Double Standard of the Left

I recently came across this cartoon by Khalil Bendib:

Replace GOP with Dems, replace Voter ID laws with gun control laws, and tell me why it no longer works. Both voting and buying firearms are a fundamental right, according to the Supreme Court. It’s apparently horrible to require ID for one, but perfectly fine for the other. Perhaps the left would like to agree that neither is fine?

21 thoughts on “Double Standard of the Left”

  1. More accurately, there is nothing wrong with requiring an ID for either sort of constitutionally protected action, to verify that you are not in a prohibited category. (In most states, felons are prohibited from voting, as they are prohibited from gun ownership throughout the nation.)

    1. More accurately, there is nothing wrong with requiring an ID for either sort of constitutionally protected action, to verify that you are not in a prohibited category.

      In which case it becomes not a constitutionally protected action, but a court doled-out privilege. A “prohibited category” by which totally secular men decide who is entitled to privileges that a moment ago they said were “God given” rights for all [right-thinking] people.

      This stuff gets comical, at times.

      1. It’s not a modern concept that rights can be denied people after due process of law. Traditionally, the penalty for virtually all felonies was hanging. As much as I question the effectiveness of the prohibitions on felons, it’s difficult to argue, I think, that the Constitution allows for felons to be hung, or in modern times incarcerated, but does not allow gun rights to be removed. I don’t think it’s impossible to argue, since there are certain rights you can’t deny prisoners and felons (due process, marriage, religion, equal protection etc) … but that there are people who can be denied gun rights through due process is pretty much already a lost cause. The Supreme Court has already blessed such categories of persons. Now whether that category is too broad or not, I think is still open, and I would argue for narrowing it.

        1. “I think, that the Constitution allows for felons to be hung, or in modern times incarcerated, but does not allow gun rights to be removed

          Really? Haven’t both categories been subject to limitations by courts when a “compelling public interest” is plausibly argued? Why since Heller haven’t most gun control laws been swept off the books?

          I guess what is bugging me is a lack of consistency on our crowd’s part; on one hand we argue that our rights are “God given,” but then are willing to place ourselves or others in the place of God to decide which of those rights may be selectively denied to those we disapprove of. Let’s at least get the metaphysics straight.

          1. There isn’t any constitutional right interpreted as being absolute, and much of it will end up being inconsistent and not make any sense. For instance, the Heller common use test is absolutely absurd when it comes to machine guns, but that’s what the language suggests is a test, in regards to whether it’s a protected arm.

            There’s a big difference between natural rights theory, which is really a framework for understanding rights, and how those rights get constructed as a matter of law by the Courts. The natural rights theory guides what we want to try to accomplish, but it still has to happen through the courts. It’s a matter of picking your battles carefully.

        2. Further, “constitutionally protected” seems misapplied; as far as I know, the prohibition on felon possession of arms goes back to before the Constitution and the Founders never had the slightest belief that the Second Amendment meant that felons (or, oh, people in prison, for anything) had an inalienable right to bear arms.

          (If you don’t think the Second Amendment says that murderers in prison awaiting execution can have pistols, then by your own logic [addressing Andy B., naturally] you admit it’s a mere “privilege” – or, I’d hope, you see that your categorization might be just a little flawed.)

          If we’re going to take that line, then in practice every right is a mere “privilege”, since not pretty much not one of them is without exceptions (see libel vs. freedom of the press, for instance).

          Realistically, let’s just unzip the wookie suit a little, take a deep breath, and realize that none of those rights in the Constitution have no exceptions, and never have.

          1. Clayton is a more seasoned expert on this topic, but I don’t believe there were any felon prohibitions in early American law. There would have been no way to enforce such a provision, and most violent felons were hung anyway, so it wasn’t really an issue.

            There were some attempts to disarm loyalists during and after the revolution, but if I don’t recall if that was ever done as a matter of law, or was just done as a matter of expedience during war or unrest, outside the law.

            There were really very few laws regarding arms possession in early America, from what I understand, at least ones that didn’t involve the keeping and bearing of arms by slaves.

            1. Felon prohibitions on arms possession does not seem to appear anywhere until California’s 1923 law. Of course, felonies were theoretically punishable by death at the time the Constitution was written, and many remained capital well into the twentieth century.

              Connecticut passes the first ban on felon voting around 1818, as I recall, at least in part because they were no longer executing felons, or keeping them locked up for life, so the idea was to disfranchise those who were no longer considered trustworthy with the vote. Why they were not disarmed as well was probably a matter of practicality as much as anything else.

              1. Correct me, but what felons couldn’t do is serve in the militia, IOW, get official sanction for acts committed.

  2. Even moreso voting is “Shall-Issue”, wanna take the bet on those that support NYC or Cali style laws?

    Or how about that poll-taxes and literacy tests are no-nos for voting, but are just “common sense” for guns.

    It also goes without saying that the erroneously named “Gun Show Loophole” is all about banning person to person gun sales that don’t require ID or background checks.

  3. It’s interesting how liberals get away with being as racist as they are in their openly stated presumption that the color of someone’s skin dictates their inability to be a functional member of society as ably as those of a different one.

  4. And of course the logic here is that minorities are too crippled and weak to look out for themselves or run a fair race. Seriously? If I were a racial minority I would find this offensive as all heck.

  5. Nope, they won’t agree. Guns are different, because they are different.

    I’m still waiting for a birth mother to be arrested for “facilitating an undocumented entry into this country” because the baby doesn’t have state-issued ID in the delivery room. All it really comes down to is this: either we are required to present ID cards to exercise our rights, or we aren’t. I’d prefer the latter, but seriously: Pick one.

  6. I’ll never understand how when you require a free photo ID to vote, it’s discriminatory, but when you require (in NJ) photo ID, two references, $65 in fees, and multiple trips to offices that are only open on weekdays to get an ID to buy a rifle, it’s common sense.

    1. I’ll never understand why anyone lives in New Jersey! And to think: this was a state where guerrilla warfare by upset farmers was a big part of making the place uninhabitable for the British Army.

  7. It’s really an apples and oranges comparison anyway, you’re only allowed one vote per election, so showing ID makes perfect sense.

    And yet they want to limit the number of guns one may own… Their priorities are completely backwards, but I suppose they’ll do whatever it takes to get some more votes.

  8. The difference is simple.

    With a gun, you can kill or destroy the lives of up to a few dozen people, depending on the amount of ammo you have on hand.

    With voting, you can destroy an entire nation of 300 million people.

  9. Maybe I’m a bit uninformed here, but I don’t think that voting is a fundamental right. The cases I read in my constitutional law class said voting is a privilege, not a right. Basically, if voting is allowed then it has to be equally applied to everyone, and those that are denied the privilege must have due process under the 5th or 14th.

    1. You are right, and I have made this point during many discussions about this issue. Voting is a much different activity than self defense, political speech, etc.

  10. The Democrats look stupid and unpatriotic on this one. If government-issued voter IDs are made free of charge to anyone below a certain income threshold, there should be no problem insisting on proof of who you are before you vote. That said, all indications are that voter fraud is virtually nil, so I view this mostly as a political issue, and one the GOP is both on the correct side of but also exploiting masterfully.

    1. I think that your fooling yourself if you think that voter fraud is a non-existent issue. Look at the Franken-Coleman race. That’s just one example – a few minutes of googling will find many others, and the always advantage the Democrats.

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