From the May 2002 Idaho Observer:
Over Your Head The Sword of Damocles
Dionysius was a fourth century B.C. tyrant of Syracuse. To all appearances he was rich and comfortable, with all the luxuries money could buy. He even had court flatterers to inflate his ego. One of these ingratiators was Damocles who commented to the king on how well off he was. One day when Damocles complimented the tyrant on his abundance and power. Dionysius turned to him and said, If you think I'm so lucky, how would you like to try out my life?
Damocles readily agreed, and so Dionysius ordered everything to be prepared for Damocles to experience what life as Dionysius was like. Damocles was enjoying himself immensely until he noticed a sharp sword suspended from the ceiling by a horse hair. This, the tyrant explained to Damocles, was what life as a ruler was really like.
Damocles, quickly revising his idea of what made up a good life, asked to be excused and returned to his poorer, but safer life.
So what's your point, you ask?
Just wait - I'll get to it, but first...
The following was written in the 1830s by French writer Alexis de Tocqueville:
A species of oppression that would be unlike anything that ever before existed in the world, a rule by guardians rather than tyrants. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances. What remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?
Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of 'equality' has prepared men for these things; it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look at them as benefits.
Tocqueville clearly foresaw the weakening of the human spirit that would allow such expansion of government. Government would first bind people up in rules: It covers the surface of a society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
I have always thought that the servitude of the regular, quiet, and gentle kind which I have just described might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedom, and that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignty of the people.
Here's My Point . .
Of the People, by the People and for the People, has been replaced with, we know what's best for you. The benevolent government control hypothesized by de Tocqueville above has come to fruition. Maybe the feds have killed a few thousand of us, imprisoned a few tens of thousands of us and politically and economically destroyed a few million more, but all-in-all, the feds have little physical participation in our destruction. They simply have a few hundred thousand Swords of Damocles hanging over our heads.
We're with the government. We're here to kill you. Please give us your knife and stick out your throat! We obligingly follow such orders. Stupid, destructive and evil though they are, we follow 'em. Such sheepish acquiescence grants the government the right to continue planting these swords over our heads.
When you buy a gun from a dealer, you must fill out the Federal Form 4473. It asks some very invasive questions to determine if you may own a firearm. One of the questions is: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ADJUDICATED MENTALLY DEFECTIVE OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN COMMITTED TO A MENTAL INSTITUTION? and if you answer YES, you can't buy the gun.
Here's one of the biggest swords ever to be placed over Americans heads. Heard of Prozac? Or Ritalin? These are known as psychometric drugs, since they modify your mental patterns. By having these deadly drugs prescribed for you, you instantly are deemed mentally defective. According to federal Law, you may now not OWN, or BUY a firearm.
Don't worry, though. The feds don't seem to be enforcing this law. Oh, wait! Yes they are.
A few years ago, the feds requested that all the VA hospitals in the U.S. turn over the records of any veteran who has been given Prozac, Ritalin, or ANY psychometric drug. This was to lead to a major gun confiscation program to get guns out of the hands of illegal owners. I broke the story, and the ka-ka hit the fan.
This program was stopped and swept under the rug.
How many other examples of swords can you find? How many other laws sit over our heads, never being enforced, just there to intimidate Americans into doing or not doing something?
In California, a few years ago one of the state's socialist senators revisited California's Deadly Weapons Law. He actually placed air guns (BB guns and pellet guns) in the law as deadly weapons. But they're not enforcing it.
But as soon as the politicians see a noticeable increase in criminal civilian activity, there are a few thousand of these Swords of Damocles that CAN and WILL be enforced on the American public.
Like Grandpa use to say -- never let the law get in the way of common sense.