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Free Minds & Free Markets

Maybe It's Time for Gun Owners and Muslim Advocates to Join Hands

What do gun bans and travel bans have in common?

This is just a wild guess, but the folks at the National Rifle Association and the folks at the Council on American-Islamic Relations probably don't sit around thinking about ways they can collaborate for the good of their mutual interests. Maybe they should.

Last week law-enforcement officials charged almost two dozen Virginians who allegedly took part in a gun-running ring. The accused bought boatloads of firearms in Virginia and sold them in New York City for exorbitant sums. The tough gun-control laws in New York have made gun-running very profitable, and the repeal of Virginia's one-gun-a-month law four years ago has made it very easy.

Naturally, this has inspired gun-control advocates to suggest the law should be reinstated. The General Assembly passed the law largely to dry up the "iron pipeline" between Virginia and New York, and while it was in effect it seemed to work as intended, at least in the early years. With the law repealed, gun-runners seem to have gotten back into business, and one was recorded making light of Virginia's ostensibly lax gun laws: "There's no limit to how many guns I can go buy from the store," Antwan Walker said. "In Virginia, our laws are so little, I can give guns away."

A few things about the story bear noting: Two of the ringleaders are violent convicts. Some of the bulk firearm sales were effected through straw purchases, which are illegal. And shipping the guns up to New York also is illegal. That is, after all, why authorities were able to bring charges in the first place.

This should chasten gun-control advocates, since it shows that the system works: Guns were seized and bad guys charged, and a successful operation makes an odd basis on which to build a case for even more restrictions. But the outcome also should chasten gun-control opponents, since laws against gun-running and straw purchases are part of gun control. Not every attempt at gun control is an abject failure.

Yet a bigger point needs drawing out. The trouble with the one-gun-a-month law is that it truncates the rights of all Virginians, in order to thwart the designs of a minuscule minority who want to run guns to New York. To the ordinary gun owner in Virginia, who follows the law and leaves other people alone unless they mess with him first, it must seem brutally unfair to restrict his right to keep and bear arms because of something somebody else did, or might do in the future.

And this is precisely how the Trump administration's assaults on Muslims must seem to persons of the Islamic faith. The vast majority of them pose no threat to anyone, and never will. Hence President Trump's campaign talk of a ban on Muslims and his administration's restrictions on travel from certain Islamic countries seem brutally unfair as well.

Not only that, they seem ineffective. Of the 10 fatal terrorist attacks linked to Islamic radicalism that have occurred on U.S. soil since (and including) 9/11, not one of them would have been thwarted by the sort of ban that Trump imposed and will impose again, in slightly altered form, on Thursday.

Defenders of the travel ban probably would reply that the ban might prevent such attacks in the future. This is how advocates of gun control support their position, too: Everybody is a peaceful, law-abiding citizen—right up until the moment he commits a violent crime. And since we can't predict with perfect accuracy who will commit a crime at some point in the indeterminate future, the best answer is to place restrictions on everybody.

Hence, one can build a utilitarian case for policies like one-gun-a-month and the Trump travel ban: Yes, they inconvenience a certain number of people, but the inconvenience of all those people in the aggregate still does not outweigh the ghastly horror of a rampage killing or a terrorist attack. Better safe than sorry.

Utilitarianism is great when you're trying to plan bus routes. But it is incompatible with America's regard for individual rights: You can't restrict the liberties of someone who has done nothing wrong because of what some other person did in the past—or theoretically might do in the future. Which is why maybe the NRA and CAIR should talk. Because that principle protects both the gun owner and the person of faith alike.

And every other one of us, too.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  • kbolino||

    Gun-running is a crime now? I must have missed all the BATFE agents getting prosecuted for running guns to Mexico.

  • DanO.||

    Awesome sarcasm. The tops!

  • kbolino||

    Thought provoking and insightful as always.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    Haha yeah man you two should do comedy together

  • Zeb||

    Awesome sarcasm. The tops!

    Awesome sarcasm. The tops!

  • American Memer||

    Awesome sarcasm. The tops!

  • DanO.||

    I know, right?!

  • Hugh Akston||

    That was gun-walking. Totally different thing.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This is just a wild guess, but the folks at the National Rifle Association and the folks at the Council on American-Islamic Relations probably don't sit around thinking about ways they can collaborate for the good of their mutual interests. Maybe they should.

    Well, they are all going to end up on the same no-fly list.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    and deservedly so

  • kbolino||

    I don't think the NRA and CAIR have much in common, unless the former has added "running interference for Hamas" as one of part of its mission statement.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Wow, now Reason is deliberately conflating something that is a constitutional right with something that isn't a constitutional right (and never was) in order to once again try to make the argument that nobody should ever be denied entry to the United States for any reason whatsoever without having the balls to just come out and say so directly.

  • ||

    Also, killing people because religious/political ideology = selling stuff in (artificially-induced) desirable markets.

    Reason really is walking the self-parody line with this one.

  • Zeb||

    killing people because religious/political ideology = selling stuff in (artificially-induced) desirable markets

    While that is undoubtedly a true statement, I'm not sure how it's relevant.

  • ||

    While that is undoubtedly a true statement, I'm not sure how it's relevant.

    It's the equivocation being made and it requires stolen bases on one hand or the other. Assuming it's explicitly about guns, it absurdly elevates an artifact to an ideology. If the guns are assumed to be incidental (these convicts could've just as easily been smuggling weed or prescription drugs) It gets more absurd in the notion that free trade/capitalism are equivalent or should be wedded or teamed up with free immigration/Islam.

    It's an apples to angels comparison. We occasionally let rotten fruit into the country but that doesn't mean we shouldn't let *any* fruit into the country. Also, angels bring good news but sometimes they carry out evil wishes or bring bad news, but that doesn't mean we should ban people who believe in angels. The angel people and the fruit people ought to get together to make sure people don't judge their current actions services beliefs products whatever it is they have in common incorrectly.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    ruh-roh. Gun nuts are frothing.

  • junyo||

    Yeah collectivism! Boo cosmotarians!

    Surely, allowing that the state can act against me because other people who share some demographic resemblance to me have done stupid shit can't possibly have negative consequences!

  • Zeb||

    Well, one syndicated columnist is.

  • Nuwanda||

    Wow, now Reason is deliberately conflating something that is a constitutional right with something that isn't a constitutional right (and never was) in order to once again try to make the argument that nobody should ever be denied entry to the United States for any reason whatsoever without having the balls to just come out and say so directly.

    Yep. This is where theory breaks down upon meeting reality. A bit like folks who think you can play your music loud at 3am because to be required to turn it down would be a violation of your property rights.

    Gunrunners moving a few guns across borders ain't the same as religious fanatics with a deep desire to fly planes into skyscrapers. To Reason, Mohamed Atta was just the poor guy who was being unfairly told to turn his stereo down.

  • wareagle||

    the NRA takes a dim view of people who use guns for harm. Are there many instances of CAIR doing likewise re: Islam? Every shooting brings out the gun grabbers in full throat. Every act of Muslim barbarism brings out apologists. Come up with better running buddies.

  • WakaWaka||

    I see where you're going here, but the article is disjointed. The Second Amendment is a natural right guaranteed by the Constitution. Immigration is arguably a natural right (although it could only be protected by some supranational government), but it is not guaranteed by the Constitution or any judicial precedent. It's just odd to link the two

  • ThomasD||

    It's a floor was and a dessert topping!

  • ThomasD||

    Wax not was. And fuck autocorrect for stomping my joke.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Wow, tastes great. And just look at that shine!

    /joke rescue

  • Domestic Dissident||

    It's an absolutely ridiculous argument. By the logic of his last paragraph, we had no right to deny access to Germans during WWII just because of Hitler.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "You can't restrict the liberties of someone who has done nothing wrong because of what some other person did in the past—or theoretically might do in the future."

    It would be wrong to reject Jewish refugees from Germany because of their religion.

    Part of what is getting lost in this conversation is the difference between Trump's actual ban and what many of his supporters and detractors want.

    I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that someone will take issue in this thread with the observation that the First Amendment prohibits the U.S. government from discriminating against non-citizens because of their religion. The reason they'll argue that is because they want the U.S. government to discriminate against Muslims because they're Muslims.

    It should be noted that whatever they think and why, it has nothing to do with whether Trump's actual travel ban discriminates against Muslims. The fact is that Trump's executive order does NOT discriminate against Muslims--regardless of whether people support or oppose it because they think it does discriminate against Muslims.

  • Draco||

    Ken, can you present one scintilla of evidence, or one convincing argument, that the Founders had any intention to treat practitioners of Islam (or Wicca) the same they would have treated Protestants, or that they intended the First Amendment to be a guard against "discriminating against" immigrants who practice something that meets the formal definition of "religion" but isn't at all like Christianity? (As far as I can tell, in writing the First Amendment they tried to restrict the government from establishing an official religion for the US. That's it.)

