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Is An Inalienable Right The Same Thing As A Privilege?

December 16, 2009

When seeking an answer, the most effective way to produce one is to ask a question. Great power is exacted by those controlling who may ask a question and by those with the ability to avoid answering it. In that light, are the words “privilege” and “right” synonymous? When asked, the vast majority of people would say that they are not the same thing. This seems pretty simple doesn’t it? If only it were really that simple. In reality, this is a question of serious complexity and far reaching consequence. So complicated and important is it that the Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in an effort to produce an answer to that question.

What is most amazing is that this answer is only now coming, if it is actually coming, within the context of asking the following question. Is the Second Amendment to be applied against State and local governments? When asked that question, the vast majority of people would say it obviously does. The reality today is that it isn’t. Many people will not believe that statement, but it is true none the less. Believe it or not, State and Local governments can ignore the Second Amendment entirely if they so choose. Illinois government and other more local controlling authorities in the Chicago area do exactly that. What is most appalling is that there exists many who are proud that this takes place.

It is prudent to observe that the meanings of words can change over time depending on their usage. The statement “That’s bad!” has an obvious literal meaning that something is “not good” and, as such, perceived as a negative. However, when common slang usage is entertained, “That’s bad!” is widely understood today as very positive, indeed it is a tremendous compliment. Up becomes down.

Part of the Fourteenth Amendment refers to privileges or immunities. Privileges or immunities, as applied there, must refer directly to inalienable rights, rights that exist outside the authority of created government. The questions I personally have is why didn’t the creators of the language of the Fourteenth Amendment just employ the same language as those who forged the Bill of Rights and use the word “rights”?

One of two things must be true. Either a “privilege” is interchangeable with a “right” in actual meaning and the slang usage of the word “privilege” has corrupted it’s meaning over time, or, Citizens holding rights that shall not be violated or denied were transformed into subjects, who are allowed or disallowed privileges at the behest of various governmental authorities. So which is it? It cannot be both. Can it?

If “privileges or immunities” does not refer directly to inalienable rights, then the people of this country have no rights at all. We have nothing more than an illusion of rights. All we actually have is an authoritarian dictatorship empowered to allow or disallow anything it decides at any given time. It means that the Congress,the Judiciary and the Executive branches of the federal government, not to mention every other entity within it, (can you say EPA?) along with all other State and Local governments, have no boundaries other than those it sets for itself at any given time. It means that We The People are nothing more than slaves, with governments being our masters. It means that “Due Process” constitutes anything government says it does.

It means that any government entity can make any declaration and it stands as proper because government taking any action constitutes “due process”.

Example: Government can pass law effectively banning the ownership of a handgun. Who cares that the Second Amendment recognizes an Individual Right to own that gun. It doesn’t matter. “Due process” was employed. Government declared it to be so, so it must be so. It’s the law, and that it is law, that government imposed it, justifies it. Due Process. Circular reasoning such as this is dangerous when accepted, thus it shall be rejected by any Freeman. Remember, this is a consequence of “privilege” and “right” not meaning the same thing. Notice that in Chicago, an effective ban of this nature has long been in place. This reality implies that those two words do mean something different. If those words do mean something different, then what does that say about the Fourteenth Amendment? In the words of Scooby-Doo “Ru Ro”……..

Notice that Illinois is the only State in the entire country where it’s people are disallowed the carrying of a weapon, even for self defense. I say “weapon” there because the Illinois criminal code goes into great detail about the things you will be punished for carrying. The criminal code goes well beyond the banning of carrying just firearms. Read it yourself and you will see that to be true. The Supreme Court has already said that owning and carrying firearms are individual rights, so what gives? How come the people of this State are punished for exercising those rights? How can government so blatantly violate something as straightforward as the Second Amendment, much less Supreme Court decisions regarding it? Think about it, here in Illinois, if you exercise a right, part of your punishment for doing so is losing that right altogether. What good is a right if you cannot lawfully exercise it? Doesn’t make any sense does it? However, if you are disallowed a particular privilege (keeping in mind that they are two different things) , and you do it anyway, then you can be justly punished. See it yet? I hope so.

