Constitution

Who's Attacking the Constitution Now?

Many ardent supporters of the Second Amendment are not quite so ardent about the First.

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Many ardent supporters of the Second Amendment are not quite so ardent about the First. And vice versa.

A few days ago CNN host Piers Morgan got into it with the head of a gun-rights group. Now more than 87,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that Morgan, who is British, be deported for his "hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution." But the First Amendment does not exempt British nationals, which means those signing the petition are also committing a hostile attack against the Constitution. The irony is probably lost on them.

As Conor Friedersdorf noted in The Atlantic, gun-rights enthusiasts have given the Constitution short shrift in another regard as well. The NRA's Wayne LaPierre wants Washington to force localities to put an armed guard in every public school (so much for federalism) and wants to create a national registry of the mentally ill (so much for privacy). In his catastrophe of a press conference, LaPierre also blasted violent video games, movies, and music (so much for free speech)—remarks that prompted this trenchant riposte on Twitter: "Scientists are baffled by Canadians' ability to watch movies and play video games and not shoot each other."

We can go further. In 2009 a Pew survey found that white evangelical Protestants, who are least likely to support gun control, were the most likely to support torturing suspected terrorists. But the Constitution doesn't allow torturing the guilty, let alone mere suspects. A few years ago another Pew study found that the most conservative Republicans—i.e., those most opposed to gun control—were the staunchest supporters of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act, in case you've forgotten, vastly expanded government power by allowing sneak-and-peek searches, letting law-enforcement authorities review your library and medical records without telling you, permitting the government to monitor emails without probable cause, and so on.

Courts have ruled that sections of the Act violate the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments. But the Patriot Act was passed in the name of national security rather than domestic security—so many conservatives have shrugged off its infringements on civil liberties. They were less sanguine when, in 2009, a controversial DHS report warned about weapons and ammo hoarding by right-wing extremists. This, conservatives fumed, was the worst sort of profiling.

Most of them have shown less outrage over other forms of profiling, such as the NYPD's infiltration of mosques and its stop-and-frisk policy—in which the police single out overwhelmingly black and Latino residents for pat-down searches without probable cause. In 2011 the cops stopped people more than 685,000 times; only 2 percent of such stops turned up contraband, and only 1 percent turned up weapons. This should infuriate gun-rights supporters, since the logic of gun control and the logic of stop-and-frisk are similar: law-breaking by a minute fraction of population X justifies cracking down on all of population X.

Yet many gun enthusiasts tend to treat gun rights broadly while treating other rights narrowly.

Gun opponents, of course, do precisely the opposite. Reciting a common talking point among advocates of gun control, The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof recently wrote: "There's a reasonable argument that the Second Amendment confers an individual right—to bear a musket. Beyond that, it's more complicated." A great many members of the press agree with him. But none of them would say: While the First Amendment arguably protects the right to a goose-feather quill, the Founding Fathers never imagined letting people have email, video games, or cable TV shows.

Liberals say many things about Second Amendment rights that they would not say about other rights. For instance: Nobody "needs" a semi-automatic rifle. True enough. But what other people need and do not need does not define what the government should and should not ban. Nobody needs Twitter, but it doesn't follow that Congress may therefore outlaw tweeting. Liberals also point out, correctly, that no other nation has anything like the sort of gun rights – or gun mayhem—that America does. True also. But no other nation has an exclusionary rule, either. Anywhere else in the world, improperly obtained evidence will land you in the slammer. In the U.S., it will get you out. Uniqueness is not an indictment.

Many gun-rights supporters, being law-and-order types, detest the exclusionary rule. They see it as a judicially contrived technicality that lets criminals walk free to murder, rob, and maim at will. But it is a reasonable corollary to the Fourth Amendment—and a necessary one if we read the Fourth Amendment as expansively as gun-rights supporters want to read the Second.

And they should want to read it expansively. A common talking point among gun enthusiasts is that the Second Amendment provides the people with the means to protect their other rights. But what's the use of having arms to protect rights you don't believe in? You can hardly claim to be defending the First Amendment in one breath, after all, when you're demanding Piers Morgan's deportation in the next.

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  1. I could be wrong, but I sort of assumed the deport Piers Morgan petition was a joke. There’s a counter petition by a British guy asking us to keep Piers Morgan in the country. None of that seems like people are taking it very seriously.

    1. I think you’re right. No one takes any of those petitions to the White House seriously, least of all the White House itself.

      1. Conor Friedersdorf and A. Barton Hinkle apparently take those petitions deadly seriously.

        1. Maybe I’m crazy, but it seems to me that anyone who claims to believe in the Constitution should as well. Sure, these ones are jokes, I get that. But the power to petition the government to settle grievances is supposed to be baked into the law.

      2. It originally was a joke, but many of the Drudge and Breitbart readership are rabid anti-free speech folks when it comes to “furriners”. And they typically think the BoR only applies to American citizens, which is inaccurate.

        Just read the comments on the Breitbart thread. A lot of these people are loony as fuck.

        1. Didn’t the whole “deport petition” start with the one calling for deportation of signers of the secesh petition?

          The “right” isn’t expecting their (or anyone elses) online petitions to the Whitehouse are going to be taken seriously.

        2. Arguably, the “rights of the people” only apply to US citizens. This would include petition, assembly, keeping and bearing arms, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

          Freedom of speech, press, and free exercise of religion aren’t restricted to “the people”, though, so you are correct that their interpretation is flawed.

          1. non-US citizens arent people?

            1. “the people” is an idiom for a certain group of people. In this case, the American political community.

            2. In the first amendment the distinction between unrestricted freedoms and those restricted to “the people” is especially stark.

              1. Tulpa, you could not BE more wrong. “The People” are not the same as citizens. You can find many, many places in United States Code (USC) that refer to “citizens,” to “persons,” and also to “anyone”. The people are “anyone”. The people is not an idiom. Idioms are void for vagueness.

    2. I think St. Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear was the Brit pleading that we keep Piers.

      1. St. Jeremy Clarkson

        I didn’t know he could be beatified until he dies. Also, not killing James May doesn’t count as a miracle, so his canonization is still in question.

        1. In the church of Morris (minor) he was beatified upon the miracle of the third piano (the miraculously fell on the last Morris Marina, removing the stain from the history of te marque.

          1. Three miracles, IIRC, are required for sainthood. I’ll give you that one as well as the miracle he performed to get that scooter all the way across Vietnam. His third act has yet to be accomplished.

            1. He drove a diesel Jag over 150 miles with the fuel gauge registering empty. Does that count?

    3. It was mostly just a protest against his boorish behavior. Hell, I signed it myself, but I had no expectation of it really happening. I just wanted to send him and CNN a message.
      Hinkle is an idiot. Since when is petitioning the WH unconstitutional?

    4. “I could be wrong, but I sort of assumed the deport Piers Morgan petition was a joke.”

      I read it that way, too.

      It’s like Ann Coulter’s response to seeing liberals complain about violations of their First Amendment rights–she suggested we repeal the First Amendment.

      It was a joke. Watching liberals foam at the mouth over a joke is hilarious to a lot of people.

      And the joke was on Piers Morgan. If Piers Morgan was “petitioning” to violate our Second Amendment rights, then let’s really petition to violate his–how’s it feel Piers?

      Two things to take from this:

      1) They will spin anything and everything people do to defend their Second Amendment rights as yet more evidence that gun owners are stupid hillbillies whose rights shouldn’t be protected.

      2) Obama’s phony “We The People” petition website makes a mockery of presidential concern for what average people want–and so it shouldn’t be surprising to see average people use the “We The People” website to mock the president’s phony concern for average people.

      1. Ann coulter is the joke, whoever created her is the comedian. She’s a walking dark comedy, spewing forth her deadpan crazy rhetoric.

