FROM OUR COLD DEAD HANDS
By Mary Starrett
December 18, 2009
Made popular a decade ago when NRA president Charlton Heston held up a rifle and uttered a shortened version of the the slogan, “I will give up my gun when they peel my cold, dead fingers from around it,” these words were first used in 1976 and appear to have originated with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Since then, words to that effect have become a rallying cry for those defending the Second Amendment.
Ironically, Heston , though undoubtedly well intentioned, had become the spokesman for an advocacy organization which has worked against gun owner’s interests a good deal of the time. The NRA, while purporting to defend firearm ownership has a long track record of initiating and promoting legislation which has diluted the guarantee our Founders considered critical to maintaining liberty.
And so, solid pro-gun rights Americans have helped the NRA grow into a well- financed machine that has been grinding up the 2nd Amendment ever since. While writing checks and displaying NRA decals, well meaning folks have trusted an organization they believed had their best interests in mind.Lack of vigilance caused that and lack of vigilance will continue to keep the NRA the overstuffed fox guarding the Bill of Rights henhouse.
Gun owners are not the only ones who’ve been duped when it comes to an issue of grave importance.
Americans who acknowledge the fundamental right of a pre-born person to life have similarly been hoodwinked. Pro-lifers supporting National Right to Life and its state affiliates have labored under the delusion that these organizations have been bucking the baby-killing culture. Not so. Notre Dame Law Professor Emeritus and national pro-life leader, Charles E. Rice, called Right to Life a "barnacle on the pro-life ship of state" and a "frequent embarrassment to the pro-life cause." He summed up the mission statement of the gargantuan National Right to Life as "an organization (that) has rarely met a compromise it did not like.”
Time and again Right to Life has lobbied against pro-life bills, anti- abortion legislation and personhood bills at the state and national levels.
One example was the organization’s aggressive lobbying against the South Dakota abortion ban.
Leslee Unruh, a long-time member of Right to Life said, "We were shocked... that National Right to Life lobbied against this bill. In effect, they aborted the right to life bill."
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, who drafted the South Dakota abortion ban, said,
“This organization has lost the moral authority to lead the pro- life cause."
With pro-lifers like this, who needs pro-choicers? With the Judas Iscariot kissing the unborn's cheek with their pro-life rhetoric and stabbing them in the back with their actions, the butchers of God's children have found the perfect accomplice.”
Once again we have handed over our trust and our money to an organization which has betrayed our confidence...because we weren’t paying attention.
Another area, in which we’ve willingly handed off responsibility, is the education of our children. After decades of watching America’s students lag behind countries such as Russia and the Czech Republic, while education spending continues to rise to ridiculous levels,it’s not hard to understand why the taxpayers who’ve carried a back breaking tax burden have thrown up their hands in disgust.
21 countries participating in the Third
International Mathematics and Science Study, American high school
seniors outperformed only students from Cyprus and South Africa.
One recent Oregon Board of Education decision to award high school diplomas to students who can’t speak English, can’t read English, can’t write in English but who can speak, read and write in a “language other than English” illustrates what the so-called “experts” have led us to. Oregon State board Chairman Duncan Wyse said “if (students) can demonstrate mastery in another language and you’re on course in learning English, it makes sense.”
A research study done by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed our high school graduation rate – 73 percent – is one of the lowest among the industrialized nations; This, despite increasingly obscene amounts of money we’re told are necessary to turn things around.
The “experts” we entrust our children and our money to have brought us to this abysmal ranking. And still we continue to load our kids onto yellow transport busses that take them to ever more expensive government re-education camps.
Likewise, those who believe in limited, Constitutional government who’ve supported the GOP have just started waking up to the fact that the Republicans have, despite being in control of both houses of Congress and the White House for years failed to advance any meaningful agenda shifts in areas such as illegal immigration, abortion, education or spending. And to make matters worse, Republicans have outspent the Democrats each time they were in control of the White House and /or Congress.
The Democrats have similarly been betrayed. If the left of center crowd had Hope there’d be a Change in Washington DC in areas such as war, corporate cronyism, nepotism, scandals and coverups, those hopes were certainly dashed by the Obama machine. Former GOP presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul noted the continuation of the Bush war policy by the “peace candidate” has upset many:
“The President’s stated justifications for sending more troops to Afghanistan and escalating war amount to little more than recycling all the false reasons we began the conflict. It is so discouraging to see this coming from our new leadership, when the people were hoping for peace...
continually seeking out monsters to destroy abroad only threatens our
security here at home as international resentment against us builds. The
people understand this and are becoming increasingly frustrated at not
being heard by the decision-makers. The leaders say some things the people
want to hear, but change never comes.”
Paul, who endorsed Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin in 2008, has become the standard-bearer for people all across the political spectrum who see a return to limited, Constitutional government as the only hope for America.
Collectively, we’ve been lax in vetting the information we’re fed and we’ve been far too trusting of those we put in charge of championing issues that frankly can mean the difference between life and death to our republic. In other words, we haven’t had our guns or our rights pried from our cold, dead hands, we’ve willingly spread our fingers open and handed our rights away all the while laboring under the delusion that other, smarter, more adept “experts” had our backs.
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The lesson for all of us is to look behind the curtains of advocacy groups, organizations and political parties to see if those pulling levers are walking the walk or merely talking a good game. Or as George W. Bush tried so hard to say and failed miserably at conveying, “There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says: "Fool me once, shame on, shame on you...if fooled, you can't get fooled again.”
© 2009 Mary Starrett - All Rights Reserved
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Mary Starrett was the Constitution Party candidate for Oregon governor in November, 2006, a TV news anchor and talk show host for 25 years and a radio talk show host for 5 years.
Executive Director, Oregonians for Life, Board of Directors, Christian Family Adoptions.
She is currently the Communications Director for the Constitution Party. The Constitution Party is the fastest-growing minor political party (www.ballot-access.org) and is made up of Americans who believe a return to constitutional government is imperative.