My A.M. Coffee Choker of the Day
(courtesy, of course, of the L.A.trine Slimes)
The Second Amendment and Gun Ownership [Letter to the Editor]
Niko and Theo are the two young boys who have been working to ban the sale of ammunition in Los Angeles. I've had the "pleasure" of countering them at the L.A. City Council. They make me craaaaaaaaaazy.
Letter number one was as bad. It's first line will suffice:
It is disturbing to see that Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft gave incorrect advice to the NRA about the 2nd Amendment, saying it gives individuals the right to own guns.
These people are sick.
The two letters published on May 30th re: "The 2nd Amendment and Gun Ownership" might have been more suitably prefaced with the title "Revisionism Run Amok".
TV soundbites and seventh grade textbooks are, fortunately, not the basis for Constitutional interpretation. Logic and intellect are.
Lest I be accused of being a Right-Winger, or, worse, a Conservative, let me quote Lawrence Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor, and no hero to the adherents of either of those philosophies:
"Most advocates of gun control have argued that the 'right to bear arms' can reach no further than the Second Amendment's preamble, which calls a 'well-regulated Militia . . . necessary to the security of a free State.' They conclude that the amendment shields only state militias like today's National Guard from Federal authority. According to these people, the rights of individuals to self-defense or to private gun ownership are not constitutionally protected at all. But the Second Amendment reference to the people's 'right' to be armed cannot be trumped by the Amendment's preamble."
It's a question of focus, and educated parsing.