Was Voting for Cloture a Vote to Infringe on Our 2A Rights?

Yesterday I wrote about 16 GOP Senators voting to begin debate on gun rights in the Senate. I noted that, in doing so, they had done nothing to violate the 2nd Amendment or any earlier statements of 2A support they had made. The vote was procedural and merely allowed debate.

Some people understood the distinction. Others vehemently disagreed.

The objections tended to fall into two camps.

First, congress has no authority to infringe on 2A rights so there is nothing to debate. The vote should never have happened. That it did is, in and of itself, a 2A infringement.

Second, letting this camel’s nose under the tent amounts to passing the bill because GOP Senators are RINO squishes. It doesn’t matter that the vote was procedural. It’s the first step in the process and if you voted for it you may as well have voted for the final bill.

But, as in wartime – where you don’t fight with the army you want, but with the army you have – so it is here. We cannot insist on fighting the fights we want, we must fight the fights we have. We correctly believe Congress has no authority to infringe on our rights. But 2A haters don’t care.

And they are talking, long and loud.

We can engage them or not. We can defend our rights on any field of battle or not. They are bringing the fight to us. Why would we not fight back?

Some seem to believe the debate itself is an actual infringement on 2A rights. I understand the emotion but the notion is silly. To infringe on a right, Congress must pass a law which does so. Talking about passing a law which does so isn’t an infringement. We’re the ones who believe that words mean things, remember?

Currently, the loudest voices are calling for infringement, if not outright repeal. In the face of that, how is it many on our side back ignoring the conversation and claim doing so is defending our 2A rights?

Really? How is trying to avoid an unavoidable fight a defense? If we don’t engage on the issue, how can we be said to defend anything? We might get away with that if we held the majority. But we don’t. Why, then, beat up on Lamar Alexander who noted last night that,

One of the reasons Republicans don’t have a governing majority is that we often pick the wrong fights. Voting to prevent a debate on gun rights is an argument Republicans will lose with the American people. Defending Second Amendment rights is an argument Republicans will win with the American people.

Of course, none of this matters if GOP Senators are RINO squishes. But that charge can’t be used against the Senators in this debate. Because their nature is already fixed.

If they really are RINO squishes, all is already lost. They voted for cloture the first time, they will do so the second time and will vote for the final bill. That’s what RINO squishes do, after all. It’s over.

But what if they aren’t?

What if they are, at least in the area of 2A issues, quite principled or willing to pretend to be such? At that point, their assertion that they support the 2A and will fight for it carries some weight and we should be supporting them and helping them, not calling them names and calling their character into question.

The bottom line is that 2A rights are under attack as never before by people who truly hate the idea of an armed citizenry. These enemies of the Constitution will stop at nothing to get what they want.

We can correctly observe such feelings are unconstitutional but we cannot deny they feel that way – and are willing to put actions – and words – to their feelings.

The remaining question is what we intend to do to combat them.

We can insist this is a debate we should not have and disengage. Or we can run to the sound of gunfire (pun intended), loaded for bear and bring every weapon we have to bear on the arguments of the enemy in a strong defense of our 2A rights.

Look for me alongside you in that fight. And don’t be too surprised if you see a GOP Senator or two – perhaps as many as 16 – on the firing line as well.

Ken Marrero

The Blue Collar Muse

Where’s my pitchfork and torch?
The CA Bill That Would Shut Down Every Small Restaurant
  • jim_m

    The argument that Congress cannot infringe upon our rights is silly. Of course Congress can infringe upon our rights, that is why the framers created a system of checks and balances. The Supreme Court is what protects us when Congress or the Executive infringe upon our rights. The real question is whether there remains any branch of government which will not infringe upon our rights in order to expand their own power.

    Not only can Congress infringe upon our rights but the framers expected it to.

    • LiberalNightmare

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

      un·al·ien·a·ble (n-ly-n-bl, -l–)
      Not to be separated, given away, or taken away; inalienable: “All of them . . . claim unalienable dignity as individuals”(Garrison Keillor).

      • jim_m

        Fair enough, Congress cannot “take away our rights” since some of those rights are unalienable. Yet Congress can take away the protection and recognition of those rights. It amounts to the same thing functionally.

        • LiberalNightmare

          And you think the framers wanted it that way?

          • jim_m

            No, I think the framers had the proper measure of men’s hearts and expected shallow, venal, greedy, power hungry, would be tyrants to someday succeed them. They planned to protect the nation against that eventuality. That time has arrived.

          • LiberalNightmare


      • Blue Collar Muse

        Exactly LN – =

        Which is why it is so important that we engage the Left when them come a’ calling for our rights to be taken away.

        Am I detecting some misunderstanding of the point I am making? I tried to be extra clear.

        We must engage the Left because the issue and the stakes are clear and high. If we abandon the discussion we cede the pulpit and megaphone to the gun grabbers.

        Not sure how to say it any more clearly …

        • LiberalNightmare

          I get your point muse, though Im not sure that you do.

          The senate is not the place to have a conversation, or engage the left. That conversation should be had, but once the senate is involved the conversation is over.

          The senate is the place where legislation is generated, that’s what it does, that’s all it does.

          Your point is based on a misunderstanding of what is happening. Once the senate is involved the conversation is over.

          • Blue Collar Muse

            Then the filibuster and other tactics in the Senate are also worthless and a waste of time? Looking to men like Paul, Lee, Cruz and Rubio is unfruitful because they cannot or will not do anything to impact the debate?

