November 21, 2004

Why Do They Hate Us

The following is from a letter to the editor published in today's Seattle Times/P-I Opinion section:

Why do people in red states hate us? They hate us for our freedom.
- Gary Fasso, Seattle

Better than the comics page.

Posted by natasha at November 21, 2004 12:13 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |
Comments

Heck, better than most Op-Eds....

Posted by: John F. at November 21, 2004 02:56 PM

You have a very well organized and informative site here.

Posted by: Masculiste at November 21, 2004 05:04 PM

Freedom from what? The right to keep and bear arms? Freedom from what? The notion the rights belong to the people and there are no such thing as collective rights.

The blue states have gone out of the way to piss off everyone rural in the blue states and everyone in the red states by imposing the city value system (or lack thereof) on the entire country.

You blue state city types have to do some thinking. We don't hate you, we just want you to stop shoving your policies down our throats. Luckily for now, we can still win - if you look at the map of counties in the US for Bush in 2004, even in blue states there are only a few blue CDs, basically cities where crime and misery and self loathing is rampant.

I've always said it like this; You give me my guns and concealed carry back, and you can have gay marriage and all the socialist crap you want. I'll even help pay for it. But the buck stops when you disarm the public and deny the constitution and the federalist papers exist. I'd even agree with you that trashing sovereign nations without even making money doing it is a bad idea. Just remove all notions of totalitarianism (Affirmative Action, Political correctness, "hate crimes," gun laws, etc) and the Blues and the Reds should do just fine.

Posted by: Guns at November 22, 2004 09:27 AM

Guns - I don't know where you live, but I own 12 different rifles, shotguns and handguns and have a concealed carry permit here in Clark County, WA. Unless you're a felon, you can too.

I agree with you on the rest of your statement, but please don't assume anyone wants to take your guns away.

Now if you're in California, then I'm sorry...

Posted by: Mike M. at November 22, 2004 10:53 AM

Ummm, the last time I checked, the 2nd Amendment didn't actually say anything about personal ownership of firearms. It does talk about militias, but we have those (remember the National Guard?). Understand: the Constitution does not give anyone the right to own a gun. Any other formulation of the 2nd Amendment is simply incorrect.

And besides, what the hell are you afraid of? That some "commie" is gonna "peace, love, and understanding" you to death? That once your guns are taken away, you'll be forced to eat tofu and wear Birkenstocks? (I personally hate tofu, so I can see wear you're going with that one.)

And speaking of shoving things down throats, you must remember that the right has been trying to shove the bible down peoples' throats for years now: we'll stop if you will.

Posted by: Brian at November 22, 2004 11:23 AM

Brian,

UNITED STATES CODE
TITLE 10 - ARMED FORCES
Subtitle A - General Military Law
PART I - ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL MILITARY POWERS
CHAPTER 13 - THE MILITIA

§ 311. Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are --

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia;

and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.


UNITED STATES CODE
TITLE 32 - NATIONAL GUARD
CHAPTER 3 - PERSONNEL

§ 313. Appointments and enlistments: age limitations

(a) To be eligible for original enlistment in the National Guard, a person must be at least 17 years of age and under 45, or under 64 years of age and a former member of the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps. To be eligible for reenlistment, a person must be under 64 years of age.

(b) To be eligible for appointment as an officer of the National Guard, a person must -

(1) be a citizen of the United States; and

(2) be at least 18 years of age and under 64.

Posted by: Alex at November 22, 2004 11:56 AM

Right to bear arms is not the same as right to have guns. Stop cramming the bible down our throats, stop cramming your so-called [red] 'morality' (hate, intolerance, and stripping the rights of a woman to control her own body) down our throats. Please stop being hypocrites. Pro life cannot equal pro-war, pro-life cannot equal anti-environment, pro-life cannot equal pro-protection of cells in a Petri dish while someone's life can actually be relieved or cured from suffering with the vast prospects of fully funded stem cell research (that one's a long one).

In any case, I am sick of selective religion and selective constitutional rights. You’re a gun-hugger, but most like you cannot stand people expressing their free speech and First Amendment rights by either dissenting from the president or by other forms. Your 'morality' always seems to extinguish free speech.

..

Posted by: TABS at November 22, 2004 04:00 PM

This was a good forwarded e-mail and an adaptation on a posting I saw on Hardblogger:

~RED SELECTIVE RELIGION~

Dear President Bush:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and I too now support a Constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you said "in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it is an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of

God's Laws and how we Americans are supposed to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

Why can't I own Canadians? And why can't Canadians or Mexicans own us?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness - Leviticus 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense at the question.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Leviticus 1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it (and would I have to kill the police officer for working on Sunday as well?)?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Leviticus 11:10 - it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot, and enjoys listening to Howard Stern on the radio. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Leviticus 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Leviticus 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Posted by: TABS at November 22, 2004 04:03 PM

And don't forget Deuteronomy 21:18-21 which suggests that a man with a stubborn and rebellious son, a drunkard, shall set him before the men of the city so that he shall be stoned. There would be no President George W. Bush if this one had been applied at some point.

