Mental Illness and Guns

By Matthew Ernst

Ever since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting there has been much discussion about improving the nation’s mental health care system. But what exactly does that mean? It seems that nearly all of us agree that we should keep firearms away from people who are mentally unstable, but accomplishing that is much more difficult than generally realized.

We must remember that the term “mental illness” is only a general term that refers to more than 300 mental health disorders that are currently recognized. In order to thoroughly analyze this issue, we must differentiate between specific mental disorders, because not all mental illnesses lead to a high likelihood of violence. Thus, there will not be an effective “one size fits all” solution.

Mental illness is much more prevalent than we might realize. In any given year, a full 25% of U.S. adults are diagnosable for at least one mental health disorder, with approximately 6% of the population suffering from a “seriously debilitating mental illness” (SMI). SMI’s, which are commonly present in people who commit violent acts, include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

Our current mental healthcare system was primarily established by the U.S. Supreme Court case Lessard v. Schmidt. The Lessard decision stated that people who suffer from mental illness are entitled to the same Constitutional rights as everyone else — they cannot be illegally detained, are entitled to legal due process, have the right to own firearms, etc. In addition, a law enforcement officer can only take a person into custody, if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person presents an immediate danger to him/herself or others.

However, if the person doesn’t present any immediate danger, and has not committed a crime, a law enforcement officer cannot legally take that person into custody. This oftentimes leads to the person remaining in the same environment which may have helped contribute to the problem in the first place.

This is the critical issue regarding our current mental health policy. Law enforcement officers encounter people every day who suffer from mental illness and have not committed a crime. But just because a person suffers from mental illness doesn’t mean the officer can take them into custody. If the officer doesn’t have any evidence that the person poses an imminent danger then sometimes there is little the officer can do. This means the officer may walk away having done nothing to reduce the possibility of a violent act being committed.

A person who suffers from developmental disabilities and mental illness is 7 times more likely to come into contact with law enforcement. Consequently, officers have a major opportunity to intervene in ways that others will not. If an officer cannot take a person into custody, the officer still should highly consider other actions such as notifying the person’s family members, their treatment provider, talking the person into voluntarily seeking treatment, transporting the person to a homeless shelter, etc.

While all states adopted the Lessard standards, mental health laws still vary from state to state. Each state defines “dangerous” and “mental illness” differently. Both federal law and most states’ laws are designed to prevent people with mental illness from owning firearms. In addition, people prohibited from owning a firearm by one of these laws can be entered into a national database (NICS) of people who are not allowed to purchase or possess firearms.

However, many states only make it voluntary to report people with mental illness to NICS, and many states choose not to report. Both Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have indicated that their states have not entered tens of thousands of mental health records to NICS. A current bill under debate in the Senate encourages states to submit mental health records to NICS, but it doesn’t make reporting mandatory. Reporting to NICS should be mandatory, not encouraged. We don’t encourage convicted felons to get entered into NICS; indeed it is mandatory. Why would we not do the same with those who are assessed to be at a high risk of committing violence?

Regardless of the state, however, many people with SMI do not receive adequate treatment. A 2008 survey showed that only 58.7% of those suffering from SMI, received treatment. That means 42.3% are not receiving any treatment. In the last 50 years the number of beds in psychiatric hospitals has decreased from 559,000 to 43,000.

Bottom line: there have simply been too many mass shootings in the U.S. for us to think that we don’t need to change the way we do some things. One recent study showed that there have been 62 mass shootings in the last 30 years, with 61% of the shooters having shown signs of mental illness prior to the shooting. Three separate studies all showed that mass killings are increasing.

While the majority of people who suffer from mental illness might not be dangerous, a small percentage are incredibly dangerous. Approximately 10% of all homicides are committed by someone with untreated, severe mental illness. Of greatest concern are those who are not receiving any treatment. Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, a research psychiatrist involved with SMI’s, recently wrote:

Would we have fewer mass killings in the U.S. if we made sure that individuals with severe mental illnesses were receiving treatment? Examining the other 10 largest mass killings suggests that the answer is yes.

