By P J Klosinski
Here we go again. For a number of years, bills have been introduced by members of the General Assembly regarding guns and the privilege of who may own them under Indiana Law. Once again there is an attempt to provide for what is called Constitutional Carry of firearms.
Now there is no actual bill(s) with language explaining anything as yet, however, that does not stop reports and articles on the harm such a privilege will cause to society. Past bills have been introduced covering firearm ownership and medical records, handgun license repeal, possession of firearms on state property, and BMV documentation of firearm ownership.
General Assembly firearm related actions have neglected to give consideration to the limited powers and the mandates under which each Representative and Senator has sworn to operate.
What exactly are duties of these elected persons? Even though campaigns can find candidates making promises to one group or another depending upon the voters, does a Representative or Senator have the authority to grant campaign promises? No they do not unless those promises are in full compliance with the Constitution(s).
When a member is elected the first requirement before entering into office is to take a Constitutional Oath which states: “. Every person elected or appointed to any office under this Constitution, shall, before entering on the duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States, and also an oath of office.: (Indiana Constitution Article 15 Section 4)
Black’s Law Dictionary 6th ed defines a constitutional right as “A right guaranteed to the citizens by the United States Constitution and state constitutions and so guaranteed as to prevent legislative interference therewith.”
When speaking of Constitutional Carry what does the Bill of Rights in the Indiana Constitution dictate?
“Section 32. The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.”
What would the ordinary individual believe the meaning of having the right to bear arms for the defense of themselves mean? Does it mean individuals have the right to self-protection only if they obtain as currently required a license to carry? No. Do you see any such condition on this right? No. And yet Indiana has many conditions placed upon the right to bear arms for the defense of individuals through legislative interference known as laws.
“Section 1. WE DECLARE, That all people are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that all power is inherent in the people; and that all free governments are, and of right ought to be, founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and well-being. For the advancement of these ends, the people have, at all times, an indefeasible right to alter and reform their government.”
Are all people created equal and endowed with inalienable rights? Does every individual have the right to life? Is our Indiana government not founded upon the authority of the individuals residing within its borders? Is our Indiana government not founded to protect the peace, safety, and well-being of the individuals within its borders? Is it not the right of the individual to determine their self-protection without permission from the government?
Section 25:” No law shall be passed the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution”.
What would prompt a Representative or Senator to introduce or approve a bill which has no authority to be passed? If the authority to pass legislation over the right of the people to bear arms for the defense of themselves is contained within the Constitution where is that authority? Does the sworn oath to uphold the Constitutions have no meaning?
Why do I ask all of these questions? Because it appears individuals have lost the desire to ensure government does not violate the terms of a written contract upon which the life of every individual depends, nor do the General Assembly Members have the integrity to honor their Constitutional oath.
Individual Constitutional Rights should never be made to depend upon anything other than the Constitutions which guarantee no government interference. A constitutional right can only be changed or amended through the procedure found within the constitution through the direct vote by the people. A right being subject to laws is not a right it is a privilege. We have allowed our rights to become alterable at will by the lobby groups seeking more power than authorized for the government to possess. Those elected to protect the minority of one, the individual who is the only entity protected by the constitutions, by oath must be the exclusive consideration of those who legislate.