Unethical Headline Of A Week Of Unethical Headlines: Mother Jones

Senate vote

Almost Every GOP Senator Just Voted to Keep Letting Terror Suspects Buy Guns

You know, I just had an astounding and depressing exchange with a knee-jerk Democrat friend, who reacted to my Facebook post pointing out that CNN’s fake legal expert Ashleigh Banfield—who hosts a show called “Legal Views” and not only isn’t a lawyer, but can barely spell “Constitution”—displayed her rank ignorance once again by expressing amazement that anyone could possibly object to a law banning those placed without due process on a secret list, based on mere suspicion, from buying a gun. It’s called the Fifth Amendment, Ashleigh, you smug incompetent fool–read it. My friend’s response to this utterly factual post was the non sequitur that SCOTUS refused to review a lower court decision upholding a Connecticut law banning semi-automatic rifles. “The Supreme Court disagrees with you,” he wrote.


You see, the left is deranged and incoherent on this issue. Totally bats, with principles draining out their ears. Because I object to breaching the core Constitutional principle of due process for any purpose–like every American should; it’s not a partisan issue—he “reasoned” that I must therefore believe that there is a right to own semi-automatic weapons. In fact, I have no position on that and didn’t mention it anywhere in the post. But, you see, good little gun-hating zealots like him believe that if you understand that Guns BAD, you must naturally approve of gutting the rule of law and the Constitution to restrict the sale of guns.  If you won’t happily gut the Fifth Amendment, you must be a gun nut.

The ends justify the means for these people. Constitutional principles only apply to good progressives and their favorite rights.

Well, screw that, and, to be blunt, screw them. This is totalitarianism they are playing with now, and I’m not sitting back to be bullied, to let anyone else rational be bullied, nor to watch defiance of the Bill of Rights, nor to allow all of these rights, or any of them, to be warped or vetoed by this sick, smug, anti-American, un-democratic ideology that the nation has been marinating in thanks to the left-infested education system and  biased and incompetent journalists. I have checked my biases and worked hard to be objective, and it is my unbiased, objective, careful conclusion that on the issue of guns, the left has been at its dishonest, ugly worst, thoroughly disgracing itself.

Now on to the despicable headline, the dishonesty and totalitarian idiocy of which I will explicate in large bold letters so the clod that composed it and the ignoramuses that applaud it have no excuse for not understanding, other than their own derangement, fanaticism and corruption:

No, Mother Jones, almost every GOP Senator just voted to keep letting US citizens exercise their Constitutional rights. “Suspects” of crime, future crime or even terrorism are, from the U.S. Constitution’s perspective—meaning the perspective of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams, James Madison, George Mason and all the other rebels and geniuses who composed the Declaration and the Constitution—still are citizens, and entitled to the rights of citizens. The government cannot take away those rights without due process. If this were not true, the government could, for example  concoct an asshole list, and declare that those on the list could not pollute the public discourse by publishing magazines like “Mother Jones.”

The government does not, moreover, “let” citizens, including “terror suspects,” exercise their rights to worship, express themselves, assemble, petition their government, not have to incriminate themselves,  be safe from unreasonable searches and seizures, or be tortured, to vote, to not have to house soldiers in their homes, to have legal representation,  to be tried by a jury of their peers, to be treated equally under the law, yes, to own firearms, and most of all, to not be deprived of these rights without due process of law. We have these rights, whether the government, Democrats, progressives, my friend, Ashleigh Banfield, Senators Murphy, Manshin and Feinstein or anyone else likes it or not.


Glad I could clarify that for you.

73 thoughts on “Unethical Headline Of A Week Of Unethical Headlines: Mother Jones

  1. Respectfully, it is not clear. In fact it is not clear at all.

    Your position is correct, within the confines of the case you have set. Those confines being freedom from interference by Government. However, the context is that freedom to be a citizen in the USA is in peril from individual citizens with political will * to remove the political freedoms of some and disrupt the discharge of political duties by others

    This tension between the right to freedom from government, in acting as a citizen in preparing to defend a democracy, and freedom to act,as a citizen in participation in a democracy, would be overlooked in normal times. These are not normal times and the tension is clear.

    To make my own position clear, in this period of clarity I hope for a unifying recognition of the need for the following actions
    1. A rapid and long conservative step backwards to the Patriot Act and beyond to strike down any counter-Constitutional laws and crush any practices of Government in contravention of said Constitution.
    2. An equally rapid and progressing step forwards to incorporating positive rights (‘freedoms to’) within the scope of Government to establish and thus within the people’s scope to defend by means of said Constitution only.
    3. Sensible gun policy that preserves the intent of the 2nd Amendment within legislation by means of due process. That is given that literal interpretations of the 2nd Amendment have proved to be a failure. The evidence for that failure being adequately shown for the purposes of this discussion by the above stated individual acts which occurred within a very short time period. In this I am claiming hat the sample is fair and that the intensity of the hazard (the number of guns and a candidate who is a provocative idiot) the frequency of high value alarm signals and consequential risk to constitutional government justifies a high scoring of that risk

    * Recent newsworthy examples (thus keyword references only): to be gay (Orlando) to be Muslim (anti-Islamic, Orlando), to run as a candidate for President while being a provocative idiot (Trump, police, gun, intent, murder), to discharge a Public Office free from threat or intimidation (Trump, Judge Curiel)

    • Bruce,
      Regarding your comment…

      “Respectfully, it is not clear. In fact it is not clear at all.”

