Monday, May 12, 2008

Responding to “Gun nuts” comments (Post 1)

A recent post, “We’re All Gun Nuts Now,” is built on John McCormack’s Weekly Standard article bearing that title and reporting “both contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination [are] evading the gun control issue as if it were sniper fire[.]”

The "Gun Nuts" post has drawn comments from two readers. I want to respond to both of them on the main page because they “extended the discussion” with regard to matters I should have mentioned in my post.

Here I’ll respond to one of the commenters. I’ll respond to the other tomorrow.

One commenter said - - -

You say you favor "some restrictions on who can own...guns and the type of guns involved."

May I ask you to clarify just what those restrictions might be? And do you favor similar restrictions on who can write or speak freely according to his conscience?

I am always wary of any restrictions on constitutionally-guaranteed rights; I accept such limitations as denying the Second Amendment right to convicted felons, mentally unstable persons, and liberals (just kidding); just as I accept that shouting "fire" in a crowded theater is not a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Do you accept more rigorous limitations? Please enlighten us.

My response - - -

Re: “I am always wary of any restrictions on constitutionally-guaranteed rights; I accept such limitations as denying the Second Amendment right to convicted felons … & mentally unstable persons[.]

Where do I sign?

Re: "Do you accept more rigorous limitations?"

As I said in the “Gun Nuts” post, there are more than 20,000 gun laws on the books in America.

Isn't that enough? Do we really need still more gun laws?

As for the details of what should go into or be kept out of the next gun law some city council, state legislature or the congress considers, I’ll say this:

In judging any new gun law proposal as a citizen must, I’d pay a lot of attention to what people like John Lott, John Stossel, Charles Krauthammer, Thomas Sowell and John Fund were saying.

If Heather McDonald, John Olin Fellow and City Journal Editor at the Manhattan Institute researched and reported on a proposed bill – well, she's one of our best public policy reporters, so I’d pay very close attention to her reporting/commentary.

I’d also pay a lot of attention to what publications such as WSJ, National Review, The Nation (negative indicator) and Weekly Standard were saying.

Policy institutes?

I’ve a lot of respect for Cato, Heritage and American Enterprise, among many excellent ones.

Here in North Carolina I'd look to see what John Hood, Jon Ham, and The John Locke Foundation were saying.

The Raleigh News & Observer's position, as expressed in both its "news" and editorial columns, would be my negative indicator.

You may be asking how I’d feel about a court decision concerning gun rights.

If Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito all came down on the same side, that would seal it for me.

Even three out of four of them would seal it for this lay person who has come to trust those four justices as guardians of The Constitution as it was first explained to me by people who knew and loved America.

I hope what I've said helps.

Now, what about the liberals?

I know you were just kidding when you spoke of special gun restrictions for them.

And I’m just kidding when I say there should be many huge, new, special taxes levied only on liberals, with some of the revenue generated going to support the giveaway programs liberals want us all to pay for, and some money going to relieve tax burdens on the people who pay for liberal giveaway programs.

As I say, I'm just kidding.

Still, it’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

Thanks for commenting.


Anonymous said...

None other than former Mayor Marion Barry was rethinking the DC gun control laws, he decided it would be good to provide potential victims a limited window of opportunity to arm themselves in self defense.

“We are in the midst of a gun-violence epidemic,” Barry said. [Everybody but the criminals are abiding by the city’s gun control laws.”]

Anonymous said...


Great post.

At the end I was ROFLOL.

A Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

John: Your response was much appreciated. The legal minds you cite as your guideposts stand as excellent interpreters of the founders' intentions. As you no doubt inferred from my post, I equate the Second Amendment with the other nine--equally uninfringable. As for the laws on the books that you describe as "sufficient," there are many gun laws in effect now that are clearly unconstituional and when the Supremes decide the issue and announce next month, we will see a number of those laws disappear. So many of those laws were fashioned by people who knew nothing about firearms and whose only intent was to outlaw as many guns as possible. We could simplify gun laws by passing just a few laws: pointing a loaded gun at anyone in a threatening manner=felony with 20-year minimum imprisonment no parole; shooting a person in cold blood=felony with life imprisonment no parole; ex-con carrying a firearm=felony, 20 year imprisonment no parole. The problem today is our lawmakers would rather inconvenience the vast majority of law-abiding citizens than the small number of pathological criminals who are the main cause of the problem. Thank you for your support for our Bill of Rights.
Tarheel Hawkeye