    I don't think you can, but I do like learning something new, so please: enlighten us.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The principles of the First Amendment come to us from Martin Luther (according to Madison), but they were really codified in the Peace of Westphalia, which was the beginning of the end of the Thirty Years War. The danger of Catholics and Protestants going after each other was as real back then as any concern of Muslims terrorism today. The First Amendment was meant to invoke the cure for that sectarianism before it ever started.

    The Peace of Westphalia stipulated that local government was free to choose their own religion irrespective of the religion of the emperor (freedom from establishment), and that average people were free to practice their own religion irrespective of local government (free exercise).

  • Ken Shultz||

    That this religious tolerance was thought to include even Muslims can be reasonably inferred.

    For one, my understanding is that Thomas Jefferson studied the Quran, learned Arabic, and was the first President to observe the end of Ramadan while in the White House. John Adams, so I understand, held Mohammad to be one of history's greatest "truth seekers", along with Socrates and Confucius, too--but Benjamin Franklin really takes the cake.

    "Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service."

    ----Benjamin Franklin

    http://www.ushistory.org/frank.....page49.htm

    I believe that's from his autobiography

    Certainly, the framers were neither ignorant of nor silent about Islam. They genuinely believed in freedom of religion.

    Regardless, I believe that people should be free to choose their own religion and that the government shouldn't interfere with that in any way.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Regardless, I believe that people should be free to choose their own religion and that the government shouldn't interfere with that in any way [unless someone's rights are being violated]".

  • Ken Shultz||

    Fixed!

  • Free Society||

    A caveat that you shouldn't have to state in a discussion about "rights", but it makes sense to do so nonetheless.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "I believe that people should be free to choose "

    The American people are free to choose to let no one into the country, right?

    So, there is no argument that the people can choose to let in only people that meet certain criteria.

    So, no reason the people can't choose to make one of those criteria a believe system.

    In this matter the people are sovereign. The 1st A doesn't restrict who/whom we can let into the country.

    And I would point out that using the 1A to justify letting in people who would jettison the 1A if they were able to do so is a stunning example of cognitive dissonance.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    sorry, spelling - belief, not believe

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "I believe that people should be free to choose "

    The American people are free to choose to let no one into the country, right?

    So, there is no argument that the people can choose to let in only people that meet certain criteria.

    So, no reason the people can't choose to make one of those criteria a believe system.

    In this matter the people are sovereign. The 1st A doesn't restrict who/whom we can let into the country.

    And I would point out that using the 1A to justify letting in people who would jettison the 1A if they were able to do so is a stunning example of cognitive dissonance.

  • mpercy||

    Alexis de Tocqueville

    I studied the Quran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. As far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself.

  • Draco||

    Thanks Ken, this is very good stuff.

  • mpercy||

    John Adams

    This book is a long conference of God, the angels, and Mahomet, which that false prophet very grossly invented; sometimes he introduceth God, who speaketh to him, and teacheth him his law, then an angel, among the prophets, and frequently maketh God to speak in the plural. … Thou wilt wonder that such absurdities have infected the best part of the world, and wilt avouch, that the knowledge of what is contained in this book, will render that law contemptible

    John Quincy Adams

    …he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.

    THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE [Adam's capital letters]….Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant…While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Whether they think Islam is awful and whether they think people should be free to choose to be Muslims is, of course, two very different things.

    The framers had no problem keeping those ideas separate in their heads.

    I'm not sure you're capable of the same feat, but it's fundamental to libertarianism.

    No, just because they supported the Second Amendment doesn't mean they supported mass shootings in high schools, and even if they didn't like Muslims or Catholics, that doesn't mean they didn't support the First Amendment anyway.

    You understand that, right?

    They prized liberty, and they weren't cowards about it.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Yeah, they prized liberty, and if Islam had been any kind of threat to the country then they would have fought it.

    Come to think of it, both Jefferson and Madison did that in the fighting the Barbary Pirates.

  • mpercy||

    https://founders.archives.gov/documents/ Jefferson/01-09-02-0315

    The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

    We took time to consider and promised an answer, but we can give him no other, than that the demands exceed our Expectations, and that of Congress, so much that we can proceed no further without fresh instructions.

    --------------

    Shortly thereafter Jefferson led Congress to declare war on the Barbary States. "Why not begin a navy then and decide on war? We cannot begin in a better cause nor against a weaker foe." Jefferson was convinced this solution would be more honorable, more effective, and less expensive than paying tribute to Muslim warlords.

  • BambiB||

    Actually, no it wouldn't. Suppose it were a muslim jihad, an all-out attack. Come on!

  • Free Society||

    A natural right cannot possibly 1) give someone a legal right to cross any private property boundaries they wish or 2) be predicated on the existence of public (government) property. There is no "right to immigrate" beyond unowned territory and contractual agreement.

    Does the entirety of the world's population have a right to move to Monaco and Lichtenstein? If your backyard was sovereign territory, would the whole world have a right to move into your backyard? Immigration as a natural right doesn't stand up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny.

  • american socialist||

    Yep agreed. How does one establish property in the first place? Like all the us land that is owned by gov

    Currently some folks have thousands of acres while others just have their floor plan

    If i can just immigrate to where i want and ignore country laws on borders, why cant i do it on a corporation campus or someones 2000 acres of land?

  • Free Society||

    And conversely there is as much right to immigrate as there is unowned territory and contractual agreement, no?

    What's so converse about this? As for the US, I don't think there's much, if anything, known to be unowned by either private entities or the state. So you're down to contractual agreement which as it happens has been hamstringed by the state and replaced with a nationalized 'immigration policy'.

    In a borderless free society, immigration would be called 'moving' but a free society would also have no taxation to finance a panoply of incentive perversions like welfare statism, forced association, public property et cetera. The nationalized immigration policy in this context is no doubt a shoddy solution to the problem of the government having hindered all the natural social mechanisms that would regulate mass migration and movement of peoples. But it's absence in this context would only make all the other infringements on our natural rights all the more damaging if not downright deadly.

  • Nuwanda||

    In a borderless free society, immigration would be called 'moving' but a free society would also have no taxation to finance a panoply of incentive perversions like welfare statism, forced association, public property et cetera.

    You've just described Anarchism, not Minarchism. Under Anarchy, all bets are off anyway. To discuss public policy, or any other such thing, is meaningless. Your point is moot regarding this discussion since this discussion assumes a state that has certain powers delegated to it by the citizens of that state; a state being a political entity that among other things has BORDERS.

  • Dan S.||

    The various states that make up the United States have borders too (state boundaries), but no one is stopped at them and prevented from crossing, and that fact in no way undermines the property rights of the people within the states, not even those who own property abutting the state lines. Maybe someday the whole world will work like that. It won't happen any time soon, that's for sure, but it's a comparison I think is worth making. The comparison that is the gist of this article is a completely different one, and may strike people as "odd", but it may be worth making as well.

  • Free Society||

    shit wrong thread meant for kbolino

  • Free Society||

    Original appropriation. Murray Rothbard and Hans Hoppe especially, go into a detailed explanation of the concept far better than, some jackoff on the internet, could possibly give you. But all the same...

    A basic example of original appropriation is walking into an unowned forest, climbing a tree and picking a papaya from the tree. You are the original appropriator of that papaya. You took something preexisting in nature, and you alone in all of humanity had the wherewithal to transform that papaya into property by plucking it from the tree. Before you climbed the tree, the papaya was useless to all of humanity. No one else plucked it but you and so it logically follows that out of all of humanity, you have the best claim to that papaya. You are now the rightful owner of a papaya, congratulations.

  • kbolino||

    There is no "right to immigrate" beyond unowned territory and contractual agreement.

    And conversely there is as much right to immigrate as there is unowned territory and contractual agreement, no?

  • Free Society||

    There is no "right to immigrate" beyond unowned territory and contractual agreement.

    What's so converse about this? As for the US, I don't think there's much, if anything, known to be unowned by either private entities or the state. So you're down to contractual agreement which as it happens has been hamstringed by the state and replaced with a nationalized 'immigration policy'.

    In a borderless free society, immigration would be called 'moving' but a free society would also have no taxation to finance a panoply of incentive perversions like welfare statism, forced association, public property et cetera. The nationalized immigration policy in this context is no doubt a shoddy solution to the problem of the government having hindered all the natural social mechanisms that would regulate mass migration and movement of peoples. But it's absence in this context would only make all the other infringements on our natural rights all the more damaging if not downright deadly.

    reposted for the hell of it

  • chemjeff||

    It is freedom of association.

    If you and I have two adjacent parcels of land, and I invite you onto my property, then no third party should interfere in that decision, right? You and I are choosing to associate freely and voluntarily.

    But if there is an imaginary border line between our two parcels of property, then a third party somehow is entitled to get involved in our mutual association? Why?

  • Free Society||

    It is freedom of association.

    If you and I have two adjacent parcels of land, and I invite you onto my property, then no third party should interfere in that decision, right? You and I are choosing to associate freely and voluntarily.

    The right to move in this scenario stems from contract, not from natural law or "human rights" or anything else.

    But if there is an imaginary border line between our two parcels of property, then a third party somehow is entitled to get involved in our mutual association? Why?

