November 28, 2016
Americans for Responsible Solutions
PO Box 15642
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Mark Kelly,
The election of Donald Trump to be president of the United States has presented you with enormous opportunity of historic proportions. Trump has asserted that he will support Second Amendment rights. What is that supposed to mean? Trump has already hedged on much of his campaign rhetoric. The president of the United States is under oath of public office to preserver, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Domestic enemies include the National Rifle Association's "armed citizen guerrillas". Will the president of the United States support constitutional government that is, will he support what the courts have decided or will he have a different agenda. The Constitution is a frame of government. It is not a treaty among sovereign individuals. This is your opportunity to educate the president of the United States that the Second Amendment is about civic obligation not the libertarian privacy rights of private individuals.
Judge Silberman in the Parker case concluded that we can have "registration . . . for militia service if called up". Registration is the one point of policy the National Rifle Association's "armed populace at large" cannot accommodate, and the NRA works hardest to defeat. There is nothing in subsequent Supreme Court rulings which overturns Judge Silberman's conclusion. Will the president of the United State support the Second Amendment with a litmus test that his nominees to the federal judiciary be committed to overturning Judge Silberman's conclusion? Or, will the nominees accept and support, along with Judge Silberman, the legitimacy of constitutional government.
Getting at fundamental issues starts with a simple question, Do support and accept Judge Silberman's conclusion? The question is a particular version of the more general question, Do you accept and support the legitimacy of constitutional government? We are at a critical moment in the life of the Republic. You can't in good conscience be idle or evasive.
Trump's nominees will then go before the Senate Judiciary Committee. You are not likely to get much attention from the Trump Administration, but you can use your influence to get the simple question asked there. The Senate Judiciary Committee is the second opportunity to raise the issue of whether we will have constitutional government or some semblance of anarchy.
There is your business. Anything else you do is not just a foolish waste time but is counterproductive. The gun rights militants, led by the NRA, cannot win the right they want in court. It is not within the legitimate powers of the courts to reduce the Constitution from a frame of government with all that implies to a treaty among sovereign individuals who give no more than word of honor and promise of good faith. They have to have their right by defeating legislation. They defeat legislation with demagoguery. They need your counterproductive efforts to be successful.
If you want to be successful you education an aggressive, energized constituency that demands political action at the highest and most fundamental level. You will never be successful until you break out of the standard fare of promoting trigger locks and the Obama Administration's gun safety. Trump presents the opportunity. Where else will the gun rights militants go?
It is not really a new issue in American history. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor were from slave owing backgrounds, but they were also under oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. They took the oath seriously. They both proclaimed that they would personally lead armies into any secessionist states to capture and hang secessionists. Your business is to get President Trump to take his oath of office seriously.
And, this is serious business. It demands serious attention. It is more serious now than anything has been at least since the Civil War. Much is at stake. How anyone in good conscience can get out of bed every morning, go to work, and do so much damage is beyond comprehension. If a legacy of ignorance and destruction is what you want, carry on. If we have a future, history will judge severely.