Gun Rights

Your Right to Free Speech, Like My Right to Self-Defense, Isn't Open to Debate

Rallying to call for restrictive laws is a whole lot easier than getting people to submit to them.

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Today, some students, teachers, and other Americans who share their views are walking out of classes across the country to call for limits on the right of free assembly. Wait, strike that. They're walking out of classes to call for further restrictions on protections against unreasonable search and seizure. Nope, that's not it either. Wait, I have it: they're protesting for greater regulation of self-defense rights. Yup, there we go.

Of course, they're exercising their free speech rights in the process, and that's as it should be (although at least some of the kids have been conscripted into exercising somebody else's free speech rights by school officials who expect that their charges will adhere to officially endorsed positions). After all, the exercise of individual rights shouldn't be subject to popular opinion or debate.

Why shouldn't the exercise of individual rights be subject to popular opinion or debate? Well, that's a philosophical question. From my perspective, as well as that of many libertarians and classical liberals, individuals are sovereign beings free to do as they please so long as they don't cause each other actual harm. To the limited extent that government has any legitimacy, it can act only to prevent people from injuring one another—"the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others," as John Stuart Mill put it. The potential for injuring one another in the exercise of our liberty isn't enough to justify government action since that's inherent in just being alive and the having the ability to contemplate mischief.

That's not to say that everybody is bound to share my concept of what makes government legitimate or illegitimate. But these are the principles that guide me and other people who roughly share my point of view. We really don't consider our rights open to discussion. We don't consider anybody's rights open to discussion—not even when they're exercising some rights to call for limiting others.

Where this lands us is that even if today's protesters get their way and legislators vote to impose restrictions on gun ownership and self-defense, that doesn't mean that those of us who value those rights will change our conduct. Statutes aren't like the law of gravity—we get to choose whether we're going to abide by them, or else actively oppose them and sabotage their enforcement. The laws will mostly be obeyed by people who agree with them and disobeyed by people who are either specifically committed to self-defense rights or who more broadly believe that their liberty isn't open to challenge. I've argued elsewhere, only slightly jokingly, that tighter gun laws will leave libertarians better-armed than everybody else—because we're not very likely to pay them much attention.

The track record on disobeying such laws is very clear. Residents of Connecticut and New York defied requirements that they register their so-called "assault weapons." Gun owners in Colorado ignored mandates that they pass all their person-to-person sales through the background check system. Even the French and Germans flip the bird to laws that gun-haters can only dream of imposing in the United States, owning millions of illegal firearms that supporters of restrictions wish they didn't have.

Exercising your liberty in total contradiction to restrictive laws is a good thing, by the way. Nothing limits the power of the state like the outer boundaries of people's willingness to do what they're told. Even the military recognizes this, instructing officers not to give orders that won't be obeyed. People's unwillingness to submit is what made Prohibition fail, and it's what hobbled the similar ban on marijuana. Even taxes are dependent on people's willingness to pay, since there's always the option to work and do business off the books. "[T]he level of tax is one of the major drivers of shadow economic activity," Philip Booth of the Institute of Economic Affairs wrote in 2013. "If governments keep tax rates low, the shadow economy is likely to be smaller."

Not that every tax dodger, dope-smoker, and moonshine-sipper is explicitly referencing John Stuart Mill's harm principle when they scoff at government actions they find intrusive and oppressive. Most folks aren't especially interested in philosophy. But the constituents of political systems everywhere seem to instinctively place limits on what they're willing to tolerate from the powers-that-be. That's how we end up with surveys reporting that, even among people who are supposedly thrilled to be taxed to the hilt, "80 percent of all Danes interviewed for the 2010 study either had or would have engaged in the black market economy," and the World Health Organization found that "[t]he United States leads the world in rates of experimenting with marijuana and cocaine despite strict drug laws." That last datum is a big part of the reason marijuana laws are loosening, as the country gives up on restrictions that many Americans defy.

I don't begrudge today's protesters their right to voice their opinions, even as they call for restrictions on my own rights. Their rights to free speech and free assembly are, after all, among the rights that aren't subject to popular opinion or debate. I even wish them good weather and a pleasant experience.

But they need to be aware that, just as I would never try to impose limits on their liberty, I and people like me will never submit to the restrictions that they demand.

Enjoy the exercise of your rights.

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156 responses to “Your Right to Free Speech, Like My Right to Self-Defense, Isn't Open to Debate

  1. Perfection.

    1. The problem is, the kids of all the non-compliers will “do the right thing” and turn the weapons in.

      1. Words can be weapons too, particularly when they twist language and stir up controversy; and when certain recalcitrant individuals violate speech regulations designed to control inappropriate verbal offence and provocation, clearly they belong in jail. Surely no one here would dare to defend the “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in America’s leading criminal “satire” case? See the documentation at:

        https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      2. Not my kids! They are also non-compliers!