      Can you please simplify this for me so I can better understand what you’re trying to say?

        • Sure, I can simplify. Or try to.

          There is a conflict between the 2nd Amendment as interpreted and the remainder of the Constitution as written. The right to bear arms is not compatible with constitutional government if it is interpreted as an absolute right to means of self defence.

          Such means (especially guns) are widespread. Sometimes, predictably at the statistical level, these means of defence will be used as a punishment for breaking a real law, ‘God’s law’ or ‘Are you looking at me, punk?’ law. The occurrence of such events is statistically predictable.

          If the Government does not act to prevent such predictable events it is in breach of its duty to protect the rights of the citizen. Therefore when such a predictable scenario occurs the Government is exercising powers as an institution dictatorially, tyranically – by proxy of the shooter.

          Typically the shooter acts out of an oppressive motive – aimed to ‘silence’ or ‘dis-empower’ or ‘get even with’ the victims. Therefore the Government is perceived by the targetted group as oppressive, tyrannical, unlawful.

          This description would also apply to any use of force save that which is necessary to effect an a arrest as part of due process of law.

          Thus in applying the 2nd Amendment as absolute right to self defence the Government is outsourcing oppressive, racist, homophobic tyranny to stupid, bigotted, scared, untrained people. And to insufficiently trained and controlled cops.

          That is how some people see the state of consitutionality (although they may express it differently)

          Thus Jack’s summary is clear and correct. But lacks the context as sen by the ‘other side.’

          Therefore the way forward by consensus is:
          1st return to constitutional government (end watch lists, torture,seizing of papers and extra-judicial killing)
          2nd introduce further protections against the silencing of the minorities who are shot and the minorities who shoot, so their voices can be heard without recourse to violence and thus with the 1st task re-establish government by consent
          3rd reconsider the 2nd Amendment as only pertaining to well ordered militia and the capacity of the people to fight any standing army to reclaim democracy.

          I think the test of a human system such as a constitution is how it copes with people who are unfit for the tasks that serve it. In alignment with Murphy’s Law I find that such a person usually comes forward at the worst of times. The presumptive candidature of Donald Trump is a sign that times are bad. Given the effects his nominal-candidacy is having, I do not think that the current constitutional application will cope.

          That is a different way of saying something rather similar. I hope it is clearer

          • Lost me in the very first paragraph, and I assume all follows from that.

            “There is a conflict between the 2nd Amendment as interpreted and the remainder of the Constitution as written. The right to bear arms is not compatible with constitutional government if it is interpreted as an absolute right to a means of self defense.”

            There is no conflict whatsoever. The Constitution is about preserving individual rights over government control over those rights. The right to self-defense is an inherent human right, acknowledged in the law, it is no less absolute than any other enumerated rights, and subject to exceptions, and is a core right, since it establishes autonomy and the right not to depend on the government for survival. Many have argued, and I agree, that the right to bear arms, far from being an anomoly, goes to the core of the rights described in the founding documents, by specifying a citizen’s right to defend those right personally when the government either fails its duty or chooses to try to abridge them.

            I’m sorry, but how did you get the idea that it was anything else? You appear to trust the government more than citizens, despite constant evidence to the contrary, and the underlying assumption of the US’s Founders. That is inherently an anti-democratic mindset.

            • I formed the idea that the 2nd amendment was intended by those who framed it as a collective defence against a standing army from its origin n 1689 Bill of Rights and the background of of Charles II who removed arms from Protestants who were not substantial landowners, thus preventing the formation of militias and the fate that befell his father.

              The amendment does not refer to self-defence but does mention militia.
              Prominently. It represents the right of the individually dispossessed of the protection of the law by such a tyrant to collectively repossess.themselves of constitutional government. The original law that deprived thhe people of their right included longbows and guns. That is further evidence that it’s main aim was poor people.

              I say again Where is due process for black kids who, being suspected of a crime are subject to the trial by cop consisting of ‘can you dodge this bullet?’ Cops carry guns for self-defence while making arrests. These are needed as criminals can carry guns. Criminals can because any citizen can.

              The argument I have made for the case of cops applies to ANY unnecessary use of force. A choke-hold or inappropriate care included.

              The argument for citizens is parallel to that for cops.

