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Justice Ginsberg and the Second Amendment

Justice Ginsberg still believes in the militia theory of the Second Amendment, but I think it’s good she doesn’t feel any pressure to retire while Barack Obama is President. She believes the next President will be a Democrat anyway. It’s a gamble for the Heller dissent. If Ginsburg retired during Obama’s Administration, there’d be a strong likelihood she’d be replaced by another justice who would like to overturn the Heller decision and redact the Second Amendment right out of the Bill of Rights.

But I don’t really blame Justice Ginsburg for wanting to hang on. For one thing, she might be right about a Democrat winning in 2016. Conventional wisdom for Democrats in DC is that the Republicans are finished, and they need not worry about losing the White House again. I think that’s wildly optimistic on their part, but it’s a common belief. The other reason I don’t blame her is I’m not sure I’d want to retire either. What would you do all day? I’d find things to amuse myself, sure, but I’d imagine Justice Ginsburg’s work is far more interesting than anything one would typically find for amusement in retirement.

How’s That Shutdown Working For Ya?

Today the sun came up, the Internet still works, I was able to buy gas, and it would seem that a partial shutdown of the government has no effect on the properties of concrete and asphalt. I can keep this up as long as they want. I don’t get why people get so angry over stuff like this, as polls show the government shutdown is unpopular. Do you notice? I don’t. Apparently NICS is considered critical, so gun sales aren’t stopping. I guess Obama didn’t want to risk the default proceed.

Waiting Periods are Back

It looks like Washington, DC wants to institute new waiting periods. The reason?

“They can’t be responsible for themselves, as well as the person doing the work on them,” [Council member Yvette M. Alexander] said. “We’re making sure when that decision is made that you’re in the right frame of mind, and you don’t wake up in the morning . . . saying, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’”

The new waiting periods are for tattoos and piercings. The people cannot be trusted to make decisions with their own bodies, so the government must restrict it.

I love how the tattoo artist interviewed notes that if the concern is regulating regret, then they could just restrict serving clearly intoxicated patrons. Instead, the new regulations will likely drive business underground where they won’t even honor basic regulations that actually have to do with public health concerns. Everyone will be more at risk to health problems because the DC City Council wants to institute a waiting period to stop even perfectly sober people from being pierced or inked on a whim.

For what it’s worth, I’ve had multiple piercings done on a whim. When I decided that I regretted one, I didn’t need a government bureaucrat to solve the problem for me. I managed to allow the hole to close completely on my own without an overbearing nanny state holding my hand. I’m sure that somewhere a bureaucrat is weeping to know that a citizen managed to make a decision without them.

Some Are More Equal than Others

No special privileges for government officials. I like the assertion that this amounts to Titles of Nobility, forbidden by the Constitution.

Surely the creation of two classes of citizens, one more equal than the others, isn’t the sort of thing the Framers intended. Why didn’t they put something in the Constitution to prevent it?

Well, actually, they did. Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution prohibits the federal government from granting “titles of nobility,” and Article I, Section 10 extends this prohibition to the states — one of the few provisions in the original Constitution to impose limits directly on states. Surely the Framers must have considered this prohibition pretty important.

Read the whole thing, as they say. Now all we need is to find federal judges who’d be willing to go for this idea. Of course, many of them probably like their special privileges.

Lost & Stolen Reporting for Us, Not Them

I find it interesting that not a single city in Pennsylvania with officials who claimed “lost & stolen” reporting criminal code was absolutely vital to fighting street gun crimes has ever charged anyone with violating the law. (They largely don’t do it because then it gives standing for us to sue.)

But it looks like any city with one of those laws on the books might want to take a closer look at any U.S. Park Police personnel working armed in their city limits. It turns out that federal government employees have a special talent for losing guns.

According to the report, investigators discovered 1,400 guns that were supposed to have been destroyed. An additional 198 handguns donated to the Park Police by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms that are not reflected in official records are being housed in a building in Southeast D.C. There is no evidence that the wayward guns have found their ways into the hands of criminals, but the report noted that the Park Police might not be aware if they had.

They are so careless that they wouldn’t even know if they lost a gun and it ended up in criminal hands. Though one might not want to call it careless since their entire system of firearms management is apparently described as “conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms, and the ability to conceal the fact if weapons were missing.” The report says that the attitude of not giving a damn where guns end up isn’t just a low-level employee thing, it apparently goes all the way up to the chief.

All it Takes is Parents Standing Up

A school in Virginia has reversed its zero tolerance policy after parents got up in arms when two 7 year olds were suspended for pretending pencils were guns. Local politicians tend to want to avoid controversy like the plague. One might think it might takes hordes of parents to make a difference, but really one or two determine sets of parents can often be more trouble than local elected officials want to deal with.

On Sending Weapons to Syria

Michael Bane asks:

I’m a little puzzled why we’re going to give small arms to Al Qaeda in Syria without requiring universal background checks on each one of those so-called “rebels.” I mean, it’s for all those little Middle Eastern children, isn’t it? And is there gong to be a registry of the serial numbers of all those small arms so we can trace them back to the individual terrorist we gave the guns to when those guns are used against Americans — as they inevitably will be? And I’m concerned that those containers full of small arms being shipped Al Qaeda Syria may all feature magazines with a magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds! And real assault weapons!

And here we’ve been told, again and again, by Obama’s supporters that small arms are useless in the face of a government armed with airplanes, tanks, artillery, and weapons of mass destruction. This is pretty good evidence that none of these people actually believe their own bull.

Priorities in Washington, DC

If you’re a Washington, DC resident, you can qualify for a license to purchase marijuana, a substance banned under federal laws, for $100.

Meanwhile, a license to possess a handgun in your home, a constitutionally protected right, will set you back nearly double that amount.

Priorities.

Rule by the Ignorant

Polls show that 38% of pro-lifers think highly of Planned Parenthood. Says Jim Geraghty:

I suppose we should be thankful that the public can still differentiate between Kermit Gosnell and Kermit the Frog.

That’s not all the news in the ignorance department, either. These people help choose our leaders. Unfortunately, this is what democracy looks like.

Understatement of the Year

I linked to this article earlier, but I wanted to highlight a quote:

But the problem might be less with Obama and more with democracy itself. To be a citizen in a mass democracy is to live in a permanent state of political frustration. There are so many people in the country with so many different views, and the institutions of a mass democracy are inevitably so clunky, that the political process isn’t going to give you what you want very much of the time.

Like the people who founded this country, I’ve never been convinced that more democracy in government is always a good thing. The old saying that democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner is cliche, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Our system was supposed to be a Constitutional Republic, with some democratic features, but with enough restraints placed on government that we could govern a large, diverse country without constantly being at each other’s throats. Unfortunately, the more democracy you add to the mix, the more it seems like those restrains don’t matter.

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