  2. Those kids are skipping class to get out of class and those kids need every second of education they can get.

    1. And maybe they will get some since they are out of school.

    2. If I was running things they’d get one hell of an education. Marked as an unexcused absence and they get zeroes for the day, which usually drops them one letter grade in all classes.

      1. If they know that you’ll do that and they still walk out, then you’ll know they are serious.

        After all. Dr. King went to jail for his protests. Civil disobedience isn’t pretty.

        1. “Dr.” King went to jail, to rob white Americans of their civil liberties.

          Democide isn’t pretty.

            1. What a pathetic character you are.

  3. If you’re out trying to take away my guns- fuck off slavers!

    1. Search for “80% lowers” online, and order yourself a couple. Find a friend to go in with you on the jigs. Non-violent civil disobedience.

  4. Lots of Tucille lately. Some sort of Reason Christmas.

  5. These kids are on a witch hunt against their autistic peers. Which of course will only exacerbate the violence. Why are they doing this? Because we solved all the problems and gave them the Garden of Eden but that’s not good enough. Turns out – that’s not what people want. They want to ‘solve’ problems even if they have to create them.

    I don’t think they’ll succeed in restricting gun rights. But fortunately Europe is hurtling towards new conflagrations (because they have no rights) and the ‘gun nuts’ and ‘crazies’ and “people who shouldn’t own firearms” will be sent over to save them.

  6. The last several weeks have been pretty discouraging from a rights point of view. Not just the Second Amendment, but piled on top of all the anti-free speech calls, it really wears at me, drags my spirit down.

    But I think it’s actually a good sign, in that things are coming to a boil. The statists are getting bolder, thinking less and less, emoting more and more. The changed-my-mind rape victims, the safe spaces and anti-fa black shirts, they make the news, but they are out of control. I remember when I worked on a manufacturing floor and learned what “out of control” means to engineers — these nuts are a fine example, eating their own, no sense of self or parody, and as much as the media pushes it, they don’t control it either. They aren’t a mass movement, just a noisy one.

    I believe the peak will be reached soon, in the next five or ten years, and those movements will collapse like a black hole. Every objective poll I have seen says the great majority of Americans want nothing to do with the anti-fa safe space crowd, and one of the strongest groups in favor of the Second Amendment is millenials.

    1. California has weird weather. It pretty much stops raining from April to November, and the roads collect a fine layer of grease and oil, waiting for that first rain storm to come loose and surprise the idiots. I remember one such day, three left turn lanes. I was in the right one, and a jacked up muscle car was in the middle lane, revving his engine, waiting for that green light. Apparently everyone else heard and saw him too, and knew exactly what was going to happen. Sure enough, light changed green, he jumped on it, spun out in the middle of the intersection, and absolutely no one else moved an inch. They had all been waiting for him to make a fool of himself. He crawled away so damned slow and caused no further problems.

      That’s what I feel like is going on here. The anti-fa safe space crowd is revving themselves without thinking, the rest of the country is patiently waiting, and once the anti-fa idiots have shot their wad, they will vanish like a fart when the elevator doors open, and the country will go on its way, almost as if nothing had happened.

      Florida may have gone backward on gun rights, but several other states are expanding them. I bet in five years, Florida will have rolled back more gun restrictions than it has added recently, grinning like that damn fool who farted in the elevator.

      1. When the minions of the Administrative State eventually kill some innocent people enforcing the gun laws, as they will inevitably do, let’s make sure that the advocates of those gun laws get called out, by name, as having “blood on their hands”. Last time around, the advocates of repressive gun laws got away scot-free after federal agents killed the wrong people. There’s no reason for those people to not have to live with the consequences of the laws they advocate in the cellphone camera and internet era.

    2. Yes, they’ll implode.
      Ultimately, this is what their spirits desire – not to be.
      Unfortunately, their egos are full of avarice and resentment – thus they desire that nothing be.
      We must deny them their attempt to drag us into their own annihilation.

    3. Tuccille does not define a right, but argues well in their care and maintenance. Tara Smith defines rights, but turned in a comparatively disappointing 2A performance in a discussion of judicial review. I am reminded of an identical situation in the 1980s. Americans were supposed to abandon nuclear weapons and surrender to the Soviet Union. Those who advanced this argument never mentioned the nuclear weapons the Soviet dictatorship had pointed at These States. Today’s disarmament movement is exactly as socialistic (just look up the surviving Freeze and Surrender advocates), and never for one minute mentions that fifty or sixty black kids, potheads or pedestrians listening to headphones shot by cops, federal agents, SWAT gangs… are every bit as dead from aggressive gunfire as so many students shot by their brainwashed classmates in a gun-free zone.

  7. The best way to attack gun control is the fact the rules do not apply to everyone – like the police and military, etc

    Wait for the other side to claim they need guns to DEFEND us – then they started an argument you can support!

    1. I’ve always said, “You want only the cops to have guns? Good luck getting the BlackLivesMatter folks to agree with you.”

