September 06, 2002

Drivel Policy Institute - The

Drivel Policy Institute - The Violence Policy Center continues its descent into hilarious irrelevance with it's annual "Alexander Hamilton Second Amendment Student Writing Competition". Students (graduate and law,mostly) are to write "the best article, essay, or law review note critically examining the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson, No. 99-10331, 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 22386 (October 16, 2001), in light of judicial precedent and historical and legal scholarship on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution"

Why Hamilton? Because he was a "victim of handgun violence", says the VPC.

It was, of course, a duel - a purely consensual form of violence. Barbaric, to be sure, but hardly the sort of thing that's germane to the VPC's gun control agenda.

Uberblogger Volokh says (scroll down - it was posted Friday morning):

Wow, a victim of handgun violence. In some sense, I suppose, it's true -- he was killed in a violent act with a handgun. But surely if the NRA wanted to have a poster child for its "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" campaign, Hamilton would be top of the list! First, what Hamilton did was already illegal -- dueling was and is attempted murder (or, in Burr's case, actual murder). Can you imagine the scenario? "Mr. Burr, I would fight a duel with you, notwithstanding that dueling is a crime -- but because handguns are illegal, I cannot."
Volokh goes on to note:
Whatever one may say about Hamilton's death, it most assuredly provides zero support for gun control proposals. Blaming the gun -- as opposed to blaming Hamilton himself, blaming Burr, blaming social attitudes that tolerated or encouraged dueling, or whatever else -- in this case is almost self-parody. If the NRA were trying to mock the anti-gun forces by putting ridiculous words in their mouths, it would be hard for them to beat "Hamilton was himself a victim of handgun violence."
In any case - I can't wait to read the winning paper...

Posted by Mitch at September 6, 2002 02:55 PM