Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Giuliani Is Not Our Friend -- 2-6-07 Edition

Via David Hardy and Captain's Quarters comes this little snippet from Hannity & Colmes in which Sean Hannity interviews Rudy Giuliani:

HANNITY: You inherited the gun laws in New York.

GIULIANI: Yeah. And I used them to help bring down homicide. We reduced homicide I think by 65, 70%. And some of it was by taking guns out of the streets of New York City. So if you are talking about a city like New York, a densely populated area like New York, I think it's appropriate. You might have different laws other places and maybe a lot of this gets resolved based on different states, different communities, making decisions. We do have a federal system of government in which you have the ability to accomplish that.

HANNITY: So you would support the state's rights to choose on specific gun laws?

GIUILANI: Yeah. A place like New York that is densely populated or maybe a place that is experiencing a serious crime problem like a few cities are now. Thank goodness not New York but some other cities. Maybe you have one solution there and in other place more rural, more suburban, other issues you have a different set of rule.

HANNITY: Generally speaking do you think it's acceptable if citizens have the right to carry a handgun?

GIULIANI: It's part of the constitution. People have the right to bear arms. Then restrictions have to be reasonable and sensible. You can't just remove that right. You got to regulate consistent with the second amendment.

From this exchange, it would seem that Giuliani is a proponent of federalism and at least a small bit of decentralization in that he says gun laws should be left up to the states.
However, that's about as much credit as I am willing to give him; because the fact of the matter is that in his city, and in Washington and Chicago to name but two other locales, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is and has been being blatantly infringed upon, either by:
1. Outright bans on possession of certain types of arms, and laws stating the arms you CAN possess have to be disassembled & locked up, thereby effectively preventing legal self-defense with those arms; or
2. Licensing requirements so stringent that regular people like you and me just might as well not even bother, because those requirements are enforced by government agencies staffed with people who are, for all practical intents & purposes, dead-set against private citizens owning arms for their defense.
Federalism is great, but by no means should it be used to justify in any way infringements on people's rights, as it is here. Granted, the difference between the rural & urban environment is different, but only to the extent that there's more crime and general mischief in the urban environment. And not even that justifies any kind of ban, or licensing as Giuliani would advocate, because the crime problem goes a lot deeper than the availability of weapons. I find it infuriating that those root causes -- for example, the forsaking of values such as respect for human life, an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, personal responsibility & accountability, and remorse for the wrong one does -- are never talked about. No, it's always about the eeevil guns...
Going hand-in-hand with this, of course, is the fact that Giuliani was the first mayor of a major American city to file suit against the gun manufacturers in what seems to me, in hindsight, to be a blatant attempt to cover up for the fact that the gun control he and too many others espouse turned out to be a dismal failure -- surprise! -- in his city and pretty much everywhere else. I have yet to see him being called out on that particular blot on his record.
As far as "regulat(ing) consistent with the Second Amendment," once again I do not think the Second Amendment means what Mr. Giuliani thinks it means. Not that that's any big surprise, of course, but I find it quite offensive to hear people like Giuliani and Mitt Romney professing support for the 2A and the RKBA when even a cursory glimpse of their records shows the exact opposite. I'm not stupid, and neither are the rest of my fellow gun owners. (I might make an exception for some of the Fuddites, but then again anyone who thinks hunting is the only legitimate reason to own a gun is worse than stupid in my book. They're just flat evil.) Giuliani's pandering notwithstanding, he's still not someone I would ever vote for, and I know I am not alone.
UPDATE: It seems I was wrong about Giuliani being the first big-city mayor in American to file suit against the firearms makers. According to this press release from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the suits were first filed in the late 1990s, but Giuliani was the only Republican mayor to do so.