        1. Has it never occurred to you that much of what Ann Coulter writes is intended to be dark comedy? Ridiculing liberals is great fun for the whole family.

            1. Perhaps not, but her comments never fail to irritate the hell out of the left. For that alone, she deserves kudos.

            2. No, she is not that clever.

              I’ve met her, she is that clever.

        2. Ann Coulter is an IRL troll of the highest order. I applaud her just as I applaud Ed Schultz for being rabid anti-the other side in an attempt to get laughs and make money. And if any of you take them seriously, you ought to step back from the edge.

          1. No kidding. What’s really unfortunate is the sheer volume of people that take them seriously.

          2. Of course you don’t take her seriously, if only Fox News viewers were aware of that. The problem is whoever created her forgot to add the irony gene.

            1. Or you might just be batshit and sporting big old hate wood for people who tune into a particular news channel and confer unflattering attributes to them because the narrative it creates somehow comforts you.

        3. I agree she’s a joke, and she should be taken that way.

          That liberals and progs take her seriously is hilarious to a lot of people.

          It should be hilarious that Obama would think we would take his “We the People” petition site seriously, as well.

          It’s a joke like Ann Coulter. Barack Obama doesn’t give a shit what “We the People” want. Let’s make fun of his stupid petition site.

          1. Let’s start a petition on the president’s website to repeal the individual mandate!

            Obama doesn’t give a shit about what we want.

            1. I like this idea

            2. Let’s start a petition on the president’s website to repeal the individual mandate!

              Mr. Shultz, that idea is absolute genius. Please do so and make sure to advertise the URL.

          2. Does anyone know if a petition has already been started somewhere to stop the petition sham? I’m all for a petition mechanism but not when it’s just a glorified propaganda machine for our dear leader.

            Get 25k signatures and the Sage of DC will grace you with his opinion on the topic.

      2. Obama’s phony “We The People” petition website makes a mockery of presidential concern for what average people want–and so it shouldn’t be surprising to see average people use the “We The People” website to mock the president’s phony concern for average people.

        Nail, meet hammer.

    5. Perhaps, but of the two times I’ve watched him (never watched King or CNN for that matter), he came off as an insufferable,hysterical, pompous ass. The truth is, these people know absolutely jack-squat about guns. But that ignorance is ignored so long as they believe they’re in the right. Hence, Gregory’s emotional theatrics on MTP.

      They’re the most manipulative sack of shit liars out there.

      As for Canada, yeah, we don’t shoot each other, but we do have higher rates of assaults and rapes than the USA does. In fact, Italy, Germany, Britain and France also have highter violence rates. Look it up.

  2. He does have the First Amendment right to free speech. There is no Constitutional right for a foreign national to be allowed to stay in the US. Calling for his deportation is perfectly Constitutional. Send him back to the open air prison that is the UK.

    1. Actually deporting him because of his speech would be illegal though.

      1. Actually its would be revolutionary, since the Revolution was about kicking out Brits who thought they should be running the country. The revolution was the founding of the country, not the Constitution.

      2. Which law would that break?

        1. It would break the civil rights act. If he’s meeting the terms of his his visa, deporting him without cause would be a serious civil rights violation.

          1. In theory, the government can’t act in any way that abridges the freedom of speech for anyone in the U.S. Of course, there are legal exceptions galore to that, but that’s how it works, as a rule. Deporting someone because of something he says that doesn’t constitute an exception of some sort would seem problematic at best.

        2. The Immigration and Nationality Act. To be “removable” or “deportable,” ICE has to show that a person meets one of the specified justifications in the law (i.e conviction of certain crimes, fraud in paperwork applying for immigration status, etc.). Many of the reasons are at 8 USC 1227. Speech isn’t one of those.

    2. In the abstract, of course.
      But as clear and express retaliation for use of his First Amendment rights, well, that would be profoundly illegal.
      As it should be.
      Regardless of how big a tool Morgan happens to be.

    3. “There is no Constitutional right for a foreign national to be allowed to stay in the US.”

      Just for the record, our rights do not originate from the Constitution. The idea that our rights are granted or taken away by the government is what separates us from the Nazis, the communists, and the Progressives.

      Even the Constitution (by way of the Ninth Amendment) says our rights don’t originate from the Constitution.

      Off the top of my head, the only rights that foreigners don’t have that we have is the right to vote, be president, etc.

      You can’t deprive people of due process just becasue they’re foreigners. Oh, I suppose you can; it’s just that you shouldn’t be able to do that. Just like Obama shouldn’t be able to violate our Second Amendment rights, even if he can.

      1. But foreign nationals working in the US work at the pleasure of the king whichever petty tyrant is in charge of visas and such.

        1. When the king’s doing what we want him to do, his imperial edicts always seem to somehow acquire a legitimate rationale behind them.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StJS51d1Fzg

      2. Off the top of my head, the only rights that foreigners don’t have that we have is the right to vote, be president, etc.

        The ones labeled “right of the people” arguably only apply to US citizens. Petition, assembly, RKBA, and unreasonable search and seizure. There’s a reason the framers chose that phrasing as opposed to the unrestricted phrasing for speech, press, and religion.

        1. And U.S. citizens at the time were white landowners only. So if you read that interpretation, the rights protected by the Constitution should not apply for women, minorities, immigrants, etc.

        2. So British National can get a permit and buy a gun in the U.S? I would love to see that tried.

          1. WTF?

            Legal alien residents can (and do) purchase and own firearms in the US. You don’t need any sort of “permit” in most states. We aren’t some Eurpean shithole requiring government permits to exercise basic rights…yet.

            1. “European shithole”

          2. In most states, Texas included, a legal resident qualifies for a concealed handgun license.

            Permit? We don’t need no steenking permit!

        3. It is NOT arguable, at least in US Courts, it is settled. If they are in the geographic USA, they are people, as described in all US law (which includes, of course, the constitution).

    4. There is no Constitutional right for a foreign national to be allowed to stay in the US.

      I don’t see any Constitutional right for a citizen to be allowed to stay in the US either. So by your logic BO could deport you for criticizing him, right?

      1. Tulpa (LAOL-PA)| 12.31.12 @ 11:47AM |#
        …”I don’t see any Constitutional right for a citizen to be allowed to stay in the US either.”…

        You didn’t really post that, did you? I mean, even your dog knows better than that.
        I’ll take it as a New Years joke, just ’cause.

  3. If his viewership does not improve he could be self-deporting soon enough.

  4. I should start a petition to deport Conor Friedersdorf. And anyone who writes an opinion piece favorably citing Conor Friedersdorf. Most of all anyone referring to Conor Friedersdorf as a “libertarian”.

    1. What about David Frum? Is America just a version if Survivor?

      1. Brook, Frum…deport all the Davids who are Canadian scum.

  5. There are cafeteria Constitutionalists? Who knew?

    But none of them would say: While the First Amendment arguably protects the right to a goose-feather quill, the Founding Fathers never imagined letting people have email, video games, or cable TV shows.

    I said essentially the same thing back in 2000 here.

  6. Gosh, A. Barton, it is almost as if advocacy makes everyone a hypocrite.

    We’re all hypocrites now!!!! Yayyyyyy!

    You should have waited until tomorrow to post this piece and it could have been in the running for most insightful post of 2013. As it is it’ll get lost in the “that’s so 2012” look-back and no one will remember its unique brilliance.

  7. “Scientists are baffled by Canadians’ ability to watch movies and play video games and not shoot each other.”

    But not, apparently, to lower their violent crime rates below ours.

    1. Canada absolutely has a lower violent crime rate than we do. I don’t know what you’re getting at.

      1. Tell that to the baby seals.

      2. I think he’s talking about scientist bafflement…in any case gun prevalence is not the cause of violence (Canada I believe has more guns per capita than the US) but a tool violent people turn to knowing its ability to reek havoc. However the solution has never been to take guns away from the law abiding to stop the maniacs. Those intent on causing devastation find a way. There must be a balance between protecting people from mass devastation (not handing out plutonium) versus maintaining an amount of freedom necessary to check ordinary criminality in society (not further restricting already fairly strict gun laws).