While law enforcement remains on the front lines of dealing with mental illness, another emerging trend is Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). AOT is court-ordered outpatient treatment for people with mental illness who meet certain criteria. AOT is now permitted in 44 states. Several studies have shown that AOT reduces hospitalization, violence, homelessness, and reduced stress for caregivers. Legislators must be passing legislation which allows for the continued expansion of AOT.

We are then left with these questions: Can we predict violent behavior in someone with SMI? Multiple studies have shown that the people who are most likely to become violent have a SMI, along with substance abuse. The most common SMI’s present in people who commit violent acts are schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Other common factors that increase the risk of violent behavior include: having a past history of violence, paranoia, neurological impairment, antisocial personality disorder, being male, and refusal to take medication.

It should be obvious by now that our mental healthcare system has definite room for improvement. The overall capacity of the mental healthcare system is not currently accommodating the mental healthcare needs of our society. We may never be able to prevent every single mass killing committed by a person with a mental illness. But research points us in the right direction for identifying people at risk of committing violence.

Without a doubt, some of us have a much higher level of interaction with this issue just based simply on our occupation. However, all of us will encounter people with mental illness. Whether we work to combat this issue as part of our occupation, or we simply take steps to ensure our neighbor with SMI gets treatment, we can all do something — indeed responsible citizenship requires it.

 
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Consequences of misinterpreting the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution

Fred Elbel.

Website by Fred Elbel, Elbel Consulting Services, LLC

Cost

Births to illegal alien mothers are adding more to the U.S. population each year than did immigration from all sources in an average year prior to 1965.

The Urban Institute estimates the cost of educating illegal alien children in the nation’s seven states with the highest concentration of illegal aliens was $3.1 billion in 1993 (which, with the growth of their population to 1.3 million, would be more like $5 billion in 2000). This estimate does not take into account the additional costs of bilingual education or other special educational needs.1

FAIR estimates there are currently between 287,000 and 363,000 children born to illegal aliens each year. This figure is based on the crude birth rate of the total foreign-born population (33 births per 1000) and official estimates of the size of the illegal alien population – between 8.7 and 11 million. It should be noted that the Bear Stearns investment firm and others have concluded that the actual number of illegal aliens in the United States could be as high as 20 million.2,3 Using this higher number would roughly double FAIR’s estimate to approximately 574,000 to 726,000 children born to illegal aliens each year!

As of 2001, the cost of having a baby in the U.S. ranged from $6,000 to $8,000 for a normal delivery and $10,000 to $12,000 for a cesarean birth (to as much as $14,000 in certain parts of the country).10 Assuming that an average birth in the year 2007 now costs $8,000, the total cost for 363,000 anchor babies would be approximately $3 billion. Assuming the more realistic number of 726,000 anchor babies, the total cost would be nearly $6 billion. American taxpayers pay a substantial part of this cost.

In 1994, California paid for 74,987 deliveries to illegal alien mothers, at a total cost of $215.2 million (an average of $2,842 per delivery). Illegal alien mothers accounted for 36 percent of all Medi-Cal funded births in California that year.1 A survey conducted under the auspices of the University of California, found that of new Hispanic mothers in California border hospitals, 15 percent had crossed the border specifically to give birth. Two-thirds of births in Los Angeles County hospitals are to illegal alien mothers who are in the U.S. in violation of our existing immigration laws.

Illegal aliens are not eligible for welfare benefits, but their citizen children qualify for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and other benefits granted to US citizens. Based on data collected in California for AFDC’s “children only” cases, the California Department of Social Services estimated that in fiscal 1994-1995, 193,800 children of illegal aliens received welfare, costing $553 million.

By not addressing this abuse of the Fourteenth Amendment and enforcing immigration law, the funds that state and local governments must provide to anchor babies amounts to a virtual tax on U.S. citizens to subsidize illegal aliens.

Rule of Law

By deliberately not addressing this loophole, Congress in effect rewards law-breakers and punishes those who have chosen to follow the rules and immigrate legally.

The 14th Amendment stipulates that Congress has the power to enforce its provisions by enactment of legislation, and the power to enforce a law is necessarily accompanied by the authority to interpret that law. Therefore, an act of Congress stating its interpretation of the 14th Amendment, as not to include the offspring of illegal aliens, would fall within Congress’s prerogative.

