Sunday, September 20, 2015

Trump on the Second Amendment

By Karl Denninger

The cuckservative world is agape, and the liberals are running screaming -- and scared -- today.

Donald J. Trump on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

Let me begin: While Mr. Trump's position is miles ahead of many others in the political sphere, he could have stopped right here when it comes to the law -- after all, The Second Amendment is clear.

The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.


It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative. Here’s how we will do that:

Enforce The Laws On The Books

We need to get serious about prosecuting violent criminals. The Obama administration’s record on that is abysmal. Violent crime in cities like Baltimore, Chicago and many others is out of control. Drug dealers and gang members are given a slap on the wrist and turned loose on the street. This needs to stop.

Yes.  A person in prison for a violent offense should not be let out until they are no longer a danger to society.  We can, arguably, make a mistake once.  However, it is unconscionable that we would permit violent felons to walk time after time, even after conviction, and commit further crimes.

No restriction on their right to keep and bear arms will keep them from obtaining arms nor using them.  That's why we call them criminals; they don't give a damn about the law.

I have written many articles on this point.  Most violent, gun-toting felons have been arrested and prosecuted before for a violent offense, especially those who are the worst of the worst, the gang-bangers and others who take most of the lives.  Every one of these people is by law today barred from owning a firearm, yet they have no problem getting them and never will because they can be stolen just like anything else.  Once you decide to commit murder all the other felonies, including theft, are "free" because it is not possible to impose more than one life (or death) sentence.

This is basic logic and no amount of feel-goodism will change it.  Therefore, if we are serious about addressing violent crime, especially violent gun crime, we have to cut the crap and put an end to revolving door jails for violent criminals.

One way to do this is to stop prosecuting and jailing people for non-violent consensual conduct under the rubric of it being "criminal", such as (for example) non-violent drug offenses.  This will free up ridiculous amounts of prison space which can then be productively used to keep violent offenders off the streets.

Several years ago there was a tremendous program in Richmond, Virginia called Project Exile. It said that if a violent felon uses a gun to commit a crime, you will be prosecuted in federal court and go to prison for five years – no parole or early release. Obama’s former Attorney General, Eric Holder, called that a “cookie cutter” program. That’s ridiculous. I call that program a success. Murders committed with guns in Richmond decreased by over 60% when Project Exile was in place – in the first two years of the program alone, 350 armed felons were taken off the street.

Florida has a 5, 10, 20 law.  Use a firearm in the commission of a felony, do 5 years -- no parole.  Discharge it, 10 years.  Shoot someone, 20 to life.  All are "serve every day" sentences and mandatory -- no parole.  It's logical and it works.  You can argue deterrent all you want but a violent criminal that is in prison cannot commit more crimes against the rest of us while he or she is there.  Prison should be a place for those who do serious harm to others, not those who engage in consensual economic transactions we dislike, and those who do harm to others should be locked up until they are no longer a threat to others.  Florida's law goes a long way toward this goal.

Why does that matter to law-abiding gun owners? Because they’re the ones who anti-gun politicians and the media blame when criminals misuse guns. We need to bring back and expand programs like Project Exile and get gang members and drug dealers off the street. When we do, crime will go down and our cities and communities will be safer places to live.

Here’s another important way to fight crime – empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves. Law enforcement is great, they do a tremendous job, but they can’t be everywhere all of the time. Our personal protection is ultimately up to us. That’s why I’m a gun owner, that’s why I have a concealed carry permit, and that’s why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well. It’s just common sense. To make America great again, we’re going to go after criminals and put the law back on the side of the law-abiding.

Exactly, except for one problem Donald.  You said:

The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

I don't need any damned permit to exercise a right and neither do you.  Period.  The Second Amendment is your "permit" because it recognizes a fundamental right that you already have.

A permit grants permission to do a thing that is otherwise prohibited.  The Second Amendment says that any such scheme in the context of firearms is unconstitutional -- period.

Fix Our Broken Mental Health System

Let’s be clear about this. Our mental health system is broken. It needs to be fixed. Too many politicians have ignored this problem for too long.

All of the tragic mass murders that occurred in the past several years have something in common – there were red flags that were ignored. We can’t allow that to continue. We need to expand treatment programs, because most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help. But for those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others, we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities. This is just common sense.