  8. How about we replace gun permits and concealed carry permits and all the other infringements of the second amendment with a single, equal rights for all “bill of rights” permit? No fees, but a full background check, a voluntary DNA sample to be entered into a federal database, and a sworn statement to never wear a mask or use anything other than your true name as an online identifier. The permit would be a metal card with a photograph and a unique identifier. And you cannot vote with out that permit. How far would that fly?
    Why are people so willing to attack one tenth of the bill of rights? Of course, the answer may be in the fact that now they are beginning to attack the first amendment as well. Any chance at all these folks want a dictatorship to replace our republic?

    1. “Why are people so willing to attack one tenth of the bill of rights?”

      Because people are selfish. There are basically 2 sides to any debate about rights. Those who defend the right because they exercise it and see the need, and those who want to get rid of the right because they don’t exercise it. With the latter group, emotion is generally involved (2A leads to children dying, 4A leads to unchecked terrorism, gay marriage goes against God, etc)

      In the case of guns, there just happens to be a more equal split in people who believe in the right and those who don’t. 1A rights are pretty much universally supported. 4A rights are pretty much universally rejected because people would rather feel “safe”.

      So 2A rises to the top in public discourse because it is so emotionally charged with roughly equal support for both sides of the debate.

      1. “1A rights are pretty much universally supported. ”

        Citizens United would like a word.

  9. ” (although at least some of the kids have been conscripted into exercising somebody else’s free speech rights by school officials who expect that their charges will adhere to officially endorsed positions).”

    Bingo.

    You can bet that if tomorrow a handful of students decided that they were going to walk out of class in defense of 2nd Amendment rights, the school officials would deny their right to do so.

    1. I had written an email in response to my son’s principal’s email to parents about ‘allowing’ my son to participate in a walkout today with no repercussions. I wanted to ask if the students that supported the 2nd amendment (my son being one of them) would be extended the same courtesy.

      I didn’t send the email because my son’s school only supports a small set of approved diverse viewpoints, and being anti-government isn’t one of them.

      The only bright side I see for his schooling is that he told me the other day that his fellow AP history students have decided it’s a ‘meme’ that every civilization ends in either it’s government collapsing or turning on the citizenry.

      1. Keeping your kid in a school like that could be considered to be child abuse.

      2. I got that email in Prince William county. Pissed me off that the school system was unofficially endorsing the walkout and the gun control position. Thankfully my daughter is in elementary school and therefore wasn’t eligible to be involved. There is a lot of unlearning that has to happen after school and it is frustrating knowing there is much more bs that simply isn’t brought to my attention.

    2. What about a group of students that wanted to “walk out”, just once around the block, to support ALL ten amendments. Maybe a parade with ten hand-held “float” billboards?

      I wonder if that would even be allowed at some schools.

  10. Statutes aren’t like the law of gravity?we get to choose whether we’re going to abide by them, or else actively oppose them and sabotage their enforcement.

    Tuccille is literally a virtual flat-earther!

  11. Everything’s up for debate, fascist.

    1. Let’s have a debate on whether you should be summarily executed this afternoon at 3:00 PM eastern time.

      1. LOL.

      2. Tony? Are you even going to show up to the debate?

      3. Ha ! You win.

      4. It’s important to have a debate on which method of execution, after all.

        Personally, I’m a fan of a catapult that hurls Tony at full force into a brick wall.

    2. “Everything’s up for debate, fascist.”

      Climate change?

    3. Tony|3.14.18 @ 9:14AM|#
      “Everything’s up for debate, fascist.”

      Resolved: Tony disagrees with gravity.

  12. “From my perspective, as well as that of many libertarians and classical liberals, individuals are sovereign beings free to do as they please so long as they don’t cause each other actual harm.” This is precisely why reasonable limits on the sale of firearms is Constitutional and fair even by Libertarian standards. Otherwise, you are advocating Anarchy not Libertarianism.

    1. Who is the victim in the sale of a firearm?

      1. He can’t answer that question.

        1. the question never even occurred to him.

    2. “Otherwise, you are advocating Anarchy not Libertarianism.”

      Is it a requirement of the left that you must confuse an assertion with an argument?
      Or is the required stupidity just general in nature?

      1. From my perspective…

        He clearly defines this as his opinion (an assertion.) You seem to be the one confusing this with an argument and not the original commenter.

        1. He is stating what I posted as an assertion; his ‘perspective’ is the argument leading to that.
          You seem to be confused.

  13. To be fair, they likely don’t believe in your free speech right to defend your self-defense rights. The current conception of free speech by the young contains more exceptions than a cheese cloth has holes.

    1. Or a straw man has straws!

      1. No damn straws in California!

  14. they’re exercising their free speech rights in the process

    They’re actually causing a disruption in the school. They go to school, ostensibly, to be educated, not to stage political protest.

    Why shouldn’t the exercise of individual rights be subject to popular opinion or debate?

    Because then they would not be rights.

