Alternately titled “leftists saying what they really want, but also using it as clickbait“:
The president zoomed in on exactly the right point Tuesday: What about the rights of those killed by gun violence to live free from terror?
There is no right to freedom from fear. It also could never be achieved. Some people fear the dark. Some fear light. Some fear clowns. Some fear bees. Some fear the unknowable, unfeeling empty vastness of space.
As a technical point, those killed aren’t alive, so they can’t live free from anything.
President Obama said a lot about guns in his teary press conference Tuesday, but the one thing that he is not saying, despite all the howling from the right, is that he intends to take away Americans’ guns. Yet equally significant is the realization that individual citizens are unwilling to free themselves of the destructive weapons that are wreaking havoc on our society. Numerous Americans care more about their individual freedoms than our collective freedoms, and they are unable to see how these individualistic desires undermine the essential fabric of a democracy.
All freedoms are individual freedoms. If individuals within a group have no freedom, there is no freedom. Restricting individual rights to free speech also means restricting a “collective” right to free speech by removing voices that the government doesn’t like.
Much like the bumper sticker slogan, my guns must not be working right, because they haven’t wreaked any havoc.
This democratic fabric includes the Second Amendment that has been contorted, misinterpreted, and applied in a way that destroys its intended meaning and threatens the safety and stability of our nation.
Here comes the usual “the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what it says” argument. The only people contorting it and misinterpreting it are those trying to destroy its meaning in order to disarm the populace.
And as the president pointed out on Tuesday, this grotesque emphasis on the Second Amendment impairs other Americans’ ability to freely exercise many of the other 26 amendments.
Try exercising your Third Amendment rights without any way to resist.
Come to think of it, your First is easily extinguished, as we’ve seen on college campuses where a mob can simply push a reporter out of public spaces. Your Fourth is pretty hard to defend if you can’t protect your own home. Your Fifth is a lot easier to have ignored if the police and prosecutors simply threaten you.
As President Obama forges a lone path toward gun regulation, we must wonder how we as a society have arrived to a point where “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” has morphed into allowing individual citizens to possess firearms for their individual protection with little to no concern about the security of a free state.
There’s not much security to a free state when only the government and its agents have guns. In fact, that’s not a free state at all, that’s a tyranny. That’s exactly what the founders were discussing.
And then there’s this asshole comment:
It is well documented that gun sales and gun-related deaths have increased since Obama came into office, but the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (PDF), which opened the floodgates and redefined the Second Amendment, rarely receives mention.
Murder is down. In 2007 there were 17,128 murders. In 2013 there were 14,196. Numbers have been on the decline for decades.
Murders with firearms are down. 2010 saw 8,874 murders with firearms. 2014 saw 8,124.
DC v Heller didn’t change the Second Amendment functionally for most of the nation. Many state constitutions already cover the right to keep & bear arms even more specifically as a personal right of self-defense. There were no “floodgates” to open. Places that have historically been anti-gun are still throwing up barricades to exercise of rights that are still being fought against in court.
The court’s decision in the case went against 70 years of legal interpretations of the Second Amendment that stated in United States v. Miller that the “obvious purpose” of the Second Amendment was to “assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of” the state militia, and the Amendment “must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.”
Brown v Board of Education went against nearly 60 years of legal interpretations justifying segregation, too. It also corrected a historic wrong.
US v Miller was a bullshit ruling. The arms-infringing National Firearms Act of 1934 which Miller was challenging says that a shotgun with a barrel under 18″ requires a $200 tax stamp to own, buy, or sell. $200 in 1934 amounts to $3500 today. It’s a financial barrier to firearms ownership and exercising of rights. It’s a poll tax for guns.
The court magically ruled that a shotgun under 18″ barrel length isn’t suited to any kind of militia use or any other use (despite the fact that agencies from the FBI to USBP to IRS all use 14″ barreled shotguns today in manners that are entirely consistent with the uses the judges said they couldn’t be used).
Miller was a bank robber who argued against laws that would’ve sent him to jail not so much for bank robbery, but for effectively owning a piece of pipe that was less than 18″. The court decision was made in such a way that Miller could never travel to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling, and Miller was killed before the ruling came down and he could’ve effectively challenged it.
It’d be like if the Miranda decision were never made because Miranda were killed before being able to make the challenge to SCOTUS. Mind you, Miranda was a kidnapper and rapist who was convicted both on initial trial and on retrial after SCOTUS review – it’s said good court decisions can often come from bad people.
In Heller and then in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Supreme Court in a pair of 5-4 decisions determined that federal, state, and local governments could not create restrictions that could prevent an individual the right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense. The intent of the Second Amendment had shifted from allowing citizens to own firearms so that they could band together in an organized and regulated militia run by either local, state, or federal governments to allowing citizens to own guns for their own purposes so long as they fell under the individual’s definition of self-defense.
Let’s reference Blackstone, which is part of where the Second Amendment came from:
a public allowance under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression
And that’s just pulling a quote from wikipedia. The founders knew that restrictions turned into strangulation of rights, and that’s why they eliminated that part – and stuck simply to a codified recognition of protecting the tools of self-preservation.
