Sauce For The Gander

For the Consideration of the General Publick:

The Safety of its elected Magistrates being of the highest Concern to a free Society, and the presence of Fire-arms being, as we are continually assured, a Catalyst for mortal Peril, there can be little Doubt that the surest Measure for the Protection and Defense of our Chief Executive and his Staff must be to declare the White House, and its Grounds, a Gun-Free Zone.

All good Citizens, therefore, will consider it their patriotic Duty to append their Signatures to the Petition found at this Link.

40 Comments

  1. GW says

    404′d!

    Here: http://tinyurl.com/a8r5e4f

    I LOVE this :)

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink
  2. Kevin Kim says

    Petitione noe longger therre, it appeares…

    (Th’Englishe of Kinge George’s tyme ys verie difficulte tewe wrytte.)

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Sorry, all – link fixed now.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    (Th’Englishe of Kinge George’s tyme ys verie difficulte tewe wrytte.)

    Chaucer’s, too.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  5. Kevin Kim says

    Yeah, I think the ‘shrooms I was doing sent me a little too far back in time.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  6. Beware signing petitions aimed at an administration that maintains an enemies-list.

    Just sayin’.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
  7. the one eyed man says

    More right wing hysteria.

    Let’s forget the fact that the White House already is a gun-free zone.

    Let’s forget the fact that gun-free zones do not apply to law enforcement personnel.

    Let’s forget that fact that Obama, his wife, and his two daughters get more death threats than any previous First Family, and putting one’s family in personal jeopardy is one of the many sacrifices which any President makes.

    Let’s consider this fact: the majority of American people want to see gun control legislation enacted, and are using the democratic process to do so, as we saw yesterday in the lop-sided bipartisan vote in New York. The response from those in the minority – as evidenced by Congressional Republicans describing Obama as dictatorial, calling for his impeachment, and making vague mutterings about mutiny and civil unrest – can best be described by one word: unhinged.

    I went to the movies last night to see Knife Fight, which starts with black and white photos of the Presidents since FDR. When Obama’s picture came up, people applauded. I thought: this is great, this is my country.

    I agree with something you wrote some time ago: it’s time for a divorce. California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii should secede from the Union. The gap is just too big. I will take enlightenment over the sort of ignorance which manifests itself in petitions suggesting that a family which lives under constant threat from both foreign and domestic terrorists should not be protected.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    Jeez, Pete, you used to have a sense of humor.

    …the majority of American people want to see gun control legislation enacted, and are using the democratic process to do so, as we saw yesterday in the lop-sided bipartisan vote in New York.

    That 78-page bill was pushed through in the middle of the night, and voted on before anyone even had time to read it (the vote came just minutes after it was printed out and put on the legislators’ desks). The normal waiting period was waived, and there was no opportunity for debate or public input. Democracy in action.

    When Obama’s picture came up, people applauded. I thought: this is great, this is my country.

    No doubt.

    I agree with something you wrote some time ago: it’s time for a divorce. California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii should secede from the Union. The gap is just too big.

    Sounds good. Don’t let the door hit ya where the dog shoulda bit ya!

    Seriously, I think you are right about this. The conflicting views of America’s basic principles, and about what the proper role of government is, are beyond reconciliation at this point. I have said for a while that I don’t expect America as presently constituted to last much longer. Traditionalist Americans — the ones who thought it was pretty good before it was “fundamentally transformed” — will be just as glad to be rid of you as you will be to be rid of them.

    As divorces go, though, this is going to be a very messy one.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink
  9. the one eyed man says

    Really, it’s OK.

    We’ll take Jon Stewart. You can have Dancing with the Stars.

    We’ll take sushi and tapas. You can have the chicken fried steak.

    We’ll take the 21st century. The 18th century is all yours.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
  10. The 21st century is not yours for the taking. But feel free to take the 7th.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink
  11. Malcolm says

    That’s fine.

    We’ll take most of your entrepreneurs, self-starters, and relocatable businesses, as taxes will be far lower and regulations far less intrusive. You can redistribute whatever’s left.

    We get Alaska, Texas, and the Gulf Coast; we’ll be glad to sell you fuel at a reasonable markup. (Oh wait, you’re going to run everything with wind power. Well, if that doesn’t work out, the offer still stands.)

