Thursday, May 20, 2010

Note to Rand Paul...

The choice to carry a gun is in no way equivalent to a condition beyond an individual’s control such as being born with brown skin or legs that don’t work. Therefore, your diversion about protecting “the right” of a paranoid asshole to wear his sidearm into McDonald’s doesn’t belong in a conversation on the societal benefits of the Civil Rights Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Nice try, asshole.

12 comments:

Smitty said...

Good GOD. That's the piece that people have been missing...that he equated the two. That's a good catch, Mr. F.

steves said...

So, we pick and choose what civil liberties count? I would say that the only assholes are ones that would deny people basic liberties. This includes racists, people that discriminate against the disabled, and people that think anyone carrying a gun is a paranoid asshole. Asshole indeed.

Mr Furious said...

No, steves, we shouldn't pick and choose, but logic needs application on occasion. Rand is presenting a completely false equivalency here.

And if you haven't learned by now that I deal in hyperbole and over the top language, I don't know what to tell you.

Not everyone who carries a gun is a paranoid asshole. But the 2nd Amendment doesn't say that someone can bear arms wherever the fuck they want at all times, and fuck anyone who thinks otherwise. And, yes, in 99% of cases in this instance I can think anyone that insists on being strapped when ordering a Happy Meal is either paranoid or an asshole. Or both.

Mr Furious said...

Deleted the Asian spam in case you're counting comments for a reply, I want it to be at 4.

steves said...

At the risk of using a tired gun rights phrase, what part of "shall not be infringed" is hard to understand? The 2nd doesn't say the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed except when it makes people uncomfortable or in the presence of a children's meal.

I agree they aren't the same thing, but applying rights based on personal priorities, expediency, and feelings is a shitty way to do things. We end up with the Patriot Act and erosion of the exclusionary rule.

Before anyone starts throwing around "you can't yell fire in a crowded theater," I know there are limits to any rights. I am fine with any infringement that can be traced to an actual reduction in crime or some other measurable way of keeping people safe. Paranoid assholes that are law abiding and not bothering other people should be allowed to carry where they want. I don't get into the whole open carry movement, but they don't bother me.

And if you haven't learned by now that I deal in hyperbole and over the top language, I don't know what to tell you.

That is what I like about you.

Mr Furious said...

Here's what I think...

Limits in certain circumstances should be allowed. Rational people can disagree on where those lines are drawn. Let's use the restaurant as an starting point:

A color barrier? I think the CRA drew a pretty good line — between a private association (ie: racist country club) vs. a public service businesses (hotel, diner, etc). All people should be afforded the right to expect equal access to services offered to the public, to do business, and to enter society. Use interstate commerce as a basis if you like, whatever. The color of one's skin is not a matter of choice for the affected person—any restriction imposed is an insurmountable and permanent obstacle that places them at a disadvantage to the rest of society. The choice comes for the business owner. If he wants to only serve whites, open a fucking social club instead of a public diner. Paul's argument as a member of the unrestricted minority about choosing not to support or join that club or association by HIS choice comes into play HERE. Not before.

With the guns, I think the line should rest in just about the same place—if not in the direction of further exclusion. Why? Because the gun owner HAS A CHOICE about carrying a gun. If he wants to eat in McDonalds (or shop in a mall, etc) with a firearms policy, he can decide for himself whether he wants to go through the drive thru, or leave his gun in the car to enter the dining room, or eat somewhere else. But he has the ability to conform to the requirement/restriction being imposed with minimal and temporary inconvenience. The person of a minority race doesn't.

And that's not even bringing public safety, etc into the equation. I think plenty of public facilities have a legitimate interest in restricting weaponry on their premises. I realize plenty of racists would assert any black man is akin to a loaded gun, but I'd like to think we could move past that point as a society, and the government has a role in moving the ball forward on that.

steves said...

You raise a good point Mr. F. On one hand, I am somewhat of a free market fan, in that business owners should be able to set up some kinds of rules and restrictions for their business. A restriction on carrying can be met with some kind of boycott or with the gun owner choosing to go somewhere else.

On the other hand, it would be nice if the RKBA were treated as other kinds of rights and business owners couldn't just treat gun owners like crap.

I suppose it could be compared to the first amendment. A business owner couldn't exclude certain relgions, but could kick people out that were praying loud or otherwise engaging in some kind of religious practice. By this reasoning, I think open carry could be banned, but concealed carry could not. I think this may be a reasonable compromise.

