When Reuters reported the FBI’s warning about “anti-government extremists” and cited two cases where alleged “sovereign citizens” shot police, I figured it was just standard anti-gun media. But the emerging use of “anti-rights” instead of “anti-gun” is far more accurate.
The FBI has been publishing bulletins about the “sovereign citizen movement.” One indicator that you might be a “sovereign citizen” is:
“References to the Bible, The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or treaties with foreign governments.”
This is curious, because all elected officials and law enforcement are required to take oaths upholding the U.S. Constitution. Here’s the FBI’s oath:
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
Federal bureaucrats used to support the Constitution, along with another of the Founders’ very important documents, the Declaration of Independence, which states:
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…
One of Oxford English Dictionary’s definitions of “sovereign” is: “Pertaining to or characteristic of supremacy…” Taken in the Declaration’s context, each of us is a sovereign citizen, supreme in ourselves. Or as Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”
In this case, the government is required, via the “just powers” derived from our consent, to secure our sovereignty.
Their issue with the Second Amendment is that, by nature, it implies that citizens are sovereign, possessing a God-given, inalienable right of self-defense. It also acknowledges that the government isn’t obligated to protect us, a reality regularly affirmed by the Supreme Court (Castle Rock v. Gonzales, DeShaney v. Winnebago).
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.
On the other hand, OED also defines “sovereignty” as: “A person who has supremacy or authority over another or others…”
When government becomes corrupted, it seeks dominion over, not service to, the citizenry. It sees our sovereignty as a threat to its desire for supremacy and authority–mastery–over us.
One way to condition citizens into becoming comfortable as servants is to subtly manipulate the language until what was once the ideal goal of society–securing individual rights acknowledged in the Constitution–becomes an evil to be castigated and eradicated by any means possible. Thus, the servants become the masters, and their use of force against the citizenry becomes desirable and legal.
Which is why government will always want more gun control.
(See Bryan Preston’s take here.)