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Last night, Jon Stewart looked at the aftermath of the D.C. Navy Yard shooting, and how Republicans seem to only care about the Second Amendment in the Constitution.

But all of this raises a larger question.  Why is it that guns are the one danger we seem utterly unable to do anything about in any way?
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TX (4/17/2013): This is one of the provisions of the Bill of Rights that the founding framers of our Constitution felt so passionately about that they made sure it was included in our Constitution as part of the first ten Amendments to the Constitution.
Constitution!  Damnit!  I guess we just have to accept whatever the consequences are of an armed-to-the-teeth nation, per our Founding Fathers, like with terrorism.  And how even though the government would like to have a role in preventing terrorism, their hands are tied by the Constitution.  Like when we found out the NSA was collecting all our phone calls.  And that seemed to us to be somewhat of a violation of the Constitution.  What do you say, John Cornyn?
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TX (5/11/2006): This is not somewhere where the President or the intelligence community is running like a rogue elephant across, trampling our civil liberties.  I think we ought to lower our language and our rhetoric a little bit and be conscious of what's at stake.  And what's at stake is the safety and security of the American people.
Oh, so with guns, the Constitution is iron-clad, but with terrorism, it's a list of suggestions.  How about while protecting people's right to bear arms, we beef up enforcement?
ERIC BOLLING (4/2/2013): Your right to bear arms shall not be infringed upon.
Oh.  Well, what about your right to worship freely without government surveillance?
4/22/2013:

ERIC BOLLING: Should the FBI be allowed to now go into mosques, and wiretap and surveil?

BOB BECKEL: No.

ERIC BOLLING: Why not?

BOB BECKEL: Because I think....

ERIC BOLLING: See, I think this is a great case for opening that line of surveillance.

BOB BECKEL: Because I think that's... I think if you....

So if you believe Muhammad is God's messenger on Earth, and you want to go to a mosque, that's probable cause.  But if you believe a microwave is God's messenger on Earth, and you want to buy a gun....  (kisses the sky)

When it comes to guns, the Constitution says you don't have to answer any questions.  

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC (12/11/2012): Why should my Constitutional right be limited because you don't understand why I want eight guns?
"Maybe I'm an octopus."  (wild audience laughter and applause)  "Maybe I'm an octopus, and I'm being attacked by a squid!  You don't know my life!  Don't judge me!"  (audience laughter)

And why should my Constitutional rights be limited because you don't understand why I don't want the government to have my phone number?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC (6/6/2013): The way you protect the homeland is you try to find out what the enemy's up to.  I'm a Verizon customer.  It doesn't bother me one bit for the National Security Administration to have my phone number.
"Cuz that's stopping terrorism."

You know, if you define mass shootings as four or more people getting shot at one time, we've had nearly 250 so far this year.  We've only had 260 days!  Our mass shooting average is 96%!  Our mass shooting scores shouldn't be that much higher than our math and science scores.  There have been more mass shooting days than Jewish holidays, and there are a shitload of Jewish holidays!  (audience laughter)

I'm just telling you, I think... my guess is there's probably a Jewish holiday about how many mass shootings there are, Tisha, B'ang, I don't know.

When it comes to terrorism, a terrible crime that doesn't kill a whole lot of Americans every year, we're willing to bargain away the entire Bill of Rights.  Why is that?

MONICA CROWLEY (5/4/2011): We are in a war!  Fight the damn war!  We are not dealing with traditional soldiers who wear the uniforms of a country.  We are dealing with enemy combatants.  These are terrorists. ... The Constitution is not a suicide pact.
Well I'm pretty sure, I'm pretty sure it's not a homicide pact either.  We'll be right back.
Video below the fold.

Al Madrigal then looked at the border war between Tennessee and Georgia.
Meanwhile, Stephen looked at how Fox News was hyping the End Times prophecy with the events in Syria, and talked with Andrew Sullivan about the situation there.
Stephen also looked at Fox News being in favor of background checks after the D.C. shooting.  But only certain kinds of background checks.
Jon talked with actor Hugh Jackman, and Stephen talked with novelist Nicholson Baker.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I like it when they let those (2+ / 0-)

    idiots on fox shine a mirror on how idiotic those idiots on fox are!

    Hi NSA. I am doing constitutionally protected stuff - like free speech. Too bad you are not!

    by glitterscale on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 05:37:07 AM PDT

  •  The hypocrisy runs both ways. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd

    Either you find living in the USA to be so scary that you are willing to sacrifice the liberties of innocent people for the perception of security, or you aren't willing to do so.

    I'm not willing to do so.
    The GOP & Jon Stewart are.