    We’ll take Jon Stewart. You can have Dancing with the Stars.

    Tell you what: as long as you take Barney Frank, the Clintons, Michael Moore, Hollywood, and Keith Olbermann, we ought to be able to make some sort of deal.

    We’ll take sushi and tapas. You can have the chicken fried steak.

    Yes, we’ll just have to make do with porterhouse steaks, barbecue, Gulf Coast seafood, Midwestern agricultural products, locally brewed beer, and good whiskey. We’ll manage somehow.

    We’ll take the 21st century. The 18th century is all yours.

    Sorry about this one — but because we actually feel some responsibility to the fiscal soundness of the nation our children will inherit, we’ll take the future; you guys don’t seem to care about it anyway, so I doubt you’ll miss it. (Not to worry, though: I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy living on IOUs for at least a few more years.)

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink
  12. Malcolm says

    Oh, and you get all the government-mandated free contraceptives. Population decline shouldn’t be a problem; with all those generous welfare benefits and no border security, you won’t have to worry about people showing up.

    We’ll be getting married and having babies.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  13. “…, you’re going to run everything with wind power. Well, if that doesn’t work out, …”

    Actually, they do have ample wind power …

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
  14. the one eyed man says

    I am afraid that you are misinformed. The locus of entrepreneurship and self-starters is just down the road, and people come every day from around the world to be part of it.

    You can have Texas. I’m guessing that you’ve never been there. It sucks.

    The Gulf Coast is fine if you enjoy mosquitos the size of Chihuahuas.

    I would be happy to take Hollywood, Barney Frank, and the Clintons. (Who wouldn’t want to have the most successful President of our lifetime and his supremely talented wife?) I’ve never seen a Michael Moore movie, but Keith Olbermann can work for Al Jazeera for all I care.

    I’m happy to take West Coast seafood over Gulf Coast seafood – it’s too much of a hassle to get the oil slick off of the shrimp, and two days worth of food in New Orleans is good enough for a lifetime – and there is no place in the world which has more, better, and fresher agricultural products than anywhere else in the world. I’ll take the farmers’ market at the SF Ferry Building over Buy-Rite any day.

    Our beer is much better. You should try Anchor Steam sometime. Really.

    As for fiscal soundness: as a state which gets back 85 cents for every dollar sent to Washington, we won’t have to support you moochers any longer.

    As for contraceptives: at least we have a sex life. Conservatives are a dying breed. If you want to be around much longer, you should do a lot more porking and a lot less kvetching.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
  15. the one eyed man says

    Forgot to identify California as the place with more, better, and fresher, in case it wasn’t evident.

    I should also have added that while there are a lot of things to dislike about Keith Olbermann, his show on MSNBC always included the playing of Bann Frei, better known as the opening music for Jean Shepherd’s radio show.

    Excelsior, you fathead!

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink
  16. Malcolm says

    Sorry to tell you this, but conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, have more kids than liberals. (Maybe it’s all those loathsome opposite-sex marriages.) If anyone’s a dying breed, it’s your typical thirty-year-old UC Berkeley doctoral candidate in Womyn’s Grievance Theory, not some stay-at-home mom from Topeka.

    Oh, and businesses are fleeing California in droves for lower-tax states. Hadn’t you heard? It’s been in all the papers.

    I’ve been to Texas. A little hot for my liking, but we’ll be glad to have it.

    Anchor Steam? Not bad, but you might at least have mentioned Lagunitas. (Not to worry: there’s great beer everywhere nowadays. Beer is the foundation of civilization.)

    Gulf seafood’s very nice! (They can’t touch Wellfleet oysters, perhaps, but…) Anyway, we’ll get a nice chunk of the South Atlantic coastline too. And somehow I think we’ll manage to grow some fresh vegetables in the Mississippi Valley and the Midwest, if we really put our minds to it.

    California? Fiscally sound? I guess you do still have a sense of humor after all.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink
  17. Malcolm says

    Anyway, it sounds like we’ll both be happier after this divorce. Let’s get cracking!

