Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I could hardly believe my eyes when I watched television coverage of the blocking of WWII Vets from visiting “their” Washington War memorial monument.
These Military Veterans who comprise “The Greatest Generation” and well into their 80s or beyond had flown thousands of miles to visit the memorial but were blocked by the White House and the Obama administration from visiting the WWII monument erected in their honor. The Administration's excuse was that those nasty Republicans had cut off funding to run our government.
During sequestration and other attempts to curb runaway spending of our national wealth, the President always blames it on George Bush or the Republicans. Obama has a history of slashing the most visible economic effects on the population (suspending White House tours, etc.) but I had little doubt that these hardened combat veterans of Iwo Jima, Bataan Death March and the Battle of the Bulge were going to tolerate such foolishness. The veterans were not going to be blocked from entrance into a public plot of ground in their nation's Capital any more than they accepted denied entry into Dunkirk, Berlin, Tokyo or any other enemy-held location during WWII.
They immediately crashed through the temporary barriers and entered honorably into the sacred site dedicated to the memory of their supreme sacrifices. The White House and government bureaucracy be damned!
I was proud of these vets but thoroughly disgusted with a federal administration that would allow such a sacrilege to take place. On the same day, entrance to the cemetery in Normandy, France containing the fallen heroes of D-Day was denied veterans, their descendants and others who had come to remember and to pay their respects. News reports indicate that our Commander-In-Chief, President Obama (a man who never donned so much as a Boy Scout uniform as far as I am aware), approved the closing.
It's time the general public took notice and joined the effort to curb a government that is slowly eroding the Constitutional rights and privileges of every American.
One by one, these rights are being thwarted by a government that believes it knows best what you are entitled to. It didn't start with this administration and has been going on for a generation or two. But the Obama administration, along with its minions in Congress and the multitudinous bureaucratic agencies, has taken things to new dimensions.
Never before has the general public been required to purchase something they may not want. But that's exactly what Obamacare has wrought. Americans are now forced to purchase the federal government's version of healthcare insurance in spite of their objection to the measure. We see this sort of arrogant imposition in hundreds of thousands of regulations on other matters that multiply in the bureaucratic caverns of Washington and Congress touching every aspect of American life.
Even state and local governments have gotten into the act by charging citizens for the right to carry a concealed weapon. We don't have to pay for any other Second Amendment rights. Why guns?
South Carolina law mandates that citizens must pay hundreds of dollars to obtain a concealed weapon permit. Applicants must shell out for mandated fees, instruction and assorted rules in order to protect themselves. Even military veterans and law enforcement individuals must pay for “instruction” in the handling of arms. Can you believe it?
Some of you won't find it hard to imagine that I have received threats of one sort of another throughout the years because of something I have written. Once, I thought perhaps I might consider obtaining a concealed weapon permit. I was told that it would cost me several hundred dollars before being considered. In some states the cost can be in excess of one thousand dollars. I gave up on the idea of a permit and will arm myself whenever and however I dang well please. If the criminals can do it why can't I?
The Constitution guarantees every American citizen the “right to bear arms”. There are no “ifs, ands or buts” in spite of government's attempts to claim otherwise. It is clearly a mandated right of every responsible citizen, who chooses to do so, without government interference.
I suppose the constitutionality of the matter has been challenged but it doesn't change the basic right and privilege of Americans to protect themselves and aids no one except the criminals who pay no attention to the law.
Proponents of restrictions of gun rights point to the fact that we all must pay the price (license fees, insurance, etc.) to drive a car. Tell me where is driving an automobile mentioned in the Constitution? Driving a car is a privilege – not a right. But the right to carry a weapon is mentioned quite boldly.
So, it's time that any mature and sane individual demand their right to bear arms and other Constitutional rights without paying for that right.
I wager that most of the WWII Veterans would agree.
John Brock is a retired college professor and, newspaper editor/publisher, who lives in Georgetown County. He can be reached by mail at this newspaper, or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.