Friday, April 4, 2008

Second Amendment excess

Just as ridiculously expansive interpretations of the First Amendment have given us constitutional rights to abortion on demand and flag burning, so ridiculously expansive interpretations of the Second Amendment give us insanity like this:

Calin Chi Wong's biggest mistake wasn't owning rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition, or even telling Homestead police about it.

It was threatening to re-create the worst mass shooting in U.S. history in an e-mail conversation that was posted on a gun enthusiast website, police said.

..."So that's what we're doing now, seeing if he has obtained them legally," said Rivera. "Unfortunately, the way the law is written now, you can have as many guns as you want."

Continue reading

There's nothing conservative about America's and the GOP's love affair with guns. Another reason why voting Republican is for me usually a case of supporting the lesser evil.


Randy said...

I'm no NRA member or passionate one about this issue, at least hardly ever even discuss it. But I find your phrasing curious, a different tack from the kind of thing you usually say and the way you (it seems, on limited exposure) say it. "Love affair with guns", the interpretation really is "ridiculously expansive"? How does the interpretation and the love affair "give us" the criminal activity of Mr. Chong? Suggesting the "love affair" is to blame?

OK, maybe I'm not completely fair, but I might be returning in kind. I am puzzled by your approach here and wanted to respond.

Stephen Ley said...

Randy, fair comment and I admit to engaging in a bit of hyperbole, but...

What struck me about the Mr. Chong story and prompted my comment is that he was perfectly within his Second Amendment rights (according to a way too broad interpretation in my opinion) to legally amass a small arsenal. It wasn't until he made his murderous thoughts public on an internet message board that the authorities could do anything about it. I find that strange. If the BATF determines he obtained his weaponry legally will they be obligated to return them?

So yes, I do think our continuing love affair with guns has contributed to this state of affairs which I have no hesitation in describing as "ridiculous". As for Mr. Chong's murderous thoughts, you and I know what's behind them (Matt. 15:19 and Mark 7:21).

It's true -- AK-47's don't kill people, but they make the potential body count a lot higher.

Randy said...

Thanks for interaction here, Steve. I admit in turn that I didn't think very long on this -- just reacted, albeit with a bit less (I hope) of the overwrought stuff of earlier days. :)

I am curious what laws you would suggest to prevent this kind of thing. Let's say the 2nd ammendment is not intended to allow this kind of love affair with guns [I just might agree with that] -- where does one draw the line?
Fair enough question and these guys on the other end of the discussion who think banning guns will end gun killing just make me crazy. On the other hand, I have a hard time saying that banning guns would not lessen gun violence on the whole.

However, the unintended consequences always stare you down and you wonder if the 2nd amendment enthusiasts aren't right about freedom and self-protection issues. I think they are, even if the building of the case on the 2nd amendment alone can be a bit shaky in spots.

That's my (barely) two cents worth. Shoot back if you care, and pardon the unintended violent word picture. :)


Stephen Ley said...

Randy, I'll shoot back with my single-shot .22 not my AR-15!

I come from a family of hunters, gun owners and NRA members. If any of them are reading this they probably think I've gone over to the dark side! So I have some sympathy for the "pro-gun/pro-2nd Amendment" folks, but not as much as I used to now that I've lived for 5 years in an urban neighborhood where gun violence is a regular occurence. I can recall at least three shootings within a block or two of our house. And I've heard local cops say they feel outgunned.

I'd suggest that any firearm that's designed to shoot lots of rounds in a short amount of time (label it what you will) is ripe for restriction. Of course, the NRA will say that it's the first step on a slippery slope toward outlawing all guns and the hunters and target shooters will claim that what was potent enough for grandpa isn't potent enough for them. Perhaps. But that's how democratic society works.

I don't know how far gun control could go before we start seeing those unintended consequences you rightly bring up, but I think we're a long, long way from that. I'd rather law enforcement, the armed forces and the militia have the powerful weapons...not the guy sitting next to me at the red light. But I admit, I'm no libertarian and not being able to own certain classes of firearms is not a sacrifice.

The last word is your's if you want it. All blessings in Christ to you and your family!