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April 26, 2008

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Walter

Tom,

You just pointed out that the WaPo editors are following your lead in coverage.

Is this the proper time to put forward that headline?


Is there ever a proper time?

ParseThis

Someone should ask Obama if he can explain what "you'll have to pry mine from my cold, dead hands" means without using the word 'cling'.

Merrit is a liar

Jeralyn is lying again. She omits the central part of Obama's interview, and reverses its order:

S-T: The Washington, D.C. [handgun ban] case before the U.S. Supreme Court you were asked about at the debate -- have you have a chance to look into that more?

B.O.: My view continues to be that the constitution, I believe, does provide a right to bear arms; but that local communities, and state governments, as well as the federal government, have a right to common-sense regulations and firearm ownership [rules.] The truth is, obviously, the ban here in Chicago, the ban in D.C. is not keeping the guns out of our cities, and so I'm interested in just figuring out what works and I'm confident we can come up with laws that work and that pass constitutional muster and don't infringe on the rights of lawful gun owners whether it's in Downstate Illinois or rural Montana.

S-T: As a state legislator, you voted against a bill which would let people with orders of protection [against others] carry guns and another that would have barred municipalities from punishing people who kept guns in their homes. Why?

B.O.: I felt that [the first one] was a precedent for conceal-and-carry laws. There has not been any evidence that allowing people to carry a concealed weapon is going to make anybody safer. [The second one] is relevant to the D.C. handgun issue. I wanted to preserve the right of local communities to enforce local ordinances and this would have overturned municipalities being able to enforce their own ordinances. We can argue about whether the ordinances work or not. But I wanted to make sure that local communities were recognized as having a right to regulate firearms.

S-T: But you don't want to take a stand on the D.C. gun-ban law?

B.O.: I don't like taking a stand on pending cases.

He basically admits that the D.C. ban doesn't work, and we can disagree on that, but:

1. individual right; and
2. federalism.

Not to mention he voted against allowing the confiscation of guns in a national emergency, but Hillary did not.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0408/Obama_ad_Hillary_voted_to_confiscate_guns.html

He also defines what he thinks a common-sense regulation is:

S-T: Is there anything the federal, state, or local government can do?

B.O.: There's a bunch of things we can do. I've already said as president I want to restore [federal] COPS funding, which will put police on the streets. Additional police improves public safety. New York has seen a huge drop in crime over the last decade, more than even other cities, and part of it is they've got more cops than anybody else per capita. We've got to help local communities put more police on the streets. We want to make sure we provide state and local government with the targeting information they need, the technology they need to make sure police are going to the places most at risk for gun violence. We've got to tighten up our gun laws. I've said before we should have a much tougher background check system, one that's much more effective and make sure there aren't loopholes out there like the gun show loophole. [Or] The Tiahart Amendment [requiring destruction of gun-purchase records.] Here's an example of something common-sense: The ATF [federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] should be able to share info with local communities about where guns are coming from, tracing guns that are used in criminal activity. It's been blocked consistently in Congress. As president, I'm gong to make sure we know if guns are being sold by unscrupulous gun dealers not abiding by existing laws. We should know about that.


Merrit is a liar

Disagree all you want, but pretending he has no coherent position is just a dishonest.

Chris

"I don't like taking a stand on pending cases." Now, can you let me eat my waffles?

bgates

New York has seen a huge drop in crime over the last decade, more than even other cities, and part of it is they've got more cops than anybody else per capita.
We don't have to keep saying it was just paint chips now that Giuliani's out of the race?

There has not been any evidence that allowing people to carry a concealed weapon is going to make anybody safer.
FB was aghast a few days ago when McCain used a similar formulation about Iraq ("is there anyone who doubts" or something like that). Any heartache over Obama claiming, by your lights, that not one single human being in history has been protected by a concealed weapon?

MikeO

Is it that people incapable of thought gravitate toward supporting Senator Obama, or does he cast some kind of spell over his followers that destroys capacity for reasoning?

I'm starting to think that the Ronulans have nothing on the Obamites.

MikeO

Sorry--should've mentioned that my last comment was about "Merrit is a liar" and his paradoxical postings.

bgates

Mike, I think the word is 'Obamatons'.

JM Hanes

Merrit:

"Jeralyn is lying again. She omits the central part of Obama's interview, and reverses its order:"

You left out the really tricky part where she covered her tracks by posting a link to the original!

Obama believes the Constitution "provides" a right to bear arms, but thinks municipalities should be able to punish people for keeping guns in their homes? Sorry, but this an incoherent position. It's all the more bizarre coming from a putative "professor" of constitutional law. I don't think you're tamping out any fires here, or making any friends for Obama by calling Jeralyn Merritt a liar. She's one of the straightest shooters in the blogosphere, which puts your credibility at less than zero.

Jane

This is my favorite part: so I'm interested in just figuring out<.i>

That sounds like everything else - Obama can't take a position because he hasn't figured it out. I guess he thinks in the oval office, the answers will just come to him. I bet the nutroots will help.

Oh and Good Morning everyone!

Jane

damn

MikeS

...I think the word is 'Obamatons

I thought it was Obamagonians from the Obamanation abomination.

clarice

JMH:"Obama believes the Constitution "provides" a right to bear arms, but thinks municipalities should be able to punish people for keeping guns in their homes?"
It's easy, you silly. You can carry them at militia meetings, but you can't go home with them.
Gosh. How easy was that?

M. Simon

OhMama.

LogicalSC

"a putative "professor" of constitutional law"

I suspect Obama spent his little time as a lecturer explaining the "racism" of the writers of our constitution and it inadequacies. Therefore, helping his students find rights its doesn't contain such as infanticide and bans of Christianity, while ignoring plainly written rights like the 2nd Amendment.

