UA-76843172-1

The erosion of states' rights

The federal government has for decades slowly tightened their grip on the states. Whether it be through legislation arising in Congress, court cases paving the way through the judicial branch or the president exercising executive authority, Washington D.C. is now our heart and soul.

Americans must understand that in our history the federal government has not always been as expansive and encompassing on our lives such as it is today. The start of our country found men who felt as though the states were the entities closest to the lives of the citizens in the country. Much of this feeling came from the grip for which England had upon the Colonies. It has only been since the Great Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal that the federal government has shaped our daily lives so significantly. Today, as has been the same for the past century, we find ourselves with the question of do we want to relinquish more power to the federal government.

The United States Supreme Court recently granted certiorari and heard arguments regarding the second amendment case McDonald v. Chicago. The case poses the question of whether the second amendment should be binding upon the states through the incorporation of the fourteenth amendment due process clause.

We must first remember what the second amendment says, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” We must also remember that the citizens are being protected from the federal government in the Bill of Rights not the states. The question for which McDonald poses is at the core of states rights.

Throw out the argument of being for or against the possession of a handgun and look at the larger picture. If states lose the power to handle gun laws and act under their own power how much sooner will other rights be taken away from the states. It is not sensible to make Texas adhere to the same law as Connecticut does. It makes no sense from both an ideology perspective and economic perspective.

The federalist system we adhere to on a daily basis with the federal, state and local governments is crucial to our way of life. With the building of power in Washington we are slowly seeing this system erode away. State’s rights are being transplanted into the monster that is the federal government.

Every point in our day we live by the rule of government. Do we really want the people who are furthest away from us making the simplest of decisions in our daily lives? The individuals at the local and state level have a better feeling for what is best for us in our hometowns. Gun laws in each state vary and the people are the ones that need to make these decisions. The people will not be given this ability in their separate cities, counties and states if the federal government believes a uniform law suits the country best.