    Because that imaginary border denotes the junction of two monopoly legal systems and all the legal standards, protected rights, infringed rights, voting electorates, welfare benefits, and artificially imposed duties and obligations that come with those legal systems.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "A natural right cannot possibly 1) give someone a legal right to cross any private property boundaries they wish or 2) be predicated on the existence of public (government) property. There is no "right to immigrate" beyond unowned territory and contractual agreement."

    The rules of naturalization are a enumerated power of Congress just like the power to declare war.

    I might oppose any particular war. Reasonable, honest, and libertarian people can disagree about the merits of any particular war, but whether that power should belong to Congress and be subjected to democracy really shouldn't even be a question.

    The rules of naturalization are like that, too. They aren't a natural right like speech, religion, etc.

    Speech, religion, etc. should never be subjected to popularity contests or the whims of elected politicians, but democracy does have its place--and like the power to declare war, setting the rules of naturalization is one of those places where it belongs.

    That doesn't mean the government should be free to discriminate against people because of their religion. It just means that immigration is not a natural right.

  • Free Society||

    That doesn't mean the government should be free to discriminate against people because of their religion. It just means that immigration is not a natural right.

    By and large I agree. But the position "the government shouldn't be free to discriminate against people because of their religion" is a value judgement, not a statement of fact that some kind of natural right would be violated by way of such discrimination. I'm not sure if that's your claim necessarily, I just thought it worthwhile to cover that base.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Well, I'm talking about the First Amendment, which protects rather than grants rights.

    Our rights exist regardless of whether the government protects them. The natural right I'm talking about is the right to choose your own religion.

    Discriminating against people of a certain religion reeks of establishment.

  • Free Society||

    That the constitution codifies some natural laws and does not actually create them, we're on the same page there completely. And of course you do have the right to choose your own religion as you would to choose you're own ideology. For what it's worth, I reject the notion from freedom of religion as a natural right all on it's own, rather that is a mere subset of something more properly titled "freedom of belief" or thought. As there is no inherent need to favor supernatural claims over non-supernatural claims.

    That said, establishing immigration laws that discriminate explicitly based on religion would indeed be unconstitutional, no disagreement there. My point is that it would violate no natural law whatsoever, as no one has a natural right to not be discriminated against for their beliefs by other people.

  • Nuwanda||

    That the constitution codifies some natural laws and does not actually create them, we're on the same page there completely.

    Rubbish. Rights only have meaning in a social or political setting. Therefore rights MUST be created for such an environment. Those rights must be consistent with human nature but they do not exist simply because we have such a nature.

    Try it in the jungle when you come across some guy from the neighboring tribe. Tell him he can't take your monkey because that would violate some natural right. You're liable to get an arrow through your chest. This is the oft-cited Law of the Jungle. Let him try it in a civilised society and he'll be arrested, charged and convicted because your right to your own property exists IN LAW. You can't say it exists prior to the law due to the monkey-stealing-with-impunity problem.

  • aajax||

    Actually the ban violates the rights of all Americans, such as my right to confer with a person from one of those countries. That might be allowable if there were a legitimate government interest involved but clearly there is not.

    Also, the Constitution enumerates power to control naturalization, but not immigration. Barring visitors who had done nothing wrong would have appeared absurd to the Founders.

  • ||

    Immigration is arguably a natural right (although it could only be protected by some supranational government), but it is not guaranteed by the Constitution or any judicial precedent.

    Immigration, as opposed to habeas corpus or the vague catch-all of property rights, requires a country and/or a governed people as a foregone conclusion. Arguably, the 'right to immigrate' violates some other actual individual rights inherently.

  • sarcasmic||

    How does immigration violate individual rights? Certain immigrants may violate the rights of individuals by becoming criminals or by getting involved in government (I repeat myself), but I don't see how immigration by itself violates individual rights. It doesn't infringe upon the right to act without interference, nor does it place an obligation on individuals to do anything. Government may do those things on behalf of immigrants, but the immigrants themselves do not.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe it's more like contract law than criminal law.

    The question may not be whether immigrants are violating our rights. The question may be whether we're obligated to contract with them.

    Entering into a contract with you may not violate your rights, but that doesn't mean you're obligated to contract with me.

  • ||

    How does immigration violate individual rights?

    Immigration, by definition, necessitates groups of people leaving one country and entering another. One person leaving Mexico (or Canada, etc.) and coming to the U.S. (or Europe, etc.) is not immigration. Immigration rights is a rather explicit euphemism for granting rights to the government to take actions against natives on behalf of immigrants (whether the immigrants themselves desire those actions or not).

    I'm not against people relatively freely crossing borders by any means (and I'm no fan of the EOs), but borders and immigration are a legitimate role of government, IMO.

  • sarcasmic||

    One person leaving Mexico (or Canada, etc.) and coming to the U.S. (or Europe, etc.) is not immigration.

    Yes it is. That person immigrated. That person is an immigrant. So that is indeed immigration.

  • Elliot||

    To be considered a immagrent, you have to take up residence. If I just wander around, I am not a immagrent. I may be a wanderer or a pilgram.

  • Diane Merriam||

    It's the precautionary principle that is the same in both. It's the same principle that's behind the global warming catastropists claims and many others. Something bad might happen in the future. We don't really know that it will, but it's within the realm of possibility. And if it does it could be really bad. Therefore the solution is to do everything possible to prevent it, even if it turns out down the road that we were wrong after all.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "To the ordinary gun owner in Virginia, who follows the law and leaves other people alone unless they mess with him first, it must seem brutally unfair to restrict his right to keep and bear arms because of something somebody else did, or might do in the future.

    And this is precisely how the Trump administration's assaults on Muslims must seem to persons of the Islamic faith. The vast majority of them pose no threat to anyone, and never will. Hence President Trump's campaign talk of a ban on Muslims and his administration's restrictions on travel from certain Islamic countries seem brutally unfair as well."

    I appreciate the central argument here, that the crimes of third parties don't justify violating my rights.

    However, this isn't making that argument effectively for two reasons.

    1) Trump's "campaign talk" is just talk--it isn't the legal justification for a law.

    Trump's travel ban is either justifiable or not regardless of campaign rhetoric. Obama campaigned on ObamaCare making America more competitive globally and reducing the deficit. So what? ObamaCare is either justifiable or not regardless of campaign rhetoric--and so is Trump's travel ban.

  • Ken Shultz||

    2) Trump's travel ban is not a ban on Muslims.

    Trump's travel ban would be unjustifiable per the First Amendment if it were a ban on Muslims. The travel ban simply suspends travel from areas that are rife with anti-American terrorism so that screening procedures can be reviewed.

    The travel ban is perfectly consistent with the First Amendment's prohibition against the government discriminating on the basis of religion, and it is also perfectly consistent with a libertarian foreign policy, the primary legitimate purpose of which is to protect our rights from foreign threats.

  • Hugh Akston||

    There are no legitimate foreign threats to Americans' rights. The only real threats are from the US government.

  • kbolino||

    Just because the latter is a more proximate threat doesn't make the former cease to exist.

  • Hugh Akston||

    What realistic foreign threats are there to Americans rights? China and Russia are the only countries with anywhere close to the resources necessary to take down the government and occupy the country, and they would have a hard time doing so even if they teamed up.

  • american socialist||

    Seems to be a strawman. I guess that makes if your only critieria is taking over whole country to be valid

  • kbolino||

    If the CIA or NSA can do it, then so can the PLA. It doesn't take much to make a bomb or get a gun and wreak havoc. A threat to your privacy or your life is a threat to your rights.

    That doesn't justify our own government curtailing our rights, but you can't just reduce everything to "well they aren't going to invade, so no threat"

  • kbolino||

    If the CIA or NSA can do it, then so can the PLA

    To clarify, I'm talking about technical means here. The PLA obviously can't compel the cooperation of a U.S.-only company using secret orders in U.S. courts like the U.S. Government can.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    There are no legitimate foreign threats to Americans' rights.

    That's why I call foreign terrorists bastards.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There are no legitimate foreign threats to Americans' rights."

    Are you being facetious?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Are you aware that North Korea is close to having functional ICBMs?

    Are you aware that China's nukes can hit us with precision if they're launched from subs in the South China sea?

    Yes, ISIS would murder as many of us as they could. I believe they're trying all the time.

    Iran will likely have both a nuclear capability and ICBMs within our lifetimes.

    The legitimate purpose of libertarian government is to protect our rights. Everything a libertarian government does needs to be justified as fulfilling that purpose. We have police to protect our rights from criminals. We have criminal courts to protect our rights from the police. If there's a justification for a military, it's to protect our rights from foreign threats, and our foreign policy should reflect that legitimate purpose.

    If there is a danger to our rights from ISIS infiltrating the asylum seeker process, then a libertarian government has a legitimate duty to address that threat.

    Notice, there's no reason to violate the First Amendment. And as far as I can tell, despite what you read from both Trump's supporters and detractors, the First Amendment isn't being violated in this travel ban.

  • ||

    Are you aware that North Korea is close to having functional ICBMs?

