Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Penn and Teller on the 2nd Amendment and my ramblings

Anyone who knows me for more than a few days will invariably find out that I am a strict Constructionist. Meaning I like our system of government and the framing document that supports it. It also means I fully support any amendments to the original, especially the one that repealed prohibition.  :)
I don't like how far our government has strayed from the Constitution, especially since the framers put in a wonderful mechanism for modifying it. Want a Dept of Education, no problem, get an amendment passed. Want a balanced budget requirement for Congress with some teeth? No problem, amendment. Want to do anything not spelled out in the document? Amend that puppy. Its a simple system and since we need a majority of states to ratify an amendment, not one that lends itself to abuse. Nothing is stopping us from having the government we have today codified in our Constitution, so why don't we take the extra steps to make it official? legislative laziness? Fear the amendments would never pass muster? Lack of anyone in DC caring about the Constitution? I don't know. I do know I get tired of people who complain about parts of our Constitution.

That being said, I know a lot of people personally and many more online who simply despise firearms (and those who own them in many cases). Since this is a right given to the people expressly in the 2nd Amendment and one that really isn't that big a deal, I don't for the life of me understand how we let people get away with railing against it. We wouldn't condone people setting up a "Repeal the 16th Amendment and put Blacks in as 2nd class citizens" Foundation. I know it'd be tough to get 503c status from the IRS at least, much less donors. Yet, groups that want to take away this Constitutionally granted, explicit right can indeed set up PAC's, charities, accept tax deductible donations and publicly rail against something, that if it were "civil rights" related would tie the ACLU in knots as they ran for their lawyers to stop you, or label you a hate group. Yet, really, when you consider life and liberty, what section of the constitution better addresses those "civil rights" needs then the Bill of Rights; all of them (well, maybe not the 10th, that's more about State's rights). The 1st allows us to say what we want, where we want, be it political or religious gatherings. The 4th prevents the government from just snooping around our house when its not warranted, so on and so forth. I think the 2nd, while a big deal to some hoplophobes out there, is actually pretty tame and is a reflection of the fact that our country had just fought a war to overcome a tyrannical government. Anyone who tells me that need could never arise again, obviously has their eyes shut and their ears plugged. Tyranny exists all over the world, the idea that it couldn't visit the US of A again is naive. A gun alone will never do anything, its just a tool after all, much like a hammer, rake or saw. But take away those tools, and you are powerless to do anything, be it build a chair, or defend you country or home. Yet, people all over this country stand up every day and say we need to take away guns for this reason and that. I'll be the first to admit there are guns in the hands of some bad guys out there, but that is no reason to take away my 2nd amendment rights b/c of what SOMEONE ELSE did. Punish them, not me.The justice system is delineated pretty well in the Constitution as well.

I just don't get it. I like Penn & Teller's thoughts on the 2nd, so I thought I would share.

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