Saturday, June 28, 2008

Want some cheese with that whine, E.J.?

Haha, this is golden. More mainstream media whine, this time from E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post:

In knocking down the District's 32-year-old ban on handgun possession, the conservatives on the Supreme Court have again shown their willingness to abandon precedent in order to do whatever is necessary to further the agenda of the contemporary political right.

Let's take ourselves a little trip back in time, to, oh, let's say May 19, 1954, just a couple of days after this landmark Supreme Court decision, and tweak ole E.J.'s words a bit: "In essentially knocking down the state of Kansas' 1879 law permitting certain school districts to operate separate elementary school facilities for black and white students, the liberals on the Supreme Court have again shown their willingness to abandon precedent in order to do whatever is necessary to further the agenda of the contemporary political left." Really makes his argument that precedent should be respected at all costs look rather silly at best and quite insidious at worst, doesn't it?

Conservative justices claim that they defer to local authority. Not in this case. They insist that political questions should be decided by elected officials. Not in this case.
Way to set up the straw men there, Dick. Absolutely nothing to support those fatuous claims, but just throw 'em out and shoot 'em down, assuming, I guess, that we should believe you based on your lofty position. If you'll begrudge me this one reductio ad absurdum, I can almost see you now at some fancy restaurant: "Don't you know who I am? I am a COLUMNIST FOR THE WASHINGTON FUCKING POST!" As for the deference to the local authority...what if it was another piece of the Constitution local officials were shitting on, like, oh, let's just go balls-to-the wall and say what if local officials were permitting their law-enforcement agencies to bust down doors without warrants looking for banned books...hey, a two-fer, violation of the First AND the Fourth Amendments! I bet you E.J. would be raising hell then, and for good reason...but strangely, he's as silent as can be on such a blatant violation of the Second Amendment such as the D.C. handgun ban. Wonder why that is?

Yesterday's narrow majority spent the first 54 pages of its decision, written by Scalia, trying to show that even though the Framers inserted 13 important words in front of the assertion of a right to bear arms, those words were essentially meaningless.

The hell they did. E.J. just says it's meaningless because the court's definition (and that of the Founders) was different from his. Speaking of long-standing precedent, the majority CITED Miller as they spoke of the well-regulated militia mentioned in the amendment, and they also cited the Founders:
In United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, 179 (1939), we explained that “the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.” That definition comports with founding-era sources. See, e.g., Webster (“The militia of a country are the able bodied men organized into companies, regiments and brigades . . . and required by law to attend military exercises on certain days only, but at other times left to pursue their usual occupations”); The Federalist No. 46, pp. 329, 334 (B. Wright ed. 1961) (J. Madison) (“near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands”); Letter to Destutt de Tracy (Jan. 26, 1811), in The Portable Thomas Jefferson 520, 524 (M. Peterson ed. 1975) (“[T]he militia of the State, that is to say, of every man in it able to bear arms”).

Also, as I recall, the court went on to say that the right was not confined only to able-bodied men, but to every citizen, thus conferring a complete individual right regardless of physical abilities or lack thereof, or what-have-you. Back to Dionne's whine: was the court's four more liberal justices who favored judicial modesty, deference to democratic decisions, empowerment of local officials and care in examining the Constitution's actual text and the history behind it.
Ah, yes, democratic decisions, ye olde "tyranny of the majority" whose doctrine says that if 51 percent of the people vote to strip the other 49 percent of their God-given rights then that's just too bad for them. Or, as the apocryphal Ben Franklin quote goes, "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for lunch." As for the history behind the Second Amendment...well, David Codrea put that one a hell of a lot better than I ever could:
The quotes from the Founding Fathers concerning the right and the need for an armed citizenry are legion, and exemplified in Patrick Henry's admonishment to "guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect any who would approach that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."
Indeed. Henry, Tench Coxe, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and the list goes on. What the Founding Fathers said, how they felt, about armed citizens is out there for anyone who cares to go looking for it. Hey, check this out! And all these quotes are SOURCED, as well!
I must admit, I feel for the gunnies on the left side of the political spectrum. Really, I do. I'd rather gun control not be used as a cudgel to beat them with during political campaigns, and I know they're tearing their hair out right about now, and I can't blame them. The natural right of self-defense and the regulation (or lack thereof) of the tools used to effect that right -- whether it be a .45-caliber pistol , Ma Deuce, or a belt-fed Mk 19 40mm grenade launcher (if you wonder where that came from, click here for a great fisking from Larry Correia) -- should be completely off the table as a political issue. Yet here's one of the liberals' MSM heroes setting them back on the fight for that by saying that the Heller decision was an advance for conservatives. I know I wouldn't like it much if I were a liberal.