To borrow from Tom Gresham:
“A well-educated people, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.” Now, ask if this means that only well-educated people could keep and read books, or does it mean that everyone can have books as a means to produce a well-educated people?
Clickbaity McDailyBeast goes on:
Not surprisingly, countless Americans purchased more and more firearms to protect themselves from the “inevitable” moment when the government or “Obama” was going to forcefully take their guns away. Not surprisingly a byproduct of this new interpretation of the Second Amendment has been a rise in unregulated militias or American terrorist groups who challenge the authority of federal, state, and local governments. Ammon Bundy and his posse of men who call themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom who just this week forcefully took over a federal building in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon are just one such iteration of this emboldened unregulated militia movement in America.
Actually, this “new interpretation” is pretty much what most state constitutions have always said.
“American terrorist groups”? I think the Bundys are basically the same kind of people the president would support if they were a union blocking a factory. The Bundys just want to take over their agricultural means of production – which means public land they don’t feel like paying for. No real difference from the union members who try to take over industrial means of production except that the unions try to take from private citizens they view as class enemies while the Bundys want to take over from a government they view as a class enemy.
Frankly I find both of them reprehensible, but neither are very good terrorists. Unions haven’t been effective terrorists since the Wobblies, and ranchers haven’t made effective terrorists since the Johnson County War.
The Oath Keepers, formed in 2009, are one of the largest unregulated militia movements in the nation, and regularly you can find them injecting themselves unnecessarily into conflicts. In Ferguson, Missouri following the death of Michael Brown, Oath Keepers arrived carrying semi-automatic riffles so that they could prevent looters from destroying property, and many of them said that they saw nothing wrong with taking the life of a looter to prevent the destruction of property. They also advocated that Ferguson residents obtain firearms so that they could protect themselves from the police.
So they wanted to protect people who lived there from armed mobs that were burning their homes and businesses? And they wanted Ferguson residents to protect themselves against police they viewed as threats to the community?
I tend to view the Oathkeepers as a bit silly, but reading it from this Daily Beast goofball, he makes them seem positively balanced.
Also, I don’t think trying to provide stability for a community, however misguided, makes them terrorists.
Instability, terror, and death are the inevitable outcomes of a heavily armed citizenry, yet in the 1846 case Nunn v. State of Georgia, an integral case that the Supreme Court used in the Heller decision, the state of Georgia—my home state—argued that arming citizens and allowing them to openly carry firearms created a safer environment. And the referencing of this decision only continues the Supreme Court’s idyllic reimagining of America’s Southern states.
Georgia in 1846 was a slave holding state where African Americans were counted as three-fifths of a person and were not allowed the right to vote.
The 3/5ths compromise was so that states that weren’t slave states wouldn’t be outnumbered in congress by slave states. Slave states wanted black slaves counted as whole persons for purposes of distribution of representatives.
Firearms at this time were regularly used to keep blacks in line and sustain the South’s racist, oppressive society.
Dumb. Gun control was used to keep blacks in line – The Racist Roots of Gun Control is a good read that explains it. If only the powers that be in racist slave states had firearms, they would’ve had them to “keep blacks in line” as well – and if they needed more arms, they would’ve expanded the authority of the state.
Short version of that section is basically he thinks that guns=racism.
But far from rejecting that old logic, we’ve embraced it, and the application of the South’s antithetical principles have brought instability, danger, and a disregard for human life to rest of the United States. Armed and dangerous and unregulated militias are on the rise, in addition to the numerous lone-wolf attacks that befall schools, offices, shopping centers, and public spaces at a disturbing frequency.
Except they haven’t brought violence. Those “lone wolf” attacks aren’t from “unregulated militias”, they’re from individual lunatics who can’t be stopped with laws and who are frequently jihadis – adherents to a terrorist ideology.
Right now the Second Amendment is being applied in a way that takes away the rights of thousands of Americans each year, and the president must address this crisis to ensure the safety and stability of not just the American citizens who are threatened by gun violence, but also the ideals and institutions that govern our society that are being threatened by the archaic notions of stability from a racist and oppressive society and the unregulated militias of today that openly advocate armed conflict against the government.
Nice try playing the race card. Gun control was used against the black man to control the black man. Take the guns from the free men of all colors today and you just put your faith in government, which between 2000 and 2008 I’m sure this clown would’ve opposed as Bu$Hitler would’ve been his boogeyman of the day. Take all the guns from the free men of Georgia in 1846 and you have a slave state controlled by a government that would expand its authority until blacks (and poor whites) were controlled anyway.
Obama is not going to take away America’s guns. I would argue that he should, as countless Americans have displayed a gross misuse of the social responsibility that comes with gun ownership, except that using force to attempt to disarm people of their firearms might inevitably lead to more violence and bloodshed.
Obama is not going to take away America’s presses. I would argue that he should, as countless Americans have displayed a gross misuse of the social responsibility that comes with the written word, except that using force to attempt to silence people might inevitably lead to… he’s gonna disarm them first, right? Well then no problems! On to our glorious utopian future!
