02 May 2007

RKBA Campus Roundup #9

Now that the earthquake seems to be over, we're dealing with a few aftershocks here and there.

Still making my way through the states to find what sort of attitudes on gun issues can be found on America's college campuses, I stop over in New Hampshire, at Dartmouth.

Here, a philosopher wannabe tries to draw parallels between an Albert Camus story and the way the Second Amendment is interpreted. If you saw the YouTube links to the Penn & Teller Bullsh*t episode earlier on, you see this student takes the exact opposite approach to 2A's wording:

Additionally, take a closer look at the punctuation of the amendment, specifically the commas. If read without the two modifying clauses in the middle formed by these commas, the amendment reads, “A well regulated militia shall not be infringed.” It was the militias the Framers meant to protect, not the guns.
He's taking the classic leftist tack of emphasizing the "Militia" aspect, while completely ignoring the "Right of the People" part of the Amendment. It is not discussed once. And the conclusions he draws fall out of line with how that part of the Bill of Rights has been interpreted for over 200 years.

And so, therefore, the Albert Camus parallel does fit, but not the way our Staff Columnist probably had in mind. He, like his leftist buddies, would kill it of its meaning, strip the people of a right, and dump it in the river.

BTW, this tomfoolery with commas is really not an original idea. It comes from the Yassky Brief found in U.S. v Emerson (2001). It would be nice if Mr. Fan-of-Pessimist-French-Authors could cite where he got that idea from instead of passing it off as his own.

(The link also contains refutation of the idea, for those interested in reading it. Basically, the original draft of the Constitution only had one comma).

Happily, elsewhere, namely Mississippi, some students still understand the Amendment as it has always been interpreted. While only obliquely mentioning it in this reaction to the VT massacre, this student says:

Now let's move on to members of the Virginia General Assembly who failed to act on House Bill 1572. This bill would have made it legal for college students and employees to carry handguns on campus. What part of "shall not be infringed" did these people not understand?

A self-described Libertarian from Ole Miss responds to the VT shootings by discussing briefly the gun debate that it stirred up. He sits on the fence, but slightly leans towards preserving the 2A rights, thus holding true to his ideology:

Here in the South, guns are very much a part of our livelihood. Personally, they scare the hell out of me, and I wish they were banished from the face of the earth. But it's obvious that if you outlaw guns, the only people with them will be outlaws.
Over at St. Cloud University in Minnesota, another student rehashes the gun debate inflamed by the VT shootings. Here, the main focus falls upon fully automatic weapons.

Interestingly enough, this is an editorial board that believes that"the Second Amendment allows citizens to own firearms." And further bolsters its stance by explaining, "If there is a total ban on guns, the Second Amendment must therefore then be dissolved. No item on the Bill of Rights should ever be overturned."

Excellent! But he seems a little wary in allowing full-auto weapons to be owned by private citizens.

The Mad Hatter's official opinion? I've fired a full-auto weapon before. I personally don't have any use for one myself (expensive to obtain and expensive to shoot), but I'm not going to let my personal preferences restrict someone else's ability to acquire one legally.

The letter elicited a well-informed response from another student at St. Cloud, explaining that the full auto aspect of the debate is really rather irrelevant to the shootings at VT. But what was relevant were the following factors:

-"The Federal government already restricts persons with a mental background like Cho from legally obtaining a gun. The statute in Virginia is written slightly different, which allowed a legal gun sale under Virginia law."

-"The sale went through because the Federal government failed to provide states with funding to update the instant background check system."

-"[T]he administration at Virginia Tech adopted a gun-free zone on campus." He explains how this creates a target-rich environment.

I find it really interesting how most pro-2A articles will back their positions with facts. The Anti crowd seems to want to play the emotional card too heavily.

Speaking of facts, here's a download that every pro-2A person should have on his hard drive or PDA...click on the pic to the right and download the free .pdf file, and enjoy!

While you're at it, here is yet another worthy site to browse and arm yourself with the facts. It's the well-known Guncite website.

But continuing on with the campus op/ed's as I encounter them...the entire VT debacle started a back & forth between University Police at Brandeis and the students.

