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Second Amendment ‘Terrorists’

The New York Daily News goes for broke, again:

CVWQD1NWcAAX7IF [1]

The reader who tipped me off says:

I’m not an NRA fan – far from it – but to call their chairman a “terrorist” is not what I’d expect from people claiming to be rational and “reality-based”.

This will all end badly.

Let’s think about this: the front page of the fifth-largest newspaper in America has labeled the strongest defender of Second Amendment rights in the country a “terrorist” — and says he’s no better than ISIS (one of the San Bernardino shooters, it is now reported, had publicly pledged allegiance to ISIS [2]).

I have highly mixed feelings about the NRA, but those feelings are rather less mixed after seeing this. I do not accept the maximalist line that any restriction on guns and ammunition is the start of a slippery slope, and must be firmly rejected. But the idea that a man who advocates for a Constitutionally guaranteed liberty can be denounced not in an Internet comment box, but on the front page of a major American newspaper, as a “terrorist” — that is fairly unnerving to me.

I started to write, “What would the cultural Left say if some right-wing newspaper denounced the head of the ACLU as a ‘terrorist’ because his organization successfully defended unpopular First Amendment freedoms? What would they say if a right-wing newspaper denounced the heads of film studios and record companies as ‘terrorists’ because some of their products glorify extreme violence?”

I know what they would say, and so do you. But here’s the thing: Peggy Noonan observes that factions of the Left are going after the First Amendment too [3], all in the name of Safety (e.g., “safe spaces” free of opinions and people they would rather not confront):

Americans are growing weary of being told what they can and cannot publicly say, proclaim and think. We all know what’s going on at the colleges, with the mad little Marats and Robespierres who are telling students and administrators what they are and are not allowed to say or do. This is not just kids acting up at this point, it’s a real censorship movement backed by an ideology that is hostile to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is led by students who, though they managed to get into the greatest universities in the country, seem never to have been taught to love the little amendment that guarantees free speech and free religious observance, the two pillars without which America collapses. And too bad, because when you don’t love something you lose it.

It is my impression that what is happening on the campuses is starting to break through as a real threat to what used to be called normal Americans.

And the “normal Americans,” how are they going to react to this kind of thing when it’s directed at the Second Amendment? Charles C.W. Cooke wants the anti-Second Amendment people to stop bluffing and take action: [4]

When the likes of Rob Delaney and Bill Maher and Keith Ellison say that we need to get rid of the Second Amendment, they are not speaking in a vacuum but reflecting the views of a small but vocal portion of the American population. And they mean it. That being so, here’s the million-dollar question: What the hell are they waiting for? Go on, chaps. Bloody well do it.

Seriously, try it. Start the process. Stop whining about it on Twitter, and on HBO, and at the Daily Kos. Stop playing with some Thomas Jefferson quote you found on Google. Stop jumping on the news cycle and watching the retweets and viral shares rack up. Go out there and begin the movement in earnest. Don’t fall back on excuses. Don’t play cheap motte-and-bailey games. And don’t pretend that you’re okay with the Second Amendment in theory, but you’re just appalled by the Heller decision. You’re not. Heller recognized what was obvious to the amendment’s drafters, to the people who debated it, and to the jurists of their era and beyond: That “right of the people” means “right of the people,” as it does everywhere else in both the Bill of Rights and in the common law that preceded it. A Second Amendment without the supposedly pernicious Heller “interpretation” wouldn’t be any impediment to regulation at all. It would be a dead letter. It would be an effective repeal. It would be the end of the right itself. In other words, it would be exactly what you want! Man up. Put together a plan, and take those words out of the Constitution. It’ll be tough explaining to suburban families that their established conception of American liberty is wrong. You might even suffer at the polls because of it. But that’s what it’s going to take. This will involve hard work, of course. You can’t just sit online and preen to those who already agree with you. No siree. Instead, you’ll have to go around the states — traveling and preaching until the soles of your shoes are thin as paper. You’ll have to lobby Congress, over and over and over again. You’ll have to make ads and shake hands and twist arms and cut deals and suffer all the slings and arrows that will be thrown in your direction. You’ll have to tell anybody who will listen to you that they need to support you; that if they disagree, they’re childish and beholden to the “gun lobby”; that they don’t care enough about children; that their reverence for the Founders is mistaken; that they have blood on their [deleted] hands; that they want to own firearms only because their penises are small and they’re not “real men.” And remember, you can’t half-ass it this time. You’re not going out there to tell these people that you want “reform” or that “enough is enough.” You’re going there to solicit their support for removing one of the articles within the Bill of Rights. Make no mistake: It’ll be unpleasant strolling into Pittsburgh or Youngstown or Pueblo and telling blue-collar Democrat after blue-collar Democrat that he only has his guns because he’s not as well endowed as he’d like to be. It’ll be tough explaining to suburban families that their established conception of American liberty is wrong. You might even suffer at the polls because of it. But that’s what it’s going to take. So do it. Start now. Off you go.