    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

    by FrankRose on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 06:15:38 AM PDT

    •  What? (0+ / 0-)

      I think the terrorism threat is overblown and American's obsession with guns is insane. I support sensible gun control legislation. I oppose the assault on our liberties from the MCA and Patriot Act, and am against our drone policy, want Gitmo shutdown, our war criminals prosecuted and our whistleblowers pardoned. But whatever gives you the idea that Jon Stewart is a proponent of the massive Orwellian surveillance by the NSA? The video indicates he is not. Moreover, there are increasing numbers of conservatives becoming concerned about the NSA and government overreach. Now, whether that's just because this is a Democrat administration is a fair question, but let's not be too hasty in our judgments.

  •  To GOPers, hypocrisy is simply a way of life (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevin k

    Republicans wallow in double standards, it's their "raison d'être"..."what's good for me is not for you"..."I've got mine, screw you"...

    No matter how much they hate black people are live with the impression that their hard earned money is being handed over to black people, middle class Republican are due at some point to see through all the smoke and mirrors and notice that THEY too are being screwed by the very people they support.

  •  Yes, I know I'm Not Helping (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankRose, andalusi

    Guns:

     - OK for the guards at Jon Stewart's studio and OK for rich celebrities who can easily obtain concealed carry permits or hire armed bodyguards.

     - Not OK for us Little People.

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 08:31:52 AM PDT

    •  *sigh* "little people"?? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in NC

      There is huge difference between
      -more uniform background checks (not near-zero in some states and strong in others)
      versus
      -practically no gun sales
      versus
      -run, Cletus, jack-booted thugs is a-comin' to take away yer guns!!11!

    •  Guns (0+ / 0-)

      Would it completely ruin your life, bust your buddle, collapse your macho, macho  to once again be told that WE DONT WANT YOUR GUNS....... dont NEED YOUR GUNS.... have 12 in my home, dont intend to hand them over to anyone, but would certainly like to see stronger background checks......

      Guns are a business... a BIG buisness and like the Evangelicals crying on the tv with hands spread for donations all LaPierre has to do is say "what?, mass shootings, buy more guns".... that will save you... and the insecure, run to increase the stock of gun manufactureres, wow what a racket...

      While I am for stronger regs i.e. backgrd cks..... I would be the first one to stand beside you if any part of the government were to ACTUALLY  ATTEMPT to take your weapons......

  •  Read History (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue in NC, JerryNA, wilywascal

    Read the history of the Constitutional Convention and the fight over ratification of the Constitution. All this information is readily available.

    The Journal of the Debates in the Convention which Framed the Constitution of the United States May - September... by James Madison
    The Federalist Papers
    The Anti-Federalist Papers
    If you read these three books you will find the founders did not write the Second Amendment to allow every person in the United States to have whatever weapons they want.

    The Second Amendment is to guarantee state controlled militia as defense against foreign attack or domestic discord. The southern states also wanted the militia to prevent and suppress slave revolts.

    •  Gun Nutz don't believe in reading ACTUAL history. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA

      Gun Nutz believe in revising history to conform to their psychotic perception of Gun Nut "Reality".

      Gun Nuttism exhibits all the symptoms of a mental illness.

      "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

      by blue in NC on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:17:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  re: Read History (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA

      True enough, but that militia was to be equipped with the standard military arms of the time and consisted of every able bodied male between age 17 and 60 (ages varied with each militia act).
      In essence, the majority of the male populace.

      Thankfully, we don't quite do that today, as the militia was split in 1903 into the National Guard and every able bodied mail between age 18 and 45, as well as prior service men to age 60 and later, women in the National Guard.
      Today, those who can afford the additional cost, the $200 tax stamp and pass an SSBI can acquire military arms within some modest limitations (WMD's are forbidden, but artillery isn't).

      Still, this multiple firearm owner would not object to restricting firearms derived from military service rifles and pistols whose magazine protrudes more than one inch below the edge of the magazine well under a new class, with lower requirements under the NFA.
      Something along the lines of requiring a NACLC for acquisition of such arms.
      Wouldn't have helped with the Navy Yard massacre, but it'd have stopped Sandy Hook Elementary in its tracks.
      We also have to fix our horrifically and embarrassingly broken mental health care system.

      •  Couple of points. (0+ / 0-)

        First of all, I tend to agree that the language of the Second Amendment doesn't lend itself easily to the current interpretation of an individual right.

        Secondly, the Amendment needs to be seen in the context of the times. You had muskets which took some time to reload, not assault weapons with expanded mags and high-velocity rounds that kill even with normally non-lethal hits. As already pointed out, it was a concession to southern states for control of slave populations. Also, back then, people used guns to protect themselves from wild animals, marauders and Native Americans, as well as to provide food for their families. Today, we have police, the National Guard and the world's most powerful military. We need no longer rely on firearms to provide food. While one could argue that guns can help protect people from crime and even deter it, the sheer amount of guns in our society and the ease in obtaining them actually makes us all less safe in the end. I'm not opposed to sportsmen having firearms specifically for that purpose, provided they passed a rigorous background check. And for a start, I would be satisfied with just reasonable gun control legislation that is consistent on the national level.

