I've noted more than once that I rarely discuss the Second Amendment with my friends, because I have the somewhat controversial opinion that the plain meaning of words is exactly that, so the regrettable Second Amendment means people can own guns, subject to regulation. I don't particularly care for that, but I don't like equal representation in the US Senate either, and that's in the text as well.
The Second Amendment says “the right of the people” to "keep and bear arms" shall not be "infringed." It gives a reason, but the right seems far more extensive than its justification.
First, let us remember that, at the time, “the militia” was defined as every able bodied male.
It does not seem to me that one can find a way that such wording does not convey the right of a law abiding individual to "keep" and “bear” (not just "bear", which arguably might apply only collectively) conventional weapons.
It seems hard for there to be a collective meaning to the word "keep"I note the phrase the "right of the people" is not usually defined only as a collective right anywhere else it appears in the Bill of Rights.
In the First Amendment it says "Congress shall make no law respecting...the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
In the Fourth Amendment it says "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."
In the Ninth it says "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. "
Are liberals saying these are only collective rights, and do not apply to individuals?
However, pro-gun legal historian Don Kates has noted that the Second Amendment, like other parts of the Bill of Rights, was intended to incorporate English Common Law rights of the time, and that means there's no Second Amendment entitlement to carrying a concealed weapon, since the militia were required to produce their guns for inspection.
We are, after all, talking about “a well regulated militia.” And that term too is subject to its plain meaning.
Registration, restrictions on exotic weaponry (which would not be in the hands of such a militia), rules against concealment, all seem to meet constitutional muster.
As one of the few liberals willing to admit that the plain meaning of the Second Amendment has some meaning, I must ask where in "the right to keep and bear arms" is the part where someone who discharges a bullet illegally into another has the right to have impediments thrown into the ability of the police to use non-intrusive technology to apprehend them?
Again and again, the NRA proves it is not the law abiding gun owners' lobby; rather, it is the murderers' lobby.
Unfortunately, because the one-issue voters on this issue (all of whom are on one side) are so fervent, and put their money and votes where their mouths are, even the fights over constitutional regulations are generally not worth the effort.
Good intentions are not a political suicide pact. So, I've not had much enthusiasm for pushing for even those regulations which I think do pass constitutional muster even though they are usually well merited.
However, I would urge those who do feel strongly to behave exactly in the manner of the NRA, and then maybe things would change.
If there were a crazy one-issue control lobby with a crazy set of fanatics behind them, we might have some meaning gun regulation on a national level (albeit, within the limits the constitution allows).
But, I notice that all the people who send me angry emails on this matter are invariably the same folks who think Bernie Sanders should be President.
And on gun control, Bernie is 1000 miles to the right of Joe Lieberman.
As many of you know, I have written extensively over the years (here’s a fairly early example) about how part of the State Senate Republicans' strategy for keeping power in the face of demographics involves finding candidates to run as Democrats who will vote to maintain them in power out of ideological affinity or plain opportunism.
They've even had them maintain their own official (IDC) or unofficial (Amigo) caucuses.
One of the Senate GOP's perpetual targets is Toby Stavisky.
Two years ago, the GOP candidate in the Dem primary against Stavisky was Isaac Sasson, a self-financing Orthodox Jewish doctor from Syria who made most of his considerable fortune by winning the lottery. The socially conservative (for “traditional marriage” and tuition tax credits for Yeshivas) Sasson generally runs for any seat which is open in the primary and then endorses the Republican in the general.
Sasson's challenge to Stavisky was run by Jay Golub, a Republican activist and operative.
Two years ago, there was also a third candidate, John Messer, whose campaign was targeted almost exclusively to voters unlikely to support Sasson, and who campaigned on a platform to help middle-class homeowners, even though he once headed a firm embroiled in a multimillion dollar mortgage fraud and identity theft ring that targeted vulnerable, middle-income New Yorkers. Messer’s company was also involved in dozens of foreclosure proceedings against Queens homeowners. Messer‘s response to all this was "I was a victim," which took self pity to a whole new level. Given the circumstances, Messer’s last name was almost Dickensian in its accuracy.
