WRITTEN BY CHRISS W. STREET
Because of the Second Amendment, America will never be Cyprus. Senator Ted Cruz may have been roundly attacked by the main-stream-media on Friday for giving fellow Senator Diane Feinstein a 6th grade civics lesson on the Constitutional importance of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms to protect American citizens from potentially tyrannical government actions. But as demonstrated by the Cypriot bail-out, with strict gun control laws that ban private ownership of all rifles and handguns it is easy for tyrannical government to expropriate private bank deposits without fear of resistance.
P. J. O’Rourke famously said: “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” Nowhere can this be seen clearer than watching what European socialist politicians will do to their own people to keep loans flowing to fund deficit-spending on their union and crony capitalist masters. Within hours of the Cruz and Feinstein dust-up, the island nation of Cyprus declared Monday a “bank holiday;” so the government could seize $7.5 billion from private bank accounts by levying a 9.9% tax on large deposits and a 6.75% tax on smaller deposits in order to qualify for another $13 billion loan from the European Union. Bank depositors in Cyprus should feel fortunate according to the Financial Times; Germany had demanded wiping out nearly all Cypriot bank accounts as a requirement for new loans.
Conservative President Anastasiades, who was elected three weeks ago, said in a statement that Cyprus had to choose between the “catastrophic scenario of disorderly bankruptcy or the scenario of a painful but controlled management of the crisis”. But at local bank branches the scenario looked like chaos as throngs of panicked depositors converged on local bank branches, desperately trying to get money from A.T.M.s.
At one cashpoint in the capital city of Nicosia, a pensioner couple said they had visited several automatic teller machines without success. “We are trying to pull as much as we can,” one told Reuters News Service, reaching for a wallet containing four debit cards. “They call Sicily the island of the mafia. It’s not Sicily, it’s Cyprus. This is theft, pure and simple,” said another pensioner.
The communist-rooted AKEL party that ruled the nation for the prior five years and had run huge deficits to increase government spending to 45% of the economy expressed shock that small depositors were being forced to take a hair-cut on their savings. The socialist Edek party called EU demands “absurd”. “This is unacceptably unfair and we are against it,” said Adonis Yiangou of the Greens Party.
The government of Cyprus isn’t too afraid that the common people will rise up in violent revolutionary anger, because private citizens are completely forbidden from owning handguns or any caliber rifle. Vice President Joe Biden may be relieved to know that registered shotguns are allowed, but all ammunition sales must be recorded. Shotguns are also limited to two rounds, with pump actions and semiautomatics prohibited.
Sebastien Galy of Society General Bank, who had been predicting a new eurozone “shockwave” this spring with a general election in Germany only six months away and voters seeming ready to blame the ruling party for bailing out spend-thrift Southern Europeans. But Galy was surprised at the harsh terms of the Cypriot bailout: “This will probably go down as an ill-thought-out rescue plan with consequences for peripheral Europe. “It breaks a cardinal rule — namely, public trust on which money relies.”
Seizing the bank accounts of little Cyprus that makes up only .02% of Europe’s economy may not seem like a big deal, but broken public trust could cause bank runs in peripheral Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. There is little risk of violent resistance, given that these European countries have very tight gun control laws similar to Section 149.26 of the Spanish Constitution: “The State shall have exclusive competence over … the regime for the production, trading, holding and use of weapons”.
After watching how easily the Cypriot bail-out robbed private bank deposits, Senator Ted Cruz’s lecture that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of individual Americans’ to own firearms to defend against a tyrannical government action seems relevant to me.
CHRISS STREET & PAUL PRESTON
“The American Exceptionalism Radio Talk Show”
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