Gun owners should want to regulate and reduce their gun usage for the greater good, but our society is too consumed with the myopia of employing lethal force to resolve minor disputes that it cannot imagine an environment without widespread gun usage. And countless Americans are unable to see that their gun usage actually jeopardizes the very freedoms and liberties they have chosen to fight for and defend via the barrel of a gun.
Ah, the “greater good”. He should’ve said “for the children” instead. Gets more feels that way.
Lethal force isn’t used for minor disputes, unless you consider human life something of minor consequence… of course being a big control freak statist… he probably does.
Widespread gun ownership, bearing arms, and possession of arms, does not necessarily mean usage. I burn down targets at the range, but I have yet to use a firearm in to resolve any dispute inside the US.
Actually, declining gun usage and ownership, and trusting the state with arms and force is what jeopardizes freedoms and liberties, because no man can legally take another man’s rights away – but a government can, and governments do.
On to stupidity part 2 “America should regulate bullets“:
When I chaired the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, I was grateful that we had authority to regulate lead in household paint. Banning the use of lead-based paint in homes has prevented brain damage in countless children over the years.
So why wouldn’t Congress allow us authority over another dangerous consumer product often made with lead?
Specifically, why not bullets?
Although it may seem unbelieveable, at one point I was a child. I don’t remember ever looking at walls and thinking “I should start chewing on paint chips”. When I was at an age younger than that, my family lived in and worked in an environment that would be considered dangerous for a child today… but my parents kept me from eating screws, nails, and construction debris. Congress wasn’t needed to protect me as a child. Nor was it needed before 1972 when it was created.
As to why not bullets? Because ammunition is a key component of arms. And because you’re trying to come up with a backdoor regulation scheme to go after something you don’t personally like.
Why not have some chaste religious zealot decide that the risk of STDs that condoms don’t actually prevent means the CPSC can regulate condoms in order to cut down on sex that the zealot doesn’t like?
This idea isn’t new. In 1974, the CPSC’s first chairman made clear his belief that the agency could probably regulate ammunition, and a court agreed — whereupon a frightened Congress passed laws making it impossible even to try. Now is the time for the president to begin pushing to correct that mistake.
I can’t help but hear that last line said like Dick Jones in Robocop saying: “I had to kill Bob Morton because he made a mistake… now it’s time to erase that mistake.”
The slavering regulatrix can’t even begin to fathom that there are people who don’t regard her totalitarian state as something desirable, nor that their representatives would seek to prevent tyranny which she demands through any means possible.
How can we do more when the National Rifle Association has persuaded Congress to put roadblocks in front of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research into gun deaths? When more than half of Americans oppose tighter gun control even after a year of such bloodshed?
Support for gun control has been falling dramatically. People know being disarmed doesn’t make them safe, and doesn’t make anyone safe.
The NRA opposes CDC “research” because it’s “research” that will be pushed into the kind of conclusion that statists desire. Stats will be massaged until they get the “right” answer demanding more regulation, more control, and less freedoms.
James Holmes bought more than 4,000 rounds online before his 2012 rampage in a Colorado movie theater. Twenty years ago, when purchases were offline, it would have been tough to spot someone like that. Today it would be easy.
Why should my old agency be the one to do the regulating?
No one should be doing regulating.
James Holmes is a wonderful example of how there are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous men. Holmes was working on neuroscience/neurosurgery before he snapped. He was being trusted enough to become the kind of person you call when you need someone to stab around in your brain. On paper, he looked like a fine upstanding young man. He also spent time making IEDs and rigging his apartment to explode. Take away ammo and he’d use something like a pressure cooker bomb and fireworks. Or he might just kill patients for decades on the operating table. It’s not the tool he uses to cause the harm, it’s the person doing the harm.
When someone who may be dangerous is prevented from buying ammunition, any gun he has hidden becomes like a car without gas: a useless hunk of metal.
Yeah, and he can go buy a few gallons of gasoline and he has a firebomb ready to go. He can also start playing with chemicals and explosives like were used at the worst mass killing at a US school in history – the Bath School Disaster of 1927.
There are many ways to move ahead. We could license ammunition purchases like drivers, ban online purchases and mandate background checks for buyers. But it would be pointless for me to outline the precise steps that should be taken up front — except for the first one: ending Congress’s disgraceful attempt to chill research. Funding to study regulating ammunition should begin now.
Congress was wise enough to see through that. It’s not “research”, it’s funded justifications for tyranny at the expense of a constitutionally recognized right. The author of this anti-freedom screed outright says she wants more restrictions on a right, and she wants to backdoor it with a bureaucracy that’s largely unaccountable, and she already has her answers. If the CDC came out with the same conclusions the FBI shows in crime stats (referenced above) that gun crimes are down, and that they found John Lott’s study (More Guns, Less Crime) is the case, she’d demand more research until such time as her answer is reached.
This would be like Congress funding research for the CDC to analyze the effects of unpleasant speech on the public in order to go after the First Amendment, or funding research into the the effects of lethal chemicals and execution methods to undermine the Eighth Amendment.
Times and cultures change.
Tyrants never do.