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  18. the one eyed man says

    The problem with religious conservatives is that they can’t have sex standing up, because someone might think they were dancing.

    For a dying breed, we sure seem to win a lot of elections.

    Actually, I do read the papers:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/nonpartisan-analyst-agrees-gov-jerry-browns-calif-budget-in-balance-commends-restraint/2013/01/14/b78e77a4-5e92-11e2-8acb-ab5cb77e95c8_story.html

    Texas is yours. The only good thing to come out of Texas is I-10.

    As luck would have it, I just got back from the fish store. They had local halibut, swordfish, and petrale, as well as King salmon from Oregon. I got the Arctic char from British Columbia. (To be fair, it’s hard to find lobster here, and it costs an arm and a penis to buy it). When it comes to fish, California is in first plaice.

    The one thing I will regret parting with is the New Jersey Turnpike. I fondly remember the summer house we had at Exit 14: it was a nice cottage on top of an oil refinery, with great views of the surrounding factories. We all got great suntans, because there was no ozone layer to prevent getting the deep, dark Coppertone tan. We were happy as clams, driving down the melanoma highway, going 85.

    But that’s OK. I’ll take the Pacific Coast Highway instead.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink
  19. the one eyed man says

    And I should have added: World Series Champions and – let us pray – Super Bowl winner too.

    You can have the Mets.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
  20. JK says

    Erm… Malcolm?

    That… “let’s get cracking”?

    Might wanna dial that back a little bit (now the ways clear for us to be shed of them) when you get to Austin you’ll understand “cracking” in Texas doesn’t necessarily mean “hurrying up.”

    Usually increases the birthrate though.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink
  21. Malcolm says

    Yes, like I said, enjoy the present. Take an A for effort. (We’ll see how things work out with those unfunded pension liabilities.)

    Winning elections based on wealth redistribution has nothing to do with whether you’re a dying breed or not, especially with where CA’s demographics are going. As the old saying goes: “Anyone who proposes to rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.”

    But if Paul decides to come live with us after our little divorce, well…

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink
  22. Malcolm says

    You’ll get the Mets.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink
  23. Malcolm says

    “Supremely talented”… [snort] … just noticed that one.

    Yep, all yours.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink
  24. “Supremely talented” is a relative term. Perhaps, if compared to that “great public servant” from San Francisco …

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink
  25. OMG, what if “supremely talented” is code for Obama’s next nomination to the Supremes? If so, then Ginsberg’s Jewish Seat might be converted to the Clintoris Palestinian Seat!

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink
  26. JK says

    Appropriate in time I think to re-visit a link Malcolm (I’m pretty sure) posted some time back:

    http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink
  27. Oops, Ginsburg not Ginsberg.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink
  28. the one eyed man says

    Now here’s a twist. The gun lobby tells us over and over that gun-free zones are for pantywaist liberals, and it’s A-OK for any sentient human being to carry weapons into day care centers, schools, airports, parks, Amtrak, the White House, and everywhere else on God’s green Earth. That’s how we keep the world safe! So you would think that the last place in the world with a gun-free zone would be a gun show. But you would be wrong.

    And why can’t you bring a loaded gun or loaded magazine to a gun show? Because “your personal safety is our number one priority while you are at the show.”

    But what if you have a concealed carry permit? NFW, pal: “your personal safety is our number one priority while you are at the show.”

    http://www.crossroadsgunshows.com/faqs.php

    You can see why this is so confusing to us confused liberals. I thought the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun was to confront him with a good guy with a gun. So what would happen if a bunch of bad guys with guns showed up at the gun show? I thought having lots and lots of guns is supposed to keep everybody safe!

    As we say in New York: go figure. The only reason I could imagine is that gun shows place a higher value on the lives of gun fetishists than the lives of six year old kids.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  29. Malcolm says

    Um, gee, what might the difference be between a gun show and a “gun-free” elementary school that might make a crazed shooter less likely to start popping off?

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
  30. Malcolm says

    Take your time, it’s a tough one.

    Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
  31. the one eyed man says

    The difference is obvious: at an elementary school, you have children playing with toys, and at a gun show, you have adults playing with toys. If a gun-free zone is wrong for a school, then it is wrong for a gun show. Goose, meet gander.