I think plenty of public facilities have a legitimate interest in restricting weaponry on their premises.

I would disagree. With the exception of some secure facilities, such as prisons and similar places, there isn't any evidence that no-weapons rules actually keep people safer. As with any other fundamental right, I think the burden should be on the state to prove the need and it has to be in the form of some kind of measurable evidence.

Mr Furious said...

...With the exception of some secure facilities

Guns: Yes or No?

- Shopping Mall

- Walt Disney World

- Nightclub

- College campus / classroom

- Bar

- Sports Arena

Answer that on a pragmatic basis first, and then apply your RKBA desire/opinion.

Mr Furious said...

Also regarding carry...

In a strange way, as a general-rule gun-objector, I would almost prefer an open-carry requirement unless there's a reason for conceal.

That way I, and everyone else, know who's packing. Old West-style.

steves said...

Guns: Yes or No?

- Shopping Mall

- Walt Disney World

- Nightclub

- College campus / classroom

- Bar

- Sports Arena


This is hard because of my perspective. Guns, absent some kind of threatening or bizarre behavior, just don't scare me. That, combined with with view of how government should respect fundamental liberties, makes it hard for me to see the other side.

Malls--I don't see the justification for a ban. They are wide open to the public.

WDW--The above answer applies here too. I know that Disney has a no weapons policy and they do a "search" when you enter the park. There aren't any metal detectors, so I think people do bring in weapons. From what I saw, the security is pathetic. Go to Youtube and do a search under Disney World fights.

Nightclub/bar--Guns and drunks do not mix, so I can understand the logic of a ban here.

College campus/classroom--I have a hard time understanding this one. I know that most people think college students are impulsive idiots, but most of them wouldn't be able to carry anyway, as the carry laws saw you have to be 21. That being said, I can understand that it is a hard sell.

Arena--I don't see the logic of a ban here at all.

My desire would be that the laws would be based upon the assumption that most infringements would be unconstitutional and that it should only be done in rare circumstances. The reality is that the people that want to hurt others aren't going to be turned aside by a no carry sign (e.g. VT, various school shootings, etc.). The assumption by some anti-gun folks seems to be that people lawfully carrying guns will snap and just start shooting other people. While it does happen, they are exceedingly rare and people with permits are a very low crime group.

Jay said...

If I can chime in here:

Steve said:

Guns, absent some kind of threatening or bizarre behavior, just don't scare me.

I am in exactly the opposite camp. Guns scare the daylights out of me, in just about every circumstance. I personally believe (not based on data, it is just a belief thing) that this country would be a less deadly and therefore better place to live in for the majority of Americans if all guns were made illegal (and guns therefore became rare). And, for me personally, there would be no downside except for the elimination of a right that I have never exercised, in all likelihood never will, and am exceedingly unlikely to ever miss.

However:

While it does happen, they are exceedingly rare and people with permits are a very low crime group.

I believe this is perhaps the most salient fact in this discussion/debate (although I admit I am accepting Steve's statement as fact without personally verifying it). Without some reason for eliminating an established right (such as an increase in criminal activity among those legally exercising that right), I do not see how it can be sensible or defensible to deny them the right. Just because I personally believe that guns should be banned, I would never advocate actually banning them purely because of what I believe. Facts are more important than beliefs, in my world view, in most decisions and certainly in any decision that directly affects other people.

And I think the facts are on the side of maintaining this right, at this time.

steves said...

Jay, I can understand that some people are uncomfortable around guns, as some people are uncomfortable around spiders, heights, or something similar. Strangely enough, one of the leading legal advocates for the 2nd amendment has never owned a gun and doesn't really care for them.

I can understand that gun rights are a hard sell to someone that isn't interested in guns. It is even harder to argue for prisoner's rights to most people because they have never been incarcerated or know anyone that has.

If you are interested, I can dig up the data. The Michigan State Police publish a report every year about Concealed Weapons Permits and it does show an incidence of crime that is very low. There is also a fair amount of research that indicates gun control measures have no effect on crime or that certain crimes experience a rise.

I am always willing to argue the data, but I also think that the liberty argument is compelling. To some degree, there is a price for living in a free society. I am not suggesting anarchy, but there are some things that most people wouldn't tolerate. There is research that tends to show curfews lower crime. I doubt most people would be willing to accept laws that forbade most people from going out after 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening. If we allowed the police to conduct random warrantless searches, then I am sure some criminals would be caught and contraband confiscated. I doubt this would fly either.