By C. Richard Archie (West TN Director, Tennessee Firearms Association) –
It is election season in Tennessee. In a State that portends to be protective of personal property rights, it is imperative that the voters understand the rules (you can bet the legislature knows them) and how those rules are used to light-finger your goods…
Enumerated in our Declaration of Rights are the following two Sections which are the sum total of the mention of property Rights. From Article 1:
Section 8. That no man shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.
Section 21. That no man’s particular services shall be demanded, or property taken, or applied to public use, without the consent of his representatives, or without just compensation being made therefore.
Per the first Section, understand that legally, your peers, which in this case means any elected official you put into office, have the power to take your property (or life depending on the circumstance) as it is laid out in plain language for those who take the time to read and understand the implications. That post can be City, County or State, even your HOA. As such it requires you to vet the candidates thoroughly, it is necessary for representative government.
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With respect to the later section, be careful how you choose your elected employees. You vest them with the power to choose what portions of your property you may keep. The ability to tax removes your property slowly under cover, and like the proverbial frog in the pot, one may not notice incremental usurpation if it is gentle enough in its application until critical mass is achieved. Be cognizant that the actors given power to govern can claim your property, and decide its value. Prudence therefore requires cautious inspection of the character and history of those we place in positions to make rules.
Elected governments pick winners and losers every day, and they dole your property out to their friends sans your consideration (if ever there was proof of this, the recent Titans spectacle should be it).
Tennessee had taken millions of dollars over expected revenues into its coffers over the last several years, more than is necessary to operate the government in its prescribed manner (The Budget) resulting in a large surplus. What becomes of the overage, is it delivered back to the People? Or, does it become the basis for grants to purchase votes in upcoming elections at the personal prerogative of the Governor (that amount the General Assembly did not vote to give a way)?
Daily the cost of living goes up, the rate of inflation staggers the imagination, the more things cost the more taxes we pay. Seniors on fixed incomes watch their savings devalue with each sunrise, and yet we give huge sums of our tax money to private businesses for the support of the circus.
Jefferson said “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
Seems some retrospect to Rome would be proper……make sure the votes you cast go to those who have passed the sniff test!