        Finally, I see our Constitution as a living document, not a rigid, inflexible structure we are doomed to live by forever. If the latter, we would still have slavery and women wouldn't have the right to vote. Times change, and it is the core principles of equality and human and civil rights that will always withstand the test of time, not some superfluous, out-dated "right" to bear arms.  

    •  The Insanity Surrounding Gun Ownership (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilywascal

      The way I read the history surrounding the framing of the Second Amendment was that there were many heated discussions that centered on whether or not there should even have been a 2nd Amendment.  Some of our founding fathers were dead set against this amendment.  The thinking behind the final, agreed to, amendment, was that it was done primarily to keep the southern states in the new union.  They were worried about slaves running off and of the potential for the slaves revolting.  Big plantation owners needed armed men to control their slaves.  Towns and/or villages could be a long way from the plantation, so regular law enforcement could not be either counted or depended on.  So they had their armed men patrolling their respective areas.  The added benefit of this was that since we really didn't have much of a formal military, these local people would be able to form state militias, who could assemble much quicker and already armed.

      But there was no mention of everyone in the country, individually, having a right to have a weapon.  Our all-wise Supreme Court later reinterpreted the Constitution so that anyone can have their own armory.

      I have a handgun, for purposes of protection, as I am 64 yrs. old and live alone out in the country.  Only one handgun.  Don't need 50 plug handguns and rifles.  No one else needs that many guns either.

      I totally agree with everyone in that universal background checks, with no loopholes, should be the law of the land.  I also support the feds demanding that state and local professionals immediately report anyone with mental health issues who might have even a potential to snap and become violent, to the appropriate federal office, so that there could be a reliable federal database which could then safely be queried before granting approval to buy a firearm of any kind.  The same goes for cases of domestic abuse or substance abuse.

      I also agree that there should be a mandatory seven day waiting period before being allowed to buy a gun.  You could still pick out your gun and pay for it.  It would be yours in a week, assuming you pass the background check.  Seven days gives federal authorities more time to do a good background check.  It also, as another commenter pointed out, provides a cooling off period for those cases where a purchase is being driven by a desire to shoot someone.

      I could say a lot more, but I've said way too much as it is on this topic.

      •  Too much? (0+ / 0-)

        Not at all.  I agree with you.  And you're right about not needing more than one gun for your personal protection.  Either a simple handgun or even a shotgun would suffice.  I don't understand these people who seem to think they need a full armory of semi-automatics of every make and model just in case the gubmint decides to roll in and disarm everyone.  

        One of the guys I work with has a gun safe in his house, and that armory I mentioned within, because he's convinced the gubmint is a-comin' to take his guns, and he's gonna shoot every last goddamn one of 'em.  Which completely ignores the HUGE flaw in his logic - government forces will be heavily armed, not to mention better-armed (think tanks, shooters in helicopters and possibly Cobra gunships if they think the threat serious enough), and he'll be toast.

        For people like him, I have just two words:  Ruby Ridge.  And we all know how that turned out...

  •  The MURDER of the Constitution for America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue in NC

    I could only shake my head when the NRA led recall of several Colorado statesmen happened.  These statesmen had the audacity to help protect the safety of ALL Coloradans.  The NRA said their 2nd Amendment rights were infringed (witout explaination) and made it their mission to destroy them.  They succeded but only by voter supression.

    A year ago, the Govenor in Wisconson said he did not want Unions, that Unions were evil, Unions that were the last refuge and support of the working class.  The recall there was defeated and the Right jumped for joy and the working person lost.

    I realized that in both recalls a lot of money came from the Right.  BOTH EVENTS WERE A SUCCESS FOR THE RIGHT, ONLY THROUGH VOTER SUPPRESSION.  Absentee ballots were denied in Colorado.  Voter supression in Wisconson through intimidation and fear for their jobs.  The middle class and real Americans could not exercise their right to vote

    What has happened, is the MURDER OF THE CONSTITUTION by those who profess to "protect it".

    Only money matters for the 10%, the 90% have no rights.  We have no real protection of a Constitution for Life, Liberty if it interferes with Commerce.  Egypt wrote a Constitution but the Brotherhood ignored it.  It took a revolution in the streets and a military takeover to protect everyone's rights.  
    Is a revolution in our future and a return to normalicy?