              As democracy works, IF we can keep it, the need for militia has faded from memory. As autonomy includes the autonomy of those idiots who would threaten a judge for giving a correct interpretation of law, the rule of the mob or the privileged individual is equally to be feared by any sensible individual. I mean specifically Trump and his threatening remarks regarding Judge Curiel again, but also to anyone possessing effective power over the minds of gun-owners as individuals. By which I mean that prolific and unchallenged hate speech is also ‘on my little list’.

              To gun-owners specifically gun-nuts and to enthusiastic lawyers I cite the example of many countries who do not allow the individuals right to self defence to take priority over the liberties of others, even to the right to life. Included in that is the right to live equally under the law. tHese countries limit self-defence to what is ‘reasonable’ and control guns other than those in use by militia such as the National Guard.

              Either you are in favour of rights and the Government that protects them from usurpation by individuals AND controls of the Government to only do so by law, or you are not. Either you are for he constitution or you are not. Either you are in favour of its provision to allow revolution to be prepared for, legally or you are not. Either you believe a cop or vigilante or terroist may prepare for ending a citizen’s life through hatred or you do not.These are all one and the same thing

              Either you are in favour of law or you are in favour of force.

              To me this is clear.

              • The amendment does not refer to self-defence but does mention militia.

                No, it mentions militias and the right to bear arms, which implies self-defense. Everyone agrees that the introductory clause is ambiguous, but it still is subordinate to the main clause. These were skilled writers, some of the best and clearest alive: if they wanted to say “the right of the citizens to maintain a well regulated militia shall not be infringed,” I think it’s fair to say that they would have composed it that way. They wanted to ensure more than that: the right to bear arms, militia or not.

                • “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 first clause (prefatory) is dominant and not ambiguous at all it is the second (operative) clause that requires interpretation. The purpose of keeping and bearing arms is clear. It is to enable the formation of militia to balance the power of standing Federal armies. These were,indeed,skilled writers and if they had wanted self defence they would have said so rather than leaving it implied. Therefore it is not implied. The only basis for the right that shall not be infringed is in Common Law where relevant cases have built up the necessary bank of jurisprudence as to its interpretation. That is reasonable force only. And that interpretation can be trumped by Statute Law I believe.

                  I am aware that this matter has been studied in depth and the majority of authority is overwhelmingly against me but I am allowed a dissenting opinion on this site as long as I give reasons and it leads to an ethical point. I claim no expertise.

                  These are the matters of history as understood by the people in the street. Without being lawyers they must make sense of their lives. I’ll try again to do so from their viewpoint.

                  When a cop kills a suspect, or when a gunman shoots gays, Muslims, women or members of other groups, it is sometimes unlawful. That harm is marked by intentions that are punitive or vengeful in some cases. No due process has been followed in the state-sponsored killing of a suspect in this event. No law has been applied, the actions are contrary to the constitution as they are sponsored, arranged, permitted or enabled by the active neglect of Government (inasmuch as the misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment is not challenged). There is a speedy trial (of sorts, see ‘can you dodge this bullet?’ above). No evidence is presented and no jury of peers decides the case. Typically no inquiry is instigated into that harm done by the Government by proxy of the shooter. Only the shooter’s guilt is ever tested.

                  A citizen is dead and the state is culpable and unaccountable.

                  Everyone agrees, you say? This source is the first I looked at and to judge from what it and others say, this consensus is as recent as 2008, prior to which the collective rights view held sway. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment#

                  I think you must concede that the killing of a suspect is a rather more urgent matter than a suspect’s ‘listed’ status enabling the state to restrict his access to firearms. You have allowed that you are angry about the latter case. How much more angry would you be expected to be about the former?

                  If people are angry about the extra-judicial killing of suspects this is something you should understand and support

                  That you and others do not understand and support is a puzzle for me but an ethical challenge for you I believe. If I can put the question this way ‘By what ethical principle is ‘equality before the law’ routinely sacrificed for maximum personal liberty for myself? Are all citizens my brothers in this matter? And am I my brother’s keeper?

                  To make those questions more clear – do I have the ethical right as a citizen to stand aside while the state, by proxy, blows away black kids and intimidates Muslims and gay people?

                  • When a cop kills a suspect, or when a gunman shoots gays, Muslims, women or members of other groups, it is sometimes unlawful. That harm is marked by intentions that are punitive or vengeful in some cases. No due process has been followed in the state-sponsored killing of a suspect in this event.

                    The state is not executing suspects via cop. If that were a policy, then that would violate due process. That’s not what happens. Officer Wilson could bot ask Mike Brown to stop charging while a hearing was held to determine whether he could defend himself or not. A citizen breaking the law in a mass shooting is not a government agent. Neither of these involves due process of law. Sorry: can’t get there from here.

                    I’m angry about emotion based bills that propose to gut basic rights as if due process doesn’t exist. There is no right to avoid unpleasant interactions with other citizens, even fatal ones. The government is not complicit in the Orlando deaths, except in a statist world view —yours, apparently— that holds that the government is responsible for everything. Our founding documents do not embody that view—far from it.

