HomeJoinMissionAbout UsLinksActivism

It’s Independence Day, and I’m heartbroken

By Nicki Fellenzer

I’m heartbroken because the United States I cherish and adore has slipped between our fingers and is hurtling toward the epitome of the nation my parents and I escaped in 1980 – the former USSR. And as I watch the fireworks exploding over the rooftops of my neighborhood, the cookouts, the flags and the patriotic spirit of my neighbors, I have to wonder how many of them are celebrating our country’s great history, our spirit of independence and the courage that won our freedom…

…and how many have no idea what they’re celebrating, and are drinking themselves into a stupor, pretending we are still a free nation.

Look, I’m not a habitual kvetch (for those who don’t know, it’s a Yiddish word meaning: to complain or gripe). I don’t sit around my fortified house in the hills with what cowardly newspaper editors would call an “arsenal,” wearing a tin foil hat, claiming the government is monitoring my activities through the fillings in my teeth and advocating armed revolt.

But when I see headlines that clearly demonstrate the demise of the very fabric of our nation, I have to wonder why more people’s eyes aren’t opening wide in recoil and horror.

  • An increased, shrill call in the media to further destroy our Second Amendment rights by banning weapons of homeland defense that make the hanky wringers in the media shake in terror. "There is absolutely no good reason any American civilian needs access to such weapons, whose high ammunition capacity and rapid-fire action are designed for use by troops in combat. Assault weapons are not hunting rifles." Well, gosh, Mr. Editor. Next time we discover yet unpublished documents by our Founding Fathers describing a Bill of Needs, we’ll let you know.
  • Police organizations – or rather the petty tyrants who run those police organizations – are lining up behind Brady and crew to support the destruction of the Second Amendment. They want to ban your tools of self-defense, asserting these weapons are only good for the military. But meanwhile, they hypocritically buy up these crucial tools for their own use. Note to the law enforcement politicians who support the banning of certain rifles from civilian use: You are NOT the military either. If you were, you would be in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act that prohibits the US military from acting as a domestic police force. So if you claim that these weapons are only good as weapons of war and should be limited to the military, you’d better give them up as well.

In other words, if we can’t have ‘em, you can’t have ‘em!

  • Certain treasonous legislators are asking the United Nations to intervene in the upcoming presidential Elections. Tom Kilgannon, the president of Freedom Alliance, said it best, “As a Member of Congress sworn to uphold the Constitution and represent the people of the United States, it is disturbing, to say the least, that you would entrust the most sacred act of American democracy - our presidential election - to an international institution, which is unaccountable to the American people and mired by scandal and corruption".
  • A federal appeals court rules it acceptable for an internet service provider to surreptitiously track its subscribers’ messages. So much for privacy of Internet communications, folks! I’m reminded of our first few months in the United States, when my parents would receive letters from friends and neighbors in the USSR, which were quite obviously opened and sloppily sealed again before reaching their destination. I remember when my dad changed our last name on the letters he wrote to family and friends back in the USSR, so that the authorities wouldn’t subject the recipients to extra monitoring and endless inquisition for receiving communications from a recently-escaped Soviet Jew.
  • Meanwhile, law enforcement authorities in South Carolina who did a fair imitation of the German SS, in their futile attempts to fight the drug war will not be charged. The authorities admit it was “highly inappropriate” for police do draw their weapons and treat students inside a school like crack whores in a drug den." But apparently, according to authorities, it was perfectly legal to do so. "It was an appropriate search… The one part of the plan that's highly inappropriate is the presence of unholstered firearms. That, again under the circumstances, is a question of judgment and is not evidence of a crime."
  • The Attorney General of the United States has recently called for “tougher” Patriot Act. It’s bad enough that, as I wrote last year, "Section 213 of the Act allows police to conduct searches of homes and offices without notifying the owner that the search is being conducted and allows an officer to delay notifying the subject of the search that a warrant is being executed if reasonable cause exists “…to believe that providing immediate notification… may have an adverse result.” This same section also allows the government to delay notifying a home or business owner about the execution of a warrant if a court finds there’s a “reasonable necessity for the seizure.”

As I wrote last year, the above stipulation not only erodes standards of Fourth Amendment inquiry into what constitutes a “reasonable” search, but also violates Rule 41(d) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Part of the “reasonableness” statute of the Fourth Amendment, according to case law (Wilson v. Arkansas, 514 U.S. 927, 929 (1995).), is the right of the home or business owner to examine the warrant for any deficiencies and to ensure that the search is being properly conducted in accordance with the warrant. Meanwhile, under the aforementioned Rule 41(d) “The officer taking property under the warrant shall give to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken a copy of the warrant and a receipt for the property taken or shall leave the copy and receipt at the place from which the property was taken.” If notification of the execution of the warrant is delayed, both the precedent set in Wilson v. Arkansas and Rule 41(d) can be violated.

According to Section 213 of the “Patriot” Act, notification may be delayed for a reasonable period of time, but no specific limit is set, allowing the government to take its time notifying you that your home may have been invaded by “the authorities” and your property confiscated. Additionally, this section doesn’t just apply to investigations into suspected terrorism, but to all criminal investigations, and is not included in the sunset clause of Section 224.

But apparently that’s not enough for Attorney General Ashcroft. He wants even more sweeping investigative powers for prosecutors and police.

I don’t need to go on, do I? I don’t need to pull out article after article describing our systematic descent into what could only be described as “tyranny.” For now, many of my friends and acquaintances still believe we’re free. They still claim that the increased security will help the government protect us better. They still claim that the tiny “inconveniences” we have to put up with (yes, some actually refer to the demise of our rights as “inconveniences”) are for the common good.

I’d like to remind you that “the common good” was a common excuse the communists used to relieve people of their rights and property. “The common good” is a frequent mantra among those who seek to disarm you – those who want to take away YOUR right to keep and bear arms. When you hear someone in power use the “common good” as an excuse to relieve you of your individual rights, run like hell! There is no “common good,” just like there is no collective right. Society is comprised of individuals, and when one individual or a small group of them is forced to give up his or her basic rights so that others may profit, the “common good” disintegrates into tyranny of the majority – the very tyranny our Founding Fathers sought to avoid by creating a Constitutional Republic called the United States of America.

Remember the principles on which our country was created this Independence Day. Celebrate the courage and freedom that is part of America’s history. But also look around you and remember how easily the fragile components of our freedom can be dismantled by the powerful few. And say a prayer of hope that the nation wakes up before it’s too late.

Nicki Fellenzer

Nicki is a US Army veteran, who spent nearly four years in Frankfurt, Germany on active duty at the American Forces Network. She is a former radio DJ and news anchor and a Featured Writer and Newslinks Director for Keepandbeararms.com. She is also a former contributing editor to the National Rifle Association's newest monthly magazine, Women's Outlook and she is currently the contributing editor to Concealed Carry Magazine and writes occasionally for the Libertarian Party. She resides in Virginia with her family. We are also proud to have Nicki as regular contributor to Armed Females of America.

Copyright © 2004 by Armed Females of America. All rights reserved. Permission to redistribute this article for noncommercial purposes is hereby granted, provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety and appropriate credit given.