When Reporters Make Assumptions

Stephanie Jones has an article in Salon that starts off with “If Americans cared as much about their voting rights as their gun rights, they’d be up in arms right now.” And I could say that if the left cared about Second Amendment rights as much as they care about Voting Rights, you’d be able to buy a gun cash on the barrel, no questions asked. I find this kind of attitude infuriating:

These laws — which require voters to show a state-issued photo ID that many Americans don’t have and will have great difficulty obtaining — could bar 3.2 million eligible and legally registered voters from voting in the next election, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan think tank.

Oh, but there’s no concern about millions people who might not be able to exercise their Right to Keep and Bear Arms for the same reason? This is complete and utter bullshit. I’ll put more thought into what to have for dinner tonight than what Stephanie Jones put into this article, for her to parrot such nonsense. Either you can’t condition the exercise of a right on showing state ID, or you can. If you can, it’s acceptable for both rights. If you can’t, it’s acceptable for neither. That’s the debate, and it’s one I think that is worth having. It’s also one I’m perfectly happen to be on the side of requiring no state ID for either, if Ms. Jones can decide voting rights are really that important. But what we don’t get to do is choose rights we like to have the highest protections, and those we don’t to have inferior protections. That’s no way to run a country that claims to be serious about rights and protecting them.

19 thoughts on “When Reporters Make Assumptions”

  1. I not only had to bring two forms of state ID and proof of address to buy my AUG, I had to bring proof of US citizenship as well.

    State DL with picture, state car registration, and US passport.

  2. Actually Sebastian has come up with a “papers in order to access your rights” analogy that may be more similar than he realizes.

    In the past some of the gun rights establishment in Pennsylvania considered me a pain in the ass for holding out for Constitutional Carry as both a desirable and viable possibility. Finally one of our erstwhile movers and shakers confided in me that he and some others really didn’t believe in Paperless Carry for our state, because (unlike, say, Vermont) “We have too many [n-words] and spics and drug dealers, so it could never work here.”

    When you consider who Voter ID is supposed to keep away from the voting booth, the purpose of papers-in-order ID laws become clear. And, our Voter ID law was boosted by the legislator who, despite being “the best pro-gun legislator in Pennsylvania,” could never quite find the time to sponsor Paperless Carry, what with being too busy pursuing all those Illegal Invaders pouring across the West Virginia border.

  3. If I won the lotto I’d go try to buy a gun without a ID and then sue for violation of civil rights.

    Just for the lulz that it would cause liberals.

    1. Cool plan! I wonder if the ACLU would come to your assistance. Hmmmm…probably not. But still, cool plan! I hope you win that lottery..and your subsequent case!
      – Arnie

      1. Don’t discount the ACLU as a source of aid, just because an issue involves guns. The ACLU-PA was quite spirited in helping us, from a First Amendment angle, when officials in Lehigh County threatened one of our people with arrest for attempting to conduct a firearms appraisal service on public space in front of a gun buy-back. The ACLU’s response was so spirited it was decided to just shut down the gun buy-backs, in favor of a firearms safety education program conducted in partnership with local gun clubs.

        (Acknowledging the ACLU’s help is my self-imposed obligation for the invaluable help they provided to us, totally for free and with no implied obligations on our part.)

  4. They really wanna press this analogy all the way?

    $200 tax and registration of any printer that can print more than one sheet per press of the print button.

    1. That’s almost twice as much as my printer cost to begin with. Also, since it’s a fast laser printer, it can “spray ideas” like a machine gun! Obama save us all from the horror of such freedoms.

      1. I’ve always called fast laser printers “assault printers” since the AW ban was passed.

  5. And (you historians out there please correct me if I am in error) the right to keep and bear arms was codified in our Constitution in 1791, having already been understood as a natural, unalienable right for decades, perhaps centuries before.

    Voting “rights,” however, were not even mentioned in the Constitution until the 15th Amendment in 1868, and had always previously been a privilege granted by the people of each State to those meeting certain qualifications codified in their State Constitutions. The 15th and subsequent voting Amendments only prevented such qualifications from including race, sex, ages 18-20, and ability to pay a poll tax. But it’s not a universal unalienable right like the right to bear arms – is it?

    Respectfully, Arnie

    1. Voting was never considered a right until 1964, with the case of Reynolds v. Sims. That’s why you needed Constitutional Amendments to establish the right to vote for blacks and women.

      It would be a positive right, much like the right to a speedy trial, or grand jury… essentially a procedural protection the government is obligated to provide you in the protection of other rights.

      I think you can make an argument that Reynolds was wrongly decided. I think there is much wrong with the decision, which if applied to the Federal Government, would make the Senate unconstitutional. But I think there’s a case to be made that none of those amendments were necessary, because the Privileges or Immunities Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment should adequately protect voting rights.

      1. Of course, that depends on your attitudes towards who should be allowed to vote. Universal suffrage, or just extending suffrage a little too far, results in universal ruin after the morals of the populace relax enough that they vote themselves the public fisc. Obama’s innovation of “trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see” is very likely to give us an utterly harsh lesson in the consequences of this “soon”.

        Forget about the survival of either of the two parties, our very system of government is not likely to survive this, even if e.g. we still have something called a House and Senate, just like the Roman Empire had something called a Senate.

        1. Has any form of government really survived all that long a time, in historical terms? Even the British monarchy has not really remained the same animal for that long during its long history, and of course the British Empire did not survive as such for more than a couple centuries.

          Maybe the primary question is, which economic class exhausts a nation’s resources first.

          1. Well, yes, but I have a very personal interest in the current system surviving in a recognizable form, and no desire to live through those sorts of “interesting times”, and would hate for us to descend into, say, an Argentina (about the worst case I’m actively planning for).

            Your question about “resources” is in a good direction, but I’d first like to direct it at what resources, especially in the (post-)industrial age (a whole lot of common sense back in the day when almost everyone was a farmer by necessity doesn’t apply to us). What resources do modern ruling classes exhaust?

            I’d start with a uniquely terminal one for today’s “social democracies”: the will of the people to reproduce. Prior to the Great Recession only Israel and the US were reproducing above replacement rate. I’ll provide Japan as an extreme counterexample if desired, but soon enough it’ll demonstrate that history belongs to those who show up….

            And for now I’ll finish with this Heinlein quote the Instapudit has been using a lot as of late, most recently WRT to the insane manslaughter convictions and 6 year sentencing of those unfortunate Italian scientists who didn’t predict a deadly earthquake to the satisfaction of the state:

            Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

            This is known as “bad luck.”

            As he comments, “This has created a lot of incentives for scientists to leave Italy and to avoid giving any sort of earthquake advice to the Italian government. I predict a run of bad luck,” as of course there will be all sorts of consequences of this action.

          2. Has any form of government really survived all that long a time, in historical terms?

            Roman Empire — 30 BC to 1450 AD. Method of succession varied from blood inheritance to designated inheritance to assassination to imposition by the military, and occasionally power was shared with a handful of “co-emperors”, but the succession of the Imperial bureaucracy was unbroken until the final fall of Constantinople.

  6. I have used my voter registration card as a second form of ID for buying a gun. I did not have to show any form of ID to register to vote (although they did mail the voter registration card, so being able to receive mail at the stated address is a minimal check).

Comments are closed.