GUNS, VIOLENCE AND SOCIETY

Second Amendment considerations in the wake of the recent events in Arizona: first in a multi-part series.

The Arizona shooting has gotten me fired up to dive into this most contentious subject. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. While the gun control issue was certain to arise again, as it does after every high-profile shooting incident, I find it particularly interesting how long it took for the anti-gun faction to get into gear. Of course that meant that it took correspondingly long for the pro-gun faction to react to their opponents. I suspect the pros were holding their collective breath wondering what the antis were up to while the antis were trying to prepare a response that wouldn’t disrespect the victims but would make some kind of sense in the aftermath of the recent Supreme Court findings on the Second Amendment.

District of Columbia, et al. v. Heller

McDonald, et al. v. City of Chicago, Illinois, et al.

Over the next several posts, I want to try to dissect the gun control issue in a way that supports a rational discussion by otherwise reasonable people who hold a range of opinions that exist along a spectrum from totally banning firearms to removing all government imposed controls. I will not define my position at this point because I don’t want to be dismissed by those readers who might react with strong emotions to my observations and analysis. Accept or reject my ideas as you will; but, give me the benefit of the doubt until you have heard me out.

Come along for the ride. I welcome disagreement; but think first; and then comment if you wish to contribute. Of course, I have the right to terminate the involvement of anyone whose comments are rude, uncivil, or obviously deranged.

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Free Speech Subverted?

Free Speech Subverted?

Do political candidates, and those who support them, have a right to claim First Amendment rights to protect the lies they tell to gain office?

 


The First Amendment to our Constitution is in more danger today than probably at any time in our relatively brief history as a nation. A cursory check of the news on any given day is likely to turn up one or more stories that relate to threats to this statement of law. The first amendment to our Constitution covers a lot of ground. Today, I want to comment on one small piece of that ground. Over time and as events that tweak my curiosity and/or outrage develop, I’ll be coming back to the Bill of Rights and this Amendment with more posts.


Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. [My emphasis above]


I guess that in a situation where the Supreme Court  has enshrined the principle that the more money you have the more free speech you may exercise (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-205.pdf), it’s not surprising that politicians and their supporters can commit the moral equivalent of a coup d’état by blatant lying and distortion of facts to gain public office. If yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater, when there is no fire, is not protected speech, how can political lying be protected speech? It seems to me that far more people end up harmed in the latter case.