  •  So Republicans, isn't patience a virtue? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not going to claim for a moment that the mental health crisis we are facing in this country does not play a role in our chronic problem with mass shootings. But, fixing that problem is much more complicated & expensive than creating some simple, logical gun control laws. Let's start with a waiting period. I work in an ER where I deal with many mental health patients every day. I've noticed something that all the patients I see have in common, they demand immediate responses. They don't sit back and think out their plans. If we put a 7 day waiting period on all gun sales, no matter where you purchase them from, many of these mentally ill people will either lose their desire to go out and kill as many innocent people as possible, or will use something less deadly than guns. Next, let's upgrade our background checks on people purchasing guns. I see plenty of people visiting my ER who have been seen many times by us for mental health problems, but they have never actually been detained to our psych unit by the state they live in. Without the involvement of the state, the background check is very unlikely to show anything about their mental health histories. All mental health records need to be inspected before allowing someone to purchase a gun. A history of substance abuse should also be included in these searches. To the Republicans who are so demanding that guns be available to all (unless, of course, you are Muslim), why are you so unwilling to have waiting periods and thorough background checks? I thought you followed God, and my parents loved to remind me as I was growing up that God says "Patience is a virtue". If we're following God, shouldn't we be able to wait a few days before we gain access to a weapon that is capable of killing so many people?

    "Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money." – George Carlin

  •  guns and the Constitution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue in NC

    Jon Stewart just didn't go far enough.  Article I, section 8 in the Constitution had more to say about private gun owner ship than the Second Amendment.  Among other things enumerated in this catchall section, Congress shall have the power "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States,".  In other words, Congress reserves to itself the right and the power to arm and discipline the Militia, with no mention made of private individuals creating and arming their own militias, or even of arming themselves.

  •  The debate on stronger gun laws (0+ / 0-)

    Man will continually twist facts for their own agenda.  When I think of this issue, I cannot help but think about the fact that, in order to drive a car, you must first take a driving test or no license.  If you get caught for a DUI, you lose your license for specific period of time, and can actually have to be subjected to a device that records whether you have had anything to drink before you can drive.  Why is that not an infringement of our 2nd amendment right?  Obviously, because the automobile industry makes enough money and do not need to lobby to allow all of us to buy a car and drive it with no experience at all.

    Then, let's think about the objection to the government having too much personal information about us.  You say that is also an infringement on our rights.  But, all I have to do is go on Facebook and I will know when you get up in the morning, when you are sick, when you lost your wallet, when you went on vacation and for how long, when you went on a date and with whom.  

    The propaganda about our rights are put out there by the rich corporations to make sure that they continue to turn the highest profit possible.  They don't give a darn about your personal rights.  

    I for one am already cringing over the fact that I can go to a mall to shop and never know when the individual walking past me is going to pull out a gun and start shooting.  It may get to the point where I will be afraid to leave my  home.  Time to wake up people!!!  Stop being manipulated by rich and greedy people.

    •  There is no right to "keep and drive carriages" (0+ / 0-)

      in the Constitution, although a "right to travel" might be inferred from the Declaration of Indepenence ("pursuit of happiness"; if I think happiness is in Vegas, it's my right to go there) and the Preamble ("secure the blessings of liberty": it's not liberty if I can't go anywhere), there was no need to specify a Second Amendment analogy for buggies, horses, etc.  The British apparently did not make a policy of confiscating colonists' transportation (buggyjacking?), so there was no fear of any government interfering with horse and buggy ownership.

      Furthermore, there was no great skill or sobriety required to "drive" a horse safely; in fact, a habitual drinker could almost COUNT on his horse taking him safely home, if someone could get him secured into the saddle!

      So, when "horseless carriages" were invented, and began to fill the roads, people understood that a machine with NO OVERRIDING INTELLIGENCE to counteract stupid, too slow, or irrational steering actions was a different ORDER OF MAGNITUDE than a horse-drawn carriage.  Unfortunately, the gun nuts in America could not understand that modern weapons are an order of magnitude beyond colonial era weapons.  It requires greater skill just to SHOOT them properly, to say nothing of the MORAL responsibility required to decide WHETHER to shoot.

  •  Constitutionality (0+ / 0-)

    The Constitution was written at a time very different from ours by men wise enough to realize that it might need to be updated in the future.  The fact that we have a Bill of Rights is testament to that very fact.  All of these arguments about constitutionality that rely heavily on contested interpretations have been used by politicians to add to an aura of legislative infalibility among their faithful followers.  

    To the Christian conservatives, I would propose that, even God recognized that His laws (Moses) needed tweaking to be relevant in a later period (Christ), and when done, it was to de-emphasize dogma, violence and punishment and encourage empathy and responsibility for one's brothers and sisters. His definition of brothers and sisters included members of other cultures and religions ("We are all brothers and sisters . . . ", "Even as .ye do unto the least of these . . . ", "A good man of Samaria . . .", etc.).  I don't recall any references to the number of weapons Jesus owned.  I do remember something about forginving 70 times 7 times.  I do remember him saying to turn the other cheek.  I do remember him blessing the criminal next to him on the cross.

  •  Georgia/Tennessee segment hilarious! (0+ / 0-)

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