One Man, One Vote

Congressional district reapportionment weighted by the presence of illegal alien noncitizens is notably unfair to American citizens (both natural-born and naturalized), and clearly violates the principle of “one man, one vote”.

As the number of US House seats is fixed at 435, reapportionment means that if a given state gains a House district, another state must lose one. If non-citizens (illegal aliens) are counted in the decennial Census upon which districts are apportioned, then states with larger illegal alien populations are likely to end up with more districts and therefore more representation in the House. This effectively dilutes the votes citizens in states having relatively low proportions of illegal aliens.

United States Sovereignty

The Oath of Allegiance for Naturalized Citizens

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”8

The Mexican government recently provided dual nationality to its citizens who naturalize in the United States. No longer looked upon by their countrymen with contempt, those who emigrate (and sneak in) to the United States are seen by Mexico as advocates for its presumed territorial claims to the American Southwest. Mass immigration, while acting as an overpopulation safety valve for Mexico, simultaneously strengthens Mexico’s political presence inside the United States. Mexican dual nationality serves to retain the allegiance of its citizens who become United States citizens, and to discourage assimilation – in spite of the oath of allegiance they take to America.

Unconstrained illegal immigration and disregard for the rule of law are not conducive toward maintaining US sovereignty. Special corporate and political interests want all the cheap foreign labor they can get. Misinterpreting the 14th Amendment and granting automatic birthright citizenship to children of illegal aliens is but one aspect of the dismantling of America.

In April, 2005, President Bush signed the Security Prosperity Partnership with Canada and Mexico, with the stated objective of ensuring the free movement of goods and people across the US border. This treaty, never ratified by Congress, is a significant step towards the North American Union where a sovereign United States will be merely a memory.

Population and environmental consequences

United States population is at roughly 300 million and is projected to double within the lifetimes of children born today.4 Approximately two-thirds of this population growth will be due to mass immigration – that is, immigrants, illegal aliens, and their descendents.5

The United States is past the point of environmental sustainability. Scientists have noted that a sustainable population at today’s consumption levels would be approximately 100 to 150 million people.6 A good and readable overview of the population-environment connection can be found at SUSPS. A visual presentation of the damage illegal immigration does to the environment near our southern border can be seen at DesertInvasion.US.

Other countries

The United Kingdom, for example, formerly allowed Birthright citizenship. In 1981, because of immigration pressures, they restricted it to now require that one parent be a legal resident. In France birthright citizenship has been changed — now children between the ages of 16 and 22 of illegal alien parents must actively seek French citizenship.

It should be noted that on June 11, 2004 Irish voters voted in a national referendum to end automatic citizenship for any child born in Ireland regardless of the parents’ residence status. Ireland was the last member of the European Union to allow pregnant foreigners to gain residence and welfare benefits as a result of birth in the country. (Seattle Post Intelligencer, June 13, 2004.)

Millions of Americans

Millions of Americans have served in defense of the United States of America. Many have died to preserve the freedoms that we take for granted – freedoms granted to United States citizens by the US Constitution. Granting birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens whose first act in coming here is to break our laws, cheapens beyond recognition the meaning of our Constitution and the value of the lives lost fighting to preserve it.

Notes and more information:

1.   Anchor Babies: The Children of Illegal Aliens (Federation for American Immigration Reform)

2.   Robert Justich and Betty Ng, CFA, The Underground Labor Force Is Rising To The Surface (Bear Stearns, January 3, 2005)

3.   Fred Elbel, Illegal immigration invasion numbers (DesertInvasion.US, August, 2004). Published in the Social Contract under the title How Many Illegals Are There in the U.S.? (A New Methodology) (Fall, 2005)

4.   US Census Bureau.

5.   NumbersUSA.com resources on Birthright Citizenship

6.   SUSPS

7.   James R. Edwards, Jr., Two Sides of the Same Coin – The Connection Between Legal and Illegal Immigration, (Center for Immigration Studies, February, 2006)

8.   Anthony Beilenson, Case for Correction By Constitutional Amendment, The Social Contract (Fall, 1996)

9.   US Citizenship and Immigration Services

10.   The Cost of Having a Baby Dr. Greenfield (Dr. Spock, July 18, 2001)

Misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution

Fred Elbel.

