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Monday, May 23, 2016

Fisking Elizabeth Holtzman's logic about "Male Logic"

With the presumptive GOP nominee having just predictably pledged fealty to the gun lobby, the time has come to scrutinize carefully one of the key legal underpinnings of Second Amendment rights in America.
Elizabeth, don't you also predictably think the time has come to scrutinize carefully one of the key legal underpinnings of Second Amendment rights every time some nutjob brings his assault rifle to a gun-free zone?
This is the idea that gun rights are sacrosanct because firearms are crucial for heads of household — meaning, mostly men — to protect their families from intruders. It was most famously articulated by the late Antonin Scalia, whom Donald Trump has called “a brilliant Supreme Court justice.”
No Elizabeth, gun rights are "sacrosanct," in the same way that freedom of religion is sacrosanct, in the same way that freedom of speech is sacrosanct. Our freedoms are sacrosanct: our freedom to assemble, the right of due process, the freedom to come and go, the freedom to live our lives freely without the heavy boot of government stepping on our necks.

Isn't that what you really abhor Elizabeth Holtzman, the lack of a heavy government boot on our necks? You want to grind us all down so that everyone can be as abjectly miserable as you apparently are. Misery loves company, and you miserable left-wing control-freaks are freaking out because with all these guns, Americans can fight back when people like you come for us with the metaphorical slave collars of higher taxes, price controls, wage controls, mandatory this, that, and the other thing. You want to take our guns because that's the first step which leads to the next step where you raise taxes, and the step after that has you raising taxes again. And the step after that has you enacting price and rent controls, and printing more money, and more money and more money and raising taxes and because of the price controls and the worthless fiat money there won't be any more products on grocery store shelves. The next step has people of your ilk, Elizabeth, trying to control—by fiat—currency valuations, and the list of government controls and manipulation goes on and on. Demanding the people do what you say at gunpoint is what you want...because you people—politburo apparatchiks and your goons—will still have guns, but nobody else will.

If you want to watch it in action, take a look at Venezuela. Their whole economy was based on the sale of one product. The socialist regime—which you desire Elizabeth—was unable to attract entrepreneurs of any kind to its shores, because ... hello socialism! Thus they rode the oil wave until "predictably," they wiped out.
In 2008, Scalia wrote the Supreme Court opinion striking down Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns (District of Columbia vs. Heller). He argued that it violated an individual’s Second Amendment right of self-defense — even though the Second Amendment does not mention any right of self-defense, and refers to the right to bear arms only in the context of a “well-regulated” militia.
The Second Amendment states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sentence states two separate things, separated by a comma. Notice that it does not say "As long as a well regulated militia is necessary, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The Second Amendment's semantic "logic" is inescapable, Elizabeth. The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! It's simple English Elizabeth, yet you keep trying to twist it to mean something else. I've already told you why you keep trying, deny it though you will.
In re-reading the justice’s opinion recently, I realized that it was rooted in sexist stereotypes that seriously taint his analysis.

Scalia’s support for the right to keep a loaded handgun in the house is based on his image of a “person in the founding era” (when the Constitution was adopted), who uses “a gun to protect him and his family.” While not restricting self-defense rights to men, the justice’s language suggests a traditional, outdated scenario where the man of the house with his gun wards off the intruder bent on harming his wife and children. For Scalia, “defense of hearth and home” is central to the Second Amendment, as is his assumption that the man of the house is the protector of its occupants.
Oh, here we go! It seems as though Elizabeth has gone off the rails of her gun control rant and into some wacky feminist screed where she angrily denounces the Patriarchy and all its baggage of which guns are a traditional part. Guns and men. Soldiers, cowboys, Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson ... So a man protecting his home with a gun pisses you off? Seriously? Well please, tell us why that might be?
But, the scenario in Scalia’s mind is not the only way guns present themselves in American homes. In reality, the man of the house may be a batterer, child abuser, an alcoholic, under the influence of drugs or mentally unstable — and pose a grave danger with his gun to other members of the family.
It doesn't matter! If the "man of the house"—or woman of the house Elizabeth—is a batterer, child abuser, alcoholic, drug user, mentally unstable, then the problem is the man or woman of the house. Are you going to take all the knives, all the forks, all the furniture, the blunt objects, the strangling cords and rope, the walls themselves? If somebody wants to hurt somebody else, they don't need a gun to do it.
Even when the gun owner’s motives are benign, a gun in the house creates an enormous risk to its occupants. By focusing seemingly exclusively on the gun owner’s self-defense rights in the rare case of a criminal intruder, Justice Scalia blinds himself to the much more common case where the rights of family members and others to personal safety are jeopardized/threatened by the rights of the gun owner.

