Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Is For Gun Lovers

Michael Daly in today's NY Daily News:

Still love those guns, Virginia?

Ready to admit that it's madness for any psycho to be able to saunter into a gun shop and acquire firepower capable of killing 32 innocents?

Feel different now that the blood is the blood of so many of your most promising young people?

You've been shrugging for decades as illegal guns from your state plague our city, killing and maiming and terrorizing New Yorkers by the thousands, at one point comprising 47% of the guns our cops recovered.

You even yukked it up with a "Bloomberg Gun GiveAway" raffle at a gun shop that sold at least 22 guns used in crimes in New York.

You went into a tizzy when Mayor Bloomberg sued some of your gun shops after undercover agents made fraudulent "straw purchases."

Your idea of gun control has been to pass a law making it illegal for undercover agents like those Bloomberg sent South to make such buys.

You seemed to think it was no big deal when an aide to your junior U.S. senator got caught carrying an automatic pistol into the Capitol, you having voted Sen. James Webb into office as an avowed opponent of gun control.

You had a big debate this year about whether Virginia Tech was wrong to discipline a student who was caught carrying a licensed pistol to class.

Never mind that a Virginia gun license is not half as hard to get as a driving license.

Never mind that there are so many guns lying around that an escaped jailbird managed to get hold of one and kill a cop and a security guard at the edge of the Virginia Tech campus at the start of the school year.


Not even the worst campus massacre in American history is about to stop Bob Moates Sports Shop of Midlothian, Va., from going ahead with its big Bloomberg Gun GiveAway. The winner will receive a Para-Ordinance Model 1911 .45 automatic, silver and no less deadly than the black pistol a witness says the Virginia Tech psycho used. The 1911 is part of the company's new line of "Gun Rights" pistols, which carry the guarantee the company will donate $25 to the National Rifle Association for every one sold.

"The drawing is April 19," a man at Moates said yesterday.

No wonder some of our cops up here in New York say the bumper stickers down there should really read, "Virginia Is for Gun Lovers."

What do you say now, Virginia?

I know what Preznut Bush said yesterday - he said he was horrified by the tragedy while his spokesman said the preznut reaffirms that he is a true believer in the right to bear arms.

I know what Jim Webb, Tim Kaine and many of the Democrats elected in Virginia will say to.

They're anti-gun control laws.

As are most Democrats these days. As Roger Simon notes in this Politico piece, ever since Al Gore backed gun control laws for semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the 2000 election and lost Tennessee, Arkansas and West Virginia as a result, Democrats have run very far from the gun control issue.

From a pragmatic point, I understand that.

But if the state of Virginia, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are all going to proudly affirm everybody's right to bear arms in the state of Virginia (and sell those arms to people in NY and NJ and elsewhere), then let's stop the hypocritical hand-ringing when a nutcase kills 32 innocents in a bloodbath.

Yesterday's guns may have been illegal or they may have been legal. We don't know yet.

But one thing we do know. Nearly anybody can get a gun in Virginia and that sure does make it easier to kill 32 innocent people.

Do you acknowledge a Constitutional right to "Keep & Bear Arms? It almost sounds like you dont.
I absolutely believe in the right of every crazy fucking person's right to buy automatic and semi-automatic weaponry without any background check and stick 15 and 30 round clips and armor-piercing bullets into 'em for maximum body-piercing damage.

I'm sure it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted.

God bless the 2nd Amendment.
RBE, I'm reluctant to get into this, but I have ben vocally anti gun for years.
"Do you acknowledge a Constitutional right to "Keep & Bear Arms? It almost sounds like you dont." I don't, but then it is not my constitution. But some logic here; that little gem was included before automatic weapons were even thought of. I'm sure no one ever expected a population with easy access to weapons of war.
That's the crux for me - when the Constitution was written, they had freaking muskets - now we have automatic weapons with armor piercing bullets and the 2nd Amendment lovers keep saying "It's my constitutional right to bear these!"
I'm of two minds on gun ownership -- I've never owned any sort of firearm, don't now, and pray I'll never feel the need to. On the other hand, I spent some years helping raise two kids in an area that was rapidly going to hell in a handbasket, and I carried a leaded night stick when I walked the dog after dark, as well as kept an aluminum baseball bat by the door. My daughter carried Mace and a butterfly knife, and had occasion to pull the knife at least once. I myself borrowed it to escort two college-age hoods off the property who were hassling a 13-year-old neighbor girl. As a result, I understand anyone who feels he needs a Howitzer to protect his loved ones -- I'd help him load and aim it.

It seems, though, that limiting any firearm -- handgun, rifle or shotgun -- to three shells except for police and military use is rational. I can't imagine any legitimate use that requires more than that.
There are very few rights, even those guaranteed in the Constitution, that are considered absolute. Moreover, the law has always recognized that rights--enforceable claims--may be reasonably limited by the State when it is the interest of the public good. The State can say that you can't go to a public school if you're not vaccinated. The State can say that you can't use the public roads you've paid for unless you pass its exam. The more fundamental the right, the greater the burden upon the State to restrict that right. Speech--almost impossible. To reproduce--likewise. Guns--sorry, not in that category. The self-defense argument doesn't hold. If the Constitution wanted to say we had a right to self-defense, it would have done so. Maybe we should just repeal the 2nd amendment (as if that would ever happen--we love our guns more than we love our children).
So, then following Cartledge's logic one could assume that the 1st amendment only offers protections to hand operated printing presses and the sound of ones own voice?
Why cant you just answer the question?
Why haven't I answered your question, lysander?

