Happy 2nd Amendment Day!

This date will go down in history as the date the Supreme Court finally affirmed the individual right of American citizens to keep and bear arms.

Taken in context, that was clearly the intent of the founding fathers from the beginning. The whole purpose of the Bill of Rights was to protect individual rights from usurpation by the government. However, there are those who disdain individual rights, who trust in the power of government more than in the rights of their fellow citizens. Those people have conducted a long and hard-fought campaign to focus attention exclusively on the clause about a militia, and to interpret that clause as somehow setting the 2nd Amendment apart from the rest of the Bill of Rights and excluding that particular amendment from applying to individuals.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court has now affirmed the intent of our founding fathers that we, the people of the United States of America, do have the individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the government does not have the legitimate power to strip that right from us.

God bless America!

God bless America! The principles of our founding fathers live on.


Bookmark/Rate this post: Digg it Stumble It! add to del.icio.us

Is “I Told You So” Worth the Price?

Romney has gracefully bowed out of the race, explaining that he doesn’t want to divide the party any longer and exhorting us all to unite behind McCain. I regret to see him go. Obviously, I would have preferred for him to be the nominee. (Once again, my record is intact. — Every time I settle on one of the remaining candidates, he’s the next one to drop out.) But it was already clear that McCain was going to win the nomination; so I think Romney did what he needed to do, and I think he did it well.

Nevertheless, a number of conservatives are still planning to vote for the Clintons or Obama. They say it’s because they anticipate the worst, and want the Democrats to take the blame. If you’re one of those people, I have to ask, what exactly is it you want them to take the blame for?

  • For raising taxes to redistribute more wealth from those who earn it to those who don’t?

    Great. They’ll get the blame. You’ll get the bill.
    Is it worth it?

  • For bringing the war back home and fighting the terrorists here instead of there?

    Maybe they’ll be blamed. Or maybe they won’t. They already maintain that the reason the terrorists hate us is because the darned Repbublicans insist on supporting our ally, Isreal, instead of letting the Islamic fanatics destroy it. So, when they bring the troops home, and the terrorists follow, they’ll still blame the Republicans. – Becaues it really is America’s fault that those poor misunderstood terrorists hate us, after all…

  • For universal healthcare?

    Some people will blame them, — like those of us who end up footing the bill for other people’s unhealthy habits, and those who will be compelled by law to buy something they don’t think they need. But others will think it’s great, — the ones who end up getting subsidized by the rest of us. (They vote too, you know.)

  • For more problems with illegal aliens?

    Obviously, the voters don’t really care, since all of the candidates left in the race support the same immigration legislation.

  • For packing the Supreme Court with liberal justices?

    Some people will like it; some people won’t.
    But we’ll all have to live with the consequences.
    Are you OK with that?

Even if the Demos do get the blame, the damage will be done and we’ll be paying the price for years, well beyond the next administration. Is it really worth the price? Conservatives sat out the last election, with the same justification, and all it got us was a Democrat-controlled Congress. What good will it do to turn over the Exectutive Branch as well?

Those who are planning to withhold their votes, or vote for a third party candidate, might as well be voting for the Clintons or Obama, because that’s exactly what the Democrats are counting on. The liberals/Democrats will all rally around whichever socialist wins their nomination. The conservatives/Republicans will be so fragmented that we won’t even present a challenge. That’s the real reason the Domocrats favor McCain. It’s not because they actually support him (he’s diametrically opposed to them on taxes and the war), but because he’s so hated by the conservatives that they know, if he wins the nomination, the Demos won’t have any opposition.

I can relate to the frustration of the people who just want to walk away from this election in disgust, and wash their hands of it. It’s hard to muster the will to fight for a candidate you don’t even believe in. But remember all the federal agencies and presidential appointments. It’s not just the president you’re voting for, it’s which party controls the whole executive branch. If you don’t vote for the Republican candidate, you’re playing right into the Demos’ agenda.


Bookmark/Rate this post: Digg it  Stumble It! add to del.icio.us
Published in: on February 7, 2008 at 9:42 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are Worse Things than McCain — Really!

OK, McCain it is. I’m not happy. You’re probably not either. I don’t know who all these “Republicans” are who are voting for him in the primaries, because I’m not aware of one person who likes him. But, be that as it may, the RINOs have spoken and McCain is going to be the Republican candidate. What do we do now?

The pragmatists will weigh the pros and cons and decide which candidate will do less harm to the country. The petulants will go home and sulk, and either not vote at all or throw away their vote on a third party candidate. The punitives will actually cross over and give aid and comfort to the enemy in our country’s time of crisis, and cast their vote for the Democrats out of spite.

From a pragmatist perspective, what are the key issues? The economy, the war, immigration, healthcare, and Supreme Court appointments are probably the most important.

The economy is a big one, because there’s a fundamental philosophical difference in the way Republicans and Democrats address the problem. Republicans believe in fixing the economy by cutting taxes to stimulate growth. Democrats believe the way to fix the economy is by raising taxes and redistributing the wealth. Which do you prefer? 

