« Stupid is as Stupid Does | Main | Number 2 with a bullet (part 2 of 2) »

Number 2 with a bullet (part 1 of 2)

In my recent piece about the Constitution, a commenter named "Toad" wrote about gun control, and how certain Constitutional rights are curtailed as a matter of course (quoted in its entirety):

Although you come from a different side, you bring up a point that I often make; speech, alcohol, religion, guns, free press are all protected under the Constitution.

What gun nuts don't understand is that these all come with restrictions.

Alcohol:
An 14 year old cant buy alcohol
I can't buy beer in Indiana on Sunday
Most counties in the rural south are dry
I can't drink and drive

Religion:
Mormons cannot have more than one wife even though it’s their religion
Rastafarians cannot smoke weed even though it's part of their religion
Stan worshipers cannot make sacrifices even though its part of their
religion

Press:
I can’t print slanderous materials
I can name a couple of reporters who are in jail for not revealing
their sources
I cannot use images of people who do not want to be photographed

Speech / Expression:
I cannot yell fire in a crowded theater
2 live crew were arrested on obscenity charges for performing in front of adult only crowds
I can't threaten someone's life
I cannot intentionally and maliciously make up and print lies about
someone in order to damage them

Guns:
Waiting period for handguns
Some weapons restrictions in certain areas

Clearly there are very few gun regulations, most kids have a harder
time buying an allergy medicine than they would a gun, the Federal Law says medicine, even aspirin has to come with a child safety lock, yet a gun needs no such things.

If there are limits to the 1st and 21st amendments then there are
limits to the 2nd. I don't want to live in a society where all speech, all print, all media, are censored, or where there is no alcohol or where I cannot protect/arm myself. But with that comes some restriction and I also don't want to live in a society where anyone can do and say, shoot, kill, drink what ever they want, whenever they want, no matter who or how old they are.

It's not all black and white, get with the times.

Now, often I am a "reactive" thinker. I get my best insights and thoughts when I am challenged by someone else. And Toad's argument got me thinking about the examples he cited.


First of all, let's get dismiss the alcohol example. The right to drink is NOT a Constitutional right. Booze is mentioned exactly twice in the Constitution: first it's banned in the 18th Amendment, then it's un-banned by the 21st. So that's right out.

But I noticed something odd about the other example Toad cited: yes, the are all restrictions on Constitutional rights, but in all the other cases besides guns, they're reactive measures, they're not pro-active. They outline penalties for misusing your rights, not conditions for exercising them at all. They all say "you can not exercise your right, but not in X way," not "you must do X, Y, and Z before you can have that right."

You can speak, you can peacably assemble, you can practice your faith, you can publish what you like -- UNTIL the exercise of those rights endangers others, violates their rights, or breaks some law of the state. You wanna speak? Don't lie or cause a needless panic. You wanna print something? Don't knowingly publish lies about other people. You wanna start your own faith? Don't try to break laws under color of that faith. And so on.

But the 2nd Amendment is different. There, there seems to be a presumption of abuse. "You want to exercise your right to keep and bear arms? OK, fine. Fill out this form, this form, this form, this form, take this class, this class, get this certificate, pay this fee, then come back in a couple of weeks, and we'll tell you no."

There are those who say that the language of the 2nd Amendment is sufficiently different from other Amendments that acknowledge specific individual rights (the 1st and the 6th, for example) that restrictions such as this are allowed. I'll address those in part 2, to be published later today.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Number 2 with a bullet (part 1 of 2):

» Danny Carlton: codenamed "Jack Lewis" linked with Rights, restrictions and the Constitution

» NIF linked with All your title are belong to us

» Iowa Voice linked with Second Amendment

Comments (20)

Exactly, it is the d... (Below threshold)
B Moe:


Exactly, it is the difference between you can speak but don't lie; and you might lie so shut up.


Watch out for Stan worshipe... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Watch out for Stan worshipers.

Brian,So, that'... (Below threshold)

Brian,

So, that's what keeps happening to Kenny...

/southpark

What were you saying? I wa... (Below threshold)
LJD:

What were you saying? I wasn't paying attention. My adolescent children were reloading my guns while I was swilling a handful of pills with shot of J.D. It's part of my religion, you know. ...and if any one doesn't like it, I'll yell fire in a movie theater!

Eagerly awaiting part 2.</p... (Below threshold)
arb:

Eagerly awaiting part 2.

Easier for kids to buy a gu... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Easier for kids to buy a gun than allergy medicine? I don't know about where you live but in Texas a kid can't legally buy a gun or bullets. Very few gun regulations? You don't have to present ID, be over 18, wait 5 days for a background check and have a clean record to pick up a some Sudafed at 7-11, you don't need a permit to carry Allerest around in your pocket, you can take into a church, a bank and even a bar. I haven't yet seen the sign that declares an area near a school to be Claritin free or seen anyone signing forms and giving fingerprints and their mother's maiden name to purchase Benadryl. Whoever wrote that is either a resident of some other planet or you might possibly be stretching things just a bit to make his case.

This will end up being anot... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Davis:

This will end up being another demographic issue and trends are not in the gun controllers' favor.

bullwinkle, yeah, as soon a... (Below threshold)

bullwinkle, yeah, as soon as I saw that, the rest of Toad's comment lost any credibility it could have had.
Granted, if you live in certain cities, you can buy a POS TEC for $20 and up, but it aint legal, and that gun is likely to blow your hand off (and has a body or two on it already). In those same towns, I doubt you'll have any trouble getting allergy or cough syrup however.

