Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Courts' role

Levy has an interesting legal argument at NRO.

I'm no lawyer, so I cannot comment on the technical aspects this article brings up.

But the gist seems to be that we want young, white, beautiful people to be front and center in any court discussion of 2A. This is the sort of thing that always pisses me off. An ugly black kid with no teeth gets kidnapped in Detroit: lucky if the AP even has a wire story on it. If a good-looking white child is abducted from the suburbs, it gets non-stop coverage.

My fault with the argument is, you are talking about an amendment included in the Bill of Rights (not the patient's bill of rights, or the insurance bill of rights, THE BILL OF RIGHTS.) By saying you need to bring the perfect case before the Supreme Court underscores the subjugation of the argument. It becomes a catwalk instead of a legal argument.

Given, Levy argues that it is better to bring a 2A suit in front of the Justices if the plaintiffs are law-abiding citizens, who walk their dogs and drink bottled water etc. It is not so appealing if you have a crackhead, who somehow managed to purchase a firearm legally.

At that point, you undermine the right, perception wise. If a crackhead or a dog-walking suburbanite purchases a gun legally, there's nothing wrong with that. By saying you need stricter gun laws just caters to the notion that people are not smart enough to make decisions. As far as the unfortunate crackhead; if he used a legal gun in the conduct of a crime, what difference does that make? He would have gotten hold of something lethal anyway. The answer to that is to pull him off the street and incarcerate him at taxpayer expense (if you are compassionate) or have him put to death (if you are interested in saving taxpayer money and ensuring the public doesn't have to face a threat from that asshole ever again ((and he can't piss in the gene pool.))

It's an interesting argument, but with rights, I don't think you need to put your best looking face on it.

I think you're being shortsighted about this.

Here's what I think you're not factoring in to the equation. Currently, the Supreme Court doesn't recognize much of anything in the way of our Second Amendment rights. Now, we can argue all day about whether the Supreme Court has any authority to ignore rights that are spelled out right there in the Constitution, but the fact of the matter is, what the Supreme Court says matters. If you and I have a "right" to own guns, but the Supreme Court says we dont', and the State is willing to back them up with force, then the fact that you and I know we're right isn't much comfort.

So, we find ourselves in a position where if we want our rights to be meaningful, we need to persuade the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court isn't filled with wise and honest judges who will always impartially interpret the law regardless of their personal preferences. The Court is filled with, by and large, politicians. At least half the Court doesn't really care what the Constitution says. They care what POLICY is. They'd rather be kings, than judges.

In light of that, it MATTERS what kind of case comes before them. Should the Second Amendment apply the same way to the crackhead as to you or I? Maybe it should. But guess what? Whichever one of us gets to the Court first, that's who's gonna shape the law. If the crackhed gets their first, and the Court decideds to construe the Second Amendment narrowly because they don't like him, then it's you and I whose rights are going to suffer.

If we had a perfect Court, you'd possibly have a point. In the real world, though, we just need to win. If the crackhead's case is a loser, then we don't want him carrying our flag.

Quite right. I have posted a full mea culpa on the main page.

Thanks for the comment.

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