From the Brandeis Five-0's point of view, campus cops are insufficiently equipped to deal with a crisis the magnitude of the VT massacre, and therefore, should be armed, in the interests of protecting themselves as well as the students on campus.

The Director of Public Safety, however, seems to put more faith in their "Emergency Response and Notification Plan," which "includes state-of-the-art protocols for communicating a crisis situation to the campus."

Oh, wonderful. They might not be able to contain or control the crisis, but they can sure keep everyone up-to-date about it! "Now hear this! Campus Psycho has now perforated his 42nd victim over at the Cafeteria." At least the tragedy-happy media will be able to get an accurate body count.

And the system might encourage the cops to avoid the crisis area, as stated by one anonymous agent of public safety, explaining that "such an emergency would likely spur officers to leave campus rather than act unarmed:"

"Am I supposed to get shot for the sake of Brandeis?" Haley [president of the Union representing the police] asked in a phone interview Saturday. "I think it's ludicrous and ridiculous, but [the administration] won't listen to us."

Despite the inadequacies, one moonbat-in-training starts barking at the mere thought of arming the campus police, in an op/ed entitled "Safety should trump the abstract right to own guns."

Did you catch that? Abstract right? I wonder if that was a double-entendre, hinting at the irrelevancy of the Bill of Rights (which we hear so much from those who know nothing about where their civil liberties come from nor how they are preserved) as well as the conservative mindset.

At any rate, it's more blah-buh-blah-blah-blah. Pro 2A fanatics only read half of the amendment blar-blar-blar...the amendment was only written with muskets in mind blar-blar-blar... And this piece of cognitive clarity:

Though Americans are divided over the extent to which a citizen should have the right to arm himself we can learn from the recent gun-related tragedies, such as the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, the Washington sniper shootings in 2002, and last week's Virginia Polytechnic Institute shootings, what happens when individuals arm themselves.

Note that it doesn't read "what could happen when individuals arm themselves." No, Miss Libtard assumes that every time a person arms himself, he's going to commit a crime. Well paint me black and call me Toby--I am just perplexed why, while doing errands in town with my .45 on my hip and two spare magazines, no one got the Emmentaler treatment (Swiss Cheese, that is). Not one!

And why is it that, with 300 million guns out on the nation (that number just keeps on going up with every donkey-faced piece of half-baked pontification I read from these drunken monkeys), we come up with less than 30,000 fatalities, and less than 300,000 acts of violent crime involving firearms? 99.9% of the gun owners in this nation must not be doing a good enough job in keeping up with the murderous wishes of the brain-rotted ivory tower idealist.

"Although we are constitutionally allowed to own guns, the urgency and need for them isn't as apparent as during the times of our Founding Fathers."

Tell that to the 50 that were killed and wounded at VT, you clueless drone. I'm sure they would have found the outcome of the Appalachian Law School shooting much more favorable.

Happily, the blah is effectively retorted not much long thereafter by another student, who says in his own letter to the editor:

Smolyar makes a muddled argument that, on the one hand, belittles gun owners with a straw-man scenario about a British invasion, but on the other accepts the individual rights portion of the Second Amendment, provided that it is strictly curtailed in the name of the "public good." Anything can be justified provided it serves the "public good." However, Smolyar forgets that the Bill of Rights exists precisely to prevent anyone with vague ideas about the "public good" from simply overriding essential American freedoms. Perhaps she would agree to strict curtailment of her freedom of the press so that we are spared more frivolous justifications in the future?
And that rounds up this week's survey of attitudes towards gun rights this week. But don't worry...no doubt there is much more to come!


Nathaniel said...

Nice work. But where's that pdf file you're talking about? I'm not sure which image to click on.

The Mad Hatter said...

The image has a link that takes you to the site. At the bottom is the download link for the .pdf

John Hardin said...

> The image has a link that takes you to the site.

**which** image?

Could you take pity on us and post the URL(s)?


The Mad Hatter said...

Whoa! Don't know how it missed publishing it, but the image isn't there anymore.

Here's the URL.


I'll republish the post with the image on it. Sheesh.