Monday, July 7, 2008

People say the darndest things

People can say very astonishing things, as is the case in this article. The quotation that amazed me is this one:

"All these people I am close to have been killed by something that should have been stopped a long time ago," Littlejohn, 18, said as she prepared for a cultural exchange in Rwanda. "Just because it's constitutional doesn't mean it should be allowed. The Constitution was based in the 1700s. This is 2008."

Wow, Ms. Littlejohn, that's very insightful. Let's get rid of the 4th and 8th amendments too, since they're outdated, so we can search you without cause for your pot stash and give you a public beating for having it.

The 2nd amendment, based in principles of defense of self from tyrannical government as well as from criminals, is as relevant today as the 1st, 4th and 8th amendments are. Note that the rights under those amendments have only been expanded, while everyone has felt free to curtail the rights granted under the 2nd amendment until the DC v. Heller decision.

Schools have clearly done a great job of failing to teach the Constitution. The principles set out in that document are based not in the 1700s, but in philosophy based on human nature. Governments seek to subjugate their people unless carefully limited in their powers. The Constitution is designed to prevent that, and the 2nd amendment is arguably the last line of defense against tyrannical government. The relevance of that ancient right, which predates the Constitution, hasn't changed in thousands of years.

Ms. Littlejohn's friends might have stopped their attackers from criminal use of force if they'd been lawfully armed and thus able to engage in defensive use of force.

Banning guns hasn't stopped shootings and stabbings in the U.K., as anyone who follows the news can tell you.

"All these people I am close to have been killed by something that should have been stopped a long time ago..." I agree with that. Humankind should long ago have given up its violent and criminal nature in favor of mutually beneficial behaviors. Since it hasn't done so, banning any particular instrument of violence will always be an insufficient and meaningless gesture.

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