Posted by: Scott at November 22, 2004 05:36 PM

Here's Amendment II, U.S. Constitution:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

If you read my last post, you'll note that I wrote about the Constitution's statements about the "right" to bear arms. You posted some selections from the United States Code, which is written by Congress. Now, Congress can do many things, not all of which conform to the Constitution. This is one reason we have a Supreme Court (at least, according to the first Chief Justice Marshall).

Now, I'm no expert on this area of law, and I'm not a lawyer, so do not consider this legal advice, but every court that has considered the issue has held that Amendment II does not confer a personal right to own firearms. The text of the 2nd Amendment speaks in the collective (". . . the right of the people . . .") and states a specific purpose ("A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state . . ."). I doubt many gun nuts read that first clause.

If you're in doubt about what I'm saying, you should read the words of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231 (4th Cir. 1999) and Love v. Pepersack, 47 F.3d 120 (4th Cir. 1995)), the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove, 695 F.2d 261 (7th Cir. 1982)), the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals (Richmond Boro Gun Club, Inc. v. City of New York, 896 F. Supp. 276 (E.D. N.Y. 1995), judgment aff'd, 97 F.3d 681 (2d Cir. 1996)), the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals (Gardner v. Vespia, 252 F.3d 500 (1st Cir. 2001)), and the Supreme Courts of the States of Hawaii (State v. Mendoza, 82 Haw. 143, 920 P.2d 357 (1996), Indiana (Kellogg v. City of Gary, 562 N.E.2d 685 (Ind. 1990)), and Wyoming (Mecikalski v. Office of Attorney General, Div. of Criminal Investigation, 2 P.3d 1039 (Wyo. 2000)).

In fact, in the fifteen minutes that I've been researching this topic, the only jurisdiction in which it has been seriously argued that the 2nd Amendment confers a personal, constitutionally guaranteed right to own guns is ( . . . wait for it . . .) Texas (U.S. v. Emerson, 270 F.3d 203 (5th Cir. 2001), reh'g and reh'g en banc denied, 281 F.3d 1281 (5th Cir. 2001) and cert. denied, 122 S. Ct. 2362 (U.S. 2002)). Needless to say, you're outgunned, er, I mean, outnumbered.

Posted by: Brian at November 22, 2004 06:06 PM

I think I've figure out Bush's strategy. If they hate us because of our freedom, then by taking our freedom away, the terrorists will stop attacking us. It's genius!

Posted by: thehim at November 22, 2004 09:45 PM

Brian,

Ever heard of U.S. v Miller (1939)? That is the only case that challenges the provisions of Amendment II that the SCOTUS has ever ruled on. And it ruled that the "right to keep and bear arms" is not only an individual right, but specifically protects such arms that may serve a purpose in the Militia. In other words, assault rifles etc.

The case specifically dealt with Miller, who crossed state lines with a sawn-off shotgun, with intent to commit armed violent crime. The Federal prosecutor had him on an inter-state commerce violation (one of the few things the Federal government is allowed to regulate). The SCOTUS agreed that the shotgun in question, which had a barrel shorter than 18", did not constitute a purposeful firearm in the Militia. Standard issue shotguns at the time were 18" in barrel length. This is by no means a go-ahead for gun control. Because the opinion of the court is that military firearms are specifically protected against regulation.

The first direct violation of that ruling was the GCA (Gun Control Act) of 1968, which forbade inter-state sales outside of specially licensed dealers. In other words, I cannot ship a gun to you. I have to give it to a dealer in my state, who sends it to a dealer in your state, where you may - AFTER ASKING PERMISSION FROM THE FBI - pick it up. The most egregious infringement of the GCA is that the BATFE (formerly the Treasury) is allowed to decide what kind of firearm is of a "sporting" kind. This without legislative review.

Subsequent violations include the FOPA (Firearm Owners Protection Act) of 1986, which banned civilian registration of machine guns produced after that date. The import ban of 1989 of "non-sporting" firearms. The Brady Bill with the background checks, in which you may be ineligible to exercise your rights because you have a misdemeanor in your records. But infringements certainly don't stop there.

If you advocate amending the Constitution, repealing Amendment II I will respect your opinion. I will not agree, but I will respect you. If you're suggesting that Amendment II means something else than what it says and that it should simply be ignored because Progressive Society dictates such notions, I will not respect you.

The meaning of "shall not be infringed" is unequivocal. Curiously, Amendment I does not say that the Federal government must pander to atheists and shun Christianity. It does however say that the Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. It means the Congress cannot favor one religion over another. That does not mean that a soccer team in Lowell High School in southern Florida may not say a prayer before a game. But that is how broadly many liberals that I know intend on interpreting Amendment I.