            I don’t believe you believe that. I believe you are so disillusioned with the process that you are seeing us as defeated before the fight ever starts.

            We may lose, true … but better to go down fighting than to simply give up and wait for them to put a round in you …

          • LiberalNightmare

            You just don’t get it muse.

            The fight was over the minute those 16 republicans voted for closure.

            Our unalienable rights are now open for discussion and up for sale.

            Men who are more concerned about their next term in office are deciding what part of those rights we get to keep, and what parts of those rights can be traded off.

            When this is all wrapped up, we might get some cheese out of it. Maybe the NRA will manage to get reciprocity for CCW permits, probably not.

            More likely we will be able to continue carrying and owning weapons, as long as we comply with even more licensing and restrictions.

            This isnt a win for us.

            The problem isn’t that I’m proclaiming defeat before the battle starts.
            The problem is that the battle is over, and you didn’t even know it started.

          • Blue Collar Muse

            As you wish … I will leave you to my ignorance …

    • Blue Collar Muse

      I did not say that Congress could not infringe on our rights. Of course they can and that’s why the Bill of Rights specifically forbids them from doing so.

      What I said was that having a conversation about any rights we possess is not the moral or constitutional equivalent of infringing on any right.

      To infringe on a right, Congress shall “make a law,” not “have a conversation.”

      • jim_m

        Sigh. You said that people were hyperventilating that congress could not infringe upon our rights (ie violate the 2nd amendment). So I am not responding to you but to those who get so worked up that Congress is doing something they are prohibited from doing. I am merely pointing out that Congress is doing exactly what the framers expected them to do: Overstep their authority.

        • LiberalNightmare

          And with that, I agree with you Jim.

        • Blue Collar Muse

          I agree with you up to a point …

          Those supporting Reid’s bill and the Toomey-Manchin amendment and DiFi’s proposed amendment and other gun control measures are, indeed, overstepping their authority.

          Where I do not agree is that every Senator and Rep in DC is a member of that group.

          Nor do I agree that because they have chosen to engage the gun grabbers in debate that they are sending a signal that they are secretly in the bag for gun control.

          Nor do I agree that because more Senators chose one tactic to push back over another that it somehow makes them secretly in the bag for gun control.

          What I am sensing is a proper level of concern and frustration from those of us on the right side of this issue. What I am concerned about is our propensity to signal our defeat before we start and our willingness to filet allies based on incorrect and faulty assumptions about their character and principles.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Whats happening right now is not a “debate” about our gun-rights.

    What the senate is having right now is a debate about how much of our gun rights the senate can get away with taking. When the senate is done, the results of this “debate” will be sent down to the house where another “debate” will be held to see if they agree with the senate. The end result will be laws that will absolutely affect our rights.

    The rights that are supposed to be unalienable, not the fake rights that democrats believe in, like the right to birth control, but the real ones, codified in the Bill of Rights.

    To characterize this process as some kind of meaningless conversation that really will have no effect is sophistic and misleading.

    • Blue Collar Muse

      Hrmmm … you say “the Senate” as if all of them are wanting to take away gun rights. There is no evidence of that.

      And I have never said this is a meaningless conversation. It is an incredibly meaningful one. That’s why we need to be taking part in it. Otherwise the Left drives the discussion and we are left out.

      Not sure how you missed that but I’m happy to set the record straight.

      • LiberalNightmare

        >>Hrmmm … you say “the Senate” as if all of them are wanting to take away gun rights. There is no evidence of that.

        I say “the senate” as in the deliberating body that is currently deciding how much of our second amendment rights we get to keep. Because that is what is happening.

        What do you think is more likely.
        1. The senate finishes its deliberation and sends a recommended bill down to the house. This bill includes changes to our current ability to keep and bear arms.

        2. The senate finishes its deliberation and decides that there is nothing to do here. No bill is generated.

        Be honest here – how often does option 2 happen?

        • Blue Collar Muse

          Off the top of my head, I have no idea how often option 2 happens.

          But I do know two things …

          #1 – It is not every day that we get a bill like this one to be considered by the Senate. Tempers and hopes are high on both sides of the question. This is not your ordinary bill, as it were …

          #2 – I know that sitting back and calling Senators names, denigrating their character and generally telling them we expect them to behave badly is NOT the strategy I am employing in dealing with the reality that we are facing.

          AFTER the vote, if they vote badly is the time to excoriate them. Before the vote is the time for influence and persuasion and impact to give us the best chance at a good vote outcome.

          As long as we continue to tell Senators we expect they will vote badly, we actually give them cover. They don’t worry about any backlash from us because we have already signaled that we have written them off.

          Not the wisest strategy I have ever heard promoted …

          • LiberalNightmare

            After the vote is too late.

  • The_Weege_99

    Actually, this is a wickedly smart maneuver. First, it undermines the ability for Democrats to whine to the media that the GOP won’t even let them debate the issue, let alone vote on it.
    Second, it makes Democrat Senators, especially ones up for election in 2014, have to vote yea or nay on gun control. They will have to defend their record either way. There are probably some Democrats whose seat is up in 2014 who will politically feel it necessary to vote against gun control.
    Final point, even if the Democrats do pass this in the Senate, that is where it will die. It will not pass the House. It will never show up on Obama’s desk for his signature.

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