‘Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.’ ~ C.S. Lewis
OPINION — According to Greek mythology, the founder and king of the ancient city of Ephyra (known as Corinth today) was a lucky fellow named Sisyphus. A one-time Thessalian prince, Sisyphus cheated death a couple of times, so Hades decided to punish him. Sisyphus was condemned to rolling an enormous boulder up a hill for eternity. Every time he neared the top, the rock would roll right back down to the bottom again, and he would have to start all over. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Of course, if it was just Sisyphus, I’d be OK with that. The problem is that we seem to be doing the same thing since 1788. Sisyphus’ fictional fate serves as a testament to the perpetually futile endeavors of civilization, the endless work of improving our lives, just to have the metaphorical rug pulled from under us at the last moment. It’s like washing your car and then watching a bunch of pigeons fly over it, again and again.
The U.S. Constitution is a case in point. The founding fathers created a document that came closer than anything before or since to guaranteeing freedom for those who lived under it, and it seems like every time we turn around some well-meaning idiot of a politician wants to ‘fix’ it. That’s what amendments are for, except today’s politicians always want to take rights away from the people with their changes. It’s like ratifying an august declaration of governance and then watching a bunch of pigeons fly over it.
This keeps happening over and over, but the latest embarrassing example recently sprouted from the 47th state of New Mexico a couple of weeks ago. New Mexican governor Michelle Lujan Grisham decided guns are a ‘public health concern,’ so she issued a suspension of the Second Amendment to the Constitution for a period of thirty days in and around Albuquerque. No open carry. No concealed carry. No Hari Kari. No cash and carry. No carry of any kind. Just no. She probably stomped her foot when she signed her ‘law.’ She seems like the type.
Michelle fits the popular social embodiment of the Karen, with her short, blonde, puffy hair, air of entitlement, and generally arrogant attitude. Which is not fair to women named Karen. I think the term should be updated. Rude, mouthy women who pitch fits and demand to see the manager over trivial, mundane, and imagined slights should henceforth be called Michelles.
But I digress. Michelle’s edict against the carrying of firearms is obviously unconstitutional, according to the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in the case of DC vs. Heller, in which the SCOTUS determined the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. It also violated the constitution of the state of New Mexico. On that basis alone Michelle should be impeached, or removed, forced to grow her hair out to an acceptable length, or whatever the New Mexicans do when a politician goes bad. After all, she took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and then violated it.
Beyond that, her plan won’t make a difference in gun crime. The only people who might possibly consider obeying the unlawful edict are those who aren’t causing the problem. They are, by definition, lawful citizens. It’s like trying to stop drunk people from driving by taking car keys away from sober people.
Below, even CNN hammered New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham by reading the Constitution to her:
And then there’s the elephant in the room, which in this case is the precedent we set when citizens knowingly obey an unlawful order. We saw this happen during covid, when states like California were arresting people for doing things that weren’t against the law, such as going to church and the beach. If we comply, we’re complicit in the violation of our Constitution. We have to rebel or we’re part of the problem. When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.
Michelle’s excuse for violating her oath of office, subverting the U.S. Constitution, and making a mockery of freedom was the ‘public health emergency’ of gun violence, an emergency she declared herself. According to Michelle, everything is a public health concern, from guns, to bacteria, to climate change, to butter. Michelle is big on public health concerns. Bless her heart.
The problem is that, if we allow our elected ding-dongs to violate the Constitution whenever there’s an emergency, they will create emergencies in order to violate the Constitution. We saw it happen all over the country during the past few years. As Lord Acton said, ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’
My advice to New Mexicans is to ignore Michelle’s edict, and get rid of her as soon as legally possible. She’s going to get good people killed. It was far too much trouble to push the boulder to the top of the hill, just to watch it roll back down again.
New Mexico’s state motto is ‘Crescit Eundo,’ Latin for ‘It Grows As It Goes.’ Which doesn’t mean anything. At all. Maybe they should change it. I suggest ‘Peto ut viderem procuratorem tuum.’
Which is Latin for, ‘I demand to see your manager’ . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and minister who is opposed to tyranny, generally. Write to him at [email protected]