And why does this matter to law-abiding gun owners? Once again, because they get blamed by anti-gun politicians, gun control groups and the media for the acts of deranged madmen. When one of these tragedies occurs, we can count on two things: one, that opponents of gun rights will immediately exploit it to push their political agenda; and two, that none of their so-called “solutions” would have prevented the tragedy in the first place. They’ve even admitted it.

We need real solutions to address real problems. Not grandstanding or political agendas.

Right.  And let's start with the mass-murdering rage-monsters.  They all appear to have something in common -- they're young men and were on SSRIs.  Maybe there a few exceptions but the exception makes the rule even stronger.  These side effects have been known going back decades and yet they have been ignored for the benefit of these drug companies and physicians.

If I give you a ride to the bank knowing you may rob it then I'm guilty as an accessory before the fact.  Why are we not prosecuting these drug firms when there is evidence that they knew and hid results that showed these drugs were dangerous when given to people under the age of 25?

Even today, with this knowledge, why are prescribing, outside of controlled, in-patient residential settings, these drugs to people in this age group when we know that there is a risk of them causing rage-monster style behavior?

If I'm responsible for my actions if I take a recreational drug (such as alcohol) and then crash my car, injuring or killing someone, who is responsible when I am directed by a medical professional to consume a drug that said professional knows may alter my consciousness and precipitate violent behavior?  The correct answer is "The person who directed me to take the drug outside of a setting in which any such side effect can be reasonably controlled."

Do these drugs have benefit?  Yes, I'm sure they do.  But that's not the point.  The point is that they also do harm to others in certain age cohorts for reasons we do not understand.  When a huge majority bordering on virtually all of the mass-shooting assailants over the last several decades have been taking these drugs how can anyone defend their continued prescription to people in this age group?

Defend The Rights of Law-Abiding Gun Owners

GUN AND MAGAZINE BANS. Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been proven every time it’s been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons” and “high capacity magazines” to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.

Good.  Then I assume your first act as President will be to repeal the National Firearms Act?  Suppressors, for example, are barred in many areas because they require a federal permit.  The commonly-repeated lie in the movies is that such a device makes a gun go "pew-pew-pew" instead of "bang-bang-bang."  It does not; the gun still goes "bang-bang-bang."

Hollywood intentionally puts forward a false narrative in this regard, although I'm sure they would simply call that "dramatic license."  Uh huh.  Go to a range that has weapons for rent with suppressors -- they can easily be found -- and shoot a weapon with one.  You'll instantly understand that a suppressor does not in any way make the discharge of a firearm "stealthy."

What a suppressor does do is reduce the risk of hearing damage to those in the vicinity of said weapon by dropping the absolute sound pressure level by 20db or so.  It is still loud as hell and absolutely sounds like a firearm to anyone in the vicinity.  However, it is less likely to cause injury to those lawfully using it for purposes such as target practice or hunting or, for that matter, in a defensive shoot.

If you are ever unlucky enough to have to fire a weapon in a closed space, such as inside your house, without hearing protection you will be deafened for hours and may suffer permanent hearing damage.  Suppressors greatly reduce the risk of permanent hearing damage.  There is utterly no reason for them to be restricted, licensed items -- especially given the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms.  It does not say "except for suppressors."

Suppressors greatly reduce harm to those in the immediate vicinity of lawful users of firearms and there is no reason for them to be restricted in any way.  In fact common sense says that we should encourage their purchase and use to the greatest possible extent simply because they make firearms safer for the lawful user and everyone around him or her.

BACKGROUND CHECKS. There has been a national background check system in place since 1998. Every time a person buys a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer – which is the overwhelming majority of all gun purchases – they go through a federal background check. Study after study has shown that very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check – they get their guns from friends/family members or by stealing them. So the overwhelming majority of people who go through background checks are law-abiding gun owners. When the system was created, gun owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case today. Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system – and it should go without saying that a system’s only going to be as effective as the records that are put into it. What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.

Again, you said:

The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

How does a "national background check system" comport with this?  It doesn't.  And let's also cut the crap here too; a person who has been convicted of a crime but has served the entirety of his sentence, including any probationary period, has paid his debt to society.  So says our system of law.

Society already penalizes such persons in severe and impossible-to-fix ways.  Their job prospects are severely curtailed, in many cases with good reason -- a person convicted of armed robbery, for example, is unlikely to be able to find any sort of work where money might be involved.  Since these convictions are public records (an inherent part of an open, public court system) there's nothing you do about that, nor, I can argue, should you.