Conversely, the broadest of all Amendments in the Bill of Rights - Amendment X - is largely ignored all together. It specifically directs a conservative interpretation of the Constitution. E.g. Federal welfare, health subsidies, unemployment subsidies et al are all illegal. The Federal government is not permitted to do anything or operate any agency unless that power is specifically delegated to the United States by the Constitution.

If you insist on suggesting that the operative clause in Amendment II - the actual qualifier as determined by the SCOTUS - "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state," amounts to a State's right to assemble a National Guard force, it is obvious that you disregard such petty language as "the right of the people" and "shall not be infringed". Infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms is patently unconstitutional.

Posted by: Alex at November 22, 2004 09:51 PM

"Infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms is patently unconstitutional."

And written before there were automatic weapons, shoulder mounted rocket launchers, and grenades. I fully support your right to own as many 17th century rifles as you want ;)

Seriously, I don't see why the same gun laws should apply everywhere. Cities and rural areas have different needs in that regard. Even different urban areas may want to handle things differently.

What really steams me about the gun debate is the refusal of people who want to buy devices used to kill things to accept identity checks. You could drive a truck through the gun show loophole, and radical 2nd amendment types would like to get rid of the rest of the identity check procedures. You can't even get away with that for a car, or anymore, a hotel room or plane ticket. But people would like to purchase deadly weapons anonymously, which just takes the biscuit.

There is a reason why the Al Qaida handbook tells their operatives not to bother smuggling weapons in to the US, because it's just too easy to buy them here. Terrorist and guerilla organizations have been using the US as an arms market to overthrow governments and arm death squads in other countries for years.

So is there some reasonably sane argument that can tell me why anyone would want to bypass checks that verify guns are sold only to law-abiding US citizens who are not disqualified from owning them? I'm betting not. Even freedom of speech doesn't cover yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre, because the founding fathers didn't believe in extending rights that materially impacted someone other than the exerciser in a negative way.

OTOH, I'm sure someone does have something that will sound like a reasonable argument. And I'll bet the originator of whatever talking point it is worked for the gun industry. Those people who make so much money being arms dealers to the world that they fight gun laws in other countries where third world leaders are desperate to cool down the violence. I can see why they'd be keen to kill anything that would stop even one more sale.

Posted by: natasha at November 23, 2004 02:07 AM

natasha,

The Constitution forbids the Federal government from doing anything that isn't explicitly permitted in its various Articles and Amendments. If the Federal government is told that it shall not infringe on "the right of the people to keep and bear arms", Federal gun control is illegal. It doesn't matter how pragmatic gun control may seem to a progressive mind. If Amendment II is no longer needed, it should be duly repealed by amending the Constitution. But this is the crux of the matter. Most progressives know that such a repeal won't be possible for many decades to come. Instead, and this is what bothers me, progressives tend to re-evaluate wording and sometimes flat out invent non-existent language to justify their causes.

I say again, if you think there is reason to have gun control on the Federal level, I would also hope that you'd advocate the repeal of Amendment II. Simply ignoring it sets precedent which can and have been applied to other portions of the Constitution.

Now what about local gun control? I am an ardent believer in State's rights in the federation, but does that make gun control on the local level alright? In fact, the Federal government is suppposed to be autonomous in that it supports the States, NOT the people. Although that notion was blurred ever since FDR and completely undone by Johnson.

There was this thing, called the Civil War. It authoritatively suggested that the United States, is a federation of states, not a confederation. In other words Federal law overrides State law. However, progressive thinkers do not apply that logic. If the Federal law is percieved better or more purposeful to a progressive agenda, it is advocated to take precedent. If a State law, or municipal ordinance is more restrictive - especially on the gun issue - many progressives all of the sudden advocate State's rights. It's fantastic!

You also make reference to "identity checks". The NICS check, which is a Federal background check is in theory a good - and pragmatic - idea. The so called "gun show loophole" is non-existent. No firearm may be transfered from one individual to another without having the recipient pass a NICS check. Do criminals perform a NICS check when transferring firearms? I would argue that they do not. The same law, which instituted the NICS check sets criteria for when the result is to be deemed 'Denied'. Not only are repeat violent felons, but ANY felons restricted from taking possession of firearms. It doesn't matter what the felony is. In addition to that, certain misdemeanors are also listed as cause for 'Denied' responses. Such as a domestic violence misdemeanor. Certainly all these provisions have good intent when codified, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. A violent misdemeanor may be an abusive husband who received that sentence because his wife was too afraid to testify. But it could also be a mistake which was cleared up among two adults.

The point to all of this is that words like "reasonable restrictions" or "common sense restrictions" are not applicable to our rights. This is not a privilege such as driving a car upon a road which you pay for. It is a RIGHT afforded by the bedrock of our Republic - the Constitution of the United States of America.

Posted by: Alex at November 23, 2004 08:31 AM