Not the Message I Got From Alan Gura

Paul Helmke says:

We also discussed the nature of the Second Amendment after the Heller decision and how most gun violence prevention laws appear likely to withstand scrutiny under Justice Scalia’s majority opinion. One of the big stories in Tennessee, by the way, is also the move by approximately 70 cities and towns to opt out of Tennessee legislation forcing guns into parks.

My travels this summer affirmed my belief that the debate over gun violence prevention is moving toward the middle ground and away from the extremes since last summer’s Supreme Court decision. There are a number of things we can do to make it harder for dangerous people to get guns while respecting the Second Amendment.

Paul has some amazing turd polishing skills, I have to give him that.  But the message I got from Alan Gura was his confidence we’ll get a pretty good Second Amendment out of all of this.  One the Brady Campaign certainly won’t be happy with.

10 thoughts on “Not the Message I Got From Alan Gura”

  1. One of the big stories in Tennessee, by the way, is also the move by approximately 70 cities and towns to opt out of Tennessee legislation forcing guns into parks.

    Of course, he neglects to mention that some of the other big stories here in Tennessee were law-abiding citizens being permitted to carry in any local parks whatsoever, and background-checked, trained individuals being able to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol (but not drink it while carrying).

    So, sure, he can claim those 70 cities and counties as a victory, but we will see if it will survive next year’s legislative session, and we all know how well the pro-rights movement succeeded in Tennessee this year.

    Ironically, he is kind of right – the pro-rights movement is headed towards a middle ground, and one away from idiotic things that do not actually accomplish a bloody thing, like handgun bans, or “assualt weapon” bans, or registration, or anything of the sort. It must suck for him, seeing the impending death of his cause celebre… Of course, the writing has been on the wall for centuries – those who oppose rights invariably end up on the wrong side of history.

  2. Helmke said:

    “My travels this summer affirmed my belief that the debate over gun violence prevention is moving toward the middle ground and away from the extremes since last summer’s Supreme Court decision.”

    Helmke may believe that, but we know that at least he’s paid to say that. Read that sentence closely. It is predicated on the assumption that the only modus operandi in “gun violence prevention” is to ever more restrict the people’s freedom to acquire, keep and bear them. This will be their downfall, in the aftermath of all this. If they cannot get away from “gun control” as the one and only answer to reducing crime, then their organization will whither into total irrelevancy.

    Interestingly, Paul Helmke has argued ever since Heller that it was a ruling that was “good for gun violence prevention” because it removed the “extremes” from the table and both sides could move to a “middle ground.” In person, I asked him a question (hat tip to Dave Hardy):

    If Heller removed the extremes from the table, then incorporation would remove the extremes from 50 tables. Given that, was the Brady Center preparing to file an amicus brief to support incorporation?

    He jumped up and said NO … and then went on to explain how Heller had removed the extremes from the table, and blah, blah, blah. He just moved back into his talking points.

    It pleases me greatly to see them still trying to polish turds. But even with all that polish, they still don’t pass the sniff test.

  3. Sebastian, I thought you would like the “middle ground” idea. It would be to everyone’s benefit if there could be a major reduction in gun violence by criminals. If that were to happen, both extremes would be seen for what they are, extremists. On the one side there are the ones who really do want to eventually ban and confiscate guns, and on the other there are the guys who won’t give an inch, the threepers and such.

    The middle ground might have room for most of the rest of us. What do you think?

  4. mikeb302000:

    Allow me to explain “middle ground” in regard to this issue.

    Consider the “degree” or the amount of freedom we have to keep and bear arms as if it were represented by a horizontal axis … with total prohibition being zero and total freedom being a ten.

    Where do we stand now, as Americans, regarding the strength of our individual right to arms? Perhaps a 9, 8, or 7? Perhaps a five? Determining that is not my point, nor is it relevant to my point.

    But let’s say we are at 8 right now. OK. Let’s also assume that second amendment supporters want to increase second amendment freedoms, and second amendment detractors want to decrease them. That is a safe assumption.

