Non-Sequitur Finds A Home

When you’ve been a Second Amendment activist long enough, you eventually realize something – something that is at once depressing and liberating. Depressing because you realize so many of your fellow Americans are incapable of framing a logical argument; liberating because it means you can have a life, and dispense with most of the sturm and drang that goes along with an actual challenging argument.

When lefties argue about guns, eventually, after you shred them on facts (and if you’re moderately competent, you always, always, always shred them on the facts), they revert to one of the following:

  1. Spin a nonexisent penumbra from whole cloth: This, the first stage, used to be a lot more fruitful for them, when Laurence Tribe was still among the “Collective Right” orcs. But once even he got the big flamin’ clue, it became a lot more fruitless (as commenter Penigma/Leftout/maybe a few other handles demonstrates in this thread at Centrisity – whose author Flash at least has always been correct on this issue, anyway).
  2. Insult your genitals: “OK, well, maybe that’s a fact, but I think the reason you gun nuts are so excited about guns is because you’re, hnyuk, hnyuk, compensating for something…hnyuk”. It’s always delivered with the little edge that makes it sound like they think they actually are the first person to use this line, but with a pacing that’s about two steps removed from Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade. And yes, when we argue impassionedly for our beliefs, we are compensating – for the fact that our votes count the same as those of the sort of pantloads that think they’re being clever with this line. Retire it, commies.
  3. “The Founding Fathers were referring to muskets!”

Vide “MNob”, an alleged a lawyer (no, I do know she’s an actual lawyer, albeit one with a history of being really bad at explaining law to her readers), writing at Cucking Stool:

So in District of Columbia v. Heller the Supreme Court has found that the Washington D.C. gun control statute is invalid because it is at odds with what the writers of the Constitution had in mind when they drafted the Second Amendment.

REVERT ALERT!

No word yet on whether the citizens of the District will be limited to the single-shot, front loaded muskets that the drafters also had in mind when they wrote the Amendment

Um, no. No word on that.

Also no “word” on whether the First will be limited to the town criers, movable type broadsheets, small community churches and assemblies of white males in towns of less than 50,000 that existed when it was drafted.

Or if the Fourth will leave out international crimes unknown to the founders.

Or if the Fifth would prohibit eminent domain by corporations, which were exceedingly rare in 1789.

About the Sixth and Seventh only applying to juries made up of landed men? Still silent.

Or if the Eighth still primarily abjures things like burning at th stake and roasting over coals (common in the collective memory of the drafters) in preference for the non-cruel, non-unusual public group hangings of the day.

Also nothing on whether the the Ninth and Tenth…well, being a liberal, MNob doesn ‘t know either of those.

For that matter they were quiet on whether the whole “of the People” thing will still refer to white males who own property.

“What?”, you say? “Nowhere in the Bill of Rights is specific technology mentioned? And they provide no specific applications for principles? Why, it’s almost as if the Founding Fathers, many of whom were both the technocrats of their day and incurable optimists, knew that the technology of our society was going to change in the future, and were smart enough to write a constitution based on principles rather than niggling nit-picking about specific bits of applied science and social mores of the day? Who knew?”

Well, I know someone who doesn’t.

At any rate, MNob, I can set you up with some quill pens and parchment to help kick off your new originalist blogging career. No, seriously, don’t mention it.

UPDATE:  I still haven’t had time to read the decision – I may be taking the afternoon off and spending part of it on that.

But commenter Master of None notes that, indeed, there is “word” on MNob’s complaint.

From Scalia (quoting MoN):

“Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way… the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

Wow.

Word!

36 thoughts on “Non-Sequitur Finds A Home

  1. Um, no. No word on that.

    Scalia has word:

    “Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way… the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

  2. What Scalia gives with one hand he takes with the other:
    “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.” [cites omitted]

    It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service–M-16 rifles and the like–may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. . . . But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.”

    Look for lots of court cases over what constitutes a “dangerous and unusual weapons”. As usual lawyers take careful pains to keep each other in business.

  3. I can live with “dangerous and usual”. I have little use for a flamethrower or SAM7.

  4. I heard the DC mayor saying that he’d respect the decision, but that the ban on carrying handguns in DC would still stand. Dumb question, probably, but how could that law stand up against the combination of that decision and “keep and bear” in the amendment?

  5. Look for lots of court cases over what constitutes a “dangerous and unusual weapons”. As usual lawyers take careful pains to keep each other in business.

    True enough. But as far as I’ve seen – and I haven’t had time to do an exhaustive read – this is hardly unexpected. The “dream” case would have been a 6-3 majority that hewed a purely idealistic line about makes, models and operating systems. But times being what they are, Scalia left this open for legislatures and lower courts to hash out.

    Which the NRA is very good at. So while you’re far from the first lefty to try to kill my buzz with Scalia’s remarks, all it means is “we” gotta get out our lobbying shoes and hit our respective state Capitols.

    No biggie!

  6. Does anybody ever ask Mayors (like the one in DC) what their ban has done to make their citizens safer? My God, if people are ‘safer’ in DC, then what would less safe be like?!

    Why are leftist so afraid of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens? Please answer this one of you guys on the left-without the phallus-snarkery and crap. Aren’t you more worried about criminals-with or without a weapon? I seriously want to know what you have to fear? I’m thinking the answer is: not one damn thing-you just want to “win” the argument. Power.

  7. My God, if people are ’safer’ in DC, then what would less safe be like?!
    Kandahar.

  8. Dammit, Kermit, don’t you see?!

    When the San Francisko Politburo decides the detail about which of our firearms are dangerous and unusual, who’s gonna step in and overturn their decision?! Scaliaburg?!

    More judicial conservatives with muscle needed, Maverick!
    /jc

  9. Colleen pondered; “Does anybody ever ask Mayors (like the one in DC) what their ban has done to make their citizens safer? My God, if people are ’safer’ in DC, then what would less safe be like?!”

    Better for unelected judges to decide the issue. Obviously the people in DC can’t be trusted to make the decision for themselves.

  10. AssClown is right.

    Now that the SCOTUS has come right out and declared that the Bill of Rights means what it says, the next hing you know they’ll be finding a right of infanticide in there.

    Silly, I know, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  11. Ironic, Swiffer, with your constant mewling about abortion, that you’re a walking advertisement for the practice.

  12. Obviously the people in DC can’t be trusted to make the decision for themselves.

    Those in DC who want to make a decision to own and carry a gun, cannot, for they would be in violation of a law enacted in violation of their consitutional right.

  13. Seems to me current Supreme Court caselaw absolutely protects the shooting of fetuses. Pull!

  14. Obviously the people in DC (and Chicago, and San Fran) can’t be trusted not to elect mewling, paternalistc socialists.

  15. Oh, I wouldn’t want none of them there dangerous, unusual weapons. While I kind of like my S&W 625JM, I’d settle for a Tavor as a carry piece, instead.

    RickDFL? We’re here, we’re armed, get used to it.

  16. Is an HK91 or a SIG510-4 “unusual or dangerous?”

    Dangerously expensive, maybe. But me want.

  17. Annoying Communist wrote:

    Better for unelected judges to decide the issue. Obviously the people in DC can’t be trusted to make the decision for themselves.

    Yet according to USA Today:

    “Nearly three out of four Americans — 73% — believe the Second Amendment spells out an individual right to own a firearm, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of 1,016 adults taken Feb. 8-10.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-02-26-guns-cover_N.htm

    Better work on those math skills, buddy. Say, you believe Gore won all those recounts, don’t you?

  18. AC and Terry,

    Good point!

    Instead of letting the SCOTUS noodle around with all of that “interpreting the Constitution” malarkey, let’s have a national referendum!

    Among those that care to show up (4,000,000 in the NRA, 200,000 in the GOA versus about 100,000 in the Brady Campaign and 35K in the “Million Mom March”)

    Who needs judges, anyway?

  19. None of mine, Swiftee. Unlike you, Angryclown actually knows how to put on a rubber. (Careful, little fella, your face is turning blue!) Angryclown just hangs around by the clinic and offers half price.

    Pull! BLAM!

    It’s a Constitutional right, you know.

  20. It’s a Constitutional right, you know.

    Wonder if Clown keeps and bears one of those cannon that shoot him across the tent?

    I smell litigation!

  21. > Instead of letting the SCOTUS noodle around with all of that “interpreting the Constitution” malarkey, let’s have a national referendum!

    That’s the spirit, Mitch!

    We can’t let those mealy elected officiakrats decide what oughta be a law!

    It’s our proper judicial conservatives that will protect our constitutional freedoms!
    /jc

  22. What? Did you read my post?

    Let THE PEOPLE decide! At the Polls! Let every vote count!

    (Especially when 3/4 of us are for various degree of second amendment rights, and the NRA outnumbers the orc organizations 30-1).

  23. “Unlike you, Angryclown actually knows how to put on a rubber.”

    And for that, the world is a better place.
    =========

    (Careful, little fella, your face is turning blue!)

    I have a cartoon bubble of AssClown pulling a (tiny clown?) rubber over the head of AssClown Jr. in the belief that if you don’t want more kids….

    heh.

  24. Liberals have come to believe that even though there is an individual right to bear arms in the constitution, local governments should still make it impossible to keep & carry a gun.
    They also believe that abortion and gay marriage are constitutional rights even though they are not actually, you know, in the constitution.
    This means that the constitution — from which government derives its legitimacy — has no actual meaning as far as the government is concerned.

  25. Sure, Terry, cause the 14th Amendment clearly guarantees “equal protection of the laws, unless you’re a homo.” Go read Bush v. Gore and then tell us all about wingnut reverence for the Constitution.

  26. Almost Terry. The defining principle of modern liberal orthodoxy is that you have no innate rights and that someone else knows what’s best for you and should be allowed to impose it upon you through government coercion.

    If anybody has a better explanation for “freedom loving liberals” supporting things like smoking bans, trans fat bans, bans on freedom of association, campaign and political speech bans I’d love to hear it. About the only place that modern liberalism believes in some semblance of personal liberty is in reproductive and sexual practices.

  27. But clown, per O’Connor, Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer in Grutter v Bollinger, the states can ignore the 14th amendment if they can convince the SC that they have a compelling interest in doing so. The constitution has no meaning in and of itself. It’s all contingency & consensus. In the end your constitutional rights are about as meaningful as the DMV’s promise to stay open an extra hour on friday afternoons.
    It is the state, you have no ‘rights’, get used to it.

  28. I hate to repeat myself, but you’re an idiot, nerdbert. Maybe you can show me which bits in the Constitution guarantee your wingnut right to smoke in public places, sell unwholesome food and bribe politicians. Not there? That must be very disappointing for you.

    Of course when it comes to actual Constitutional rights (other than the one guaranteed by Amendment Two) you wingnuts suck donkeys. So shut up already!

  29. I hate to repeat myself

    When you don’t, it will be a miracle. You’re a broken record on wide stances and other homophobic comments, much less your other innumerable memes.

    guarantee your wingnut right to smoke in public places

    Angryclown, you ignorant slut, haven’t you noticed who wanted to ban smoking in private home AND private clubs?

    sell unwholesome food

    Angryclown, you scientifically challenged, visionless twit, haven’t you noticed that not everybody reacts to food in the same way? Some things are genetically determined and what may be unhealthy for some (salt, for example) is not unhealthy for others. And if I want to knowingly purchase and consume something bad for me why the heck do you think you have a right to interfere with how I treat myself? We know you’re incompetent enough to need a minder, but there are classes of folks who can run their own lives.

    bribe politicians

    Angryclown you sad, pathetic, twisted loser, who supported the ban on personal funding of campaign ads? How the hell you do bribe yourself?

    Angryclown, you shameless, serial troll and defender of collective mindthink, if people have no freedom in their persons, what freedoms do they really have? I support your right to be an idiot who destroys his precious few remaining braincells in seltzer. Strangely enough, you and your side seem to have a problem with other people going to hell in their own way (unless, as I noted before, sodomy is involved).

    So shut up already!

    Oooh, I got under his skin! Do I get trolling the troll points now Mitch?

    But to get back to my point, I see that Dave Bernstein at Cato was thinking along similar lines.

  30. Nerdbert-
    I suspect Ac has been been reading his favorite op-ed columnist, Paul Krugman. Krugman went off an a tear last week about how all the recent food-borne illness problems were Bush deregulating food processing, putting cronies in charge of the FDA, etc.
    Of course with Krugman you have to parse what he writes very carefully. He did not, in his column, compare the Bush years with the Clinton years.
    When you look at the actual data for both administrations, you saw outbreaks of foodborne illness have actually decreased since the Clinton years:
    http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks/outbreak_data.htm
    So it ain’t so! Krugman a misleader? Why. it’s enough to make a grown clown cry!

  31. Not only that, Terry. Public awareness of foodborne illness is up now because with each passing year we have greater ability to figure out the sources of foodborne illness because our technical sophistication has increased. We also have a plaintiff’s bar that has seen there’s money to be made in punishing institutional providers who sell food that might have salmonella, e. Coli, etc. That’s why you see millions of pounds of food get thrown out every time a report comes out. That never used to happen.

  32. AC, did you keep your Con Law books? Dig them out and brush up a bit, your recollection is faulty. Also, buzz through the Declaration of Independence again – it lays out the intellectual framework for limited government.

    The Constitution does not grant fundamental rights to people. God gave us those rights. The Constitution gives a few, limited powers to the federal government. Every other right, power and priviledge is reserved by the people for themselves to enjoy, or to the states. That’s what “enumerated powers” means.

    Knowing liberals’ tendancy to be easily confused, the people who wrote the Constitution added a list of rights they were especially concerned about protecting from the federal government. That list didn’t grant rights, either, merely confirmed their pre-existence and protection.

    Therefore, you will not find in the Constitution a list of rights enjoyed by individuals, or powers reserved to states. You might think the federal government should have the power to ban smoking in city parks. Fine – get the Constitution amended.

    Just leave your hands off our guns.
    .

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