Who is Deranged? The Supreme Court? The President? Or us?

I don’t think there is anyone that believes the Supreme Court of the United States has been right in its decisions as to what the law is  over the years. Those eminent nine justices sitting around in conference over a nine month period from October through June with their smart clerks have always been able to interpret the Constitution in such a manner that they pretend to tell us what provisions written in 1787 mean today even though what they said yesterday might have been quite different.  They are also able to find things in the Constitution that no one ever thought existed there.

They tell us that in the gun area the law that governs there can be few restrictions on the use of guns.  Thus we have situations where people can buy as many guns as they wish and can attach to them magazines that shoot 30 or more rounds off in a matter of seconds while carrying hundreds of other rounds which can be readily inserted into the gun to bring about the results we saw in the church massacre in Texas (26 people dead and 20 injured) or the country music festival in Las Vegas (58 people dead and 546 injured).

We say sorry to the victims of these shooting who are not dead, we add the same sorry to the families of those victims who died, we talk about prayers which somehow seem out-of-place when people who are praying ar gunned down for no apparent reason at all or even worse because the gunman had a dispute with his mother-in-law, and blame the gunman because he is violent (which is obvious) or because he is, as someone who occupies the nation’s highest office said, deranged.

Is it the person who called the gunman deranged or is it the Supreme Court that is deranged because they cannot see the Blue Whale flopping around in the middle of the room. The truth is these mass slaughters do not have to happen.

Yes, they can be prevented. One way would be to outlaw all guns not in the hands of law enforcement or military. But that horse has left the barn because I’m told there is a gun for every one who has been counted in the census as living in the USA namely over 300 million. So do we throw up our hands in prayer or do we try to do something?

In the Heller decision  in 2008, the law that now governs the land  with respect to the Second Amendment of which I hope to write more about, the majority decision was written by Justice Scalia (joined by Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Kennedy). It examined the history of the Amendment. He took us on a trip back through Merrie Olde England. He told what the people thought about guns ( I think they were called blunderbusses derived from the Dutch words meaning thunder box). He explained the common law about guns.  We learned how the protesting citizens had the need for guns to fight the king and all his men and what the learned old men had to say about them.

Suggestinging the Founding Fathers (FF) would have  known all about that history Scalia  went on to point out the the words, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” were merely introductory and should be pretty much disregarded and the latter part of the Amendment, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” was all that was important in the Amendement. I wondered why  the FF even put the words in if they had no meaning. They could have easily written the last part without the first. Or, they could have just said: “Listen up! The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” 

But as I’ve often told you the law is what the judges say it is and what is the law today can change with the change of the judges. In Heller four justices disagreed with the majority. Had Kennedy gone the other way then we’d most likley not have had Las Vegas or Sutherland Springs. In effect, one justice cleared the way for those massacres to happen. Is that how a democracy should work?

6 thoughts on “Who is Deranged? The Supreme Court? The President? Or us?

  1. Plenty of ” Derangement ” to go around . I detect this new note of balance in your Trumpeiana and wonder if it indicates that in certain quiet hours and spaces you now recognize that he was just the guy to send N.Korea an unequivocal message of American resolve. A message that has clearly been received .

  2. Your argument is specious . The endless rattling on by the Left on the utility of large magazine high capacity rifles in the commission of these massacres ignores the obvious : Any lethal instrument is loyal to its owner’s intent . If Kelley hurled a huge mother of all Molotov cocktails into the church ,or rigged his van as a gas bomb , his ” intent ” would have resulted in probably as many deaths . Forget that an NRA Instructor and fellow Citizen ran him down and shot him. The logic is too overwhelming. You concede that the surfeit of these weapons in America belies any practical notion of controlling them from the reach of the ” deranged . ” You may be coming around !

  3. Matt: good thoughts. The matter of saving lives and preserving liberties is complex.

    1. The Boston Globe yesterday showed that over a ten year period Assault Weapons caused 282 mass deaths (3-plus persons killed per incident); in the same ten year period other guns caused 222 mass deaths.
    Can we assume we’d save 60 lives in ten years or 6 lives per year if Assault Weapons were banned? (282-222 = 60) Assume the killer not getting his hand on an assault weapon would get his hand on another weapon.) Even if we assume without an assault weapon, the killer wouldn’t kill at all, then we’d be saving 28 lives per year.

    2. Preventing intentional deaths is not simply a matter of passing laws. Remember Cain slew Abel and Socrates took hemlock! Remember Timothy McVeigh used a bomb and the in Nice a zealot’s truck mowed down hundreds (killing @80). Maniacs and terrorists will use myriad lethal means.

    3. Homicide rate: In murders, the US ranks @100 out of @200 countries (United Nations Data (UNODC): Countries with higher murder rates? Estonia, Lithuania, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, and many Caribbean, Central American, and Central African countries. (In another study cited below US ranks about 62nd out of 108 countries studied.)