Website by Fred Elbel, Elbel Consulting Services, LLC

Quite simply, the Fourteenth Amendment currently is being interpreted to grant automatic birthright citizenship to children born in the United States of illegal alien parents (called anchor babies because under the 1965 immigration Act, they act as an anchor that pulls the illegal alien mother and eventually a host of other relatives into permanent U.S. residency). This clearly is contrary to the original intent of Congress and the States in ratifying the Fourteenth Amendment.

While it has been the practice to bestow citizenship to children of illegal aliens, this has never been ruled on by the Supreme Court.

Professors Peter Schuck and Rogers Smith have noted1 that:

“The present guarantee under American law of automatic birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens can operate…as one more incentive to illegal migration and violation by nonimmigrant aliens already here [.] When this attraction is combined with the powerful lure of the expanded entitlements conferred upon citizen children and their families by the modern welfare state, the total incentive effect of birthright citizenship may well become significant.”

References

1.   Professors Peter Schuck and Rogers Smith, “Consensual Citizenship” (Chronicles, July 1992)

16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Federal Income Tax (1913)

Far-reaching in its social as well as its economic impact, the income tax amendment became part of the Constitution by a curious series of events culminating in a bit of political maneuvering that went awry.

The financial requirements of the Civil War prompted the first American income tax in 1861. At first, Congress placed a flat 3-percent tax on all incomes over $800 and later modified this principle to include a graduated tax. Congress repealed the income tax in 1872, but the concept did not disappear.

After the Civil War, the growing industrial and financial markets of the eastern United States generally prospered. But the farmers of the south and west suffered from low prices for their farm products, while they were forced to pay high prices for manufactured goods. Throughout the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s, farmers formed such political organizations as the Grange, the Greenback Party, the National Farmers’ Alliance, and the People’s (Populist) Party. All of these groups advocated many reforms (see the Interstate Commerce Act) considered radical for the times, including a graduated income tax.

In 1894, as part of a high tariff bill, Congress enacted a 2-percent tax on income over $4,000. The tax was almost immediately struck down by a five-to-four decision of the Supreme Court, even though the Court had upheld the constitutionality of the Civil War tax as recently as 1881. Although farm organizations denounced the Court’s decision as a prime example of the alliance of government and business against the farmer, a general return of prosperity around the turn of the century softened the demand for reform. Democratic Party Platforms under the leadership of three-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, however, consistently included an income tax plank, and the progressive wing of the Republican Party also espoused the concept.

In 1909 progressives in Congress again attached a provision for an income tax to a tariff bill. Conservatives, hoping to kill the idea for good, proposed a constitutional amendment enacting such a tax; they believed an amendment would never received ratification by three-fourths of the states. Much to their surprise, the amendment was ratified by one state legislature after another, and on February 25, 1913, with the certification by Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, the 16th amendment took effect. Yet in 1913, due to generous exemptions and deductions, less than 1 percent of the population paid income taxes at the rate of only 1 percent of net income.

This document settled the constitutional question of how to tax income and, by so doing, effected dramatic changes in the American way of life.

(Information excerpted from Milestone Documents in the National Archives [Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995] pp. 69–73.)

 Page URL:  http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=57

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Apportionment and The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution

Fred Elbel.

Website by Fred Elbel, Elbel Consulting Services, LLC

Political representation in the United States is based upon creating constituencies in proportion to geographical areas. The US House of Representatives, for example, delimits seats proportionally between states. The states, in turn, create districts in which House members run.

The decennial US Census has been used since 1790 as the basis for the United States representational form of government. As a result of growing population, the number of House members eventually quadrupled in size. In 1911, the number of Representatives was therefore fixed at 435.

In principle, districts are reapportioned every ten years after the decennial US Census. The number of districts apportioned to each state is defined by Congress, in accordance with Title 2 of US Code. (In practice, the two major political parties vie for control of reapportionment in order to maximize their respective constituency bases). During the 1960s, the Supreme Court ruled in a series of cases that congressional and state legislative districts must consist of relatively equal populations. Specifically, the Court’s decision in Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) mandated that states apportion congressional district boundaries based strictly according to population.

