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SINCE WHEN ARE AMERICANS’ RIGHTS NOT “ALLOWED”?~THE PERILS OF OBEDIENCE & THE MILGRAM EXPERIMENT
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- In recent weeks, American adults have been subjected to the word “allowed” at levels they’ve not seen since elementary school.
America’s gun owners have had this word thrown at them for decades, and many have, unfortunately, gotten used to it. Some of us have always bristled at the cavalier way this word has been bandied about in reference to our fundamental rights.
Now more Americans are discovering that it’s unnerving and maybe a little ominous to hear politicians, bureaucrats, and “reporters” explaining what we are and are not “allowed” to do.
While the word “allow” is sometimes chosen out of simple laziness, the word contains a disturbing presumption of authority, which suggests that its use is not always accidental. When a reporter talks about whether the Governor will “allow businesses to reopen,” that statement, unconsciously or not, grants as fact that the governor has the authority to decide whether businesses can be in business. When bureaucrats say that lawful carry of firearms has been “allowed” in the Michigan State Capitol for decades, the use of that word implies a privilege that was bestowed upon the people by a higher authority, and which can be revoked by that authority at any time.
Americans should be outraged whenever the word “allow” is applied to almost anything that they might choose to do.
The word “allow” rightly belongs almost exclusively only to parents, teachers, and property owners. Parents might not allow certain words to be used by their children. Teachers might allow a designated amount of free time for students to work on personal projects, and property owners might not allow smoking on their premises. Those are all valid and acceptable uses of the word “allow.” What is not valid or acceptable is the use of the word “allow” in relation to what a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, may decree regarding the rights of the people.
The government of the United States and the governments of the several states, along with their subsidiary governments, derive their authority from “we the people.” We allow these governments certain powers and privileges, for our convenience and the general welfare. We allow them to institute certain laws and regulations for the public good. We do not authorize politicians and bureaucrats to manage our lives or dole out our God-given rights as they might see fit.
Whether the media and government operatives are using the word “allow” intentionally to suggest certain authority, or they’re just lazy about how they express themselves, the result is the same. They are reinforcing the idea that “the state” is the authority, and “the state” may mandate or proscribe virtually any action or behavior of “the people.”
That’s not how it works. Not under our Constitution and the philosophy of liberty upon which our system of government is founded.
Under our system, “We the People” allow government specific authority and duties, but the government doesn’t “allow” us to do anything. We might allow the government to establish laws and regulations, such as the penalty for a serious crime or a speed limit. But we wouldn’t – or shouldn’t – say that the government “allows” us to drive 65 MPH on the freeway. Instead, we would say that driving faster than 65 MPH is prohibited. It is semantics, but the semantics are important. We, the People, have given the government the authority to set speed limits on public roadways. That’s very different from the government granting the privilege of driving and setting restrictions on our exercise of that privilege, but that is what is implied when the word “allow” is used. The word “allow” assumes wide authority and implies that anything falling under that broad authority, is a privilege granted by the “allowing” entity.
Long-time AmmoLand News readers will recall that I’ve raised this issue in the past. When I’ve raised it before, only a few people, mostly within the gun rights community, have seen the significance of this argument. With the whole Chi-Comm virus mess going on now, more people are seeing the word “allow” used against them, and they’re beginning to understand the nefarious nature of that word.
For many, it’s just a feeling. They’re not sure why, but when they see or hear a report that uses the word “allow,” they feel somehow insulted. The same thing with the term “Essential Workers”. Well, all workers are essential, but that is another debate.
Well, they shouldfeel insulted. We should all feel insulted when any reporter, politician, or bureaucrat suggests that our rights are actually privileges bestowed upon us by a benevolent state, and which the state can revoke for any reason, or no reason at all, at any time. The suggestion is an outrage, and we should all be livid every time we hear or see it.
Rights, liberty, freedom – these are not things that the state “allows.” These are core human rights, and they run through virtually everything we do.
Just a few months ago, it would have been outrageous for any reporter or politician to use the word “allow” in reference to churches meeting. Still, today, we have governors, mayors, and the media openly discussing whether or not to “allow” church services. A major metropolitan police force has declared that “Protest is not essential,” and only essential activities are “allowed.” Gun shops and ranges have had to sue to demand that they be able to remain open and operating lawfully.
Suddenly, thanks to fear of this latest Chi-Comm Virus, the word “allow” is being applied to virtually everything we say or do. That must not be allowed to continue. Every time you see the word “allow” in a news story unless it is talking about what “we the people” allow the government to do properly, you should be outraged and should leave a comment or write a letter to the editor calling out the writer’s use of that word. If the reporter is quoting a politician or bureaucrat, challenge the reporter to question the use of that word, and then send a letter or email to the politician or bureaucrat – and their boss – demanding that they stop using language that suggests subjugation of the American people.
Rights are not “allowed” by politicians or bureaucrats. While the word “allow” can be convenient when reporting about government restrictions, it is lazy, inaccurate, and undermines the perception of rights across the board.
So be outraged. Be angry. Be indignant, and let the reporters, bureaucrats, and politicians know that you’re outraged and that you demand that they stop undermining rights and misinforming the public with their sloppy, lazy, or intentionally subversive choice of words. Demand better. Don’t allow them to get away with this reprogramming effort. Spread this message far and wide, and demand that our rights be respected – in deed and in word.