Jay Tea said:"They... (Below threshold)
JmaR:

Jay Tea said:

"They outline penalties for misusing your rights, not conditions for exercising them at all."

Maybe I'm missing something but outlining penalties for misusing your rights and setting conditions for excercising them is a distinction without a difference.

Maybe I'm missing someth... (Below threshold)

Maybe I'm missing something...

A brain?

Honestly, why do you keep setting yourself up, JmaR?

There is a difference betwe... (Below threshold)
Leftism = Slave Morality:

There is a difference between "registering with the State before starting a newspaper or blog" and being held accountable for libel or slander. One is authoritarian and one is the price of freedom.

Toad is just another gun-grabbing statist. He is what I am talking about when I talk about Slave Morality. Toad, you won't get my guns by fooling me into your twisted morality. Do you want to try and take them?

There are quite a few "rest... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

There are quite a few "restrictions" on firearms that track the restrictions Mr. Toad talks about. For example, if I fire a gun, several potential laws can come into effect. Depending on my intent when the gun was fired (and if it struck a person), I can have anything from no charges to the death penalty. That is similar to the press and speech penaltys. I can print whatever I want. But if I slander them, I may have to pay a penalty. If I am supeonaed about the source of what I wrote (note that I have already printed the article), I can choose to tell the grand jury or keep quiet. So I choose the penalty. I can yell 'fire' in the theater, I just may be liable to what results.

I agree that I would not want to live where there was no laws about how I exercise my 2nd amendment right. For example I like the laws that say if someone shoots me, they go to jail or the chair. But that is very different from saying I want prescriptive rights that stop even the possesion of the gun.

Of course, put me in charge of prescriptive rights and I may change my tune. If I get to decide before it happens that someone will abuse their right to free speech (e.g. yelling fire in the theater) and thus I can lock them up or remove their vocal cords, then that might not be such a bad thing. I can imagine more than a couple of voices I would be happy to silence. But perhaps that is why we have a written constitution with rights for all so that an individual like me can't decide who goes free and who is locked up.

JmaR: Jay Tea said:<... (Below threshold)
joe:

JmaR: Jay Tea said:

"They outline penalties for misusing your rights, not conditions for exercising them at all."

Maybe I'm missing something but outlining penalties for misusing your rights and setting conditions for excercising them is a distinction without a difference.

Okay, so let's apply the gun rules to speech. Next time you write a letter to the editor, it must be submitted to your local sheriff, where it can be denied publication.

Now do you get it?

My italics didn't flow down... (Below threshold)
joe:

My italics didn't flow down right. They were supposed to cover down to the paragraph ending in "difference."

JmaR: Jay Tea said:<... (Below threshold)
joe:

JmaR: Jay Tea said:

"They outline penalties for misusing your rights, not conditions for exercising them at all."

Maybe I'm missing something but outlining penalties for misusing your rights and setting conditions for excercising them is a distinction without a difference.

Okay, so let's apply the gun rules to speech. Next time you write a letter to the editor, it must be submitted to your local sheriff, where it can be denied publication.

Now do you get it?

Speaking of distinctions. ... (Below threshold)
Magus:

Speaking of distinctions. There are no "Constitutional Rights" there are "Constitutionaly Protected Rrights".

The Constitution doesn't grant(give) any rights, it protects them from infringemnt by the goobermint.

Magus hit the nail on the h... (Below threshold)

Magus hit the nail on the head. Far too few Americans even understand that the Constitution isn't about what rights the government gives the people, it's about what powers the people grant to the government. I'm always amazed (and disappointed) that people are allowed to pass the bar without even comprehending this in the least. The founding fathers only included the bill of rights (after the fact - hence 'ammendments'), because the the idea of The People granting powers to the government was so [bleeping] radical at the time. Sadly even two centuries later, it's still too radical of an idea for most people to understand...

As a citizen of a FREE STAT... (Below threshold)
MarkoG:

As a citizen of a FREE STATE, I can do what I damn well please; if I want to yell 'fire' in a crowded theater I can certainly do so.

I also have to assume responsibility for my behavior and the consequences of my actions which, using the above example, could be criminal and/or civil charges in a court of law.

Those who think that words on a piece of paper will control human behavior are deluding themselves...

A couple of rambling though... (Below threshold)
Magus:

A couple of rambling thoughts:

I just brought up the "constitutional rights" comment since Jay Tea said in the post "The right to drink is NOT a Constitutional right."

Well, yes it is. It's protected under the 9th amendment. The general government was given no power or authority to pass laws regarding drinking alcolhic beverages. See article 1 section 8 for the powers delegated to the goobermint.

The Bill of Rights isn't so much a "Bill of Rights" as it is a list of rights the goobermint is not to mess with.

See the preamble to the Bill of Rights for it's purpose, which says in part:

"THE Conventions of a number of the States ... expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added ..."

From the National Archives at:
http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

The Bill of Rights is a list of further declaratory and restrictive clauses against the general goobermint. That means it's sutff that they are not to mess with.

And the ninth amendment says that just because we didn't list it in the other amendments doesn't mean it doesn't exist and you can't mess with those either.

Good Service... (Below threshold)

Good Service




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy