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Piers Morgan was running in the background tonight while he interviewed a number of guests about their positions on gun control.  It seems that the first question to every guest was "Do you believe in the second amendment?"  Well that's a little unfair.  In the sense of "acknowledging the existance of", everybody believes in the second amendment.  Which is not say that everyone agrees with the second amendment- believe is sometimes a synonym of agree: as in, "I believe I should be more tolerant of redneck morons".

And after Piers's guests survived that rhetorical thicket, it's still a challenge advocating for gun control after acknowledging the second amendment.  I'm glad I wasn't interviewed.  Because I believe it's unconstitutional to ban firearms from schools, airplanes and courtrooms.  It's right there:

The right to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed
It's funny how people can ignore the black and white text and conceptualize some fuzzy interpretation instead.  Hell, the amendment doesn't even guarantee the right to own firearms.

Oh wait...

I'm just plain ole folk, but I can read those words as well as any fancy-pants NRA lawyer:  And the Constitution don't say nuthin' about the right to buy and own firearms.

Any law can constitutionally prohibit the purchase of firearms so long as there's some other provision for individuals to acquire weapons.  The militia business helps here.  Any individual should be able to keep and even carry a weapon that's been provided by some organized militia.

In defense of those whose identity, character, and well, manhood, depends on their weapons, I note that, based on history, America does not treat their minorities very well.  And I have a little respect for the scrappy defense of this minority right.  So in order for me to support a law that restricts ownership of weapons to organized militias instead of private individuals, these militias need to be independent.  The NRA seems like a good candidate:  It's hostile to the government and seems prepared for a tyrannical intrusion by the UN.  This is starting to look like a really good compromise.

One caveat is that whenever a weapon is used in a crime, the owner of that weapon becomes an accessory.  That is, these organized militias may be subject to criminal prosecution and penalties.

To a closet libertarian like myself, the idea of self-policing and making the NRA (or the Michigan Militia, or whatever) perform these background checks seems appealing and workable as long as there's a real risk they'll end up in the docket when one of their members goes beserk.  

Even if this approach isn't perfect, it seems likely to save lives.

I can't be the first person with this idea.  Am I missing something obvious to everyone else?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why would you make militias private? (0+ / 0-)

    Why not fund them, kind of like a National Guard you can sue if they kill a bunch of innocent people.

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I'm glad I wasn't interviewed.  Because I believe it's unconstitutional to ban firearms from schools, airplanes and courtrooms.  It's right there:
    You really believe that you can draw that conclusion from the 2nd amendment ?

    You are a little more hardcore on this than you are pretending to be.

  •  Self-policing militias handing out guns? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So . . . is your diary snark?

  •  Perhaps a screw or two (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    "This is the best bad idea we have by far..." ~Argo

    by MsGrin on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:20:19 PM PST

  •  The Supreme Court of the United States of America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Am I missing something obvious to everyone else?
    District of Columbia vs. Heller:
    1. Operative Clause.

        a. “Right of the People.” The first salient feature of the operative clause is that it codifies a “right of the people.” The unamended Constitution and the Bill of Rights use the phrase “right of the people” two other times, in the First Amendment ’s Assembly-and-Petition Clause and in the Fourth Amendment ’s Search-and-Seizure Clause.

    Second guessing the Supreme Court is navel-gazing. Most of us don't much care for Citizens United v. FEC, but we have to work with that too.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by notrouble on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:34:35 PM PST

  •  The Second Amendment is a conditional statement (0+ / 0-)

    Aka, an "IF... THEN" statement.

    Translated into modern language, all it says is,

    "IF there's ever a need for an organized citizen militia, THEN nobody can preemptively disarm it."

    But we don't need a f*ng militia.

    Cause we have the National Guard, police, sheriffs, etc.  And they're all well-regulated.

    So, since the required precondition isn't satisfied, nobody in 2012 USA currently has a Federal right to own, store, carry or use firearms.  Since the Constitution doesn't effectively reserve it, the States therefore have the right to administer gun ownership as a completely revocable privilege, with testing, licensing and registration handled at the local DMV.  And the States also have the right to completely prohibit all gun ownership. Unless the National Guard is dissolved for some reason.

    •  Thank you, Humpty Dumpty, for explaining (0+ / 0-)

      how the Constitution means whatever you want it to mean, neither more nor less.

      The Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate state militias, and the President the power to call them into national service. The Second Amendment originally meant that Congress could not disarm a state militia.

      Nowadays, the Second Amendment means whatever SCOTUS said in its last decision about it, no matter how ludicrous the reasons given. Since Heller it means that there is an absolute right to own guns in the home for self-defense, but that a lot of other uses can be regulated. Certainly some types can be banned, and we could require registration, training, various safety measures, background checks on all sales, forbidding ownership to criminals and terrorists (among others), allowing the study of gun injuries and deaths as a public health issue, and rather more without infringing on militias or self-defense, or legitimate hunting. Some people say that they want semi-automatic rifles with large capacity for varmint hunting, including coyotes. We could discuss a licensing regime for that without making them available to just anybody.