    A letter writer to the New York Times quotes Andrew Napolitano, who “says the Second Amendment ‘protects our right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively.’ He seemed to be talking about the Obama administration, or Congress. James Yeager, the chief executive of a Tennessee company that trains civilians to use weapons, says he’ll start killing people if gun control efforts move forward, and he urges all ‘patriots’ to do likewise. Imagine what police departments and the FBI would do if those statements were being made by Muslims in response to government harassment – probably gear up to infiltrate and entrap Muslim groups and perhaps even launch murderous raids against them. That is precisely what happened when Black Panthers brandished arms during the Sixties. Where were the advocates of the Second Amendment then?”

    He raises an interesting point. If anyone has the right to fear tyrannical government actions, it’s not the Rotary Club member who competes in a bowling league – it’s a black or Muslim with views or religious beliefs which are outside the mainstream. If the purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect citizens against tyranny, then you would support Black Panthers and Nation of Islam followers to have the unrestricted right to own Bushmasters with high capacity magazines, as well as conceal them and take them to schools, airports, parks, and the White House, correct? During the troubles, England should have allowed the IRA, as well as the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, to be armed to the teeth, right? Second Amendment rights extend to black nationalists, radical Muslims, the KKK, and Earth Firsters, do they not?

    It’s worth pondering what the reaction would have been if Adam Lanza was a Muslim. He would not just have been a loony tunes – he would have been a jihadist. A gunman recently shot members of a Sikh temple because he thought they were Arabs. If Lanza was Muslim, anyone who worships at a mosque would have the reasonable fear that some “patriot” would take revenge. So then all mosques – including ones in Brooklyn led by fiery imans – should advise their congregants to get the weapons used in Aurora and carry them at all times?

    It’s worth noting that slaves, free blacks, or whites who did not swear loyalty to the Revolution were not allowed to own weapons. If anyone had a legitimate fear of tyranny, it was these groups. The Founders had much more onerous gun control laws than we do. Why do you suppose that is?

    Take your time, it’s a tough one.

    Posted January 17, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink
  32. Malcolm says

    You should have taken longer, Pete – you got it wrong.

    The correct answer is that a gun show is, obviously and even tautologically (and utterly unlike an elementary school), NOT a “gun-free zone”. Anyone who started shooting in one would be cut down in an instant. Oddly, there’s never been a mass shooting at a gun show. (For some reason, these people seem to prefer schools, or the only “gun-free” theater for miles around, etc.)

    If the purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect citizens against tyranny, then you would support Black Panthers and Nation of Islam followers to have the unrestricted right to own Bushmasters with high capacity magazines, as well as conceal them and take them to schools, airports, parks, and the White House, correct? … Second Amendment rights extend to black nationalists, radical Muslims, the KKK, and Earth Firsters, do they not?

    They do. Second Amendment rights extend to all enfranchised U.S. citizens. Unlike you, I don’t make a big fuss about Bushmasters, because they are nothing more than low-caliber semi-automatic rifles (have fun trying to concealed-carry one, also). As for high-capacity magazines, given that an experienced shooter can change a magazine in a second or so, I’m not inclined to fuss about those, either. (With particular regard to 100-round mags, try strapping a 15-pound dumbbell to your rifle and see if that’s what you want to shoot with. They also jam, as James Holmes’s did. Even the military doesn’t bother with them.)

    It’s worth pondering what the reaction would have been if Adam Lanza was a Muslim. He would not just have been a loony tunes – he would have been a jihadist.

    And if my Aunt Enna had tubes, she’d be a radio. But you’re confused here: Adam Lanza “would have been a jihadist” if he had been a jihadist. That Muslims are more likely to subscribe to jihadist ideology than the rest of us is another matter altogether, and not the topic of this discussion. Adam Lanza was not a Muslim or a jihadist, however; he was… cómo se dice?… “mental”. (But not so irrational as to try shooting up a police station, or a gun show, mind you.)

    It’s worth noting that slaves, free blacks, or whites who did not swear loyalty to the Revolution were not allowed to own weapons.

