Category Archives: Importante

Right to Protest

In light of recent events, Bandolero believes we should take a look at the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It’s amazing how much can be said with so few words!

It has lately been repeatedly said that protesters were exercising their First Amendment rights. Apparently, it is asserted that a “protest” is covered by “freedom of speech”. Bandolero doesn’t see that. A protest seems more appropriately to fall under “petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. In either case, Bandolero cannot find any right to pillage and vandalize property, nor any right to stop traffic, nor any right to throw water bottles and other projectiles at police, nor any right to assault and batter people. Nevertheless, all of these are being embraced as forms of “protest” protected by the First Amendment. It appears that they have overlooked the word “peaceably”. Or, perhaps, they have re-defined the word “peaceably” so that all of those activities are now considered to be peaceful. Bandolero shakes his head in dismay and disappointment. No, they are not peaceful.

Bandolero wonders if there’s any difference between a “protest” and a “demonstration”. In the 1960’s, large gatherings and marches were usually referred to as demonstrations; participants were demonstrators. Their purpose was to publicize things the demonstrators considered to be violations of the rights of, or injustices committed against, certain people, usually black people although native Americans got quite a number of demonstrations. Generally, the demonstrations were done “peaceably”, and served to petition the government for redress of grievances. The recent “protests”, on the other hand, have served to display outrage and express the sentiment, “I’m not going to take it any more!” That may amount to a form of petition for redress. However, there is no Constitutional right to petition for redress by breaking windows, spraying graffiti, throwing hard objects, looting, or assaulting; nor are such activities covered by freedom of speech. They aren’t speech, they are crimes; although, listening to some of the protesters, they seem to be asserting that the commission of a crime is a form of speech. Hmm, Bandolero may need to review his legal history, as he can’t recall whether burning draft cards and/or the flag was finally decided to be a form of speech protected by the First Amendment! Still, those would be victimless crimes, at least! We heard several talking heads assert that the destruction of a few small businesses and the beatings of a few innocent civilians was a small price to pay in relation to the bigger picture of protesting systemic racism in America. As if they never heard the phrase “slippery slope”.

Recently, large noisy rancorous in-your-face antagonistic car-bombing store-looting gatherings of people have been referred to as protests rather than as demonstrations; the talking heads being quick to assert that the violence was insignificant. It seems that the purpose of this shift in terminology serves the purpose of bringing uncivil activities within the scope of what is protected by the First Amendment. This is both unfortunate and dangerous. Nevertheless, it can be seen as an element of the left’s strategy to expand the First Amendment and bring illegal activities within its scope. Bandolero, for one, will continue to oppose this strategy. The First Amendment, and all provisions of the Constitution, must be preserved and protected, not re-defined into meaningless slogans to fit the political correctness of the moment.

Kudos to Kansas

On June 3, 2020, the Kansas Legislature convened in a special session to pass a bipartisan version of the Emergency Powers resolution that was previously sent to Governor Laura Kelly.  The new version, House Bill 2054, prevents the Governor from using emergency powers to seize ammunition or limit the sale of firearms during a declared state of emergency, including for Covid-19.  Governor Kelly said she will support the measure.

Other states and municipalities have taken advantage of “emergency powers” to limit or prohibit sales of firearms and ammunition, brushing aside the Second Amendment of the Constitution. If that’s deemed permissible, then it would be permissible to use “emergency powers” to nullify any other Constitutional guarantees. In fact, it has been used to supersede the First Amendment which prohibits the free exercise of religion. Churches have been prohibited from holding services. It appears that some leaders believe that “emergency powers” can nullify both the First and Second Amendments, without consulting, or obtaining the consent of, We The People.

We are in dangerous times. Be assured that Bandolero will continue to champion the Constitution, its Amendments, and the Bill of Rights. These fundamental precepts of our country were never intended to apply only when convenient, nor without sacrifice. Thousands have sacrificed their lives to protect them and to assure that they prevail over all who would attack or subvert them. Have the people become so complacent that they are no longer willing to stand in support of them? Not El Bandolero! He will always stand in support of our precious rights!

 

Different Kind of Shutdown

We were re-reading our last post and had to think a bit to remember that the shutdown being discussed at the time was a government shutdown for want of a spending bill to keep government offices open. While that was occupying the media’s attention and the politicians’ minds, COVID-19 was already in the wind and getting ready to precipitate a whole different kind of shutdown.

The media and most talking heads have been pretty slow to talk about where we’re headed with this COVID-19 shutdown. Back at the beginning, when people were stocking up on toilet paper and disinfectant, Bandolero suggested that what we really needed to stock up on was ammo. Sure enough, various Democrat/Liberal executives took advantage of the “emergency” to issue orders banning the sale or transfer of firearms and/or ammunition. Kansas, to its credit, passed legislation specifically banning the banning of firearms and ammunition. But it’s not just the Second Amendment that’s in peril. The First Amendment has also been suspended. It guarantees that the government shall not prohibit the free exercise of religion, and shall not  abridge the right of the people to assemble peaceably. Nevertheless, it’s been done by “executive orders”. Some have pointed out that Constitutional rights have always been held by the Supreme Court to be subject to reasonable restrictions, and that the current “emergency” justifies the restrictions that have been ordered. Bandolero would argue that a suspension of Constitutional rights is not the same thing as a reasonable restriction. We suppose scholars can debate that, but far more disconcerting than the enactment of such suspensions (or restrictions) is the ease with which they were done and the blithe acceptance of them by the vast majority of the populace and its leaders and the media which purports to be the government watch dog.

We once saw a list of things you have to believe in order to be a good Democrat. One of them was: “The reason socialism hasn’t worked in the past is because the right people weren’t in charge”. The Democrats have been working hard to convince us that it will work fine if they’re in charge. They are willing to do anything to win the argument, including lying, cheating, and abusing legal process. And they’re winning. Incredibly, they’re winning. Why? We hesitate to denigrate the intelligence of the electorate but, frankly, it isn’t really their fault. The Democrats and liberals have been in charge of public education for decades, and we have at least a couple of generations now who don’t know much, if anything, about the reasons that gave rise to the principles expressed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights; and who don’t appreciate the blood that was shed, or why those who shed it were willing to do so, to give it birth and then nurture it for two centuries.

At this point it appears inevitable that the United States is headed for socialism. To save the economy the government will decide it has no choice but to nationalize certain companies and industries. And to take care of those who don’t get jobs we’ll all get at least a “living wage” from the government; social security that starts at 18 instead of 65, and further provides free health care, especially for abortions **. Mark Bandolero’s words! This pandemic will not only be the death of thousands, but the death of the greatest republic the world had seen. The shutdown of the United States of America will be to the great glee of the Chinese, and the Russians, too, who don’t realize they’ll be next. But, it will be interesting to see if the Democrats end up being surprised. It may not be them who is in charge but, rather… the Scientists! The suspension of Constitutional rights hasn’t been the action of elected representatives following the will of We the People, but politicians following the dictates of “experts” whose pronouncements are deemed to be validated by “science”. And who would dare argue with science? Just look at what it has told us about global warming!

** At the rate sperm count has been decreasing, it won’t be long ’til abortion is no longer a social issue.