    I don’t begrudge today’s protesters their right to voice their opinions

    I do. They are school students in school on the taxpayers dime. They should be in class, not engaging in political protest.

    1. Yup. The can now compensate the taxpayers for their expense.

  15. Progressives: Saying “under God” in the national anthem is an endorsement of religion in schools and we cannot have it!
    Also Progressives: We endorse kids walking out of schools in support of our political policy preferences and having it covered by the media.

    This stunt is setting a very bad precedent. Politics should not be forced down kids throats by ideologically possessed teachers.

    1. ideologically possessed teachers

      Case in point, my gf’s mother who, apparently, was “somber” with her students the day after the last presidential election. I kept my mouth shut when she said that (and rolled my eyes on the inside), but I thought “you really should be keeping your politics to yourself and reference the gov’t and elected officials in as objective a manner as possible. And you certainly should not be teaching children to get so emotionally attached to elections. It’s unhealthy.”, never mind the unnecessary fear mongering aspect.

    2. Progressives: Saying “under God” was added in the 1950s in order to disenfranchise atheists by endorsing theism. Saying “under God” in a government institution is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. [Wikipedia]

      Also Progressives: We endorse civil disobedience as a valid form of free speech.

      What makes you think the school walkouts are being “forced” by teachers? It doesn’t occur to you that students might be organizing this themselves? I don’t think you give them enough credit.

      1. It doesn’t occur to you that students might be organizing this themselves? I don’t think you give them enough credit.

        I give credit to those who provided all the money, organization, and direction. Hint: it was not the students.

      2. “What makes you think the school walkouts are being “forced” by teachers? It doesn’t occur to you that students might be organizing this themselves? I don’t think you give them enough credit.”

        You are really that fucking stupid, aren’t you?
        “Women’s March organizers are planning a national student walkout to protest gun violence”
        No, I’m not going to give you a link, asshole. Ignoramuses like you ought to do your own homework.
        Oh, and fuck off.

  16. I don’t begrudge today’s protesters their right to voice their opinions, even as they call for restrictions on my own rights. Their rights to free speech and free assembly are, after all, among the rights that aren’t subject to popular opinion or debate. I even wish them good weather and a pleasant experience.

    Unfortunately, your rational, mature and constructive position doesn’t resonate with those of the growing trend of musing about limiting others’ rights and obsessing about what others do in their own lives.

    Good piece.

    1. Except our free speech and assembly rights have been up for debate so this is just a fallacy the author cooks up to try and sound like more of a victim. Remember “free speech zones” during the Bush II presidency? People could only protest him at a distance and around the corner where it was inconvenient for the media to cover. A citizen’s right to not be searched or have their belongings seized by the government without a warrant is violated daily at US border crossings as phones and computers are taken and imaged for government snooping. We take away people’s right to vote if they have a felony or if they have the same name of a felon (see: Florida voter purges.) And, of course, the elephant in the room: the Second Amendment says “arms” but we limit the arms you’re allowed to own already so it’s not like we aren’t already drawing lines about what sort of weapon one can own; this is just us having a conversation about whether we need to include semi-automatic rifles on the banned list or not.

      The author doesn’t provide anything useful to the conversation but rather adds spin and rehashes a few old slogans and talking-points.

      1. “The author doesn’t provide anything useful to the conversation but rather adds spin and rehashes a few old slogans and talking-points.’
        You, in turn, offer fallacies, and anecdotes regarding the state’s current infringements of our rights as justification for more of the same.
        Are you a fool or a knave?

      2. The fact that the state regularly violates our rights does not render the author’s defense of them moot. If you’d ever actually read Reason Magazine, as opposed to just showing up to troll, you’d know that your litany of violations and many more, are regularly opposed in these pages. I don’t even own a gun but I’d sure hate to see assholes like you deprive me of that right if I decide I need one for self defense. Live and let live, motherfucker.

  17. The problem is they do not recognize the right of self defense which the founders considered a natural right. They have been indoctrinated into thinking that guns are the issue, not the people using them. All gun owners, good and bad, are painted with the same brush. If you own a gun, you have some inherent character flaw and are potentially dangerous.

    1. Nice straw man!

      Some of the people calling for common sense gun regulations are gun owners too. Crazy, huh?

      If the people using guns are the issue, then you should have no qualms with universal background checks, registration, and restraining orders that let police remove guns from people who are a risk. Right? These measures, which the NRA fights tooth-and-nail, are all aimed at making sure the wrong people are less likely to get guns.

      If you are a dangerous person and you own a semi-automatic rifle with a 100 round magazine, you’re even more dangerous. That’s the whole point of the current controversy. The NRA believes we shouldn’t take measures to ensure only good people get guns and they believe we shouldn’t take measures to ensure the guns widely available aren’t as useful for mass shootings. So it boils down to being told we have to let bad people get the worst available weapons and hope for the best. People are tired of hearing that.

