Saturday, November 25, 2006

More Cracks in the Rationality Facade at the New York Times

So I was doing the blog run earlier today, and I saw this little snippet, from the New York Times, The Old and Decrepit Gray Lady of American journalism, as they call her, from an editorial lambasting Senator George Allen for his bill to permit concealed carry in America's national parks:

America’s confusion about the Second Amendment is now nearly total. An amendment that ensures a collective right to bear arms has been misread in one legislature after another — often in the face of strong public disapproval — as a law guaranteeing an individual’s right to carry a weapon in public. And, in a perversion of monumental proportions, the battle to extend that right has largely succeeded in co-opting the language of the Civil Rights movement, so that depriving an American of the right to carry a gun in public sounds, to some, as offensive as stripping him of the right to vote. Senator Allen’s bill is, of course, being cheered by the gun lobby, which sees it not as an assault on public safety but as a way of nationalizing the armed paranoia that the National Rifle Association and its cohorts stand for.

Where to start? Well, how about at the beginning.
I'd like to know just exactly how many Constitutional scholars are on the New York Times' payroll, because they're presenting this "collective right" horseshit like it's set in stone, and that just isn't true. As Jeff at Alphecca points out, even more liberal, anti-gun scholars such as Laurence Tribe and Alan Dershowitz have come to advocate the individual rights viewpoint. Of the so-called "scholars" who have espoused the whole "collective rights" nonsense, I can think of AT LEAST TWO who have been thoroughly discredited as outright frauds -- Michael Bellesiles and Saul Cornell. And of a third, Dave Kopel once wrote that Chief Justice Warren Burger's article in Parade magazine on the Second Amendment represented, "in a sense, the high-water mark for anti-Second Amendment 'scholarship.'" Kopel also links to an article in which he outlines fully six United States Supreme Court decisions affirming the individual rights viewpoint of the Second Amendment. So there goes Pravda-on-Hudson's feverish ranting about "a collective right to bear arms."
Now about this "perversion of monumental proportions," as they call it, of effectively casting self-defense as a civil right. What can one really say to that? My God, these people are living in a fantasy world! Not that any of that is news, of course, but I am continually amazed by just how whong these ivory-tower leftists are about so many things. I've spelled it out before, and so have many other people, but I was reading IMAO the other day, and I saw this response from Frank J. to Michael Moore concering a certain part of a manifesto of sorts published on Moore's website:

What are a bunch of unarmed people to criminals? Targets.
I thought even liberals gave up on the idea that the way to make people safe is to make them helpless. There is no greater right than that of self-defense, and I would trade my freedom of speech to continue being able to carry a gun.
And then I'd take my freedom of speech back because I have a gun.

And for "freedom of speech," you can substitute any other freedom protected in the Bill of Rights. I believe it was Mao Tse-tung who said that all political power comes from the barrel of a gun, and as bad as I hate to give credit to a murderous dictator, he was absolutely right. It's just too bad the editors of the New York Times can't see that (or refuse to see it) from their lofty, insulated cocoon.