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The Battle is for Private Property

Murder_of_the_Princess_de_LamballeLast Friday I was driving across Texas and listening to a news talk radio station out of Austin, KLBJ 590AM, looking forward to hearing Rush. There were these two guys, Todd and Don, talking about a lawsuit brought against Walmart by the family of a woman who was shot by an off-duty Sheriff in Houston. The incident was reported by the local ABC affiliate on Dec. 7, 2012 as follows:

Suspected shoplifter shot by deputy dies at apartment — Friday, December 07, 2012 Authorities say a total of three women were stealing from the Walmart — Tiasa Andrews, charged with robbery and assault of a public servant; Yolanda Craig, charged with robbery; and Shelly Frey was shot and killed by a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy working security when the trio tried to get away …According to investigators, a uniformed Harris County deputy, Louis Campbell, was working an extra job at Walmart Thursday night when two loss prevention officers alerted him to potential shoplifters — women stuffing merchandise in their purses … Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Deputy Thomas Gilliland said, “He confronted the suspects at exit of the store before they left. One female wouldn’t stop, struck the deputy with her purse, ran off.” … Deputy Campbell followed the women to their car in the store parking lot to try to stop them … ‘When the vehicle took off, he was standing between the door frame and the driver. I think it knocked him off balance and in fear for his life, being run over, he discharged his weapon at that point,’ Deputy Gilliland explained.

The two hosts were taking opposite sides on the issue of whether Walmart and the officer are guilty of wrongful death. As you might expect, the liberal was arguing that the deputy was wrong while the conservative was defending the officer. The liberal insisted that the officer was wrong to pursue the thieves, putting his own life and the suspect’s lives in danger. He was saying that police should not risk any life for “stuff”. Like many of the horrific comments on the original story, the liberal made a giant leap by concluding that the victim was shot for shop lifting. He and other complainers ignored the fact (liberals never let facts guide their emotions) that the suspects were resisting arrest and physically assaulting a law officer. He continued to assert that the officer should have stopped pursuing the suspects when they went to their car and in general that law enforcement should never pursue thieves, because in doing so they risk life. Excuse me, but I thought that we pay the police to protect us from thieves and that they assume the risk of loss of life when they accept the job!
I was aghast! So was a caller to the show who made an excellent point. The caller wanted to know where the liberal lived so that he could go to his house and take all of his “stuff”, with the promise that he would not threaten or cause any physical harm.

And then it dawned on me: that this was a major world view difference between liberals (also read: progressive, socialist, or communist) and conservatives (those who believe in the literal constitution and the rule of law, but not necessarily Republicans anymore). Real conservatives believe in private property rights and liberals believe that nobody has an absolute right to their own property. In the liberal mindset, what you own can be taken from you for a host of different “compelling” reasons, apparently including if some poor person wants it. In the extreme, the communist believes that the government should own all property. Lest you think that no such extremists have any influence in our society, hear what Nancy Pelosi said last week, Tax cuts are spending.”3 Did you get that? Her assumption is that the money you earn belongs to the government.

The right to private property has been a foundational principle in English common law which predates our republic. In fact, Madison’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence read “…among these are the right to life, liberty and property.” John Adams wrote, “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” The principle is enshrined in the constitution. The 5th amendment prohibits that persons not “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The 14th amendment: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;” (The prohibition against individuals doing so is implicit).

It is becoming increasingly clearer that law-abiding, working Americans are under assault by a lawless mob believing that they have a right to steal. The Occupy movement is a perfect representation of what is coming if we allow this mob mentality to prevail. (I recommend Ann Coulter’s book Demonic for more reading on this subject.) The liberal disrespect for property rights is the root of their support for the Occupy movement while disdaining the Tea Party which supports the rule of law and the Constitution. It explains their love for the French revolutionary model, with its attendant intolerance, over the American. We better watch out or it may be “off with their heads.”

Image: Murder of the Princess de Lamballe during the French Revolution.; source: The History of the French Revolution by Frederick Shoberl; author: Richard Bentley, 1837; public domain/copyright expired

Rick David

Rick David retired from a career in business in 2011. His experience includes service in the USAF, in medical sales and in operations for an educational testing company. He has a passion for and has been actively engaged in conservative issue advocacy and campaigning for over 30 years. He currently resides in North Liberty, Iowa where he also served as a church pastor with his wife of 43 years and travels extensively volunteering in lay ministry.

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