Saturday, April 19, 2014

Justice John Paul Stevens is back at work

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens weighs in on the Second Amendment:
Following the massacre of grammar-school children in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, high-powered weapons have been used to kill innocent victims in more senseless public incidents. Those killings, however, are only a fragment of the total harm caused by the misuse of firearms. Each year, more than 30,000 people die in the United States in firearm-related incidents. Many of those deaths involve handguns. 
The adoption of rules that will lessen the number of those incidents should be a matter of primary concern to both federal and state legislators. Legislatures are in a far better position than judges to assess the wisdom of such rules and to evaluate the costs and benefits that rule changes can be expected to produce. It is those legislators, rather than federal judges, who should make the decisions that will determine what kinds of firearms should be available to private citizens, and when and how they may be used. Constitutional provisions that curtail the legislative power to govern in this area unquestionably do more harm than good.
Stevens goes on with the usual liberal gun-grabber twaddle, a mix of fact-free and logic-free moral preening that would be risible if it weren't so lethal. Stevens argues, bizarrely, that the heavily-armed colonial delegates to the Constitutional Convention, who just finished fighting and defeating the most powerful government on earth with their personal weapons, really intended the "right to keep and bear arms" to apply only to government-approved organizations. They merely forgot a few words that would have made their real intention (coincidently exactly the same as Stevens' personal opinion) clear.

Stevens goes on to quote Chief Justice Warren Burger on Burger's hatred of the NRA (which, one presumes, Stevens hates also, but couldn't find any impressive-sounding quotes of himself saying so).
Burger himself remarked that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”
Chief Justice Burger had to include the modal 'one of the greatest pieces of fraud' no doubt because he had in mind his own vote in 1973 for Roe vrs. Wade, which was the actual greatest piece of fraud ever promulgated by the Court. Actually, literal fraud-- McCovey lied about her "rape", and the seven justice majority that overturned the abortion laws of fifty states lied about the Constitution.

The NRA, an organization of law-abiding citizens who are intent on defending our Second Amendment Rights, are labeled "frauds" because they make the argument (invited by the Court) that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention meant what they said about keeping and bearing arms, which Chief Justice Burger, who was protected by armed security at no cost to himself, personally finds distasteful.

Anyway, back to Stevens. Stevens insists that federal judges have no Constitutional authority whatsoever to be telling states and localities what guns they may ban or not ban. It should be left up to the states! One presumes that Stevens' newfound solicitude for federal judges' valuable time is because federal judges are too busy telling states and localities that they can't pass laws about abortion or pray in schools or question Darwin in biology classes and that they must use racially discriminatory schemes in state college admissions, stuff that Justice Sevens believes the states should have no say in at all. With all of those Constitutionally-mandated responsibilities (none of which can be found in the Constitution), federal judges just don't have the time to enforce the Second Amendment!

So here's Stevens' five-word correction for the Second Amendment:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”
No doubt the delegates of the Constitutional Convention, fresh from risking their lives to win our freedom with their personal arms they kept and bore, would have ratified a better Second Amendment if they had input from a sinecured pencil-pushing veteran of the Washington cocktail party circuit. But at least it's inspiring to see Stevens, retired from the Court for a couple of years now, back on the job doing what he did on the Court for three decades-- rewriting the Constitution.


  1. If we ever allowed ourselves to be disarmed, all the rest of our liberties would be dissolved in short order, followed by our property and, ultimately, our lives.

    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

    "A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …"
    Richard Henry Lee
    writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.

    "The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them."
    Zachariah Johnson
    Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution."

    "The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to 'create' rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting." - William J Brennan Jr.

    "What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." - Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." - Thomas Jefferson

    "Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Daniel Webster

    Just for good measure...

    “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist pary must command all the guns. That way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” - Mao Zedong

    “Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext, with the view of confiscating them and leaving the population defenseless." - Vladimir Ilich Lenin

    Recall, if you will, how I argued against tacking on "hate crime" to criminal charges, because of the dangerous precedent it would set. First, it would create a system of injustice and bias. Second, it would pave the way for legislation which would be used to quell free speech and other rights. And whaddya know...

    D-Sen. Markey, who looks like a poster child for Freemasonry, seeks to exploit the recent shooting in Kansas City in order to attack whatever "hate speech" his party doesn't like, which could mean anything. People like that who look to exploit opportunities to undermine our Constitutional rights should not be in office.

    "Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Daniel Webster

    "Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any futher obedience." - John Locke, Second Treatise on Government (1689)

    1. Sorry for the double-quote by Daniel Webster.

      Actually, maybe that's a good thing in its own way.

    2. G Boggs, NWO DroneApril 19, 2014 at 7:32 AM

      Markey? A Mason? You must mean this Markey.


    3. It seems to be required of all Egnor fanboys that they use phony quotes.

      Dishonest? Just too stupid to check the source? Who knows? Who cares?

  2. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 19, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    If Stevens thinks he can get the Constitution lawfully amended to better reflect and assuage his own anxieties, let him do so.

    BTW, I noticed that the Evil Un-American Koch Brothers were putting $50 million into this fight and... no, wait. Oh, don't worry. It's Bloomberg. It's OK.

    1. G Boggs, NWO DroneApril 19, 2014 at 7:56 AM

      When Social Media goes horribly wrong...

      A Facebook page for Billionaire Blatborg's bought-and-paid-for Astroturf "competitor" to the NRA.

      Go visit. You'll enjoy. If you're a Facebook fan, leave a comment.

  3. Meanwhile, in related news, heavily armed militia men with guns trained on federal officials put women in children up front and dare the Federal Government to start a gun battle, all so a millionaire rancher can continue to suck off the federal teat rent free.

    This is why conservatives love them their assault rifles, so they can amass enough firepower to say “fuck you” to the law, the courts, and the constitution. It doesn't get much more anti-democratic than that. These rebels deserve to be treated like the terrorists they are.


  4. Yeah KW, if only Bundy had said those cows were Mexican and had crossed the border for an opportunity to graze on his land, then sucking off the federal teat would have been a-ok with this administration, but you are right about one thing -- the 2nd Amendment is all about saying F-you to tyrannical government who trample our rights and use the law arbitrarily for political gain and if it keeps up, yes, you're going to see what the whole revolution was about to begin with.