Sunday, June 29, 2008

On the Con Side

Opinions and pontification from the SCOTUS ruling on the Second Amendment is still precipitating. I thought a sample of these opposing opinions wouldn't' be amiss.

This opinion has the advantage of at least being honest about true intentions.
Repeal the Second Amendment

"The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is evidence that, while the founding fathers were brilliant men, they could have used an editor."

Agreed. They were being too poetical. Save us from lawyers and Orwellian perversion of speech by redefining words.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

"If the founders had limited themselves to the final 14 words, the amendment would have been an unambiguous declaration of the right to possess firearms. But they didn't, and it isn't. The amendment was intended to protect the authority of the states to organize militias. The inartful wording has left the amendment open to public debate for more than 200 years."

The Second Amendment IS an unambiguous declaration of the individual right to bear arms, and it HASN'T been an open debate until about 30 years ago. The Founders knew what it meant, and everyone else did for 200 years. It wasn't debated, and it wasn't ruled upon all that much because it wasn't controversial.

ALL rights are individual rights, there is no such thing in the American system of collective or group rights, no matter how much Leftists wish to believe it is so, or how often they lie about it.

Imagine if the First Amendment were a group right. A person wouldn't have the right to free speech, but newspapers would. You as an individual wouldn't be able to speak your mind unless you worked for a newspaper or TV station or some other group that was allowed to have free speech. That doesn't make sense, and anyone can see how perverse that would be. Newspapers have First Amendment rights to free speech because its made up of individuals who do have Free Speech rights, not the other way around.

Rights belong to each individual sovereign citizen. Yet, some people advocate the notion that 9 of the 10 Amendments of the Bill of Rights are individual rights but for some reason 1 of them is a 'group' right. How strange, you'd think the Founders would have mentioned that. They didn't, in fact its clear - not arguable, not controversial, not vague or ill-defined - its CLEAR in word, fact, intent, and deed what the Founders meant. Personally, I think that most of the people who push this line know very well that its BS, they are just lying.

You might ask, what is that militia stuff about? Its pretty simple. During the Revolutionary War, Washington and the Continental Army were driven to distraction by the variable and unreliable quality of the American militias. Washington wanted universal military training. "Well regulated" does NOT mean in the modern sense regulated or controlled like for example CAFE standards for cars. "Regulated" as intended by the Founders was in the sense or a regular army - meeting a minimum standard for training, equipment and weapons.

What the Founders wanted was a very well armed citizenry equipped and trained to match a military standard and forming their own militias for mutual defence of their rights and nation.

Before I get comments from silly people, personal arms means rifles pistols and shotguns, not cannons or nukes, so spare me that argumentum ad absurdum.

Speaking of absurd:
Make firearms manufacturers figure out how to reduce the 12,000 shooting deaths each year.

"This year, about 12,000 Americans will be shot to death. It's a staggering figure, and even though lawmakers have continued to pass gun-control laws to try to bring the number down, they have not significantly reduced the murder rate. Indeed, for the last decade, guns have steadily remained the cause of about two-thirds of all homicides."

First: "staggaring figure", not really. Its actually a very small figure in comparison to population. Less staggering yet once the factors such as drugs and criminal background are considered. A man murdering his wife is a horrible crime, drug dealers shooting eachother is less surprising.
Gun manufacturers insist that these deaths are not their fault, preferring to pin the blame on criminals and irresponsible dealers. They have fiercely resisted even minimal restrictions on sales and have simultaneously washed their hands of responsibility for this "collateral damage."

I don't know anyone in the firearms industry who thinks of it as 'collateral damage' I think the author is making that up. Criminals ARE responsible for murders. Duh.
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court made the problem a little more difficult to solve, ruling in District of Columbia vs. Heller that the individual's right to bear arms is indeed protected by the 2nd Amendment -- and making it clear that some laws banning guns would have a difficult time passing constitutional muster in the future.

"Harder to solve" In what way? WAshington DC's laws were both unconstiutional and they DIDN'T WORK. Whereas states like, for example, South Dakota have very few restrictions on firearms and a very heavily armed citizenry - and few crimes. Harder to solve? Maybe DC and Chicago should adopt our laws to solve their crime peroblem.
What is to be done? The conventional regulatory approaches seem to be failing. A more recent strategy, in which victims or municipalities bring lawsuits against gun manufacturers or retailers, seems legally and politically unpromising since the 2005 passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shields gun manufacturers from civil liability.

What is to be done? Glad you asked. 1) Stop trying to regulate objects. Its silly. It doesn't work. Its insulting to free people. 2) reduce the number of laws and regulations 3) concentrate law enforcement efforts on finding and arresting criminals 4) stop wasting police efforts on regulating non-criminal behavior like seat belt laws and smoking bans. 5) punish criminals 6) don't punish law abiding citizens who defend themselves.

We propose a new way to prod gun makers to reduce gun deaths, one that would be unlikely to put them out of business or to prevent law-abiding citizens from obtaining guns. By using a strategy known as "performance-based regulation," we would deputize private actors -- the gun makers -- to deal with the negative effects of their products in ways that promote the public good.

One wonders what they have in mind. Heckler and Koch squads cleaning out drug houses? Smith and Wesson hired Pinkertons sweeping bad neighborhoods for people with outstanding warrants? Somehow I think this idea is less pragmatic and has more to do with trying to suborn gun manufacturers into some kind of state program. Cap adn Trade. That's a good one.

Doesn't surprise me that these authors are professors.

"Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility." - George Orwell