One of the neatest things about getting to know folks through this Internet thing (and sometimes, if one is lucky, meeting them in meatspace!) is finding folks who are one’s intellectual superior – from whom one may learn.
I’m a pretty bright guy. Despite the fact I squandered my education and made some poor life choices. Things are as they are. I do appreciate the higher-educated, more erudite folks I’ve been fortunate to befriend on the Internet. Sometimes (as in the cases of Tam, Borepatch, Brigid, Peter and others) I learn something!
This is from the magnificent Kevin Baker (of The Smallest Minority) (with whom I have been lucky enough to meet and shoot!), in part:
So I’ve cut way back posting here, but I’m still occasionally answering stuff over at Quora. Seems a waste to let this one vanish in their bit-buckets, so here’s a question-n-answer with an associated comment thread I did recently.
The question was:
Why are guns a right in the US, meanwhile education and healthcare are not?
The question is not about whether or not the government will prevent you from having an education/healthcare. My question is about why education and healthcare aren’t considered in the constitution.
I stumbled onto it fairly early, so there weren’t many answers, but most of them talked about how the Constitution conferred rights on citizens, etc. Here’s my answer:
Oy vey. After reading the current answers (there are eight not downvoted enough to be hidden) it becomes blindingly obvious that our free “education” system has failed pretty dramatically. As one student stated “I Was Never Taught That Knowledge.”
The fundamental question is “What is a ‘Right’?”
Several people here state that education is a right, or that healthcare is a right.
No, they’re not.
While I’m not an Objectivist, I think Ayn Rand was correct when she stated:
A ‘right’ is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life.
As others have stated, “guns” aren’t a right, the right to self-defense – protection of one’s own life – is. The right to keep and bear arms is its corollary, for if denied the tools of that defense, the right is essentially stripped.
Education? You have the right to study anything you wish. What you don’t have is the right to make someone teach you. Health care? Same thing. You have the right to take care of yourself, but not force others to care for you.
Because forcing others violates their rights.
So why is the right to arms listed in the Bill of Rights, but education and healthcare are not? Because the Constitution is a legal document that establishes the limits of power of a governing body. If the Constitution were a document that said only what government could not do, it would be infinitely long. Instead, the body of the Constitution itself lists the powers that the Federal government has, and the mechanism under which those powers are established, maintained and exercised. The Bill of Rights is a (limited) list of things that government is warned explicitly not to trifle with, and a warning that there are other such rights not so listed.
The Tenth Amendment, too, is a limit that basically says “Only powers defined here belong to the Federal Government. Everything else is a power reserved to the States or The People. Hands off.”
So of course that’s the first one that got folded, spindled, mutilated and incinerated.
So what do we gather from this? That EDUCATION and HEALTHCARE are not in the purview of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. It’s not the job of the Federal Government to provide these things, subsidize these things, or regulate these things except as they affect interstate commerce. (A clause that has been stretched to obscene lengths ever since Wickard v. Filburn.)
It doesn’t matter if they seem to be good ideas. Those powers were not given to the Federal Government by the Constitution. They’re (as you observed) not mentioned in that document. They’re among the “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” And they’re not rights.
But they are most definitely powers.
You should really visit Kevin’s blog, and read the whole post (The Smallest Minority-link)
He doesn’t post often, but when he does, it’s GOLD!
A good friend (and former co-worker) has been posting on FB regarding the schism in American Politics.
Those who believe Rights are given to them by government, versus those who believe Rights are inherent, and only partially enumerated by government.
And the piling-on and discussion brought me back to the ubiquitous question – WHAT constitutes a Right?
There’s the Right to keep and bear arms
The Right to free speech, assembly and worship
Trial by jury
The Right NOT to self-incriminate.
The Right to legal representation
No search without a warrant (I know, pretty funny! Given the NSA, FBI, DHS, Border Patrol, DUI checkpoints, etc.)
But, then, folks pile on…
The ‘Right’ to Drive?
The ‘Right’ to Health Care
The ‘Right’ to ‘Free’ College
The ‘Right’ to a base income from government
The right to privacy
Ad infinitum, ad nauseaum…
Subscribing to a libertarian philosophy, I believe in self-ownership, and by extension, personal property. And the non-aggression principle. Neither persons (or corporate persons or governments) may deprive me of my self-ownership (life, liberty or property) without due process of law.
