Originally published at Suburban Trends newspaper

Dear Editor:

In the July 3rd Suburban Trends, Holly Ennist Stewart in her "My Word" column starts off by talking about the erosion of the civil liberties since 9/11 (no argument from me on that score, although the war on individual liberty started long before 9/11). From that point on, Holly’s article seems to go downhill (in a leftward direction very fast). Growth of government interference in our lives is actually the fault of the business community according to Holly, not the politicians who enact unconstitutional laws and the bureaucrats who enforce them. Did it ever occur to Holly that businesses wouldn’t have lobbyists were it not for all the unconstitutional regulations they have to deal with?

Free-market capitalism isn’t the problem; rather it’s the lack of it! As to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, what Holly doesn’t understand is that the federal government has no constitutional authority to determine state and local elections laws and policies. I have several of those pocket-sized editions of the Constitution courtesy of groups as divergent as the ACLU, the Libertarians Cato Institute, former Congressman Ron Paul, and the John Birch Society. Not one of those copies of the Constitution shows any federal power granted over local election laws. The powers of the federal government are supposed to be, as James Madison said, "few and defined."

As to abortion, as a Libertarian I believe all people own their own bodies and should be able to do what they want with them for better or for worse. Medical procedures of any type are another area not mentioned in the Constitution, so obviously those things, regardless of one’s personal views, should be private decisions not government decisions, which also means government shouldn’t be funding abortion either.

When we get to the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, Holly, who claims to be for liberty in other areas (like abortion), seems upset that gun laws aren’t restrictive enough! What part of the "…shall not be infringed," doesn’t she understand? If government can’t be trusted with power (and it can’t) why in God’s name would anyone want them to restrict private gun ownership?

I want my liberty pure and uncut without qualifying restrictions imposed by both "conservative" and "liberal" busybodies who really aren’t comfortable living in a Constitutional Republic in which government is supposed to be kept small and limited to barest necessities. With the exception of black people whose ancestors came here as slaves against their will, everyone else wanted to get away from being "ruled over" in the Old World, so they came here where the state was supposed to be small and people as individuals could become as big as they wanted. That’s what Americans should think about not only on the Fourth of July, but every day!

Mark Richards,
West Milford