Friday, October 13, 2006

1 Out Of 10 Ain't Bad...

I have an early pick for the winner of Survivor: Bill Of Rights - see if you can guess who it is:

Once upon a time, Rudy Giuliani said, "Someone who now voted to roll back the assault-weapons ban would really be demonstrating that special-interest politics mean more to them than life-or-death issues." Indeed, when the GOP Congress let the Clinton-era assault-weapons ban expire in 2004, Giuliani was among the high-profile Republican critics to denounce the move. The availability of assault weapons like AK-47s at gun shows and gun shops has emerged as a major concern for U.S. law enforcement grappling with terrorism in the post-9/11 era. Giuliani's commitment to limiting access to assault weapons, however, apparently evaporated this week when he came to Seattle to stump for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick, who's running against Democrat Maria Cantwell.

Speaking to a group of reporters at the Sheraton Hotel downtown, where he was hosting a $1,000—$2,100-a-plate fundraiser for McGavick on Monday, October 9, Giuliani said this: "I don't think [the assault-weapons ban] is one of the most critical issues right now."

(...)

What's most galling about Giuliani's flip-flop on assault weapons is that his pro-McGavick stump speech was squarely focused on homeland security. "We need senators who understand that we have to be on offense against terrorism," he said. "Cantwell's ambiguous support for the effort against terrorism probably concerns me more than anything else."

For someone who claims to be so vigilant, Giuliani's shirking of his commitment to regulating AK-47s (which you can currently buy in about 15 minutes at Butch's Gun Shop on Aurora Avenue North, according to a salesperson there) is laughable.

An al Qaeda manual entitled How Can I Train Myself for Jihad, found by United States Special Forces in the ruins of a training camp in Afghanistan (and posted on a suspected terrorist's website in 2004), tellingly singles out the United States for its easy availability of firearms, and stipulates that al Qaeda members living in the U.S. "obtain an assault weapon legally, preferably an AK-47 or variations."

Already eliminated:

1st Amendment (Freedom of speech/religion)

4th Amendment (No unreasonable search & seizure without a warrant)

5th Amendment (No imprisonment or execution without due process)

6th Amendment (The right to a fair and speedy trial)

8th Amendment (No cruel and unusual punishment)

9th Amendment (Rights not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution can still be valid)

10th Amendment ("States' rights")

As you can see, we're down to just three contestants now, so we're well into the special two-hour finale.


(hat tip to Atrios)

10 comments:

The Kenosha Kid said...

Are you stealing material from Keith Olberman?




Verification word: kptsd
definition: Kooky Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Eli said...

Am I? Wha'd I miss?

Interrobang said...

Olberman did a schtick on that recently, where he crossed out amendments with a red marker.

I'm not seeing how "legally allowing every yahoo in the country to walk around with an AK-47 ferchrissakes" has anything much to do with impairing states' abilities to marshall a "well-ordered militia," though, so I think the 2nd Amendment is more or less intact for now.

Would be nice if they could ban those assault weapons again, if only to keep them out of militia nut nitwits'/terrorists/gun-runners' hands. Thanks to our fairly porous border, a lot of your problem guns eventually become our problem.

Eli said...

Heh. I did not see that.

The thing that frustrates me about the 2nd Amendment is its inherent contradiction. On the one hand, it says that its purpose is to protect a "well-ordered militia", and on the other, it says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.

But people aren't buying arms for the purpose of constituting a "well-ordered militia" - but their right to bear them is still uninfringeable.

I personally would like to see guns regulated a lot more tightly, but I don't believe that the wording of the amendment supports it. And if the hysterical fear of terrorism isn't enough to rein it in, nothing will. It's just further proof of how bogus and insincere the Republican "War On Terror" is - they'll use it to take away every right except for the one that actually lets terrorists buy assault weapons.

charley said...

how are we gonna fight the islamofascists if we ain't got our guns.

Zap Rowsdower said...

Gah. You kids and your 'living constitution'.

The Kenosha Kid said...

Olbermann intercepts Eli's post and runs it in for a touchdown!

Eli said...

Gah. You kids and your 'living constitution'.

Dying. Dying Constitution.


Thanks, Kenosha. Looks like he was mainly focusing on the rights of prisoners; I'm talking about the rights of *everybody*.

spocko said...

When it comes to debate tactics and arguments for the bill of rights, the people at the NRA have spent decades prepping people on every single trick. I actually am impressed by their work. I think they are wrong, but I'm still impressed by the communications effort.

Over on Fark after yet another school yard shooting it's always fascinating to see the gun nuts to come out. One of the shootings involved a Machine Gun and I posted about it. The arguments back ranged from the technical "But it isn't actually technically a machine gun!" to the ridiculous, "We just need to arm all the teachers."

What I'd really like to do is get the parents of the dead kids on the phone with the "we must have these guns!" folks. When I suggested it they said, "Sure, but then I want to have interviews with people who saved their lives from having a gun in the house."

It was an interesting reaction.

Eli said...

In terms of the text of the amendment, the NRA has a very strong case. In terms of morality and, well, sanity, I think they're well beyond the pale.

There was some standup comic who suggested a compromise where the 2nd Amendment would only apply to weapons that were available in the late 18th century.

He then proceeded to hilariously enact a holdup using a musket, where the crook demanded that his victims wait while he went through the laborious loading process. Good stuff.