      I was thinking the only thing that would get enough Americans behind some sort of gun control measure would be images of American Muslims buying semi-automatic rifles. (The last time we regulated these weapons it was images of Black Power supporters with rifles.) But here we are with a bunch of high school kids getting the job done. Amazing.

      1. That is because the second amendment is not just about self defense. The second amendment was passed to be sure that the citizens could at any time come together with their own weapons and form military units. So the type of sporting rifles referred to as assault weapons (an nonsense term) are actually the exact thing the second amendment is there for.
        Repeal it or obey it. “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”.

      2. So much bullshit in such a small pasckage!

        “Some of the people calling for common sense gun regulations are gun owners too. Crazy, huh?”
        Irrelevant.

        “If the people using guns are the issue, then you should have no qualms with universal background checks, registration, and restraining orders that let police remove guns from people who are a risk. Right? These measures, which the NRA fights tooth-and-nail, are all aimed at making sure the wrong people are less likely to get guns.”
        Yes, “aimed at”, and don’t work.

        “If you are a dangerous person and you own a semi-automatic rifle with a 100 round magazine, you’re even more dangerous. That’s the whole point of the current controversy. The NRA believes we shouldn’t take measures to ensure only good people get guns and they believe we shouldn’t take measures to ensure the guns widely available aren’t as useful for mass shootings. So it boils down to being told we have to let bad people get the worst available weapons and hope for the best. People are tired of hearing that.”
        Strawman alert!
        No, it boils down to accepting that A-2 is what it says it is, and that we’ve yet to find a way to prevent some forms of violence.

        1. cont’d:
          “I was thinking the only thing that would get enough Americans behind some sort of gun control measure would be images of American Muslims buying semi-automatic rifles. (The last time we regulated these weapons it was images of Black Power supporters with rifles.) But here we are with a bunch of high school kids getting the job done. Amazing.”
          I was thinking you’re an imbecile.
          Fuck off.

  18. Thank you for this excellent article.

    1. It’s not excellent. It’s full of spin and inaccuracies. It doesn’t move the conversation forward one iota.

      1. shawn_dude|3.14.18 @ 6:19PM|#
        “It’s not excellent. It’s full of spin and inaccuracies. It doesn’t move the conversation forward one iota.”

        It is excellent and no, it does not ‘move the conversation’ in the direction assholes like you want.
        Which makes it better yet.

  19. Your right to free speech isn’t open to debate? Isn’t that a strange loop?

    1. Free speech is very open to debate. Just like the second amendment ‘whackos’ have been saying for decades; first they will remover the second amendment, then the first amendment, then the rest.
      If you don’t think so, go onto any campus in the country and chant “make America great again” 100 times.

  20. Mr. Tuccille’s gun absolutism seems destined to be counterproductive, but he seems to lack the ability to recognize this.

    In other words, a typical gun nut.

    1. In other words you are a typical pseudo intellectual bluffer with nothing to back it up.

    2. Fuck off, slaver.

    3. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|3.14.18 @ 12:43PM|#
      “In other words, a typical gun nut.”

      From a typical lefty ignoramus.

    4. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland = fuck off asshole

    5. Kirkland-bot’s sanctimony seems destined to be counterproductive, but it seems to lack the ability to recognize this.

      In other words, a typical leftist asswipe.

    6. Rev. Arthur Kirkland
      Is that anything like a typical god nut?
      Or are you playing an Al Pacino social justice warrior movie character?

  21. I have no problem with the students walking out in protest. However, the consequences need to be the same as if they walked out because it was a nice sunny day–an unexcused absence or a writeup for cutting class.

    1. Sadly, I suspect in most cases their teaches will give them an (fully) automatic A for the semester.

    2. Some schools were threatening a 3-day suspension, which is far out of balance. The suspension threat could harm college applications, which is the real issue there. It got so bad that universities started making statements about how they’d look at the nature of the suspension and not ding kids who were punished for a walk-out.

      And, I agree, civil disobedience requires that participants willingly accept the consequences.

  22. Some people seem to think the right to free speech is open to debate.

    A pretty clear demonstration why I think legal “scholars” are a clear and present danger to the rule of law.

    1. Free speech can’t be progressive because progressives are totalitarians in training.

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  24. I’m OK with this. These kids probably learned more about civics in the past week than most kids learn over their entire schooling.

    1. What they learned is how to subvert the electoral process, and disrespect for the constitution.

      1. Yeah, I doubt A-2 was ever discussed in other than a mocking fashion.

  25. Apparently, my uncle pulled my cousin out of class shortly before the scheduled walk-out and took her to the shooting range, to protest this and the overwhelming left-wing bias in schools.

    1. Thumbs up to both your uncle and your username.

  26. This is just OWS situation all over again – liberal cities and schools making exemptions for their own kind for political purposes. Some OWS kids assembled on city property with zero permit. The local government coddled them until the very end when they overstayed their welcome and forcible eviction was the only option left.

