Isn't Self-Defense Common Sense?
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:16 PM   #1
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Default Isn't Self-Defense Common Sense?


Isn't Self-Defense Common Sense?
By Jacob Sullum
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Under the Second Amendment, Barack Obama says, "There is an individual right to bear arms, but it is subject to common-sense regulation, just like most of our rights are subject to common-sense regulation." The leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination thus seems to be on the same wavelength as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which in a decision last March said that "the protections of the Second Amendment are subject to the same sort of reasonable restrictions that have been recognized as limiting, for instance, the First Amendment."

But there is a crucial difference between these superficially similar formulations: The appeals court meant what it said, and Obama doesn't. Although the Illinois senator has learned to pay lip service to the Second Amendment, the details of his past and present positions on gun control suggest he neither understands nor respects the right to keep and bear arms.

In last year's ruling, which the U.S. Supreme Court will soon review, the D.C. Circuit overturned a Washington, D.C., gun law that bans possession of handguns in the home and requires that rifles and shotguns be kept "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock." The law thereby effectively bars city residents from using firearms for self-defense in their own homes.

Obama evidently considers that de facto prohibition a "common-sense regulation," since he recently cited Washington's law as an example of constitutionally permissible gun control. "The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can't initiate gun safety laws to deal with gangbangers and random shootings on the street isn't borne out by our Constitution," he said.

The D.C. gun law, passed in 1975, isn't really about gangbangers, which it has not exactly disarmed, or random shootings on the street, which it has not noticeably curbed. In effect if not intent, it is about disarming law-abiding residents who might want to protect themselves from gangbangers and other violent criminals.

It's not surprising that Obama sees nothing unconstitutional about this situation, since he does not acknowledge that the Second Amendment has anything to do with self-defense. "As a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama understands and believes in the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms," his website claims. "He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting" (emphasis added).

This is the only substantive discussion of the Second Amendment on Obama's Web site. It's part of a document that lists "Protecting Gun Rights" as a subcategory of "Supporting the Rights and Traditions of Sportsmen," which is like listing "Protecting Freedom of Speech" as a subcategory of "Supporting the Rights and Traditions of Auctioneers."

It's true that hunting -- at the time an important source of sustenance, as opposed to the hobby it has become for most Americans -- was one of the gun uses the Framers had in mind when they guaranteed the right to arms. But as the D.C. Circuit emphasized when it found Washington's gun law unconstitutional, "the people's right to arms was auxiliary to the natural right of self-preservation," which was "understood as the right to defend oneself against attacks by lawless individuals, or, if absolutely necessary, to resist and throw off a tyrannical government."

Because Obama ignores these aspects of the Second Amendment, he sees no constitutional barrier to a complete ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns, which he supported when he ran for the Illinois Senate in 1996. Two years later, he said he favored a ban on the sale or transfer of all semiautomatic firearms, which would cover not only most handguns but also many hunting rifles and shotguns as well.

Responding to criticism that Obama has since changed his position on gun control, his campaign declares that "Obama has been consistent." If so, consistent civil libertarians -- the ones who do not mentally skip from the First Amendment to the Fourth -- should be worried.



http://ksky.townhall.com/columnists/JacobSullum/2008/02/27/isnt_self-defense_common_sense
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:18 AM   #2
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Leftists don't believe you have a right to defend yourself. You might defend yourself from them....

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Old 02-28-2008, 04:11 AM   #3
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actually, i bought my guns to defend myself from the right.....

movie zombie

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Old 02-29-2008, 12:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moviezombie View Post
actually, i bought my guns to defend myself from the right.....

movie zombie
And that's a good thing too, after the 100 million murdered by the right in the last century. Oops, that was the left....
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:49 AM   #5
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fascists were to the left? hitler was to the left? mussolini? stalin? franco? if they're to the left, i hate to find out about their opposites on the right.

actually more afraid of the right in this very same country i call home: the US.

movie zombie

ps will we have each other's backs or will we be shooting at each other? i'm afraid the coup has already happened with the mere signing of a contract: North American Union. the fine print isn't pretty no matter one's politics.

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Old 02-29-2008, 10:24 AM   #6
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fascists were to the left? hitler was to the left? mussolini? stalin? franco? if they're to the left, i hate to find out about their opposites on the right.
Yes, they were the "progressives" of their day.

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actually more afraid of the right in this very same country i call home: the US.
Anyone who wishes to impose his or her will by amending the Constitution or dispensing with it entirely and compelling people to behave according to their plan is evil, IMO.