                    You have a right to your opinion, but not to your own facts. As of this moment, the Supreme Court has said what the 2nd means, and thus that is what it means. You can argue that it shouldn’t mean that or wasn’t intended to mean that, or that SCOTUS was wrong to decide that it meant that, but you can’t argue that the 2nd doesn’t mean what the official interpreter of the Constitution says it does.

                    • I acknowledge that this is your field and not mine. But surely if the key judgement establishing the 2nd amendment as an individual rather than a states right was in 2008 (Heller) and prior to that the collective rights interpretation held sway since 1939 (as suggested in my source given previously) I am entitled I believe to treat the matter as not ‘settled’.

                      If the 2nd amendment is a state’s right then the following applies (explaining as clearly as I can).

                      P1The number and distribution of firearms is known to government, at least in general.
                      P2 The kinds of people who own guns is known (reports from various surveys)
                      P3 The kinds of situations and behaviours people get into with guns are known to include crimes of violence and other crimes (threatening, menaces etc)

                      Interim conclusions
                      iC 1 From 1 -3 above these conflicts and crimes are a ‘known known risk’

                      Premises continued
                      P 4 known known risks can be prevented to some degree.
                      P 5 In the case of Orlando, Omar Mateen, was part of that ‘known-known risk’

                      From IC1 P4 P5 Omar Mateen’s crime could have been prevented, probably

                      P 6 if Omar Mateen did not have access to a gun casualties would have been smaller
                      P7 A review of the 2nd amendment would have resulted in Omar Mateen being deprived of his gun
                      P 8 the government failed to take the matter of self defence to the Supreme Court for a better Judgement of the 2nd Amendment in 2008

                      From IC2 and P6, 7 and 8 The results of Omar Mateens crime could have been reduced, if it wasn’t prevented entirely if the government had been diligent and cognisant of the risk and of the remedy and been willing to act

                      P 9 That government which does not act to prevent a crime or emergency which it knows will occur is culpably at fault.

                      from IC 4 and P9 : The government is culpablly at fault

                      Which I interpreted as the shooter being the agent of governments neglect, an example of ‘institutional homophobia’. That is the bigotry of society at large acting through an insttution automatically if steps are not taken to prevent it from doing so. and that by proxy of a criminal

                      I could repeat that analysis for the BLM case if needed

                      Failure to address the problem is governments fault, the people cannot be asked to address issues of this complexity, spot loopholes of this degree of obscurity.

                  • Bruce,
                    If I’m understand your “logic”; the police had no right to shoot the shooter at the Orlando Pulse nightclub; therefore, he was denied his due process of law before being put to death by the government.

                    Am I understanding your underlying argument correctly?

                    • No, you are misunderstanding.

                      If the cops shoot a shooter (or someone armed and of great danger to others, judging by behaviour ie he just killed 49 people) they are taking the least worst option in a hostage situation or similar dilemma.

                      If they shoot a non-lethal citizen, to avoid risk to themselves alone rather than tangle with him and make an arrest. then they are bypassing due process.

                    • Bruce said, “If they shoot a non-lethal citizen, to avoid risk to themselves alone rather than tangle with him and make an arrest. then they are bypassing due process.”

                      By “non-lethal citizen” do you mean the cop isn’t dead yet, or the cop isn’t sliced and diced with a concealed knife yet, or the cop isn’t having his head pounded into the pavement yet? Maybe you should define what the hell you mean by “non-lethal citizen” because “lethal” and “non-lethal” is in the eyes of the beholder at the instant of a perceived attack.

                    • Then the cop needs to be limited in their response options to non-lethal means.. A cop should not carry lethal means unless adequately trained in when not to use them, ie not in self defence. It is only risks to the public and to the suspect themselves that should induce the employment of firearms. This is exactly because a dead body cannot be arrested, read his rights, taken into custody, etc. A dead suspect is a terrible blow to the credibility of the rule of law.

                      I am from the UK and here cops deal with knives differently.. We use Tasers, pepper spray,training, technique and common bloody sense. And bravery. And civility. And respect. I hope..

                      When an unarmed copper goes up against an armed thug the story in the newspapers can only read one way. That way lies due process, policing by consent and calm streets. It all starts with citizens who are better advised than to rely on deadly force for their protection.

                      I hope that is clear.

                    • Bruce said, “I am from the UK and here cops deal with knives differently.. We use Tasers, pepper spray,training, technique and common bloody sense. And bravery. And civility. And respect. I hope.”

                      I knew I recognized that unmistakable UK attitude.

                      Well I’m glad to see that cops in the UK are the ones that use tasers, pepper spray, training, technique, bravery, civility, respect, and common bloody sense. No cops here in the USA have those traits, they’re all just freakin rednecks wantin’ to GET SOME! Our cops are all blood thirsty amateur wannabes pulling out their firearms and shooting down thousands and thousands of innocent non-lethal citizens every day because our cops are to damned stupid to learn anything else and the police departments don’t have to settle with a dead citizen for millions in our corrupt courts for not reading them their rights when they were trying to “respect” the hell out of the cops. If you didn’t detect that shit pile of sarcasm I just delivered, I can’t help you.

