Jasper Smith

Commentary on politics, economics, culture and sports.

Guns, and the liberals who love them

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Ever Bigger Media Matt started a discussion about guns, and the liberals who love them. One commenter, opining on the differing interpretations (i.e, individual right to bear arms vs. a “collective” right for purposes of maintaining a militia) of the second amendment, writes:

But I agree that the Constitution should be interpreted with a bias towards individual rights; so I favor repeal of the amendment.

I tend also to agree that the constitution should be interpreted with this bias. I just don’t see anywhere in the document that says rights are unlimited, or not subject to regulation.

This reminds me of the old saw about “driving being a privilege, not a right.” Whenever I hear that I’ve always thought, “Fuck that. Of course I have a right to drive a car. This is the USA.”

I favor a similar view toward firearms. But just as I don’t think it’s the least bit unreasonable for big gubmint to force me to, say, register or insure my vehicle, or subject it to a safety inspection, or make me pass a test to give me a license to operate it, so, too, I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable for the state to require such measures with respect to tools that, after all, are designed to kill.

Still, I agree that pushing even modest firearms regulations is almost certainly a vote loser for liberals, at least in national campaigns. What needs to be done is to emulate what the NRA has done, but in reverse: a robust, multi-year, high-volume, well-funded public education campaign teaching folks that a comprehensive, sensible system of gun regulations that will make the country safer does not mean ordinary folks will not be able to own firearms. But such a campaign will take years. The NRA’s success wasn’t built overnight.


Written by Jasper

May 6, 2007 at 10:13 am

Posted in Policy, Politics

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