    Paul Helmke’s middle ground seems appealing … to him, possibly to you, possibly to others. It’s a sweet argument, and probably so reasonable that it would be supported by a New York Times editorial. It’s just so reasonable because we all know we have to compromise to get along. And getting along is probably the most important thing we want for society. Follow?

    OK, then let’s say we (pro and anti 2A people) meet at Helmke’s middle ground, and our amout of second amendment freedom moves from an 8 to a 4. OK, sound reasonable? Maybe THEN we would see a “major reduction in gun violence by criminals?” Maybe, maybe not. What if not? Then Helmke (or maybe his grandson) comes back and talks about common sense, compromise, and how we ought to meet in the middle. OK … then our amount of freedom moves from a 4 to a 2.

    Understand? That might seem like a silly or trivial explanation, but it is precisely how their plan works … how any keen politician gets things accomplished.

    If you support your freedom (and mine) to own and carry arms, don’t fall for the “middle ground” argument.

  5. And mike … consider this also (and finally):

    Second Amendment supporters have the moral high ground. Based on what, exactly?

    1) We acknowledge natural law, which dictates that we have the right and authority to self-preservation. In other words, we are free to preserve our own lives.

    2) We acknowledge that “arms” are among the means to effective self-preservation.

    3) We know that our right to arms derives from this natural (some would say “God-given”) right to self preservation.

    4) Our nation’s constitution explicitly protects our right to arms. Even though the Supreme Court has not yet said it, this right is fundamendal because it derives from natural law. The constitution doesn’t just say it’s important, or that it’s protected as long as criminals don’t abuse it. It states “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Call me unreasonable if you will, but not only do I understand where I stand on this issue, I am confident that I am correct.

  6. “Observe, in politics, that the term extremism has become a synonym of “evil,” regardless of the content of the issue (the evil is not what you are extreme about, but that you are “extreme”—i.e., consistent).” ~~ Rand.

  7. MikeB:

    The laws we have right now are already a middle ground. That being he case, the continued existence of the Brady Campaign is pointless. They don’t see it that way, because to them a “middle ground” involves far more restrictions than I’m willing to concede. My “middle ground” involves fewer restrictions than we have right now, except I stand a better chance of shifting the middle more toward my liking than Paul does. That’s a great situation to be in for me, but not for Paul. Hence my complimenting his turd polishing skills. Heller put Brady in a real pickle, that they have yet to acknowledge. Not that I expect them to publicly, but there it is.

  8. Don’t the slaugher-house cases declare that the 2nd is a fundamental right pre-existing the Constitution?

    I’d say we already have SCOTUS on record declaring 2A a fundamental right.

  9. Melancton:

    I don’t think so … certainly not explicitly (please show me if I am in error). It is my understanding that the court has made many statements that could easily be interpreted as meaining or assumeing the right to arms is fundamental … but I don’t believe that they have explicitly stated such.

    I believe that the nearest they come is in the following passage:

    The people of this country brought with them to its shores the rights of Englishmen; the rights which had been wrested from English sovereigns at various periods of the nation’s history. One of these fundamental rights was expressed in these words, found in Magna Charta: ‘No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseized of his freehold or liberties or free customs, or be outlawed or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him or condemn [83 U.S. 36, 115] him but by lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.’ English constitutional writers expound this article as rendering life, liberty, and property inviolable, except by due process of law. This is the very right which the plaintiffs in error claim in this case. Another of these rights was that of habeas corpus, or the right of having any invasion of personal liberty judicially examined into, at once, by a competent judicial magistrate. Blackstone classifies these fundamental rights under three heads, as the absolute rights of individuals, to wit: the right of personal security, the right of personal liberty, and the right of private property. And of the last he says: ‘The third absolute right, inherent in every Englishman, is that of property, which consists in the free use, enjoyment, and disposal of all his acquisitions, without any control or diminution save only by the laws of the land.’

  10. My bad, it was Cruikshank:

    “The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.”

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