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:
- 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).
- 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.
- “The Founding Fathers were referring to muskets!”
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.
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.”