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ps will we have each other's backs or will we be shooting at each other? i'm afraid the coup has already happened with the mere signing of a contract: North American Union. the fine print isn't pretty no matter one's politics.
The SPP is a signed deal but the NAU is not. While there is evidence (tangible and behavioral) to indicate a North American Union is being worked on, it is not a done deal yet.

But that is the stuff of globalists. They qualify as evil.
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:16 PM   #7
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so back in the day repressive meant progressive meant leftist........again, hate to meet the far right. however, those to the right also want to change the constitution in a way that was never meant to be. agree that ANYONE who wants to do so is evil.

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Old 03-01-2008, 01:35 AM   #8
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fascists were to the left? hitler was to the left? mussolini? stalin? franco? if they're to the left, i hate to find out about their opposites on the right.
Yup, as been said above, all your examples are leftists. Right means constitutional democratic republics or constitutional monarchies where the so-called sovereign, isn't.
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:19 PM   #9
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-Right_politics

a pretty good narrative re the history of left/right and current US view of left/right. however, fascism remains right of center.

good read though.

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Old 03-05-2008, 10:12 AM   #10
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Thomas Sowell nails it pretty well in this article.

Who is Fascist?
By Thomas Sowell
Thursday, February 14, 2008

Those who put a high value on words may recoil at the title of Jonah Goldberg's new book, "Liberal Fascism." As a result, they may refuse to read it, which will be their loss -- and a major loss.

Those who value substance over words, however, will find in this book a wealth of challenging insights, backed up by thorough research and brilliant analysis.

This is the sort of book that challenges the fundamental assumptions of its time -- and which, for that reason, is likely to be shunned rather than criticized.

Because the word "fascist" is often thrown around loosely these days, as a general term of abuse, it is good that "Liberal Fascism" begins by discussing the real Fascism, introduced into Italy after the First World War by Benito Mussolini.

The Fascists were completely against individualism in general and especially against individualism in a free market economy. Their agenda included minimum wage laws, government restrictions on profit-making, progressive taxation of capital, and "rigidly secular" schools.

Unlike the Communists, the Fascists did not seek government ownership of the means of production. They just wanted the government to call the shots as to how businesses would be run.

They were for "industrial policy," long before liberals coined that phrase in the United States.

Indeed, the whole Fascist economic agenda bears a remarkable resemblance to what liberals would later advocate.

Moreover, during the 1920s "progressives" in the United States and Britain recognized the kinship of their ideas with those of Mussolini, who was widely lionized by the left.

Famed British novelist and prominent Fabian socia1ist H.G. Wells called for "Liberal Fascism," saying "the world is sick of parliamentary politics."

Another literary giant and Fabian socia1ist, George Bernard Shaw, also expressed his admiration for Mussolini -- as well as for Hitler and Stalin, because they "did things," instead of just talk. In Germany, the Nazis followed in the wake of the Italian Fascists, adding racism in general and anti-semitism in particular, neither of which was part of Fascism in Italy or in Franco's Spain.

Even the Nazi variant of Fascism found favor on the left when it was only a movement seeking power in the 1920s.

W.E.B. DuBois was so taken with the Nazi movement that he put swastikas on the cover of a magazine he edited, despite complaints from Jewish readers.

Even after Hitler achieved dictatorial power in Germany in 1933, DuBois declared that the Nazi dictatorship was "absolutely necessary in order to get the state in order."

As late as 1937 he said in a speech in Harlem that "there is today, in some respects, more democracy in Germany than there has been in years past."

In short, during the 1920s and the early 1930s, Fascism was not only looked on favorably by the left but recognized as having kindred ideas, agendas and assumptions.

Only after Hitler and Mussolini disgraced themselves, mainly by their brutal military aggressions in the 1930s, did the left distance themselves from these international pariahs.

Fascism, initially recognized as a kindred ideology of the left, has since come down to us defined as being on "the right" -- indeed, as representing the farthest right, supposedly further extensions of conservatism.

If by conservatism you mean belief in free markets, limited government, and traditional morality, including religious influences, then these are all things that the Fascists opposed just as much as the left does today.


The left may say that they are not racists or anti-semites, like Hitler, but neither was Mussolini or Franco. Hitler, incidentally, got some of his racist ideology from the writings of American "progressives" in the eugenics movement.

Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" is too rich a book to be summarized in a newspaper column. Get a copy and start re-thinking the received notions about who is on "the left" and who is on "the right." It is a book for people who want to think, rather than repeat rhetoric.

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