    Are you aware that China's nukes can hit us with precision if they're launched from subs in the South China sea?

    Yes, ISIS would murder as many of us as they could. I believe they're trying all the time.

    Iran will likely have both a nuclear capability and ICBMs within our lifetimes.

    All of this assumes rather overt/conventional warfare as well. It would be interesting to see what Reason would do if, tomorrow, Russia or China adopted an official "Immigrate to America and vote." policy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Like I say up yonder, setting the rules of naturalization is an enumerated power of Congress for good reason.

    The government shouldn't be free to declare wars without consideration for whether they're popular, and the government's immigration policy should be subject to the approval of democratically elected representatives, too.

    Doesn't mean that immigration policy can violate anyone's rights so long as doing so is popular, and I wish more of my libertarian friends from stage right understood that their take on immigration has a limited appeal if it's seen as bigoted.

    Those who believe there is a legitimate threat to our rights should address those threats--rather than discriminate against people because of their religion. And those who don't want to save us from those threats if saving us from those threats means they can't discriminate on the basis of religion should all go screw themselves. They aren't just phony libertarians. They're phony patriots.

  • Diane Merriam||

    Naturalization isn't the same thing as immigration. Naturalization is the process of becoming an citizen.

    As to Trump's ban, the revised one does seem to be legal, as opposed to the original one. I still don't like it, because I think it takes the precautionary principle to extremes, but it is legal.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Naturalization isn't the same thing as immigration. Naturalization is the process of becoming an citizen."

    As far as I'm concerned, the terms can be used interchangeably in regards to setting immigration policy.

    It wasn't just about how foreigners become citizens either. It was about slaves becoming citizens, Native Americans becoming citizens, indentured servants, etc., etc. Remember, originally, non-property owners couldn't vote. Were they citizens?

    Who can come and go, who can stay, who should be excluded, who can become a citizen and by what criteria, that's what that enumerated power is properly talking about.

  • Longtobefree||

    Trump's "travel ban" does not ban anyone or anything. It delays processing of some immigration applications, from countries (designated by Obama) where internal deficiencies prevent proper review of those applications. A great majority of Muslim countries, and a great majority of Muslims are unaffected by the executive order.
    Only a fascist judge could twist the application of law to include political statements of an objective to be the same as the negotiated result of political considerations of the impact of an executive order. And, oh by the way, a judge that ignores the supreme court precedent that campaign speeches ("this is not a tax") must be ignored in finding that "this is a tax"!

  • american socialist||

    Those countries except iran who we dont have good relations with is a shit show. There is also to look at any current investigations here, there and euro regarding these countries

    It isnt as easy say well no deaths have occurred therefore not warranted

    A legit function of the fed gov is to enforce border

    Now this may be meaningless but to call it brutal seems silly (based on the revision)

  • chemjeff||

    Very thoughtful article.

  • american socialist||

    Question about natural rights....who determined these and why were they the authority? As obviously not all countries got the memo seeing all the different degrees

    Is it really just a personal preference?

    As we know progs think healthcare is a right

  • sarcasmic||

    It's based in principle. Natural rights do not obligate others to do anything except to not interfere, nor to they interfere with the natural rights of others.

    A "right" to health care obligates others to pay for it, and interferes with the natural right to keep what you earn. So it is not a natural right.

    A right to defend yourself puts no obligations on anyone, nor does it interfere with the natural rights of anyone else. Sure it interferes with the "right" to not be around someone who is carrying a scary gun, but that "right" places an obligation on others to not carry their guns, and interferes with their natural right to defend themselves.

    It's a pretty simple concept, but one that for some reason is very difficult for many people to grasp.

  • american socialist||

    I get that part. But a natural right to immigrate anywhere conflicts with individual property and collective property such as a nation or a corporation property with many shareholders

    I am just wondering who established the natural rights. Obviously other countries think free speech is icky

  • sarcasmic||

    Then you didn't get that part. No one establishes natural rights because they are not enumerated. There is no list. You can dream up as many as you want, so long as they follow the basic principle. Granted most governments couldn't give a shit about natural rights, or any rights for that matter. That is what power is all about.

    As far as immigration goes, now does it conflict with property rights? Please explain.

  • sarcasmic||

    *how*

  • american socialist||

    If i have a right to immigrate anywhere why can't i just come squat on your 2000 acres of land? How was your property established as yours? As obviously some folks have vastly more than others.

    Is people's property on east coast really theirs since it was taken from native americans before who may have taken from other natives.

  • sarcasmic||

    I knew that talking to you was a waste of time. Should have known better.

  • sarcasmic||

    Property is established as mine when I pay for it or inherit it (presumably from someone who paid for it). Yes some have more than others. Life isn't fair. You can have fairness or justice. But not both. I choose justice. As far as the natives go, that sucks. It is also a red herring.

    I can't tell if you are stupid or dishonest. And I don't care. This conversation is over.

  • american socialist||

    If no one established natural rights then why/how are others obligated to follow them? To me that seems like it would be a contract made with others. Which is why there is a constitution

    That basic principle was established by the individual. Obviously individuals dont all have the same mentality

    Having rights is meaningless if other folks arent on the same page

  • kbolino||

    Having rights is meaningless if other folks arent on the same page

    You will never have everybody on the same page, yet we still value rights. Government is a monopoly on the initiation of force, no more and no less*. All the other trappings of government are things that people are innately capable of doing, whether it be to resolve disputes or to recognize property rights or to educate their children or what have you. Society, even civil and liberal society, preexists government. Government wraps up these things and puts a bow on them, but if the only thing standing between you and everyone else violating your rights is government, then you are very likely to be dispossessed of those rights in short order.

    * = I think there are equivalent definitions which might seem like different things on first blush, like "your government is there to keep other governments out".

  • sarcasmic||

    If no one established natural rights then why/how are others obligated to follow them?

    Obviously you don't comprehend what natural rights are, or you wouldn't have made that statement.

  • american socialist||

    The problem with this is there is no list, there is no establishment of it or why it is the go to, that i can add my own which suggests to me it is purely based on one's own personal preference and their own principles

  • sarcasmic||

    Read my 12:34 comment. Obviously you don't "get that part" or you wouldn't have made that statement.

  • kbolino||

    The problem with this is there is no list, there is no establishment of it or why it is the go to, that i can add my own which suggests to me it is purely based on one's own personal preference and their own principles

    So is everything. You can just reject an epistemology and make up whatever you want. "I don't like empiricism, I'm going to go with mysticism instead". Ok, whatever. The point of natural rights is not to codify an exact set of protections--that's what constitutions are for--but to provide a mechanism for how to discover rights. Personally, I don't think anyone has improved on what was discovered and formulated centuries ago. The canon already exists. But, as you note, if you take different premises, you will get different results. I don't see any way around that, since people have freedom of though and get to pick their premises. There are two questions here, what are rights and what should be codified in the laws of men. The theory of natural rights only provides a way to start answering the first question.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Having rights is meaningless if other folks arent on the same page"

    I think that's demonstrably false.

    Rosa Parks had the right to sit in the front of a public bus. When she exercised that right, it was the state of Alabama and the Jim Crow laws that had to cave.

    When people have rights, it's being on another page that looks more like it's meaningless.

    Here's another example: The government says people don't have the right to consume cannabis, but what difference does that make in reality? Millions of Americans for decade after decade continue to consume cannabis anyway.

    It doesn't matter what page the government is on, they can throw however any million people in prison, etc., etc. but people keep exercising their right anyway.

    Having a right is real. If people or the government don't believe in that right, then they're living in a fantasy.

    In the USSR and China, during the '70s, they said people didn't have a right to own and trade property. The Soviet Union collapsed because of that fantasy. It's people's rights that are real.

  • kbolino||

    I am just wondering who established the natural rights

    No one established them per se. They exist, and we discover them. At least, in theory.

    Part of the problem is that there are different formulations for discovering natural rights and they don't always lead to consistent results. For example, if you start with a single person in a state of nature, of course he has the right to go wherever he pleases (although any of a number of natural things like terrain, animals, weather, disease, etc. might stand in his way). But that same formulation also leads to discovery of the right to exploit nature, to realize the fruit of one's labor, and to defend that bounty against threats. How do you extend all of those discoveries to a world full of many people each equally possessed of the same rights? You need a new formulation, like property. Now, not everyone can act like they are alone in nature, but must respect the rights of others as well, and in turn their own rights will be respected.

    The problem seems to arise, for many here anyway, when you add in the additional formulation of government.

  • sarcasmic||

    Government wouldn't be a problem if it was strictly reactive. It's when it becomes proactive that it becomes a problem.

  • american socialist||

    Thanks for input

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I am just wondering who established the natural rights."

    The awesome question!

    Two part answer:

    1) They arise naturally from our agency.

    A right is a right to make a choice. You have the right to choose your own religion, what you say, etc.

    Rape is a crime because victim's right to make a choice was violated.

    Is there a moral system that doesn't address human agency in some way? Any moral system has to at least contend with and dodge the implications of agency.

    2) Evolution.

