Independence Day or just a day off? |

Independence Day or just a day off?

The Federal scandals keep getting bigger and more unmanageable. We have the IRS, Benghazi (which has fallen out of the news), AP and Fox reporter spying and the NSA. They are unraveling at such a pace that poor presidential spokesman Jay Carney can’t lie fast enough to stop the fallout.

Before I go any further, we who support the Constitution need to thank Gov. Brian Sandoval. Thank you, governor, for vetoing SB221, the onerous gun control bill that the liberal legislature tried to ram down our throats. While it has some decent provisions, it required universal background checks. It was strongly supported by out-of-state interests stemming from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Again, thank you, governor.

That is in stark contrast to the shenanigans found in Washington, D.C., even from our own supposed representatives. Your every move appears to now be monitored, saved in a Utah facility and retrieved as needed. Even if you don’t use a credit card, cellphone or internet, you aren’t safe. There are drones and satellites possibly looking at your every move. All of this is apparently done with the consent of Congress. Our borders are sieves with the new immigration proposals making things worse. Trust in the government is at a low.

Even liberals are beginning to question the government. Apparently these activities are acceptable until you are no longer exempt. It is naïve to believe that you might be exempt simply because you agree with a current regime.

Most Americans have an inner unease with the course of our country and our leaders. After all, what can anyone really do about it? Here are some starting points. Who knows what you might accomplish from here.

First, Independence Day is coming. Among your barbecue, camping, boating, rodeo or other leisure, the Heritage Foundation suggests you take 10 minutes and read the Constitution. Read it aloud to your family and friends. It may well be appreciated, and after all, it is only 10 or so minutes. You can obtain a readable copy at the Hillsdale College website.

David Barton is a Texas minister and amateur historian. He can articulate the religious founding of the Constitution in such a clear, factual manner that is difficult, if not impossible, to refute. A perusal of on-line disparagements of him simply shows how much liberals fear him. He suggests that you exercise your civil rights when the left injects their agenda into an issue.

First you must understand what civil rights are. The legal definition is “Personal liberties that belong to an individual, owing to his or her status as a citizen or resident of a particular country or community.” A more literal definition is that civil rights are the laws of nature, endowed by God. They are not government imposed.

Civil rights do not include the right to health care, housing, a job, a cellphone, or a car, regardless of what the left would have you believe. By their very nature those cannot be civil rights because they impose a violation of the rights of others who are forced to provide those things. Rather, civil rights endow the ability to make choices without government interference, as are awarded in certain Amendments to the Constitution.

Barton advocates peaceful — emphasize peaceful — exercise of your civil rights when the left attempts to limit them. Use Tea Party rallies as your example, not Occupy Wall Street. For example, when a school district suspends an elementary student for pointing a finger like a gun (actually happened), 100 people should show up pointing their fingers like guns. If someone is arrested or praying in front of the Supreme Court Building (actually happened), show up if you are so inclined with 1,000 people praying. You get the idea, but again, keep it peaceful. In other words, push the issues. The left really hates it when their tactics are used against them.

John Jay, the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said, “You must know your rights and be willing to defend your rights in order to assert your rights.” Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” Truer works were never spoken.

As you celebrate on July 4, contemplate whether you are celebrating Independence Day or just another day off. If it is the former, are you merely celebrating, or are you willing to take action to keep your independence and civil rights? The day for action is nigh. Are you ready? Have a safe holiday.

Tom Riggins’ column appears every other Friday.