Category Archive 'Second Amendment'

10 Oct 2017

The Second Amendment’s “Resistance to Tyranny” Intent Is Not Obsolete

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One of my liberal Yale classmates recently sneered at the idea of the armed citizen making any difference: “The notion that automated weapons are going to fend off an oppressive federal government or foreign invader is complete nonsense in the 21st century.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty, at National Review, had the perfect response.

Who exactly do you think has stymied the U.S. in Afghanistan for 16 years? The Taliban is made up of Afghan Bubbas. The Taliban doesn’t need to defeat nuclear weapons, though they are humiliating a nuclear power for the second time in history. They use a mix of Kalashnikovs and WWII-era bolt-action rifles. Determined insurgencies are really difficult to fight, even if they are only armed with Enfield rifles and you can target them with a TOW missiles system that can spot a cat in the dark from two miles away. In Iraq, expensive tanks were destroyed with simple improvised explosives.

If the U.S. government (and the American people behind them) doesn’t want to use nuclear weapons on foreign fundamentalists in Afghanistan, why does anyone presume they’d use them against Americans in Idaho?

It is not just our fecklessness. All great powers take into account the moral and manpower costs of implementing their rules and laws on a people. And an armed citizenry, especially if they seem to have a just cause to rally around, will dramatically raise the price of ruling them. The British Empire controlled one quarter of the world’s territory and ruled one quarter of the earth’s population in 1922. In that very year, they were forced to make an effective exit from the main part of their oldest colony, Ireland. Why? Because a determined group of Irish men with guns made the country ungovernable. The British technically could have deployed their entire navy, blockading the restive island, and starving any rebellion into submission. But they were unwilling to pay the moral price, or the price in blood. It was precisely this foreseeable event that had caused the British to ban Irish Catholics from possessing firearms hundreds of years earlier.

And just as in the 1770s or the 1920s, governments in similar positions today or in the future would have a difficult time maintaining military morale while trying to impose rule on a people who resist it manfully.

You can acknowledge this and still deplore America’s gun violence, as I do. You can wish and even work for an American future where there are fewer weapons in untrained and unsteady American hands. And, we all should wish to maintain a law-governed and orderly society that doesn’t inspire thousands or millions of Americans to resist its government in an insurgency. But in the meantime, don’t do violence to history itself. With just the moral support of the society they are living in, and a number of rifles, a small group of men can make it impossible for tyrants to rule.

RTWT

15 Jun 2016

Trump Just Bailed on the Second Amendment

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Trump just joined Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein in coming out for no-due-process, at-will suspension by unelected federal officials of a constitutional right.

Why bother trying to pass any new Gun Control Law, when one federal agency or another can simply add anyone (or everyone) to a list of people now instantly, abracadabra! without constitutional rights?

What Constitution? What Rule of Law? Trump would say. We have to be smart.

This is where you wind up when you choose a pragmatist unconstrained by principles or ideas as your leader. Of course, we already had lots of professional leaders of the same kind already. They are called liberals and democrats. Donald Trump is the same thing, just appearing currently in a conservative clown suit and pretending to be a brave opponent of Political Correctness. The real Trump is completely indifferent to political philosophy, principles, theory, and ideas. The real Trump is a sociopathic narcissist driven to personal aggrandizement at any cost. He’s exactly the same kind of creature as Hillary Clinton or John Kerry, just more vulgar and with a more limited vocabulary.

So he’s backtracked on Gun Control. Put him in office (if you can, which many of us doubt) and watch him backtrack on everything else, including those promised conservative Supreme Court appointments which you keep arguing justify supporting this orange-faced mountebank with a woodchuck on his head for president. Wake up, Trumpkins!

16 Nov 2015

Head of Interpol Proposes Armed Citizenry as Antidote to Terrorism

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In an interview with ABC News, the head of Interpol admitted that, in an era of terrorist attacks on civilian target, the notion of a governmental monopoly of force doesn’t really deliver an effective defense in time. What does result in a timely response is an armed civilian population capable of self-defense.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said today the U.S. and the rest of the democratic world is at a security crossroads in the wake of last month’s deadly al-Shabab attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya – and suggested an answer could be in arming civilians.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called “soft targets” are hit: either create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves.

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.” …

Citing a recent call for al Qaeda “brothers to strike soft targets, to do it in small groups,” Noble said law enforcement is now facing a daunting task.

“How do you protect soft targets? That’s really the challenge. You can’t have armed police forces everywhere,” he told reporters. “It’s Interpol’s view that one way you protect soft targets is you make it more difficult for terrorist to move internationally. So what we’re trying to do is to establish a way for countries … to screen passports, which are a terrorist’s best friend, try to limit terrorists moving from country to country. And also, that we’re able to share more info about suspected terrorists.”

