Skip to comments.Even An Atrocity Does Not Justify Destroying The Bill Of Rights
Posted on 12/19/2012 6:54:47 AM PST by Kaslin
The murder of 20 innocent children and 7 adults in Newtown, Connecticut, horrifies all Americans. President Obama eloquently expressed our collective feelings of overwhelming grief and our response to hug our children a little tighter, and well tell them that we love them, and well remind each other how deeply we love one another.
Progressives now are arguing for stricter gun control. America, however, is founded on the consent of the governed. Americans sympathy for gun control, when polled by Pew after the Aurora atrocity, was about equally split between the restrictionists and those favoring the protection of the right to bear arms.
Restrictionist sentiment is down from almost 2 1 in favor of gun control in 2000. This isnt irrational. Empirically, at12.1 victims per 100,000 the firearms death rate in ultra-restrictionist Maryland, home of this columnist, is higher than that of gun-friendly Texass 10.9 per 100,000.
Many conservatives have their own unfounded proclivities: Lock every felon up and throw away the key. Yet as noted last summer by The Economist, America continues to lock up a scandalously large number of its people: around 1% of the adult population is behind bars at any time. But, says Mr Levin, the relationship between the incarceration rate and the violent-crime rate is not very strong. New York has not followed the national mania for imprisonment, and yet the decline in its crime has been among the most impressive.
At base the social consensus against institutionalizing the mentally ill makes it virtually impossible to remove potentially dangerous psychotics from society. Although it increases the possibility of tragedies such as Newtown, most feel that should not be reversed. Most psychotics are harmless.
Deinstitutionalization was a reaction to widespread, and egregious, abuses of the mentally ill and of inmates including hideous violations of civil liberties. Most oppose, on humanitarian and civil liberties grounds, a return to the One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest era. Newtown may force a change in this consensus as a more intelligent approach than gun control. If so, this absolutely must be handled with integrity and with impeccable safeguards for the mentally ill.
There is nothing wrong with Progressives making their case for restricting gun rights. They are passionate about it and, although Americas homicide rate (4.8 per 100,000 in 2010) has plunged by over half since its 1991 peak (9.8 per 100,000) with no clear correlation with stricter gun control (and some evidence to the contrary) America still has many more firearm homicides than other developed countries.
Its a free country. Progressives rightly are free to make their case. Progressives, however, show shocking recklessness in their willingness to implement their policies by overriding popular will and the letter and spirit of the Constitution. There is a disconcerting trend in Progressive circles toward a willful disregard of the Declaration of Independences axiom that government legitimacy is based on the consent of the governed and toward a perverse ignoring of key segments of the Bill of Rights.
The essence of the Declaration one we were taught in grammar school and, most of us, consigned to the same trashcan as sentence diagrams may be found here:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it .
The original Constitution immediately received ten amendments, commonly known as the Bill of Rights. These set forth with great specificity what Americans consider their most cherished unalienable rights. They were designed to protect against the risk of what Tocqueville called the tyranny of the majority. In case you havent been read your rights lately these, prominently, include:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
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.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law .
America, via the Tea Party and Occupiers, if rather inchoately, lately has been attempting to restore itself to a small l liberal (enumerated rights so sacrosanct as to be exempt from being taken away even by a majority), small r republic (officials elected by the citizens to act according to the consent of the governed). If America is to be set to rights it is crucial that the consent of the governed and the unalienable nature of our Constitutional rights be at the center of our civic discourse and politics.
The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed is quite unequivocal. Progressives denigrate this and other rights at our, and their own, peril. Many Progressives also wish to muzzle the right to advocate political views (masquerading as campaign finance reform). They fall back on arguments such as corporations arent persons. The First Amendment doesnt mention persons. It simply contains a plenary ban on government interference.
Progressives consider access to artificial contraception an important right. Thats a position with which this columnist sympathizes. Yet a government forcing those whose religion considers it a mortal sin to provide or subsidize this non-enumerated right obnoxiously violates the plenary Constitutional ban on the governments prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Governments undermining the right of people of faith conscientiously to make a stand for their sexual mores to be reflected in law such as the federal judge who abused his governmental power to negate Californias Proposition 8 is a grotesque violation of the Constitutions guarantee of free exercise of religion.
The majority of Americans (including this columnist) consider personhood to commence before birth. The Fifth Amendment requires that No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law. To ignore this Fifth Amendment guarantee undermines liberal republican governance and makes all, pro-choice as well as pro-life, constitutionally poorer.
It appears that many Progressives are determined to abridge guarantees of free speech, free press, and to prohibit the free exercise of religion, eviscerating the guarantees of the First Amendment. Many propose to infringe the Second Amendments right to keep and bear arms and repeal other elements of the Bill of Rights. There are clear mechanisms for so doing, within the Constitution itself, by amendment if the requisite supermajorities can be persuaded. It is reprehensible for advocates to do violence to all of our civil liberties by, instead, disregarding unambiguous guarantees of some.