Read the whole epic thing here. [4]

It never seems to pierce the bubble of these liberal ideologues that the NRA is so powerful because it represents a popular cause. Over half of all Americans oppose stricter gun control laws.  [5] I don’t belong to the NRA, and I have no objection in principle to a limited tightening of gun restrictions, but my opinion is not the majority opinion. More importantly, I don’t have strong feelings about the issue, while pro-Second Amendment people tend to have very intense feelings about it. I’m never going to vote for or against a candidate on Second Amendment issues, but I know plenty of people who would, and do. They are my friends and neighbors, and I do not believe them to be terrorists.

I get that the editors of the Daily News, and many others, do consider them to be terrorists. What this designation is going to do is to make them dig in even harder, convinced that the Democratic Party and the liberal media would come take their guns away if they had the chance. It cannot be comfortable for Wayne LaPierre to see himself likened to mass murderers on the front page of a major American newspaper. But the Daily News has just made his job significantly easier.

I don’t vote on the Second Amendment, but I very much vote on the First Amendment, specifically freedom of religion. We have seen over and over liberals in the media, in politics, in academia, and so forth, denounce people like me as “bigots,” the equivalent of racist segregationists, and as the kind of people who make life in American unsafe. I don’t know about my fellow First Amendment fans, but this has made me dig in much deeper, because I’m absolutely convinced that if the Democrats had the power to do so, they would take away as much freedom of religion as they could, because many of them neither practice it nor value it, but instead see it as a threat.

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130 Comments (Open | Close)

130 Comments To "Second Amendment ‘Terrorists’"

#1 Comment By Chris 1 On December 4, 2015 @ 9:52 pm

Riddle me this: why is suicide an individual choice and right, when it’s assisted suicide by doctors, but not when self-administered?

Cleanup.

#2 Comment By Simon Hawthorne On December 4, 2015 @ 9:55 pm

I would never call LaPierre a terrorist, but he certainly is just another unneeded agitator and are very agitated nation. Causing like the other agitators, be they the idiots at Mizzou or him. Undue strife for many Americans. I support the 2nd amendment. BUt I find his defense of it a little to shrill for my liking.

#3 Comment By Simon Hawthorne On December 4, 2015 @ 9:57 pm

radicals with no concept of the social contract too. … It’s who we are as the world’s most individualistic nation. — RD

I do sometimes wonder if we need to ask ourselves if the way we currently understand it is correct. Or is demanding everything just leading to our demise?

#4 Comment By TR On December 4, 2015 @ 10:13 pm

First we get a self-serving and mendacious letter “defending” free speech in a Bible college where you can bet it doesn’t exist in the Biology department, let alone in Bible Studies and then we get a defense of Wayne LaPierre who has accused the current President of being just about everything bad in the world. What creep do we defend next?

Should I remind you that it was Mr. LaPierre’s comments that drove the senior George Bush out of the NRA?

#5 Comment By Mark Clark On December 4, 2015 @ 10:20 pm

“I have highly mixed feelings about the NRA, but those feelings are rather less mixed after seeing this. I do not accept the maximalist line that any restriction on guns and ammunition is the start of a slippery slope, and must be firmly rejected.”

The NRA is not and never has been the tow-er of the “maximalist line” as you put it.

