Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Catch 22 . . . redeaux

Please excuse Spottie (I think I like the old English spelling for this blog) for picking some low-hanging fruit by reprinting a post from his other blog:

This is the text of a letter in the Star Tribune on May 19th:
Don't take rights

I am a handgun permit holder, and I believe if the man accused of killing Billy Walsh is found guilty of murder, he should be executed.

The alleged killer violated his permit to carry by drinking. But we shouldn't quit issuing permits because of him or a few criminals. Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Our Constitution must be protected -- all of it, even the portions we do not agree with.

If we listen to groups like Citizens for a Safer Minnesota, we would lose that freedom.


Spotty thinks this guy is a constitutional idiot, and probably a paranoid sociopath as well. First of all, the law doesn't say you can't drink while packing heat; it just requires a more moderate level of drunkenness than for driving. I guess Billy Walsh's killer just didn't have his pocket breathalyzer on him!

It's also nice to know that if we need somebody executed, our correspondent will be around to gun him down on the spot!

Now on to the US Constitution. The Second Amendment, the Holy Writ for nut jobs like our friend above, reads as follows:
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.

The introducing clause "A well regulated militia . . ." has been held by the Supreme Court of the United States since the dawn of the Republic to mean state militias, like the National Guard, not the laughable pot-bellied vigilante knuckle draggers in lawn chairs hoping to take target practice on Mexicans crossing into Arizona. It must be remembered that the Bill of Rights was adopted at a time that the states were inching away from the loosie-goosie Articles of Confederation toward a more Perfect Union. The Bill of Rights was written as a limitation on the powers of the federal government against the states and their citizens. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution changed that for parts of the Bill of Rights, but not the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment was never intended to prevent gun control measures by states regulating their own citizens. So when the Personal Protection Act adopted by the Minnesota Legislature refers in the preamble to an individual right to bear arms, it's pistol-packin' Pat Pariseau's delusion. Incidentally, you note how the Minnesota Constitution doesn't get mentioned in these impassioned rants about gun rights? The Minnesota Constitution is silent on the subject. (The Minnesota Constitution does direct the Legislature to establish a uniform system of public education throughout the state, but that's a subject for another day.) (If you ae interested in the education post go to Vouchers Smouchers . . .)

Entire forests, oceans of ink, and tons of coal have been consumed in trying to argue that the Second Amendment establishes the right of an individual to tote a gun. They're all pretty silly arguments, although some of them pretend to be cloaked in constitutional scholarship. Spotty's favorite is the argument that earlier drafts of the constitution contained an individual right to pack heat. If that is true, what are we to conclude from the fact the framers took it out of the final draft?

Which brings us to Catch 22. Remember the book and the movie? Bomber pilot Yossarian didn't want to go out on bombing runs, and tried to get out because he claimed to be insane. The psychiatrist said nope, if you don't want to go you're clearly sane. It's only if you want to go on bombing runs that you are too insane to go. That was Catch 22.

Spotty thinks shall issue conceal and carry is very similar. If you really want to carry a gun around all the time, you are too dog shit crazy to be permitted to do it. (Please excuse the vulgarity; in Spotty's case specifically, it is a term of art.)

If any Minutemen out there read this, please send Spotty a nasty and hysterical comment. You will prove Spot's point better than any words he could write.

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