        1. The cause of most violence is social dysfunction. Canada has much less of that than the US does. And the one place where it does have a lot of it, the Northwest Territories, it has a lot of violence per capita. There are places in the NW Territories where even the Mounties don’t go to except in large well armed groups.

        2. (Canada I believe has more guns per capita than the US)

          Not even close. The US has 89 privately owned guns per 100 population, by far the highest of any country in the world. The closest competitor to the US is Serbia with 58. Canada has 31.

          1. mustard| 12.31.12 @ 7:30PM |#
            “(Canada I believe has more guns per capita than the US)
            Not even close. The US has 89 privately owned guns per 100 population, by far the highest of any country in the world. The closest competitor to the US is Serbia with 58. Canada has 31.”

            You might be right, but you’re an ignoramus of the first order, so anyone registering above the 3rd order has to post a cite.
            Let’s see it.

      3. Canada absolutely has a lower violent crime rate than we do. I don’t know what you’re getting at.

        No, it doesn’t.

        The U.S. has a violence rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, Canada 935, Australia 92 and South Africa 1,609.

        1. Is that a typo on the Mail’s part for Australia? I can’t imagine them having a violent crime rate so far lower than similar countries unless they’re reporting it differently.

          1. Probably. According to this work, assaults alone happened at a rate of 800 per 100K population in Australia in 2006.

        2. Canada and Australia have much smaller and more geographically concentrated populations than the US, which probably contributes to this.

          Homicide rates are another story.

          5.2 Ukraine (hey GM!)
          4.2 US
          1.6 Canada
          1.2 UK
          1.0 Australia

          1. Yikes! Greenland’s murder rate is 19.2 per 100K. The US Virgin Islands are at 39.2.

          2. I’m curious about how homicides are counted versus murders.

            Whenever the police or citizen uses lethal force to protect themselves or others it’s technically a homicide, though not a murder.

            If every attempted murderer was instead killed by their intended target in self defense, the homicide rate would read the same.

          3. “Canada and Australia have much smaller and more geographically concentrated populations than the US, which probably contributes to this.”

            How you figure? US has far greater pop density than either of those.

      4. Anyway, the whole point is that if some dipshit on Twitter is going to try and make a glib remark, it helps to have the facts on hand. I’ve seen too many lefties over the past few days argue that gun bans make a society safer, and that Daily Fail link shuts them up every single time.

    2. Can we get a gun rights spokesman that doesn’t sound like a stereotype of Nanny State conservatism? Surely there must be a gun owner in his 30s or 40s who knows that Mortal Kombat didn’t make him a serial killer.

      1. FINISH HIM!

      2. Can we get H&R commenters who don’t conflate criticizing cultural trends and artifacts with wanting to ban them?

        1. I never said LaPierre wants to ban anything, but he would have made his case better by sticking up for all our rights instead of trying to get the mob to go after another innocent target.

          1. The strategy is to divide the mob and enlist other opponents to fight any comprehensive law. The NRA doesn’t give a shit about violent media and mental health programs. La Pierre’s statement was to shift the “let’s do SOMETHIBNG” focus off evil guns.

            1. La Pierre’s statement was to shift the “let’s do SOMETHIBNG” focus off evil guns.

              By shifting the focus on to evil video games.

              1. Among every other issue Americans were already blaming in post-Sandy Hook polling.

            2. The mob has no interest in criticizing movies or video games. They make a lot of money from Hollywood and tech guys. Plus it makes them look “uncool”.

  8. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12…..share&_r=0

    Everyone loves the Constitution right up until their side gets to be on charge. It is shocking even to someone as cynical as I am how quickly and blatantly the liberals are letting the mask slip.

    AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions. …

    As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official ? say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress ? reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

    1. Popehat ?@Popehat

      I refuse to be trolled by the New York Times on New Year’s Eve.

    2. Constitutional Law Professors are amazingly ignorant of the constitution, the history of its origination and it’s place in popular American culture.

      1. That is because they don’t teach history in Constitutional Law classes. They teach case law. And that is not the same thing.

        1. Right. In first-year con law, I was the one who had to point out the historical purpose of the contracts clause.

        2. The constitution is almost napoleonic in nature vs. the traditional English common law system we utilize otherwise. But really the people trying to do away with the constitution just want to because they’re frustrated by its constraints when they’re in charge and will come rushing to its defense as soon as they lose power. It’s a goddamn check on power and those in charge always blind themselves to that when they rule. It’s a farcical situation.

          1. That is why they love it right up until their side is in charge.

            1. Which is why both sides need to be mercilessly mocked and evicerated. Sometimes I think you forget that John.

              1. The people in power need to be mercilessly mocked, yes.

                Nitpicking a person who’s not in power to death, like Reason did with R/R, not so much.

                1. Because R/R would have been just, right?

                  Their man-juice is dribbling down your chin, Tulpa. How does it feel to jerk two dicks at once?

                  1. There was plenty to criticize about R/R. They were not perfect by any stretch. But on issues where R/R presented a better choice from a libertarian POV than O/B, Reason fixated on minimizing that distinction.

        3. My first year Con Law I class was 3/4 historical. Probably because my professor leaned libertarian. Sadly, the exam, which was based on the current state of the law, was basically an exercise in what government could do despite the Constitution seemingly saying otherwise.

    3. Apparently this con law professor is unfamiliar with the clause that allows the constitution to be changed.

      Dont like what the dead white guys did? Amend the thing. Hell, it aint that hard, we have done it for very silly reasons in the past.

      1. It’s not that amending is hard. It’s that it’s a much less efficient way of getting your way than simply having the executive make decrees.

        1. It’s not that amending is hard. It’s that it’s a much less efficient way of getting your way than simply having the executive make decrees.

          It’s almost like the Founders knew what they were doing……

        2. It’s ridiculously hard – you have to get supermajorities to agree with you and you can’t weasel it through in the dead of night right before a holiday. So it follows a process that is completely foreign to today’s politicians.

          I also don’t believe there’s any direct way to load an amendment with pork.

    4. I can only imagine the perks and privileges this type of elite culture signifying pays in return for Seidman in telling them what they want to hear under the facade of being an authority. I hate being lectured to by whores.

  9. And this article is a pile of stupid. It is nothing but “the evil righties are not even right when they agree with us” bullshit. Fuck you Barton. Take your allies where you find them. The Left is a bunch of hypocrites about the First Amendment itself. They see no problem with restricting political speech. But I am quite sure you sing their praises when they stand up for the rights of free artistic expression. So why so different now?

    1. The no-talent sack o’ shit Hinkle is essentially regurgitating a Conor Friedersdorf column.reason really is turning into a stinking cosmotarian Hell-hole.

      1. Thank god for its commenters. Burn the heretics!

      2. Not that I agree with Hinkle, but is anyone who doesn’t agree with you a cosmo?

        1. Only if their not a bleeding liberal or a wargasm conservative.

      3. At least Hinkle isn’t quite as annoying as Feeney the Pink.

      4. Reason’s always been cosmotarian (ie, tending to side with the left on issues where libertarians disagree). But this isn’t cosmotarian, this is literally carrying water for the left.

        1. I’m curious, you don’t call yourself a libertarian do you?

          1. I’m a law and order libertarian, as it says in my name.

            I have made a few compromises with reality.

            1. I suppose actual libertarians (which I am not) find the fact that you consider yourself part of their group pretty appalling.

              1. Most libertarians make the rest of us look bad.

              2. Considering how little the “actual” libertarians have done for liberty in practice, I don’t really care.

                They do have a kickass debate club every four years though.

