Monday, July 27, 2009

Arm the Hypocrites in the US Senate?

Oh, I should not post here on gun issues, but... So in today's Washington Post, E.J. Dionne has a column, "Arm the Senate." He points out the hypocrisy of senators constantly wanting to make it easy for people to walk into churches and bars with concealed weapons, reduce gun control in Washington, D.C, make it possible for people to take guns to states and cities that would otherwise restrict them, and so on. At the same time, nobody is allowed to take a gun into the US Congress, which has metal detectors at the entrances to forbid it.

So, Dionne reasonably asks if it is so wonderful and crime-reducing for the rest of society to have people walking in and out with concealed weapons, why does this not apply to the US Senate? I must agree that this is an excellent sign of their hypocrisy and their kowtowing to the worst of the gun nuts at the National Rifle Association.

12 comments:

Brenda Rosser said...

I'd be interested to know what limits, if any, there are on the weapons used by police and the armed services in the US.

As much as I love the idea of limitations on available weapons all round, such a situation needs to be an all round thing.

Brenda Rosser said...

Sigh. Let me rephrase that last paragraph:

Safety and security can only be heightened if disarmament (both domestically and internationally) happens across all sectors of society.

Additionally the strong global trend toward the dismissal of human rights is a major concern.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you keep your inane comments about our sovereign right to bear arms to your self.

If every Senator and Congressman and aid and, and, and etc. Ad Nauseam. If just congress and senate were armed there would be 535 guns at least. who in their right mind would attempt to assault one of them?


The crazy liberal fear of gun battles in the street have never materialized among law abiding citizens who carry. Only the "Bad" guys have massacres and they can get guns when no one else can.

So enough fear mongering. Man up and defend yourself and family.

P.S. Why is it that you bleeding heart, tree hugging, liberals don't get that if you ban guns, only the "bad" guys will have guns. Bad guys don't obey laws. Banning drugs has sure worked out.

Shag from Brookline said...

Let's not limit the discussion to "gun control." The 2nd Amendment refers not to "guns" but to "arms," the keeping and bearing of "arms." Arms are weapons. Apparently even Justice Scalia recognizes that beyond "guns" consideration has to be given to the type of "arms." (Keeping and bearing presumably might limit the size and devastation of weaponry "blessed" by the 2nd Amendment.) So why not swords, sabers, dirks, blackjacks, knives of all sorts, mace (both the implement and the gas), pepper spray, etc, which may also provide self-defense but may be less lethal than guns. Even Scalia in dicta raises the issue of limitations upon the absolute right to keep and bear arms. And why should self-defense be limited to the home? Maybe if everybody were required to carry the economy would pick up - or be held up. After all, if it were wise - and safe - to have all 535 members of Congress armed, why not every man, woman and child?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha...
Lobby your congress with an assault weapon.

Barkley Rosser said...

Brenda,

Of course some gun advocates support them as means to prevent excessive power in the hands of the State (including the police).

First Anonymous (and why are you hiding your identity? Afraid of a bunch of unarmed liberals?),

Um, the point is, if all this is so great and your argument is correct, why is not John Thune calling for it rather than busily shoving guns down the throats of citizens who do not want them around, such as those in D.C., which has the lowest suicide rate in the country, a rate that will almost certainly go up noticeably once these jerks get their way with the gun laws of D.C. More people die from gun induced suicides in the US than from gun murders, but the NRA never talks about that.

Bob Sakowski said...

Anonymous said... Blah, blah typical wing nut talking points.


I can see why you post anonymously.

Most of the recent mass shootouts involved the police doing the shooting.

Brenda Rosser said...

"Of course some gun advocates support them as means to prevent excessive power in the hands of the State (including the police).

Not just 'gun nuts' Barkley. I've never owned a gun but even I shudder to think of the consequences of the existence of a defenseless population. when we have key figures in Government establishing assassination squads it's not easy to conclude that citizens should be (or remain) unarmed.

Trust first. Then peace.

Barkley Rosser said...

Brenda,

The issue is not banning guns totally. It is having any kinds of controls at all, such as not allowing handguns in Washington D.C. or people to carry concealed guns into bars and college campuses or churches. The NRA wants no such rules, and its flunkies in Congress and on the Supreme Court are now coming down on this, even though these people in the US Senate do not want anyone carrying a gun when they walk into the Senate.

So, the law in Washington they want to strike down bans handguns, not hunting rifles. As a result of that ban (almost certainly), D.C. has the lowest suicide rate compared to all the states, by far. Thousands die a year by handgun suicides in the US, substantially more than homicides.

Nobody is talking about taking away hunting rifles, although the NRA tells everybody that this is what is involved with even the most sensible moves to engage in any sort of gun control at all.

Shag from Brookline said...

The 2nd Amendment battle has only just begun with the 5-4 Heller decision, which is limited to its application at the federal level. The Supreme Court at some point will address whether, pursuant to the 14th Amendment by incorporation, the 2nd Amendment applies to the states. In Heller, both the majority (5) and the minority (4) relied upon "originalism" but with differing results. The historic record of the 14th Amendment does not clearly establish that it incorporates the Bill of Rights (or at least its first 8 Amendments). So if "originalism" is the guide for determining whether indeed the 14th Amendment incorporated the 2nd Amendment, it may demonstate the failure of "originalism" as the holy grail of constitutional interpretation. Even if the Supreme Court were to determine that the 2nd Amendment applies to the states, that would not necessary mean that reasonable "gun controls" that may differ from state to state would not be available to the states. Justice Scalia and his four followers have opened the door and may find that they have to close it a bit before America becomes even more of a "Guns R Us" nation. If guns may be appropriate to carry into a church, why not into the Supreme Court, as well as in Congress?

Brenda Rosser said...

Okay, Barkley. Thanks for the clarification. Gun control is good. For literally everyone.

Arms control would be good too. No depleted uranium. No premptive strike nuclear positioning....

danepstein said...

Barkley-
In my opinion, the hypocrisy isn't in the arming, or lack of it, of the Senate. Rather, it's the GOP's apparent flip-flop on states rights. On the one hand they don't want the Feds telling the states what do, except in this case, oh, and drug policy. Telling the states they *must* accept CCW rules and standards from other states doesn't seem like a states rights position to me.

As for arms control, the Geneva Conventions do spell out what kinds of weapons can and can't be used. "Dum dum" bullets, for example, are banned by Geneva.

The Heller decision did not render all gun control measures unconstitutional. The details of the opinion make this clear. Even though the 2nd Amendment appears to be the only right which is subject to prior restraint, I do believe people should be allowed to own and even carry firearms as long as they are trained and certified. The standard for the practical certification, i.e. shooting, should be 100%. No lost rounds tolerated.

And Mr or Ms. Anonymous, this is a free country and so everyone is entitled to speak their opinion. Isn't this the freedom you want to defend? Civil debate is critical to maintaining a republic in which its citizens are informed and heard.