    Suicide rates? U.S. is 50th out of 200 countries (World Health Organization Data) What countries have higher suicide rates? Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Slovenia, Uruguay, Japan, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Poland, Belarus, South Korea, Bolivia, etc.

    Combined intentional death rates (murder plus suicide): A UN study lists US 46th out of 108 countries studied. Who has higher combined death rates? Finland, Serbia, Lithuania, Greenland, to name a few. Poland, France and Belgium have about the same rate as the US. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_death_rate)

    This is just one source to consider. It’s a good source, because you can adjust the categories.

    What’s the point? In the Best of gun control countries, murders occur at a rate one-third or one-quarter that of the US. For example, France has one-quarter the US murder rate, but France’s suicide rate is 25% greater than the U.S.’s. South Korea and Japan have the strictest gun control laws, low murder rates and the highest suicide rates. “According to the data compiled by the World Health Organization: Developed Western nations such as Hungary, Poland, France, Belgium, and Austria all have higher suicide rates than the United States — and all have stricter gun-control regimes.”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423192/ezra-klein-wrong-gun-control-doesnt-reduce-suicide-rates-mark-antonio-wright AND https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-brain/201607/fact-check-gun-control-and-suicide

    4.. I saw data that showed gun ownership by 100 persons. The US leads the world. About 100 guns per 100 persons. (Some report 88/100) With all those guns you’d think there would be a lot more homicides. We do lead the world in gun homicides (actually we’re third or fourth per capita.)

    5. Overdose drug deaths per year = last year @ 60,000. Again, per capita, we’re near the top.

    6 Abortions per year (where no threat to mother’s life or serious bodily injury) = @ million a year. (90% of abortions are not done because of rape or maternal health or fetal health reasons.) According to the CDC, 1.3% of abortions are done after 21 weeks of pregnancy. We’d save more than 10,000 lives per year if we prohibited late term abortions. Even if we delivered all post 20 week babies, we probably could save half of pre-terms: @ 5,000 human lives per year.

    Are we concerned about saving human lives? Preserving human liberty? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

    I’d favor banning bump-stocks, and limiting magazines, and making sure semi-automatics could not be converted. But there are millions who own guns and trucks and use them lawfully; what laws will stop the maniacs? I’d answer myself by saying it can’t hurt to adopt laws which may mitigate the carnage. Symbolic steps can’t hurt.

    If goal is to save lives, there are many more fronts to expend our efforts.

  4. If the argument that gun controls would have prevented the tragedy in Texas is as valid as a little girl’s fudge business plan. A wee lass whips up a batch of sweets and sells them on the sidewalk for five dollars. She sees herself as rich. But the ingredients cost mommy and daddy ten dollars. Children only see one side of the ledger.

    Grown-ups have a more balanced view of the world. They tote up two columns, debits and credits. On gun control they understand that millions of crimes are prevented by an armed citizenry, mostly by the perception of an armed victim more than a shoot-out scenario as happened in Texas.

    In passing it should be noted that the law in place did not allow the Texas killer to possess guns due to his mental health and criminal history. But the government screwed up. What a surprise! Of course with more stringent regulation this will not happen. Check out the murder rate in Chicago to validate the case for banning guns.

    Uncommitted crimes do not make headlines. Screeching front pages are not the stuff of wise governance. Sober reflection on the import of the Bill of Rights has led this country to allow the average citizen the ability to protect himself and his liberties. Five Justices got the policy right and the history right too.

    This nation has a vast and varied population. The bulk of it has no problem with access to guns. When I see a lad walking down the road, rifle in hand, it is sign that hunting season has started. His bright orange hat is a tip off too.

    It is different in cities. There diversity, which liberals proclaim to be a strength, leads to fear, much of which is unwarranted as crime is largely limited to Negro and Hispanic ghettos.

    But liberals see Willie Hortons everywhere. Racism infects their minds with nightmares of imminent murder at the hands of violent minorities. Covert Racism is a derangement common to Democrats. The dystopian societal vision of liberal Racists is not a valid reason for America to overturn the wisdom of our forebears who bequeathed to us Liberty which includes the Right to Bear Arms.

  5. Please note that murder has been outlawed for many years, yet murders continue. Quibbling over the tool used to effect murder does not change the result. Whether you are shot by a semi-automatic rifle instead of run over by a rental truck or hit by shrapnel from a pressure cooker bomb, the result is the same.

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – Mark Twain quoting British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread914624/pg1
    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us
    http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2017/02/medical-errors-not-third-leading-cause-death.html
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/16/upshot/death-by-medical-error-adding-context-to-some-scary-numbers.html

    Remember that it was a medical professional who decided that it was safe to discharge this individual from a secure facility.

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