                1. Your best post!

                2. This is your best post ever.

            2. What kind of law and what kind of order?

              You should try the natural law and the spontaneous order, they’re delightful!

        2. Tha fuck?

          How exactly is it “carrying water for the left”?

    2. Is this another of your “why won’t libertarians just be conservatives” rants?

      1. Sure, if you can’t read. I don’t expect Libertarians to support anything. But I do expect them to think rationally and apply the same standard to both sides.

        Again Sparky, I don’t care if you agree with me. But please READ THE POST before disagreeing.

        1. Something about conservatives:
          But the Patriot Act was passed in the name of national security rather than domestic security?so many conservatives have shrugged off its infringements on civil liberties.

          Something about liberals:
          Gun opponents, of course, do precisely the opposite. Reciting a common talking point among advocates of gun control, The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof recently wrote: “There’s a reasonable argument that the Second Amendment confers an individual right?to bear a musket. Beyond that, it’s more complicated.” A great many members of the press agree with him. But none of them would say: While the First Amendment arguably protects the right to a goose-feather quill, the Founding Fathers never imagined letting people have email, video games, or cable TV shows.

          So it looks like he’s calling both side out for doing the same thing. Apparently to you this is not sufficient for some reason.

          1. Ok. Fair enough.

    3. Yet many gun enthusiasts tend to treat gun rights broadly while treating other rights narrowly.

      […]

      Liberals say many things about Second Amendment rights that they would not say about other rights.

      I agree with both those statements and the tone of the article in general. Neither Team has much to fall back on when it comes to narrowly interpreting the Constitution,

      1. They’re both getting more atrocious by the minute while public opinion is skewing to the middle, WTF??

        1. They’re both getting more atrocious by the minute while public opinion is skewing to the middle really really hard left with occasional hypocrisy when their own ox is being gored, WTF??

          FIFY

    1. Wow. Is he really that stupid to think that anyone would care? Does CNN not show him his ratings?

      1. Is he really that stupid to think that anyone would care?

        The cosmos would be able to milk it for at least half a dozen articles bemoaning America’s lack of respect for civil liberties.

        1. But they’d more likely just use it illustrate how mean and ignorant those gun totin’ bible thumpin’ redneck cornholer “assault rifle” nuts are.

    2. Door. Ass. Etc.

    3. Oh that’s cute.

      I wonder where he’ll go next in his downward decline from chief editor of a major newspaper read all over the world. He’s now dropping below the B-List talk show host in a national market. I guess a local market program like Andy Rooney’s daughter has here in Boston is next in his future.

      1. Is Air America still on? Maybe the overnight show on Pacifica?

      2. PBS? NPR, I see something publicly funded in his future.

        1. I think you could be right… the young Ms Rooney is on the local PBS station.

          1. A ten minute weekly spot on All Things Considered.

    4. Can he put that in writing?

    5. He is really playing to the British audience in that piece. Holy cow.

      This gun debate is an ongoing war of verbal attrition in America ? and I’m just the latest target, the advantage to the gun lobbyists being that I’m British, a breed of human being who burned down the White House in 1814 and had to be forcefully deported en masse, as no American will ever be allowed to forget ? Special Relationship notwithstanding.

      It’s no exaggeration to say that America’s unique fondness for guns pretty much got cemented by hatred of us Brits and the War of Independence.

      No exaggeration at all! Dipshit apparently doesn’t realize that the second amendment codified a right that existed in England for centuries beforehand.

    6. Oh shit. He only says he’ll “seriously consider” self-deportation. Which means he won’t do it, of course.

      1. Just like Julian Sanchez promised to quit Cato “if the Kochs won”.

      2. Just like Obama is going to “seriously consider” these fucking petitions in the first place.

  10. the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution

    Right.
    That’s what got us to where we are: our mindless obsessive-compulsive adherence to the Constitution.

    1. Fucking suicide pact suiciding.

  11. One wonders how the Brits would react if a U.S. celebrity in London sharply criticized a UK civil rights organization?

    1. Well we saw the Brits had a shit fit when Romney mildly questioned if they were completely prepared for the Olympics so….

  12. Right-winGers are just as oppressive as lefties….

    Tell us something we don’t know.

    1. Lefties wear more flamboyant shoes.

  13. If only the gun nuts cared half as much about losing their right NOT to be indefinitely detained or NOT to have their communications monitored as they do about not being able to buy a gun that shoots 1000 rounds of armor piercing bullets.

    1. Maybe some of them do. Who knows. But the NRA is a single issue organization. IT is not its job to worry about anything else.

      1. Surely you must admit, though, if even half of NRA supporters cared half as much about the fourth amendment as they do about the second, the NDAA would have been dead on arrival. There would have been no need to use the NRA at all as a vehicle to express their preference, the other avenues would suffice.

        1. NDAA is horrid, but the likelihood of a particular individual actually being affected by it is extremely low.

          Whereas AWB and magazine restrictions will affect every gun owner or enthusiast. So the difference in concern is understandable.

      2. Sure, its focussed on the 2A, and I seem to recall that it has chimed in on the 1A (when Citizens United, which empowers the NRA, was under attack), but I think the NRA would be well advised to do more, at least rhetorically, to support other Constitutional rights that support the RKBA.

        Due process and search and seizure law could become very important in the near future to gun owners, after all.

        1. It is a slippery slope. Once you go beyond one issue, you risk alienating supporters and corrupting the organization into something that it was never intended to be.

        2. The NRA does focus on other rights where they intersect with the 2nd Amendment.

          http://www.boogieonline.com/re…../aclu.html

          http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..ting-case/

        3. The NRA cares about bullets, not liberty.

        4. They do. NRA successfully sued the New Orleans city govt over the Katrina gun confiscations.

  14. As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is.

    Let me guess- he practices the sort of Constitutional scholarship which leads to the belief that law enforcement agents who are completely and utterly shielded from the consequences of incompetence and outright criminality will restrain their behavior under the auspices of their New Professionalism.

    1. Pretty much. My fave:

      Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.

      Because we do such a good job at following them based on obligation, I’m sure respect would be sufficient.

      1. That was one of my favorite parts too, although more because of the “Let’s throw it out, except for the parts I think are alright” aspect.

      2. Don’t miss this asinine Twitter exchange where MattY wonders about “hard-line consitutionalists.” LOL

        IT’S ALMOST LIKE IT’S NOT THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND OR SOMETHING.

        1. They have a total inability to do anything but talk about slave-owning. And when you talk about “defending minority rights,” they have a total inability not to equate “minority” with “racial/ethnic minority.” Part 5,701 of why we are all doomed.

          1. Considering the 13th and 14th Amendments have been part of the constitution for 150 years now, you’d think the “SLAVERY!” card wouldn’t play that terribly well anymore. If you don’t trust the old sack-of-shit white guys who wrote the document, how can you trust the sack-of-shit white guys who amended it to abolish slavery, and for that matter, why do you think the sack-of-shit white guys who run the institutions today?

            This is basically “Don’t trust anybody over 30” for old hippies who all accidentally lived past 30.

        2. Shorter Yglesias: “FUCK THIS GOY EARTH!”

      3. The whole article is just a bunch of question-begging and special pleading–he’s basically arguing, like a lot of liberals, that principles don’t matter as long as your intentions are good.

  15. Back in the old days (i.e. two years ago) all we’d have to do to make the Left lose interest and change the subject is have Sarah Palin say something.

  16. Signing that petition isn’t in conflict with the first amendment. He can say whatever he wants and not be arrested thats a constitutional guarantee. But he is not a citzen and can be deported, nothing unconstiutional about that.

    1. Being an irritating twatwaffle, by some oversight, is not listed as a deportable offense.

      So, yeah, deporting him on those grounds would be illegal and unconstitutional.

