Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The editors of the New York Times are, unusually for them, calling upon the Supreme Court to construe one of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution to give individuals no rights against the government. Hint: It is not the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, or Eighth amendments. You do the rest of the thinking.
The most appalling thing about the editorial is its final sentence:
A decision that upends needed gun controls currently in place around the country would imperil the lives of Americans.
There is not a shred of sustainable evidence that this statement is true in any meaningful sense. Literally, of course, it might be: the specific life of some American might be "imperiled" because an otherwise law-abiding person owned a handgun. However, the empirical case for the impact of gun control on lives or crime is so astonishingly thin that the editors are far more guilty of "lying" on this subject than, say, the Bush administration was about WMD in Iraq (to pick a basis for comparison than the editors should understand).
For my money, the country's most articulate opponent of gun regulation is Dave Kopel, who keeps a web page and blogs at the Volokh Conspiracy. Kopel has a brief summary of arguments and links here, and much more here. Finally, Glenn Reynolds and Helen Smith interviewed Kopel about a year ago for the "Glenn and Helen Show." If you are interested in gun rights, I strongly recommend giving it a listen.
CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.
Curt Schilling, who backs Bush and is backing McCain in '08, has this to say about gun control:
"I am for the right to bear arms, but haven’t we as a nation made it clear we have not, and cannot police ourselves? How is it that 13 year old children can bring guns into OUR schools? How does that happen? Who the hell needs to OWN an automatic weapon? Seriously? Who? For what? I don’t hunt, but a bunch of my teammates do, and I get that, but I have yet to see an animal that can only be brought down by a weapon that shoots 1100 rounds a minute… We need much stricter laws when it comes to who can and cannot purchase a fire arm. Why is an extended waiting period and legitimate background check such an issue? I don’t think that would solve our problems when it comes to crimes involving firearms but it sure as hell couldn’t hurt could it?"
Great pitcher, unafraid to speak his mind. Even when I disagree with him, I find his blog a must read.
The NYT Editorial Board are a bunch of idiots. Of course, we knew that.
The issue is not some restrictions on the rights to own a gun, such as a safety test--such things undoubtedly are Constitutional, whether wise or not.
It's whether absolute prohibitions such as New York City's or DC's are constitutionally permissible. To me, they are Nanny State intrusions in liberty, and endanger the citizenry. Demonstrably, they do nothing to make people more safe.
Before the AP changed its story on the DC case, it mentioned that 4 of 5 murders in the District are gun related. Now ... the mere fact that DC is full of animals dealing drugs and engaging in all of the activities that come with poverty, drugs, etc. shouldn't affect a person's right to lawfully own a piece. Let's all agree that murderers are breaking enough laws that the method of the crime is irrelevent.
As for Schilling ... hell, he can elect not to vote, worship the god of his choice, speak freely, or any other right he has. He's also missing the point. In most of the most heinous incidents in schools the gun used was not the child's. With due respect to (that fat lying ph8k), the Bowling for Columbine storyline (for example) neglected to mention the perps were not allowed to have guns by virtue of their reform period, one of the fathers was a cop or military, knew they'd sawed off a shotgun in the garage, and kept it open and notoriously in the bedroom. Meaning, hold the parent accountable. For every kid who'll misuse a gun, there are countless learning to shoot and act responsibly at an early age.
In an earlier era, it was not unknown for teenage boys to bring their rifles to school, if they were going to shoot afterward (for recreation).
Mr. Schilling's statement begs the question "Why can't we control ourselves?"
Switzerland has mandatory military service, and all able-bodied men are in the "militia" until a certain age (+50?). And all these militia members keep military assault rifles in their homes. The rampant crime and homicide rate in Switzerland; something to behold.
And we can see what the restrictive gun laws have done for DC, and NYC, with their incredibly low homicide and crime rates. What's the connection?
Making US citizens accomplices in the infantalization of attitudes, and abrogating their rights, negating personal responsibility, is not a path to create self-directed citizens in a republic.
Cattle being led to slaughter, though, is another matter.
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 11/21/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...
Its pretty clear by that quote that Schilling doesn't know squat about existing firearms law in this country.
The NFA back in the 1930's dealt with what he's bitching about. Criminals of course ignore it.
It occurs to me that gun control isn't about curbing crime, it's about promoting pacifism and the "better a victim of violence than an employer of it" mentality, and (as the "Anonymous" David mentions above) discouraging citizens from taking the initiative against crime, all the better to make government indispensable in that regard.
That said, I tend to take a "be careful what you wish for" approach to gun rights. Armed citizens work as a deterrent to crime in a given area because criminals can always ply their trade in a less well-armed locale. If the 2nd Amendment is held to apply to individuals nationwide, presumably that means such "criminal-safe" areas will soon be a lot fewer and farther between than they are now. What I wonder is, how will the criminal population respond to that new reality?
Going straight and getting a real job isn't an option for most violent criminals for a host of obvious reasons, nor is leaving the country to resume one's criminal career in a more pacifist society. Most likely the smarter and more tech-savvy criminals will move toward crimes like identity theft, that can be committed from a safe distance. The rest will have no choice but to maintain their life of crime as usual, even with the heightened risk from armed citizens... that is, until someone eventually comes up with an effective tactic or other countermeasure against an opposing firearm, which is then quickly adopted as standard operating procedure by other criminals. Once that happens, aren't we back to square one?
What I wonder is, how will the criminal population respond to that new reality?
Property thefts and fraud...which pay better anyway. This effect has already been observed in some areas that adopted concealed carry.
Just like any liberal rag the New York Slimes dont believe in a end amendment and becuase their building has fancy alarm system they feel their safe but the avrage citizen should depent on the police and the wealthy liberals reject any ideas of arm self defense like our founding fathers ment it to be
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