About Jeff Knox:
Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- I had been saving the idea I put forth to you now for a rainy day. I wanted to avoid scaring anyone as I challenged you to think properly through a subject fraught with controversy. I personally see this very simply, but too few do.
As I pen notes such as these, I know I’m writing to an educated and steadfast crowd of patriots. What I’m unable to quantify is just how deeply you all believe in your civil rights. Scarce among you are those who don’t recognize “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety,” as goes one of Benjamin Franklin’s most famous quotes. We continue to see various states, government sanctions, and high-powered proclamations telling us what we can and cannot do and that doesn’t pass the smell test for me.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety ~ Benjamin Franklin
Do you know where your rights come from? As much as I’m itching to tell you, I’m going to resist.
This question you should know, but if you don’t, search long and hard for the answer. I’ll offer you a hint. I will share with you where rights DO NOT come from. Rights don’t come from man. Why? Any right conveyed to you by man is one that man himself will most assuredly curtail or remove. Think about it. Anything granted by man can be removed by man. Are you comfortable with the idea that your civil rights are offered up by a seemingly benevolent government when that government is comprised of men that can later negate them at will? What about only negating them when people are growing sick? Would that make you more comfortable? …And just how sick would you need to be in order for a man – the man – to remove your rights? Re-cue Ben Franklin’s quote from above.
I’ve studied the origin of rights and I’ve also thought through how those in positions of perceived authority offer you the notion that when they’re in charge your submission is not only encouraged, but correct. During my research, I ran across a study from Yale in the 60s by a psychologist named Stanley Milgram. Milgram was concerned that acts of genocide, like those he’d followed during the Nuremberg War Criminal trials, post-WWII, could be propagated over and over should a people adhere to obedience. But it wasn’t simply obedience at the core of the concern. It was obedience to authority that was problematic for Milgram. Thus, he devised a procedure to offer a test to see how people randomly chose would respond to the power of authority.
The experiment surrounded increasing electric shocks, a “learner,” a “teacher,” and of course an “experimenter” who was dressed in a lab coat, complete with a clipboard, and all the accouterments necessary to ooze “authority” over the unsuspecting subjects. The rates of shock were labeled and the highest rates were clearly labeled as a danger to health.
Milgram sought to quantify how far people would go in terms of obedience while harming another person. Milgram appeared equally interested in how easily influenced or coerced people would become by those in perceived positions of authority.
He believed this would indicate an answer to his question of how likely another atrocity like those committed by Germans in WWII would be. Below is a video of the experiment with conclusions at the end. I suggest you watch it in its entirety.
Milgram summed his findings in an article titled, “The Perils of Obedience” which is easily found with a Google search. Granted, many have criticized Milgram for the testing locale, the use of only men, and some other variables. However, the point was not lost on me, when I saw the rates of shock people were offering coupled with far too many that completed that testing in full.
Authority will make you do things you never thought you would or could actually do. Authority isn’t automatically bad. We just have to be darned careful about Whose authority we’re submitting to and whose we are not. Don’t hear what I’m not saying. I am not for one moment suggesting you ignore best practices when dealing with a highly communicable disease. I’m of the opinion that only a few of us actually benefit from a restriction, as the balance of us love our neighbors, friends, and family enough we can do what is best without the hand of government on our shoulders. What I am placing before you is the necessary mandate to guard your liberty from attack. In times such as these, we see opportunistic politicians and self-proclaimed experts exercising their authority too far and wide. Be careful and think through what you’re being told to do. Watch and compare how states outside your own handle things.
St. Augustine – “libido dominandi” – the lust to dominate – Writing during the collapse of the Roman Empire, St. Augustine offered vital insight into the core premise of freedom. A man was no longer a slave by nature or by law according to St. Augustine. No. His freedom was a function of his moral state. A man had as many masters as he had vices. This precept is the foundation for an intricate form of social control over man and continues to grow nearly unchecked today.
Augustine of Hippo – 13Nov 354 – 28Aug 430 AD
I encourage you all to love your neighbor as yourself. I’ve read that before and many know where. Don’t place them or yourself at risk. But diligently observe the authority figures in our state and nation. Watch both their actions and their attitudes. Are they seemingly eager or reluctant to exercise power over their fellow citizens? Do they incline toward liberty and personal responsibility or do they default to strict regimentation, enforced by the government’s police powers? Those are character traits of which you should be mindful, and they indicate the core of a person. We must choose our representatives and public servants wisely.
Where do you think they’ll land if the government entertains this false choice? Be very careful my friends, it is pouring outside.
About Michael Ware:
Michael is a Christian husband and father to two children. He owns and operates Controlled Chaos Arms, a premier custom weapons shop in the Midwest. He serves as Chairman of the board of Directors at the Iowa Firearms Coalition. The pursuit of truth drives him in research and his writing.
Michael enjoys shooting, hunting, and fishing throughout the Midwest and Rockies. An avid outdoorsman and tireless supporter of all Second Amendment virtues, he can be found in his gun shop, in a tree stand with his kids, or on Capitol Hill lobbying in support of Freedom and Liberty at any given time.