      1. Yes and the sad fact is we wouldn’t be able to deport 99% of the Americans that deserve it. Oh to look forward to a libertarian Kochtatorship…

      2. Who gives a shit whether it’s legal or constitutional. Doesn’t seem to stop the rest of the country.

        Question is: is it libertarian? That’s the only thing that matters to me.

        1. If it isn’t constitutional, it isn’t Libertarian.

  17. Many gun-rights supporters, being law-and-order types, detest the exclusionary rule. They see it as a judicially contrived technicality that lets criminals walk free to murder, rob, and maim at will. But it is a reasonable corollary to the Fourth Amendment?and a necessary one if we read the Fourth Amendment as expansively as gun-rights supporters want to read the Second.

    I detest the exclusionary rule. It does nothing but let guilty people go free. If you are innocent and have your rights violated you have no recourse. And experience tells us that cops, since they are rewarded for arrests not convictions, see it as something for lawyers to worry about and probable cause as something to lie about later.

    A better rule would be to strip sovereign immunity and let people sue cops personally for violating their rights. That way if you are innocent and your rights are violated, you have some recourse. And you are guilty, you also have some recourse but still pay for your crimes.

    1. It does nothing but let guilty people go free.

      I disagree. It excludes illegally obtained evidence, which should be inadmissable, shouldn’t it?

      Whether the actual observance and enforcement of Constitutional protections allows some guilty people to walk is fairly irrelevant. Once you start tossing due process protections on that basis, you really can’t stop.

      1. I disagree. It excludes illegally obtained evidence, which should be inadmissable, shouldn’t it?

        Why? There is nothing in the 4th Amendment that says that. And the issue of the cops illegally obtaining evidence is an issue between you and the police. It has nothing to do with your underlying crime. If I kill my wife and the police illegally trespass to obtain evidence, I should have a valid trespass claim against them. But that trespass has nothing to do with the issue of whether I should get away with murder.

        Whether the actual observance and enforcement of Constitutional protections allows some guilty people to walk is fairly irrelevant

        It is very relevant. It subverts the entire purpose of the justice system. And aversion to that possibility is why the courts have eviscerated the 4th Amendment. If enforcing the rules of the 4th Amendment resulted in cops paying for the damage they do rather than guilty people walking free, the Courts, judges and the people themselves would be much more interested in doing so.

        And lastly, what is relevant to the 4th Amendment is the complete lack of recourse available to the innocent party. The exclusionary rule just ensures that only the guilty benefit from 4th Amendment protections.

        1. But isn’t it more than a little fucked up to say that cops should follow and uphold the law, except when they are trying to get evidence of wrongdoing?

          1. That is not what I am saying. I am saying the opposite. Cops should uphold the law. And when they don’t they should pay for it. Not society. As it is, when I cop breaks the law and violates someone’s rights, the worst thing that happens is that person gets away with the crimes they committed. What does the cop care about that? And if the person is innocent, no one pays anything.

            Cops should obey the law. And when they don’t, the person whose rights they violated should have a cause of action against them. But that cause of action, is a totally separate issue from whether the person should get away with their crimes.

            1. I should have paid attention to the part where you said we need to axe sovereign immunity. Still not sure that illegally obtained evidence should be admissible, but at least that would help.

            2. So how do you do that?

              Let’s take a simple case. I am a man who has risen to some prominence in the chamber of commerce of my town which is dominated very religious devout baptists.

              I am not a baptist, and drink in my own home, discretely. One day, some friends are over, and while we aren’t drunk, we’re having fun, and someone records me attempting to do a trick that goes wrong causing me to flail around like the Star Ways fat kid. I store the video on my hard-drive.

              One day, an acquaintance is brutally murdered, and I was the last person to see her alive. The cops sneak in Simon & Simon style and mirror my hard-drive in violation of the fourth amendment. They find no evidence that I was planning on killing her, but they do find the video.

              Amid the swirl of rumors surrounding the case, the video leaks out and becomes a huge sensation. I am being mocked, and even worse, the sight of open beers in the video prompts people not to do business with me.

              What course of action do I have? How would you compute my damages? I’ve done nothing wrong; the people who refuse to do business with me are following their consciences and could have all sorts of reasons for refusing to do business with me.

              So how do you create a legal framework for me to be made whole?

              1. Editing error:

                and could have all sorts of reasons for refusing to do business with me including the reasonable suspicion that I had something to do with her murder.

              2. You have a civil rights action. You set statutory damages for violating someone’s rights.

                Beyond that, suppose a private person breaks in and steals the video. You would have an action for trespass and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The courts could handle it if it was a private party and they could do the same if it were a cop. In fact it would be even easier to make you whole, since we could tack on the civil rights violation counts. Courts do this all of the time. They do it now with cops in 1983 suits.

                1. Just so I understand:

                  A statutory damage is a set of damages set by law, like $25,000 for copyright violations, right?

                  Are you envisioning a set up like the following:

                  The state of AL by statute says that every instance of the 4th amendment violation shall be punished by a fine no greater than $100,000.

                  I the upstanding businessman sue the police and a jury then decides what fine to actually levy.

                  Presumably, if his search had shown me to be the murdererer, the jury would be unsympathetic and fine the cop $1.00, while if I were sympathetic, the jury would presumably set a higher value?

                  I don’t see this as being particularly useful in reality: it would be really easy for the cops to sway the jury emotionally by using the noble cause corruption excuse.

                  We have a grand-jury system that on paper is designed to prevent prosecutors from persecuting the citizenry by providing them with skeptical oversight. In reality, grand-juries have proven to be rubber-stamps that hardly prevent the modern-day prosecutor from moving without let or hindrance across the land.

                  And that’s not even taking into factor the psychotic witness tampering and intimidation that police have often engaged in when people tried to stand up to them.

                  I agree that what you are describing looks good on paper, but I think it will prove utterly toothless in practice.

                  1. No it won’t. That is why the are called statutory damages. And Tarran, right now you h ave nothing. The cops violate your rights, your reward is they won’t use the video against you in court for the crime you didn’t commit in the trial that will never happen.

                    1. John, a couple of points:

                      1) Can you explain why my concerns above are unfounded? If possible using my businessman example so I can follow?

                      2) The current system provides a disincentive to cops in that they want bad guys to go to jail, and if the cop misbehaves the bad guy might get away with it. Yes, it provides bupkis to the guy whose rights were violated, but the people who benefit are all the people whom the cops don’t violate because they are afraid of having the evidence ignored.

                      3) #2 notwithstanding, I agree with you that the current system sucks, is broken, and is a speed bump against right violations – eg. the Ryan Frederick case where the cops employed burglars who would break into houses and then provide the cops with witness statements that the cops would then use as evidence of probable cause in requesting search warrants.

                      I’m not saying you’re wrong… You were a prosecutor, so I value your insights into how to system can be improved, but I’m struggling to understand *how* the system I think you are describing would be an improvement. I could be wrong about your vision, or we could be disagreeing about the likely outcomes, I’m not sure which. Help me understand.

        2. Why should illegally obtained evidence be inadmissable?

          Why should it be?

          If our due process protections are not directly reflected in our court proceedings, what good are they? They aren’t suggestions, after all.

          If you have no objection to admission of illegally obtained evidence, then I suppose a confession that is beaten out of a suspect should be admissable as well?

          Personlly, I see no reason why you couldn’t exclude the evidence AND impose personal liability on the agents of the state who violate your rights.

          Do I seriously understand you to be saying that due process “subverts the entire purpose of the justice system” and should be disregarded whenever it gets in the way of convicting someone?

          I see no reason to believe, BTW, that the exclusionary rule benefits only the guilty. Seems to me that it benefits the accused, who are legally presumed, and occasionally in fact, not guilty.