Uh, cuz' I've been teaching all day and had about a minute or so to see if I had to moderate comments but not enough time to reply to them.

I dunno about you, lysander, but I work for a living and my job (and my students) come before my blog (or answering you.)

As for your "question," I reply thusly: when was the last time something in print or the sound of anybody's voice killed anybody?
That is not an answer,,, that is a question. I thought you were an educator.
However, as an afterthought, now that you have raised the question; " when was the last time something in print or the sound of anybody's voice killed anybody?" perhaps you can explain the phrase "loose lips sink ships". Could you?
To respond to your first question, Lysander, are you familiar with Socratic questioning?

As for "loose lips," it's probably a phrase from WWII if I had to guess. And of course it's true that some speech is not protected (like giving secrets to the enemy or yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater). That kind of speech would be harmful to the lives of citizens.
Yes,,, I am well versed in socratic thought... Could you just answer the question or are you afraid to?
This is an argument I've never read presented as such to the Supreme Court, but I believe it to be valid:

The Bill of Rights was adopted at the same time as the body of the Constitution itself, and was considered a clarification of rights already guaranteed in the body. Thus, nothing in the Bill of Rights can be interpreted in such a way as to contradict the body of the Constitution. Only amendments following the first twelve (XI and XII are proceedural modifications) can be considered as truly amending the original document.

However, there is a section of the Constitution which absolutely sets how the remainder must be interpreted -- the Preamble, which gives the reasons that the Constitution was adopted. Those original reasons are first principles, that cannot in any way be violated by any material in the body or the first 12 amendments. They COULD be modified only by later amendments, but only if specifically addressed.

The reasons enumerated in the Preamble have often been used as a basis for programs that could never have been envisioned by the Framers, thus their primacy is well-established.

Now you see where I'm going -- those reasons include "promote the general welfare" and "insure domestic tranquility". There are probably a few things that are more injurious to domestic tranquility and general welfare than mass murder, but most would be countered by providing for the common defense.

Thus we have every Constitutional right and power to control posession of weapons designed for mass killing, including but not limited to banning them altogether or restricting their posession.

Preamble trumps Second Amendment. QED.
I answered your question, lysander - some speech is not protected by the 1st Amendment - yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater for instance when there is no fire. I'm not sure what else you asking.
What I expect from you is a yes or no answer to the question; Do you acknowledge a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms?

After you answer the question please feel free to profess what qualifiers you might or might not place on such a constitutional guarantee if indeed you believe such a constitutional guarantee existis.
"promote the general welfare" and "insure domestic tranquility"
I would have thought these were primary aspirations for any civilized society. Obviously the founding fathers did as well.
I guess most US citizens can't really feel those ideals are being applied.
Since you didn't get it the first time I answered your question, lysander, I will repeat word for word my original answer to your question about the right to "Keep & Bear Arms":

"I absolutely believe in the right of every crazy fucking person's right to buy automatic and semi-automatic weaponry without any background check and stick 15 and 30 round clips and armor-piercing bullets into 'em for maximum body-piercing damage.

I'm sure it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted.

God bless the 2nd Amendment."

Got it?
kicksiron & cartledge, I believe that our 2nd Amendment friends don't give a shit about general welfare or domestic tranquility.

They only care about their guns.

I believe the feeling they have for their firearms approaches religiosity.

When I read their words and listen to what they say, I can't see any other way to look at it.

kicksiron, that was a really good point by you, btw. Thanks for it.
So much for promoting a constructive dialogue. Could you please give me your honest evaluation of what you believe the 2nd amendment protects? Or should I take you at your word lowbrow expletives and all?
You're not trying to promote a constructive dialogue, lysander. You have your agenda (implicit in how you frame your questions) and I have mine and I think ne'er the twain shall the two meet.

Enjoy your guns.
The only agenda I have is trying to figure out why it is that you and other hard left leaning Americans expect the broadest interpretations of the Constitution (your other writings belay this) except for when it comes to 2nd amendment wherein it seems that you expect the narrowest of interpretations (I can only assume this, because you wont answer the question).

Is that fair enough?
I'm not interested in debating the Constitution with you, lysander.

Enjoy your guns.
As you clearly dont understand the document, I dont think you can.
oooh, I'm insulted now, lysander.

Enjoy your guns.
Instead of pulling these 2nd amendment interpretations out of your ASS try reading the actual words of the founding fathers. "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
Thomas Jefferson, 1791 If you don't like criminals shooting at you with assault rifles, then shoot them dead you stupid fools. A criminal without a gun is STILL a criminal. Don't just smack their hand and deny them a gun, they will then just go home and sharpen their toothbrush into a shank and stick it in your liver... If you don't agree with these simple rights, then just stand up like a man and admit you are a socialist and move to a socialist country.
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