But perhaps it should have been. And it damned sure needs to start being that now.

Perhaps now people will understand why it’s so necessary to NEVER GIVE AN INCH to those who would deny us our God-given rights.

[NFR: God did not give us the right to bear arms. The US Constitution does. The right to bear arms is not a natural right. — RD]

#6 Comment By Thomas Kaempfen On December 4, 2015 @ 10:31 pm

Non-snarky question: How exactly is the right to own firearms central to conceptions of American liberty?

I’m not asking a constitutional or legal question, I’m asking a theoretical question. Obviously a society that doesn’t respect the rights of free speech, religion, the press, petition, assembly, etc. wouldn’t be a free society (technically it wouldn’t be a liberal society). But why should gun ownership be on that list? If a society had all the other rights we associate with liberal democracy but denied people the right to bear arms, would it not be a liberal democracy? Would it be any less of a democracy at all? Are Britain or Australia not free countries? I don’t get it.

#7 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 4, 2015 @ 10:49 pm

“In opposing guns sales for those on the Terror Watch List, are LaPierre and American legislators culpable for arming the terrorism that will surely follow?”

Who’s on that secret list? We don’t know, because the criteria are secret. You’re not allowed to know, if you are. And there’s no way to get off, even if you’re completely innocent.

While he was alive, Sen. Ted Kennedy was on it and harassed multiple times, along with many others the victim of confusion, error and mistakes.

Millions are on the list, but it’s not a list of those convicted of any offense, nor is there any evidence necessary to arrest them.

It can even be people who were only related to someone else being watched – even just a suspicious neighbor, stranger or disgruntled person – or a false accuser guilty of “swatting” for their own perverse reasons.

Be very careful of a society that grows so totalitarian that it punishes people for merely being suspected or accused, but for which there is no proof. You may one day find yourself on such a Kafkaesque list, unable to find out what you are being punished for or any way to rectify it – unfairly denied travel, employment, credit and a host of other discrimination, without redress.

#8 Comment By pj On December 4, 2015 @ 11:06 pm

The NY Daily News is a liberal tabloid rag that specialized in trolling before trolling even was a thing. Weren’t they on sale for a while and no one wanted to buy them?

That said–there are plenty of right wing rags that have used similar language in the past so I have a hard time getting worked up over it. I know the ACLU and Sierra Club leaders have been called terrorists before although I’m not sure by anyone on the right as big as NYDN. We’re in an era where a DLC centrist Dem like Obama gets called a Commie by the right and an Eisenhower Republican like Trump gets called a Fascist by the left. This is where we are as a country.

It would be nice if we could get together and get some reasonable compromise that actually dealt with substance. You know in the old give something to get something fashion. We have this conversation every time one of these shootings happens. But we all know that we have a generation of politicians today–on both sides–who are not interested in solving problems. They are only interested in using problems to gain votes. Hence the left immediately screeching about gun control proposals that would have done nothing in this case just as with all the others before it and the right screeching about refugees which these people weren’t.

Off topic Rod: Did you know that the Benedict Option was being polled? I saw it while taking a YouGov poll today. I’m not sure they described it adequately though based on what you have said. You better get busy with that book!

[6]

#9 Comment By dominic1955 On December 4, 2015 @ 11:14 pm

Of course, I’m happy to say that I’m a proud NRA member. As for the front page of that rag, Haters gon’ hate.

“To be clear, the NRA has opposed every single even remotely reasonable effort to regulate guns. Try banning assault weapons? The NRA opposes it.”

Just what the hell is an assault weapon, praytell? Please, go ahead and educate us on this.

“Think that gun dealers should check if they’re about to sell to someone on a terrorist watch list? The NRA just helped defeat that in Congress.”

It wasn’t that simple. If you show up on that no-fly list, that doesn’t mean you are a terrorist. It could just mean that some low-level bureaucrat effed up and now you are extra-judicially marked. Good luck getting that fixed.

“Like the idea of a gun that only works for the proper user? The NRA opposes anyone who tries to sell one.”