          1. If our due process protections are not directly reflected in our court proceedings, what good are they?

            The exclusionary rule is not due process. It is search and seizure, which is different. You would still get the same trial, the same rights to confront your accusers and so forth.

            Look at it this way, the cops can violate someone else’s 4th Amendment rights and the evidence they obtain is still admissible against you even though it is not admissible against that party. Search and Seizure is not due process.

            Personlly, I see no reason why you couldn’t exclude the evidence AND impose personal liability on the agents of the state who violate your rights.

            Sure you could. But you don’t have to. And indeed, why does a guilty person have a right to get away with their crimes just because the cops behaved badly? There is nothing in the constitution that says that. There is nothing in the traditional common law that says that. All the exclusionary rule does is let guilty go free.

            I see no reason to believe, BTW, that the exclusionary rule benefits only the guilty.

            If you are innocent, they won’t find any evidence because there is none to find. If the cops kick in your door looking for drugs, and you are innocent, they won’t find any drugs. But you are left completely without recourse for their trespass.

            1. The exclusionary rule is not due process. It is search and seizure, which is different.

              Its in a separate amendment, I know, but I was speaking broadly of it as part of our due process protections.

              Which raises another question: if search and seizure law functions merely to protect the guilty, why doesn’t due process also function pretty much the same way? All that garble about having a lawyer and a jury and all the rest: doesn’t it result in some guilty people getting off, and thus it should be disregarded, just as we should disregard search and seizure law when it might allow someone guilty to walk?

              If you are innocent, they won’t find any evidence because there is none to find.

              Just, wow. If you’re doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. Seriously, John?

              I think our fundamental disconnect is that you think Constitutional protections are only there to protect the innocent, but I think its there to protect the accused.

              The problem, of course, is that we don’t know who is actually innocent at the time the Constitution is violated.

              You seem to be saying that the Constitution should not affect what happens in the criminal trial, so long as it provides a basis for collecting damages afterward. And I’m not even clear that you would allow someone who is convicted on the basis of illegally obtained evidence to sue for damages.

              1. Which raises another question: if search and seizure law functions merely to protect the guilty

                You are not listening. Search and seizure rules protect everyone. It is the exclusionary rule that only protects the guilty. Excluding evidence only does you any good if they find any evidence. If they don’t find evidence, you have no remedy for the violation.

                Just, wow. If you’re doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. Seriously, John?

                No. I am saying just the opposite. If you are innocent and they violate your rights, you should have a remedy in suing the cop.

                I think our fundamental disconnect is that you think Constitutional protections are only there to protect the innocent, but I think its there to protect the accused.

                Again, you misunderstand. I am not saying that they are only there to protect the innocent. Under my system, all people guilty and innocent would have a right to sue and obtain a remedy for the violation of their rights. It would protect everyone equally.

                The mistake you are making is that you think that a right of action against a cop automatically means that you should also be able to get away with whatever crime you committed. No. Your criminal trial and your civil law suit against the cops are two separate things. Sure, sue the cop for violating your rights and get your judgement. But also understand, you are still going to pay for the crimes you commit just like the cop is going to pay for his.

                1. That helps, John, but I’m struggling mightily with the idea that the state should be able to attain its goals (locking you up) via illegal means (violating your rights).

                  I also think that, in our “three felonies a day” society, you are being quite optimistic that a cop who has violated your rights can’t find anything to charge you with, regardless of whether you did any particular crime.

                  I’m also extremely doubtful that anyone who is convicted of a crime will ever see a nickel of damages, so we will wind up with a truly perverse incentive system that gives the agents of the state a very personal reason to make damn good and sure, by any means necessary, that you are convicted, because now their personal exposure is bound up in your conviction.

                  1. I think Scalia pretty well summed this summed this up when he said:

                    “There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes
                    insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.”

                    Illegally obtained evidence should be discarded because the process from that point forward is tainted and your rights shouldn’t disappear just because you’re guilty of a crime. There is no “right to convict” a guilty man. But there sure as fucking hell is a right for a guilty man to present a defense and to have his rights respected in the same way as an innocent one. John’s crime boner is showing.

          2. Look at it this way RC. If the cops follow the book and get a warrant and find the evidence that I have murdered my wife, but then beat and torture me after they have arrested me, my civil rights have been violated, but all of the evidence is admissible. If non admissibility of evidence is supposed to be the benefit of violating my rights, why shouldn’t them beating me allow me to beat the murder rap? My rights were violated just as much or more so when they beat me as they would have been had the not gotten the warrant. Yet, in one case I walk free and the other I go down even though I was beaten and tortured.

            1. If you’d confessed during the beating, then it wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be admissible, and that is as it should be. Essentially what you’re asking is, “If the ends justified the means, why should we worry about the means?” Which makes you a consequentialist, amoral fuck.

          3. Personlly, I see no reason why you couldn’t exclude the evidence AND impose personal liability on the agents of the state who violate your rights.

            This.

            There would be a lot less use of the exclusionary rule if the cops knew that an exclusionary finding meant a civil rights charge and federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison sentences.

            1. What we need are federal attorneys who will make an absolute fucking example out of EVERY single cop who does an illegal search. No exceptions, no plea bargains, no quarter.

              1. Understand Rob, Cops get rewarded for arrests. They don’t care if the conviction doesn’t stick. So the exclusionary rule does little to deter them.

                And there is a real interest in seeing guilty people go to jail. Why should a guilty person go free because the cop violated their rights? Should they have a cause of action against the cop? Sure. But they still committed the crime and still should pay for that crime. Once has nothing to do with the other.

                1. So the exclusionary rule does little to deter them.

                  Did you read my post. I understand that. I think they will respond to prison sentences though.

                  Aggressive federal prosecutors who go after every case of illegal search as a federal civil rights violation. Not all of them will necessarily be crimes, but enough will be to change behavior.

                2. Cops get rewarded for arrests. They don’t care if the conviction doesn’t stick. So the exclusionary rule does little to deter them.

                  Are you sure about that? If a cop’s mishandling of a search/arrest causes a guilty person to go free, I don’t think they’re getting rewarded for that. Police depts do care about convictions too.

                3. Why should a guilty person go free because the cop violated their rights?

                  To protect innocent people. Same reason we shouldn’t be assassinating American citizens without trial, even if they are obviously assholes who we won’t miss.

                  1. Ask the question the other way around:

                    Why should the state get to convict a person after violating his rights?

                    We’re all making a certain . . . assumption, here: Conviction = guilt.

                    Ask yourself a different question:

                    Why should an accused person go free because a cop violated their rights?

                    Which leads to:

                    Why should an accused person be locked up after a cop violates their rights?

                    Why, indeed?

                4. But they still committed the crime and still should pay for that crime. Once has nothing to do with the other.

                  Fuck yeah! Hell, if the cops know the bastard did it, why not let them just plant the evidence? I mean, the bastard did it, right? So all he’s gonna get is what’s coming to him. What difference does it make how the evidence was obtained? It shouldn’t be excluded just because of some technicality.

                  Honestly, I normally think the people around here are a little too harsh on you, but you really are a scummy fuck.

        3. John, I agree with everything you wrote on the exclusionary rule. And I’ll add that it has contributed to corruption by incentivizing lying by cops to get around it. With the spill over that cops now basically feel free to lie about everything.

          1. I seriously doubt cops lying has anything to do with anything other than the fact that they have power and will do anything to keep it.

      2. “I disagree. It excludes illegally obtained evidence, which should be inadmissable, shouldn’t it?”

        I have a counterproposal: illegally obtained evidence shall be admissible (if real), but the official who obtained it shall receive the same sentence as the defendant it is used against.

      3. Evidence is evidence. Is evidence. Courts are for the finding of the truth. If the truth is obtained illegally, that is another case/controversy, but it is still the truth. John is so very right. As in correct.

