Monday, August 24, 2009

Constitutional Rights

I'm pretty much a fan of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, i.e. the first ten amendments to the document.

Like the 1st and 2nd. Don't think about the 3rd much. 4th is good, 5th-10th, all good.

But my long-standing support of the 2nd, which, if you have been visiting Uranus for a couple hundred years, is the right-to-bear-arms thingee, doesn't brook agreement with the loons who have shown up strapped outside President Obama's town halls in places that allow open carry.

Yeah, yeah, law-abiding citizens and all that, and the gun you see is easier to defend against than the one you don't, but -- think about it. If I was running the Secret Service and determined to keep Renegade alive on my watch, anybody who showed up strapped should be feeling an itchy spot between his shoulder blades as long as he was within five miles of the President.

You know, that itchy spot where the crosshairs of the scope on the .408 Shey-Tac sniper rifle aimed by somebody who can plug a nickel at a thousand meters are, ah, lined up ... ?

You don't figure that a man with a piece on his hip, who is not an LEO of some sort, standing within range of a sitting President, and who develops a sudden urge to scratch himself on the thigh next to his hogleg isn't likely to be pushing up daisies if he does it quickly?

Stupid. Really, really, stupid. They don't serve anybody with such actions, least of all sane gun owners who don't want to be grouped with the loons.


VC said...

I wouldn't consider it and I'm all for open carry. I think they're pushing the fight to bear arms back a step or two.

Scott said...

How do you feel about Hustler and Playboy?

Steve Perry said...

Long as the literature is for and about adults, I have no problem with it. Leave the kids and pets out of it, but if you want to read Hef's or Larry's 'zines, I don't see how that is going to cause the collapse of the Republic.

I used to read Playboy. (For the interviews and all.)

Hustler was mostly just gross, though I have one with a signed Ted Sturgeon story in it that I bought specifically for that purpose.

Never made me want to go out and rape and kill that I noticed after looking at the nekkid bunnies.

James said...

They are exercising their constitutional rights under the second amendment.....and their God-given rights to be complete assholes.
I worked with Secret Service guys when Bush Sr. came through our town. These guys are SERIOUS.
During a briefing, they said that at no time would the limo go under, I think, 38 MPH. So I had to ask, "Why?". The agent looked at me deadpan and said "because that's the lateral tracking speed of the Soviet RPG". I think he might have been screwing with me but he never broke a smile.
They also said that, if anything went sideways, we were to just get out of the way. Don't even try to help. They said they were concerned for our safety in that event.
Like I said. Serious.

Glock26idpa said...

It may have been in poor taste but they were within there legal rights. Should those rights be changed? God I hope not! Hopefully they will know when and where to fight that kind of battle!

How about those of us with concealed carry permits?

Dan Gambiera said...

I've always been proud to be a gun owner.

Up until now, that is.

These dimwitted bullies are a disgrace. I'm ashamed to be associated with them.

Steve Perry said...

There's legal and then there is stupid. I was pointing out the difference between the two and allowing how if I was Secret Service and some clown strapped, to show he could do it, twitched funny, he'd likely get plugged by a strategically-placed sniper.

I wouldn't feel sorry for the dead guy at all -- because a guy what sticks his head into a lion's mouth and gets it bit off ought to have known better.

Travis said...

Not to mention that these guys are supplying evidence for the anti-gun crowd.

It's like the first time you get stopped by a cop and, if he's a total jack-ass, all of the sudden cops are jackasses. Compared to, you get stopped and he's polite and proffesional, now, even if you get a ticket, cops aren't so bad.

There are people at home watching going, "Gun nuts are bunch of F-ing Nuts!"

By 'exercising' their right these folks are fueling the oppenents who want to restrict those rights.

andy said...

As the Devil's advocate...... Should Rosa Parks have moved to the back of the bus?

I do agree the whole incident was in poor firearms taste. I also found the medias response with an instant jump to racism amazing!

Steve Perry said...

You don't do things in a vacuum. Rosa Parks was doing something that needed to be done. Some loon with a Glock strapped does not need to be within range of the President of the United States. Rights are not, and never have been absolute. I don't favor your right to own and carry a bazooka around. Sorry.

Steve Perry said...

The speed limit on the local freeways in town is fifty or fifty-five mph. Legally, you can put your Reo into the left lane and go that speed, but you are going to cause all kinds of problems, and put yourself at risk when somebody who wants to go faster starts kissing your rear bumper with his front one.

You ever get behind one of these drivers when you are late to get somewhere important? Is your thought process running, Well, it's okay, he is doing the speed limit.

These folks should move over into the middle- or slow lane and let the folks who want to risk a speeding ticket go by -- otherwise, they are righteous idiots.

That's the category I put these hardware-wavers into. Yeah, it's legal. But it's still stupid, and it is not making the point that is going to do them any good.

You watch -- some city is going to pass a law making it illegal to carry a gun into a political function and it will clog up the courts all the way to SCOTUS, at which the outcome is not assured.

