Updated on November 22, 2013
Last week, I spoke before my city council about the need to stand up as a city and show support for the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The federal government has painted targets on our right to keep and bear arms and many bills are currently working their way through legislatures at the state and federal level.
Here is the text of the Resolution I submitted to the City Council:
Resolution to Protect and Defend the Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Whereas, a government of, by, and for the people has long been a cherished American value and the foundation of our freedom; and We The People’s fundamental and inalienable right to self-govern, and thereby secure rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and;
Whereas, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” and;
Whereas, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized,” and;
Whereas, the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” and;
Whereas, the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” and;
Whereas, the Texas Constitution, Article 1 Section 23a declares: “Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State,” and;
Whereas, the Texas Constitution, Article 1 Section 29 declares: “To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this ‘Bill of Rights’ is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate, and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void,” and;
Whereas, the citizens of Temple recognize their duty as law-abiding citizens to act in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution, and agree that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed upon by any government or organization, political or otherwise.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE, TEXAS, as follows:
Section 1. The citizens representatives, City Council and Mayor of Temple, Texas, hereby call upon our state legislators and elected officials to join with us in the affirmation of the rights of our citizens under the 2nd Amendment.
Section 2. All federal acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, and rules or regulations of all kinds with the purpose, intent, or effect of confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore, infringes upon Texans’ right to bear arms in direct violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and therefore, any such law is not made in pursuance of the Constitution, is not authorized by the Constitution, and thus, is not the supreme law of the land, and consequently, is invalid in the State of Texas and shall be further considered null and void and of no effect in this City.
Section 3. That all agencies of the City of Temple are instructed to refuse requests or directives by federal agencies acting under unconstitutional powers enumerated in Section 2 above that would infringe upon our residents’ second, fourth, ninth, and tenth amendment rights, or other inalienable rights not here explicitly enumerated.
Section 4. The City of Temple calls on other communities and jurisdictions to join with us in this action by passing similar Resolutions.
Section 5. That copies of this Resolution be immediately transmitted to the President of the United States; the President of the United States Senate; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; each member of Congress from the State of Texas; each justice on the United States Supreme Court; the Attorney General of the State of Texas; the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Texas’ legislature; each individual legislator that represents our district in the State of Texas; and the Sheriff of Bell County.
There’s nothing extremist in this resolution. There is nothing that adds to or takes away from the Constitution. There is nothing that violates any laws or ethics. Yet, in response to this resolution, the the mayor of Temple, Mr. Bill Jones, sent me the following reply:
Thanks for coming to City Council last week. Regarding your request, I am not going to request a resolution regarding the Constitution and a right to bear arms be considered for action by the Council. When we take office, in our oath, we swear or affirm that we will uphold the Constitution of the United States. We have no authority to do anything to alter the Constitution nor do we have any power to override the laws passed by the Congress of the United States.
Each individual should contact their elected US Congressman, Senators and President to let them know of their wishes concerning actions ongoing in the United States Congress. I am confident that any action to try to change our rights under the U.S. Constitution will be met with legal challenge.
You served in the military as did I. We both feel strongly about our service and why we freely volunteered to serve, so I understand why you are making this request. However, it is not an issue for the Council, as we have no standing in this matter. It is an issue for each of us as American citizens to take action and make our wishes known to those that represent us where action can take place.
Thank you for your service to our country, and for your interest in our local government.
City of Temple
There are several problem that I have with this response, which I raised to him and will address here.
“When we take office, in our oath, we swear or affirm that we will uphold the Constitution of the United States.” To me, this is an empty statement. Every member of congress and the President of the United States takes that same oath and look where it’s gotten us. The city council in Oak Harbor, Washington, took the same oath and look how well that is going for citizens. Every Soldier took an oath to uphold the Constitution, but that hasn’t stopped Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno from calling for gun registration and keeping guns out of the hands of Americans (skip to about 7:30 in the video).
I’m sorry, but when a politician tells me that he’s already taken an oath to uphold the constitution it rings hollow. Actions speak louder than words.
“We have no authority to do anything to alter the Constitution nor do we have any power to override the laws passed by the Congress of the United States.” I’m not asking the city council to alter the Constitution in any way. I don’t want the Constitution touched by ANYONE, liberals or conservatives. The Constitution, as written, is great as it is. The only people that want to alter the constitution are those that want to seize more power for the government and further oppress American citizens.
