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Photo taken from deck of Warren's home.

Stop Talking About “The Second Amendment”

Gun rights activists, stop talking about “The Second Amendment.”

As a life-long defender of the U.S. Constitution’s protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA), I rarely mention “The Second Amendment.” I encourage other RBKA activists to do the same. Speak instead about “The Constitution.”

First off, I don’t know of any gun-rights activst who defends only the one small part of the Constitution that is the Second Amendment. We tend to support the entire Constitution. The Second Amendment is no less a part of the Constitution than any other part. It is the Constitution — the highest law of the land — that protects your RKBA. Don’t be shy about pointing that out!

Secondly, RKBA detractors disparage the Second Amendment as an anachronism. It’s harder to disparage “the Constitution” like that. Just dare them to say that the Constitution no longer applies today. Don’t pin-point the Second Amendment for them so they can attack this one small part of the Constitution. Wrap your argument in the entire Constitution and make it harder for them to disparage it.

And, while I’m at it, don’t talk about RKBA as a “Constitutional right.” Instead, use the somewhat wordier “Constitutionally-protected right.” Why, and what is the difference?

“Constitutional right” implies that RKBA itself comes from the Constitution and we all know that RKBA existed long before there wasa Constitution, long, long before there was a Federal Government.

The Constitution does not confer RKBA, it protects a preexisting Right to Keep and Bear Arms. So, never say, “I have a Constitutional right to keep and bear amrs.” Instead, say, “My right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Constitution.” It’s not a “Constitutional right,” it’s a “Constitutionally protected right.”

So, talk up the Constitution instead of the Second Amendment.

Guns Don’t Belong…

We hear all the time:

“Guns don’t belong in schools.”

“Guns don’t belong in hospitals.”

“Guns don’t belong in church.”

“Guns don’t belong in night clubs.”

The list of places where “guns don’t belong” is considerable. The problem is that “gun-free zones” make fine targets. Assailants will encounter little to no resistance. We the People are sitting ducks in places where “guns don’t belong.”

Anti-gunners are trying to provide Safety by Wishful Thinking. That is, they think that by posting signs, they can enforce a gun-free zone and we will be safe. Of course, signs don’t work. If signs did work, I’d have a “World Peace” billboard on my front lawn.

By posting a “No Guns” sign, they’re just assuring a would-be mass murderer of no opposition and a high body count. Whose side are these people on anyway?

Anti-gunners are quick and vociferous in their condemnation of the one person who had a gun but I have yet to see any hand wringing by the left over all the disarmed people who could not defend themselves. “Safety through defenselessness” is as silly as it sounds and yet this is their stock in trade.

If you want to make a list pf places where “guns don’t belong,” I suggest first making a list of places where it is absolutely impossible for violence to occur. And not just “gunviolence,” any violence, including the far more common kinds of violence. And the more uncommon. I once read about a person who went berserk with a saber on the Staten Island Ferry. I’m guessing there were no “No Sabers” signs. To listen to anti-gunners, you’d think that the only kind of violence there is is “gunviolence.”

When you have your list of places where people will never, ever have to defend themselves, let me know. Then we’ll talk.

Oh, and “Guns don’t belong in civilian hands because they aren’t trained.” But that’s a story for another day.


The Coming Revolution

There’s a revolution coming. Not the rise-up-against-government kind but a revolution in movie making.

I was watching TV the other day and saw what appeared to be a movie trailer. It turned out to be an advertisement for a new video game release. This was not the first time I’d been fooled. The images were so good, however, that it looked like an actual movie clip. Movies themselves these days contain more and more Computer Generated (CG) content all the time and it is often hard to tell which is real and which is CG.

Computer game companies that create entire worlds of CG landscape for their games leverage that cost by getting into the movie business and re-using those CG worlds with live actors. Characters that are CG can be controlled by motion capture of human performers and the humans never need to appear. Most people can tell a CG character from a live actor but very soon, that may not be so. The technology is improving.

I remember when Desktop Publishing totally changed the publishing business. Later, MIDI and other technology allowed an individual to have a symphony orchestra on a laptop computer, letting a composer become conductor and full orchestra as well. One person can write and perform a symphony. The same will happen with movies.

Very soon, if not already, a desktop computer will allow a single person to be producer, director, casting director, select or design wardrobe, select props, scout “locations” and the whole panaolpy of movie making tasks in front of a computer screen. A one-person movie studio, as it were.

Companies that are currently doing CG for old style movie makers will be marketing virtual locations, characters and costumes that can be licensed to desktop movie makers in much the same way that computer coders license libraries of code to software developers. Need a location? Select anything from a bombed out city, slum or bustling city downtown to a gated community or prison interior from the libraries of locations that will be on the market.

