The Gun Control debate.
Thursday, June 26, 2003
I'm Glad This Has Stimulated You
"Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a safety hazard don't see the danger of the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use this same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like."Now THAT's pragmatism. Dershowitz really doesn't like the Second Amendment, but at least he recognizes what it's there to protect.
I question whether you can wind back the clock by relaxing gun control laws. Besides, in the context of the present society in which we live, I believe that (re)introducing a largely unrestricted personal right to keep and bear arms would prove detrimental to society. I think it would create more problems than it would solve.No offense, but I'm not really concerned about the right to arms as it pertains to England. My concern is the right to arms here. I'm not all that concerned about "winding back the clock" either. My position is largely "this far, no further," but I very much want the Federal government to apply the 14th Amendment and make gun laws uniform across the country. What is legal in Arizona should not be a felony in Chicago.
I wrote a rather long essay (big surprise) on my blog concerning what it is that I advocate. It's entitled "Is the Government Responsible for Your Protection?" Read and think on that, if you would.
Again, I want to break Tytler's cycle. I hope that breaking that cycle doesn't require Jefferson's periodic rebellions. I hope that what it requires is a reasoning, responsible citizenry - an anathema to governments that ever yearn to have more and more control over the citizens they are supposed to serve. I hope, fervently, that the instantaneous communications that the internet represents will be a force for providing that reasoning, responsible citizenry. So long as the citizenry is interested, involved, educated, and responsible, then society will be vibrant and healthy. Guns in the hands of the law-abiding citizens are nothing to fear. If the society becomes disconnected, apathetic, ignorant and irresponsible, disarming the people still willing to follow the law won't help. It just aids Tytler's descent into bondage. posted by Kevin | 17:40
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
I feel that we have two different viewpoints. that mine is more pragmatic, whereas yours is more theoretical. I look at my fellow commuters on the Tube in the morning and I imagine what would happen if each and every one were able to carry a gun, while you quote the Founding Fathers. I think a lot has changed since they drafted the Consititution and I suspect that, were Jefferson & Co. here today, they would be disgusted at how the American people have failed to keep the republic they created. Bennet may well be right, and "the distinctive difference between a free man and a slave is the right to possess arms", in which case we're all already slaves and focusing purely on the right to keep and bear arms is short-sighted and a distraction from the real issue.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Banging My Head Against a Convenient Wall...
Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.Somewhere along the way "the police" became something other than "the public," and the "duties incumbent on every citizen" became "somebody else's problem." Taxation? Yes, ours is high, but Europe's is a lot higher. Inflation of currency? Inflation is a given. I'm not going to be concerned about it until it takes a wheelbarrow full of $100's to buy groceries. Violence? Other than homicides, our violent crime rate is lower than England's. That's not to say it's good but it really isn't anywhere near as bad as the newspapers make it out to be. This is not, for example, Haiti. Riots? Yes, that's a real concern. When a college team loses (or wins!) a national championship, and it leads to riots, looting, and arson, it's an indicator of real trouble. We don't have conscription and we've outlawed slavery, but we have compulsion in the form of taxation, and the "speedy trial" part has gone down the tubes. Personal rudeness? Among some youth, absolutely. Among adults, I have to withhold a decision. I haven't seen very much of that outside the political arena. Bad manners? Isn't that covered under "rudeness?"
I'm hopeful that we can break Tytler's cycle. All that it requires is an interested, educated populace. But that requires work. Wanting to speed up Tytler's cycle means that you want to see us descend once again into bondage. I won't go there. I think Churchill was right.
posted by Kevin | 18:58
The passages you quote regarding the militia only serve, I'm afraid, to further reinforce my belief that the enumeration and protection of the right to bear arms was in the context of a militia. It appears that the militia envisioned by the Founders has been either disestablished or allowed to wither away through apathy.