This includes my labor and the fruits of my labor (taxation is theft).
AND compelling me to support someone else involuntarily is also! (paying for anothers’ health care, college, income. Redistribution of wealth (socialism/Fabianism/communism) are methods by which this is achieved.
NOT compatible with our capitalistic constitutional Republic.
NOW, if I CHOOSE to help others voluntarily with the fruits of my labor, that’s a whole ‘nother thing! Then it becomes my choice.
What does this mean for the ‘right’ to drive? Well, if that person purchases fuel, which has road use taxes, I suppose.
What do you guys think?
I always thought my public school education from the 50s and 60s was enough to get me by. Certainly more learned than the folks who
deliberately misunderstand the three-fifths compromise and the electoral college. And forget those college professors lecturers who taught communism in Constitution classes! (Who could I mean?)
I have often used the argument of the phrase ‘promote the general welfare’ as an argument against both welfare and enforcement thereof.
Thought I was pretty smart in so doing.
Now, here comes (or rather came) Judge Story’s interpretation regarding ‘the general welfare’.
From long before most of us were born!
that the power of Congress to legislate for every object which in their opinion might be for the benefit of the people, pressed by Mr. Hamilton in the Convention, was six times, directly or indirectly, rejected by that body; and, in spite of that, his followers have sought to construe these words as meaning what the authors of the Constitution had six times successively rejected; while Judge Story’s construction lands us in the same morass, a government of unlimited power, though he reaches it by a different road.
These facts show that a large majority of the Committee of Eleven that reported these words to be incorporated into the first clause of §8 Art. I were strongly opposed to the views of Mr. Hamilton and those of Judge Story that lead to the same end, tho’ by different routes, a government of unlimited powers!”
This speech was delivered before the annual meeting of the Georgia Bar Association at Tybee Island on June 2, 3, and 4, 1927.Mr. PRESIDENT and gentlemen of the Georgia Bar Association: I make no apology for presenting to you today as the subject of my address a technical and abstruse question, be cause it involves the foundation stone of our form of Government.
The subject to which I invite your attention may be put in this form, “Judge Story’s position on the so-called General Welfare Clause of the Constitution of the United States.”
The words “the general welfare” are to be found in two places in the Constitution—in the preamble thereto and in Article 1, section 8, clause 1. All reputable writers concur in the statement that the words of the preamble to the Constitution constitute no grants of power, and therefore our investigation is confined to the words as found in Article 1, section 8, clause 1. which reads,
“The Congress shall have power lo lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”
Apparently, lots of wisdom existed before I was born! 😛
(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #6 of 22)
(from Say Uncle)
Australian Style Gun Control
The police took a T-shirt launcher from a basketball team because it’s a weapon.
(copied in full from my friend Old NFO)
The rest of the story… On how badly BO’s executive orders on gun changes are…
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is moving forward with more gun restrictions under President Obama’s new executive action. The ATF’s latest regulations would affect trusts and legal entities seeking to make or transfer a firearm.
The new rules would define who is the “responsible person” at these organizations that must comply with background check requirements. The current regulations target individuals who apply for guns. But the new rules would expand these regulations to an estimated 231,658 “responsible persons” at these trusts and legal entities. The ATF estimates the rule could cost industry as much as $29 million each year to comply with.
Such trusts have typically been used by collectors, to reduce NFA processing time. This rule change does replace the requirement for prior endorsement by a jurisdiction’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer for transfers to individuals with one for the CLEO to be notified of all NFA transfers.)
The FEDREG link is HERE. The official title is: Machineguns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity With Respect To Making or Transferring a Firearm.
It’s read it and weep time… Pretty much obviates most of the existing trusts. I’m having mine re-written to bring it more in line (if possible) with the new rules.
So, there we have it. Further obfuscation by the Administration with regard to EVERY CITIZEN’S CIVIL RIGHTS.
Can you imagine the outrage if such restrictions had been placed by government fiat on Freedom of the Press or Speech?
…and so do others of any color, and cops! – Guffaw
Then there’s THIS (from Kevin Baker):
As I’ve said here and on other fora, if you really want to do something about homicide by firearm then you need to pay attention to who’s doing the killing, who’s doing the dying, and where it is taking place. ProPublica has an article out, How the Gun Control Debate Ignores Black Lives, on this topic, and the title to this post is THE pullquote from it.
