My name is Charles Heller, and I am one of four co-founders of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, the organization most responsible for Constitutional Carry in Arizona. I’m also the former Executive Director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, a no-compromise organization dedicated to eradicating gun control. JPFO is about the most ardent gun rights org in the country, and they picked me to lead it for a time. I’m not addressing you as a spokesman for either organization, but as a well informed citizen who is very well grounded in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
For the last 16 years I have been a broadcaster on talk radio, running a program called Liberty Watch, dedicated to the notion that government forever remain servant, not master. Most of the guests on the program are either PhD’s or LLD’s, and the program requires me to keep abreast of legal issues, constitutional context, and issues of civil liberties. I’m also the son of a law enforcement officer and the grandson of a judge. I grew up caring about governance.
To be blunt, the Compact for a Balanced Budget would enhance the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Simply put, the greatest threat to legitimate gun owners and their ammunition is a federal government that has the ability to borrow and spend without limit on efforts to restrict the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Please do not listen to those who “cry wolf,” who say that a compact-controlled Article V convention, which is exclusively focused on proposing a balanced budget amendment, would somehow endanger the Second Amendment. Not supporting the Compact for a Balanced Budget, endangers our way of life, including our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
There is no credible Right to Keep and Bear Arms Organization which stands in opposition to the Compact for a Balanced Budget. There is, however, at least one organization which dishonestly claims that we oppose it when we absolutely do not. You may have already heard from that organization.
The founders of the country knew that there would be things they could not foresee, so they installed into the Constitution, lawful methods of amending it. It has become necessary to make one of those changes in the form of a balanced budget amendment, via a compact among the states to do so. The reason for this is in Article 1, Section 8 of The Constitution. Congress was assigned both the power to coin money, and establish the value thereof, and the power to borrow money on the credit of The United States. Therein lies the problem. The loan officer also has the checkbook.
There is a notion going around, that if “lawmakers would only obey The Constitution, the country would be ok.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Congress, when it spends more than it takes in, is within their power to do so. We need to change that by the states reigning in their agent, the Federal Government.
There are many examples of operating state compacts. We need such a compact to cause an Article 5 Convention of the States for a balanced budget, or in a few years we will spend ourselves into third world status.
There are many conservatives who worry greatly about a “runaway convention,” in which our other rights, such as The Second Amendment, could be written out of the Constitution. I know this because I used to be one of them. Through very careful study, extensive reading, and many interviews of Mr. Dranias, I have come to understand that a compact among the states is a sufficient bulwark against that, and we need it, but it brings up another problem.
There are people who will use ANY means necessary, to scare people about the issue. A few, are profiteering, or attempting to do just that. For instance, there is a so-called “gun rights organization,” which has falsely and without the permission of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, used our name to raise funds. They have claimed credit for work on bills, and they are currently using our name to oppose an Article 5 Convention Compact between the states.
I want to be crystal clear here – AzCDL (The Citizens Defense League) sticks to its main issue, gun rights, and has no position whatsoever on an Article 5 Convention Compact. That has not stopped dishonest people from trying to use our good name on robot calls to conservative lists, claiming that we are against such a convention. That is playing very dirty.
I understand the Right to Keep and Bear Arms as well as any person in the United States. I speak regularly both on and off air to some of the luminaries in the RKBA Movement, from Alan Gottlieb of Second Amendment Foundation, to Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, and I still have an advisory role in JPFO. I am telling you out loud and in the clear, that the Compact for a Balanced Budget is of no danger or threat to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.