Guns need to act on the KISS principle. Ever have one of the new-fangled computer systems or sensors in your car decide to crap out, something not really necessary but it all of a sudden makes your car not work. Start adding more computer garbage in there and you are just asking for trouble. Get morons to think that its a good idea and now EVERY one needs these smart systems-even worse.

“Think that businesses should be allowed to ask customers not to bring rifles into their stores? The NRA objected to those businesses doing so. And you think the NRA are nothing more than defenders of the 2nd Amendment?”

Its more a matter of principle. If I have a concealed gun, no one is ever going to know and its not going to be a safety hazard. Someone that wants to hold the place up isn’t going to care about some stupid sticker on the door.

#10 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 4, 2015 @ 11:46 pm

“[NFR: God did not give us the right to bear arms. The US Constitution does. The right to bear arms is not a natural right. — RD]”

I guess it depends upon which rights one believes to be natural. Since circumstances have seen situations throughout history where just about what we consider every right has been suppressed, and thought correct to do so, upon what do we base what we call natural rights?

For instance, “human rights” as we define them aren’t enumerated in the Bible as individual rights that can be demanded. You could extrapolate certainly from the list of sins and obligations we have, including returning only good for evil. But we don’t exactly do that, even if the appeal to rights given by God is referred to in the Declaration of Independence and then Constitution.

But that also declares that the people have the inherent moral and natural right, quite apart from a Constitution as yet unwritten, to overthrow a government grown tyrannical, such as the British colonial government, surely one of the most enlightened of the era, by force of arms.

That is a clear appeal to the populace being armed, as a natural right, apart from the government’s military or police.

Thoughts?

#11 Comment By CharleyCarp On December 4, 2015 @ 11:49 pm

Yeah, so fix the watch list. And ban guns sales to people on it.

This isn’t brain surgery rocket science.

#12 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 5, 2015 @ 12:02 am

And by inference, does not the natural right to overthrow a government grown tyrannical and unaccountable to the people, necessarily involve and encompass a general right to self defense? Is the right to self defense an inherent right of the individual, or one reserved alone to government or other corporate body, even if informal? Does an individual have a right to defend himself or others from harm? Or must one die if no governmental authority is at hand?

Even as a person who believes Christians ought to live in the kingdom of God, which isn’t defended by force, I have a hard time contemplating depriving others of what seems to be an inherent right to self defense – which surely includes an appropriate use of force, which must clearly include more than the weak fists of the aged widow if against a violent predator.

It’s not necessary for any of us to demand our rights – there are times when God’s will is that we do not – in order for those natural rights to still exist. It does seem though that defense of life and liberty should not be denied to others, though, just because of what we ourselves can or may be led by the Spirit in alternative.

#13 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 5, 2015 @ 12:14 am

” . . . but for which there is no proof. You may one day find yourself on such a Kafkaesque list, unable to find out what you are being punished for or any way to rectify it – unfairly denied travel, employment, credit and a host of other discrimination, without redress.”

O don’t think there’s any reason to start rounding people’s individual weapons. Even if they are illegal, they are not going to stop someone heck bent on vengeance from using them.

There’s is far too much made on these incidents by gun banning advocates. The ony difference between the Muslim terrorist barkers and banning gun advocates is that the terrorist clamorers get better traction.

Mr. La Pierre, isn’t a terrorist anymore than Michael Moore is a terrorist enabler. A small portion of the population is going to resort to violemne regardless of what it is that has them upset.

It is a sad fact of life. That people do these things when in turmoil.Changing the number of what constitutes mass murder does not make the contend to ban guns any stronger. Because in the end it’s a double edged blade. If you are one those has bought the bait that thecentral claim for the Riverside shooting was a Muslim Cause for an Islamic state in the US, then you are faced with avery serious problem. That the NSA, the PA and subsequent security measures have failed and there needs to be more of the same and maybe gun advocates are correct that if everyone s packing then everyone will be safe or at least be able to defend themselves.

#14 Comment By dominic1955 On December 5, 2015 @ 12:44 am

Rod,

“[NFR: God did not give us the right to bear arms. The US Constitution does. The right to bear arms is not a natural right. — RD]”

Methinks you must have taken Civics at a later date than I did, which would probably be impossible so I don’t know where you got this.