Malapportionment can occur in the states as a result of failures to reapportion after significant population shifts within established districts. The resulting effect is that in a given House district, a House member can end up representing a much larger number of voters as compared with another district. The result is that citizens in the larger district have less direct access to, and influence upon, their elected Representative – thus diluting the principle of “one man, one vote”, which has been upheld by the US Supreme Court.1

Reapportionment based on non-citizens

As the number of US House seats is fixed at 435, reapportionment means that if a given state gains a House district, another state must lose one. If (illegal alien non-citizens are counted in the decennial Census upon which districts are apportioned, then states with larger illegal alien populations are likely to end up with more districts and therefore more representation in the House. This effectively dilutes the votes of citizens in states having relatively low populations of illegal aliens.

Similarly, congressional districts in those states with proportionately higher numbers of illegal aliens end up representing a large illegal alien, non-citizen, non-enfranchised population.

Illegal immigration has the same effect on presidential elections because the Electoral College is based on the size of congressional delegations. Indeed, the presence of all foreign-born persons in 2000 (naturalized citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens) redistributed 16 seats, up from 12 seats in 1990.5

For example, in Southern California, several districts contain less than half of the eligible voters found in districts in other states.2 Indeed, 43 percent of the population in California’s 31st district is made up of non-citizens, while in the 34th district, 38 percent are non-citizens. In Florida’s 21st district, 28 percent of the population is non-citizen, and in New York’s 12th district the number is 23 percent.5 The presence of illegal aliens in other states caused Indiana, Michigan, and Mississippi to each lose one seat in the House in 2000, while Montana failed to gain a seat it otherwise would have. In addition, the presence of all non-citizens in the Census redistributed a total of nine seats.5

Apportionment Solutions

Reapportionment weighted by the presence of illegal alien noncitizens is notably unfair to American citizens (both natural-born and naturalized), and clearly violates the principle of “one man, one vote”.

The most obvious solution to this inequity is to stop counting noncitizens for purposes of apportionment. Article 1 Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that a census be conducted every 10 years expressly for the purpose of apportioning seats in the House of Representatives. Yet the Constitution does not specify the method of apportionment, or the composition of the population to be apportioned. Since the original 1790 apportionment, several different methods have been used, with the method of Equal Proportions being used since 1940.

Precedent is established in that Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment both explicitly exclude non-taxed Indians from apportionment. In addition, the 14th Amendment, Section 2 acknowledges that some may be denied the right to vote. 2

Although the Supreme Court has to-date favored counting both citizens and noncitizens in reapportionment cases, this interpretation of the Constitution appears to clearly go against the Founders’ intent. It should not require a Constitutional amendment to count only citizens for apportionment purposes, but in light of special interest groups pushing for open borders, perhaps an Amendment ultimately will be necessary.

“If, as I suggest, one person one vote protects a right uniquely held by citizens, it would be a dilution of that right to allow noncitizens to share therein.”

Kozinski’s opinion reinforces the concept that illegal aliens should not be count for apportionment purposes.

Given the number and power of special interest groups pressing for open borders, any attempt to change apportionment methodology would meet substantial resistance in Congress. Furthermore, the most serious obstacle to counting only citizens for apportionment purposes would remain: the inability to differentiate between citizens and noncitizens during the Census-taking process.

Ultimate Solution

The ultimate solution would be to enforce existing immigration laws both along the US perimeter and within in the interior, thus preventing additional illegal aliens from entering the US, while encouraging those already living here to return home to reunite with their families.

