The Corner

Joni Ernst Confirms She’s a Free Woman, Progressives Start Crying

Talking Points Memo’s Daniel Strauss seems to be upset with Joni Ernst for confirming back in 2012 that she isn’t a slave:

During an National Rifle Association event in Iowa in 2012, state Sen. Joni Ernst, now the Republican nominee for Senate in the state, said she carries a 9-millimeter gun around everywhere and believes in the right to use it even if it’s against the government if they disregard her rights.

“I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere,” Ernst said during a speech at the NRA’s Iowa Firearms Coalition Second Amendment Rally in Searsboro, Iowa, as flagged by The Huffington Post on Thursday. “But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”

As opposed to what exactly? The opposite of this statement is the following:

“I do not believe in the right to carry, and I do not believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”

Is there any free person anywhere that doesn’t reserve the right to defend himself against a person who would do him harm, or who believes that, should the government turn, he would be better off going quietly into the night? The notion that the state could potentially turn on its citizens is not a right-wing fever dream, nor was it a fear reserved by circumstances to the Founder’s time. If we learned one thing from the twentieth century it was that the state can be a force for extreme ill and that empowered citizens are necessary to forestall and, in extreme circumstances, to combat it. Is Joni Ernst supposed to pretend otherwise because it might upset the delicate flowers who would rather not think about such things?

New Hampshire had it right back in 1784, when it inserted into its state constitution the recognition that:

Whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Is an outbreak of ”arbitrary power, and oppression” likely to happen in Iowa any time soon? No, it’s not. Is it good to have politicians who recognize that our liberty is a rare and precious thing? Yes, it is. Good for Joni Ernst. She sounds like somebody we need in the United States Senate.

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