However, the Founding Fathers didn’t think the Constitution or Bill of Rights or any such thing actually “gave” rights. “Rights” given by a government or a document are not rights but privileges. The Bill of Rights just recognized certain pertinant natural rights, but in no way intended to be the originator of those rights. Some of the Founding Fathers didn’t even want it written up, precisely because people would start thinking like what you wrote.

Further, the right to bear arms is a natural right and certainly an extension of the right to self-preservation and self-defense.

#15 Comment By Gretchen On December 5, 2015 @ 12:48 am

Rod, I’m glad to hear that you won’t be using “Mengele” in the future, even though you believe it’s accurate. Not because it offends Planned Parenthood, but because I think that that sort of rhetoric winds up unhinged people like Robert Dear and makes them feel they need to take action. There’s one commenter here that has had me worried, because I think he sounds a little unhinged, and you said that non-commenters outnumber commenters by 1000:1 or something like that. Who knows how many unhinged people are reading and looking for a cause. For all we know, Robert Dear himself was a reader and got the “baby parts” outrage in this very place. So I’m very relieved that you’ve stepped back into using more temperate language. Thank you. I really appreciate it. Some here say that anyone at Planned Parenthood deserves what they get, but I don’t think a young woman who is at PP getting treatment for her urinary tract infection deserves to be killed because she happed to have a flare-up on the morning some zealot decided to make her grand statement. Really, thank you.

#16 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 5, 2015 @ 1:00 am

“Non-snarky question: How exactly is the right to own firearms central to conceptions of American liberty?”

Australia, Canada and New Zealand’s white settlers never rebelled against England’s tyranny but remained colonies under its monarchy and only lately achieved full independence, while still remaining part of its Commonwealth, the rump of the British Empire.

America’s Declaration and Constitution were unique in all the world; it’s safe to say that without the successful rebellion, democracy and liberty would not have taken the forms they did and perhaps not at all.

The theory and forms of government set up by this rebellion, changed and influenced profoundly, and most pointedly, the remaining loyal colonies, particularly first Canada due to the porous adjacent border and then England and its other colonies.

From a Christian standpoint, the rebellion is morally problematic as it was based on force of arms and the population’s stated inherent right to wield violence to overthrow an unpopular government. This genesis, formed through the baptism of violence, then compounded by the Civil War, has baked violence into the American concept of liberty, as a necessary component of transformation.

Yet, it must be admitted, that the salutary theories of republican and democratic governance took hold of the world as a result and although it could have happened in a peaceful way if there had been sufficient development then of the principles of political non-violence, there were not and it did not.

#17 Comment By Emrys On December 5, 2015 @ 1:36 am

[NFR: To most people who live in Austin, Texas, and hang out with you, you mean? I bet most Americans don’t even know who Wayne LaPierre is. — RD]

You do know that most people in America do NOT live in rural America? Most Americans live in a huge megalopolis, where the concerns of the denizens of rural America are of no import. If it weren’t for the totally unfair Senate, you would have nothing. We know who Wayne LaPierre is.

#18 Comment By Eamus Catuli On December 5, 2015 @ 7:38 am

It wasn’t that simple. If you show up on that no-fly list, that doesn’t mean you are a terrorist. It could just mean that some low-level bureaucrat effed up and now you are extra-judicially marked. Good luck getting that fixed.

I agree. People on the no-fly list might be there by mistake, and therefore shouldn’t be prevented from buying guns just because they’re on the no-fly list. For the same reason, they shouldn’t be prevented from flying just because they’re on the no-fly list either.

#19 Comment By BlairBurton On December 5, 2015 @ 10:35 am

“Riddle me this: why is suicide an individual choice and right, when it’s assisted suicide by doctors, but not when self-administered?”

There is a difference between a person diagnosed with a terminal illness and in great physical pain, and a teenager distraught over a romantic breakup who thinks he/she cannot go on and so picks up a readily available gun.

