Dylann Roof: The Startling Truth About His Gun

thThe actions of the disturbed Dylann Roof on June 17th set off a chain reaction of sorts, the components of which are driven by political agendas. American history is being washed of anything that might be considered offensive, especially if it has to do with the southern states and their failed attempt to exercise what was then recognized as a constitutional right to secede from the Union.

To those who support such measures and more, it all makes perfect sense. Dylann Roof was a typical southern racist who wore his hatred–and his Confederate Battle Flag–on his sleeve, or his jacket, or his hat. He gained access to a weapon because of America’s inordinate love of guns. If we had reasonable laws it would never have happened.

Simple, except for one thing that came to light last Friday.

We now know Roof secured his .45-caliber pistol because of procedural errors committed at the FBI. On April 11th this dangerous young man walked into a shop to make a gun purchase. He completed the necessary form for a background check and this was referred to the feds. Mistakes were made. Dictates of the law were not properly fulfilled. And when the seller of the weapon had allowed the legal time limit to pass, he completed the sale of the firearm to Roof.  All of this has been confirmed by FBI director James Comey who says on behalf of the entire agency: “We are sick that this has happened. We wish we could turn back time.”

As constitutionalists like me have argued for a long time, we don’t need more laws about guns. We don’t need to limit the access of law-abiding citizens to the tools of self-defense in this world that seems to be constantly on the brink of collapse. We need to ensure that existing laws are respected and wisely acted upon. In this case it didn’t happen. Nine innocent souls in Charleston paid the price for this oversight. All over the country there are others paying a lesser but still emotional price as the truth of our national past is revised and painted in the emotional terminology that always serves as a tool for radical community organizing.

For those who worship at the altar of Federal Government, the horrendous act of Dylann Roof has become an opportunity to finally nail the lid on the coffin of States’ Rights. The reversal of American history is nearly complete. Those who would speak up to correct this mistake are finally being silenced. Their flags are being lowered. They are being ridiculed as nothing more than symbols of racism. Some even propose that the display or sale of them on private property should be forbidden. Even the dead are being driven from their tombs.

In New Orleans and in other locales, wrongly-informed citizens have arisen to speak against the traitorous southerners who rebelled against their nation. They are described as being unworthy of respect. They had no reason for their acts except the pure motive of racial hatred. Their rebellion was against the laws of nation and humanity. The memory of their actions must be obliterated from our national memory. Confederate soldiers may be buried at national parks commemorating our past, but the flags under which they died may soon no longer fly above their remains.

The problem with all of this is that so much of it is revisionist claptrap. The founders of the United States of America did not establish a national government. They explicitly refused to do so. Instead, they established a federated form of government. The nation to which the first Americans owed their allegiance was not the federal government but the particular state where each resided. Virginians owed primary allegiance to Virginia and Marylanders to Maryland.

So insistent were the founders on this point that they decreed in the Constitution that all rights, powers, and privileges not explicitly granted to the federal government remained the preserve of the states and the people who reside there.

Have you heard Barack Obama and others deride the Constitution because of the manner in which it limits federal action? That’s intentional. The founders did it that way for a reason. They knew that despots who have agendas can always raise an army, or send in the police, or agitate a crowd so that the rights of others are disposed of. This realization on the part of our founders caused them to seriously limit the powers of the federal government.

It was understood from the beginning that the Union was a voluntary association. Secession from that voluntary association was often debated and threatened. The states of the southern rebellion were not the first to threaten secession. They were simply the first to follow through with their threat. Even the textbooks at West Point taught that secession was a right belonging to the states.

Some say that the War of 1861-65 was not a rebellion. I heartily disagree. It was a rebellion. It was a rebellion against the growing power of the central state, a power that was not constitutional. The southern states rebelled, but they were not traitors. They were patriots demanding recognition of the original creed of constitutional government.

We they wrong to have slaves? Yes, of course. Let us all agree that slavery is a tremendous evil. But that particular problem was not only in the south. It was a problem that existed prior to the establishment of the United States and prior to the War of Southern Rebellion. Slavery in the US could have been ended peacefully as it was in other nations. Many southern leaders knew that the days of slavery were limited. That is why the Constitution of the Confederate States of America outlawed the importation of further slaves from outside its territory (in other words, there were to be no more slave ships).

th (1)Here’s a lesson from history. Take note of the Seal of the Confederate government. The man on the horse is not Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, or any other Confederate leader. It’s George Washington, first president of the United States of America. That should tell you something.

The director of the FBI wishes he could turn back time. So do I. The deaths of nine innocent people are on the consciences of everyone at his agency. But there won’t be much backlash. Far too many in the country have already found the scapegoat for this tragedy.


The Coming War for Oil

This post is a bit of an epilogue, or follow-up to an assertion I made in a post from two days ago.  At that time I asserted that the lack of vision and preparation for this nation’s future energy needs by the current occupant of the White House is setting us up for global conflict.  This is a grave accusation and I stand by it.  With this post I extend the accusation also to the majority of Democrats in Congress.  The energy-related policies of Barack Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress are making global conflict more probable, not less.

