Harvard Crimson: Repeal the Second Amendment
Editorial, via Instapundit, here.
I'll merely take on the first paragraph.
"Written in an age in which minutemen rose to dress and fight at a moment’s notice,"
Actually, the minutemen were but a tiny part of the militia that fought in those days.
" the Second Amendment was no doubt motivated by a young nation’s concern for its own safety and stability."
The use of "no doubt" suggests that the authors are completely unaware of the Second Amendment's history.
"But now, when the United States is protected by the most powerful security forces on the globe,"
Yep. They don't even understand that a major part of the push for a Second Amendment centered on fears of just that security force! I guess they've never heard of Madison's Federalist 46. Or perhaps of Madison.
"the Second Amendment is neither relevant nor useful."
That line is explained by their historical ignorance.
"Rather, it has become an impediment to vital public policy,"
I.e., enacting gun controls that do no good.
"and it should be repealed and replaced with nuanced federal legislation."
Nuanced? That's SO 2004! Why should any criminal law be "nuanced?" In that setting, "nuanced" means "void for vagueness."
So this is what spending 150k on an elite legal education gets you? Awesome.
Posted by: Jim W at November 30, 2007 01:06 PM
"Instead of wasting time attempting to fix this anachronism, we should repeal this amendment and focus our efforts on legislation that will actually protect the “security of a free state”—a charge explicit in the Second Amendment."
The repeal of the 2nd might actually protect the security of the State but the Harvard Crimson seem to be lost in what would "protect the 'security of a free state'". Just 4 days prior to this editorial the same "staff" were arguing that signing statements were undermining the Constitution.
"This power grab is a clear violation of the spirit of our Constitution that undermines the authority of Congress to legislate."
I guess their idea of protecting the free state is to politely ask for a violator to stop. Would they think differently if their offices were padlocked by an offended Executive? Should that happen do they really believe "the most powerful security forces on the globe" would come to their rescue against an oppressive leader?
Posted by: JKB at November 30, 2007 01:08 PM
I'd also like to point out that the 13th amendment is outdated, an anachronism from a time when we used labor-intensive agriculture methods.
Allowing corporations to acquire a property interest in their employees would give them a greater interest in the health and welfare of their employees. The 13th amendment is clearly getting in the way of pressing public policy. Let's help America's corporations protect America's working poor by replacing the 13th amendment with nuanced federal legislation.
Posted by: Jim W at November 30, 2007 01:19 PM
Repeal one of the original 10 Amendments? One of the original Bill of Rights?
Sure. OK. Take your best shots, undergrads. Free beer in Cambridge to the first member of the Crimson editorial board who can, from memory, recite the requisite steps for repealing a provision of the United States Constitution. You kids are old enough to drink beer, aren't you?
I've heard of Sophomoric, but this editorial is ridiculous.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at November 30, 2007 01:26 PM
"Just 4 days prior to this editorial the same "staff" were arguing that signing statements were undermining the Constitution."
"This power grab is a clear violation of the spirit of our Constitution that undermines the authority of Congress to legislate." End quote
1st seen in the comments at HuffPo regarding D.C vs Heller, but applicable to this editorial as well:
"How can you reason with someone who thinks we’re on a glidepath to a police state and yet their solution is to grant the government a monopoly on force. Insanity." End quote. That about sums it up, doesn't it?
Posted by: Jeff at November 30, 2007 01:54 PM
They also roll out this tired canard:
In Virginia...if a handgun is purchased at a gun show, there is no background check required.
I'm always baffled by the gun-grabbers' assmption that gun shows are some mythical place where state and local laws are null and void. The truth is, to the shock of these ill-informed ninnies, is that if you can sell one of your guns to someone out of your house without a background check, you can do so at a gun show. If you cannot, you may not. Laws are not suspended when one passes past the nice lady with the cashbox.
Posted by: Jeffersonian at November 30, 2007 02:31 PM
911 Operator: Hello, What is your emergency?
Caller: "There are some guys with guns trying to steal the powder in the Magazine.
911 Operator: "What do they look like?
Caller: "They are wearing red uniforms you know with those Assault Brown Bess's and those shiny bayonets
911 Operator: "Don't worry Sir, those are the King's men. They are merely taking the powder for your security."
Caller: "Praise be to God! For a minute there I thought they were those Rebels."
911 Operator: "God Save the King!"
Caller: "God Save the King Indeed!"
Posted by: Rudy DiGiacinto at November 30, 2007 02:31 PM
My favorite is when they bring up a comparison and then "back it up" with the wrong statistics.
"The high level of violence in the United States as compared to other developed countries, if not directly related to the culture of gun ownership and distribution, is at least a strong argument that the Second Amendment is preventing aggressive federal gun regulation."
From a normal right-thinking person I'd expect after this a comparison of violent crime (of all types, regardless of tool used) between different countries. Instead, they tell us the percentage of a certain type of crime here in the US is perpetrated with a firearm, as if there's some kind of connection with the point they're trying to make.
"According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2005, 68 percent of the 14,860 homicides in the United States were gun-related. Given the pervasiveness of gun violence that occurs in this country every year, this sort of uneven gun control is unacceptable, especially when it comes to handguns."
And these are the "smart" kids @ Harvard? I'd willingly accept 100% of those 14,860 homicides being committed with a gun over accepting a higher homicide rate, but 0% of them committed with a gun.
Posted by: JT at November 30, 2007 03:07 PM
While their arguments are, ah, unpersuasive, to say the least, I will at least give them credit for having the intellectual honesty to say what they really mean.
They appear to understand that, to reach their gun-free utopia, the Constitution must be amended, not simply re-interpreted.
I say 'appear' because it could also be that they haven't realized that their call for the amending implicitly recognizes the individual right nature of the Second Amendment.
Posted by: Mike at November 30, 2007 04:07 PM
The Supreme Court will rule in favor of the individual rights view for the precise reason it coincides with the framers intent. The liberal left has known this all along, but never had the integrity or intellectual honesty to admit it. Now that the issue has finally been forced upon them and the outcome is clear, they finally conclude that the only solution is to seek repeal of the Second Amendment. Well, "good luck" to them. The anti-gun folks are scared for a good reason - we are going to prevail!
Posted by: Matthew Carmel at November 30, 2007 06:32 PM
To me, the scariest thing about this is that I've heard it before, a number of times. I teach high school government and also debate. Several times a semester I have students suggest repealing the second amendment; this happened again just yesterday as we watched excerpts from the YouTube debates. These are bright, college bound kids who are articulate, pay attention to current events, and believe that we should repeal it! There may be more of this belief out there than we'd like to think.
Posted by: AnkenyDebate at December 1, 2007 08:16 AM
If the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, does not grant any rights to anyone but rather enumerates those rights, repealing the 2nd Amendment does not take away a person's right to arms.
Our rights pre-dated the Constitution, so don't stop at the 2nd, go ahead and repeal them all. I'll still speak my mind, go to a church of my choice, keep my arms, etc... and accept the consequences. Those rights may be taken from me, but those rights would still be mine, illegally stripped from me, but mine.
Posted by: StrandedinIowa at December 1, 2007 10:29 AM
I quite agree with you. It specifically states that it is a pre existant right, simply protected by the constitution, and therefore still exists whether protected by the constitution or not.
Posted by: Travis at April 20, 2009 05:11 AM