References

1.   Reapportionment, and United States Census, 2000 (Wikipedia)

2.   James Gimpel and John Edwards , Immigration Dilutes the Voting Rights of Citizens- Gimpel, The Social Contract (Winter 2005)

3.   Charles Wood, Losing Control of America’s Future — Census, Birthright Citizenship & Illegal Aliens, The Social Contract (Spring 2005) [This article is adapted from a larger paper, “Losing Control of America’s Future – the Census, Birthright Citizenship, & Illegal Aliens“, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (Spring, 1999)]

4.   Charles Wood, Losing Control of the Nation’s Future — Part One — The Census and Illegal Aliens, The Social Contract (Winter 2005) [This article is adapted from a larger paper, “Losing Control of America’s Future – the Census, Birthright Citizenship, & Illegal Aliens“, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (Spring, 1999)]

5.   Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Steven A. Camarota, and Amanda K. Baumle, Remaking the Political Landscape – The Impact of Illegal and Legal Immigration on Congressional Apportionment (Center for Immigration Studies, October 2003)

6.   Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Steven A. Camarota, Leon F. Bouvier, Godfrey Jin-Kai Li, and Hong Dan, Remaking the Political Landscape – How Immigration Redistributes Seats in the House (Center for Immigration Studies, October 1998)

7.   Mark Krikorian, Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Steven Camarota, Noah M. J. Pickus, Remaking The Political Landscape: The Impact of Illegal and Legal Immigration on Congressional Apportionment, Panel Discussion Transcript, Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. (Center for Immigration Studies, October 23, 2003)

8.   Steven A. Camarota, The Impact of Non-Citizens on Congressional Apportionment, Testimony prepared for the House Subcommittee on Federalism and the Census (Center for Immigration Studies, December 6, 2005)

9.   Leon F. Bouvier, The Impact of Immigration on Congressional Representation (Center for Immigration Studies, July, 1988)

10.   Steven A. Camarota Rotten Boroughs – Immigration’s Effect on the Redistribution of House Seats (Center for Immigration Studies, Fall, 1998)

11.   Dudley. L. Poston, “The U.S. Census and Congressional apportionment”, Jr. (Society, 34, March-April 1997, pp.36-44)

12.   Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Leon F. Bouvier, and Hong Dan, “The Impacts of apportionment Method and Legal and Illegal Immigration on Congressional apportionment in the Year 2000”, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Demographic Association, Orlando, Florida (September 25-27, 1997)

The U. S. Constitution and Sharia Law

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Throughout the history of this world there really have only been two kinds of law. We have given these systems of law very descriptive and easy names to remember. They are Rulers’ Law and People’s Law. Every legal system can fit under one of these two broad banners. Under Ruler’s Law, the king or dictator makes the law. Under People’s Law, the people make or accept the law by which they live. It is interesting that some of the most dominant kinds of legal systems have come about when it is claimed to emanate from God. Under Ruler’s Law, if the ruler can make the people believe he has a divine right to rule, he can persuade the people to do about anything and the use of force becomes acceptable to many people if done in the name of God. Under People’s Law, as was the case in Ancient Israel, when the people accepted Jehovah as their King and accepted His laws as their laws, it had a powerful persuasiveness to right actions. The major differe nce was that there was no use of force. Not even God would force a leader or laws on a people they did not willingly accept, because He respects the agency of man. Religion has been a powerful force throughout history in either types of law.

In following the example of Ancient Israel, America’s Founders set forth laws based on the laws of nature and of nature’s God. It has catapulted the United States to an unmatched position as the most prosperous and freest nation on earth.

Now we are faced with the same kind of threat that has been seen in the past-a system of compulsory laws which has the use of force at its very core and which claims to emanate from God. It is called Sharia Law.

In 2010, an exhaustive study was published by a group of top security policy experts concerned with the preeminent totalitarian threat of our time: the legal-political-military doctrine known within Islam as Shariah. The study was designed to provide a “second opinion” on the official assessments of this threat as put forth by the United States government, which assessments included co-existence, accommodation, and even submission. By permission, much of the following is taken from this study.

What is Sharia?

The Arabic word “shariah,” according to one modern English-language student textbook on Islam, “literally means a straight path (Quran 45:18) or an endless supply of water. It is the term used to describe the rules of the lifestyle ordained by Allah. In more practical terms, shariah includes all the do’s and don’ts of Islam.” In other words, shariah is held by mainstream Islamic authorities – not to be confused with “radical,” “extremist” or “political” elements said to operate at the fringes of Islam – to be the perfect expression of divine will and justice and thus is the supreme law that must comprehensively govern all aspects of Muslims’ lives, irrespective of when or where they live. Shariah is characterized as a “complete way of life” (social, cultural, military, religious, and political), governed from cradle to grave by Islamic law.