    Sanctuary cities are arguably illegal. How can a state prevent local police officers from voluntarily cooperating with ICE? They can’t even tell them that some illegals are about to be released? Why do some people who broke the law deserve this level of protection over others?

    If I can’t walk out of schools to protest bullying, crappy teachers or boredom without facing consequence, then the same should apply to these kids who walked out to protest the constitution. And these future college snowflakes aren’t interested in any debates. They’ll likely disrupt someone else’s free speech on stage if it suits their purpose.

    1. Dunno… maybe some laws are more equal than others, comrade?

    2. Sanctuary cities are arguably illegal.” Nope. USSC already said “nope” too. So nope. The federal government cannot use state and local resources (including personnel) to perform federal police duties if the locals would rather spend those resources elsewhere.

  27. Ridiculous. There are limits on freedom of speech ? you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater. There are limits to the right to own a gun ? you cannot purchase a machine gun (except in an extremely special, very limited circumstance). Nonsense.

    1. “Ridiculous”. Bout sums you up , troll. Fuck off and go blow artie poo.

    2. “Ridiculous. There are limits on freedom of speech ? you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater.”

      Sure you can! If there is a fire in the theater you’re damn right somebody better yell “fire”. Plus, if I’m sitting there enjoying my bucket of popma?z and some crazy person comes running in yelling fire I sure as hell would not make the situation worse by freaking out and trampling over people. Yet a grip why don’t you!

    3. You (theoretically) cannot FALSELY yell fire in a crowded theater.
      However, you do not have to get a permit from the local sheriff, involving fingerprinting, background checks, and a bunch of bucks before you can say, in a calm voice, ‘my, this is a fine film”.

      Actually, you CAN falsely yell fire in a crowded theater, and are subject to legal sanctions only AFTER that has occurred, and been found to have been done deliberately.

  28. I personally am more sympathetic to the Jump Against Trump movement, except for the hazard it poses to pedestrians below. But these carefully conditioned Bund Amerikaner Arbeiterjugend do not sacrifice themselves for the Common Good (Gemeinnutz). Rather, they seek Kristallnacht gun laws to make it easier for “their” Political State to wipe out selfish individualists so they can then elbow in for the spoils. It’s a good thing constitutional amendments are harder for spoiler votes to mobilize than they were in 1913. Then again, in 1913 nobody had ever witnessed the consequences of socialist monopolies on deadly force in Russia, Germany, China, Cambodia, North Korea, East Germany. Every move toward such a thing brings shootings it takes earth-moving equipment to clean up after–as exhibited in movie theaters in Occupied Germany.

  29. free speech is a constitutional right.
    self defense is a common law right.

    1. Isn’t self defense the most basic, basic right because without it there are no other rights only privledges handed down?

    2. Keeping and bearing arms is a constitutional right.
      Free speech is (also) a God given right, designated in our constitution for protection by the federal government.

  30. free speech is a constitutional right.
    self defense is a common law right.

    1. “free speech is a constitutional right.
      self defense is a common law right.”

      They are both natural rights, among those enumerated in the Constitution.

  31. they’re protesting for greater regulation of self-defense rights.” This is an interesting spin (and spin it is) considering the right in question is this:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    The right, as written, talks about the security of the state not individuals. It also includes “well regulated,” which people seem to ignore.

    But let’s assume, for the moment, that personal ownership of “arms” for “self defense” is the actual right described here. The “regulation” being asked for, generally, involves background checks, registration, and a means to temporarily remove weapons from someone who, through due process, is deemed a risk. None of these interfere with self defense.

    The entire “self defense” spin is nothing but fear-mongering and doesn’t advance the conversation nor attempt to understand the arguments being made.

    1. Ok, your point is well taken.

      How about this:

      The “state” doesn’t exist, as in can be touched, it is a made up entity for the use, protection and pleasure of the people; that is existing entities that have actual living skin in the “game”. And the people “secure” the state from corruption from outside non-normative forces with forces that they might muster of their own.

      “Well regulated” refers to the idea that the people’s right to bear arms means little or nothing if outside forces can disrupt their use and right to assembly.

      I’ve come to believe that I want to start every conversation about politics and culture with a discussion of what form and amount of human agency do you generally assign people.
      I argue that the Founding Fathers assigned a very high degree of human agency throughout the Constitution.

      What level of human agency do you generally assign people?

    2. “The right, as written, talks about the security of the state not individuals. It also includes “well regulated,” which people seem to ignore.”

      One more statist trying to square the circle.
      Your statement is irrelevant. The Constitution does not grant rights, it prevents the gov’t from infringing on those rights.
      Since gov’ts had a habit of infringing on some more than others, those got listed as the enumerated rights, regardless of any ‘justification’.
      Did you fail ‘Civics, or are you just hoping you might find a way to ban guns?

    3. “A well-educated electorate , being necessary to self-governance in a free State, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.”

      Only registered voters (that is, members of the electorate) , would have the right to read according to currently popular Progressive Second Amendment logic.

