Communique "If people kill people, why are we still giving them guns?" 4-8-2021
Ed: Note: I don't feel safer knowing you own a AR-15. Change my mind.
Hey everybody! Is everybody ready to play one of my favorite political games called let’s re-frame the issue with a little common sense? Alright then, let’s go!
As an American you have every right to demand the following,
A fair, decent reading of the 2nd Amendment. As I have written in earlier Communiques, the very idea that anyone and everyone in America has an absolute right to own any firearm in any capacity and quantity IS COMPLETE NONSENSE.
Firstly and as an important qualifier, there is no such thing as an absolute anything in the Constitution period. There is no legitimate Constitutional analysis that does not include at least the recognition of the concepts that all individual rights MUST at some point yield to the societal, or common good.
In the preamble, we are let in on a secret the founding Fathers were more than aware of at the time they drafted the Constitution. There is no such thing as a “perfect union”. That is why they inserted the word “more” in there so we as a nation would understand, apparently hopefully, that while as we matured, America would surely make its mistakes but by using our individual rights for the best possible societal (big picture) outcome, you know, stuff like build and maintain armies, infrastructure, and to promote one person one vote democracy, to protect and even extend our individual rights, and not the other way around.
The other way around would mean that a document, the US Constitution, that if nothing else is clearly a textbook for good governance in a still theoretical democracy (now a bit more concrete, wouldn’t you say?) or, put another way, now that we “gave” We, the People their individual, natural rights, now what do we do?
And so, if I can sum up the basic structure of the battle between individual and communal rights in America, when we come to the Federal government, the singular question is: Given the natural rights as identified in the Declaration of Independence, and amplified in the Constitution in the Bill of Rights, can the government do that?
If they can, then the actions are constitutionally viable, if not they are an overreach of the government upon our rights as individuals, and hence unconstitutional. Over time, this has been a fluid concept as societal values change over time. If you do not think so, then quickly without looking it up, what does the 3rd Amendment say? Uh huh.
“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” -3rd Amendment
In 1787 the quartering of soldiers in personal homes and property was a big-ticket item. Today? No so much. This is not to suggest the 3rd Amendment is not still a good idea, but I would argue its necessity to the national discussion of individual rights versus unwanted government sponsored intrusions into our private property rights would no longer be at the front and center of the debate.
Now, let me let you in on a big “secret”. Under the self-generated and proclaimed as the law of the land “judicial review” doctrine, when we as Americans look for guidance on the extent of our individual rights, the final say-so on whether any act by the government is unconstitutional falls to the Supreme Court.
Meaning, the final yes or no, whether government actions or individual rights win, is, well, whatever the SCOTUS says they are, at least for that moment, subject to subsequent review, subject to a change in politics, within the next 35-50 years, or not. Uh huh, that’s right too.
And so, as bleak as that sounds, and yes, that is I also a great reason not to politicize the SCOTUS, but Reagan let the bull back into the china shop with his “litmus test” and now, well, if you don’t believe that then how do you explain the presence of the completely incompetent, certainly doesn’t represent my interests Amy Comey Barrett, you know, the one with the really good memory and never takes notes and somehow that qualifies her to sit on the highest court of the land, living Hand Maiden’s Tale nightmare?
That is what happens when you weaponized the SCOTUS. Now, at long last, here is my question. Don’t you think, all of us, deserve a Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, be at a minimum capable of making a reasonable conclusion of law, based upon the time-tested principles of stare decisis (following established case law) and common sense? You know putting the common back into common law?
Should it be necessary for us to have a national discussion about “court-packing” or unpacking, as the case may be (bye, bye Beer Brett for starters)? If we are to continue to be the home of the brave, the land of the free, shouldn’t we insist and accept nothing less than a Supreme Court that will at a minimum be willing and able, without prior bias due to guns, religion, money, give us thoughtful, time-tested and honest decisions based on actual constitutional law and not on personal preferences?
Much less the preferences of those who pay the most in dark money for personal gain and profit, often to the great expense of the communal right and Constitutional mandate we all enjoy? Meaning, an extension of our God given natural rights to form a more perfect union? How can we do that without a true, honest and functioning SCOTUS?
Unfortunately, as apparently from the need to legislate gun safety and common sense from the Presidency in the form of an Executive Order (or two) from the Biden Administration so we can all exercise OUR Constitutional Right to be free from the next psycho to open up on the public with an assault weapon of war, the ownership of which is in no way guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment.
If you doubt me read Scalia’s majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008) in which Mr. Possibly Worst Supreme Court racist, misogynist and homophobe to ever sit on the court (and that is saying a lot) himself admits there is no such thing as a government that cannot issue rules on private citizens owning weapons, can we at least start here?
Taking back our rights to fair and equitable decisions regarding the 2nd Amendment and, importantly, STOP THE SENSELESS VIOLENCE IN OUR SCHOOLS, MALLS, SUPERMARKETS, MOVIE THEATERS, AND ON OUR STREETS, INFECTING OUR NATION REGARDLESS OF WHO THE SHOOTER IS, THAT I’M TELLING YOU HAS NO LEGITIMACY TO BE FOUND IN AROUND OR UNDER THE SECOND AMENDMENT?
Can we do that? Can we start reforming our badly in need of reform broken and unreliable Supreme Court? Can we start here? By admitting not just the unborn, but all life is precious and must be protected for the cradle to the last breath we take? That the right to breath is fundamental? Can’t we start here?
For what it is worth, we do have that right. The question is what are we going to do about it?
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