While there are a few additional sources for sharia, the most notable and authoritative is the Quran. In Islamic parlance, the Quran is considered to be the uncreated word of Allah. According to Muslim belief, it has existed since the beginning of time and was revealed by the Archangel Gabriel in the 7th Century to the Prophet Mohammed in the Arabic language of his homeland. It is interesting to note that the verses in the Quran are not compiled in chronological order of revelations but are organized from longest to shortest. This presents confusion in trying to read the Quran. Also, there is really no central authority to clarify or interpret the versus, so many are left to their own understanding of the writings.

While many, many millions of Muslims around the world do not practice their faith in a manner consistent with shariah, those who do practice shariah have grounds for arguing that their version of Islam is the authoritative one because of the Islamic doctrine of abrogation-which holds that the later verses supersedes or abrogates the earlier ones. As a result, the later verses become much more violent and forceful in relation to non-Muslims. For example:

“Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever ye find them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war. But if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Q 9:5)

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they are of the people of the Book [meaning Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [taxes on non-Muslims] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Q 9:29)

Shariah is Anti-Constitutional

Whether pursued through the violent form of jihad (holy war) or stealthier practices that shariah Islamists often refer to as “dawa” (the “call to Islam”), shariah rejects fundamental premises of American society and values:

  1. the bedrock proposition that the governed have a right to make law for themselves;

  2. the democratic republic governed by the Constitution;

  3. freedom of conscience; individual liberty

  4. freedom of expression (including the liberty to analyze and criticize shariah);

  5. economic liberty (including private property);

  6. equal treatment under the law (including that of men and women, and of Muslims and non-Muslims);

  7. freedom from cruel and unusual punishments; an unequivocal condemnation of terrorism (i.e., one that is based on a common sense meaning of the term and does not rationalize barbarity as legitimate “resistance”); and

  8. an abiding commitment to deflate and resolve political controversies by the ordinary mechanisms of our democratic republic, not wanton violence. The subversion campaign known as “civilization jihad” must not be confused with, or tolerated as, a constitutionally protected form of religious practice. Its ambitions transcend what American law recognizes as the sacrosanct realm of private conscience and belief. It seeks to supplant our Constitution with its own totalitarian framework.

America’s Founders and Islam

America’s earliest presidents best understood these founding principles. They were not only deeply involved with their formal adoption, but they were professionally competent in explaining them. When confronted with an Islamic threat, they took the effort to consult primary sources and to conduct competent analysis of that threat.

In 1786, Thomas Jefferson, ambassador to France, and John Adams, ambassador to England, met with the emissary of the Islamic potentates of Tripoli to Britain, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, regarding the demands for tribute being made at the time by the so-called Barbary Pirates.

Afterwards, Jefferson and Adams sent a four-page report to the Congress describing this meeting. The relevant portion of their report reads:

“We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the Grounds of their pretentions to make war upon Nations who had done them no Injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.

“The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their prophet, that it was written in their Qur’an, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman [Muslim] who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

John Adams’ son and our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, whose formative years coincided with the founding of the republic, offers further insights into the early presidents’ views on this subject. Like many Americans, he took an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And, when faced with an Islamic enemy, he understood his obligation to be educated on the factual aspects of the principles, doctrines, objectives, jurisprudence and theology of shariah that comprised his enemy’s threat doctrine.

John Quincy Adams’ 136-page series of essays on Islam displayed a clear understanding of the threat facing America then – and now, especially from the permanent Islamic institutions of jihad and dhimmitude. Regarding these two topics, Adams states:

“…[Mohammed] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…. The precept of the Quran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that [Mohammed] is the prophet of God.

“The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute. As the essential principle of [Mohammed’s] faith is the subjugation of others by the sword; it is only by force, that his false doctrines can be dispelled, and his power annihilated.

“The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.