Well this year, Sasson is backing Messer (who used to be an enrolled Republican) and Golub is running Messer's campaign. And, Dan Halloran showed up at Messer's campaign kickoff. It is telling that Messer's who claims to be a de facto Asian because he is married to one (if the criterion of being an Asian American is sharing a bed with one then Strom Thurmond qualified as black), refuses to say whether he supports Halloran or Grace Meng for Congress (apparently an Asian woman's place is in the home but not the House).
Even more telling is this Facebook post:
Court Rules in David Storobin’s Favor, Orders Contested Ballots to Be Counted www.politicker.com
· · Share · May 8 at 5:08pm
John Messer likes this.”
If Dean Skelos wants to come after Toby Stavisky, let him do it in a general election. With an Eye on the Asian Vote, John Messer Kicks off State Senate Bid politicker.com
Without knowing it, Dan Feldman makes the case for the state legislative pay raise. A Day in the Life talesfromthesausagefactory.wordpress.com
To answer the question posed in my email today by Orthodox Pundit, the Lee Avenue pharmacy where Domestic Partner's mother and brother works is not the one with the dress code.
And just to be clear, while I oppose gender segregation on buses which operate under a City franchise, I don’t have any real concerns about store owners enforcing a dress code in their own private space (as long as it is not a pretext for some form of invidious discrimination)---it is surely not only Hasidic establishments which do such things--many restaurants do as well--as I recall, an Orthodox Jew was once denied entry to the bar at the River Cafe because his hat didn't meet their specs (actually, that one may have been invidious). And NY Perks, the black-oriented nightclub in my neighborhood has a very strict dress code (but I hear they do admit white people). Fury at Hasidic biz dress codes www.nypost.com
I was extremly unkind to Noach Dear when he ran for judge, but this Post article reaches new heights of inaccuracy.
First of all, I’m sure every Civil, Criminal or Family Court Judge sitting as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court would be shocked to learn that their service doing weekend arraignments is "voluntary." (But, we can't really blame that error on the Post).
Other sections of the article are pure and inexcusable fiction.
"The ruling raised memories of how Dear got his gavel — in a backroom deal orchestrated by Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez."
Backroom deal? Dear was running against the Lopez endorsed Charlie Finkelstein as an insurgent (as was another insurgent, Karen Yellen). Finkelstein dropped out of the race for personal family reasons (and since Finkelstein is running again this year against two longtime personal friends of mine, I have no reason to vouch for him beyond the fact it’s the truth) and measuring the zeitgeist, Lopez, following the preference of most of the area's District Leaders endorsed Dear, because Dear was going to win anyway.
Lopez delivered Dear virtually nothing.
Further, far from there being "a back room deal" Dear had to fight both a primary against Yellen, and a general election against Republican Jim McCall, both of whom fought their hearts out and dropped some cash.
There is also this:
"In 2003, after two years as TLC commissioner, he tried to run again for City Council but was knocked off the ballot for accepting campaign financing from taxi companies."
This too is a lie--Dear was barred from running because he was legally ineligible to do so under the City's term limits law found legally ineligible to do so under the City’s term limits law.
"Because he had nearly defeated Kevin Parker in a State Senate race in 2002, Lopez saw him as a threat to the party’s candidates."
Perhaps, but many believe that Lopez actually gave sub-rosa support to Simcha Felder in his 2008 race against Parker. ‘Testy’ judge sacked after beer blunder www.nypost.com
Those who try to characterize Vito Lopez as a stereotypical villain must always do so in the face of facts like Gus Reichbach, one of several lefty Guild lawyers recruited for the bench by Lopez, elected by Lopez and then elevated by Lopez (although some honest Lopez critics like Tom Robbins have acknowledged this complicated truth).
Lopez actually spoke at Reichbach’s funeral.
Gus Reichbach was a lovely man and a dedicated public servant who lived for over half a decade after being diagnosed with a form of cancer which should have killed him in six months.
Gus kept on working till the very end, sadly living to see the death of his young and talented daughter.
Of special note was Gus’ service trying war crimes on Kosovo (Too bad David Storobin never got to talk with Gus about those horrible atrocities and learn something which might have allowed him admission to civilized society). Gustin Reichbach, Judge With a Radical History, Dies at 65 www.nytimes.com
The forgotten member of Franken & Davis, and the man who gave us the Coneheads (who resided in my hometown), I always thought Tom Davis would have made a great Junior Senator from Minnesota. Tom Davis's Obituary on New York Times www.legacy.com