Those who wish to restrict gun rights or any other right protected by the Constitution are called upon to seek to amend, rather than disregard, the Constitution. America is, as Ben Franklin said after the Constitutional Convention, a republic, if you can keep it. If the bone-chilling violence at Newtown triggers violence against the Bill of Rights, safeguards for our vital civil liberties collapse. Events precipitating illiberalism are not historically unknown. Reaction must be resisted.
The atrocity reinforces the importance of self-defense. In the world we live in today, we need the Second Amendment more than ever. There are crazies out there — and sometimes the normal folks need to defend themselves and others.
If feces fountain Bill Maher does not justify the elimination of the 1st Amendment, then NOTHING justifies the elimination of any Amendment in the Bill of Rights!!!
Just a question, but does the count of 7 adults in the article include or exclude the perp?
That would have been a useful headline after 9/11 when everyone was cheering the shredding - still ongoing - of the Bill of Rights.
We have a Second Amendment to protect us against wannabe dictators like Obama, in case anyone has forgotten. Don’t give an inch on this!
This is quite well reasoned. Thank you for posting.
We have a 2nd amendment to protect all the other amendments. Without the 2nd all other amendments fall.
If they are successful taking out the 2nd watch for action on the 1st, 4th, and 22nd.
If available guns and gun crazed “nuts” are the supposed cause of these mass shootings, why haven’t we seen such shootings at gun shows, gun swap meets, NRA conventions or Tea Party rallies? The common thread of recent mass attack shootings, with the exception of those at Ft. Hood and the DC snipers case, has been that the shooter or shooters were clearly mentally ill. Liberals are quick to call for banning guns, but will give little more than lip service to the real problem of dangerous and unstable mentally ill persons who cannot easily be removed from society.
Right on! You know sometimes I wonder if he isn’t sort-of King George’s revenge! (honestly)
Justice Department Expands Hunt for Data on Cellphones
Obamas NSA eavesdropping goes beyond that of Bush... after campaigning on the promise of: No warrantless wiretaps if you elect me!
headlines read: NSA Exceeds Legal Limits In Eavesdropping Program , U.S. phone intercepts go beyond legal limits , and NSA Found Improperly Spying on Americans.
its ‘for your own safety’ when Dems do it.
it’s ‘Bush trampling on privacy’ when republicans do it.
Reality is: the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.
Over 11 years ago, terrorists with a religious Jihad mentality highjacked our airplanes & flew them into large & tall buildings deliberately. They knew exactly what they were doing and had planned it for many months.
Have we banned airplanes? NO
Have we banned tall buildings? NO
Have we banned Muslims from being in the USA? NO
Have we even tried to contain them in any way and keep Sharia Law out of our culture? NO and NO.
Instead, every passenger who wants to travel on an airplane is being subjected to intrusive searches. Yes, we have had no more highjackings, but we still have the crazies.
The shooting in Newtown is a result of a person who is/was mentally ill. He wasn’t institutionalized. He was coming unglued and apparently family members and others knew he was becoming an increasing problem. Now, we are told he may have been on the fast track to being committed by his mother. Did he overhear her talking to such a placement official? Did she discuss it directly with him? We will probably never know. But- it is becoming more apparent that he should have been locked down many months before this.
If he didn’t have access to guns—would he have made Molotov cocktails? Used a home made bomb? A chemical bomb? We will never know. But we do know he didn’t belong loose in polite society.
Now, the Liberals wish to punish persons who own guns. They own them in a totally legal manner and are not a threat to anyone. The Liberals want to change the USA Constitution to suit a knee jerk reaction to this mass shooting. I do not agree, and I am not alone.
Whoopee Goldberg thinks that a gun is an item of Mass Destruction. She needs to be educated.
What does she think a chemical or biological bomb is? She certainly wasn’t so vocal when Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of Kurdish villagers ‘testing’ the effectiveness of his Weapons of Mass Destruction. The person in his administration who developed those weapons was a female and was called Dr Germ by our media.
Many USA citizens are ready to secede from the Union. Perhaps a direct attack on our 2nd Amendment rights by Obama & his minions will be the final straw. Perhaps this nation will split over this issue.
No matter what, Obama is trying again to over-reach and extort ordinary citizens over an incident they had nothing to do with. There will be a tipping point. Is this Obama’s ‘Reichstag fire moment’
Obama seems to think that he is teflon—thru and thru.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood greased the skids to over 900,000 abortions in 3 years.
Have we banned Planned Parenthood? NO
Have we banned abortions paid for by the taxpayers? NO
While giving absolutely no thought to serious/effective programs to get these crazies off the street, they immediately rush out more ‘solutions’ to make normal people defenseless.
Headline on FR paraphrased - “Chicago with nation’s strongest gun laws has 446 school age children killed this year”. Yeah, that gun control sure does work.
It’s hard for some to accept that we don’t need to “do something”.
I think if they try, this will be Obama’s Waterloo.