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Too Much FedGov? Madison Has the Answer Many Are Already Using

Without knowing it, Joe Thoele adopted James Madison’s solution to too much state government, and the movement he started, also without knowing it – called “The Second Amendment Sanctuary movement” – is exploding.

In Federalist #46, Madison saw the danger of the national government exceeding its constitutional limitations and provided the solution:

Should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand:

the disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps, refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union; the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; [and] the embarrassments created by legislative devices … would form … very serious impediments; and where the sentiments of several adjoining States happened to be in unison, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.

Madison’s solutions also work on the local and state level, as Thoele found out. A board member of Effington County, Illinois, Thoele just wanted to send a message to Springfield’s anti-gun politicians. Last April, he said: “I would just like to send a statement to Springfield that I don’t want them to be infringing on our Second Amendment rights as legal gun owners.”

And so he persuaded six of the other seven members of the board to craft and pass a resolution. It not only targeted a number of anti-gun proposals and laws emanating from Springfield, but also demanded that “the Illinois General Assembly cease further actions restricting the right of the people to keep and bear arms” and that the governor veto any future such bills passed by the state legislature.

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