                      Now you can argue that “mine is better than yours” trash until pigs fly, but it simply won’t fly with me. You want to have national pride that’s fine but understand that we have national pride as well. It’s a bit like bar room arguments that the USA Marine Infantry is better than the USA Army Infantry when they are BOTH fully trained for their assigned mission and equally effective at completing their assigned missions. It’s nothing but bar room rhetoric that causes pointless fist fights.

                      People have asked me why I chose to be a citizen of the USA as opposed to the UK when I had the choice many years ago; a big factor was the wide spread pompous attitudes that I was confronted with each and every time I was in the UK. I think you know exactly where you can put that pompous attitude.

                    • Jack, it’s good to be back.

                      Back on topic. (I’ll only try this once more. I suspect you are nearing your limit of patience.)

                      There are at least two ways in which self defence including the right to bear arms precludes due process.

                      The first is when a suspect dies before due process can be applied. The particular sub-type of the general category occurs when a cop kills a suspect in self-defence or allows a suspect to die rather than risk approaching him or her. This only occurs when the cop can be excused in his or her actions because the self defence is reasonable and therefore the cop cannot be charged with a crime. In these circumstances Government is avoiding its responsibilities to use only due process. The government is neglecting the probability that cops will meet bad guys and some will be killed (of both cop and suspect groups) and failing to ensure the encounter is not lethal (by cop training,or gun control for example).

                      To that extent the government is procuring or enabling an extra judicial killing, by default.

                      The second type of preclusion is when a shooter uses guns he or she has acquired using the self-defence guns laws as currently regulated. In this case the shooter deprives his victims of their constitutional rights, without due process. Although the suspect is guilty of the crime and can be duly tried and convicted, the government still avoids exposing it’s culpable part in the drama. The scenario of such killing is frequent enough that some common factors can be identified and interventions could be made to reduce the risk (specifically gun control). These interventions are not made because the application of the principle of self-defence goes up to lethal force (guns).

                      In this case the government may be said to be procuring or enabling extra judicial; killing by neglect. Neglect that is, which ensures that the risks inherent in giving guns to hate filled young men (according to 2nd Amendment principle) are not managed.

                      The head-line of Mother Jones was therefore justified. By voting to endorse the right to bear arms without government planning for the consequences Republican senators voted to prolong the period in which extrajudicial killings persist, and persist in being denied and persist in denying due process to citizens.

                      The fact that the alternative, to endorse legislature that would directly endorse the already questionable ‘watch list’ and thus also endorse a breach of due process (for the shooter this time) is a sad reflection on the principle of individual self defence to the point of taking life. And to where such a principle inevitably leads

                    • Bruce,
                      Utopia does not exist in this reality; it doesn’t exist the way the UK does it and it doesn’t exist the way the USA does it and it doesn’t exist the way any other country does it. We are humans, we are imperfect, and there are some very bad and very violent humans that will kill you with their firearm or another weapon in a heartbeat and sometimes no tasers, pepper spray, training, technique, bravery, civility, respect, or common bloody sense will prevent it – you just get dead!

                      It seems to me that you, and many like you, are being pacifists and choosing ahead of time that it’s you who will die, that is YOUR choice, that is not MY choice. You can choose to be a sheep but it’s people like me choosing to be the sheepdogs that help make it possible for you to survive as the sheep.

                      Choices have consequences, ALL choices.

                      GUN CONTROL
                      The only gun control that will ever work properly is to abolish firearms world wide, confiscate 100% of them – no exceptions – military also, destroy 100% of them, and completely wipe the knowledge of their existence from all documents and and the memories of all of the planets inhabitants. After you get that accomplished, you should probably repeat the process with bladed weapons and things that go boom and then follow that up with mandatory reprogramming to remove the “wolf” out of the minds of 100% of the inhabitants on the planet Earth.

                      Regardless of dissenting opinions; the 2nd Amendment is part of the Constitutional here in the United States and until that changes, if it ever changes, that is reality as it exists.

                      You and I will just have to disagree on this topic.

                    • Zoltar, we can agree to dis agree only if you accept that the position taken by Mother Jones and I (broadly that it is time for gun control) is reasonable though you still object to it. That I could respect. Refusing to accept that there is a dilemma is giving yourself “entitlement to your own facts” as Jack put it.

                      There is, as I have demonstrated, a clash between the rights of black people to due process and the general right of self defence. This emerges as a problem in policing with consent rather than only by force. Specifically regarding ;police practice in carrying and using it’s own weapons.

