Thursday, June 26, 2008

Response to the Gun Nuts

In response to a particular gun nut:

Ken in Aurora,

Rich deleted my first response to your attack on me. While I found it humorous, he apparently thought it was too rude. Reasonable minds can differ on that one, but I can’t say the deletion was entirely unreasonable. As such, let me respond in a bit more polite manner:

Ken, I DON’T CARE if you like guns. I DON’T CARE if the Chicago ordinance stays or goes. Although I find people’s love for guns to be a bit ridiculous, it just doesn’t matter. You can own as many guns as you want. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

If you had taken time to read my posts, you would realize that I never took a position on the constitutional issue. The reason is simple: Despite all the talk from both sides as to how clear the issue is, I still don’t have a clue as to the ultimate answer.

I note that the 2nd A states “keep and bear” arms. It says nothing about “own.” A court could have reasonably concluded that “own” was part of a penumbra surrounding keep and bear — that “keep and bear” are meaningless without “own.”

In the alternative, a court could reasonably have found that only members of the militia have a right to “keep and bear” arms owned by the militia. I don’t know the answer, but I can definitively say that the 2A is not clear. It is, no matter anyone says, ambiguous.

When you have an ambiguous constitutional amendment and you use it to toss out a 36 year old law, you are being “activist.”

Being “activist” does not necessarily equate with being wrong, but the alleged conservatives should be up front and say “Sure the court was activist, but we like the result so that’s OK.”

If people had read my comments rather than just my name, they would note that my criticisms of the opinion were based on the fact that the opinion is poorly (and at time offensively — see my notes above as to Scalias uncivil comments about the dissent) written, and that it leaves many questions unanswered. I think judges should be civil and I think opinions should be clear and this opinion is neither.

Not once did I say that the end result was right or wrong since unlike nearly everybody else here, I will freely admit that I don’t have a clue what the 2A means.

For me, had people read my comments, the issue here is the court’s process — how it got to the decision. Was the decision right or wrong? I don’t know and frankly, I don’t really care. I’m not offended by guns. Guns don’t matter. I am, however, offended by poorly drafted court opinions. That matters.

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