Welcome to the Forest
It seems that everyone has heard the expression, "You can't see the forest for the trees." It means that you've lost sight of the big picture because you've focused on a single facet of the situation. Unfortunately, having the expression be so universally known doesn't mean its warning has been universally heeded.
Today, President Obama announced his executive actions impacting the way - and even whether - American citizens buy and sell firearms. One man has bypassed the entire legislative process to force his version of "right" on the nation. This is not legislation through representative government, it is hubris, and it has been forced into being the law of the land by one man's order.
One would think there would be more outrage over this act of petty tyranny but, if the mainstream media is any indication, this is being hailed as some brave and benevolent act - a gift from our better. The disconnect is our metaphorical tree - the word "gun." As soon as it is uttered, people seem to lose their minds - and their perspective.
However you may feel about guns, Americans' ability to; purchase, possess, carry, and trade firearms is a Constitutionally-protected right, enshrined in the Second Amendment of our Constitution's Bill of Rights. This is the same Bill of Rights that also protects our right to express our personal opinions and religious beliefs; to peaceably assemble; to require warrants before we can be searched; to have due process and face our accusers in court; to enjoy all the freedoms and liberties we - and the world - have identified as making us Americans.
Step back from the tree for a second, and take a good look around, because there is evil lurking in these woods.
If a President - any person, any party - said, "In an effort to curb the horror of pedophilia of young boys, we are stripping Catholic churches of their tax-exempt status, requiring all priests to register DNA samples with their local chief law enforcement officer, and will require any family we determine to be praying 'often' (to be determined on a case-by-case basis) to register as a church," how would you respond? Would it not bother you if you weren't Catholic? Would you shrug and say, "If they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear," and rationalize that they should be paying taxes like the rest of us anyway? Would you demand to see proof that there was a connection between free exercise of religion and child molestation, or would you accept the offered premise on its face?
Would you care if it didn't involve guns?
By standing by in silence, much less applauding this move, we are acknowledging that our rights are subject to the whims, ego, and interest of a single man. We are accepting, no matter the motive or scope, the yoke of dictatorship.
The forest is burning, and the ideals once collectively known as "America" are in danger of being consumed.