By Rich Zeoli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Can you imagine a state banning your right to speak in public? How about a state deciding it no longer needs to obtain warrants to search your home? Or a state deciding to forego jury trials and just go right to execution? The idea of a state ignoring a federal constitutional right is ridiculous and counter to every notion of the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution.
So, why is okay for a state to restrict your right to protect yourself in public?
It's not every day that a personal friend of mine is at the center of national news, but that's just the case with a true defender of liberty, John Drake. The Drake, as he's known to his friends, is a heck of a good guy. I've spent many hours smoking cigars with him and talking politics. But I never expected him to be in the United States Supreme Court taking on the State of New Jersey.
That's exactly where he's heading.
The 2nd Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, not the bill of needs, yet the State of New Jersey requires you to demonstrate a "need" before you are legally allowed to carry a firearm in public.
In John's case, his demonstrated need is his ATM business that leaves him vulnerable to bad people who might want to rob and hurt him. New Jersey doesn't think that's enough. Nor do they care that he has no criminal record and has a permit to carry in Pennsylvania.
The idea of having to prove to the government a justifiable "need" to exercise what is a constitutional "right" is counter to everything the founders imagined when they crafted the Bill of Rights. These rights are not given to us by government. They are inherent rights of "We, the People," and our protection from government.
Imagine if a state had the power to approve public speech based on a justifiable need to complain. Or if a state had power to grant your right to worship in public, only after you've demonstrated a need for divine intervention. Or if a state decided you had to demonstrate a need to not be stopped and searched in public.
No state has the power to take away your liberty without due process. Period.
As of this writing, over nineteen states and thirty-four members of Congress have joined on John's behalf to challenge the constitutionality of NJ's law. More will follow, I'm sure.
Take a listen to my interview with John Drake from my Talk Radio 1210 WPHT show.
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