M. Simon

There is no right to walk in the Constitution.

And where does it mention sitting?

Danube of Thought

"...but pretending he has no coherent position is just a dishonest."

Heaven forbid that I should be adjudged dishonest by this strange new poster. What I don't like about Obama's "position" is that it is no position at all. He tells us he believes that the Second Amendment preserves an individual right--so far so good, and no surprise at all, since the tenor of the justices during oral argument strongly suggested that that would be a part of their forthcoming holding. Then he tells us that reasonable restrictions can be placed on that right. Again, nothing controversial here (machine guns, bazookas, etc. are not coming to your local sporting goods store). But then, being as slick as boiled okra, he declines to tell us whether the restrictions now at issue before the Court are reasonable or not.

In short, he gives a polite nod to the NRA's position, while reserving the right to eviscerate entirely the individual right to keep and bear arms. A Profile in Courage.

Larry

The left views the constitution "allowing" rights. The right views the constitution prohibiting government infringement of G-d given rights.

Neo

Using a minor juxtaposition ..

My view continues to be that the constitution, I believe, does provide a right to freedom of the press; but that local communities, and state governments, as well as the federal government, have a right to common-sense regulations and printing press ownership [rules.]

Exactly who would agree with this kind of logic ?

Danube of Thought

Neo, keep in mind that the federal government does, indeed, restrict free speech through the copyright laws, and very few people object to that restriction. The states restrict free speech through statutory and judge-made laws concerning libel and slander and laws against incitement to violence. Local governments can and do impose restrictions on the right to assembly by requiring permits. But there is a very heavy burden on governments seeking to impose restrictions of any kind, including even those I mentioned.

In the case of the DC handgun ban, I don't think it's a close call that the burden of reasonableness in the total prohibition against owning a pistol has not been met.

M. Simon

Larry says:

The left views the constitution "allowing" rights. The right views the constitution prohibiting government infringement of G-d given rights.

In my experience both the right and left employ selective reading.

Take the "right of privacy". No where in the Constitution does it say you don't have such as right and the IVth even hints at such a right.

However, it is derided by the right. Esp re: sex, abortion, contraception, etc.

Now ask them about the right of privacy re: bathrooms. Different story.

Neither party actually believes in limited government.

Danube of Thought

My memory may be flawed, but as I recall the Court didn't discover the right of privacy on the basis of any hints in the Fourth Amendment; rather, they found it in "emanations and penumbras" from the First. And the objection from strict constructionists was not so much the enunciation of that right, which went back as least as far as Cardozo, but instead was that such a right compelled the invalidation of state laws against abortion.

It is commonplace that rights are restricted when their exercise endangers third parties--that's pretty much the essence of self-governing--and many people believe that unborn children are third parties entitled to protection. A law providing that men may not enter a ladies' room does not injure any third party, and simply affirms what are universally held notions of civilized behavior.

Questions of how to restrain behavior, and what kinds of behavior to restrain, in the interest of ordered liberty have generally been left to the people through the exercise of their votes. And that is why Roe v. Wade, far from settling the abortion debate, simply intensified it for decades to come: people didn't get to vote on it.

M. Simon

DoT,

The Right actually comes out of the IXth Amendment. So they got that wrong.

Yes. It was was probably wrongly applied re: the XXIVth. So they got that wrong.

However, where the "conservatives" fail is that they began saying that the right to privacy was made up because they didn't like the way the case was decided. You know he drill "no where in the Constitution..." etc.

M. Simon

DoT,

Abortion has been around for 2,500 years. It is not a new subject.

AS I understand it the interest of the American government at any level in abortion is rather recent. In fact, even the interest of the catholic church in the matter has not been of a "for all time" nature.

On top of that if the Rs are really the conservative party it should find out why such behavior was so persistent over history.

Why was slavery so common? So much so that even Jews (considered more socially advanced in general) have intricate rules for the treatment of slaves including total emancipation in the Jubilee year. Sung about by Black Slaves. Obviously the modern Christian slaveholders were not as advanced as the ancient Jews.

What changed to make slave holding unpopular?

In addition, what ever you think about the morality of abortion, we know for a fact that a thriving black market always arises when it is outlawed. Conservatives never seem to take these "unintended consequences" into account when passing laws. They always seem to have Utopia in mind. Just like the lefties.

Danube of Thought

Here's an excerpt from Blackmun's opinion, discussing the origins of the right of privacy:

"The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. In varying contexts, the Court or individual Justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right in the First Amendment, Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557, 564 (1969); in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 8-9 (1968), Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 350 (1967), Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886), see Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 478 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting); in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S., at 484-485; in the Ninth Amendment, id., at 486 (Goldberg, J., concurring); or in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, see Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923). These decisions make it clear that only personal rights that can be deemed "fundamental" or "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty," Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319, 325 (1937), are included in this guarantee of personal privacy. They also make it clear that the right has some extension to activities relating to marriage, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967); procreation, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541-542 (1942); contraception, Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S., at 453-454; id., at 460, 463-465 (WHITE, J., concurring in result); family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944); and child rearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925), Meyer v. Nebraska, supra."

Whether or not a black market arises, whether in abortion, heroin or anything else, tells us nothing about the moral or constitutional questions involved.

I don't believe the "American government" has ever expressed an interest in the question of abortion one way or another before Roe v. Wade. Until then it was entirely a matter of state law.

I don't think I follow whatever point you are making about slavery, but if you think there is no difference between the American left and right on matters of constitutional governance, I disagree.

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