        1. Holy shit you’re delusional. Courts are for finding of the truth???? You’re batshit insane.

  18. http://www.desmoinesregister.c…..ck_check=1

    Liberals have gone completely and murderously insane over gun control.

    1. 16, 17, 19.

      that’s where you start repealing as long as we’re on the subject.

      1. I wouldn’t mind junking the 26th, while we’re at it.

        Unless, of course, we get serious about treating 18 year olds as adults for all purposes.

        1. All restrictive amendments should be junked. Only those that removed restrictions should remain:

        2. Repealing the 26th should be accompanied by a ban on the draft, otherwise it will make a future draft more doable.

      2. 16 and 17 are the keys.

        Especially the 17th.

        I used to think 16 was the first that needed to go, but I have changed my mind. Colorado and Washington understand why we need state checks on federal power.

        1. So your response to the people of CO and WA voting to legalize MJ is to take the ability to elect senators away from them….and give it to the legislature which didn’t want to legalize MJ.

          That doesn’t make sense.

    2. If they were murderously insane, what would their weapon of choice be? And you can’t take this comment seriously and say something like “words that violate the constitution”. That would be boorish and thick. I want to know; baseball bat, dildo, sonic wave machine?

      1. Someone’s been playing too much Saints Row…

      2. An electric car is the only thing I can think some of these retards would think of using as a weapon.

        1. Mmmm, with some unironic bumper sticker about not using fossil fuels (which created the electricity he/she is using)

      3. They would use all the right weapons, guns and so forth. They have no problem with those weapons, provided cops who are on their side are using them.

        1. Doha would perish left and right (which is PETA’s stated position on ending pet ownership).

      4. Their weapon of choice, apparently, would be a pickup truck…

        FTA: I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot

  19. Your overzealous article never mentions US citizenship, which has everything to do with your argument.

  20. Your overzealous article never mentions US citizenship status, which has everything to do with your argument.

    1. define: inalienable

      in?al?ien?a?ble
      /in??l??n?b?l/
      Adjective
      Unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor: “inalienable human rights”.

    2. Sure it does, in like the fourth sentence.

      But the First Amendment does not exempt British nationals

  21. Whether the actual observance and enforcement of Constitutional protections allows some guilty people to walk is fairly irrelevant.

    That depends on whether you are interested in keeping innocent people out of jail. Or have we reached the point of, “Better one hundred innocents go to jail, than to let one guilty man walk free”?

  22. I’m going to start a petition on the We The People site that demands the White House take down the We The People site.

    As a matter of fact, you can sign it here.
    and if that link doesn’t work,
    you could use this one instead.

    1. As if I’m going to register with the White House.

  23. If i’m libertarian, why should i give a fuck about “federalism”?

    I don’t care for state governments any more than federal governments.

    1. In some ways, that’s true. But the one virtue of federalism–the real thing, not this broken version we have now–is that is provides an additional check on federal power. God knows we could use that right about now.

      1. Pro, I watched Cave of Forgotten Dreams the other night. It is Werner Herzog’s film about this cave in France that has all of this amazing prehistoric cave art. It is well worth watching.

      2. And the principle of subsidiarity, while not technically necessary to libertarianism, is still a good idea.

        As I like to point out, I know where my mayor lives, I can shoot him if he becomes a tyrant. As the city of Middletown is only 5k strong, I can walk to his house if necessary. And town hall is only two blocks away.

        1. Holy shit, robc. WTF?

          1. He meant shoot him in the Biblical sense.

            1. With a musket, then!

              1. Like God intended.

          2. You got something against shooting tyrants?

            If I lived in Cuba and was walking distance from Castro’s house, and he didnt have bodyguards, the fucker would be dead.

            Checks and balances. Not sure what you were WTFing about.

            1. The problem is that if we legitimize assassination, it can just as easily be used by the other side.

              If RP were president there would be plenty of people who felt he needed to become not president anymore, too. You’re legitimizing them when you talk like that.

              1. “The problem is that if we legitimize assassination, it can just as easily be used by the other side.”

                If by “problem” you mean “benefit”.

  24. Today’s answer to this post’s headline question is Louis Michael Seidman in a NYT op-ed, Let’s Give Up on the Constitution

    1. “Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, is the author of the forthcoming book ‘On Constitutional Disobedience.'”

      I forget, is it unusual for a “professor of constitutional law” to spit on said document?

      I must, however, give bonus points to Prof. Seidman for chutzpah. First he and his progressive ilk ignore the highest law of the land whenever it suits them for two centuries, then he insists that we must destroy it altogether when its shredded, ghostly tatters stand between him and his democratic (read: tyrannical) aims. The reasoning is, as always among progressive intellectuals, utterly breathtaking.

  25. This is an embarrassing and dumb essay. First, the one person in America who is pleased beyond words by this kerfuffle is…Piers Morgan. His lousy, narcissistic talk show was almost totally unwatched and he was likely going to get fired. He has made it crystal clear over and over again that he would rather people know who he is and hate him than not know who he is and ignore him. That’s been his whole career plan and it has made him very rich (net worth ~ $20 million).

    Well guess what? His ratings are up because of this non-story and he’s milking the phony controversy with every drop of energy in this body. Second, as has been pointed out by numerous observers, in this example by James Taranto of the WSJ, here’s the reality. “Your (Morgan’s) opinion is protected; your presence in the U.S. is not. See Kleindienst v. Mandel (1972)” Taranto tweeted to Morgan.

    Taranto linked to transcripts from a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. Attorney General’s refusal to allow a foreign journalist into the United States did not violate the First Amendment. The case resulted from Nixon administration attorney general Richard Kleindienst’s refusal to grant a temporary nonimmigrant visa to Marxist Belgian journalist Ernest Mandel.

    Morgan is a sleazeball who made his name in the British tabloids (editor of “News of the World”) and was caught up in the “phone hacking” scandal. He was fired in Britain. That’s the #1 reason he came to America.

    1. That case concerned the issuing of a visa. Morgan already has a green card, so that doesn’t apply. Taranto has fallen on his ass here.

      1. You know, I thought about that. Now I couldn’t care less if Piers is deported, or not. I signed the petition. I thought it was funny. I did try to look up if Piers has a green card. The results were contradictory. Piers definitely has an EB-1 card that leads to a green card. Taranto thought he didn’t have the green card, yet. This is pure entertainment, though Piers is a sleazeball, as I mentioned.

  26. They can demand all they want to – free speech for them, too. Their demand does not mean they don’t believe in the First, Mr. Hinkle. You must be some kind of reporter – you just can’t get the whole story, only the parts you like.

    1. Free speech for me, but not for thee.

  27. OK, I may be moving back to civilization, meaning back to where I can get legitimate high-speed (as in 40 MBPS) internet.

    I’m thinking very seriously about not having any kind of cable/satellite subscription, and going strictly internet-fed for my teevee.

    Which service/hardware would the commentariat recommend.

    And no, I’m not going to handbuild some kind of tube-based contraption for this or any other purpose.

    1. A friend of mine that doesn’t own a TV just uses hulu. No equipment other than a computer needed.

      1. Also, my wife watches some shows through hulu and some through Netflix. I’m not sure how long it takes an episode to become available for streaming though.

    2. I just ordered a Roku box. I figure with a Hulu & Netflix subscription, and a VUDU account, I’ll have all the bases covered.

    3. Most of my TV these days is via Amazon Prime’s video library. For instance, I watched Defiance a couple of days ago (for free, though they do charge for some movies).

    4. And no, I’m not going to handbuild some kind of tube-based contraption for this or any other purpose.

      [Puts soldering iron away] Cock blocker!