In an effort to show that this is not even close to being limited to guns, look to “campaign finance reform“. Let me inject here that Illinois is currently imposing it’s own State level campaign finance reform. After you pay all the taxation imposed upon you, government has managed to gain access, via legislation, to the controlling decisions regarding the money you have left. It decides for you, in spite of you, how much of your own money you can spend where. So much for being secure in your own property, huh? So then, do you really hold a right to be secure in your own property or do you just have a privilege to be decided by government? Hey, campaign donation limits imposed by legislative code constitutes due process, right? Unreal. Government is going so far today as to force people to use some of that remaining money to purchase vehicle insurance and they are attempting to force the purchase of a health insurance policy that government approves of. (In terms of Medicare and prescriptions, government already does so. Just go ahead and try to have Medicare without a “creditable” Part D drug coverage, government will choose a policy and provider for you, and then send you the bill. ) So much for willing two party contracts! It’s almost like government has no boundaries. It is almost as if it can simply ignore the Constitution. In application, government has decided how much of your money it can take and then it has placed bans and mandates on what money remains. This amounts to government controlling all the money everywhere at all times. It amounts to the spending of all money you earn/have being an allowance subject to government dictation. So much for private property, huh? Are things becoming clearer? Maybe.

It looks like we have no rights that must to be respected, protected and defended. It looks as if we only have privileges and immunities that government decides to afford us, or deny us, whenever it deems appropriate. This can only be happening if “privileges” and “rights” are different things.

So what happens if those two words, “privileges” and “rights” are synonymous? What happens if the Supreme Court relents to the obvious intention of Fourteenth Amendment? What are the ramifications of “privileges or immunities” meaning “rights”? Maybe the intentions of the Fourteenth Amendment aren’t quite as obvious as we might think.

Haven’t we long been told that licensing requirements, speeding tickets, license plate and vehicle registration fees, liability insurance mandates and seat belt mandates are the result of driving being a privilege, rather than a right? Aren’t all the “rules of the road”, along with the punishments for violating them, predicated on the idea that you don’t hold a right to drive, but that you are afforded a privilege to drive? Take a look at this Letter to the Editor by James E. Biggers Jr., of Springfield Illinois, where he makes the crystal clear declaration that a “right” and a “privilege” are two different things. See how messy this gets so very quickly? I hope you do because messy it is about to get.

How about the right to peaceably assemble? Government requires a permit to lawfully exercise that right. Ask yourself this, if you actually hold a right, then why must you ask for a permit, which can be denied, in order to exercise it without fear of prosecution and how can you be prosecuted for exercising a right in the first place? Sounds a lot more like persecution than prosecution, doesn’t it? When you must ask permission, you don’t hold a right to be exercised, you are being subordinate to the one with the real authority.

There, I could have just offered the FOID card as an example of asking permission in order to exercise a right, but emotion plays a skewing role in the way people view that topic. The travesty that is being forced to ask permission in order to exercise a right is lost because of emotion, but the root is common regardless. That specific rights are spelled out in the Constitution, relays to most of us that we don’t have to ask permission, we must only decide for ourselves if we aim to exercise a right or not. But is this the reality today? Go ahead and possess a firearm, absent the permission that is a FOID card, and test it. Heck, go to any firearms dealer in Illinois and try to buy a firearm without a FOID card. Good luck with that. You will see that you will not be allowed to do so. You will find out that without the permission that is the fee based FOID card, you will not be allowed to even purchase of box ammunition. Understand that if you attempt to exercise your Second Amendment rights in Illinois without paid for permission, while understanding that some permissions are unattainable, you will find yourself in jail and/or paying heavy fines. Scarey, isn’t it? So much for “inalienable“. So much for Liberty.