In the interview with ABC News, Noble was more blunt and directed his comments to his home country.

“Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Col., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly?” Noble said, referring to states with pro-gun traditions. “What I’m saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control. It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”

“For me it’s a profound question,” he continued. “People are quick to say ‘gun control, people shouldn’t be armed,’ etc., etc. I think they have to ask themselves: ‘Where would you have wanted to be? In a city where there was gun control and no citizens armed if you’re in a Westgate mall, or in a place like Denver or Texas?'”

26 Oct 2015

Arrangements for American Gun Confiscation

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In 1996-1997, Australia confiscated and destroyed roughly one million semi-automatic and pump-action rifles and shotguns through a compulsory gun “buy back” program.

Daren Jonescu notes that Hillary Clinton has already openly adopted gun confiscation Australian-style as a campaign promise and evaluates the practicalities of just how such a radical and invasive policy might be implemented.

That a wide-scale confiscation program could be arranged from a purely logistical point of view is obvious, as such programs have already been successfully carried out in other nations, and far more complicated programs are administered by the U.S. federal government every day. Her reserved phraseology, then, is a bureaucratizing euphemism to mask the real problem that would make such a program difficult to “arrange” in America: resisters.

Clinton knows what every American gun control advocate knows, namely that a substantial number of Americans see their weapons as political tools of last resort. They will not relinquish their firearms at their government’s “request.” Any national confiscation program would involve many episodes of government agents — police or military — visiting citizens’ homes to search for and seize guns, against some level of resistance from gun owners. Some of these episodes would become violent, involving gunfire and bloodshed, probably on both sides, resulting in the use of increased levels of government force, and in heightened public tension in the face of these armed confrontations between private citizens and the government. …

[A] major part of the discussion on this issue, among progressives of all stripes, is the question of how, whether, or when this resistance might be reduced to “acceptable levels,” and quelled without stirring broader social upheaval. This is the question buried within the bureaucratic coldness of Hillary’s conditional clause, “if that could be arranged.”

Let us consider aloud a matter that progressives might prefer to reserve for private cocktail party conversations, namely what sort of “arrangements” would be required to make a national gun confiscation viable in the United States.

Read the whole thing.

08 Oct 2015

How To Create A Gun-Free America in Five Easy Steps

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06 Aug 2015

“There Would Be a Rifle Behind Every Blade of Grass”

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Slate (of all sites!) quotes approvingly a Quora answer to the question: “What Would Have Happened if Germany Had Invaded the U.S. During World War II?”

Invading the North American mainland can be safely left in the realm of bad Hollywood films. And that’s even today, with larger ships, jet cargo aircraft, and more people. While it makes for a great strategy, in the end, it’s just a nonstarter. Why?

The Germans had no forward base in the New World. If they had seized Iceland, any of the French protectorates in the Caribbean, or northern South America, then an invasion, while still a stretch, could have been conceivable. Without forward bases to deploy to and from, an invasion isn’t going to happen.

Consider that the Wehrmacht was winning while America was out of the war. One of the most idiotic things Hitler did was to declare war on the United States on Dec. 11, 1941. While the Wehrmacht was about to get thrashed in the Soviet Union, it could have stage-managed that into a negotiated settlement if it had chosen to. When the U.S. entered the war, it was all in, and Germany didn’t have the cards for that kind of bet. Invading North America would have simply brought the U.S. immediately into the war, with results that would have been more disastrous than they were.

And even if the Germans had landed a sizable force here, how where they going to be resupplied? Any such force would have been trapped here until it was defeated, destroyed, or retreated. The U.S. could play at the U-boat game, and the Germans would have needed open logistics lines to keep themselves supplied. Assuming that they were somehow able to move further inland, they still would need a corridor or corridors open to the ocean for supplies and retreat. Not seeing how that could have happened.

In addition, everybody had guns. One commonality among the nations conquered by Germany is that private firearms ownership was heavily restricted or simply banned. With no such restrictions here and given the fact that modern combined arms tactics were still in their infancy, it’s difficult to see how the Germans would have avoided taking heavy casualties. The Germans would have faced an armed force at least 10 times the size of their invasion force, who were also motivated to ensure that they (the Germans) would lose.

Whole thing.

19 Jun 2014

“Shut Up!” She Argued

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Ann Althouse admires Hillary Clinton’s approach to balancing competing values and making hard choices with regard to public policies impacting Americans’ constitutionsl rights. Evidently, you balance those competing values by defining people interested in the ones you don’t like as “a minority” which you will not allow to terrorize the majority.

