So, I've decided to take a look at the original founding document of this nation to discover the reasons our Founding Fathers decided it was necessary for them to break away from England and form their own country. I'm not talking about The Constitution or The Bill of Rights, as important as they are. No, I'm talking about The Declaration of Independence.
It is interesting and perhaps telling, that the Revolutionary War actually started because the government decided to confiscate the colonists powder and ammunition stores, an early form of gun control, if you will.
So let's take a look at the reasons given in The Declaration of Independence for separating from Great Britain and forming a new country.
Here is the first part:
"IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."
I was going to try to condense this, but I am unable to do so. Personally, I think the original is explicit and eloquent enough to stand in it's own right. Who am I to try and compete with Thomas Jefferson himself? Please read it, it will only take a minute or two.
After this follows a long list of reasons they gave for declaring their independence from Great Britain. Let me attempt to translate these into modern terms.
Ask yourself these questions:
Has the government refused to agree to laws necessary for the public good?
Has the government forbidden state Governors from passing laws of immediate and pressing importance unless they agree with them?
Has the government refused to pass laws affecting a large group of people unless they relinquish their representation in the government?
Has the government called together its legislative bodies in odd and distant places for the sole reason of fatiguing them into compliance?
Has the government dissolved the Representative Houses for opposing invasions into peoples inalienable rights?
Has the government interfered in elections and by so doing, harmed the safety of the People?
Has the government prevented people from living where they want to live?
Has the government obstructed the administration of justice?
Has the government made judges dependent upon their will in order to remain a judge and how much they get paid?
Has the government erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent swarms of Officers to harass the people and eat out their substance.
Has the government kept standing armies among us in times of peace without our consent?
Has the government sought to establish the military as superior to the rule of civil law?
Has the government subjected us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution?
What follows is a reiteration of the previous grievances.
"For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."
How did the Founding Fathers try and defuse the situation?
"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends."
Clearly they did not want war, but were prepared for it if it came. What did they pledge to do then?
"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
So, is it time for a new American Revolution?
It is up to everyone of you to decide for yourselves. The above questions should serve as a guide. The Declaration of Independence lists the reasons the Founding Fathers felt justified them breaking away from the mother country and starting anew. I would be dubious of any lesser standard.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Let's hope it doesn't come to that.