Consider the statistics on gun violence in the home. As the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has noted, a “gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide, suicide or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.”

Over 80% of firearm deaths among children under 14 take place in the home —- mostly through accidental use of a gun by children. As Brooklyn district attorney, I would get on my desk the tragic reports of children killed by other children while playing with a loaded gun at home.

Firearm suicides among young people are also facilitated by guns in the home. Eighty-two per cent of young people under 18 who committed suicide with a gun got the gun from their home.

The danger to women also rises dramatically when a domestic abuser has a gun. Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if he owns a firearm.
Okay, lets take these "statistics" in order. Gun 22 times more likely to be used in suicide homicide or accidentally than to protect the home. Tell me Elizabeth, does using consist only of shooting? If I use my gun to scare away a home intruder, did I "use" the gun? I doubt it. That statistic is vastly overstated and until you tell me how many homes were protected by having possession of a gun—not necessarily "using" it, then your premise at stated must be seen as false on its face. That "80% of firearm deaths among children take place in the home," statistic is so stupid! Really? Where else would you like them to be shot? Maybe at school? Or the playground? Seriously? That you threw that out there smacks of desperation and straw-grasping, and the "mostly through accidental use of a gun by children" is also so obvious it begs the question else would you like children to be shot? By their parents accidentally, or by their siblings or friends on purpose? Grasp grasp grasp Elizabeth, it's pathetic! Oh and I love the next one. 82% of children who kill themselves with a gun got the gun from home. Okay Elizabeth again, where would you like them to get it? From a gun store? No wait, from a friend's house. Hey Billy can you come out and play? Hey go get your dad's pistol I need to shoot myself in the head! Weak straw. The last straw has some strength to it. But we are talking about adults here. If you're abused you need to call the police. You need to go. The problem is the abuse, not the gun, so sorry Elizabeth but that straw pulled free as well.
Unless we reside in Scalia’s mythological realm where the gun owner acts only as protector, the Second Amendment does not and cannot leave the occupants of the house at the mercy of the gun owner. The right to protect oneself in the home against dangerous gun owners and their guns is just as important as the gun owner’s right to self-defense against the intruder.
Well, I hate to be snide here, but the right to keep and bear arms is a right. The right of others to protect themselves from the gun owner with their own gun is also a right. Of course children can't do that, but certainly one spouse could protect them from the other. Such a sad state of affairs where one parent must protect children from the other parent is the problem, not the gun. Another straw plucked free and your toehold of an argument is crumbling under your feet Elizabeth.
Who, then, will mediate between the rights of the gun owner and the rights of the occupants? Who will tell the gun owner to take the gun out of the house, or remove the bullets and lock it up safely? Who will require the gun owner to listen to the occupants of the house terrified that the gun will be used against them? Who will speak up for the victim against the gun-owner batterer? Who will give voice to the children who can’t even speak for themselves?
If mediation is required there are a vast number of services and mediators available. Counselors, police, attorneys, social workers, etc.
Government must have the power to prevent gun owners from endangering the lives of other occupants of the home. It must be able to write laws, for example, that would keep dangerous people from purchasing guns, require guns in the home to be kept under severe safety restrictions — or even, once the flimsy rationale of the Heller case is understood and discarded, reinstate an effective ban on handguns.
BOOM! You said it! I knew your were thinking it the whole time. "GOVERNMENT MUST HAVE THE POWER!" ... to reinstate the [unconstitutional] ban on handguns...To ban all guns eventually. Because you want the people to be raped, mugged, beaten, and robbed. You don't want the weak to be able to defend themselves against someone stronger. You certainly don't want them to be able to defend themselves against eventual—inevitable—tyranny. Throughout the ages, tyrants rise to power. They always have and they always will. The Constitution has protected us for quite a while, but termites like you have been chewing on it for better than two centuries and it's starting to look a little ragged these days.
In the meantime, courts should reject the world of macho make-believe underlying the Heller opinion, and recognize the fundamental right to safety of those whose lives are placed at risk by guns.
Earlier Elizabeth was quick to underscore the fact that the "Second Amendment does not mention any right of self-defense." No it doesn't. In fact nowhere in the entire Constitution does it mention self-defense, nor for that matter does the Constitution mention any "fundamental right to safety." You want safety Elizabeth? Get strapped.

I was perusing my blog roll when I came upon a story on This Ain't Hell entitled New York Times’ Untold Damage, with a veritable smorgasbord of 417 true stories where the good guys with guns saved the day. You should check it out!

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