    As for slaves and freed blacks, Second Amendment rights apply only to franchised citizens. As for loyalists after the Revolution, they were, effectively, enemy partisans who had just been vanquished in war. It is, to say the least, uncommon for conquerors in war not to disarm the conquered.

    I see where you are going with this; you are trying to place all resistance to government on an equal footing, then argue that everything that facilitates such resistance be equally suppressed as aiding sedition.

    The simple fact is, however, that every revolution has two sides. Every tyranny has its partisans, and so does every revolt. It’s all a matter of where your sympathies lie. When Muslim jihadists attempt to install a new Caliphate in America, by violent means or otherwise, my sympathies go against them. Likewise as regards a Black Panther attempt at a Marxist revolution. If it becomes clear that such a conspiracy exists within such a group, we will expect the government to arrest and disarm them. They will resist. The sympathies of most Americans, including my own, will be on the side of the Government. (This is to say, as regards Muslim or Black Panther revolutions, we will be “loyalists”.) That’s the way these things go. (Don’t be surprised if there is a wave of arrests in the wake of this latest spasm of government opposition to gun rights, and the reactions it has provoked.)

    As the Founders understood, when push comes to shove it all comes down to what issues and causes you think are valid justifications for resistance. The regime will always defend itself against threats to its supremacy; that’s the way of the world. But having just thrown off the shackles of tyranny themselves by armed resistance, the Founders wanted to preserve the option for posterity, in perpetuity. They thought that the possibility of occasional armed uprisings — even those based on ideologies that they themselves would oppose, and would side with the government to combat — was a far better trade-off than disarming the citizenry, and thereby rendering them forever helpless against tyranny.

    “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.”

    Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1787

    Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink
  33. JK says

    ‘JK off on another of his tangents’?

    Not really, we’ve all been debating Cause – and I worry when some of you see where this link’ll land you – you might be tempted to not click out of principal.

    But it does contain this:

    “…If it spreads along lines of communication, .. the cause is information. Think Bieber Fever. If it travels along major transportation routes, the cause is microbial. Think influenza. If it spreads out like a fan, the cause is an insect. Think malaria. But if it’s everywhere, all at once—as both the rise of crime in the ’60s and ’70s and the fall of crime in the ’90s seemed to be—the cause is a molecule. …”

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

    Admittedly – leaded gasoline is likely out as causative for gun crime but…

    (H/T HBD Chick)

    Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  34. the one eyed man says

    While you are convinced that bad men with guns would never create havoc at a gun show,the people who are actually giving the gun show feel quite differenty. They do not allow loaded weapons into their shows out of concern for the “personal safety” of their attendees.

    Bring a loaded gun to a gun show? Too dangerous to be allowed. Bring a gun to a day care center, sports stadium, or airport? Great idea! Makes perfect sense.

    While you embrace the ease with which members of groups founded on hatred (KKK, Nation of Islam), revenge (Black Panthers), criminal obsession (Earth First), and pederasty (NAMBLA) can obtain weapons which were designed for the battlefield, you cavalierly dismiss the fact that when a rabble which is excitable, volatile, and emotional is aroused, bad things happen, and the potential for catastrophe increases commensurately with available lethality.

    An analogy is allowing people to bring weapons to a bar. People who are drunk tend to be unpredictable, impulsive, and reckless, and, what might be a fist fight turns into something much worse. When people are under the sway of alcohol, or charismatic leaders like Malcolm X, the likelihood of gun violence increases along with their availability and lethality. Hence any putative gun rights must be balanced against public safety, which could also be described as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Insisting that gun rights are absolute, and public safety is a secondary, tertiary, or perhaps even non-existent concern, is as preposterous as your insistence that that violent sedition is a constitutional right. The only people who believe this are gun nuts, while the legal profession – from Antonin Scalia to wise Latinas – know better.

    Today’s weather is 68 and sunny. While I’m guessing that people in red states are busy shovelling out their driveways, I think I will take the dog out for a walk by the Bay. This would be after sitting under the redwood tree in my back yard, and enjoying California’s agricultural bounty, in the form of our state’s largest cash crop.

    Posted January 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  35. Malcolm says

    The more you rattle on, the more I really think you don’t understand the idea behind the Second Amendment at all, Peter. “Violent sedition” is what happened in the Revolutionary War. The Founders knew that it might become necessary again, and that the people might need to defend themselves against external enemies too. In other words, in America the power rests ultimately with its free people. That’s it!

