Beware the “Whims of the Masses”!
If you are right of political center it is likely that you view the results of the last two Presidential Races (2008 & 2012) as the result of the “whims of the masses”. It is also likely that those that are left of center view the races of 2000 and 2004 as the “whims of the masses”. This subject has been a topic of debate from before the establishment of our Republic in 1776. James Madison is considered, arguably, one of the most influential of our founding fathers and the “Philosopher of Our Constitution” as well as our fourth President. One of the common threads that he and other founding fathers had was that “they feared the masses and strove to set limits to an effective exercise of majority rule.” ; “they did not trust the people to elect the President directly or the members of the Senate.”[i] Thus we still have the Electoral College but have changed the election of US Senator’s to “the whims of the masses” with the passage of the Seventeen th Amendment in 1913.
If you would have asked me, one year ago; “Should schools be gun free zones?”, I would have responded; “Yes, It sounds Like a good idea”. After all of the recent national debate on gun control, I now believe that this response, while well intentioned, was the wrong one. We now realize that gun free zones merely restrict law abiding citizens, not criminals or the mentally ill. In fact gun free zones offer a target rich environment for the evil person with a gun. After reviewing the glaring realities, the obvious solution is to remove schools from the list of concealed carry “prohibited zones”. Thus my initial and well intentioned response was simply a typical “whim of the masses”. My concern of the healthy polity of our civilization is that we regain the lost knowledge of the basis for our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution as well as return to a wiser, less emotional and more logical process of decision making.
[i] James Madison-Philosopher of the Constitution” - Burns