                      The UK is not Utopia, but it is 33 times less likely per unit of population to experience a gun death. Violence in general is also down. There is no link between lack of ‘bearing arms’ constitution and calmness as opposed to mayhem AFAIK

                      Indeed some police do die, we have a police memorial to them. Some citizens die too – they ‘have a go’ as we say, like the 77 year old man who tried to save poor Jo Cox MP last week. As usual the praise was less forth coming for the officers who brought the suspect down even though he was armed, without being routinely armed themselves. And did so with no injury to the suspect.

                      What British Police and public die for is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, worth dying for. By this i mean, namely, policing by consent, respect of the public for the law and thus the rule of law not the rule of a police state – the rule of force.. I have no data to prove that is true and I accept we must as countries each chose our destiny. But there is no reason I can see to prevent the USA from changing it’s mind with regard to Gun Control.

                      I think you should expect a constitutional amendment vote. Even with all the difficulties that poses.

                      And I think tat is a clear and reasonable position. I welcome your confirmation so that we can end this exchange.

                    • Bruce said, “we can agree to disagree only if you…”

                      You simply don’t understand the concept of agreeing to disagree and your pompous absolutism is personally insulting my intelligence.

                      This exchange IS most definitely over.

                  • The many countries that do not operate a constitutional right of individuals to bar arms. could all tell much the same story.

                    Shooting dangerous suspects dead prohibits due process. It is the government , not the cop, which should stand trial for racially motivated extra judicial killings because statistics tell them that the scary suspect will be predominantly black and male, that cops won’t always judge the situation correctly, and that while citizens can carry guns cops take an attitude of self defence.

                    Once you and Jack confirm that
                    A the above is true
                    B that in this sense the Mother Jones article article raised a legitmte point (which you and Jack resonably disagree with)
                    then we can agree to disagree, not before

                    until then, I have made a claim, backed by argument and (recent anecdotal) evidence which stands, not disproven.

                    Is that clear?

                    I apologise for allowing myself o be provoked.

                    • Bruce said, “Shooting dangerous suspects dead prohibits due process. It is the government , not the cop, which should stand trial for racially motivated extra judicial killings because statistics tell them that the scary suspect will be predominantly black and male, that cops won’t always judge the situation correctly, and that while citizens can carry guns cops take an attitude of self defense.”

                      That’s some serious magical thinking Bruce.

            • It’ll make you glad to know that at Colonial Williamsburg today during a reenactment of the local militia’s attempt to storm the Royal Governor’s palace after he’d ordered the Royal Marines to confiscate all the militia’s gunpowder from the common store, the reenactment showed the elected speaker talking the militia down as it actually occurred so many years ago… It will make you happy to know quite a few voices in the crowd yelled at the militia reenactors to just storm the palace anyway and get the colonists means of defense back.

      • Unless I misunderstand, what is not clear to Bruce is that Constitutional protections against government infringement on basic rights and personal liberty should apply to all citizens no matter how much anti-gun hysterics are screaming that we have to DO SOMETHING!, and no matter how much a particular right is not valued or respected or understood by large, vocal, and powerful members of the public. What needs to become clear to everyone else, including Bruce, is that respecting and insisting upon “due process” of law means that we live in a democracy that is willing to pay the price of freedom, as opposed to a sham where our rights can be summarily cut off as long as someone is upset or not.

        I just heard Senator Nelson—who is beyond fatuous—say “What will I say to the citizens of Orlando who suffered this terrible tragedy?” Say that their grief is not a reason to suspend the Bill of Rights, you ass. Say that there’s no way to retroactively stop a mad act, and say that bolting the barn door means that the horses inside never get to see the sky, you statist clown. “I will have to say that the NRA won again,” he said mournfully. Because the NRA is a villain, you know, to Nelson’s ignorant supporters and deceitful party, so if they oppose a measure that violates the Constitution, that measure must have been plated in virtue and gold. No, Senator, you disgraceful pandering jerk, say the ACLU won, the Founders won, the Fifth Amendment won, the American people won and democracy won, and your party wanted all of them to lose to trade due process of law for cheap partisan advantage.

        • I just heard Senator Nelson—who is beyond fatuous—say “What will I say to the citizens of Orlando who suffered this terrible tragedy?”

          I am sure many senators wondered what they would say to the servicemen who served at Pearl Harbor if they came out against Executive Order 9066.

        • Say what Senator Nelson will about the vote, but it seems that the real hero in this debate is the NRA. I know that the NRA is the favorite whipping boy of the Left, but La Pierre and the NRA stood their ground and defended the Bill of Rights. La Pierre loves to make the slippery slope argument but he absolutely correct.


    • There is no such leeway regarding due process. You are essentially talking about martial law, and a national emergency. There is no emergency, except one of government over-reach, and creeping tyranny. The current administration doesn’t believe that Islamic terrorism is even worthy of recognition, and you are arguing that it justifies unilaterally removing rights from citizens without due process of law. Shooting deaths are declining. Declining. There is no crisis.

