Mr. President, We Have a Contract

Dear Mr. President,

You asked opponents of gun control to examine our consciences.

We have, and they’ve told us that we have nothing to do with madmen who slaughter innocents in schools, movie theaters and shopping malls.

They also tell us that nothing — not one thing — you and your supporters are proposing would have saved a single life in any of the massacres you claim are your motivation for limiting access to guns.

Further, our consciences impel us to point out that this rash of gun violence you and firearms opponents have said is sweeping the country is nothing of the sort, that violence nationwide has been declining for years even as gun ownership has gone up.

But mostly our consciences demand that we stand up for our God-given rights against the overreaching of small-minded men who want more power than they have been granted.

You may recall that we have a contract, we the people.

With you.

It’s called the Constitution. You might remember it from your law school days.

It says, in part, “We the people … do ordain and establish” this government. It’s also full of things called amendments that limit the powers of that government.

In summary, it all means that you get your powers from us, not vice versa.

We the people have been created, by God, maker of the universe, as sovereign, free individuals. We have created this government for the mutual protection of our pre-existing rights, not for your personal aggrandizement or the furtherance of your fantasies about how society should operate.

Among our rights is the sanctity and safety of our own person and our families, friends and neighbors. We do not all have armed bodyguards watching us 24 hours a day, so in order to defend that right, we have to use weapons against any criminal, thug or tyrant who threatens. That means we have to have guns.

That’s why that Second Amendment is there, so that we may have guns to defend ourselves. Against people like you, if need be.

Don’t take that personally. We would defend ourselves against any power-hungry politician. You’re just one member of a very large club.

We’ve put up with a lot from politicians in general, and you in particular. You’ve bent the law as it suited you many times. But if you violate the rights protected by the Second Amendment, if you try to take power not granted you by the people, you will have broken our contract.

Some people believe you’ve already broken it many times over, but you’ve managed to get away with it so far, so let that be as it may. Contracts are only enforceable if they’re enforced. But that also means that if enough people decide you’ve broken the contract, it’s broken.

That contract is what makes you president. Without it, you’re nothing but a bully, a thug, a criminal trying to push around free people.

And free people don’t take kindly to bullies.

You might want to search your own conscience about that.