    Rights came from the same place as language. Those groups and societies that discovered and embraced them thrived and overcame their adversaries that didn't embrace them. Hell, that isn't just the story of history, isn't that the story of the 20th Century? We understand this intuitively with free markets, that when individuals are free to make choices for themselves in markets, the economy thrives. But Adam Smith first applied that to "moral sentiments".

    Simply put, societies thrive when individuals are free to make choices for themselves. A right is a right to make a choice for yourself. In this way, our rights arise from natural law. And aren't these laws the same for everyone? Is there some culture in which infringing on people's free speech rights has a different outcome? Aren't the results more or less the same cross culturally and throughout history?

  • Diane Merriam||

    There is no such thing as government collective property. A national boundary sets the limits of where the laws of a nation are in effect. The government does not control the property within it. That's up to each property owner.

    Immigration is just the movement of people. If the owner(s) of a property allows the presence of a person, the government no say about it. If the government can act only in response to an act of aggression and no aggression has happened, then the government has no power to act.

    All natural rights originate from the principle that you own yourself. What you do with your life is decided only by you. The only thing a natural right imposes on others is that of non-interference.

    No one has to listen to you or read what you write. No one gets to decide who you are or aren't allowed to be around and what you voluntarily do or don't do with them. No one is allowed to take what you have made or obtained through voluntary interactions with others or on your own. In short, no one is allowed to do anything *to* you that you don't want ... unless it is in response to your prior invasion of someone else's natural rights.

    Conversely, no one else is responsible for maintaining your life or your lifestyle. No one else is responsible for making sure you make the "best" decisions by whoever's standards. No one else is responsible for taking care of your feelings. In short, no one else is responsible for doing anything *for* you.

  • $park¥ don't care bout yo mom||

    who determined these and why were they the authority?

    There are many who would claim God did.

    Is it really just a personal preference?

    In the end, yes.

  • american socialist||

    Yea. Because God did doesnt really fly with those who are atheists

  • $park¥ don't care bout yo mom||

    Correct. I'm an atheist but I still believe in rights. However, I believe that rights are essentially personal. I could write down an entire list of the rights I believe I have and I suspect any other person would take issue with some of them.

  • American Memer||

    Just for kicks, go for it.

  • $park¥ don't care bout yo mom||

    I'm not gonna do it here. It would take all day and too much space.

  • mpercy||

    Without getting into "where do they come from" it is not hard to see in the language of the Bill of Rights that those respective Amendments presume the rights existed prior to the enactment of the BoR. The language does not grant those rights, it clearly says that Government may not abridge or infringe those rights.

    In short, the BoR *protects* rights (presumably "natural rights") and does not convey rights.

  • Raston Bot||

    OT

    this is cognitive dissonance at UW-Madison..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8wxl35-Img

    Published on Mar 7, 2017
    Everyone agreed that a creative professional should have the foundational freedom to decline work that conflicts with their conscience or beliefs. But, when faced with a situation that goes against current cultural expectations, like a Christian photographer declining to promote a same-sex wedding, the gears start grinding. If a law that forces someone to promote something against their beliefs is so laughable, so unimaginable…then why is it so difficult to extend the same freedom to a Christian creative professional?

  • Ron||

    people of any faiths from other countries are not entitled to any rights in the U.S. we get to decide who and how many get here even if no one from other countries ever threatened or committed any type of crime or if everyone in that nation was perfect in every way we still get to say who and how many.

    this is a separate issue form a U.S. citizens right to bear arms that shall not be infringed.

  • $park¥ don't care bout yo mom||

    people of any faiths from other countries are not entitled to any rights in the U.S.

    Real rights don't actually depend on where you're from or what you believe. You have them even if nobody else recognizes them.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Okay then the US government doesn't promise to protect those rights.

    They can appeal to their flying spaghetti Bronze Age twenty armed natural rights fairy and maybe he will wave pixie dust and have us change our immigration policy. But if the pixie dust doesn't work well fuck off.

  • chemjeff||

    Of course they are different types of rights. The similarity lies with the logic being applied to restrict those rights, i.e.: "we can't be sure if the people exercising those rights are 'bad people' or not so it's better to restrict the liberties of everyone attempting to exercise those rights".

  • Ken Shultz||

    "People of any faiths from other countries are not entitled to any rights in the U.S."

    1) The First Amendment doesn't grant anyone any rights.

    2) It simply protects them from abuse by the U.S. government.

    So long as we're talking about the U.S. government, it is prohibited from discriminating against people on the basis of religion.

    But don't take my word for it:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    ----First Amendment

  • american socialist||

    Yea good point

  • Rat's instance||

    The Constitution only binds US government actions in regard to US persons. Non-citizens not under US jurisdiction are not protected by the Constitution. The government may self-impose restrictions as it did with immigration law, but that could be revoked by subsequent law.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You make these statements as if they're self-evident, but they're not.

    The First Amendment says what it says. It doesn't say anything about only being binding on the government in regards to citizens.

    Do you really think that tourists in America aren't entitled to a jury trial and a lawyer if they're accused of a crime?

    Use your think bone.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Who we let into the country is entirely up to the people,

    and the people could restrict anyone, group, class, race, etc etc that they wanted to.

    That should be a democratic decision. By the people.

    And if the people want to "discriminate" against Muslim, or Italians, by refusing them permission to come here they can.

    The 1st A doesn't restrict the will of the people regarding immigration.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The 1st A doesn't restrict the will of the people regarding immigration."

    This is garbage.

    Immigration policy is rightly subject to democratically elected representatives, but the First Amendment is not subject to popularity contests.

    Certainly not just because you say so.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    And it doesn't doesn't apply as YOU say it does just because YOU say so.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The 1st A doesn't restrict the will of the people regarding immigration."

    Yes, setting the rules of naturalization is an enumerated power of congress, but what part of "Congress shall make no law" don't you understand?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Preventing anyone from coming to this country is not restricting their freedom of religion.

    That is so simple even a cave man could understand it.

  • mpercy||

    Non-citizens not in the U.S. are not covered by the Constitution. They certainly have no right to enter the US.

    University of Pennsylvania Law Review "THE EXCLUSION AND DETENTION OF ALIENS"

    Under current law, aliens have no constitutional rights with respect to their exclusion. They
    are deemed to be outside of our borders and not entitled to the protection of our domestic laws, including the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause.'

    Courts have come to view the federal immigration authority as inseparable from the foreign affairs power. In no other area, the Supreme Court tells us, does the federal government have more power.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Non-citizens not in the U.S. are not covered by the Constitution. They certainly have no right to enter the US."

    The First Amendment covers the activities of the United States government.

    Non-citizens don't have a right to enter the U.S., but that isn't because they're Muslims. It's because they're not citizens.

    Citizenship confers the legal right to vote, hold office, and be within our borders.

    And that's it.

    Once we start tying citizenship to any other entitlement, we become democratic socialists. Are you a democratic socialist?

    I'm a libertarian.

  • mpercy||

    Non-citizens within our borders have Constitutional protections.

    Except for those elements that you noted as reserved to citizens, all persons within the US are protected by the Constitution.

    The same cannot be said of non-citizens who are outside the US, who have never entered the US. The Constitution does not apply to foreigners who are not persons within the United States.

    People not within the US certainly retain natural and basic human rights, which their respective governments may or may not choose to respect and protect. Nevertheless, a Russian sitting in Moscow simply is not afforded the protection of the US Constitution.

  • Rat's instance||

    Give it up. I don't think he will ever getting the distinction between USPER and non-USPER.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The same cannot be said of non-citizens who are outside the US, who have never entered the US. The Constitution does not apply to foreigners who are not persons within the United States."

    You keep making these pronouncements with so much confidence--and yet you have no evidence that the First Amendment doesn't really mean what it says or says something it doesn't mean.

    "Congress shall make no law . . . "

    All day, all night, every day, every night, for 220 years, it's said the same thing.

    You're scared of Muslims, and suddenly you want to flush our First Amendment freedoms down the toilet?

    I wonder--are you one of these people who thinks the First Amendment protects people from having to bake cakes for gay weddings, too?

    All these things you're so sure of about the First Amendment--it doesn't mean what it says!

    There's a word for people who'd sell our rights and liberties short out of fear. They're called "cowards".

    And the First Amendment still specifically prohibits the U.S. government from discriminating on the basis of religion.

  • Rat's instance||

    You keep believing what you want. The courts back my interpretation.

  • mpercy||

    Shaughnessy v. United States ex rel. Mezei

    Due process does not invest any alien with a right to enter the United States, nor confer on those admitted the right to remain against the national will. Nothing in the Constitution requires admission or sufferance of aliens hostile to our scheme of government.

    The Attorney General's order was one of 'exclusion' and not 'deportation'; respondent's transfer from ship to shore on Ellis Island conferred no additional rights; in fact, no alien so situated 'can force us to admit him at all.'

    Courts have long recognized the power to expel or exclude aliens as a fundamental sovereign attribute exercised by the Government's political departments largely immune from judicial control.

