Thursday, April 18, 2013

So What's Next?

"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"

It's unclear how a well regulated militia helps secure a free state if the members of the militia are criminals or mentally unstable. The army is dealing with the ramifications of inadequate background checks now:
In Irregular Army, Kennard documents a series of disturbing trends in the military: lowered standards, inadequately treated mental-health and substance-abuse problems, and the enlistment and retention of white supremacists, Nazis, and gang members.
It's also unclear why a senator who is viewed as a champion of freedom calls those petitioning government for the redress of grievances "props" and is saddened to see them there of their own free will.
With the fate of gun control legislation in doubt, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) accused President Obama of using the victims of the Newtown elementary school shootings as “props” to advance an agenda that would have done nothing to prevent the massacre.
“I think gun control is a legitimate issue for our country to debate,” he said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Wednesday morning. But the Kentucky senator said that looking at the parents of Newtown victims who have spoken in favor of gun control legislation, ”I think in some cases the president has used them as props.”
“When I see the father and the mothers and them testifying — and I know they’re coming voluntarily, and they want to come and be part of this debate — but it still saddens me just to see them, and I think that in some cases the president has used them as props. And that disappoints me,” he said.
My guess is that those who support the Second Amendment over everything else will seek to weaken protections in the First, Fourth, and Fifth. God willing, they will be unsuccessful.

There have been 900,000 gun deaths since 1970. The violent crime trend seems to be lowering, so let's be optimistic and project 750,000 gun deaths between now and 2050. Are we to believe that background checks will not prevent thousands of those deaths?


Anonymous said...

This entire post is classic adhominem attack against people who believe in protecting the 2nd Amendment. Your accusation that 2nd Amendment defenders are willing to sacrifice the following is false projection of liberal behaviour onto conservatives:

1st Amendment: It isn't second amendment defenders who are undermining religious liberty in the contraception mandate. It is President Obama

4th Amendment: It isn't second amendment defenders who are calling for unreasonable searches of citizens in Boston. It is Governor Deval.

5th Amendment: I have no idea to what you are referring here.

Troy Jones said...

That was me. Troy Jones. Sorry.

Troy Jones said...

And, I hope you are feeling better. A couple of home remedies:

1) A large glass of bourbon. No ice. Just slowly sip until you are asleep or the bottle is empty.

2) A massage from your wife. If she declines, she doesn't want you to get well and you should change the beneficiary on your life insurance.

3) A Amazon Prime account from which you can watch the Big Bang Theory or Seinfeld until your sore stomach muscles from laughing transcends the misery from your illness.

Best results if you combine them all.

Kal Lis said...


Let's start with the last comments first. Thanks for the advice and wishes for recovery. I don't drink well, so emptying the bottle will not work. I may savor a small bit of scotch.

I've criticized Obama on most of his over-reaches as I learned of them. I didn't vote for him because of those overreaches.

It does strike me that there needs to be some sort of carve out for religious institutions on the insurance exchanges. I didn't say much about Duval because I was under the weather yesterday. He's wrong.

My point about the 5th refers to some reports I heard yesterday about automatically trying the bomber once caught in a military court.

I've said elsewhere that I don't care if kids have guns in the trunk of their cars so they can go hunting after school. I just want them locked up and not in the school building. People can have all the guns they want. I should have the right to keep civilians with guns out of my home.

As a practical matter, there needs to be some limit to the firepower one can own. I think most will agree that private citizens should not have their own fleet of drones. The question comes down to what's the limit.

The largest point I will continue to make is that I see far too many conservatives prioritize the 2nd at the expense of the rest. You have been an exception and have condemned many of the same overreaches that I have

As far as the ad hom attack, I asked "what's next"? I named no one. Rand Paul was right on drones; he was injudicious with this statement. If you want me to concede that Americans are a violent people and the total of gun deaths will be 500,000 by 2050 even with background checks, I’ll stipulate to that right now. I’m not sure how to change the culture. I want to eliminate the death penalty for a lot of reasons but limiting the power of the state to take life seems like a way to suggest violence ought not to be first response is one of them. I’m going to lose that debate. I’ll fight every effort to limit 1st amendment expression. I just got through teaching selections from the Iliad. Humans have had violent literature forever.

It's unclear to me that the right to bear arms is above any other right in the Bill of Rights. I don't see it is above the right to vote either. If there are safety limits to speech, then there should be safety limits to guns. If people want to toughen ID and institute de facto background checks for voting, then there's no reason not to have them to buy firearms. (I suppose we’re all being inconsistent here.)

We had guns in the house when I was growing up. They were used to shoot skunks or foxes and then cleaned and put away. In short they were tools like my father’s fencing pliers that I kept for sentimental reasons after he passed away. What I’m seeing in this current debate is guns as some sort of totem able to save everyone from every imagined ill. I don’t see them that way.

I want as few limits on civil liberties as possible to have a functioning society. I don't see the 2nd as superior to the rest. I don’t see how background checks infringe that right, especially with the carve outs for private transfer.

Sorry for long winded response.

Troy said...

Two comments:

1) You are quick to characterize of 2nd amendment defenders as being not concerned about other amendments without any evidence while liberals throw the 2nd amendment under the bus while claiming to be for other amendments.

2) I have no problem with the current background checks on initial gun sales. Prudent. The problem with secondary gun sales background checks is they will only be performed by law-abiding citizens. This is not where the problem exists and thus will have minimal impact while placing a burden on law-abiding citizens. We need to do things that will actually have impact, esp. if it impinges on civil liberties.

Kal Lis said...

I don't see a lot of them standing up against CISPA or other internet privacy issues like the warrantless wiretaps. Some are coming around on Patriot Act and other intrusions, but at the time I didn't hear much. In fact, at the time, I heard a lot of "If you haven't done anything wrong, you've got nothing to worry about." It was attitudes like that that have driven me into displaced mode.

Perhaps I need to get out more, and maybe some things have changed. It seems, however, that many of the most vociferous folks who talk about the 2nd Amendment first want to censor artistic and pop culture portrayals. I may find many repugnant, but the 1st Amendment protects them.