I’m sorry there was a longer break between Pt 1 and Pt 2, but life had to butt it’s head into my schedule.
In Pt 1, we talked about the general idea that many who consider themselves “Constitutional Patriots” really don’t know what is in the US Constitution. To further prove this point, we must look to something that virtually all “Constitutional Patriots” I’ve come across are not knowledgeable on: State Constitutions. Which is something of a befuddlement – is that a word? It is now! – because if you really know the US Constitution, you’d know that it’s largely based on the Virginian Constitution. The US Constitution does not, in fact, set up a Republic. It sets up a Federal Republic. There are States, and States of Constitutions, too.
And if you don’t know your State Constitution, your knowledge of the US Constitution is null and void. Why? The 10th Amendment, that’s why. While this is one of the most quoted pieces of the US Constitution by “Constitutional Patriots,” it is also – sadly – one of the most misunderstood.
The 10th Amendment does NOT limit government. It limits the Federal Government only. Not State. Not local. But these days, everyone likes to blame not just government, but BIG government. Nowadays, the local township enforcing a rule is labeled “big government.” But it isn’t. That is a lie.
The Bill of Rights is capped with these words: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” That means a State, County, City or Township can do much more than the Federal Government. And, what’s more, it is perfectly lawful under the US Constitution. Because the 10th Amendment, that limits the Federal Government, does NOT limit the States or Individuals.
Nowhere is this more prominently demonstated than the oft-quoted and oft-debunked myth that it’s illegal to collect rainwater. Only in the State of Colorado is it illegal to collect rainwater and even in that State, they have reformed and loosened it up. Therefore, the myth is a lie. But first, some background.
I was born in New Mexico. My family has been ranchers for hundreds of years. My Dad was a rancher, then he went into the farm equipment industry with Bobar, Inc. After that, he became a Real Estate Agent specializing in Ranches. He lived as a rancher, worked with farmers and ranchers, then bought and sold ranches….which means he knew Water Rights and how very important they are. To us Michiganders, Water Rights are not a foreign concept….but something viewed as impossible. But they exist and exist for very good reason. The first settlers to any area in the West are farmers and ranchers….who live in the valleys. Soon, other people keep moving in and moving upriver and into the mountains. These new people that come in can easily damn up or trap snowfall or small streams. That doesn’t sound big, but in the West where almost all of the precipitation in the valley comes from snowfall in the mountains, it’s everything.
These new people that moved upriver or up the hill can very easily destroy the farms and ranches of people who have lived there before them. Heck, they can hold whole communities hostage, even destroy them…by cutting off the water. Here in Michigan, we have water everywhere. In Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, it comes from the mountains. It doesn’t rain enough or at all in the valleys. That’s fact. So, collecting rainwater in a large enough volume kills communities and businesses….and it also creates a massive fire hazard, too. Both are deal killers and both are dangerous.
Let’s look at it another way. When a neighbors tree falls into your yard, does it become your property all of a sudden? If a neighbors wall gives in and a bunch of his dirt falls into your driveway, is it your problem to fix? When little Jenny from next door left her stuffed teddy bear in your Living Room, did it automatically become yours? When your buddies come over and park in your driveway, are their vehicles now your property? No, because not everything that is located on your property is your property. You can force your neighbor to clean his tree up or his dirt, because it’s his stuff on your property. Same with the rainwater. The State of Colorado has laid claim to all the water in the atmosphere that is within State Boundaries…not the water originating on your land. So the rain is like your neighbors tree….just because it fell on your land doesn’t make it yours.
So, the 10th Amendment states very clearly that the US Constitution does not say anything about rainwater and, therefore, it falls to the State or Individual. In Colorado, the Individual citizens have elected to vote into their State Constitution that collecting rainwater is a bad idea. So, yes, banning the collection of rainwater is Constitutional by both the US Constitution and the State of Colorado’s Constitution.
I’ve met way too many Patriots who don’t have a clue….no….more like they don’t have a CARE as to what the State Constitution says. And when that happens, they don’t care what the 10th Amendment really does say…and without the Bill of Rights, we wouldn’t have a Constitution or America. So if you don’t know your State Constitution you cannot be a Constitutional Patriot. Only when you realize this will you then be able to see that some of the rally cries of the Right are, in fact, false. And without truth, you will fail.
The point is, the State Constitutions matter….so let’s not forget them! For instance, in Michigan when a liberal states that the Constitution only allows for a Militia and not personal defense you can entirely destroy their argument by pointing out that the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution allows Michigan to set the right of self-defense…and therefore it is a Constitutional Right of all Michiganders to use firearms for personal defense.
Militia or not, that fact remains: I have a right to use firearms for the defense of myself. Case closed.