    5. You’ll want a good antenna for digital broadcast.

      1. MY GF watches netflix through her daughter’s Wii. I was over at her place after Christmas and we watched True Grit (Cohen Bros) and John Carpenter’s The Thing. She watches BSG, Mad Men and all those TV shows I don’t on it. $10 a month + an internet connection.

      2. What, exactly, is being broadcast that I might want to watch?

        1. Live news and sports? One of my local digital subchannels has The Twilight Zone on every night and Batman, Star Trek, Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea on weekends

    6. All told, by dumping cable and swapping my incredibly bad and expensive satellite internet for a good high-speed connection, I figure to save at least $1,000/year. If I can work an acceptable bundle on phones, that could easily get to $2,000/year.

      That’s almost a month’s worth of scotch!

      1. That lump on the couch you cant get rid of? That’s gonna be me.

  28. I signed the petition to deport Piers Morgan, not because I actually think he should be deported (which has zero chance of happening), but because of I was so offended by the way he treated those he invited on his show to express their opinions regarding gun rights. If you don’t want to listen to their opinions, don’t invite them on your show. I have decided to never watch his show again based on his hateful remarks.

    Regarding the constitutionality of having him deported, when piers tweeted, “”Ironic U.S. gun rights campaign to deport me for ‘attacking 2nd Amendment rights’ ? is my opinion not protected under 1st Amendment rights?”, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto replied, “Your opinion is protected, your presence in the U.S. is not. See Kleindienst v. Mandel (1972).”

    Again, I’m not saying we should actually deport him over these particular comments, but I could imagine instance where we should deport non-citizens over what they say on national TV.

  29. Yes, there are Supreme Court cases saying a foreigner can be denied entry/deported for certain political views (generally communist and anarchist) – Mandel was a Marxist, though not a party-line Soviet type.

    But we don’t have to sink to the Supreme Court’s level – we can actually recognize the 1A rights of foreign citizens. It’s not as if the Court can force someone to get deported – their jurisprudence sets a floor for the other branches, not a ceiling.

  30. A Barton Hinkle Heimer Schmidt
    That’s my name too
    Whenever we go out
    The people always shout.
    There goes A Barton Hinkle Heimer Schmidt

    1. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na….

    2. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na….

  31. If Piers Morgan was a Ron Paul supporter and used his free speech to argued that the civil rights act should be repealed, the left wouldn’t have signed petitions to deport him. They would have ended his career instead.

    John Stossel is only safe because he moved to FOX news.

    1. No matter what happens, ever, by whom–liberals to blame.

      1. I don’t see a blame in XM’s post. All I see is a difference in tactics. The Left (Statists if you prefer) have a low-key method for silencing critics (particularly when they are in charge of things, as they are now.) It’s not about drumming them out… it’s about freezing them out.

        The Right (Conservatives if you prefer) drum the critics out. What Piers Morgan has done is try to get ratings. He knew what he said would make the “gun nuts” go looney. He is doing it for press, nothing more.

        If he honestly believes we have “crazy gun laws” then he is ignorant of his own country’s history (prior to the Nanny State bans of the late 90’s).

      2. Coming from a man whose entire world view could be summed up in the word “BOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”, kindly fuck yourself with a bowie knife.

      3. T o n y| 12.31.12 @ 4:57PM |#
        ‘No matter what happens, ever, shithead is a lying asshole’

        FIFY, shithead.

  32. I completely agree with the assessment of the liberal side in this article and completely disagree with the assessment of the Conservative side…which is funny, because usually I am calling for more fairness from the media. It turns out that it’s not ‘fairness’ I want from my media, rather fairness to my side only!

  33. mr. hinkle,
    infowars.com has claimed responsibility for starting the deport-piers-morgan petition. infowars.com has said that they do not believe that mr. morgan will in fact be deported, but that the purpose of the petition was to draw media coverage which highlights support for the 2nd amendment during a time when media coverage was expected to largely call for gun bans, etc. they have also begun a gun-free zone petition to advocate that the president and other “elites” live in gun-free zones which they advocate for the everyman. the point of the petition has been stated as attracting attention to the issues. mr. morgan’s speech, furthermore, has never been censored.

  34. If Morgan had used his 1st amedment rights to advocate for a return to Jim Crow I wonder how long his deportation would take?

    (I had a much better response written but the motherfucking squirrels ate it)

  35. The most surprising thing about this whole kerfuffle is that nobody started such a petition much, much sooner for the simple and undeniable fact that Piers Morgan is a total and complete cunt.

  36. Sorry, but calling for Piers Morgan’s deportation is not “a hostile attack againt the Constitution.” No one is calling for his arrest or advocating taking away his constitutional right to free expresion. But he is a guest in this country, and we have every right to expel any foreigner who is actually espousing violence against the Contitution. He is here purely on our sufferanc, on good behavior as it were. As with any rude guest, if he abuses our hospitality he has no cause to complain if he is asked to leave. And demanding that our government do so is every bit as much our First Amendment right (both of free expression and of petitioning the government for redress of grievances) as is his to express his views. He should simply do so from gun-free London.

    1. “we have every right to expel any foreigner who is actually espousing violence against the Contitution.”

      Which he has not; he’s simply one more lefty ignoramus.

  37. I’ve been enjoying Barton’s articles for some time now and this one confirms to me that he’s a bloomin’ genius. One of these days I’m going to take a day off and drive down to Richmond just to shake his hand.

  38. in their defense the petition does state that his free speech is protected, but due to the fact that he is not a U.S. citizen his presence in the united states is not [protected]. Anyway I would rather the public school system switch over to a privatized voucher system with democratic or sudbury schools.

  39. Political speech is what is protected, not video games, movies, or music unless of a political nature. 8mm is trash, gutter music, and grand theft auto…all trash, and all constitutionally not protected as free speech, unless you take activist judicial living breathing constitutional decisions to make them so You and your ilk claim constitutionality when convenient, but love the more fluid interpretations by the 20th century courts to basically have a no rules society, which defies the word society. Unless its a strong man wins all arguments kind of country, like in the old west period or frontier times. The truth is, most of the modern libertarians, while somewhat.persuasive, would have their asses handed to them in those climates. Your mostly dope fiends who wear tight pants like girls. Lol. Is that speech protected?

    1. Also, piers is not a u.s. citizen. Extension of our bill of rights is not guaranteed to him as it is to us. In Britain, they have no bill of rights. If you write something politically against what the government deems is in some way protected, you can be arrested. Also in Canada where mark steyn had to deal with a situation like that for insulting Islamists. A comedian was arrested for telling a lesbian joke there when a lesbian member the audience felt offended. True free speech we have, video games and utter trash is not worth fighting for, political dissent is.

  40. “But the First Amendment does not exempt British nationals, which means those signing the petition are also committing a hostile attack against the Constitution.”

    Very little thought went into this one.

    While it’s true the BoR applies to legal guests in this country, it does NOT confer upon them any “right” to remain a guest. If a European neo-nazi group was over here recruiting, would the First Amendment preclude our right to revoke their Visas? Of course not. We can’t tell them what to say while they are here. But we are within our rights to send them home.

    Most gun owners I know are not Patriot Act fans. So how does this author claim gun owner support for the Patriot Act? Well, both are commonly supported by evangelical protestants. Aha – the smoking gun! (pun intended).

    And stating that the Constitution and Bill or Rights pertains to prisoners of war on foreign soil is ridiculous. It doesn’t, and there is no evidence for such a stance. It’s whole the reason why we deal with foreign fighters abroad instead of bringing them here.

    Sure, some gun owners are less supportive of other Constitutional protections. But no more or less so than champions of any other cause – despite the ridiculous distortions presented here in a feeble attempt to prove otherwise.

  41. Yes, we need to do more to protect other rights, but the gun-banning leftists are on the wrong side of every issue due to their blind devotion to government. Just because we don’t fully live up to the Good, doesn’t mean any quarter should be given to the devotees of Evil.

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