Monday, March 3, 2014

Adults should know better (about Gun Laws)

Every great once in a while, I stroll by my friend's blog.  My friend is an ultra-conservative, hard-right politico for whom nearly nothing is too far right (or so it seems).  As he says, he tries every day to drag the conversation kicking and screaming as far to the right as he can (paraphrase).

I only go every great once in a while because, despite being my friend, I find his musings to be "fact- light" sophistry.  They are intended to distort the facts and often interlaced with ludicrous comments like, "Why do Democrats hate black people" as a launching point for an argument to ignore discrimination or to pretend bigotry doesn't exist in the Republican party.

I made one of my infrequent stops earlier today.  I was wondering what he might have to say about the Ukrainian crisis.  I didn't see anything immediately, but did see a post about the fact that the state of Missouri passed some form of prohibition against enforcing ANY federal regulation, law or policy around gun control whether such policy is/was from the past, present, or future.  My friend quipped that these kinds of prohibitions were what happens "when adults take charge."

In the comment section, one of his commenters asked whether a law like this would withstand federal review, and pointed to the overturning of the major Arizona immigration law under federal supremacy rules as an example that Missouri seemed to have taken an unsustainable stance.

I was going to reply in agreement with the commenter, but long, hard lesson has taught me there's no point in trying to engage with my friend (or those like him) in rational discussion.  The statement like "this is what happens when adults take over" is emblematic of an unwillingness to look rationally at how conduct comports with rhetoric.

So, instead, I'm posting my reply below.  Perhaps some of the "all guns all the time" crowd would care to argue their point here where any discussion will be far more open and likely to come to a point, even if small, of agreement.


Mr. Hanson is right.  This will be struck down in one form or another (I'll bet my house).  States don't get to supersede federal statute as the AZ case clearly illustrated.  Further, on the 2nd Amendment question you raise Mr. Hanson, the Heller AND the McDonald decisions pretty clearly stipulated that reasonable limits on ownership are permissible.  Is Missouri arguing that people can own nuclear or biological weapons, cannons, or bombs, all of which are banned by federal law?  Those are certainly arms used by military and militia (world wide) and could be, if owned broadly, "of the type in common use" as defined by Kruikshanks (again iirc).  Clearly decisions like Kruikshanks and many others show that limits can be placed.  So, limits are lawful and federal law supersedes state law.  Only an ostrich thinks it doesn't.

It's curious to me that Republicans, who once were the "Party of Lincoln", yes, that Mr. Lincoln who articulated the reality of federal supremacy, now are arguing for states' rights.  Well, not that surprising in truth since they've also adopted the pro-atristocratic/anti-bellum South views on wealth and excess, and of course the old south attitudes toward minorities.  In fact, it is only the appointment of ultra-reactionary jurists like Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia, as well as flip-flopping Clarence Thomas, that has even allowed these questions about federal supremacy to be raised at all without well-deserved mockery, but even THEY (Scotus) will not support making state law trump federal (as the AZ case showed).  Missourians are seemingly behaving foolishly if they think they (SCOTUS) will do so, and as far as "adult" thinking goes, adults don't waste their time on laws that cannot stand review because they are blatantly, bafoonishly unconstitutional, nor do they advocate for challenges which would undo prohibitions on Jim Crowe/poll-taxes and the like, as well as seemingly undoing things like the incorporation of the 1st, 5th, 6th, 13th, 15th, and 22nd Amendments.  For if states may pass laws superseding the federal, why could not a state simply pass a law prohibiting certain classes from voting, barring certain forms of speech, and so on?  The people who argue for THOSE kinds of challenges (to federal supremacy), it seems to me, are being myopic rather than erudite or mature. 

What happens when adults take over in truth, is that these kinds of silly laws get thrown out exactly as they should be.  It's too bad though, that small government Republicans (now I don't actually KNOW any of those, but they think they exist), prefer to waste everyone's time AND money with this form of sophistry and foolishness.

Why do so many modern Republicans hate the Constitution so much? (jk), what I really mean to ask is, why do so many Republicans so poorly understand the Constitution and how our government works?  Rather than recognize federal supremacy they shun it when they want and embrace it when it's convenient.  They do so because they simply want their guns (to shoot people if they play rap music or "run their mouth"), and they want lower taxes because they think somehow that will make them wealthy.  They say just about anything to ensure they have their guns, even though the Heller/McDonald decisions have put to bed the central issue around gun control by establishing gun ownership as an individual right and, ironically, incorporating that right onto the states.  They (seemingly) KNOW that the McDonald decision did this, trumping states' laws, yet then applaud a law which would try to assert state law could possibly trump federal statue and then.  In short, these "adults" are showing the maturity by advocating undoing our federal democracy and hard won outcomes of the Civil War, 150 years later.  I suppose that's adult in some corner.

I suppose, on Mars, in another universe, where truth is lies and up is down, through the looking-glass.

The truth is, I should know better than to stop by, but I keep hoping (against hope) my friend, who is a loyal member of the flat-earth society (I mean the global climate change denier cult), will change.  I ought to know better, but so should he.


  1. The radical right wonder why we doubt their safety and judgment with firearms.

    It is because they demonstrate such poor judgment in their political, economic, and personal thinking. And because facts show they are not really as safe, responsible, or proficient as they would like us to think they are.

    The example of Kurt Daudt letting a person with a bad history of violence use his loaded gun to threaten people in Montana, and then assisting him to escape, and transporting his loaded gun across other states in violation of gun laws, springs to mind as one example.

    The radical right - like our friend Mitch - demonstrate they live in a gun-toting alternate reality world, disconnected from the rational world the rest of us live in every day. To them up is down, epic failure is winning, and blah blah blah, guns. Jesus. Obamacare. have replaced rational thought.

  2. FYI -- Ky. Baptists lure new worshippers with gun giveaway ?
    "Second Amendment Celebrations" feature "Giveaways for God" ...
    Yep, America, One Nation Under GUNS

  3. I just posted this and it disappeared.

    Suggestion. Get a new friend.