Open Letter to Congressman John Lewis (D-GA-5)
June 23, 2016
Representative John Lewis 343
Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3801
Fax: (202) 225-0351
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to you. Having grown up during the Civil Rights Era and seeing first hand and participating first hand in that epic struggle, I have a real clear sense of what we were fighting for. We were fighting for the right to be full participants in the American society. We were fighting to ensure that the rights that the Constitution enumerated would be enjoyed by all American regardless of their race. As you well know despite what the Constitution said there were many, many laws that had been passed by the legislature that for all practical purposes made null and void these Constitutionally protected rights. Representative Lewis, we fought and marched so that any and all laws that infringed upon these rights would be changed and or abolished. I admired greatly your principled stand back in those days and took great note of the courage and passion you showed in the actions you took to address the inequality you saw in our Country. That is why it bothered me greatly to see you on the floor of the Congress the other day using the ‘Civil Rights card’ as a justification for what can only be called shameful and irresponsible behavior. What ‘injustice’ are you protesting? Is it ‘unjust’ for the Congress to refuse to take up a vote on a law that had already been defeated because they ‘believed’ it violates or ignores the Constitutional right of ‘due process’? Isn’t that your job as a lawmaker? Isn’t it job one to make sure that whatever laws are made, that they are in agreement with the Constitution of the United States of America?
From the rhetoric I hear coming from those who are pushing for ‘more gun control’ you would think that the problem is ‘guns’ and that we need ‘more laws to control access to guns’. On June 22, 2016 Congresswoman Pingree (D-ME) laid out the case (that I believe you subscribe to) that we need more laws to ‘keep guns out of the hands of terrorists’. (Congressional Record article 8) She said, “…the NRA has taken control over the debate on guns to such an extent that we cannot even vote in this Chamber on whether we should keep guns out of the hands of terrorists.” (emphasis added) Mr. Lewis, you and I both know that the issue is not whether or not we should keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, but more importantly what is the best lawful way to do that! Furthermore, Ms. Pingree goes on to say, “Over the last 10 years, people on the terrorist watch list tried to buy explosives or firearms 2,233 times. Over 90 percent of the time, they were successful. This is wrong. The American people know it is wrong, public health officials know it is wrong, and nearly every single law enforcement association in America knows it is wrong, which is why they are all in favor of closing the terrorist gun loophole.” (emphasis added)
“Terrorists gun loophole”? Am I the only one who finds it unacceptable that our government knows people who are on ‘terrorist watch list’ that were successful 90% of the time in their attempts to purchase firearms/explosives yet to my knowledge we have no record of them being arrested, jailed or deported? What kind of watch list is this? Are they just on the list so we can WATCH them buy firearms/explosives? What is this loophole she is speaking of? Why aren’t these suspected terrorists dealt with by the laws we currently have on the books? Why aren’t they prosecuted to the full extent of the current laws? Why after 2,233 times is there still NO remedial ACTION by our government officials? Why do we have so many people on the Terrorist watch list? Who are these people? What is being done about them? Are there that many terrorists lurking about in this country that we have to resort to keeping multiple lists? What are we doing about that? How does a person get on such a list? How do they get off such a list?
These are the questions that we the American people need to get answered and fixed! Before we debate whether or not we need more/better gun control laws, we need to debate, and resolve the issues on why our current laws (guns, immigration, etc.) are not be enforced. If we are not willing or able to enforce our current laws how does creating more laws fix anything?
Speaking of lists, why are there so many people on the ‘No-Fly’ list? I believe you have personal experience about how arbitrary, ineffective and borderline Constitutional this list is in a free society. What is Congress doing to address this very serious encroachment upon our free access to ‘public accommodations’? How is it lawful, to block someone’s access to a public accommodation (flying), without due process?
Lastly, I find it sad and troubling that you Mr. Lewis who ‘used to be’ a noted fighter for ‘Civil Rights’, by your actions appear to be completely co-opted and compromised by your allegiance to the Democrat party and its ideology. I hope that I am wrong about this. Need I remind you that the very ‘freedoms’ you marched in Selma for are the ones you are now seeking to ‘legislate away’ for the supposed purpose of keeping ‘us’ safe.?? A wise man once said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” I realize that there are those who debate the meaning of this statement, but for me the meaning is clear. When presented with the option of giving up our Constitutional freedoms for the purpose safety/security, we should say no, never EVER! History has shown that if we fail to hold the line that freedom must be first, over safety/security, the end result is we end up having neither safety or liberty. I know that you understand this, hence my consternation with your position and actions in these matters.
Mr. Lewis, you more than anyone there in Congress should know that to allow the Government to make laws that are in direct violation or in open disregard of our Constitutional freedoms is to pave the road for oppression and slavery. What has happened to you? How can you so blindly go along with this attempt to subvert the Constitutional freedoms that you once Championed? How can you betray the very principles that you once fought and risked your life for? I don’t get it? Don’t you realize that you are paving the way for the day we all will be returned to the government plantation? Why are you helping to enslave us again by a system that promises freedom but never actually delivers on that promise? Why are you and your fellow lawmakers working so hard to undermine our fundamental freedoms? Didn’t we already have a time in this country when that was done? I don’t know about, you but I never want to see those days again! Congressman Lewis, you should know better. I believe you are better than this! It is time to do better than this! Now is not the time to ‘sit-in’, it is time to ‘STAND-UP!’
Bishop George W. Manigault, II
Judah Ministries, International