By Shane Trejo:
Nullification has been receiving a lot of unfair criticism from mainstream media outlets for a very long time.
We frequently chronicle the most idiotic, ill-informed, irrational, boot-licking nullification denials here on the TAC blog. Compared to those articles, blogger Emily Bazelon does a pretty decent job in her blog for Slate titled ‘Nullification Everywhere.’
Ms. Bazelon chronicles the now undeniable phenomenon of state nullification that is sweeping the country in her article. She specifically talks about nullification on two different issues: gun control and marijuana prohibition. Her opinion is that nullification of marijuana prohibition is an effective idea, while gun control nullification is more to make a stand than to change policy.
“The gun nullification laws are a sideshow,” Bazelon said. “The marijuana laws, on the other hand, are about substance rather than symbolism.”
She gets it half right.
While she sees the courts striking down gun control nullification as unconstitutional, and basically neutering the movement, we know that the courts are quickly becoming irrelevant. The judges lose their power when the people exert their will strongly enough. As the Principles of ’98 are re-discovered by the American people, more people will be taking it upon themselves to defend their rights rather than waiting for the robed bureaucrats to save them.
That is already demonstrable. If you look around the country, you can see Second Amendment Preservation Acts passing through every level of government. County commissions, town councils and state legislatures are all showing their disdain for federal overreach. People are successfully taking it upon themselves to serve as community leaders and nullify gun control in their town or county. With their success, they inspire more leaders to rise up against tyranny. There is a snowball effect currently going on in this country that Ms. Bazelon underestimates in her analysis.
Individuals are also nullifying gun control with their pocket books. You can see evidence of that when you go into your local gun store. Whenever the feds even mention guns, there is a run on the stores. Manufacturers have had a tough time keeping inventory in stock because of the buying frenzy of recent years. There’s nothing that a ruling by a corrupt court can do about that. When the resolve of the people becomes too strong, nothing can stand in their way.
The marijuana situation also shows that once the states resist enough, the feds will be forced to capitulate. If people would have just accepted the inevitability of federal control, the drug war would still be going on unimpeded. However, the people decided that federal tyranny was unacceptable and won over enough public support to undermine their repressive drug policies at the state level. The same principle applies to any other issue, including guns.
Even though this Slate blogger got it wrong on Second Amendment nullification, the overall tone of the article was refreshing. She didn’t attempt to de-legitimize resistance to the federal government. She seemed to fully accept the idea of people working through state and local governments to resist unjust federal power, and she reported on it rather evenhandedly. As our ideas gain more acceptance with the general public, this is the type of reporting we’re going to see a lot more of.