Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Straight Shootin'

Let's talk about guns. I'm not against guns, I'm not against owning a gun, I'm not against people shooting each other. I know it's kinda crazy for a wacky liberal like myself to be supportive of guns, but I am; I am also scared shitless of them. I personally would never own a gun, I don't even like being in the same room with a gun, but I'm not against a person's right to own one.

But Razor, you support Barack Obama and he's trying to take away my gun! He's the most radical liberal in the senate! More on that radical liberalism in a future blog, but for now, let's just stick to the gun issue. Admittedly, Barack Obama does have quite a liberal stance on gun control, he is in favor of letting the states decide their gun laws. Is that unconstitutional? I suppose that's up for debate, but let's take a look at the constitution for a moment:

The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech. Oh, but what about obscenity laws? Those are determined by state and local governments and they limit free speech all while the Constitution states "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Many states have also upheld laws restricting when and where a protest can be assembled, is that not also a violation of the First Amendment?

Or how about the Fourth Amendment which guards citizens from unreasonable search and seizure? Well what exactly is "unreasonable?" Each state has its own laws on warrants and searches, who is to say one of those isn't in violation of the Fourth Amendment? Same goes for the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments dealing with Due Process, Speedy Trials and Excessive Bail. Most of these things all deal with state courts setting trial dates and bail, if it's in the Constitution, shouldn't there be strict federal guidelines imposed on what constitutes "excessive" bail or a "speedy" trial?

Of course, I'm just playing devil's advocate here and trying to make a point - why is the Second Amendment clung to with so much intensity? The National Rifle Association states that any attempt to regulate guns is in direct conflict with the right to keep and bear arms. Where is this kind of fervor over the things I listed above? Obscenity laws are in direct conflict with the right to free speech, but for some reason I can't say "fuck" on the radio because it goes against supposed "community standards."

Let me get this straight - it's perfectly okay for local governments to regulate words that literally cannot harm someone, but it's not okay for a local government to regulate something that can kill you instantly? Let me ask you, would you rather someone scream "fuck" in a crowded room or start firing a gun?

Gun control laws are put in place in certain cities because certain cities have huge gun problems. Senator Obama is from Chicago, I can guarantee their gun problems are a little different than those in Talladega, Alabama. Whether it be limiting gun purchases to one a month, enforcing background checks or banning assault rifles, local governments will never have the ability to fully eliminate guns in their area because of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court barely upheld the Constitution last week in regards to the restoration of habeas corpus. Again, the only outrage from Conservatives on this one is that we didn't continue to suspend the writ that has been in use since 1305. Conservatives love to cling to their Second Amendment rights, and maybe if they clung to the others, we'd see eye to eye a little more often.

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