Here we go again.
During an interview with the British morning talk show Good Morning Britain, President Donald Trump told the hosts that he was going to “think about” banning sound suppressors for guns, known commonly (though incorrectly) as silencers.
Piers Morgan, an avowed advocate of civilian disarmament, began by complimenting the president for banning bump stocks, and then he transitioned to discussing the Virginia Beach tragedy, and that then led to the following exchange between Trump and Morgan.
“What is your view on silencers?” Morgan asked, after mentioning that the man accused of committing the atrocities at Virginia Beach used a suppressor.
“I don’t like them,” President Trump responded.
“Would you like to see those banned?” Morgan asked.
“I’d like to think about it,” Trump replied. “Nobody’s talked about silencers very much. They did talk about the bump stock and we had it banned. We’re looking at that, I’m going to seriously look at it," the president added, referring to his unconstitutional banning of bump stocks via executive order.
This discussion was prompted by the fact that an armed man opened fire in Virginia Beach, Virginia, killing 12 people. During their investigation at the crime scene, police recovered a sound suppressor.
While most people have heard of a “silencer” — and have seen them used on TV and the movies — the term “suppressor” is not so familiar. Here’s a helpful summary provided by a suppressor vendor:
When Hiram Percy Maxim invented the suppressor, he referred to it as the 'Maxim Silencer' in his patent and marketing materials.
The Maxim Silencer was a big hit because of all the advantages it offered. As a result, the word Silencer caught on quickly — and is now used as the legal definition in both state and federal regulations, as well as on all ATF forms. In reality, no 'silencer' is truly silent — so many purists prefer to use the word Suppressor, which is more technically correct since these devices are capable of reducing/suppressing the sound from a firearm and not truly silencing it.
Now, on to the more important aspects of President Trump’s consideration of making suppressors the next bump stock: a firearm accessory that he somehow believes he has the authority to outlaw by issued an executive order.
First, should President Trump’s tyrannical attack on the rights protected by the Second Amendment really be surprising?
After the Parkland school shooting in the spring of 2018, during a meeting with legislators, President Trump tried to persuade them to pass a law raising the minimum age to buy a rifle and — pay attention here — regarding the use of guns to commit crime, President Trump said, “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
That’s right. The president supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA) believes that police should be able to confiscate guns from Americans without a warrant, without due process, without any authority other than his own.
I’ve covered President Trump’s penchant for infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. Here’s a bit of history from an article I wrote covering Trump’s plan to ban bump stocks:
Our Founding Fathers were not concerned about protecting a man’s right to keep his home and family safe from “danger.” Our Founding Fathers protected the individual’s right to keep and bear arms because they knew that such was the only way to avoid being enslaved by tyrants.
They knew from their study of history that a tyrant’s first move was always to disarm the people, and generally to claim it was for their safety, and to establish a standing army so as to convince the people that they didn’t need arms to protect themselves, for the tyrant and his professional soldiers would do it for them. Sound familiar?
Consider this gem from William Blackstone, a man of immense and undeniable influence on the Founders and their understanding of rights, civil and natural.
In Volume I of his Commentaries on the Laws of England, Blackstone declares “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.”
Would anyone in America — or the world, for that matter — argue that the “sanctions of society and laws” are sufficient to “restrain violence” or oppression?
Thus, the people must be armed.
Commenting on Blackstone’s Commentaries, eminent Founding Era jurist and constitutional scholar St. George Tucker put a finer point on the purpose of protecting the natural right of all people to keep and bear arms. He wrote: “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour [sic] or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”
Readers of The New American don’t need to be convinced that the men who founded our Republic believed that the right of the people to be armed was an essential expression of a person’s God-given right to defend his life, liberty, and property.
Similarly, our readers don’t need to be reminded that the president is an elected federal official with very limited powers, one of which is not the making of law by signing decrees that decrease the scope of the people’s liberty.
The very first line of the U.S. Constitution makes it very clear which branch of the federal government has the authority to make laws for the union: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
All legislative power, not most legislating power. Also, nowhere in the Constitution is the Congress — or any other branch or officer of the federal government — granted the authority to delegate its power to another branch or officer.
In other words, President Trump is constitutionally forbidden from issuing an executive orders that are treated as laws.
Let’s not forget that on January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump put his hand on the Holy Bible and swore the following oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Using the pen on his desk to issue dictatorial edicts eviscerating the Second Amendment is no way to faithfully abide by that solemn oath.
Americans committed to protecting the Second Amendment, specifically, and the Constitution, in general, are encouraged to do two things: First, let President Trump know that you call on him to be true to his oath office and to stop trying to shred the Second Amendment; second, join an organization that has a history of steadfastly acting in defense of the right to keep and bear arms. The John Birch Society is such an organization and has the history and the resources to successfully protect the right of the people to keep and bear arms and the Second Amendment that guarantees that right.
Image of Donald Trump with Piers Morgan: Screenshot of YouTube video by the Washington Post