It’s not that I want war or that I despise peace, but ensuring peace is something that takes wise calculations, planning, and preparedness.  Peace isn’t just a slogan.  It requires that those who would use violence to aquire their political ends be dissuaded by the realization that any such attempt will be met with a frightening totality.  It’s inspiring to speak of peace, but it’s hard work to prepare for it.

As a Catholic theologian, I have studied the Just War Theory.  This isn’t a college classroom, so I won’t go into excessive details.  Suffice it to say that religious believers who are also great thinkers have long argued that war must be a last resort.  It must be engaged as a tool for change only when the failure to go to war allows for more injustice than the effort to wage war itself.  It must not be entered into lightly.  Though I have never seen warfare first hand, the scars carried by friends and loved ones who have suffered through it convince me that such limitations on the validity of warfare are necessary.

Have you ever seen a busy office worker with a sign on her desk that says something like, “Your failure to plan does not constitute an emergency for me”?  Something like that is at work here.  The failure to make adequate plans for future energy needs will not be a morally sufficient reason for us to wage war when the failures of our present political leadership finally become obvious in this regard.  The reason?  Because those leaders should know better.  They probably do know better, but political power appears to be more important than morality and peace.

Thus I stand by my assertion that in their refusal to allow a bold, comprehensive, strategic, and generous approach to drilling at home and networking with our friendly neighbors, Democrats are setting us up for a future unjust and preventable war over oil.  It’s that simple.  They’re too busy keeping their political support together to plan for our nation’s (or the world community’s) long-term well being. 

Their failure to lead on this issue now won’t make such a future war just, at least not in my opinion.  It does, however, make it more probable.

How likely is my tragic scenario?  Well, look at present tensions with Iran and its upcoming military exercises in the Persian Gulf.  Those exercises are widely believed by military analysts to be organized around the closing of the Strait of Hormuz, the most vulnerable area of the Persian Gulf.  Such a closure would put strain on the world’s oil supply. 

My good readers may argue that I’m just being pessimistic.  These tensions, after all, have been around for decades.  That is precisely my point.  By now, our leaders should understand that our most plentiful “strategic oil reserve” isn’t the one kept under lock and key by the federal government–it’s the one that has yet to be drilled, locked within the earth and underneath our seabeds. 

Drill here.  Drill now.  Or run short of supply later and fight over there.

Many environmental extremists argue that they represent the only righteous, the only just position when it comes to drilling and transporting oil-related products.  I beg to differ.  Avoiding a future unnecessary and unjust war is the more ethical of choices.

Political Cover and Colossal Stupidity

A mere few hours ago, it was announced by the Obama administration that the Keystone XL Pipeline project will not receive the State Department approval that it needs.  Many of the gentle readers of this blog may not know that the Keystone Pipeline is already in service, brought online in June 2010.  The question at hand is whether or not that pipeline will be expanded, as demonstrated on the photograph accompaning this post (courtesy of the State Department).

The details will be covered by all the news outlets, and you can discover them easily enough.  There are certainly valid concerns with regard to such a major project.  Safety is one.  Environmental protection is another.  The fact that the extension would cross over one of our nation’s most important sources of water is also a vital factor (it’s called the Ogallala Aquifer, or the High Plains Aquifer and although it’s below ground, it’s fairly close to the surface as aquifers go).

No responsible citizen would throw away the nation’s clean water supply or the safety of a town or even wish to purposefully destroy wildlife.  But must we be so brazenly stupid?  The State Department has been looking at this idea for three years, and despite the permissions granted on local and state levels, and despite other federal departments signing off on it, the State Department has backed down.  Mr. Obama cites an “arbitrary deadline” imposed by Republicans in the extension deal agreed to in December on the payroll tax cut. 

Let’s be honest here.  Mr. Obama’s adminstration has made this decision entirely as an election-year bonus to the extreme environmental wing that continues to support the Democrat party.  If you do a Google search on the Keystone Pipeline, it won’t take you long to discover a whole host of websites warning us about things like dirty oil, deadly carbon footprints, and those evil machines known as combustion engines.  The goal of the extremists is one thing:  they want an economy that is not based on oil.

You know what?  I’d be delighted with that, too.  Probably most Americans would.  Let’s run our cars and factories on rainwater, used cat litter, or old newspapers.  It’s fine with me.  The problem is that we can’t.  Our economy’s lifeblood is oil.  And sadly, we’re increasingly at the mercy of foreign sources that are not only undependable, but also undefendable.  Even worse, the Obama administration has done nothing but extend this awful reality by refusing to allow us to take more advantage of the reserves that are under our very feet, or available next door from friendly neighbors.

Those nations who would rejoice to see our demise are increasingly controlling the oil while we are increasingly controlling less.  For a president who campaigned on the need for more peace in the world, he’s acting very stupidly indeed.  If anything, he’s setting us up for the next global conflict.

But, hey, he’s keeping the extremists in his political base happy.  Political party always trumps patriotism, right?