  •  McCain’s plan is to extend the Bush tax cuts, create more tax cuts for middle class families, make the current low capital gains and dividends tax rates permanent, and require a 60% majority in Congress to raise taxes in the future. He’ll also cut government programs that don’t work, earmarks, subsidies, and pork barrel spending.
  • Mrs. Clinton’s plan is to eliminate the Bush tax cuts, raise capital gains and dividends taxes back to their previous levels, spend $10 billion dollars on extending and broadening unemployment entitlements, hand over $25 billion to low/no income families for “emergency energy assistance,” establish a $30 billion emergency housing fund, and put a five-year rate freeze on sub-prime mortgages.

The war is another big one. Would you rather we fight it over there or over here?

  • McCain fully supports doing whatever is necessary to prosecute the war to the finish. He has consistently supported it from the start, and was an early proponent of the increase in troops.
  • Mrs. Clinton and Obama both supported the Iraq spending bill that would have brought most of our troops home by next month. Mrs. Clinton has promised that, if elected, she’ll bring all the troops home within two years. Obama promises to do it in one. Then we can fight the terrorists on our own soil. That ought to be fun.

On immigration, it’s a wash. They all supported the same immigration bill. Yes, McCain was a sponsor of it, but it’s the one thing on which they all agree, so there’s no win here.

On healthcare, we all know what Mrs. Clinton’s plan is.

  • Mrs. Clinton wants to legislate that everybody has to buy health insurance. For those who can’t afford it, she’ll just take the money out the rest of our pockets to make up the difference.
  • McCain opposes mandatory universal healthcare coverage.

There are likely to be three Supreme Court Justice appointments during the next administration.

  • McCain is a strict constructionist.
  • Mrs. Clinton would pack the court with liberal judges who believe we all need to be protected from ourselves more than we do from criminals and, like children, we can’t be trusted with firearms. (It’s kind of hard to defend yourself in an emergency with a trigger lock on your gun, but Mrs. Clinton thinks it’s necessary so we don’t accidentally shoot ourselves.)

There’s another consideration for the pragmatists. The president appoints the heads of a lot of federal agencies. If we have a Republican (or even a RINO) in the White House, these federal agencies are going to be run by Republicans. If we elect the Clintons or Obama, they’ll be run by socialists. Remember, it’s not just the president you’re voting for, it’s the party, too. 

Question of the day: If McCain were to choose Fred Thompson as his running mate, would that change your mind?


Bookmark/Rate this post: Digg it Stumble It! add to del.icio.us

The Supreme Court Takes On the Second Amendment

The last time the Supreme Court entertained a 2nd amendment case was almost 70 years ago. At that time they focused on minutiae around the concept of a militia, and concluded that the 2nd amendment only applies to types of firearms that would be pertinent to the preservation of a well-regulated militia. They did not address whether the right iself applies to all individuals, or only those belonging to a militia, perhaps assuming that was clear enough in context. Nevertheless, that ruling has bolstered the anti-gun lobby by focusing on the militia aspect of the 2nd amendment, rather than acknowledging the imperative that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Perhaps, this time, the Supreme Court will get it right. Or perhaps not. It’s always a crap shoot when the Supreme Court takes up interpretation of a Constitutional amendment. Once they rule, either all of us win or all of us lose. However, if they’re going to undertake it, better to have them do it now. The next administration may pack the court with liberals who would rule that the amendment doesn’t apply to individuals at all, and only those belonging to a state militia (e.g., National Guard) have the right to keep or bear arms.

Those who argue that the 2nd amendment does not apply to individuals base their argument on the ambiguous wording of the dangling participle at the beginning of the amendment, which refers to “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” It is not clear from the wording in the amendment whether that participle represents a condition upon which the right to keep and bear arms is contingent, or an example of a reason why the right was considered important. Nothing in the text of the amendment specifies that the existence of a militia is a required condition for the people to maintain their right to keep and bear arms. Neither does it say that is the only reason why this right should be protected. It simply mentions the importance of a militia, and then leaves it dangling. The grammatical taboo against dangling participles lies in their inherent ambiguity. Now that the framers of the amendment are long gone, there’s no way to clarify with absolute certainty what they intended, — at least not by simply by reading the text of the amendment itself.

Therefore, to understand their intended meaning, one must look further than that specific amendment, and take into account the context in which it was written, specifically the fact that it was included in the Bill of Rights. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to secure protection for individual rights from infringement by the government. If all of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights are intended to secure the rights of individuals, why would the framers have slipped one in that had nothing to do with securing the rights of the individual, but rather applied to some abstract collective body?

The same people who want to wield a dangling participle to abridge our individual rights also claim that the term “the people,” as used in the 2nd amendment, does not refer to individuals, but rather to the collective population, or representatives thereof (e.g., the militia). The 4th amendment also refers to “the right of the people” to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure. Would anybody seriously argue that the 4th amendment does not protect the right of individuals to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure, but rather the right of some abstract body that represents the collective population? Perhaps what the founding fathers really meant was that only the police should be secure against unreasonable search and seizure…

Given the context of the 2nd amendment, and its prominent inclusion in the Bill of Rights, it could not be more clear that it refers to the rights of individuals. It would have had to have been included by accident if it truly had the singular characteristic that it, alone among the amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights, was not intended to protect the rights of individuals from being infringed by government.


Bookmark/Rate this post: Digg it Stumble It! add to del.icio.us
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.