However, this means that said person is going to be living and working in jobs that are "less" on the societal ladder.  This is a natural and inescapable part of what happens when you commit a violent crime.  It is unconscionable to turn these people into permanent targets for other criminals by making it unlawful for them to defend themselves against criminal activity directed at their person for the rest of their lives.

Again, the Constitution is clear:

The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

This is why we need no national background check, however, if we're going to have one then it must be limited to those who are fugitives, awaiting adjudication of a charged violent crime, while serving some part of their sentence after release, such as someone on probation or while adjudicated mentally ill.

The use of a computer-based check for these disabilities is defensible and comports with the Second Amendment.  If, as a society, we choose not to confine the adjudicated mentally ill (a separate debate) then prohibiting them gun ownership until and unless that mental illness no longer is present can be defended.  Likewise, prohibiting gun ownership for fugitives or those under indictment for violent offenses until either acquittal or satisfaction of a sentence in full is defensible as part of the punitive action taken against a criminal.

Continuing and permanent disabilities imposed upon parties who we judge to not be dangerous -- after all, we let them be present in society un-monitored -- is not defensible under the Second Amendment.


NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.

There is no need for any damned permits to exercise a right.  Period.

The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

Prosecute vigorously those who commit violent crimes while using firearms.

Mere possession, however, is not a crime whether the person in question happens to be walking down the street, in a vehicle or in the own home and the Second Amendment says shall not be infringed.

You properly note what the Second Amendment says.

If I am acting in a suspicious manner and by doing so am detained, and I happen to have a firearm, a 30-second check of the NCIC will tell the officer in question whether I am a fugitive, wanted on a felony complaint, am out on bail or on probation.  He's going to run that check anyway, as does any officer that stops a car, to determine whether I am to be apprehended on an existing, open warrant valid in his jurisdiction.

There's utterly no reason for any inquiry to proceed further if that is not the case as I have a right, guaranteed by the Second Amendment to possess the means of self-defense.

I have no quarrel, incidentally, with the government prohibiting the possession of arms inside government facilities provided that they take full legal responsibility for my safety by standing in my stead during the time they insist that I be unarmed.  If such a responsibility fails, however, the government must be held fully liable for their failure and any harm that comes to me.  If you expect me to cede my right to self-defense then you are accepting responsibility for my safety -- period.  I believe this is an entirely-reasonable expectation.

MILITARY BASES AND RECRUITING CENTERS. Banning our military from carrying firearms on bases and at recruiting centers is ridiculous. We train our military how to safely and responsibly use firearms, but our current policies leave them defenseless. To make America great again, we need a strong military. To have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves.

See above.

So close, Mr. Trump.

So close, and much better than other candidates.  But take your words to heart; you get it at the core.  The Second Amendment doesn't provide a permission slip it prohibits the government from acting.

You, I, and everyone else -- including those who have been previously convicted of a crime but have served their sentences in full -- have the right to self-defense.  The only means of self-defense known to man that equalizes the old fart or 100lb woman and the young, 20-year old gang-banging weight-lifter is a gun.  It would be nice if there was some form of defensive-only technology that provided the same or better odds of success but we live in the real world and such a device does not exist.

I do not expect the police to be everywhere; that's a physical impossibility.  My primary expectation for them is to fairly and fully investigate crimes after they have been committed and deliver those who committed them to the court system so they can be tried in accordance with the law.

But this means that I, and everyone else, must have our right to defend ourselves in the gravest extreme with that right protected and respected as the Founders intended.  Today we are ridiculously far from original intent, with thousands of gun laws on the books.  

Virtually none of them, other than those that enhance penalties for use of a firearm in some other crime, are Constitutional.

Take the next step Mr. Trump -- go "all in" with your expressed beliefs as those beliefs and their effect are exactly what the founders intended and codified in our Second Amendment.



Unknown said...

The second amendment was meant for the 'militia' in the 1790's but NOT for today and must be
abolished....not by force as the trigger-happy gang would do it but in a more 'subtle' way.
"Less guns = less violence and less safety!" Dirk Holger

Backwoods Engineer said...

"The second amendment was meant for the 'militia' in the 1790's but NOT for today and must be
abolished....not by force as the trigger-happy gang would do it but in a more 'subtle' way."

FORCE ME, you little puke, to give up my rights. I dare you and your fellow-travelers in government. You want gun violence and civil war? Try to force us.

And by the way, repealing the 2nd Amendment does NOT strip us of the pre-existing right to keep and bear arms.

Anonymous said...

@ Dirk Holger
Let me show around some gun free neighborhoods in Chicago