Friday, July 8, 2016

Let the Lies About the Second Amendment Begin

A guy killed some cops.  You know that this is a perfect opportunity for right wingers, who immediately scream that, if any Democrat talks about this issue it is out-of-bounds behavior, to blast their propaganda trumpets about the sacred Second Amendment.  One of the first into the pool with his lies is the brain surgeon turned politician, who apparently ended his medical career by extracting and discarding his own brain, Ben Carson:

"These opportunities will continue to happen and they will continue to do these things, but I guess the real issue is the President's gonna start saying, 'see, gun control. That solves the problem... "Now's not the time to get political, now's the time to use logic and ask ourselves, 'why do we have a constitution? Why do we have a second amendment? They are always saying you don't need a high powered weapon to hunt deer. The constitution is not about deer hunting. It's about people being able to defend themselves."

Is it?  In fact, Ben Carson, like every right wing "defender" of the Constitution doesn't give a damn about what it really says, only about using it as a battering ram to get what he wants.  It is now, unfortunately, necessary for me to turn once again to the text of Federalist Paper #29, in which Alexander Hamilton, speaking for himself and the others who wrote the Constitution, explained exactly what the second amendment was about:

"THE power of regulating the militia, and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense, and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy.

It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense. It would enable them to discharge the duties of the camp and of the field with mutual intelligence and concert an advantage of peculiar moment in the operations of an army; and it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions which would be essential to their usefulness. This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, RESERVING TO THE STATES RESPECTIVELY THE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS, AND THE AUTHORITY OF TRAINING THE MILITIA ACCORDING TO THE DISCIPLINE PRESCRIBED BY CONGRESS.''

And as for the notion that this was all about individuals defending themselves:

"In times of insurrection, or invasion, it would be natural and proper that the militia of a neighboring State should be marched into another, to resist a common enemy, or to guard the republic against the violence of faction or sedition. This was frequently the case, in respect to the first object, in the course of the late war; and this mutual succor is, indeed, a principal end of our political association. If the power of affording it be placed under the direction of the Union, there will be no danger of a supine and listless inattention to the dangers of a neighbor, till its near approach had superadded the incitements of self preservation to the too feeble impulses of duty and sympathy."

Not a single word about the second amendment being intended to be used by individuals to defend themselves against the government.  And note that this document specifically states that part of "regulating" the militias by the Federal government was that the government would "provide for...arming...the militia"  That is why, as I have pointed out before, the second amendment, while speaking about keeping and bearing arms, says not one word about individuals owning them.

If you need a single proof that Conservatives know perfectly well that they are lying about the second amendment, you need only look to the decision, written by Antonin Scalia, in the District of Columbia v. Heller case, in which the disingenuous, corrupt Scalia found for the first time in the history of this country a personal right to own arms.  He was only able to do this by the preposterous mechanism of denying that the first half of the amendment, where militias are referred to, has any meaning at all.  So much for respect for the intent of the founding fathers, when it stands in the way of corporate profits. 

If you doubt that anyone could be this dishonest, I suggest you read my post on the subject from a few months ago.  You just cannot argue with a Conservative, because they will say anything that gets them what they want at the moment, and say the exact opposite a minute later, if it suits their purpose. In the end, "Conservatism" in this country has come to mean nothing but an overwhelming greed which, in its pursuit, casts all human values into the dust heap.  Arguing with Conservatives is like verbally admonishing ants to keep away from your picnic.  They're not listening, and wouldn't care if they did.

1 comment:

Michael said...

If the pro-gun (what a precisely apt term in both senses) lobby were really concerned with the Constitution, where were they when the government decimated it after 9/11?

If the point of owning guns is to prevent autocratic control, wouldn't someone who cares about that have spoken up early on, in order to prevent, to democractically pre-empt any possible need to resort to violence with the state? (Your correction of that point aside for moment.)

If the point of the guns is freedom, shouldn't they have fought for that when it was being undermined?

(I doubt that very many people who are so vociferous about the 2nd Amendment right now care much about the other amendments, except when it comes to their exercise of the 2nd, although I'm sure there are some.)

In reality, the whole business appears to have two driving factors: corporate profit, and America's thing for guns. And the former manipulates, feeds and exploits the latter. It will require both changes in law and a change of heart to really make a difference. Both, of course, are theoretically possible.