    I’ve never said gun rights are “absolute”, and of course if a bar owner, or a gun show owner, wants everyone to check his piece at the door, that’s fine. Nobody has to go there if they don’t want to.

    I’ve also never said I was opposed to certain measures intended to disarm certain classes of people — the insane, felons, etc. (One has to be careful with government certification of mental illness, though — it is a favorite method of ruthless states for the suppression of dissidents.)

    But you seem to want to disarm those groups whose politics you disagree with — or failing that, just to disarm everyone. Not gonna fly.

    And this liberal obsession with “assaulty looking” rifles is downright idiotic — and to the extent that it isn’t just ignorant, it’s hypocritical, too.

    But I’ve said all this before. I think this thread is “Petering” out.

    Posted January 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
  36. Malcolm says

    Ultimately, this “debate” can never be fruitful if one party refuses, as you do, to grant the possibility that there may ever be a need for the people to resist tyrannous usurpations of their liberty. That is the essential axiom from which Second-Amendment conservatism flows; it is the axiom, held as self-evident by the Founders, that gave rise to the Second Amendment in the first place.

    Like all discussions, if there is no agreement on axioms then there is no possibility of agreement generally. So we might as well leave it there.

    Posted January 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
  37. the one eyed man says

    My understanding of the Second Amendment is the mainstream interpretation. To ease the transition to federalism from the Articles of Confederation (powerful states, weak central government) to the Constitution (weak states, powerful central government), the Founders allowed the continuation of well-regulated state and local militia. While these militia became extinct long ago, they were useful at the time, as for example when Daniel Shays rebelled.

    Regarding the private ownership of guns: in the 1960′s, the gun lobby pushed an alternate version – characterized by Chief Justice Warren Burger as “fraudulent” – that the Amendment extends to private ownership of guns. In a 5-4 split decision, Heller posited the right to own handguns, partially reversing an earlier (unanimous) decision which denied the right to own sawed off shotguns. Heller also explicitly allowed the government to regulate gun ownership as it deemed fit. Private ownership of handguns is at the margin of Second Amendment interpretation, and taking the quantum leap to boldly assert that this limited and disputed right extends to the ownership of military weapons so citizens can battle perceived tyranny is preposterous. If that were the case, Timothy McVeigh could have used a Second Amendment defense when he attacked a federal building with a chemical bomb because of its perceived tyrannical overreach.

    While it is difficult to imagine a circumstance where a democracy becomes a tyranny (the examples you cited elsewhere all being inapt: Pinochet came to power because Allende was overthrown by American money and CIA sabotage, making that example analogous to the transition from democracy to tyranny in 1956 Hungary, when Soviet troops rolled in; Rhodesia/Zimbabwe is a post-colonial society where democracy and white leadership never took hold; Chavez may be an unsavory leader, but he is popularly elected and authoritarian, but no Stalin), let’s suppose that comes a day when there is “a need for the people to resist tyrannous usurpations of their liberty.” If that were the case, then revolutionaries would do what revolutionaries have always done, which is to seek redress with extra-judicial means. No constitution or social compact would include a clause allowing for its violent demise.

    I do agree with you that government certification of insanity is dangerous. You may recall that we saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest together when it first came out.

    I also agree that this discussion has Petered out – I hope you are not touchy about my reference to Malcolm X – and it is time to move on to other things, like Monday’s inauguration of our pluripotent President, Barack Obama.

    Posted January 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  38. Malcolm says

    …taking the quantum leap to boldly assert that this limited and disputed right extends to the ownership of military weapons so citizens can battle perceived tyranny is preposterous.

    Again: that’s why the Founders put it there. Read some history. I’ll remind you also that the amendment is not there to positively grant a new right, but to protect for all time a pre-existing right that they saw as guaranteeing all the others.

    Let’s suppose that comes a day when there is “a need for the people to resist tyrannous usurpations of their liberty.” If that were the case, Timothy McVeigh could have used a Second Amendment defense when he attacked a federal building with a chemical bomb because of its perceived tyrannical overreach.