  2. I think you meant George Mason. Although, in a pinch, James Mason would probably fit in just fine.

    So now, it’s down to nuts and freaks. Either you’re a “gun nut,” or you’re a “gun control freak.” Which “leadership” of which “school” of irrationality will prevail? Citizens, start your emotional engines!

    • Ugh. Fixed it. It was late, and I was upset. The original screed mentioned George Jefferson, Aretha Franklin, Oscar Madison, Amy Adams, Herbie Hancock, AND James Mason. Thought I got them all…

  3. A friend has been saying this for some time this and I’ve waffled a bit; but, it’s becoming clearer to me that we are headed to a time when individual rights are going to be suppressed; if we continue down this path it WILL end up to be a major Constitutional crisis for the United States and could have catastrophic consequences.

    • It’s absolutely coming. Did anyone ever think that college students would be demanding limits to freedom of expression, association or press? We’ve been sliding toward this for a long time. Now, we are finally reaching a point where the people who will be making our laws in 15 years have not only no respect for the Constitution, but also no real understanding of how protecting ALL people’s rights ensures that the shoe doesn’t end up on the other foot someday.

        • Unfortunately, the Democratic Party is embracing an increasingly anti-constitutional mindset.

          Look at those 17 Attorneys General who are suing Exxon for opposing climate change legislation. They’re subpoenaing think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

          Look at San Jose, where people got assaulted for attending a Donald Trump rally – and local authorities did NOTHING to stop the rioters who carried out those assaults and the mayor engaged in victim-blaming.

          Look at college campuses, where conservative speakers have their events disrupted.

          The Democratic Party has become hostile to the Bill of Rights as a whole.

        • Fair enough, to both you and Jack. I amend my previous statement. It’s coming if we continue to allow it. 🙂

  4. https://groups.google.com/d/msg/soc.culture.african.american/-2TwVOBXpys/jcDAgF3f3-MJ

    People make
    submachineguns in PRISON. Along with banning the 1st, 2nd, and 5th amendments
    will you also ban machinetools and seemless aluminum tubing?

    – Christopher C. Morton, replying to George W. Hunter, 10/22/1992

    Amazing that Mr. Morton’s prediction about people openly wanting to gut the 5th in order to gut the 2nd came true, over 23 years later.

    not take the lead of South Africa? We could institute a pass law system and
    limit the movements of young Black males. We could make them live in barbed
    wire enclosed hostels so that the police could better control their movements.
    Why not follow THAT example? The next thing you know, you’ll be telling me
    that that would be unconstitutional and WRONG….
    Very good point.

    Over four thousand Americans were murdered by black people last year.

    what do we say to their families, if we do not “take the lead of South Africa”?
    Of course, as Chris would point out..

    :Of course if you DID get your way, and you conferred upon Daryl Gates and
    Jesse Helms the monopoly on the means of armed force, the above probably WOULD

      • – Christopher C. Morton wrote over twenty-three years ago that people who want to abrogate the 2nd Amendment are willing to abrogate the 5th in order to do so. These recent events prove him right.
        – Guns will be harder to ban than heroin or cocaine (which have to be imported)
        – In response to someone who advocated banning handguns because other countries do it, Chris asked why we could not follow the example of South Africa, with instituting “a pass law system and
        limit the movements of young Black males”, making them ” them live in barbed wire enclosed hostels so that the police could better control their movements”. More people are murdered by black men than with assault weapons. And if we are willing to defy the Constitution…
        – The last point is that if we did go forward and ban the purchase of firearms by persons on the terror watch list, thus giving people like Daryl Gates and Jesse Helms the monopoly on the legal means of armed force, instituting “a pass law system and
        limit the movements of young Black males” and making them ” them live in barbed wire enclosed hostels so that the police could better control their movements” would probably happen.

  5. Correct me if Im wrong but don’t more people die from AIDS than from guns in this country this year? By the left’s reasoning the people with AIDS in this country pose a risk to the rest of us so we should set up a data base, require registration and allow people to access that data base so they can protect themselves.

    • In 2012 13,712 Americans died of AIDS related illness. In that same year, murders by guns was 8,855. If you include all gun deaths, like suicide and accidents and police shootings, guns “win.”

      • I wasn’t trying to say one death rate or the other won or lost just to make the point that there are people in this country who would see people who suffer from AIDS as a threat and are more then willing to violate those sufferers civil rights all in the name of public safety.

  6. There have been about 200 views of this post so far today. It’s been shared a few times on Facebook. Where are the defenders of the legislation? Where is the rationale for ignoring due process?
    My afore-mentioned friend, who I don’t want to pick on but he’s a perfect example of how lock-step partisan anti-gun mania can rot pefectly good brains and pervert values, writes…

    “I am more theratened by the loss of my civil liberties at the hands of somebody with an assault weapon and an agenda then I am about the very slim possibility of being placed on a watch list”.