      Randy Barnett
      His quote would look great on a t-shirt

    4. Actually, at the time “well regulated” meant well trained; as in you have the right to buy lots of ammunition for target practice. And the security of the state is guaranteed by the ability of the individual citizens to voluntarily show up with their own arms and form militia units to defend the state and/or nation. (At no time was any form of background check discussed.) The key, for the founders of the nation, was the volunteer aspect of the militia. The governor can call out the militia, but the militia does not HAVE to respond. The members agree among themselves who will lead them, and in what areas or for what time they will volunteer to be under the regular Army command.
      Sort of what we meant in the sixties by the poster “suppose they gave a war and nobody came?”

    5. The right, as written, talks about the security of the state not individuals.

      You fail at reading comprehension. It explicitly talks about a right of “the people,” i.e. individual citizens. The argument you’re making is so preposterously stupid that it was unanimously rejected by SCOTUS in Heller: even the dissenting justices agreed that the 2A guarantees an individual right.

      It also includes “well regulated,” which people seem to ignore.

      Because it’s irrelevant. For one thing, in the eighteenth century the term “well-regulated” meant “properly functioning,” not “micromanaged by government.” For another, in the 2A the term modifies “militia,” not “arms” or “people”.

      The “regulation” being asked for, generally, involves background checks

      Which already exist.

      registration

      Which serves no useful purpose.

      and a means to temporarily remove weapons from someone who, through due processon the flimsiest of pretexts, is deemed a risk.

      FTFY.

    6. Before the Civil War, in Dred Scott, the Supreme Court said that “if blacks were citizens they would have the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went”.

      In Cruishank (1876) the SC said that the 2A protected a right “that existed BEFORE the adoption of the Constitution” and “doesn’t depend on [the 2A] for its existence”, and that the 2A protects that right from Federal infringement.

      Note that in Cruishank the word militia doesn’t appear in the decision except when quoting the amendment.

      So, no, the 2A is about 2 things, the IDEA that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state AND the individual right.

      The 2 are related, but only 1 depends on the other. I think you can figure out which one that is.

  32. Thanks J.D. A very articulate and readable defense of classical liberalism. I wouldn’t change a word. If Gary Johnson had half your writing skills and a quarter of your principles the big Ls might have been contenders in ’16.

  33. It seems that all rights are open to debate.
    Welcome to the revolution.

  34. Posted over in the Drug Offenders thread, but relevant here:

    OT, AMAZING!

    “Some students honor Parkland victims, but not calls for gun control”
    […]
    “Daniel Reales, left, and Diego Anderson attend a rally at El Cerrito High School on Wednesday. Both say they oppose high gun control but came to honor the victims who died in last month’s school shooting in Florida.”
    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/
    Some-students-honor-Parkland-
    victims-but-not-12753284.php

    Balls.

  35. 30 years ago all these weapons existed…including the AR-15….30 years later we have mass school shootings.

    The only difference? These killers were not alive 30 years ago, just like these protesters.

  36. Is that why the NRA pushed through a law in Florida forbidding doctors from asking their patients about guns?

    1. “Is that why the NRA pushed through a law in Florida forbidding doctors from asking their patients about guns?”

      If the NRA didn’t do it, I’d hope someone else did.
      Why should a doctor know anything about my guns or lack thereof?
      I’ll bet you have some cockamamie ‘reasoning’ here and it’s worth a laugh to hear it.

  37. Yeah, I remember walk-outs in the ’70…good fun. Anything to get out of class & create a scene. I don’t remember any of them in support of Satanism but I’m sure we would have walked out just the same if somebody would have organized it.

  38. Thank you J.D., and my belated condolences for a year ago.
    Your dad’s book was important to my journey years ago, and it’s good to read you now.

    1. “Your dad’s book was important to my journey years ago, and it’s good to read you now.”
      His dad’s book is there on the “world history” shelf along with Judt, McNeil and others; that’s the history of the world.

  39. Guns ae disgusting. People who love guns are disgusting. In civilized countries even conservatives ask, “Why would anyone want to own a gun?”

  40. I am still waiting for someone to challenge the less than intellectuals to sign pledges that they will NEVER own firearms of any sort. Additionally agreeing to pay a $10,000 fine should they ever be found in possession of a firearm.

    Of course they would need to be recorded publically and registered with the NICS database. . .

    I bet the little bastards would back off of their demands in short order.

  41. Divide and conquer satan’s Goddamn jew filth by attacking their satanic belief system:
    Judas-ism, the “religion” of jews, is, literally, a satanic mind-control cult.
    99% of jews march in lock step to satan’s zionist jew dictate.
    Any person (i.e., the jews) who takes the talmud as their holy book has been utterly brainwashed by PURE EVIL.

    WHY does he, the jew, make this choice, to be a jew, to be the enemy of all humanity?

    Jews CHOOSE to be the ENEMY of US, the non-jew.