#20 Comment By Mario On December 5, 2015 @ 10:46 am

How can anyone call Wayne Lapierre an agitator? By definition, he would be the one provoking all of these events and doing his own saber-rattling. He only really speaks when called upon, and when the mainstream media and Democrats want to paint him as a terrorist and an extremist, why should he not defend himself and his organization with vigor?

How many of these killings are initiated by members of the NRA? How about even the accidental shootings? NRA members are probably the safest and most well-educated on gun safety. That’s why it’s laughable when we hear the politicians call for “common-sense” measures. How many of them deal with buying guns? It’s not as simple as they like to make it out to be.

#21 Comment By Inigo Martinez On December 5, 2015 @ 11:32 am

Riddle me this: why is suicide an individual choice and right, when it’s assisted suicide by doctors, but not when self-administered?

That would be a vast inflation of the right from extreme cases of painful terminal illness to a universal matter of individual choice. That would be hard to square with the pro-life position of many people here. But this is why the gun rights question is an anomaly. Here, it is left wing progressives defending the pro-life position, and pointing out, correctly, that the cultural commitments of traditional conservatives impose a heavy cost of death and suffering. And it is conservatives making the argument that all this death is worthwhile, because these cultural commitments are extremely important.

#22 Comment By Robert Rosemurgy On December 5, 2015 @ 12:16 pm

There are some (many?) on both extremes of this issue and others. Most are in the center somewhere; reasonable limitations on guns as we have reasonable limitations on other rights. The Supreme Court has held there is a constitutional right to travel, but we require drivers’ licenses, passports, education of drivers, etc. We have libel laws which can act as a limit on freedom of speech, and laws against polygamy, which can limit one’s religious practices. The author reacts a bit hysterically to a news headline in a tabloid newspaper and comments by some on the fringe about abolishing guns. For some reason, rational reasoning and temperate discussions seem to be less common than previously. The author elsewhere complained about “prayer shaming,” again overreacting to a legitimate criticism, not of people in general but of persons in power with the ability to address the situation but who repeatedly offer no solution but their “thoughts and prayers.” That is their cop-out to not addressing the problem, because they see it as difficult politically. They should be ashamed!

#23 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 5, 2015 @ 12:42 pm

“There is a difference between a person diagnosed with a terminal illness and in great physical pain, and a teenager distraught over a romantic breakup who thinks he/she cannot go on and so picks up a readily available gun.”

Probably we should dismantle bridges and subways, too. Never know how something might be misused. Since every right is misused, better to have none.

#24 Comment By Eamus Catuli On December 5, 2015 @ 1:43 pm

How many of these killings are initiated by members of the NRA? How about even the accidental shootings? NRA members are probably the safest and most well-educated on gun safety.

That may be, but the political critique of the NRA isn’t that its members personally are violent; it’s that it facilitates the violence of others by acting politically to block measures that might reduce this. (Which, of course, it has the right to do — and those who oppose it, likewise, have the right to oppose and try to defeat it.)

#25 Comment By dominic1955 On December 5, 2015 @ 2:40 pm

Mario,

Excellent point. Most anti-gun people are laughably ignorant of even the very simplest matters of how guns work let alone how to use them well. It’s just an emotional response to inanimate objects that they are scared of, that is basically all.

Plus, God forbid we had a serious conversation about evil or even ISIS and their wannabes.

#26 Comment By PeterK On December 5, 2015 @ 4:14 pm

“why should gun ownership be on that list?”

the second amendment says nothing about gun ownership. it says “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
arms can be almost anything, knives, poleaxes, halberds, anything. it is a broad term

#27 Comment By John On December 5, 2015 @ 6:10 pm

There are some liberals out there who was cheering when the court overturned the gun bans in DC, Chicago, and New York because those bans went too far by denying law-abiding citizens from their second amendment rights. If I was forced to in a crime-ridden neighborhood or if I lived out in the middle of nowhere I’d like to have a gun to protect myself.

So, we don’t have a problem, per se, with gun ownership. What we can’t understand is why we can’t, through the force of law, mandate child protection locks to prevent the five-year who finds his or her parents’ gun, from using it. Or why states would pass laws allowing one to pack heat at a bar. Who’d want a drunk, who is misinterpreting signals from another patron, to pull out his gun? I wouldn’t.