    You really don’t understand this stuff, do you, Peter? Revolutionaries can’t expect to make successful “Second Amendment defenses” when they strike against the government. ANY government is going to treat ANY rebellion as a seditious, criminal act, so it should be obvious that no such defense would be effective. (And McVeigh’s act, striking as it did innocent civilians, women and children, was a vile — and incoherent — act of terrorism. I make no brief for Timothy McVeigh.) The validity of any rebellion is purely a matter of where your partisan allegiances lie; all tyrannies have their supporters, too.

    The point of the Second Amendment is to guarantee that the power ultimately rests where it belongs: with the free people of America.

    (the examples you cited elsewhere all being inapt: Pinochet came to power because Allende was overthrown by American money and CIA sabotage, making that example analogous to the transition from democracy to tyranny in 1956 Hungary, when Soviet troops rolled in;

    You’re gibbering here. You seem to think that how tyranny arises for some reason invalidates the people’s justification to resist it. If the KGB had installed a Communist tyranny in America, we would somehow have been wrong to fight back?

    Rhodesia/Zimbabwe is a post-colonial society where democracy and white leadership never took hold;

    Of course it “took hold”; it was a well-functioning, prosperous nation. and now it’s an impoverished, oppressive shithole. Rhodesia was a democracy, now it’s a tyranny. You can say that’s “inapt” all you like.

    Chavez may be an unsavory leader, but he is popularly elected and authoritarian, but no Stalin)

    First of all, you seem to think, God knows why, that “popularly elected” and “tyranny” are somehow mutually exclusive. (Hitler, for example, was popularly elected, and so was Mussolini.) As for Venezuela being a free and happy place under Chavez, I have Venezuelan friends who would disagree with you in the strongest terms. (They would do so in the Venezuelan press, but they can’t.)

    Fortunately, that bastard Chavez looks to be dying.

    If that were the case, then revolutionaries would do what revolutionaries have always done, which is to seek redress with extra-judicial means. No constitution or social compact would include a clause allowing for its violent demise.

    Boy, you really don’t seem to know anything about the history of the American Revolution, Peter, or the reasoning embodied in the Constitution. At any rate, you are exactly wrong: this is precisely why the Second Amendment exists. (You should stop getting all your history and social commentary from contemporary sources, I think; you should go read some OLD books and letters, and you’d get a clearer view of the thoughts of contemporary minds on this topic.) The Founders made crystal clear that they wished to ensure that when the citizens must, as a last resort, turn to extra-judicial means to throw off the chains of a usurpatious government (as they themselves just had!), that they would always have the means to do so. They wanted to set the right, and the means, of a free people to defend their liberty and property forever beyond the shifting winds of politics, and the grasp of majorities and factions.

    They also provided a mechanism by which this can change, you know. If you really want to disarm the people, then what you should be lobbying for, instead of all this idiocy about scary-looking rifles (which kill fewer people than clubs and hammers), is called a “Constitutional amendment”. Good luck.

    Posted January 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink
  39. [Peter wrote:]

    “My understanding of the Second Amendment is the mainstream interpretation. To ease the transition to federalism from the Articles of Confederation (powerful states, weak central government) to the Constitution (weak states, powerful central government), the Founders allowed the continuation of well-regulated state and local militia. While these militia became extinct long ago, they were useful at the time, as for example when Daniel Shays rebelled.”

    [Malcolm replied:]

    They also provided a mechanism by which this can change, you know. If you really want to disarm the people, then what you should be lobbying for, instead of all this idiocy about scary-looking rifles (which kill fewer people than clubs and hammers), is called a “Constitutional amendment”. Good luck.

    The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. If, in the Left’s considered opinion, the Second Amendment was intended “[t]o ease the transition to federalism from the Articles of Confederation”, and, therefore, has outgrown its original intent, it is abundantly clear that the Left should push for an Amendment to repeal it.

    Posted January 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  40. Malcolm says

    WRT “popularly elected”, here’s Tocqueville, writing c. 1832:

    If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event may be attributed to the unlimited authority of the majority, which may at some future time urge the minorities to desperation, and oblige them to have recourse to physical force.

    Posted January 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

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