    Congress expressly authorized the President to impose additional restrictions on aliens entering or leaving the United States during periods of international tension and strife. That authorization, originally enacted in the Passport Act of 1918, continues in effect during the present emergency. Under it, the Attorney General, acting for the President, may shut out aliens whose 'entry would be prejudicial to the interest of the United States'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Whether non-citizens have the right to enter the U.S. is beside the point.

    The question was whether the government can properly discriminate on the basis of religion, and the answer is "no".

    See First Amendment.

  • Rat's instance||

    The US government can discriminate against non USPERS on the basis of religion. Non-immigration applicants can be denied entry for any reason. Discrimination against immigration applicants is restricted by and act of Congress not the Constitution.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Congress is restricted by the Constitution.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    ----First Amendment

    Why "Congress shall make no law" hard for you to understand?

    My girlfriend is like that sometimes. Usually, it's when I'm telling her something she doesn't want to hear. It's almost like when it's something she doesn't want to hear, she can't understand what's being said--even when the only word being said is "no".

    "Congress shall make no law". Feel it in your bones.

  • Rat's instance||

    Congress shall make no law in regards to USPERs. It may be difficult for you to understand, but has been part of Constitutional law for some time.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "It . . . has been part of Constitutional law for some time."

    Then you'll have no problem quoting that part of the Constitution and linking to it.

  • Rat's instance||

    It is in the same part of the Constitution that allows the government to conduct surveillance of foreigners without a warrant. Or do you believe that that is unconstitutional?

  • Ken Shultz||

    It isn't in the Constitution. You're just making shit up.

    Meanwhile, the criminal penalties and fines for engaging in foreign surveillance outside of FISA are severe, and FISA is limited to foreign governments, foreign entities, etc--not individuals.

    "Foreign powers" means a foreign government, any faction of a foreign nation not substantially composed of U.S. persons, and any entity directed or controlled by a foreign government.[8] The definition also includes groups engaged in international terrorism and foreign political organizations.[9].

    . . .

    "Under the FISA act, anyone who engages in electronic surveillance except as authorized by statute is subject to both criminal penalties[14] and civil liabilities.[15]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Act

    Facts don't change simply because you don't like Muslims and neither does the Constitution.

  • Rat's instance||

    Who said anything about hating Muslims? Talk about making shit up. FISA is an act of Congress. Congress may pass laws restricting the activities of the government. It is not the same as a Constitutional protection. Find me a court case that says non-citizens outside the US are covered by the Constitution.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1]"

    Preventing Muslims from immigrating, or even visiting, the US would violate none of the provisions of the 1st A.

    The 1A has more words than "The Congress shall make no law".

  • mpercy||

    ZADVYDAS v. DAVIS

    Like a criminal alien under final order of removal, an inadmissible alien at the border has no right to be in the United States.

    Insofar as a claimed legal right to release into this country is concerned, an alien under final order of removal stands on an equal footing with an inadmissible alien at the threshold of entry: He has no such right.

  • Rat's instance||

    Read again. I stated that non-citizens not under US jurisdiction are not protected by the Constitution. Tourists in the US are US persons.

  • Ron||

    thanks to all those who argued the point for me while I was away. You all did a better job than I could. Mr. Shultz refuses to see that the two laws exist and as I think are equal but separate laws one can not over ride the other, makes for interesting discussions. I'am convinced that Yes when a person is within U.S. protected territories they get to share in the constitutions rights but outside of that we can disqualify anyone for any reason and no reason if we chose otherwise based on the 1A we would have to allow anyone in at anytime. the constitution is not a suicide note.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Look this is a complete bullshit sophist reading of the constitution but even granting your bullshit smoke screen restricting immigration on the basis of religion doesn't actually violate the constitution. They are free to stay in their own countries and practice their religion until their heart is content. Like a typical cosmo your opposition to positive rights evaporates the second you see a chance to virtue signal. No in guaranteed the right to practice their religion in America- people in the US are allowed to practice their religion if you ain't in the US tough titties. You want to create a positive right that guarantees everyone the right to practice their religion in the US and then back into no religious tests.

    The onus is on you to show how a religious test would violate someone's right to exercise their religion when they can remain in their own country and practice it all day long.

  • Diane Merriam||

    A person's rights come from nothing other than their abillity to understand what rights are and to respect the equal rights of others. Nothing else matters. A government may defend those rights or infringe upon them, but it cannot do away with them until and unless that person has been proven unable to comprehend them (children and the suffiently mentally infirm) or to have violated the rights of another.

  • american socialist||

    "And since we can't predict with perfect accuracy who will commit a crime at some point in the indeterminate future, the best answer is to place restrictions on everybody."

    So i get taking issue with this logic but how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go. I would consider vetting or applying for visa as a restriction. Is that ok and not a ban?

  • chemjeff||

    Well there's two parts here.

    The first part is about freedom of association. Suppose I invite you onto my property. On what basis should a third party get to veto our decision to freely associate with each other? Because we happened to be born on different sides of an imaginary border line? I consider freedom of association to be a rather fundamental natural right.

    The second part is about citizenship. Citizenship isn't a natural right, it is a right granted by a particular government. So if I invite you onto my property, if we happen to be citizens of different nations, your presence on my property doesn't grant you citizenship in my country. So sure, if some government wants to establish some rules by which an individual may obtain the legal status of citizenship, that's fine. But that government, in so doing, shouldn't inhibit my freedom to associate with you if we so choose.

  • american socialist||

    Thanks. But what about vetting refugees? They arent being vetted for citizenship necessarily

    The talking point is it takes 2 years.

    Is vetting ok as this would seem to inhibit freedom of association?

  • american socialist||

    What about for someone in prison for murder if I invite them over but they cant cause gov wont let them out? Sure i could go there but i could also find my way over to those countries in ban

  • Diane Merriam||

    A person in prison is there because they have proven themselves unwilling to respect the rights of others. That and mental incapacity such that they can't even understand the idea of rights are the only two valid reasons that a person's rights can be infringed upon.

  • Rhywun||

    the Trump administration's assaults on Muslims

    Sigh. Another word has lost all meaning.

    BTW, the author is either unaware of or chooses to ignore the fact that the "ban" is temporary.

  • kbolino||

    Temporary, based on country not religion, and doesn't even affect most Muslims.

    Maybe there'll be a new ban, a better ban, and it'll be yuge. But that's not what exists or is being proposed right now.

  • american socialist||

    It dropped 1 country and made a bunch of exceptions to like green cards and pre established visas

  • Rat's instance||

    Green card holders are US persons which puts them under Constitutional protection. Immigrant visa holders not yet in the US may be USPers, non-immigrant visa holders are only USPers when in the US.

  • mpercy||

    And still neither order impacted some 1 billion Muslims from anywhere other than the few countries. Hardly a Muslim ban when it leaves 1B unaffected.

  • aajax||

    Imagine the effect of a "temporary ban" on habeas corpus by a mentally unstable president and an Attorney General not much better, if at all.

  • aajax||

    The ban might be temporary but it is ruining lives before it even goes into effect.

  • Diane Merriam||

    the Trump administration's assaults on Muslims

    Ummm - you do reaize that that quote was from the person (with the state) who has filed suit against the order, not the author of the article.

  • John||

    This or maybe gun control has absolutely nothing to do with immigration. There is always that. And there is also the possibility that the people at CAIR are none too interested in the American public being well armed. But in reason land Muslims are sacred and would never want anything bad for this country.

  • kbolino||

    CAIR is a great example of "just because they say they want X doesn't mean that's what they want". There is a massive gap between their stated and revealed preferences.

  • SomeGuy||

    can anyone remind me why bear does not mean carry?

    If i recall that's a bastardization of the meaning largely do to their was no precedence for such a claim since citizens owned artillery and rockets and cannons.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs.....gun-rights

  • aajax||

    Also since the right was granted in order to maintain a militia, the amendment did not imply you had an absolute right to walk around with a gun any old time you felt like it, but only when you were acting as part of a militia. Restrictions on carrying could apply at other times, like hunting or sport shooting. Too bad the amendment didn't say anything about self defense also, but that's the way that goes.

  • Ron||

    the amendment specifically separates the people form the Militia other wise it would have said the right of the militia to bear arms instead it says the right of the people to bear arms. a well regulated Militia is referring to how the militia is run and utilized which is discusses later in the constitution.

  • Diane Merriam||

    It was not granted. it recognizes a pre-existing natural right.

    It does not exist for the purposes of a militia, even though that's the most important reason *from the perspective of a government* for not infringing upon it.

    Nor does the phrase well regulated imply an outside regulator. As it was used at the time, it meant a thing working as it should and/or self control.

    Even with just grammatical parsing, the active clause is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The first clause is only explanitory.

  • SomeGuy||

    bear though did not mean simply carry correct? My understanding was bear was to use/support not could physically carry.

  • SomeGuy||

    This is important to refute scalia's bullshit about artillery not being covered or vehicles.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    No, you can't bear (or carry) artillery etc etc. That is not the right the Founders were trying to protect.

  • SomeGuy||

    bear has several meanings and you are picking a more restrictive meaning to bear. Bear also means support and more.

