20 February 2008

The Sword and the Pen

I had always wondered if Leftists would treat the 1st Amendment the same way they jump on the 2nd when it comes to trying to control crime.

I found in an Illinois campus editorial something exactly along those lines. And, the double standard over 1st and 2nd gets played out pretty good.

Another piece of evidence came up in the NIU shootings, and people are looking at a book that was left by the gunman for his girlfriend in hopes to shed some light on why he did what he did. The book in question was a copy of Nietzsche's The Anti Christ.

The author of this article, that appeared in the op-ed pages of another Illinois university, states that this has spurred consideration for banning the works of Nietzsche.

I tried looking for articles supporting this suggested ban, but came up short. I don't know where he got the idea for even the suggestion of the ban, unless it came out of the usual scuttlebutt. Still, regardless of any attempts, real or imagined, to take this book out of general circulation, this fellow's reaction is what I want to call attention to.

On the one hand, he is all for gun control, if only to include it in a battery of preventive measures:

I am 100 percent for: increased gun control laws, increased preventive measures of universities and a continual search for trying to find out a motive for the event.

This event has compelled several laws and actions to be considered and possibly implemented so that such events will not happen again.

Typical Anti-2A knee-jerk reaction to a crime involving a gun--"I'll gladly sell that right if it will make me feel safer."

However, if covering all the bases in the interests of prevention also meant taking books off the shelves that could inflame certain ideas (that is, something related to 1A), he goes in exactly the opposite direction:
However, there is one action being considered that I don't support it at all.

That is the banning of teachings by Nietzsche, particularly his book, "The Anti-Christ."

Further on down:
I am against banning books in any situation, but banning this one as a causal result of what happened last Thursday isn't the right thing to do, will not erase what happened and will not positively prevent future occurrences.
Now, I tend to agree with him on the book-banning question. I certainly would not care to see a 1A right taken away, even if it meant a little extra security.

But I hope everyone sees the hypocrisy here. I remember once during the 1990s how someone mentioned that if Libs treated 2A like 1A, then everyone would have a right to a fully automatic rocket launcher.

He sees a lack of causality between Nietzsche and the shootings. In similar measure, while the gun was the instrument, it in of itself is not to blame. It was not the cause of the crime. And yet, people like this would gladly promote infringements on the Second, which generally haven't been the right thing to do, do not erase past tragedies, and have proven quite ineffective at curbing crime.

But more importantly, the Second shares space with nine other amendments that define our rights. Disregard one, and you set dangerous legal precedent for the rest.

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