November 21, 2007
But who will protect the right to be urban and sophisticated?
Yesterday was not a great day for the forces of gun control. Ed Rendell's extraordinary attempt to pressure the Pennsylvania legislature failed, and the Supreme Court voted to hear District of Columbia v. Heller.
On today's front page, the Philadelphia Inquirer carries Linda Greenhouse's New York Times report.
Ms. Greenhouse (known at least as much for gratuitous attacks on conservatives as for her
The federal appeals court here, breaking with the great majority of federal courts to have examined the issue over the decades, ruled last March that the Second Amendment right was an individual one, not tied to service in a militia, and that the District of Columbia's categorical ban on handguns was therefore unconstitutional.I'm wondering about something. Were she writing up an affirmative action/workplace discrimination case, would Ms. Greenhouse interject that a plaintiff had been "recruited" by a "wealthy liberal lawyer"?
I doubt it.
For people who want some more serious discussion, Glenn Reynolds has:
I find it fascinating that this might actually prompt a Sister Souljah moment from Hillary Clinton, and I tend to agree with Bill Quick:
I think Hillary will have a Sister Souljah moment and come out in support of an individual rights interpretation. In my leftist days, the New Left certainly felt that way. None of us supported disarming the Black Panthers. And, frankly, Kos isn't exactly a hotbed of anti-gun fervor, given that a strong stream of opinion there believes they will have to take up arms to protect themselves from us Fascists.It was that way when I was in college at Berkeley in the early 70s. Lots of leftish hippies had guns. And in my law school days when San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein tried to ban guns, there was a unique alliance between far left hippies, libertarians, gays, and traditional conservatives to get the ban overturned (as well as a Feinstein recall campaign, which I supported in whatever category I fit at the time).
It's worth noting that even the far-left Ted Rall believes in the the Second Amendment, and he has long urged the Democrats to embrace the issue:
Democrats, however, still need to make the libertarian case. That's where guns come in. Accepting and promising to defend the Constitution as a whole, including the Second Amendment, could jumpstart the return of the American left from the fringe to the mainstream. Kerry's endorsement of gun rights would not only neutralize a key GOP values issue; it would serve as a cultural signifier that he doesn't view hunters and other gun aficionados with (as Democratic political consultant David Sweet put it) "an urban, sophisticated mentality that sneers at their way of life."Geez, does that make Linda Greenhouse a sophisticated urban sneerer? Where does she think her right to sneer comes from?
It's very easy for sophisticated people to sneer at the rights of "gun nuts." I grew up here on the East Coast, and watched the phenomenon evolve. In fact, I even saw it first hand, applied in a very petty way by a very "sophisticated" neighbor, when she told my mother that she didn't want her son to come over and play with me as long as my mom allowed me to have toy guns (which in her view needed to be shunned by mothers who knew better). This was shortly after the Kennedy assassination, when I was around eight years old and into the "playing soldier" phase. My mom was quite disturbed by this, because the woman (whose family was headed by a famous New Deal aristocrat) outranked her socially, and I remember my parents discussing it at the dinner table. My father took the "boys will be boys" line and advised my mom to ignore it, but I did lose a friend, and it wasn't really his fault or mine.
It was the new "sophistication." Little did I know that I was witnessing the emergence of one form of what I now call "manufactured morality."
Then as now, the ruling class snobs knew what was best.
MORE: In his New York Post column, Glenn notes that this issue might not break as neatly along political lines as the common wisdom might expect:
It's also probably bad for Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, who have generally been less supportive of gun rights than the other GOP contenders. But maybe Hillary Clinton will prove flexible: Bill Clinton said that the gun issue cost the Democrats control of Congress in 1994, and Hillary no doubt remembers that.Well, that would be classic triangulation: take away an issue from the "other side." But considering that Hillary's Second Amendment record is worse than Giuliani's or Romney's, would it be honest?
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link! And special Thanksgiving thanks to all commenters.
posted by Eric on 11.21.07 at 09:11 AM
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