  • SomeGuy||

    additionally, the Amendments aren't a maximum...they are a bare minimum. No reason to say we only have rights up to what that amendment says. Our rights are beyond what the amendments say. This was stated in the federalist papers between the federalist and anti federalist.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    You may make the argument that a right to "bear" and artillery piece or a tank existed "prior to the adoption of the Contitution" (CRUISHANK 1876) but I think you'll have a hard time making a convincing argument.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Context and the historical record don't bear you out. See, "bear" means something entirely different in this "context".

    I am not picking out a more restrictive form of "bear" I am pointing out that it is "arms" which you bear.

    And the Founders knew what arms are. They are weapons you personally carry such as swords, clubs and "fire"arms.

  • SomeGuy||

    arms means "weapons and ammunition; armaments." it has nothing to do with carry you twit.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    sorry you twat but you are wrong.

  • SomeGuy||

    go read the definition. Thats what the dictionary today even means.

    armaments means: military weapons and equipment.

    your an idiot lol.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Go read HELLER.

    For that matter read MILLER.

    Maybe CRUISHANK.

    but maybe you shouldn't, you won't understand them.

  • Longtobefree||

    Actually, it is necessary for a militia to be able to function as a military unit, if and when it VOLUNTARILY associates with the national armed forces. Therefore, the arms covered by the constitution do include artillery, tanks, machine guns, and whatever technology comes up next. The founders were setting the new nation up to have a very small military, supplemented by individual citizens, with their own arms, who would volunteer for service by forming militia units of their own devising, lead by men of their own choosing, and serving under whatever limitations were agreed to between the militia and the military. In the words of the sixties, "what if they gave a war and nobody came?"

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Not the only problem with that is that the anti-Federalists lost the battle to rely on the militia.

    After they lost the battle to adopt the Constitution, after they lost the battle to prevent the Congress from being able to raise a standing army, and after they lost the battle to return full control of the militia to the states,

    after all that - they got a "consolation prize" of "a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state". That's ALL they got.

    The Congress has the power to raise a standing army and let the militia fall into neglect (which they have done".

    The Founders did not set up a system to rely on the militia despite our romantic notions that it did.

    The militia clause of the Constitution is probably the only clause with actual zero effect.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    The right was not "granted in order to maintain a militia".

    Of course you can't have a militia without an armed people but the militia clause was actually just a consolation prize to the anti-Federalists who had lost their bid to prevent the adoption of the Constitution and/or the ability of the Congress to raise a standing army.

    However, MILLER essentially said that "one" of the purposes of the 2A was to make possible a militia and Hugo Black, who participated in MILLER, said this later in remarks at a law school -

    that "MILLER stands for the proposition that ONLY militia weapons are protected but as so construed the protection is ABSOLUTE" (emphasis mine).

    Unfortunately HELLER backed away from the militia aspect in favor of grounding the right in that of self-defense (which of course is the foundation but it is not the right that is protected).

    The right protected is the "right to arms". The Founders knew the reasons for the right to arms, persona protection, and protection from foreign and domestic threats. They didn't need to detail that out in the 2A because it was self-evident to them.

  • SomeGuy||

    Your using court ccases that have zero bearing on history so your point here is moot. It is like using obamacare rulings and re visioning our history under that lens.

    You are very intelelctually dishonest if you can't look at the whole picture of History.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Well HELLER referred to CRUISHANK and MILLER.

    But I guess you know better.

    You don't spell better though. Or maybe you just don't type better.

    Who cares.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    bear does mean carry in regards the 2A

    the 2A protects a "right that existed PRIOR to the adoption of the Constitution" and "doesn't depend on [the 2A] for its existence". CRUISHANK 1876.

    DRED SCOTT, before the Civil War. "If blacks were citizens they would have the right to keep and carry arms wherever they go". Not bear, carry. No mention of the militia.

    Citizens have the right to arms wherever they go.

    And "arms" are weapons that one can "carry", such as swords, clubs, lances, and "fire"arms (rifles, pistols, shotguns).

  • Longtobefree||

    Arms are weapons, or other technologies, useful in combat.
    Keep is to be able to posses, and use as designed.
    Bear is to use.
    When I am using a baseball bat to suggest to an intruder they should leave, I am bearing arms. When I use my bazooka as part of a militia unit, to repeal invaders, I am bearing arms.
    Carry is not part of the second amendment. It is necessary to carry some arms in order to bear them.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Yes, "arms" are weapons. But not all weapons are "arms". If they were we wouldn't need 2 different words would we?

    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".

    The SC didn't use the word "bear". To carry means to bear and vice versa in this instance. Sometimes words do have the same meaning as in this instance. The court said nothing of the militia, or of "bearing" arms either in the militia or for any other purpose.

    Yours is the first I have ever seen of this silly argument.

    Under your interpretation there is no right to "carry" (as described in Dred Scott) but only a right employ them in some sort of combat.

    Absolutely silly.

  • SomeGuy||

    all weapons are arms you twit that's the definition. weapons, vehicles, explosives. Hence, the arms race of the cold war error. This included nuclear weapons in the terms arms...wow your dishonest or ignorant.

  • SomeGuy||

    era* lol god i suck at spelling lol.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    You also suck at logic, reason, facts, and evidence.

    You are seriously deficient in the history surrounding the adoption of the Constitution and 2A.

    As well as basic understanding of English words.

  • SomeGuy||

    i already quoted you the fucking definition for you. but keep using red herrings if that makes you feel better.

    Here are the definitions again.

    arms:weapons and ammunition; armaments.

    armaments:
    military weapons and equipment.
    "chemical weapons and other unconventional armaments"
    synonyms: arms, weapons, weaponry, firearms, guns, ordnance, artillery, munitions, matériel, hardware
    "a shortage of armaments"
    the process of equipping military forces for war.
    archaic
    a military force equipped for war.

    weapons:
    noun
    plural noun: weapons
    a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage.
    "nuclear weapons"
    a means of gaining an advantage or defending oneself in a conflict or contest.
    "resignation threats had long been a weapon in his armory"
    You are just in straight denial.

  • SomeGuy||

    again arms has nothing to do with what you can carry shit.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    You can argue with the SC then.

    But you've already lost there too.

  • SomeGuy||

    again bear does not mean carry god you are dishonest. bear also means support.

    keep and support. keeping weapons and having the ability to maintain them.

  • Rich||

    You can't restrict the liberties of someone who has done nothing wrong because of what some other person did in the past—or theoretically might do in the future.

    Citation needed.

  • Ken Shultz||

  • John||

    Gee then I guess every single public safety law from speed limits to restaurant inspections is guilt by association. How can you restrict my right to drive 120 just because some other person wasn't a good enough driver to do so safely?

    Try again Ken.

  • Diane Merriam||

    When you're driving on someone else's road, then they can set the conditions under which you use it. While the government shouldn't own the roads, the principle is the same as any other property. And no, the government has no right to force government inspections of a restaurant.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "How can you restrict my right to drive 120 just because some other person wasn't a good enough driver to do so safely?"

    Bad analogy.

    You want to pull everyone over regardless of whether they're speeding--because they're Muslim?

    Before you pull someone over for speeding, you're supposed to catch them speeding.

    Before you search someone, you're supposed to have probable cause.

    The person you pull over and search is supposed to be the person you have reason to believe has committed a crime.

    Not because they're Muslim.

  • SomeGuy||

    interestingly enough, Germans never put a speed limit on their high ways because it is more economical to leave them speedless roads. At least the Germans did something right :/ I wish I could drive 90 or 100 unmolested :/

  • BambiB||

    And yet, people of other countries have NO RIGHT to come to America.

    None.

    Nada.

    Nichts.

    Nyet.

    When they do so illegally (in violation of OUR laws) it's a crime. When 12+ million do it, it's an invasion. The appropriate way to deal with an invasion is to kill the invaders until they stop coming.

  • Draco||

    A gun is an inanimate object, a tool, created to solve the problem of defense against superior brute force. It gives man freedom from inordinate fear that some larger man or animal can harm him.

    A certain religion I can think of is a social/political system for carrying out the commands of an imaginary pork-hating and tribe-preferring sky god, including war against and subjugation of non-believers (or non tribe-members).

    The former tool can be a good defense against the right-violating intentions of the latter. They are not comparable, other than in that way.

  • aajax||

    Are you talking about Judaism?

  • Diane Merriam||

    Or Seventh-day Adventists?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    "Yet a bigger point needs drawing out. The trouble with the one-gun-a-month law is that it truncates the rights of all Virginians, in order to thwart the designs of a minuscule minority who want to run guns to New York. To the ordinary gun owner in Virginia, who follows the law and leaves other people alone unless they mess with him first, it must seem brutally unfair to restrict his right to keep and bear arms because of something somebody else did, or might do in the future."

    This conflicts with the basic tenet of utilitarianism, which touts "the greatest good for the greatest number." It presumes an eradication of individual rights in order to serve the collective interests of the masses; the agenda of which is determined by their masters.

    That has to be the essential defining difference between libertarians and progressives. That an the allure of power over others in order to make them do your bidding.