“This appeal to the natural hatred of the Mussulmen towards the infidels is in just accordance with the precepts of the Quran. The document [the Quran] does not attempt to disguise it, nor even pretend that the enmity of those whom it styles the infidels, is any other than the necessary consequence of the hatred borne by the Mussulmen to them – the paragraph itself, is a forcible example of the contrasted character of the two religions.

“The fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion is the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. It forbids the exercise of it, even towards enemies. There is no denomination of Christians, which denies or misunderstands this doctrine. All understand it alike – all acknowledge its obligations; and however imperfectly, in the purposes of Divine Providence, its efficacy has been shown in the practice of Christians, it has not been wholly inoperative upon them. Its effect has been upon the manners of nations. It has mitigated the horrors of war – it has softened the features of slavery – it has humanized the intercourse of social life. The unqualified acknowledgement of a duty does not, indeed, suffice to insure its performance. Hatred is yet a passion, but too powerful upon the hearts of Christians. Yet they cannot indulge it, except by the sacrifice of their principles, and the conscious violation of their duties. No state paper from a Christian hand, could, without trampling the precepts of its Lord and Master, have commenced by an open proclamation of hatred to any portion of the human race. The Ottoman lays it down as the foundation of his discourse.”

In conclusion, it is clear from the writings of several of our earliest presidents, as well as the texts of the nation’s founding documents, that American principles are not at odds with – and imperiled by – some “radical” or “extreme” version of Islam. Rather, it is the mainstream doctrine of shariah that constitutes the threat to the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms it enshrines. That incompatibility has several practical implications: For one thing, the shariah legal code cannot be insinuated into America – even through stealthy means or democratic processes – without violating the Constitution’s Article VI Supremacy Clause, which requires that the Constitution “shall be the supreme Law of the land.”

Even more reprehensible is the willingness of some among America’s elites, and it would appear even a subset of its elected leaders, to accede to these groups’ increasingly insistent contention that shariah is compatible with the U.S. Constitution. In fact, based on shariah’s tenets, its core attributes – especially its intolerance of other faiths and disfavored populations and its bid for supremacy over all other legal or political systems, there can be no confusion on this score: As the Framers fully understood, shariah is an enemy of the United States Constitution. The two are incompatible.

By Earl Taylor, Jr.

Senate Doesn’t Need Reid to Shame it.

While the Senate fights over procedural issues, and the press frets that Reid has shamed the world’s greatest deliberative body, perhaps someone should remind both the press and the Senate that they have more than procedural matters to be ashamed of.

While the ship of state is awash in debt, and the people are buried under both an avalanche of public and private debt, the Senate has continued to heap even more debt upon our heads.

Perhaps instead of worrying whether or not Reid, or the Senate have shamed themselves, someone should point out just how far removed the “world’s greatest deliberative body” has become, not just from anything resembling deliberation, but also anything resembling representing  the states where their constituents reside.

The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution lead to the direct election of Senators. Previously state legislatures had decided how Senators were chosen. Although Senators might not always do the bidding of their respective legislatures, there was a greater likelihood that they would be held accountable for their actions.

It is hard to imagine that the vast impositions of the federal (or should we call it national) government on the states could have ever occurred had the 17th Amendment never been ratified.

Who do Senators represent today? Who are they accountable to? While the civics books (if they even exist today) might claim that Senators are accountable to the people and that we can always turn them out of office, is it really that simple? Will the average citizen take the time and effort to closely monitor how their Senator votes? Perhaps they will. You can argue that they should, but the reality is that Senate procedure is arcane and many people simply won’t take the time and effort to follow it.

Perhaps, had the 17th Amendment not been ratified, the balance of power between the states and federal government might be more balanced. Federal mandates, grants-in-aid, etc. represent deliberate efforts on the part of the federal government to bribe and coerce us with our own money. They are an exercise in raw power and manipulation. In a world without the 17th Amendment, I’d like to see a member of a state house or senate come back to their constituents at election time and explain exactly why the state allows itself to be walked over time and time again by the federal government.

The Senate doesn’t need Harry Reid to shame it. It has been a shameful and largely unaccountable body since the 17th Amendment cut any real ties and accountability between Senators and the people of their states as embodied in the state legislatures.