When have cities NOT weighed in on high level national or state issues? City councils everywhere regularly flout federal law for issues that are favored by the Left, such as sanctuary cities, marijuana use, same-sex marriage and so forth? Surely those cities were grappling with issues very important to them – important enough for them to take a stand. Well, the Second Amendment is even more important to Temple – nearly 3,000 concealed handgun licenses were issued last year in our county, and it’s likely one of the reasons why our city is so safe. Therefore, we are duty bound to address any potential threat to our Constitutional right to bear arms. Whether we want to deal with this issue locally or not, we already are. So, if City Councils can restrict the rights of its citizens, why can’t it also recognize them? The truth is that we can.
It’s not your job? Then why do City Council Members have to swear an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution” if they are never expected to do so?! Why bother? I swore that oath when I was in the military – four times – and am bound by it today. Elected representation is a trust, even though our modern-day politicians have made a mockery of it. But this is not a joke to me, and I won’t lower myself to anyone’s lowest notions concerning representation. We live in a representative republic and anyone who swears such an oath and then shirks it as “above his pay grade” betrays our republic and that is shameful. I would never do such a thing, and I certainly don’t expect such a thing from my local elected representatives.
“Each individual should contact their elected US Congressman, Senators and President to let them know of their wishes concerning actions ongoing in the United States Congress. I am confident that any action to try to change our rights under the U.S. Constitution will be met with legal challenge.” This is a great idea, but the problem is that I don’t want to wait until it’s too late and we have to rely on an every politicized court system to deal with statism and authoritarianism. The time deal with and defend our rights as guaranteed in the Constitution is TODAY. What kind of people are we if we just sit idly by and wait for our government to pass encroaching laws instead of aggressively serving notice to the bureaucrats in DC that we won’t tolerate it NOW!
This is nothing but sheer laziness. Mayor Jones may have well just said, “It’s too hard to deal with right now. It’s much easier to just do nothing and let the federal government run ramshod over our lives.”
“However, it is not an issue for the Council, as we have no standing in this matter.” It damn well IS an issue for the council. Our council members are the closest representatives we have. We have the opportunity to reach out and touch them every single day. We aren’t able to travel to Washington and speak for three minutes on the House or Senate floor. Shame on anyone on the council if you don’t respond to our requests with alacrity. The Second Amendment is under attack and I guarantee you that it’s on every citizen’s mind in our city, regardless of which side of the argument they fall. This is an issue that affects our everyday lives – in our school, our neighborhood, our police force, and the entire City of Temple.
To NOT address it would be cowardly and evasive. To NOT address it means our Temple police officers may have to make the choice by themselves under duress to not enforce unConstitutional acts. Without this resolution, they’d stand alone and unprotected. By passing this resolution, our police would know that we stand with them. We refuse to leave them to fend for themselves.
“It is an issue for each of us as American citizens to take action and make our wishes known to those that represent us where action can take place.” That’s EXACTLY what I did at the City Council meeting last week. I want to know where my representatives in the City of Temple stand on our basic rights to keep and bear arms. I want to know, by recorded vote, which members of our council need to be voted out of office because they agree with the gun control schemes being bandied about in Congress. It’s not just “an issue for each of us as American citizens”; it’s THE MOST IMPORTANT issue for each of us.
This response only tells me one thing: the mayor and/or council thinks I’m the only one that cares about this. Well, I’m going to change that. I have only been emboldened to work harder and prove to the council that this is an issue that the citizens of Temple care deeply about and we want to hear from our elected officials what their specific stand is. I will pack the council meetings with like-minded citizens that also care about the downward spiral of this country and its continuing encroachments upon our rights. If the council won’t listen to me, maybe they’ll listen to all of us!
If this is an issue that the council feels is redundant, then there is no harm in taking a formal stand. Other cities in Texas have done what somehow the City of Temple can’t do. League City is just one of them. The City of Rockwall passed one. The City of Gonzalez did as well. Cooke County Commissioners passed one. I could go on. What is so special about Temple that we are supposed to just take your word for it that you will uphold your oath?