      What the Second Amendment will mean after Scalia, the oldest Conservative, is replaced, no one should try to guess without knowing who will do the replacing, if then. It could be Hillary Clinton, or Joe Biden if Hillary doesn't want to run, or maybe Chris Christie, if the Republicans somehow fail to continue with their slow-rolling implosion. Or someone else, depending on time and chance.

      America—We built that!

      by Mokurai on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:20:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ???? (0+ / 0-)

    Is this some form of ironic satire, some sort of smart wit? see this Brit is maybe missing the joke.

    Otherwise the answer to your question:

    Am I missing something obvious to everyone else?
    is are a delusional Paulite libertarian idiot who thinks societies, when left to their own devices, will do the right thing despite the long history of the world comprehensively establishing the fact they dont.

    You, like all Paulite libertarian ass clowns, also seem to have a pretty piss poor rosy specs understanding of the history of your own country, let alone the world at large.

    •  Apparently I'm a Delusional Idiot (0+ / 0-)

      I'm really amused by people who tell me what I think, and then argue against the position they've just imposed.

      In this case, you're right:  I do think societies should be left to their own devices, regardless of whether they do the right thing.  I can't think of an alternative that wouldn't be worse.

      Probably you meant to say, "individuals, when left to their own devices, will do the right thing...".  In fact, I don't believe that's true, nor would I ever propose such a thing.

      I take it for granted that Americans expect more autonomy than the English (and even Canadians for that matter).  That cultural difference is intrinsic and unlikely to be affected by this discussion.

      I'm thinking libertarian is a hot button that you use as an insult.  (Paulian means nothing to me.)  I'm not ashamed to identify with libertarian philosophy, although I find the political movement abhorant.

      Before proceeding, I would probably want to clarify a distinction between 3 political philosophies that all call themselves libertarian:

      1.  Anti-government Activists:  This philosophy is actually anti-libertarian, because these activists seem to want to replace our democratic government with something more authoritarian:  Usually they want the government to be taken over by a corporation; but I also think many theocrats have joined this movement.  Given the American myth of the benevolent, omniscient CEO, I think most fascists also describe themselves as libertarian.  Maybe these activists are the Paulians you mention.

      2.  Rationalists:  These are the Ayn Rand types who think that individuals make better decisions than groups.  In her fiction, of course, that's always the case.  But the historical record, analysis of decision making processes, and social-scientific experiments seem to have established convincingly that the opposite is true.

      3.  Anti-authoritarians:   Libertarians, particularly young people, who subscribe to this philosophy (liberty as in ACLU- not Liberty Baptist Church) prefer to call themselves anarchists.  But anyone who's ever raised kids probably has a different view of anarchy.  

      Americans had to endure prohibition for God's sake.

      I would never condemn a neighbor for wearing camouflage and carrying a gun around the woods any more than I would condemn him for smoking a joint.  I believe you'll find most Americans on the left generally agree.

    •  No need to be rude (0+ / 0-)

      to someone who's confused.
      The Militias that are referenced in the Second Amendment are not ad hoc groups of citizens with guns, they are state regulated militias that the state or the Feds can call out to PUT DOWN insurrections by citizens. They are definitely NOT designed to "protect" citizens from the Gubmint.
      And they are the ONLY Constitutionally blessed ownership of guns.
      Private ownership is NOWHERE in the Second Amendment. The Court decisions that have mutated this law are anathema to the original intent (suck on that, Scalia).

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 07:22:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you can make your point without insulting (0+ / 0-)

      the author of the diary. You can even have an emotional outburst, and vent all you want.

      I tend to agree with your viewpoint, Dave, more than that of the author, but believe it's counter-productive to engage in this low form of abuse.

      Please do go there, but without personal attacks.

      "...pero mi corazón me aconseja, que los nacionalismos - ¡qué miedo me dan!" - Enrique Bunbury (El Extranjero)

      by JustGiaco on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:47:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks everybody for the responses (0+ / 0-)

    I concede that the post was a somewhat satirical response to those who insist on a literal interpretation of this amendment.

    When I was a kid, every family I knew had guns in the house.  I guess it follows that as gun ownership goes down, the remaining minority gets radicalized.  Heh, I guess that's true of religion as well.

    I think everyone here agrees that the Second Amendment debate was invented by Republican strategists as a campaign tactic (those liberals want to take your guns, kidnap your family, and send them to socialist concentration camps in Europe).  And now so much blood has been spilled...  I wouldn't want it on my conscience.

    But a few thoughts occured to me as I was writing it:

    1.  Logically, gun control administered by the NRA couldn't be worse than a policy of no gun control (imposed by the NRA).

    2.  Many more Americans are concerned about the right to have a weapon than actually have weapons.  An approach that makes it progressively more impractical to acquire a weapon will be more effective and durable than an outright ban.

    3.  It's an interesting idea to give the NRA so much rope they end up hanging themselves.  I believe some on the right have tried this approach with us, and had considerable success.

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