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The Stench of Privilege

holstered 1911America is supposed to be a nation without classes.  "All men are created equal" is a well-known phrase that describes what our country is supposed to be about.  Unfortunately, it's human nature to seek to gain an advantage over your fellow man, and America is no different than any other country in that regard.

 Nowhere in our culture is the prevalence of privilage more obvious than in the category of firearms.  Rich people can afford to hire fulltime armed security guards.  Those security guards can legally carry almost everywhere.  The average person has to be their own security guard, but the laws are not so generous to them when it comes to where you can be armed.

Two obvious examples of the hypocrisy of the wealthy are Mayor Richard Bloomberg and Rosie O'Donnell.  Bloomberg, the famous leader of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, travels everywhere with an armed entourage who are not subject to the laws we mere mortals must bow to.  Television personality Rosie O'Donnell, who is famously opposed to personal gun ownership never goes out in public without professional armed protection.  

Even though law enforcement officers have a greater instance of criminal convictions than licensed firearm holders (at least in Texas), they (both active and retired) are exempt from the firearms laws of every state in the Union. Many laws allow attornies and judges to carry in courtrooms, but a licensed trained citizen cannot.  In Texas legislators tried and failed to pass a law that would allow them to carry in places that other licensees could not.  (The political outry intimidated them.)   They also failed to pass a bill to allow school board members and school superintendents attending official school board meetings to carry handguns, somthing no othe rcitizen could do.  Another law was introduced that would allow any "district attorney, assisstant district attorney, criminal district attorney, assisstant criminal district attorny, county attorney, assisstant county attornery or municpal attorney" to carry a weapon openly, a privilege no other persons except law enforcement officers and licensed security officers would have at the time.  (Texas recently passed a law that allows licensed carriers to carry openly beginning on January 1, 2016.)

In the most recent session of the Texas legislature an ethics bill was introduced.  Although it was hotly debated it failed to pass.  The bill would have required such things as full financial disclosure, including gifts worth $250 or more and gifts in kind (trnasportation, lodging, meals, trips, etc.) that legislators routinely get.  Apparently that was too much to ask of our legislators.  Everyone who is politically aware knows that Congress routinely exempts itself from the laws it passes that restrain the rest of us.  From the FMLA to OSHA to Obamacare, Congress does not have to comply with the law.  Congress even ignored the Fair Labor Standards Act until the political pressure became so great that they could no longer ingore the people.

What is the answer?  It's becoming more clear every day that the only thing that will save America is a convention of the States to amend the Constitution.  It is a certainty that many amendments would be proposed at such a convention.  Some that might have enough support would be term limits for members of Congress, elections for Federal judges (particularly the Supreme Court) after they are appointed and have served a defined term, voter ID requirements, a balanced budget amendment and an amendment that forces all branches of the federal government to live under the laws they pass.  Such a convention would be fraught with danger, because those who seek or already have power would be vehemently opposed and would do everything in their power to undermine and alter the convention to defeat its purposes.

The founding of our country was fraught with the same dangers, but they were overcome by good men who loved their new country and were bound and determined to create something never before seen in the history of man.  It would be up to the members of that convention to ensure that the founders' vision was not corrupted.