    Now what does that really mean? It means 1) I’m more afraid of fellow citizens than I am of the government; 2) I am willing to forfeit other citizens’ rights when I think my rights are unlikely to be affected 3) I endorse pre-crime as a basis for punishment. I’d call my friend a very well-educated, true-blue Democrat. How many true-blue Democrats think like this? How did they get this way?

  7. Titles are used as an intentional method of spreading propaganda.

    Unfortunately there is a wide swath of the ignorant public that do nothing but read headlines; places like Mother Jones exploits this fact, Mother Jones is not the only place that exploits this known fact.

    How about this for a title: Donald Trump’s appeal is based on racism.

    Yup that’s right, there is no other reason for anyone to find Trump appealing; who knew.

      • Jack Marshall said, “That’s silly: there is NO legitimate reason to find Trump appealing as a leader.”

        Sure, you and I know this to be true; however, the title is blatant propaganda, it is an absolute, and it is bull shit. Heck for some people, Trump is appealing simply because he’s NOT Hillary. Appeal is in the eyes of the beholder and obviously logic, sensibility, moral standards, etc, etc just don’t come into play for Trump supporters.

  8. Here’s Dana Milbank’s headline: “A week after Orlando, Republicans protect terrorists’ right to bear arms.”

    Nice, objective reportage, Dana. As usual.


    Oh, this was an opinion piece. Excuse me. I guess that makes it okay.

  9. I also shared this post on Facebook.

    I must admit that until very recently I wouldn’t have thought twice about the Mother Jones headline. I’d share that article instead of this one and nod in agreement. I’d probably get lots more likes.

    That said, I’m still torn on the issue, but for reasons I can’t articulate without making myself sound like a far more authoritarian person than I’ve ever thought myself to be. But your analysis has at least made me reconsider this issue, and second amendment issues entirely in a new light. I find myself not “liking” the articles and comments my liberal friends share about gun control as much as I used to. The sound bites I used to find impressive now seem empty, and I can’t help but notice when headlines like this oversimplify an issue that is actually way more complex.

    Thanks, Jack.

  10. In the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution there is a clause that talks specifically about due process of law:

    “…nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”

    That clause contains a word that can sometimes mean different things to different people; the word is “liberty”.

    Here’s a challenge from me to you:
    Without looking up the definition of the word liberty first; how would you define the word liberty as it relates to the Constitution and the Amendments; in other words, what does liberty mean to YOU right this very moment? After you have done that, go ahead and look up various definitions of the word liberty AND look up definitions that are directly related to the Constitution and see how your own meaning of liberty compares. Don’t cheat; it’s simply an exercise in knowledge, there won’t be a test and I really don’t need to know your results.

    Liberty is a VERY important concept; but, if we cannot define what liberty means to ourselves, how can we pass on the concept of liberty and what makes it important to us as a Nation the next generations? Without passing on the concept of liberty to the next generation(s) the concept of liberty will essentially become “meaningless” to them.

    Patrick Henry is credited for saying “Give me liberty, or give me death!” back in 1775. That’s genuine passion about the concept of liberty! Those around Henry during that speech had a pretty clear understanding of the concept of liberty.

    For me; the concept of individual liberty means all the things that make life worth living, but as it relates specifically to due process of law as stated in the 5th Amendment, it means that no one can infringe or strip me of my rights as specified in the Constitution of the United States or any of the Amendments without due process of law. To me that single clause in the 5th Amendment is my only legal protection from anyone trying to strip me of my Constitutional Rights without due process of law.

    There are generations of ignorant United States citizens that simply do not understand the concept of liberty, and the end result of that ignorance will likely be that liberty will be lost.

  11. Bruce: Shooting dangerous suspects dead prohibits due process. It is the government , not the cop, which should stand trial for racially motivated extra judicial killings , that cops won’t always judge the situation correctly, and that while citizens can carry guns cops take an attitude of self defence.

    1) Due process does not apply in exigent circumstances, like life and death confrontations. This is incredibly well-established in the case law. The cop shooting a suspect who attacks him or places him in mortal peril is acting individually, not as an agent of the state—the state isn’t being attacked.

    2. Similarly, if the officer is acting outside lawful authority, then the individual cop is tried, because the government doesn’t authorize executions.

    3. “because statistics tell them that the scary suspect will be predominantly black and male.” I don’t know what you think this means. If a suspect obeys authority and does not resist arrest, the chances of anyone being shot, unless this is Maniac Cop, are close to nil. If the suspect does resist arrest and threatens the officer, bad things can happen.

    4. Yup, cops make mistakes. They are placed in constant peril, and society justly does not hold them to a standard of perfection.

    5. The US isn’t Great Britain. and isn’t going to be. Different culture, different traditions, different populations.

    • Jack,
      Thank you for having a cooler head than me and producing a clearer explanation of what was bouncing back and forth off the inside of my skull.

      My “magical thinking” reply to Bruce above was a bit of a hot headed reaction; I’ve gotta work some more on not reacting like that. Bruce please accept my apology for that reactionary statement.

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