  • mpercy||

    Non-citizens without visa or greencard who are currently located outside the US have no RIGHT to enter the US at all. This is long held SCOTUS-backed logic, who have said the Executive has broad controls over who is permitted to enter the country.

    Not sure why you want to conflate the exercise of 2nd Amendment-protected rights by citizens with religious liberties of foreigners in foreign lands?

    P.S. We all know that Islam is a religion of peace...and that Brutus is an honorable man.

  • Diane Merriam||

    Whether something is legal, which the new order seems to be, and whether it is right, are two different things.

    The comparison between the immigration controls and the gun controller arguments (as well as global warming catastrophists and many others) is that they rely on the precautionary principle ... Something bad might happen in the future. We don't really know that it will, or exactly who or what might do it, but it's within the realm of possibility. And if it does it could be really bad. Therefore the solution is to do everything possible to prevent it, even if it turns out down the road that we were wrong after all.

  • Longtobefree||

    Suggestion:
    Since there might be a totalitarian left wing takeover in the future, outlaw left wing politicians, left wing political parties, and left wing professors.
    It is for the children, after all - - - -

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "Of the 10 fatal terrorist attacks linked to Islamic radicalism that have occurred on U.S. soil since (and including) 9/11, not one of them would have been thwarted by the sort of ban that Trump imposed and will impose again, in slightly altered form, on Thursday."

    That's right.

    But it suggests the ban should be broader, much broader.

    No more Muslim "students", visitors, "refugees", or "immigrants".

    That's the ban that is needed.

  • aajax||

    Fine. All you have to do is pass an amendment to the Constitution and you can do that.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    well, here is the proposal I wrote back in 2007 to do just that. too bad it will never happen.

    http://pedestrianinfidel.blogs.....dment.html

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Americans would be safer, statistically, if they crushed all the guns into pellets.
    But keep on fapping, gun nutters.

  • Longtobefree||

    It is not a question of statistics, it is a question of the constitution.
    Homework for the student; actually research the violent crime statistics to determine the amount of violence not involving firearms. Then research (if you can find where they hide the numbers) the number of violent acts prevented by the presence of a firearm.
    Hint; England, Australia.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    OK, hold it.

    The authority to control who enters the country is specifically enumerated as a power of the State by the Constitution. The power to control whether citizens own and bear arms is specifically EXCLUDED was a power of the State by the Constitution.

    The NRA is an organization that works to defend a Constitutional right. CAIR is a front organization, exactly as legitimate as the Soviet-American friendship organizations that the Communists funded starting in the 1920's.

    There are arguments against the steps Trump is taking regarding immigration. This isn't one of them, and it is an embarrassingly dishonest one to boot.

    Reason; shame on you.

  • Diane Merriam||

    No. The power granted in the Constitution is to create the rules for naturalization - that's obtaining citizenship, not controlling immigration.

  • aajax||

    Except the gun lovers I know are among the most anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant people. No, I think it is up to more enlightened people than the NRA to protect our overall liberty.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    There has always been random violence in the world. Shit happens. Politicians and journalists rubbing my nose in it every time it happens won't make me buy whatever boondoggle they're selling this time. Quite the opposite, in fact. I'm sick and tired of it. This applies to freedom of speech and religion, freedom to keep and bear arms, and all the rest.

    If I'd figured out what a scam this perpetual panic hustle was much earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.

  • Badger O Stripey One||

    "The vast majority of [muslims] pose no threat to anyone, and never will. "

    When muslims are in the vast majority will you still stand by that statement?

  • ranrod||

    APPEASER

  • BambiB||

    >> Not every attempt at gun control is an abject failure.

    I think the key word is "abject". On balance, by preponderance, in general, all gun control laws are failures. How many New Yorkers have died because criminals were emboldened by the knowledge that their intended targets were not armed? How many people have died because they could not defend themselves? So if the laws interdicted a batch of guns that was intended for criminal use, perhaps some lives were saved - but how many more were sacrificed? And how many guns wound up in criminal hands despite the laws?

  • BillCa||

    Methinks the author errors greatly.
    Purchasing a firearm is a constitutional right, while there is no absolute right to immigration to the U.S., constitutional or otherwise. So comparing them is an apples-oranges mistake.

    The gun laws, like one-gun-a-month laws, are permanent, while Trump's travel ban was supposed to be for a specific, limited time, subject to reversal by policy change, not legislative action. And despite the way the article was written, it wasn't a ban on "Muslims" already in the U.S. (though such should have been clarified originally), but applied to new, incoming immigrants or refugees from selected countries.

    Nor does it matter that his travel ban wouldn't impact the types of previous terrorist attacks. The goal is to ensure the people coming as refugees are properly screened and vetted. They may see the same delays my in-law's parents did when fleeing (German ally) Yugoslavia in 1939. And immigration is a foreign policy matter under the jurisdiction of the Executive branch which has statutory authority to limit or even close the immigration pathways to some or all applicants.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Damn, what is going on at Reason's offices? Did they buy a bag of paraquat-tainted weed or something?

    First Shikha goes berserk and likens opposing illegal immigration to supporting slavery, then Gillespie says opposing open borders is just another form of racism, and now Hinkle thinks that there is a constitutional right to immigrate.

    It's almost as if they wanted Libertarians to look silly to the average voter....

  • MHaber||

    This article is pants stupid. Reason(able) people are going to start thinking if maybe gun-rights should be curtailed because of evil people in the US like CAIR, and they already have too many pressure cookers.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    What do gun bans and travel bans have in common?

    Not much. Gun bans are an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of Americans. "Travel bans" for Yemenis and Somalis are a valid, legal, and constitutional exercise of sovereign power.

  • Underzog||

    Libertarians call themselves the party of America, but they continue to support Islamic terrorists. The Muslims have been the enemy of America since the dawn of our republic; i.e., the Barbary Pirates. You are closer to Nazis than to Americans. Is that the reason why your presidential candidate wanted to force Jewish bakers to back swastika laden cakes?

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here."

  • Locris||

    "Not only that, they seem ineffective. Of the 10 fatal terrorist attacks linked to Islamic radicalism that have occurred on U.S. soil since (and including) 9/11, not one of them would have been thwarted by the sort of ban that Trump imposed and will impose again, in slightly altered form, on Thursday."

    Still waiting for that Libertarian/Liberal force field or mass Vulcan mind meld to come out.

    Or perhaps the author can beat feet to one these countries and embark upon a speaking tour that will convince terrorists or terrorists in waiting to take up social work instead.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Islamabads and gun fetishists are ''violent crazies'' in common.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Well this brought out the gun nuts as usual.

  • Longtobefree||

    So you would be fine with a law requiring you to take a government mandated course, costing several hundreds of dollars, in order to obtain a free speech permit to post to internet sites? And with that permit application costing an annual fee? And with the local police/sheriff being able to refuse the permit, even after the course, on any grounds at all? And with the permit subject to revocation if you are ever subjected to a court order, or if you are convicted of a crime?

  • Longtobefree||

    Apples and Oranges.
    Gun bans are about US Citizens having their constitutional rights infringed by laws against objects.
    Travel bans do not exist, in the context of Trump's executive order. The "travel ban" phrase is a deliberately misleading term applied to a few immigrants' applications being delayed due to the difficulty of processing their applications. The difficulty comes form the failure of the government in the identified countries.

  • Montgomery||

    I wish I could say this article is the stupidest, most poorly reasoned article I have read on Reason. Is there no editorial oversight?

  • Montgomery||

    Maybe next time A Barton Hinkle could dazzle us with a column calling on Muslims to unite with pro-abortion activists because an unwanted immigrant is practically the same as an unwanted baby.

    Then he could write an article about how Muslims and pro-LGBT groups are really fighting the same fight. And Muslims and pro-women's liberation advocates too. They should all join together because they all want the same thing.

    Oh, wait...

  • MaleMatters||

    "People respond to incentives, although not necessarily in ways that are predictable or manifest. Therefore, one of the most powerful laws in the universe is the law of unintended consequences." -From the book "SuperFreakonomics"

    Prohibit all guns everywhere, and an "iron pipeline" will form overnight from Mexico to U.S. criminals, who will be armed while citizens won't be -- an iron pipeline to operate right next to or in conjunction with the drug pipeline.

  • dchang0||

    Re: "But the outcome also should chasten gun-control opponents, since laws against gun-running and straw purchases are part of gun control. Not every attempt at gun control is an abject failure."

    This one sentence clearly reveals the author's bias in favor of gun control. Any gun rights advocate and ANY TRUE LIBERTARIAN would immediately question why it should be considered a "success" to limit gun-running and straw purchases if it is our right to buy, keep, use, transport, re-sell any guns we want as often as we want.

    Gun running is only the black market response to illegal and unconstitutional restrictions on the sale of guns in NYS and other blue states. Regarding straw purchases, the libertarian argument is that once a felon has done his time and been released into society, he has paid his dues and should be afforded the full rights of a citizen again, is it not? Then why should he not be able to buy guns as himself, without sending in a straw purchaser?

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