Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Constitutional Violations: Not Paranoid When We Do It

My friends on Facebook have a wide panoply of political opinions, so I've seen more pro-and anti-gun posts these past three days than I likely did in the entire previous year. Of course, most of the anti-gun posts are also anti-gun-owner and anti-second-amendment-supporter, and quick to assure me yet again that I am paranoid and mentally ill at best; evil and psychopathic at worst.

Here's one I read today from a blogger honest enough to call himself "The Rude Pundit," but too angry to notice the glaring logical inconsistencies in his argument. He starts out well enough, criticizing the craven, cowardly paranoia that compels certain people to support the TSA ... but somehow ends up conflating second-amendment supporters with fourth-amendment violators:
If keeping a crippled child away from her mother because you're afraid she's got a bomb, even when a search produces no bomb, seems fine but allowing Americans on the terrorist watch list to buy guns seems logical, then you are crazy. 

I agree: that is crazy. But -- this is a serious question -- who are these crazy people, who support gun rights and the TSA? I know that whenever I've written against the TSA (in my columns at the Guardian and whatnot) the only TSA supporters who criticize me are the same ones who support gun control. Which is not surprising; both opinions are based on the attitude "If only we can ignore enough of the constitution and pass enough laws, the government can keep us perfectly safe."

The Rude Pundit's attitude toward the second amendment and its supporters is similar if not identical to TSA boosters' attitude toward the fourth amendment and its supporters: Constitutional rights can and should be ignored in the name of "safety," and anyone who disagrees can ONLY be either evil or a "guntard." You know, like the people who swear that since I oppose TSA molesting American travelers, that can ONLY mean I'm a terrorist supporter who gets off on the thought of, say, 3,000 Americans dying after a plane brings down a skyscraper.

The anti-second amendment folks and anti-fourth amendment folks both point to very real, horrific occurrences to justify their rights violations. I've even seen some of the same "technology" arguments for both -- the second amendment was written before modern firearms, ergo it does not apply to modern firearms; the fourth amendment was written before airplanes and mass transit, ergo it does not apply to airplanes and mass transit. (After all: You can't shoot up a school with a single-fire musket, just as you can't bring down a skyscraper by crashing a horse into it.) And, sadly, both are based on the erroneous beliefs "Perfect safety is possible, if only we give up enough freedoms" and "If something bad happens, that can only mean we didn't have enough laws."


Anonymous Russ 2000 said...

I think the only way to respond to knee-jerk idiocy is to tell them that every policy they support is supported by Nazi Germany, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, and Iran.

For one, it's true. And more importantly, people usually shut up afterwards.

If they don't shut up they usually reply with something like "France does the same thing TODAY!!" Which can only generate the laughter that modern-day France deserves.

1:03 PM  

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