“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not
as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public
justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence."
~ John Adams ~
The Wild Bunch had better be
watching over their collective shoulders—Founder’s Ranch could very well be
taken away from SASS and given to a commercial developer in the near future!
Under the new interpretation of eminent domain, all it takes is the local
or state government to seize the property and hand it over to private developers
whose projects will enhance tax revenue and Founder’s Ranch is history!
The United States Supreme Court
has opened the door to allow just such action with their recent Kelo vs. New
London ruling where in a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court stretched the
“Takings” clause of the 5th Amendment beyond unimaginable limits.
They have crossed a very dangerous threshold that puts not only
Founder’s Ranch at risk but ALL private property—including your local
range and your own home!
Amendment V “…nor shall private
property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
That “Takings Clause” of this amendment specifically
states “public use” i.e. roads, bridges, schools, and other like public
facilities—certainly not for the purpose of giving it over to another private
citizen for their use solely to increase local government’s tax revenue.
The Supreme Court Justices know that or they would have flunked
Constitution 101 no matter what law school they attended. When
John Adams signed the Constitution, he reaffirmed “property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.” Please
tell that to the Supreme Court Mr. Adams!
all this place Founder’s Ranch in jeopardy?
Let’s say Developer Dave Inc. wants to build a new community of upscale
homes, shopping malls and golf course. Old
Dave likes the lay of the land he saw while visiting EoT and approaches The Wild
Bunch with an offer for the 408 acres. The
Wild Bunch turns it down—they want to keep their property.
Not being one to give up after the first failed shot, Dave knows under
this new interpretation of the “takings clause” he can approach local
government officials with a separate proposal.
Dave does a little independent research and discovers that Founder’s Ranch
pays the county $10,000 per year in taxes because that area is currently zoned
rural. Clever Dave takes that
information, does a little calculation on his own and tells the county that if
he had that property, he could develop it as planned and that same 408 acres
would generate $500,000 per year in taxes.
This perks the ears and lights up the eyes of local officials who all
vote a resounding ‘yea’ and the eminent domain action is underway.
Bunch is then offered “just compensation” as determined not by the free
market but by government officials. If
SASS does not accept the offer they will be subjected to a lengthy court
proceeding to determine not if they must sell or not but to set the level of
“just compensation.” In the end, the government gets title of the entire 408 acres and the
Wild Bunch is ordered to vacate the land. SASS is involuntarily forced
to fork over the ranch even though they never had any intention of selling just
so the local government can increase their tax revenue—and
there’s nothing anyone can do unless of course the state itself decides not to
exercise this new found confiscatory power. SASS is basically screwed and
Founder’s Ranch is totally tattooed.
can’t happen? It already has in
many cases. Not even a day after
the Supreme Court ruling was announced numerous eminent domain actions were
filed by local governments. According
to WND reports, officials in Freeport, Texas for example initiated action to
seize two family owned seafood companies paving the way for construction of an
$8 million dollar marina!
are a few things that always separated our free republic from
communism—private property being one of those critically important linchpins
of distinction. If this ruling
stands, that distinction will have been severely eroded.
This is as dangerous a ruling as I have ever seen in my lifetime.
To quote James Madison, “Government
is instituted to protect property of every sort. ...That alone is a just
government which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own."
But what happens when
it’s government that’s doing the taking with a focus on nothing more than
increasing tax revenue rather than protecting a citizen’s constitutional
rights? And wouldn’t this be a
grand new way to confiscate local gun ranges which have come under such heavy
attack in recent years? So what
happened to that “just government” Madison spoke of?”
troubles me just as much as the Court’s arrogant disregard for this most basic
Constitutional premise is how astoundingly deafening has been the relative
silence from the legislative and executive branches on such a travesty!
Although a few in Congress have shown some “made for TV” bluster in
the form of token statements, the executive branch has gone out of its way to
avoid taking a stand.
of authentic outrage coupled with their ‘fate accompli’ acceptance of this
attack on a fundamental freedom again reveals how little respect those currently
holding elected and appointed office have for the sanctity of our Constitution.
It also shows beyond any doubt how arrogantly cavalier they are about
their sacred oath to preserve, protect and defend—as if anyone needed yet
another example of that!
view from my saddle…
An appreciative salute goes out to Johnny
the Kid and Cubby Bear for their legal review of this article prior to
Colonel Dan: firstname.lastname@example.org
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