Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- An Illinois technocrat has demonstrated the Progressive attitude about the Constitution and the Second Amendment. Representative Bill Foster has a PhD in Physics from Harvard. He was raised and earned his Bachelor degree in ultra-liberal Madison, Wisconsin. In his view, the Constitution is a document that can be re-interpreted to mean different things every few years. That is true in a sense. Amendments to the Constitution can be put forward and passed any time. It is clear a constitutional amendment is not what Representative Foster is talking about. From chicagotribune.com:
Flanked by two area high school students, a pediatrician and the mother of a gun violence victim, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster told a community forum audience Monday the Second Amendment should be up for reinterpretation as new generations come into power.
“It always has been up for reinterpretation,” Foster, D-Naperville, said during an event focused on gun violence. “The technology changes, and the weapons thought to be too dangerous to be in private hands change. A civil war cannon is frankly much less dangerous than weapons we are allowed to carry on the streets in many of the states and cities in our country today. This is something where technology changes and public attitude changes and both are important in each of the generations.”
What does “reinterpretation” mean? It means you take the same words in the Constitution, and apply a different meaning to them. If you can do that, the Constitution only means what you want it to mean, when you want it to mean it. If Representative Foster means that legislators, such as himself, should change the meaning of the Constitution when they wish it, then Constitutional limits on government power mean nothing. Much of the purpose of the Constitution was to limit government power, to provide stability, to prevent rapid, radical change in the laws.
The Representative mentions technology changes and public attitudes. But technology changes apply to the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and most of the Bill of rights. Should we give the legislature the power to change most of the Bill of Rights at will?
The Constitution is designed as a structure of government to moderate and delay change so as to prevent hurried legislation in response to emotional public reactions.
In short, Representative Foster is talking about scrapping the Constitution and ruling by legislative fiat. That has always been the Progressive way. From heritage.org, a quote from Charles Merriam, an early, leading Progressive political scientist:
The individualistic ideas of the “natural right” school of political theory, endorsed in the Revolution, are discredited and repudiated…. The origin of the state is regarded, not as the result of a deliberate agreement among men, but as the result of historical development, instinctive rather than conscious; and rights are considered to have their source not in nature, but in law.
Progressives believe that experts should rule society, that the “average man” is incapable of knowing their own best interest. Progressives believe there is no absolute right and wrong. Right and wrong are defined by Progressives and their experts at any particular time.
Progressives see the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as obstacles to be overcome, not pillars of American society that must be defended.
Progressives generally view the State as god, or at least the manifestation of God on earth. Right is anything that advances Progressivism. Wrong is anything that hinders the Progressive agenda.
President Wilson, one of the political foundational Progressives, is attributed as believing that “limits on government power should be abolished”
Representative Foster is an iconic technocrat. After working as a government scientist for his career, he was able to win a seat in the House of Representatives. He does not believe in natural law. He does not take his oath of office seriously. No Progressive does. To Progressives, oaths, natural law, the Constitution, are all outdated concepts to be placed in the dustbin of history in order to achieve power. Setting aside the Constitutional questions, Foster ignores facts, and lies to advance his agenda.
Foster is a scientist. He understands how to lie with statistics. His prowess at doing so is shown below:
“I doubt that's the most effective way to control gun violence,” Foster said. “The most accurate predictor of the rate of gun homicides, if you look at the statistics, is actually the number of guns per person in the state or in the community.”
That is an irrelevant conclusion. “Gun violence” is a propaganda term. It is not germane to the argument about the effectiveness of legislation. It does not matter to a victim if they die from a gunshot, or because they did not have a gun to defend themselves. If they die from a club, or a knife, or a bombing, they are still dead. If a country institutes restrictive gun legislation, and the homicide rate increases, the legislation is a failure for its stated purpose. It is irrelevant if the number deaths inflicted with guns goes down. It is the total, unjustified homicide rate that matters. John Lott says that every country that instituted gun bans saw increases in the homicide rate. From crimeresearch.org:
One thing gun control advocates such as Vox would never mention is that every single time that guns are banned — either all guns or all handguns — homicide/murder rates rise. This is a remarkable fact.
It would be unsurprising that if there are more guns, there are more gun homicides. If there are more cars, there are more car accidents. If there are more hospitals, more people die in hospitals.
What is surprising is that as the number of guns has increased in the United States over the last 30 years, the rate of gun homicides and gun accidents has decreased dramatically. Foster may not know this. Progressives are notoriously good at ignoring facts. As a scientist, he should know it. As a Progressive, it is “crimethink” as described in the novel, 1984. That fact contradicts his assertions, even about “gun homicides”.
Anyone can find “experts” to show statistics that agree with their position. That is the foundational weakness of Progressivism. Choose your expert, and you get the policies you want.
Representative Foster does not think you are smart enough to rule yourself. He does not think you will recognize his use of statistics to lie, or he would use other methods.
Improved technological communications allow everyone to contrast competing expert opinions and construct their own. That technology is changing all the Progressive assumptions about their ability to “construct consent” and rule as technological elites.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.