Skip to main content

View Diary: Life Before Liberty (15 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  We balance the two simultaneously or lose both (0+ / 0-)

    Force birthers say essentially the same thing: life before liberty; the state, acting in the name of the fetus, wins.

    So do zealous cops, prosecutors and judges: life before liberty; the state, acting in the name of the victim, wins.

    The governments of China and Cuba say the same thing.

    I categorically reject this thinking, as did Benjamin Franklin.

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    We juggle and weave and balance and pushpull them simultaneously, and we keep doing it and keep doing it and keep doing it. That's the only way it can work in a non-tyrannical society. Yes, it is tiring. Yes, it never ends. Yes, there is no choice. Period.

    So what do we do about gun violence in general and batshit crazy or coldblooded spree killers in particular?

    Extracting from a comment I posted in another thread: Steps that can be taken without violating the Second Amendment and settled federal precedents as they now stand include: magazine capacity restrictions; high-caliber restrictions for pistols; ammunition registries similar to the tracking of Sudafed sales; training, licensing, and registration requirements; expanded coordination between mental health facilities, courts, and states to keep overtly disturbed people from buy guns; publicly accessible databases of gun dealers, manufacturers, and military facilities, and the weapons missing or stolen from each so we can clean up the freely flowing river of illegal weapons.

    I've also seen a suggestion about requiring the manufactur of RFID-tagged guns that deactivate if the RFID tag is not reactivated periodically by what would have to be a new and very large govt infrastructure; and calls to amend the Second Amendment.

    These actions would definitely put a crimp in street crime, accidents, suicides, and spree killings by young people, the vast majority of our gun violence. But they would not unduly hinder a Breivik.

    The other prong of this issue involves mental heath care delivery. The hard part is trying to find a way to identify mentally unbalanced perpetrators before they commit violence, without stripping them of their rights. Unfortunately, the Constitution's due process clause, and the reluctance of taxpayers and politicians to invest in coordinated, integrated, comprehensive mental health care make it extremely difficult to:

    (1) Protect ourselves from people we perceive as being disturbed and in need of treatment until it's too late and they hurt themselves or others; and

    (2) Protect people from the consequences of a mistaken (or frivolous or vengeful or utterly "the female body has ways of shutting that down" ignorant) official labeling as "dangerous" that may ruin them socially and financially.

    Any modern civil commitment policy that lowered the bar enough to protect us from people who are simply judged "scary" would have to include immediate and competent representation by a lawyer and mental health professional (hahahaha, considering the pathetic condition of our public defender system), clearcut mechanisms for compensating those economically harmed by misdiagnosis/unwarranted civil commitment, guarantees of privacy with teeth, mechanisms for purging bogus records and having one's gun possession rights restored, reasonable mechanisms for censuring judges or review panels that make too many mistakes, etc., etc., etc.

    If there were easy answers we would already have them.

    All I know at this point is that "life before liberty" is NOT the answer.


    by raincrow on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:26:39 PM PST

    •  Original patriots put Life first (0+ / 0-)

      And they put Liberty in same phrase.

      I am quite sure they were not speaking in absolute trades as one of them happened to be Benjamin Franklin.

      And since their wisdom tees up this diary, neither am I.

      •  I tried decoding your comment but failed. (0+ / 0-)

        I do not know what "absolute trades" means.

        I do know Ben Franklin pretty counts as an "original patriot."

        I understand that one must be alive to experience liberty.

        But if your ethos is that life has sufficient intrinsic value to offset the value of liberty, we very fundamentally disagree. I have been without liberty, sold for money. It was no way to live. Either we do the hard work of balancing life and liberty or both lose their worth.

        The path forward on this sad, stunning day is not clear to me.

        Peace out.


        by raincrow on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:01:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can tell you what happens (0+ / 0-)

          we either lose the guns OR lose liberty.

          Because the only way to have safety AND guns is for there to be an open source means to track personal locations and behavior in real time.

          and people who want their kids to grow up will do two things (a) vote for more intrusive measures to keep their kids alive and (b) abide much more intrusive security forces to deal with private owners who, like alcoholism, can't control themselves around their firearms.

          Gun ownership a protector of liberty, sir?

          Not anymore. Unrestrained, it's now a threat.

          So we either dial back the free-range zeal... or we all lose our freedom.

          Because if push comes to shove, more people will accept an army - even join it - to put down the wild turks than will tolerate them.

          And, by the way, I would gladly train up and hunt down people like today's shooters...and anyone who aided them.

          Because it's life, liberty AND pursuit of happiness NOT just liberty.

          Decoded enough? :)

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site