Of course @HillaryClinton can’t say if bearing arms is a constitutional right.

June 5, 2016
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“I support… Which answer do you want?”

That would require her to have read and actually understood the document, instead of just paying it cursory lip service:

Hillary Clinton couldn’t definitively say Sunday that the Second Amendment of the Constitution guaranteed the right to bear arms during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Republican rival Donald Trump has charged that Clinton wants to abolish the amendment. While Stephanopoulos said he knew that wasn’t true, he pressed her on her gun views that have increasingly gone to the left.

“Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right, that it’s not linked to service in a militia?” he asked.

“I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice Scalia, and there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right, as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulations,” she said. “So I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.”

She then went on to blather more about “common sense” and “reasonable” regulations, but, to Stephanopoulos’ credit, he didn’t let her off the hook, pressing her about whether the right to bear arms is individual.

And, of course, the answer is “yes, it is an individual right.” Even A-level progressive constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe agrees with that:

“My conclusion came as something of a surprise to me, and an unwelcome surprise,” Professor Tribe said. “I have always supported as a matter of policy very comprehensive gun control.”

And he’s not the only one, as you’ll see at the article.

But Hillary is in a bit of a pickle: On the one hand, as a good Progressive, she thinks the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the doctrine of natural rights that lie behind them and were at the core of the American Founding, have been made obsolete by the march of History. In fact, they positively get in the way of the better managed society (managed by progressive experts, of course) we need to head toward. The right to self-defense is one of those bothersome natural rights. If Hillary came out and said an unequivocal “yes,” then she risks alienating her progressive-Socialist base.

On the other hand, Hillary needs to retain traditional Democrat voters, who also happen to like their guns and think it’s their business and no one else’s if they own won. Trump strongly appeals to a large swathe of these voters, and Lady Macbeth risks losing them if she gives in to her inner gun-grabber.

Hence the clumsy evasions. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

I’ll just sit back and enjoy watching Her Inevitableness squirm. smiley popcorn

PS: If you want to read an excellent book about the right to bear arms as understood at the time of the Constitution’s writing, I can recommend “The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms” by Stephen Halbrook.

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It was inevitable: gun rights in the crosshairs, again

January 11, 2011

In the 72 hours after the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of several others in Tucson, our moral betters on the liberal left were shouting in (coordinated?) outrage that it had to be due to the angry, overheated rhetoric from the Right, and most particularly from Sarah Palin. Even the Sheriff of Pima County couldn’t resist getting in on the act.

Though the Left is still pushing the “dangerous rhetoric” idea, even to the point of introducing a bill to criminalize free speech*, their campaign to smear their conservative opponents is crumbling like a wet cookie as it becomes increasingly clear that the shooter suffered from a serious mental illness and had no coherent political beliefs. So,with that tactic failing, what’s a good statist to do? How else can we exploit human tragedy to further our political agenda? Hmmm…

I’ve got it! Let’s blame it on Arizona’s loose gun laws! Then we can get gun-control legislation passed!

Trouble is, like the “inflamed rhetoric” argument, the idea that weak gun laws in Arizona allowed a mentally ill man to legally conceal-carry a firearm does not stand up to the light of truth, as Big Journalism’s Dana Loesch shows:

More on the role of conceal carry in a bit. I’ve seen many are making the case that just “anyone” with mental illness can buy a gun and that Arizona’s “relaxed” gun laws contributed to the Arizona tragedy because a mentally ill individual was allowed to legally purchase a firearm and we can’t just have mentally ill people buying guns. No, we can’t, which is why Arizona has a law about this. AZ law expressly states that due to their prohibited possessor stipulation, anyone proving a danger to themselves or others pursuant to court order is not allowed to purchase a firearm.

Under Arizona law, prohibited possessor are defined in ARS 13-3101 which states:

  • 7. “Prohibited possessor” means any person:
  • (a) Who has been found to constitute a danger to himself or to others or to be persistently or acutely disabled or gravely disabled pursuant to court order under section 36-540, and whose right to possess a firearm has not been restored pursuant to section 13-925.

Had campus security and his parents followed up with proper treatment and reported his actions, he, from what it sounds, would have been an easy PP and unable to buy a weapon. Had the Sheriff’s office acted upon what is suggested as their advanced knowledge of Loughner’s troubled history, they may have obtained a warrant and confiscated his firearm – or apprehended him before he bought it. Of course, this simply assumes that Loughner was only motivated to cause harm because he was in possession of a firearm and presupposes that the firearm was an accessory motivator and rules out for certain that Loughner would never have attacked anyone with, say, a knife, bat, or any other weapon.

The problem isn’t the fallacy that Arizona’s law failed – Arizona’s law, like every law, can only work if followed. Prohibited possession can only work if if troubled individuals are reported to authorities so that the existing laws can be applied to them and, in this case, prevent them from purchasing firearms.

In other words, the problem was that existing law was not applied when it should have been. (And the Sheriff’s office there is in serious need of investigation for its failures in this case.)

Loesch then goes on to address the faulty argument that permissive concealed-carry laws enabled this crime and increase the risks we face, citing numerous studies — including data from the FBI — to show that states that permit concealed-carry experience a sharp drop in violent crime. (For example)  Inconvenient truths, of course, rarely matter to the Statists in the media and government, who are quick to seize any reason, however fallacious, to try to advance their agenda of paternalistic control, including taking away our ability to defend ourselves.

For our own good, of course.

*Maybe they need another public reading of the Bill of Rights?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


What We Believe: gun rights and the 2nd amendment

November 8, 2010

In part five of his series on what American conservatives believe, Bill Whittle looks at the right of a free people to bear arms, how that is an essential part of our democratic republic, and pokes holes in the arguments of the gun-control lobby:

He’s missing some historical context for the Second Amendment, how it arose from a provision of the English Bill of Rights that itself was a reaction to the attempts by the Stuarts to ban firearms (for a good discussion, see Levy, Origin of the Bill of Rights, chapter six), but he’s spot on about the right to own guns being a sign of trust between citizens and their government. Suppress that right, and the bonds of trust are severely weakened as only agents of the State may bear arms while the people must rely on them for protection – and on their goodwill.  The citizen, in other words, is a citizen no more, but a servant.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)