A smart desktop movie maker system publisher will publish standards for generating compatible libraries, encouraging a wide variety of available libraries for their system.

The same for characters, costumes and props. The characters will look photo-realistic and an optional desktop motion-capture system will let the most bland-looking actor become the square-jawed protagonist or the alluring leading lady.

Of course, just as the early days of selectable fonts resulted in people publishing papers with too many fonts and terrible layouts, much of the movie output from such systems will be dreck. But that will sort itself out with time. The motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences will need new categories for such productions.

I predict that actors and actresses as we know them are about to become obsolete, going the way of printed newspapers, books and and magazines.

Hollywood, buh-bye.

Did I Micro Aggress?

Yesterday, I was walking home from the clinic after having dropped off a “specimen” from my wife and I encountered three people coming the opposite direction on the narrow sidewalk. There were two Navajo young men (late teens – early 20s) followed by a younger girl. I stepped off the curb, giving them the sidewalk out of courtesy and we exchanged ‘Good morning” greetings as we passed. Ought to be routine, right?

No sooner had I stepped back onto the sidewalk than I wondered…, in this hypersensitive environment that is American society today, did I just insult them? Did I micro aggress through an act of courtesy? As when a non-black crosses the street to avoid a group of young black men coming his/her way, did I just signal to these people that I feared them and stepped off the sidewalk to avoid a confrontation?

I guess it all depends on them; if it offended them, then my courtesy was “racist” and if it didn’t offend them, then it wasn’t racist.

I really hate what political correctness and racial hypersensitivity is doing to this country.

On balance, I have to figure they did not take it the wrong way as I was just getting ready to “Good morning” them when one of them beat me to it. Following my returned greeting, the other young man did the same, so we actually exchanged “Good morning” twice. I’m taking that courtesy on their part as a good sign.

Unless, of course, they said “Good morning” only to assure me that they meant no harm after I  stepped off the sidewalk, clearly out of fear. In which case, I may have in fact offended them and the greetings were strictly to assuage my perceived racially-motivated fear.

That a simple act of courtesy could be taken as offensive  - and the fact that I have to worry whether an exchange of pleasantries may have been due to a micro-aggression on my part, is a measure of how dysfunctional we are becoming as a society.

Next time, I’ll just cross the street and avoid them.

The Reason There Is A Second Amendment

In the wake of the the Mandalay Bay shooter’s massacre, I had to pause and ask myself if it might be worthwhile to restrict firearms further. It is hard to witness such carnage and not wish to prevent such things.

However much I might decry the murderous madmen that do these things, I keep coming back to the reason the Founders wrote into the Constitution explicit protections, including that for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA).

To say “People should not have military style firearms” is to the Second Amendment what “People should not be permitted to criticize the government” is to the protections of Free Speech written into the First Amendment.

Protection of speech, particularly political speech, is the reason that freedom of speech and the press as well as the right to peacably assemble  are specifically protected by the Constitution. Who among us would stand up and declare that we should not be able to speak out against government? The first Amendment’s protection isn’t there just to protect stage plays and movies or concerts in the park. It’s there to protect, especially and particularly, political speech. Those other things are just along for the ride.

The Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear, specifically, military style firearms – suitable for militia service. That is why it exists. That is what the Founders intended. It is not about duck hunting or shooting paper targets at the range. It is not about recreational shooting (“sporting purposes“) and it is not limited to just personal defense. It is about keeping the country free – it says so right there in the Constitution.

In the 20th century, more than 200,000,000 people worldwide were killed by their own governments. If you think that such things cannot happen in the 21st century, you are sadly mistaken.

It can’t happen here” is foolishness. History shows us that it can and does happen, and will happen again, unless we are wary and protect against it. A necessary precursor to genocide is disarmament. It can happen here if the people are disarmed. Why, oh, why would we want to establish a necessary condition (disarmament) that enables genocide? Even if it can’t happen here, why move us closer to that possibility?

If the last few decades have taught us anything, it is that government is out of control; it knows no limits and pays only lip service to Constitutional protections and limits on its power. It has weaponized federal agencies and uses them against political enemies. It snoops on everything. There’s probably some dutiful government agent reading this right now. It’s only going to get worse. Let’s not help make it worse by further infringing constitutionally-protected rights – Not free speech and not RKBA.

We should continue to fight tooth and nail to protect RKBA. And we should contact the NRA to holler at them for suggesting more infringements on RKBA even before any legislation has been submitted.