woman who states that all sovereign citizens consider themselves above the law, subtly implying that the law should be accepted as legitimate without question.. The Declaration of Independence cleary states that we have the right "to alter or abolish" the government should it fail to protect our life, Liberty, and property. If we are unable to alter it, then abolishing it would be the logical next step. If We the People ordain and establish the Constitution, then who works for whom? Do we work for the government, or does the government work for us? Ninety percent of the people I ask respond by saying, "they're supposed to work for us". (Supposed to, but they don't.) Therefore, We the People are not ABOVE the law, we literally ARE the law. We decide when something is or is not Constitutional, not the Supreme Court. I know that Marbury .vs. Madison suggests that the Surpreme Court is the final arbiter of this type of decision, but I respectfully disagree. So did Thomas Jefferson by the way, so I think I stand on pretty solid ground.
Nobody has a philosophical problem with using force (aka violence) for self-defense. That truism doesn't change if the predator is wearing a badge and a uniform. The general population has a similar, irrefutable right to defend itself from a government run amuck. Our first American Revolution was a reaction to an overbearing king who steadfastly ignored several attempts to negotiate an acceptable compromise. The Declaration documents that "Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury." When Nazi Germany attempted to exterminate an entire subset of the population, it required an entire World War to put an end to it. Nobody defends the legitimacy of a government like the Third Reich to exist. The movie VALKYRIE dramatizes the real life attempt by German soldiers to assasinate Adolf Hitler. There were fifteen such attempts, which vindicates my long held belief that many people in Germany knew that their government and Fueher were completely out of control.
It is true that there is nothing new under the sun. Jefferson outlined this very premise in our Declaration. To wit:
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." [emphasis, mine]
Q.E.D. ("quod erat demonstrandum" = "what was to be demonstrated".), the American people have an inalienable right to fight back when their government is taking their property (Kelo .vs. New London and doubling the national debt in two years) and subjugating their rights (Patriot Act, Military Commisions Act, TSA body scanners, and a list too long to elaborate). On Independence Day we celebrate (or at least *I* celebrate) the patriots at Lexington and Concord who took up arms against those red-coated (jackbooted?) thugs who were attempting to impose gun confiscation. The only question is whether or not there are enough Americans alive today with the same willingness to use legitimate, lethal force.
The police tell us that if we're not doing anything illegal, we have nothing to worry about. Turn about is fair play. As long as they are upholding their oath to protect and defend the Constitution, then they have nothing to worry about. We'll have to see how far this game of political chicken goes. If the First Amendment doesn't work, the Second Amendment will.