Some other choice selections:
In 2012, 90 people were killed in shootings like the ones in Newtown and Aurora, Colorado. That same year, nearly 6,000 black men were murdered with guns.
Mass shootings, unsurprisingly, drive the national debate on gun violence. But as horrific as these massacres are, by most counts they represent less than 1 percent of all gun homicides. America’s high rate of gun murders isn’t caused by events like Sandy Hook or the shootings this fall at a community college in Oregon. It’s fueled by a relentless drumbeat of deaths of black men.
Gun control advocates and politicians frequently cite the statistic that more than 30 Americans are murdered with guns every day. What’s rarely mentioned is that roughly 15 of the 30 are black men.
Avoiding that fact has consequences. Twenty years of government-funded research has shown there are several promising strategies to prevent murders of black men, including Ceasefire. They don’t require passing new gun laws, or an epic fight with the National Rifle Association. What they need — and often struggle to get — is political support and a bit of money.
Lost in the debate is that even in high-crime cities, the risk of gun violence is mostly concentrated among a small number of men. In Oakland, for instance, crime experts working with the police department a few years ago found that about 1,000 active members of a few dozen street groups drove most homicides. That’s .3 percent of Oakland’s population.
Two weeks after Obama unveiled his plan, (Pastor Michael) McBride and dozens of other clergy members, many of them from cities struggling with high rates of gun violence, met again with staffers from Vice President Biden’s task force.
The mood at the January 29 meeting was tense. Many of the attendees, including McBride, felt the president’s agenda had left out black Americans.
“The policy people working for Biden worked with the reality of Congress,” said Teny Gross, one of the original Boston Miracle outreach workers who now leads the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago. “What they were proposing to us was very limited and was not going to help the inner city.”
Gross said he “blew a gasket.” The clergy members in the room were pleading for help. “We bury hundreds of kids every year in the inner city,” Gross recalled them telling the administration representative. “Some of the solutions need to apply to us.”
A staffer said that the political will of the country was not focused on urban violence, several ministers who attended the meeting recalled.
“What was said to us by the White House was, there’s really no support nationally to address the issue of urban violence,” said the Rev. Charles Harrison, a pastor from Indianapolis. “The support was to address the issue of gun violence that affected suburban areas — schools where white kids were killed.”
The Rev. Jeff Brown, from Boston, was angered by the administration’s calculated approach. “When you say something like that and you represent the President of the United States, and the first African-American President of the United States, you know, that’s hugely disappointing,” he said.
It would seem that Obama’s a huge disappointment to a lot of people.
RTWT. And especially the comments.
It’s been noted that the individual involved in suing various online retailers over the Colorado movie theatre shooting and who now owes $220K is a Brady employee (6 months after the event). Something interesting was noted on his Linkedin Profile
January 2013 – Present (2 years 4 months)San Antonio, Texas Area
* worked in the organizing department doing outreach to victim/survivors of gun violence* Led the department in adding names of gun owners to data base
* Worked closely with communications department to connect with national media to do television
interviews related to gun violence.
* Lobbied national and state congressional legislators to pass reasonable restrictions on gun
*Designed and implemented training programs on gun basics and how to engage gun owners for
*Did inspirational talks to grass roots volunteers in Washington state in their efforts to pass
legislation for background checks on all gun sales.
*Spoke at fund raising events.
Led the department in adding names of gun owners to data base? What? So what exactly is this Brady ‘Data Base’ that they’re adding names to? Why are they creating it? What is its purpose?
Inquiring minds want to know.
They aren’t the only ones. Could The Brady Bunch (and their fellow travelers) be conspiring to circumvent federal law by obtaining data which they then share with the federal government?
NAW. Not possible.
h/t Days of our Trailers
from Never Yet Melted (in part):
Rodrigo Kazuo and Meg Perret found their classroom environment at Berkeley hostile, even when their professor was lecturing on Karl Marx (!), because the Western canon is exclusively composed of works by dead, white, European males, not a single person of color or transgendered individual makes the cut.
Because a majority of founders of Western thought were gay, Black women…
BTW, have you noticed more ‘persons of color’, homosexual, transgendered or perhaps gender-confused folks in your favorite television shows of movies?
NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.
I remember my Father (who had some bigotry issues) railing against the infusion of Black folks in 60’s and 70’s TV in much the same way. He said it was much the same in the 40’s and 50’s with Jewish people. They went from being 3% of the population, to a significant minority of those in entertainment media. (He, of course, forgot that the only work many Jewish folks could get was in the entertainment field!)
And it was much the same with Black folks. 13% of the population, but represented numerically larger in the entertainment media in the 70’s.
NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.
My questions are these: Does the actor bring quality to the role, or further the plot? Or were they just added because of political correctness?
And now we have this infusion of gay/transgender etc. folks. Some are quite entertaining, but in my humble opinion, some are just over-the-top. And included for shock effect and/or political correctness.
Which does a disservice both to them in their sexuality or color, and to the audience by their inclusion for political reasons.
Stepin’ Fetchit meet Myra Breckenridge.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some folks I find clever, and entertaining, regardless of ethnicity or bent. Others are just plain annoying. I won’t give you specifics – you probably have your own.
A couple generations ago, Black people were largely invisible, or stereotyped, and gays (etc.) were just flamboyant characters. No mention was made of their sexuality.
But now it seems we’re out of the box, for certain.
There’s a popular cable series about polygamy.
What’s next, pedophilia and bestiality?
Where do we go from here?
We should be inclusive of different cultures and sexuality. As long as it reflects percentages and social mores.
Of course, I’m a libertarian. (Until mandated) I can always change the channel.
Alphecca brought us this:
What If Gun Rights Were Equal To Voting Rights?
Or vice versa. Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr examines the hypocrisy of Eric Holder and the left:
Imagine if voter ID laws were as rigorous as gun regulations found in many of America’s major cities. In order to vote in such a scenario, citizens would be forced to take a day-long class (at a cost of $100 or more) about the basics of the U.S. government and electoral process. They then would be required to take a competency test (only available at inconvenient locations during normal working hours) on the current election’s issues. Finally, after paying a non-refundable processing fee of $100 to score the results, they would then be forced to wait months for the actual voter registration card — which could be rejected for any reason — to arrive in the mail. If a voter decided to seek the help of a tutor to help ensure his non-refundable processing fee was not wasted by a possibly failing grade, he would have to be prepared to shell out another $100.
Much, much more at the link.
Which, of course, opens the whole Pandora’s Box about Rights. What IS a Right? What Is a Privilege? And most importantly…
There are some folks who believe DRIVING is a RIGHT. Germany just extended college education FREE to all! Does that make college education a RIGHT?
I know, I know – who PAYS for all of this?
Pandora’s Box, indeed!
(as stolen from Aaron @ The Shekel)
I have a hypothetical law-abiding client who had an issue related to a firearm for which he was contacted by a detective to come in and talk about it.
Did he retain counsel then? NO.
Did he appear with an attorney? NO.
Did he make a statement that is likely going to incriminate the heck out of him? Why YES, yes he did.
Did the statement cause other immediate ill effects? YES, yes it did.
You see, part of this matter involved a vehicle and a firearm.
He works for an employer with a strict no guns policy on the premises.
This includes parking lots. Note well that Michigan lacks any laws protecting law-abiding carriers having their gun locked in their cars while at work from being terminated.
In his statement to police he noted he began his journey before the incident at his employer’s parking lot with the gun in the vehicle.
The real dick move in this is the detective contacted the employer and told the employer the fellow had a gun in the vehicle in the parking lot. This had nothing to do with the incident in question which happened miles and mile away from the employer’s workplace. He has a squeaky-clean record both at work and in life without even a speeding ticket.
The employer immediately terminated the client for violating the no weapons policy.
Remember folks, if you receive a call from the police asking you to immediately come down to talk with them the response is not “I’ll be right there”. The proper response is “I’ll be right there after I’ve contacted my lawyer and we’ll let you know as soon as we can come in to talk with you and we intend to cooperate fully as soon as that can be arranged.”
You need to understand that when police call you in for a friendly chat it’s not because they’re lonely and want to make a new friend. Instead, they’re trying to make a case and if they’ve zeroed in on you, rightly or wrongly, as the suspect rather than the victim in the incident you need a lawyer and you need to shut up until you get one.