Well, the Supreme Court has affirmed — barely — that the 2nd Amendment is, indeed, an individual right, and it’s sent the gun-grabbers into paroxysms. (Or, as my fellow Granite Stater Bruce likes to say in his inimitable — but profane — way, PSH — for “Pants-Shitting Hysteria.”)
As always, I know I can count on the Boston Globe to lead the charge off the cliff in blind panic. And they came through — not only with their own editorial take, but one from a Constitutional scholar from Harvard as well.
First up, the Glob’s own words are extremely entertaining.
To arrive at this decision, the court performed a grammatical parsing that would confound the best English teacher, deciding that the first 13 words are merely “prefatory” to the “operative clause” of the one-sentence amendment, thus conveniently tossing aside the importance of “a well regulated militia” to the right to bear arms.
Someone needs to find an English teacher — any will do, not this mythical “best” — and explain to them that “operative clause” is a valid term. It’s the part of the sentence that contains the subject and the verb — the “meat” of the sentence. Grammatically speaking, you should be able to strip away everything else and have a perfectly constructed sentence. And the last half of the 2nd Amendment is grammatically sound.
From a grammatical viewpoint, the role of the first clause is questionable. It might, as the gun grabbers prefer to think, be a dependent clause — one that modifies the meaning of the operative clause. Alternately, it could be an exhortatory sentiment, giving weight to the general sentiment of the latter part. Or it could be merely citing a single example as to why the latter part is so important. Taken strictly by itself, the 2nd Amendment can be legitimately interpreted in any of those ways — without confounding anyone, let alone a trained and educated grammarian.
So be it. The 5-4 decision is not a surprise from a court that routinely bends precedent to suit its ideology.
Gee, that sounds so darned familiar…
Still, no right is absolute. Even the First Amendment, beloved of editorial writers, has limits. The right to free speech can be restricted where its full expression might cause harm: libel, obscenity, incitement to riot. Similarly, the court ruled that the Second Amendment can be restricted for reasons of public safety.
Hey, Globe: get back to me when the government starts requiring a permit before buying a printing press, restricts publishing only to those who show a “compelling need” to publish, and takes away one’s right to publish for completely unrelated offenses — all done BEFORE one exercises that right. Until then, STFU.
The important work now is to determine what constitutes “reasonable” regulation of murderous weapons.
This sums up the Globe’s mentality towards violent crime: spare the killer, kill the tool. And while you’re at it, kill all the other tools that look like the one the killer used.
Even the lawyer for Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the challenge to the strict handgun ban in Washington, D.C., told the court that reasonable restrictions might also include background checks, curbs on gun ownership by minors, and a ban on machine guns. We would add limits on bulk purchases, background checks on purchasers at gun shows, and a reasonable waiting period to prevent crimes of passion.
Hmm… maybe they have a good idea here. Perhaps, had background checks and waiting periods been in effect for the First Amendment, Newsweek wouldn’t have published that bogus “Koran in the toilet” story that triggered riots around the world.
Some Americans may feel safer owning a gun for self-defense. But guns will still kill 80 people today in homicides, suicides, or accidents. This ruling won’t change that.
And, of course, EVERY SINGLE ONE of those guns used in a homicide, suicide, or accident will be a legally registered firearm, because everyone knows that once you pass a law, then the problem just goes away.
It also neglects to mention all the guns that will be used today for sporting purposes, training and practice, or — and this is the one that they hate to talk about — self-defense. Nobody keeps track of how many times the mere presence of a gun in the hands of someone who has both the training and the will to use it in their own defense will disarm a situation, head off a violent confrontation.
It’s amazing, how many of the same people who decry “Bush’s police state” want to give all the power to the police, who are so eager to entrust their very safety 100% to the hands of the authorities — who have absolutely no legal obligation to protect any individual, and long-standing court precedents to back them up.
How little does one value one’s own freedom, one’s own life, if one is willing to surrender any and all responsibility for preserving it to the government? How little respect do they have for their fellow citizens that they wish to impose that capitulation on all others? And how much do they fear and distrust their fellow citizens if they sincerely believe that the mere possession of a firearm will unleash some crazed psychopath within them?
I’d rather not live like that, thanks. In the choice between my fellow average citizens and the highly-educated, privileged, intellectual elite of the Boston Globe, I’ll toss in my lot with Joe Sixpack.
And his gun collection.
Wow. Over 900 words, and that’s just on the Globe editorial. I’ll kick around the good professor’s sentiments later.)