Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Second Amendment Oversights

In my first blog post, I talked about the absoluteness of the 2nd Amendment, and why it doesn't actually give us Americans rights.

Today, I'm going to explain what the 2nd Amendment doesn't even pretend to give us, and speculate on why.

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you...

The Second Amendment...

"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."

Everyone likes to talk about what's in this little amendment, one of the shortest Amendments in the Constitution, but nobody talks about what's not in it. In other words, what rights does the Second Amendment curiously not guarantee?

Well, the largest hole I can think of is that it leaves everyone, even Congress and the President free to stomp all over arms commerce.

Nowhere in our Constitution is it written that Congress can't prevent the sale or manufacture of arms. So restrictions on who can buy firearms and who can make them are totally constitutional.

In fact, it's totally constitutional to completely trash the American legal arms industry entirely. Not even in the Federalist Papers, in the parts that pertain to militias and arms, is arms commerce ever mentioned as being a fundamental human right.

Why would the Founders allow something so big to pass right under their noses?

Probably the most obvious answer is that, at the time, the US didn't make any weapons. Springfield Armory and Harper's Ferry, the first two US armories, didn't open until 1794 and 1802, respectively. US weapons all came from Britain or other countries, mostly in the form of the Brown Bess, and from France, later during the rebellion.

What does this mean?

The Founders weren't all-knowing Gods, who's very words were tinged with gold, and who's writings are sacred, true documents that span the millenia. They were normal people, who wrote documents to fix the problems they saw. Often, the fixes weren't even competent, as the Articles of Confederation demonstrates. The AoC resembles nothing more than a silly, loose confederation between sovereign nations, no more able to govern a territory as a nation than it was able to raise an army. The Constitution built a more fit government, but still one based on compromise and pandering. There are two legislative bodies in the US specifically because some states didn't want a population-based Congress, and others did. This wasn't some sacred mechanic, essential for good governance; it was a compromise designed to satiate all the states enough so that they'd shut up and sign.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

...And, this, I'm afraid, is typical of his current attitude!

This is an example of the sort of wonderful sanity litmus tests the Green movement provides us with regularly. If you think this series of ads was tasteful, then, sir or madame, I am sorry, but I have some bad news for you...
It's not some isolated lapse of taste and rationality, either.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Something Profound Contained Herein

Yeah, probably not.

So what gives? Why "Unreasonable Expectations"?

The answer lies with what I identify as the current most dire affliction of this nation, and even a large part of the world. Everyone has something they blame on the state of things; it's an unwritten, unspoken agreement that something is wrong. Some people think it's liberals, some thing it's conservatives. Some think it's gays, and some think it's Jews, and some think it's white people, and black people, and some think it's guns, and others the lack thereof. Some even believe it's our simple fate, because the stars aren't aligned to our benefit or because God is displeased with us. Finally, some think we, ourselves are the problem, and that things would be better without us.

It doesn't matter what it is, almost everyone has something they blame our ills on. Bleeding, in one form or another, is the most often-prescribed remedy. If we understand our own mechanical contraptions, we barely have a clue about our own bodies, and if that, then we are lost when it comes to the universe and physics and science, and if that, then we have not even begun to ask the question about governments. Because something is wrong, and we all know it. Injustice is being done, more injustice than just the random storms and natural cataclysms to which we all pay rent as residents of planet Earth. We all know something is fundamentally wrong with the way we treat ourselves.

So I've mentioned government. Oh goody, a political blog. Well... Maybe a little. However, let's get back to government a bit later.

What do I see as our disease? What plagues us?

I wouldn't name my blog something random, would I?

Especially in this country, the only one I'm familiar with, most people believe they are entitled to things. They believe that because they exist, they have a right to stuff. They have a right to live, or a right to privacy, or a right to free speech, or a right to keep stuffed appendages of any member of the family Ursidae. The reality is that we have none of these things. An entitlement, a right, is something enshrined by law and supported by the whole weight of the leviathan. A right is held as absolute fact, because if you defy a right, you're liable to get lawfully deader faster than you can say down with the King! let's kill the president! But, but, but, you may exclaim:

"But we have rights! They're enshrined in the Bill of Rights!"

Yes they are. However, ask yourself two things:

First, does the government care at all about the Bill of Rights? They seem to, when it suits them. But other times, they are perfectly content to ignore it. Even the Nine will ignore the BoR when it suits them. Congress has practically set the thing on fire, pissed on it to put it out, and then ground it into the floor to make sure it doesn't show any awkward signs of life. As an example, the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, states:

"...The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Now I didn't pick this one because of any previous affectation to it (Protip: Yes, I did), but rather because it's so absolute. Unlike the First, which states that Congress shall make no law abridging free speech, assembly, etc, the Second is absolute. No one, anywhere, any time, anyhow, for any reason, shall infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. You may agree with that right, or you may not. The reality is, Congress positively does not care. You can't own a firearm if you're a convicted felon, you can't own pink-colored weapons or weapon accessories in New York (sad but true), you can't own automatic weapons that weren't registered prior to 1986 (if I recall correctly), the list goes on and on and on. Finally, never, under any circumstances, is a private individual to own or operate a nuclear weapon in this country, especially not if they are pregnant, nursing, or may become pregnant. Whether you agree with any of these infringements or not, they exist, and they violate the Bill of Rights.

Second, even if you assume that the fact that the government doesn't protect the Bill of Rights well; i.e., it's just incompetent to the point of broken, you must ask yourself another question: Can the government actually grant us these rights? With respect to the Second Amendment, it, in fact, can't. The right is so broad, so vague, it's impossible to enforce. If I take away a firearm from my offspring at the end of a range trip, to put it away behind lock and key, am I infringing on his 2nd Amendment rights?

So do we actually have those rights? Nope. We don't. When we expect our speech to be free, or our ownership and use of firearms, to be protected, or our house to be free of soldiers, and that expectation does not line up with reality,  that expectation is unrealistic.