Thursday, July 08, 2010

here's a little tete-a-tete

So, Kaili is running her mouth over at DailyKos, and here are two or three of my cents:

 I really wanted to let this one go. (4+ / 0-)

I even started writing a comment, got up, walked away, and got pulled back because there was just too much idiocy in this post to let stand without objecting.
First, you have a really facile interpretation of the Constitution if you think the plural term "the people" is always going to convey an individual right, or that liberals shouldn't vociferously defend collective rights.  Not only is it facile, but it's illogical. Look at the example you picked: the right of assembly.  When one person assembles,there is no assembly, there's just one person exercising his or her right to express a view, which is freedom of speech.  For the right of assembly to be an individual right means that you've compressed it into the right of speech--in other words, you've actually taken away one distinct, collective right and folded it into another one.  That turns the right of assembly into a dead-letter, and that's simply foolish.
Second, restrictive gun laws aren't inherently anti-Second Amendment.  The 2nd is a narrow right, protecting very limited ranges of conduct, and not everything that touches on gun ownership, possession, sales, or transportation is a constitutional issue.  The RKBA folks were nice enough to let me borrow their platform a few months ago to elaborate this point--feel free to read it.
Third, and this is the most important in my book, THERE IS NO RIGHT OF REVOLUTIONin the Constitution (unless you read it into the guarantee of the Ninth Amendment).  There's a grant to Congress of the unchecked authority to punish treason, which pretty well flies in the face of the idea that the document enshrines our right to commit it.  The 2nd may facilitate treason (I'm sure it made life easier for many in the Confederacy, for example), but to say that it's a right is asinine. And from a logical perspective, have you considered that at the point when a group is waging war on the United States it is no longer bound by the Constitution?  If we wanted to raise an army to challenge the US military (which is fucking suicidal--the Iraqi insurgency fought a small proportion of our troops away from our homeland, which bears about as much resemblance to a home-grown revolution as a large turd does to the Sistine Chapel), why the bloody hell would we give two shits about the 2nd Amendment, if we're in a position where we don't recognize the authority of the state?
Your premises don't hold, your argument requires a type of constitutional textualism that's anathema to actual liberal goals, and your entire argument ignores the real harm that befalls our society because of unchecked weapons proliferation.
[And because this is somehow obligatory for me to note: I'm willing to bet that I'm one of the very few people on this goddamn thread who spent any part of today firing a weapon at a shooting range. For those in or near western Maryland, the Savage River State Forest's outdoor range is quite nice, though it does tend to get crowded on holidays.]
"Speaking for me only." -Armando

  •  Hear, Hear! (0 / 0)

    I know Kaili pretty well- her recently deceased ex-husband was my best friend of 32 years.  He shot himself a couple of months ago, just after Kaili served him with divorce papers.  One thing I know about Kaili is that she desperately wants to be taken for an intellectual- thus her attraction to ideas that are guaranteed to be provocative (pro-gun, pro-Ayn Rand, etc.).  Thanks, JR, for explicating and exposing her simplistic analysis of the 2nd amendment.  I'm a former Marine, I've been in combat, I've used guns and actually (legally!) SHOT PEOPLE- and I think gun restrictions  should be made a lot tighter.  It makes me physically ill when I think of all the young people in this country that have been killed by guns, chief among them my best friend Scott.  I think this overwhelming amount of violence is definitely facilitated by the fast and loose attitude we have with guns.  I don't know if the laws about gun possession should be changed- I'm not a lawyer and never will be- but I do think that we should close whatever loopholes exist that allow most gun crimes to be anonymous.  This, to me, is the core of the problem: there are so many guns available, and so cheaply, and with so few legal means to track their provenance, that prosecuting crimes becomes impossible.  I don't think most of us are worried about "gun nuts", because with rare exceptions they aren't committing crimes.  Gun nuts are having accidents, but it's gang violence that kills the poor, and the innocent bystanders who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I think that arming ourselves with guns to combat gang violence is the wrong approach- as a Liberal, I support social solutions to social problems, so I would rather see programs that lift gang members out of poverty.  I also think that arming ourselves against theoretical or possible tyranny, rather than actual tyranny, is completely nuts: thanks for making the point that revolution is not a right- it may be necessary from time to time, but the State is under no obligation to legitimize its own dissolution. Kaili's desire to voice new and original ideas has run up against her insufficient parsing of the real world, so she ends up as a de facto teabagger....too bad.  


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