    It’s EXPLICITLY stated over and over in their “holiest book,” the talmud.
    See talmud quotes here:
    http://rense.com/general86/talmd.htm.
    https://stopcg.wordpress.com/
    the-talmud-and-the-jew-world-order/
    THESE ARE THE TEACHINGS OF SATAN.

    WHY, WHY, WHY would ANYONE want to have ANY association with this so-called religion of jews, this filthy judas-ism, this in-your-face PURE EVIL? WHY? It’s a satanic mind-control cult.
    WHY jew? Why do you CHOOSE to be a Goddamn jew?!!!
    WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?
    https://www.henrymakow.com/2018/01/
    what-being-jewish-really-means.html
    https://www.henrymakow.com/
    jews_a_religion_not_a_nationra.html
    https://www.henrymakow.com/
    lucifers_chosen_people.html
    https://www.henrymakow.com/2017/12/
    chabad-trump-family-cult.html
    https://profhugodegaris.files.wordpress.com/
    2011/04/learning-to-hate-the-me-jews.pdf

  42. “The Penn Law chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild, a progressive legal organization, said that Wax’s comments were ‘an explicit and implicit endorsement of white supremacy,’ and asserted that ‘her bigoted views inevitably seep into her words and actions in the classroom and in private conversations with students.'”

    The National Lawyers’ Guild has been a Communist front for its entire, 80-year existence. Communists’ standard position today is genocidal racism.

  43. My right to bear arms does not stop at my front door. Just like my right to speak uncensored, it goes with me everywhere.

  44. High school kids would walk out in support of putting Mountain Dew in the drinking fountains if they could get out of going to class.

  45. I am calling for a nationwide one hour walkout on Good Friday for all to call for a national holiday for Christians and gays who celebrate Passover. What’r the odds an exercise of the First amendment right to advocate for the free exercise of religion on a Christian religion holiday is going to fly?

  46. If we can all agree that:
    1. Self defense against any unlawful attack is a basic human right.
    2. That as a basic human right, self defense is and should always be considered a Civil Right of the People and thus the exercise of that right must be immune from restriction, infringement, licensing or taxation by Government at any level.
    3. That the Civil Rights of the People are not subject to the approval of the Majority Opinion and belong to every Individual regardless of their social status.
    4. That any infringement, restriction, licensing requirements or taxation levied on the free exercise of a Civil Right is a violation of that right.
    5. That any law, policy or rule that prohibits or discourages the free exercise of any Civil Right is an infringement on that right.
    6. That if a law, policy or rule that prohibits or discourages a Citizen from legally acquiring the tools, weapons or means to freely exercise their Civil Rights, then their rights have been infringed.
    -Then it follows that those who advocate for the preservation of the right of the People to keep and bear arms are, in fact, Civil Rights advocates. It also follows that those who oppose the right of the People to keep and bear arms are against the People’s civil rights.
    We have a word for people who advocate for or try to use the force of law to infringe on the civil rights of others: we call them Bigots. ?

  47. Great article. Especially since it recognizes that the right to defend yourself from physical attack is fundamental – which gave rise to the 2nd Amendment.

    This suggests a major improvement – wider usage of the term “right to defend yourself from attack” rather than “obey the 2nd Amendment”. In the wonderful TED explanation of the most effective method to persuade someone to a different point of view:

    1 – tell them WHY it would benefit them, next

    2 – explain HOW it would do so, and last

    3 – tell them WHAT you’re suggesting would give them these benefits

    http://www.ted.com/talks/simon…..n#t-141293

    The order is crucial, and the ongoing battle about WHAT – protecting the 2nd Amendment, the focus on WHAT rather than WHY – explains why so many people don’t understand in the value of guns, although many if not most people presumably believe in the right to defend themselves.

  48. In the world premised by the views this OP expresses, rights are never in conflict. Plus which, Tucille says again and again that he would never advocate taking away anyone else’s rights?in the midst of an argument which again and again suggests frustration, nullification, or forcible resistance to the right of self-government. Apparently, Tucille doesn’t agree that particular right even exists. It doesn’t dawn on Tucille that among his opponents are folks like him, who also disagree on which rights do and do not exist, except they argue against rights Tucille cherishes.

    You can’t have a productive debate with someone who denies the topical points are even in controversy. As Franklin noted, invocations of rights operate as attempts to shut down reasoned debate?a point Tucille seems to grasp, but without an iota of imagination for its implications for his own preferred point of view.

    The OP amounts to a demand that opponents of what he thinks of as his gun rights just shut up?delivered surrounded by heedless, smarmy and hypocritical assurances that he respects rights of others?while he says outright he would oppose those with force.

  49. These kids are pussies. I refused to walk out during the dumb walk outs for the Iraq war, even though I was against it even at the time, just because it was a bunch of dirty liberal hippie douche bags organizing it. I hope lots of kids did that for this crap too, since this is actually against something worthy of supporting.

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