What Romney Fails to Consider: Myopic Legislation in the Wake of the Lone Gunman at Uvalde
The year was 2012. The possibilities of catastrophe loomed large in the minds of Americans, let alone those of the world. Chief among the ominously frightening forebodings emanated from whisperings about the apocalyptic lore surrounding the Mayan calendar and its completion, a completion some believed portended the end of the world.
Frightening as this possibility was for some, the majority of Americans could care less about traditions from an alien culture, well at least they deemed it such. They had more empirical things to worry about. Chief among them was the presidential election, for the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney threatened to upend the political landscape of American politics. And yet again a strange religion took center stage due to this man’s candidacy, though those with any knowledge of Mormon theology recognized he was a far cry from exemplifying what he professed for several reasons.
This Democratic turncoat wooed some within the Republican primary debates and, like most Mormons, displayed his deplorable ignorance of the founding documents he had sworn supposedly to uphold and protect.
What made this all the more embarrassing is his ignorance concerning what the revelations and writings of Joseph Smith say about the supreme law of the land.1 Despite this, he still won the presidential nomination.
Fast-forward to 2022 and Mitt's ignorance of the Constitution again is on display for the people to witness. This time he seized the moment to accrue quick political capital in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting.
Perhaps the most conspicuous term used here is “commonsense.” Recalling the pandemonium that ensued in the wake of the shooting, the haste with which Romney and his country club associates drew up such legislation indicates they capitalized on the blindness that developed within the minds of most people after having been inundated by the twenty-four hour, media cycle of propaganda. Thus, commonsense had nothing to do with it. Romney asserted he acted to safeguard “the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.” Romney and his comrades purport they maneuvered for the sake of the law-abiding citizens they hardly even know, and yet their motives appear disingenuous at best. This makes one wonder whether Romney’s ignorance of the Constitution is willful or perhaps the outcome of all his years seeking easy riches as an economic hitman.
Embedded within their legislation resides some verbiage pregnant with potential threats to those law-abiding citizens Romney and his cohort seem so concerned about. Note well the unified assertion of these senators.
Our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for student, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can't purchase weapons. 2
Reviewing this draws attention to their focus on “mental health.” A superficial reading of their words disarms the unassuming reader of any suspicions, for their words convey concern for the mentally unstable in society. And here the proverbial lone gunman, long enshrined in the psyche of all since the JFK assassination, provokes this concern. Still, more questions percolate into the discerning public consciousness than these senators answer with their self-congratulatory legislative measure. For instance, who deems exactly which members of society are mentally unstable? Also, should certain professionals gain authority to “adjudicate” at the court, will these newly minted government priests remain loyal to their psychological sciences, devoid almost completely of any respect for religion, in establishing the conventional criteria for determining the sane from the insane? Will other factors influence the decision-making processes these professionals engage in, such as money? These are only a few of a myriad of questions that surface, and, praiseworthy as this legislative statute appears, it perhaps divulges the myopic mindset responsible for ushering such into the legal codes.
The problem comes to the fore when considering the possibility of deceitful leadership wielding this measure as a cudgel to subdue and silence personal enemies or those who it deems a threat to its agenda. Conceivably such fill the seats in offices across this land even now. Leadership of this sordid nature attain office using hollow promises and cultivating the trust of their credulous constituency with appeals to emotion. Do the masses trust too much in their leaders? Melancton Smith, under the pseudonym “The Federal Farmer” and a member of the Anti-Federalists, gave this caution to his audience:
Of necessity, [we] must trust something to the wisdom and integrity of the administration. But the question is, do we not trust too much, and to men also placed in the vortex of temptations, to lay hold of proffered advantages for themselves and their connections, and to oppress the body of the people. 3
This “vortex of temptations” remains constant in the arena of power politics and doubtlessly more so with the rise of technological advancements being at the fingertips of politicians. The vague generalities of these senators’ words signal that political power, coupled with technology, could be used to disarm some of the most valuable members of society: veterans. Not only could this prospect deprive men and women who served militarily of their rights but also the nation of individuals steeped in tactical training requisite for leading potential militia regiments against rogue government agents and foreign invaders. To accomplish this would only require the new psychological judges to label veterans as mentally unstable because of their prior tours of duty overseas. Ironically, the very government that ordered them to fight and die for their country could order them to undergo a different kind of death suffused with shame and dishonor within society.
The nation’s veterans, however, are not the only members of society threatened by these senators’ edict, for even religious groups could face the wrath of democratic despotism. As scientific advancement has progressed in the past centuries, atheism and skepticism began to pervade, and continues to do so, the minds of many within society. Furthermore, many adherents of various religions have relaxed their observance resulting from their pursuit of property and lucre in the wake of these developments, making them potential enemies to the faithful should anyone threaten the system that ensures their accrual of economic goods and affluence. Romney appears to espouse the actions and outlook of this latter group because he has made statements in which he appears to distance himself from his religion to maintain a good image in the realm of public opinion. His attempts to dissociate himself from his faith causes concern in that he could betray members of his faith, and those of others, into the hands their enemies. Moreover, his participation in this legislative effort stands not only to erode the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution but also the 1st.
Material acquisition envelops the majority of minds of people belonging to a democratic society, leaving little time for contemplation of religion. The minimal time spent in religious studies perhaps leads to a distorted understanding of the doctrines given that individuals will leave others to interpret the meaning of holy writ for them. This could create conditions for a watered down version of religion to emerge, an atmosphere that already seems to have taken hold in American society. Such a religion would mitigate any real demands being required of its adherents, with priests heralding the righteousness of acquiring unlimited wealth and property.
But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth—and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet. Yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold, and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel; and because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well, then ye will not find fault with him. 4
Yet some souls among the body politic may find this rat race unfulfilling spiritually and begin to speak out against what they perceive as meaningless activities. Some governmental officials and a great deal of the people may come to think that these dissidents’ words threaten the stability of the regime and, by extension, their ability to procure material goods. If other like-minded individuals and converts made along the way rally to their standard, those opposing will resort to this legislation to quash the situation. It is at this moment the psychological adjudicators would pronounce their “scientific opinion” against these perceived reprobates and deem them to possess “frenzied” minds.5 Thus, in solidifying this view within public opinion, these arbiters inarguably would have the power to strip these souls of their armaments and their rights to exercise their religion as their consciences dictate, not to mention the ostracism they’d face from their fellow citizens.
From the brief analysis provided, Romney’s endorsement of such a law positions him at odds with the Constitution of the United States because it has the potential to allow for the abuse of power against religious individuals and other supposed undesirables by artful leadership. The 2nd Amendment reads as follows:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The security of the State depends on each person having the right and ability to maintain weapons for the defense of themselves, for a state cannot even exist without the people comprising it.
See D&C 98
Melancton Smith, The Anti-Federalist Writings of the Melancton Smith Circle, ed. Michael P. Zuckert and Derek A. Webb (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2009), 80.