The purpose of our Bill of Rights was to outline a list of rights that the government is duty-bound to guarantee and protect. These rights are not to be confused with privileges- a revocable indulgence that is not guaranteed but simply permitted. Our rights are ours as a people; they are not gifts from government.
It seems, however, that nobody told the city officials of Lowell, Massachusetts, who have recently implemented a new law that requires residents who wish to obtain a concealed carry permit to write an essay explaining their reasoning for wishing to exercise their constitutional rights and pay roughly $1,100 to obtain permission to exercise their rights.
Lowell, a city in Massachusetts just North of Boston, has adopted the new rules this week. Already, critics are slamming city officials for imposing a restriction that requires citizens of a free nation to beg for their rights and pay substantial money to exercise them if given permission.
The regulation was pushed by Police Superintendent William Taylor and approved by the city council. It requires those who are seeking an unrestricted handgun license to write an essay explaining why they should be granted the right that already exists. Taylor, the proponent of such a ridiculous regulation, is the sole decider of who shall and shall not be gifted the right of the practical usage of their Second Amendment rights.
The regulation also states that those who are lucky enough to be gifted the right will be required to take costly training courses that are more in-depth than the stringent state of Massachusetts already requires- a set of courses that run around $1,100.
Predictably, residents and Second Amendment advocates are none-too-thrilled about the tyrannical rules.
“I will never write an essay to get my rights as an American citizen,” Lowell resident Dan Gannon stated to the city council.
“It is absurd that people should have to write an essay to the town to explain why they should be able to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts. “We already have a very strict set of gun laws in the state, but this is way over the top.”
The new regulations are in response to lawsuits filed by gun rights organization Commonwealth Second Amendment. Routinely, those seeking concealed carry permits were rejected and the essay requirement and cost-prohibitive training requirement are means to effect a supposed compromise, but which will likely serve as a demonstration for supposed consideration by Taylor before he rejects the permit application.
Similarly, it is common in tyrannical dictatorships to offer “show trials”- trials meant to demonstrate a semblance of due process, but which are actually useless ad the guilt of the accused has been already decided.
Lowell Police spokesman Capt. Timothy Crowley defended the unconstitutional requirement, saying,
“If you want a license to carry a firearm unrestricted wherever you want and whenever you want, the superintendent is just looking for some documentation as to why. That is not unreasonable to most people.”
Crowley defended the requirement using the typical liberal excuse of “it’s not unreasonable to allow a little infringement upon your rights.”
However, no other right in America is so routinely subjected to such burdens. Would we, as a nation, be content with a system that required the New York Times to obtain permission before printing an editorial? Would we allow for searches and seizures to be conducted willy-nilly and require citizens to author an essay to explain why they should be exempt from warrantless intrusions and seizures?
To emphasize this line of logic, South Carolina state representative Mike Pitts introduced a “Responsible Journalism Registry” this week which would require journalists obtain a permit to write freely.
The move is meant to highlight the absurdity of treating the Second Amendment so radically differently than the other rights enshrined in our Constitution.
Pitt said, “There’s a perception, and it’s well presented by the media, that the Second Amendment is more of a privilege than a right. [But] if the First Amendment is so absolute, why isn’t the Second Amendment?”
Each and every infringement upon our rights demands a response lest we lazily ease into soft despotism like an old man into a hot tub. We must be willing to shout-out at oppression whenever we are offered tyranny as law under the guise of “commonsense” restrictions to our rights that are non-negotiable.