Hillary’s “guns” riff… contains [an] amazing assertion. … She begins:

    First of all, I think as a teacher or really any parent, what’s been happening with these school shootings should cause everybody to just think hard.

“Hard” is Hillary’s key word. It’s her book title — “Hard Choices” — and it’s an all-purpose boast and excuse. She’s capable of doing what’s hard and, when things are hard, one can’t be expected to get everything exactly right. And yes, “hard” invites her critics to mock her in a sexual way, as Rush Limbaugh did on his show yesterday: Hard Choices? Hard?!! That’s going to make everyone think of Bill Clinton’s erections. I’m paraphrasing. What Rush said was: “Now, if Bill had a book and the title of that was Hard Choices with the foreword by Monica Lewinsky, then maybe you might have a book that would walk itself off the shelves.”

Back to the town hall transcript. We’ve seen that Hillary has led off with her core theme: It’s hard.
Which seems to say: We all should just first pause and think about how hard it all is. She expands on hardness:

    We make hard choices and we balance competing values all the time.

This might make you think she’s about to give a balanced presentation with careful attention to the opinions and preferences of those who see deep meaning in the right to bear arms. But the values on one side of this values competition dominate:

    And I was disappointed that the Congress did not pass universal background checks after the horrors of the shootings at Sandy Hook and now we’ve had more… in the time since.

    And I don’t think any parent, any person should have to fear about their child going to school or going to college because someone, for whatever reasons — psychological, emotional, political, ideological, whatever it means — could possibly enter that school property with an automatic weapon and murder innocent children, students, teachers.

    I’m well aware that this is a hot political subject.

Hot political subject, yes, but I thought you said there were values here and that it was hard to balance them. Are the gun-rights people just political heat you have to face or do you genuinely contemplate their values? …

    But I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation.

Yes? Do tell. We’re going to balance those competing values? We’re going to cool down and actually think about everything? NO! The next thing she says is:

    We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.

Whoa! That’s the line I was looking for. Read it again and see how shocking it is. Not only did Hillary completely turn her back on “balanc[ing] competing values” and “more thoughtful conversation,” she doesn’t want to allow the people on one side of the conversation even to believe what they believe. Those who care about gun rights and reject new gun regulations should be stopped from holding their viewpoint. Now, it isn’t possible to forcibly prevent people from holding a viewpoint. Our beliefs reside inside our head. And in our system of free speech rights, the government cannot censor the expression of a viewpoint. But the question is Hillary Clinton’s fitness for the highest office, and her statement reveals a grandiose and profoundly repressive mindset. …

Hillary Clinton poses as the coolly thoughtful presider over a national conversation, but if you listen to what she’s saying, she already has her answers and she’s not going to let hold you hold any other viewpoint. The woman who once famously said…

    I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic…

… is now ready to deploy the verb “to terrorize” against those who debate and disagree with her.

Read the whole thing.

14 Jul 2010

Food For Thought

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ChinaSmack, a blogsite translating Chinese news and comments, publishes a Chinese comment thread on gun ownership in America. They are even sold in Walmart!

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

14 May 2010

Elena Kagan’s Philosophy

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She does not believe the First Amendment means what it says.

WSJ:

Mr. Obama noted that as Solicitor General her “passion for the law” had led her make this year’s landmark campaign finance case, Citizens United v. FEC, her first argument before the Supreme Court.

“Despite long odds of success, with most legal analysts believing the government was unlikely to prevail in this case,” Mr. Obama said, Elena Kagan took it on bravely. “I think it says a great deal about her commitment to protect our fundamental rights,” he continued, “because in a democracy, powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens.”

She does not believe the Second Amendment means what it says.

Bloomberg:

Elena Kagan said as a U.S. Supreme Court law clerk in 1987 that she was “not sympathetic” toward a man who contended that his constitutional rights were violated when he was convicted for carrying an unlicensed pistol. …

The man’s “sole contention is that the District of Columbia’s firearms statutes violate his constitutional right to ‘keep and bear arms,’” Kagan wrote. “I’m not sympathetic.”

But her recently unearthed college thesis shows that she once thought a lot more highly of socialism.

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In our own times, a coherent socialist movement is nowhere to be found in the United States. Americans are more likely to speak of a golden past than of a golden future, of capitalism’s glories than of socialism’s greatness.

Why, in a society by no means perfect, has a radical party never attained the status of a major political force? Why, in particular, did the socialist movement never become an alternative to the nation’s established parties? Through its own internal feuding, then, the SP [Socialist Party] exhausted itself…

The story is a sad a but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America. … In unity lies their only hope.”

She is the perfect liberal candidate.


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