Even in terms of voting, we must ask permission in order to exercise what we think is a right, we must register. Go ahead and try to vote without doing so. Go for it. If you are lucky, you might be able to cast a provisional ballot, which may or may not be counted. Would the people stand for being forced to pay a fee in order to vote? Can you say Poll Tax? So why then must we pay for permission to even possess a firearm or ammunition? How can government force you to ask permission to inherit your father’s shotgun when he dies? Why can we be punished if we do without government permission? Why is it “different”? Due Process? How about hunting or even fishing? Why must we ask permission, and then pay another set of fees called hunting and fishing licenses, in order to harvest a food source? Why can we be punished if we do not ask for that permission and then pay for it if it is granted? Why don’t we have to do so if we plant a garden? Ahhh, plant a big enough garden, attempt to sell or trade anything you harvest, and all of a sudden you are under the thumb of rulings pertaining to the Constitution’s commerce clause. That is a more contrived body of case law than is the one pertaining to the privileges or immunities clause, but the decision in the McDonald case has to venture out into those deep waters as well. Another travesty occurs if it does not.

I realize that this content is difficult to understand. I cannot honestly say that I have a complete understanding of it. Not even one person in this country could forthrightly say they do (kinda like the 70 thousand page tax code, nobody can honestly say they understand all of it). However, I can say that there exists a great many more questions than exists solid answers. While what I have to say next may well be construed as opinion, it is based on the fact that many questions remain unanswered today. This ambiguity is, I believe, intentional. When answers to questions are uncomfortable, when they present situations that bind certain actions or expose unjust activity, ambiguity affords the ability to play both ends against the middle. It allows government, especially the legislative and judicial branches of it, to engage in their “due process” and avoid being held accountable for Unconstitutional actions. Basically, governments get away with violating people’s rights until such time as the Supreme Court allows the asking of the perfect question. Even then, when the perfect question is asked, that Court often times avoids solid answers by keeping the decision as narrow as possible. The Heller versus D.C. case is a prime example. More on that in a minute.

If privileges or immunities encompasses inalienable rights, then a great deal of what various governments do is clearly Unconstitutional from a common sense aspect. A crystal clear declaration that these two phrases are one in the same exposes the corrupt government machination that has taken place. It throws into question the validity of the vast majority of “laws on the books”. Chaos is close at hand because anarchy approaches. This presents something of a conundrum. When doing the right thing could cause chaos, do you do it? Isn’t more harm done in the long run when refusing to do the right thing in the short run?

Many folks do not even begin to understand the precipice this nation rests upon regarding the coming decision in the McDonald versus Chicago case. It is, by far, more than just a Second Amendment issue. It is primarily a 14th Amendment case because that is where the answer to the Second Amendment question rests. While guns may well be a part of this case, the scope of this decision is quite broad. This decision will reach far beyond firearms. This case is really about inalienable rights themselves because the answer to the McDonald question revolves around who has inalienable rights, why they have them, when they have them, who has authority over them, when they must be respected, protected and defended and who, or what, must do so. Most people have no idea this is even happening, much less the ramifications of it when it does. How irresponsible has our media become? More importantly, how out of touch have the people of this country become? We often times snap on sitting politicians for being out of touch, but it is time We The People understand how out of touch WE really are and do some snapping in that arena. It is time we change that reality by seeking out answers. You Bet! It is time we pose questions over and over again until we gain answers.

Nine appointed Justices are tasked with answering some of the most serious and profound questions facing our nation. When they do answer, major changes in this country take place. They will soon offer a decision that will turn this country upside down. Now, that I believe this nation is currently on it’s head, such a rotation is a step in the right direction in my book. For if they do not do so, if they try to punt and keep the status-quo by doing so, if they refuse to actually answer such serious questions, which is what they have long been able to do, they risk sentencing this country to the explosion that is a civil war. Those are strong words, I know that, but it is the reality. Massive firearms and ammunition purchases have not been taking place since last year because we have a black President or even because gun grabbing politicians hold leadership positions in Congress. Those purchases are being made because a great many people sense the very real possibility that a civil war may be afoot. Here is why.

If the Supreme Court tells the people of this country that they don’t have rights, that instead they have something different, privileges, the Free people of this country will surely rise up and throw off unjust government. They have done so before and will do so again because it is our duty to do so. Freemen Patriots will always take up arms when that kind of defense of Liberty is required. There is no reason for that to happen. The Supreme Court affirming that rights exist, even when referred to as privileges, and that all levels of government must observe, respect and defend them, will avoid that happening. This is what those nine Justices must do, just as legislators appeared to have done when they amended the Constitution for the fourteenth time. The chips of doing so must be allowed to fall where they may. In terms of firearms, specifically regarding the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court directly answered longstanding questions in the Heller decision, but even in doing so they avoided saying who must abide by those openly declared individual rights and definitions. They avoided offering that specific answer because that specific question was not asked. Convenient, huh? From a common sense standpoint, everyone must abide by rights, that is part of what makes them inalienable rights! Or at least so I thought. See what happens when we debate what the meaning of “is” is?