I don’t understand the argument against background checks. Why wouldn’t we want to keep guns away from hardened criminal, terrorist, and mentally disturbed? Why wouldn’t we want whoever purchases a firearm to go through a rigorous background check followed by training so that they exercise their right in a responsible way?

#28 Comment By dominic1955 On December 5, 2015 @ 7:22 pm

John,

“So, we don’t have a problem, per se, with gun ownership.”

I’m glad that some liberals don’t.

“What we can’t understand is why we can’t, through the force of law, mandate child protection locks to prevent the five-year who finds his or her parents’ gun, from using it.”

Same reason there isn’t a law that you have to lock up the chemicals under your sink or lock up your knives etc. It may very well be a very smart and prudent thing to do, especially if you keep a loaded gun around for protection that certainly should be kept under lock and key.

However, there are two major issues that also make this unfeasible. First, how do you propose to enforce this? House searches? Um…nope, not happening. Second, by what criteria? I’m a parent and also a collector of old military guns. Many of them I don’t even have ammo for because its practically made of unobtainium. I’m not going to waste the money on trigger locks for guns that certainly do not need them. There are people I know who have far more than I do that would be in a similar boat. You couldn’t just say handguns because similar problem-I’ve got handguns that are similarly rare collector’s pieces that have no need for any sort of lock. Its just not feasible, but something that should be encouraged (and we do, btw) in order to prevent accidental shootings if you have a modern weapon for self-defense and children.

“Or why states would pass laws allowing one to pack heat at a bar. Who’d want a drunk, who is misinterpreting signals from another patron, to pull out his gun? I wouldn’t.”

Not everyone who goes to a bar is going to be drunk. Its a public place like any other. If one does gets intoxicated, they are liable for whatever stupid things they do including getting into a car wreck or starting a bar fight the old fashioned way with a broken bottle or pool cue.

“I don’t understand the argument against background checks. Why wouldn’t we want to keep guns away from hardened criminal, terrorist, and mentally disturbed? Why wouldn’t we want whoever purchases a firearm to go through a rigorous background check followed by training so that they exercise their right in a responsible way?”

There already is a background check involved at the Federal level. You have to fill out a Form 4473 which gets called into the system. Some states have more stringent requirements as well.

In theory, I really don’t care about the 4473 and I think training is a good thing. What I’m not happy about is the thought of the Obama administration (or any other leftist administration) deciding the criteria for the background check. If its a simple check of the criminal records to see if you have a violent felony conviction or an outstanding warrant, OK, fine. I can see it going very badly depending upon who’s deciding the requirements.

#29 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 7, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

NFR: God did not give us the right to bear arms. The US Constitution does. The right to bear arms is not a natural right. — RD]

An important distinction, thank you. dominic1955 has a point about the thinking of the founding fathers, but there is no divine revelation that speaks to who should, or should not, keep and bear weapons, much less firearms.

In the absence of any government, anyone has the “right” to do as they please, unless that right is “infringed” by someone else doing whatever THEY please.

The principle that the government shall not infringe the “right” to keep and bear arms is something Americans rely on because it is in the federal constitution, for better or for worse. Without that article, the federal government could easily “infringe” the “right” to “keep and bear arms.” For one thing, almost all arms move in inter-state commerce — which is something the federal government has jurisdiction over because the constitution says so, not because God said “And the powers that be shall regulate the exchange of shekels for doves, and doves for shekels.”

#30 Comment By Alan McCall On December 8, 2015 @ 12:38 pm

The premise of this article is ridiculous. The 2nd Amendment right of the public to bear arms is the only right in which the words “well regulated” appear in the grant. Yet, any attempt or discussion about “regulation” of firearms of any sort is met by NRA Lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre with hyperbolic political speech designed to end the discussion. Heck, even the Supreme Court can still read the 2nd Amendment (except for Thomas, of course).

The discussion about what regulation is legitimate is the one we should be having. But, La Pierre enables his followers to end the discussion and terrorizes the politicians his organization either purchases or terrorizes into obeisance.

Dreher’s premise is demonstrably hokum.