There are times when a low profile is a better stance.

Glock26idpa said...

I don't open carry, never have never will. In my opinion (for all it's worth) it's a great way to have someone take away your gun. I would not attend a political event open carrying or really at all..... too many politicians show up to those things!

All that being wife now resides in Illinois while I live in Virginia (the economy is a wonderful thing). In Virginia my concealed carry permit allows me to carry ALMOST anywhere. Being a free citizen of the US of A when I eventually move to Ilinois I will be allowed to keep my guns locked up at home! That's a fairly low profile......

These people who are forcing the issue may be wrong. They may bring about unwanted attention. Or we could be waiting around for a right to fade away. A right granted by the Constitution? Nope! God? Nope.... I'm not a believer! But it is a right all of us should have. I think I would like to get it over with (not that it ever will be, even if the SCOTUS makes a ruling).
One evening I will go to bed and the next morning wake up a criminal!

Scott said...

That's not how I read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Self defense is nice, but that's not really what the 2nd Amendment is
for; it's to prevent tyranny.

Drawing the line on which arms citizens should be permitted is hard;
I'm somewhere around light infantry - militia, as it says.

Glock26idpa said...

Again it depends on how SCOTUS reads it and I don't need a piece of paper , or a god , or a politician to tell me about self defense. I do not consider RPG's or nukes self defense!

Steve Perry said...

Not much way civilians can compete with the military, vis a vis arms, so the notion of a flintlock militia being on a par with the Continental Army is long gone.

Nothing you could keep in the back yard is going to let you do any kind of stand-up fight with the United States Marines.

I support the notion that we should be able to arm ourselves for self-protection against the werewolves among us and i'll fight for that one.

Parity with the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines? No. I don't want that kind of weaponry floating around in my neighborhood ...

Scott said...

You don't have to be able to beat a standing army to prevent tyranny, just a Secret Service detail at the most; a lot of politicians and government officials walk around basically unprotected from a committed amateur. Assassination is not only morally superior to war, it's a lot less equipment intensive.

I recommend reading Unintended Consequences by John Ross. It's, um, lengthy, but nevertheless quite interesting.

Steve Perry said...

The Constitution is a wondrous document, an attempt to give most of the people as much freedom as possible. But it was written by men who own slaves, and whose wives had only slightly more rights than slaves. So the notion of a court that would interpret and change things, along with a congress that could add amendments, was a terrific one.

Things change. No paper written two hundred years ago, no matter how smart the writers, could begin to predict our society.

Strict interpretations of any of the major holy books of our larger religions would have us stoning witches and gay folks, sleeping with and impregnating our daughters, and offering up our sons for sacrifice to God.

Strict interpretation of the Constitution has a similar flaw. You have to learn how to go with the flow, to roll with the changes, and to keep in the mind the intent of our Republic, which was to offer the most people the most freedom as possible.

No absolutes here. The Third Amendment talks about quartering soliders in private homes. I don't believe that has been a problem for the last hunded years or so, has it?

Travis said...

Well Scott, your reading of the second amendment is a common view but lets go to the text shall we.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

'Security'-that's all it says. Could be internal (ie tyranny), could be external (ie canuckistanian invasion), could be personal (self-defense. No limits are provided about the source of th threat.

Scott said...

No, Travis, 'security' is not all it says; it also says 'free'.

Travis said...

At best this point about 'free state' serves to justify your reading as a possible interpretation, not the only interpretation. I don't think you're wrong, just incomplete.

What is security? What possible reading of the word would lead you to believe it is only security from an unjust government? Like I said, I've heard lots of people make this claim. The fundamental error is going from 'one of the reasons' to 'the reason'. I've also heard people then make the leap to, hey, hasn't been a problem so why don't we just go ahead and lock up them there guns. People can rely on the police to protect them.

Glock26idpa said...

When seconds count, the police are minutes away!

Dan Gambiera said...


Are you being obtuse or confused here? Steve has already said, and I completely agree, that we must have the means to defend ourselves against criminals. The police can't defend individuals and never really did. That means weapons.

Nothing there has any bearing on bullies showing up and waving their toys around in order to intimidate people who do not have guns with them. And no matter how the RWLM tries to dress it up, that's what these recent exhibitions are all about.

The other bit, citizens rising up and overthrowing the government with small arms, is of course ridiculous. Popular uprisings have succeeded, but only when the military and police decided that the Emperor had lost the Mandate of Heaven or foreing powers aided the rebels or there were sizeable or regional armies. But mobs or cells of barely organized individuals with rifles and pistols? Not in this day and age.

If we wanted to dig a little deeper we could discuss the original conception of the Militia. The whole point was that the United States Marine Corps, the Air Force (which strictly speaking has no Consitutional basis) and most of the Army as we have them now are Bad Things. I wouldn't necessarily disagree with that. It would certainly put a crimp in the Military-Industrial Complex a certain Republican President warned us against.

But alas, that and the police are the only two parts of government which the Right seems to like.