Governments across this land must understand and submit to the fact that We The People hold, in our individual possession, alienable rights that they have no authority over. They must stand down their path of micro-management of our decisions regarding these rights and admit that no matter how honorable a position opined, there is no justice in the usurpation of Liberty. They must admit that such an action is Un-American.

When it is declared by the Supreme Court that States must abide by the Second Amendment, the vast majority of Illinois gun code must be rendered Unconstitutional. Anyone with open eyes can see that the Supreme Court has no option but to make this declaration. Last March, I wrote and delivered a detailed and personal letter, which was openly framed as an individual petition for redress of grievances, to the Constitutional officers of the State of Illinois warning of this very situation. I told them that in order to avoid chaos, it was in their interest, not to mention our own, that they drastically reform the Illinois criminal code, especially as it pertains to firearms. Not only did that warning go entirely unresponded to by everyone who received it, but the only substantial change made to Illinois gun law was to remove the language that saw you become a felon the instant you possessed any loaded firearm on any property that did not directly belong to you (even if that property belonged to your sister and it was your own firearm). See the Illinois versus Kirk Price decision from 2007.

I am far from alone in this effort, many people have been telling Illinois State Government that it has been violating the Second Amendment for a very long time. Many have been saying that Illinois government has been violating a great many of our rights, but we are ignored. That body ignored the Heller decision and it continues to violate what the Supreme Court said in that decision. They do so with impunity. For now, they do so based on the fact that D.C. isn’t a state – saying that because D.C. isn’t a State, the ruling carries no weight here. Yes, you read that correctly, the Supreme Court said that the D.C. possession ban was unconstitutional because owning and carrying guns is an individual right – and Illinois says that those rights don’t apply here. Doesn’t make any sense does it? Or does it?

Either Illinois government must view privileges and rights as two different things or Illinois government actually does see rights and privileges as the same thing. It occurs to me that Illinois government likes to have it both ways, depending upon the current whim of the moment. Mostly, it appears that Illinois government considers just about everything an allowance they are tasked with controlling. What those allowances are called is irrelevant.

This is especially true regarding the Second Amendment. The Illinois Constitution is a another reason why. We have one heck of a disclaimer on what amounts to our State level “Second Amendment”. It reads this way; “Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” As Illinois government sees it, we are not Citizens with inalienable rights, you see, Citizens can not be subjects where rights are concerned. The way Illinois government sees it, a right is something that can be allowed or disallowed based on “the police power”. See why so many people say that Illinois is a “police state“? What is “the police power”? Ah, anything government says it is. Due Process. Ugly, huh? Illinois may view rights and privileges as the same thing, but it views them both as something it controls with it’s police power. Confused yet? Aggravated? Torqued? Salty? Downright angry?

To be honest, it is my hope that everyone reading this is profoundly confused. If you are currently confused, then you understand the situation properly and I have at least partly succeeded in my goal of describing to you how convoluted the situation really is. The vast majority of people take for granted that they hold individual rights and the idea of government respecting them. They believe that because the Bill of Rights says something, it is so. Today, in this country, case law lords over us even when it is in direct opposition to the simplest of phrases, like ‘SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED‘, within the Constitution itself. In this way, Judicial activism has exacted more change to the meaning of words than slang usage could ever accomplish. It is noteworthy that the power of the Constitution comes from the people. That means a parchment may say something, but the people must enforce what it says or it is nothing more than a parchment and ink.

So complicated has case law become, not only can the average person not even come close to understanding it, one cannot even engage in “practicing” law without years upon years of “higher education”. How can normal people be expected to abide by law they cannot possibly understand? How can they represent themselves in court, when accused of wrongdoing? How can they know they are being represented properly by those licensed to practice law? They can’t! Yet, “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” These things are by design. Free people are not controllable and those who seek control over Free people must fabricate ways to accomplish their goals. In some ways, we have become slaves to a lack of understanding and that lack of understanding is intentionally created and augmented every day by these people we call “lawyers”. Remember, most sitting politicians are “lawyers”. They will not bite the hand that feeds them……….

The fact is this, most people violate some law everyday without even realizing it. This allows “the police power” to rule over just about anyone, at any moment, it chooses. Go ahead, read a message on your cell phone while you drive on New Years Day, see what happens to you. Next thing you know, the communication device known as a radio will bring you punishment. How dare you read the device while you drive to see what station it is on. Pure Foolishness!

The Constitution of this country, the Supreme Law of this land, was crafted in simple form so that everyday people could understand it. If they could understand it, then they could abide by it. So too could government. If government did not, then the people would have a reasonable recourse. Legislation and Court decision have corrupted this simplicity beyond comprehension. For instance, and I will go back to guns here because it is so easy to do so, the Illinois criminal code equates “possession” of a firearm itself to “unlawful use” of a weapon. Wait a minute, in terms of firearms, “possession” is a Supreme Court declared individual right (notice please that the Second Amendment already says the same thing) , so how can “possession” be an “unlawful use” due just punishment? It is so because Illinois legislators said it is. Due Process. Disturbing, isn’t it?

Part of me wants to believe that the Supreme Court decision in this case will clear the air, but another part of me understands that judicial activism got us into this in the first place. How can I believe that more judicial activism will correct the situation that judicial activism created? Law is supposed to be made within legislatures, but today it is effectively made within courts, via decisions. Except, of course, when lawmakers don’t like the decisions delivered. See Heller and Illinois law. A sad state of affairs it is.

Could it be that an effort to break the chains that continued to bind freed slaves saw to it that not only were freed slaves not elevated to the status of Independent Freeman Citizens but that instead a new citizenship status was created and everyone was crammed into that new classification? Is it possible that we were all made subjects of the United States Government afforded privileges, or denied them, as it decides – as opposed to being a Free people who are Citizens of these united States with Individual Rights that are inalienable? Could it be that slaves were never really freed at all and that instead we were all made equal subjects? Is it possible that Individual Liberty was destroyed completely by the semantics and ambiguity of the Fourteenth Amendment and the court decisions pertaining to it?

This nation has seen a handful of Presidents, and even more Congresses, come and go since Ronald Reagan was in office. In his time, our government, the three branches together, wiped the slate clean regarding illegal immigration. That problem was not solved by that amnesty, indeed that problem has only gotten worse. How can it be that so many have come and gone, that so much time has passed, and no solution has been found? While some may avoid admitting it, the ambiguity and semantics engaged in regarding the Fourteenth Amendment, and of course the judicial activism pertaining to it, is responsible. It is my hope that this seemingly unrelated tidbit provokes deep thought on your part.

So you see, this seemingly limited in focus court case, McDonald versus Chicago, is not limited to the issue of guns. It is framed that way by ideologues and media outlets to facilitate yet another passing of far reaching consequences stemming from actual answers of substance. Yes, this case is partly about guns. Yes, it is partly about gun rights, but it is about so much more than that. So much is at stake that there is no excuse for the fact that so few people even know it is happening. While something so incredibly important is on the table, mainstream media spends hours and days on Tiger Woods’ sexual antics. This proves to me that mainstream media will go to any length to encourage and foment willful ignorance. I am left to wonder when they will come to realize that this “rights versus privileges” question affects their livelihood directly. If that realization comes after that question is judicially answered, and it is answered in such a way as to augment the status quo, then it is too late. Their ideologically induced silence and intentional misleading may well amount to them shooting themselves, along with everybody else, in the foot.

Plenty of people in the new media, online, have been, and continue to be, asking these questions and now that a black man is President and a black man has asked the right question, the Supreme Court has agreed to actually hear the question. Still, the old media is next to silent about all of it. The only solution, the only remedy, is for We The People to delve into this abyss of information with both feet. We must be prepared to go deep under water and become dripping wet with information. We must be willing to inform our family and friends about the information we imbibe. We must refuse to be spoon-fed only the soundbites of information media moguls want to share with us. No longer can we be content to be knowledge starved. We must do our duty and stand up with bold questions. We must be relentless in the execution of our rights, before they are deemed by judicial decree to be nothing more than privileges controlled by government. My goodness, what if that has already taken place? A good look around would lead the thinking person to the conclusion it has.

Because Otis McDonald has asked the right question, and because the Supreme Court has agreed to hear it, (Thank You President Bush for Justices Alito and Roberts!!!!!), the answer to that question necessarily brings about answers to a great many other questions. Now you know why it has taken so many decades to get this particular question about the Second Amendment before the Supreme Court in the first place. Their answer has the potential to return this country to the path laid out by our founders, but we must stand together, side by side, to demand complete answers. We do so by asking questions. Our silence today sentences us, and our posterity, to continued injustice and further erosion of this thing we call Individual Liberty.

We break that silence best by figuring out what questions to ask. But where do we even begin? I implore everyone to start by reading the Supreme Court brief filed on behalf of Otis McDonald. You can find it at if you don’t click on the links while reading this.

I promise that reading that brief will produce plenty of questions in your mind and afford a great many avenues to pursue more information. Without a doubt, you will be reading about the SlaughterHouse Cases. I have no reservation about stating that doing so will have your blood boiling. Mark my words on that note. Boiling. While some will dismiss some of the things I have said here, especially some of the questions, as conspiratorial, others will see where those notions are rooted and come to realize that out of hand dismissal is not the appropriate course of action. They will grasp the seriousness of this one court case and how much it’s decision will change this country. They will be willing to stand up and take action, while the others just sit by and expect someone else to do something for them.

Knowledge is power folks, and We The People are being railroaded by our government because we lack the power to stop it from happening. No one can empower you with knowledge, this you must learn for yourself. However, we can share information amongst ourselves when those we have all relied upon on to do so refuse. It may well be unjust for media to abdicate it’s duty, but it is far more unjust for people to refuse their own duty to empower themselves. It may well be a right to remain ignorant by choice, but you must ask yourself, and then answer yourself honestly, do you wish to remain ignorant by your own decision? If you answer yourself in the affirmative, then so be it, but don’t whine about it when you finally realize that government has already stolen the very last tiny freedom you thought you had. For it is you yourself who allowed them to take it away as a result of your own chosen inaction and ignorance. I could snap a little bit here about smoking bans, in relation to private property rights, but I will reserve discussing that debacle for another time, this writing is already too long. To those still reading, thank you for your effort.

This nation was founded on a declaration made by those demanding and exacting their own Freedom. I proudly join them in that effort.

I am a Natural Born Citizen of the State of Wisconsin but I am currently a Citizen of the State of Illinois by my own established residency. Both locations are Sovereign States within these united States, which is also a Sovereign State, bound by the tenets of the Constitution they have in common. I am a Citizen who holds Individual ownership of inalienable rights, not a subject with allowances to be decided by various government claims, whether they be legislative or judicial or otherwise. I was born a unique Freeman and I am equal to all other born unique Freeman. I will remain a Freeman until my living days pass and I will stand up as a Patriot to protect and defend that American Dream just as my forefathers have done before me, so long as I continue to draw breath.

Make no mistake, I do not advocate the overthrow of government itself. I am no anarchist. I am simply willing to make the same kind of declaration our founders did and have the same willingness to stand up and fight for it because I understand that Freedom is not free. The questions I leave you with today are as follows; Are you willing to make such a declaration on your own behalf and are you willing to fight for the merit it entails? Only you can answer those questions for yourself. Good luck in doing so, it takes tremendous courage to do both. Therein rests this country’s largest problem. Not enough Patriots are doing both because too many have reduced themselves to subjects with their hands held out for the shiniest freebie offered by the newest prodigy politician.

So then, back to where we started. Is a privilege the same as a right? I am left to wonder if your answer is the same as it was before you read this piece and how many times it changed back and forth since you began reading it. One thing is for sure, this case is going to be heard and it will be decided. Understand that June will come quickly (that is when this decision will be delivered) and that nothing will be as it is today when that happens. Will things be better or worse? Well, on that note, I guess all we can do is wait and see while we learn more about what is coming.

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