Monday, June 06, 2005


Far be it for me to take on a great UCLA Professor, but on the subject of Gun Control there are no shortage misinformed people out there, and apparently Eugene Volokh is one of them. His essay "guns and the constitution" which apparently was printed in the Wall Street Journal, is an exercise in wishful thinking and is borderline dishonest.

His misreading of the second amendment is replete with illogical thinking; he points out that the English Bill of Rights of 1668 referred to a "individual right" but fails to point out that England no longer has that, nor is the history of English law proof that our framers intended for that to be the case. He points out that it refers to the "people" but neglects to point out that it starts out with the qualifier "A well-regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state". Why omit this particular sentence from the equation unless it is inconvenient for your argument? Are there no examples of the use of the phrase "people" collectively?

If I am not mistaken, when charges are filed against an individual, the case is referred to as "the people v. ...". How is it, then, that the law can be read as referring to the individual right?

Volokh points out that the state constitutions refer to an individual right. Do they? Perhaps I am unable to wrap my head around how the supremacy clause can be used to argue that people should keep arms, but cannot be used to argue people cannot. Such arguments run the risk of a person being hoisted on their own petard.

But the most fascinating assertion of all is that "hundreds of thousands of people defend themselves each year with firearms." Utter nonsense, and more so when he points out that women defend themselves using firearms.

These statistics come from a few crackpot Professors (Lott and Mustard and another who have been roundly rebuked by the social science field) who have made a name for themselves trading on the popularity of guns among middle-aged men compensating for their insecurity. There aren't "hundreds of thousands" of people whipping out pistols to get some punk to back off and there never have been. This is a complete fantasy, but that doesn't stop the NRA and their useful idiots from putting this out there.

The fact remains that the US gun laws are insane, and our ability to accept some twenty thousand gun deaths each year because Americans are killing Americans is absurd. If those people were being killed by Arabs, our army would invade their country.

Eugene Volokh may be a distinguished scholar, but he's been hoodwinked.

Interestingly enough, the poster child for this article is a doctor who threatened his wife and kids with a gun and was denied the right to carry a firearm though he hadn't been charged with a misdemeanor. This exemplifies the issue. Women are far more likely to be killed by jealous husbands and boyfriends with a firearm than anything. The presence of a firearm in the home, for most women, spells greater danger. In fact, if you looked at the issue of suicide alone, where states with lax gun laws have greater suicide rates than those with strict ones, the argument is powerful.


Blogger Abu Yusef said...

Grew up in a house with like 30 guns...

I have a slightly differing view on the subject.

12:27 PM  

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