Archive for March, 2011

Firearms And Franchise

Posted in Politics, Society on March 30th, 2011

American Patriot with MusketAny discussion of gun control is fraught with controversy, angst, and outrage rage; that’s just the way it is in American society where Liberals have consistently tried to disarm the law abiding gun owners while decrying sterner punishments for illegal purchase, ownership, or useoffirearms.

Reasonable minds, however, understand that there is room for debate and even compromise.

For example, requiring backgrounds checks for all firearm purchases and closing the “gun show loophole.” This is reasonable and can, with a little due diligence, be accomplished without trampling the Constitutional Rights enumerated in the 2nd Amendment and protected by the exercise of the same.

I’d be all in favor of this if the following preconditions were met:

  1. Multi-State background check databases were made easily accessible and commercially viable portable checking “kiosks” were developed so that the requirement for a background check didn’t de facto constitute a Prior Restraint on American’s right to keep arms.
  2. The exact same requirement and methodology for background checks is implemented by law at the polls for every election or referendum ballot.

The above are just simple compromises and pragmatic preconditions necessary to ensure that reasonable protective measures are emplaced on two perilous activities that Americans regularly undertake, purchasing firearms and exercising their franchise.

BallotIt seems to me that there’s little, if any, room for rational complaint about making sure the same provisions that cover firearm purchases also cover voting in elections or referendum ballots.

If the requirement for a background check is not a Prior Restraint upon American’s 2nd Amendment right then it obviously isn’t an illegal imposition on American’s privilege of voting.

Similarly, the rationale for such background checks is essentially the same for both firearms and voting. Society has long ago decided and codified into law that felons and the mentally infirm should be denied the ability to do either because either action entails significant dangers to society when undertaken by these individuals.

It’s a simple compromise that has the elegance of solving two problems with a single methodology, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing costs to all. It also has the key benefit of having checks and balances built into it since any changes to the system or procedures that might negatively impact either firearm purchases or voting would similarly affect the other.

Firearms and franchise – the more people understand the similarities between the two, the greater chance there is of a reasonable and rational set of laws regarding either or both.

Related Reading:

We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States
Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences
America: A Concise History, Combined Volume
The Politics Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)
Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

Religion of Peace?

Posted in Humor, Religion on March 30th, 2011

And The Religion of Peace Is...
And The Religion of Peace Is…

Related Reading:

Christianity and Liberalism, new ed.
Healing Through Humor: Fabulous Jokes From the Happy Hunters
Jainism: An Introduction (Introductions to Religion)
Christianity: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness

Go Home Newt

Posted in 2012 Election, Politics on March 29th, 2011

Newt Gingrich is considering running for President in the upcoming 2012 elections – sort of, kind of, maybe…if things look promising.

To that end the politician turned pundit has launched the website NewtExplore2012 to see how Americans feel about his potentially possible candidacy. This an odd move to say the least, especially from an “elder statesman.”

I’m in some doubt as to whether or not he’ll like the response though. Newt Gingrich, once a firebrand and dangerous opponent has, as the years progressed, become more and more “erratic.” Take, for example, his recent speech at the at Cornerstone Church in Texas which included this bit of WTF!?!

“I have two grandchildren Maggie is 11, Robert is 9,” Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”

I can understand the concern that America might degenerate into Atheism. I can understand the concern that America might be suborned and perverted by Islam. There are forces, well-entrench within our nation, who are actively seeking those destructive goals.

What I’m totally and utterly incapable of understanding is any concern about America devolving into a secular Atheist state that is dominated by radical Islamists.

That’s completely nonsensical! The first thing that the Islamists would do during the course of their rise to power would be to exterminate the Atheists. There’d be none left by the time the Islamists could ever be said to dominate what had replaced America.

Go home, Newt. Go play with those lovely grandchildren; go write some more books; just go while you have some dignity remaining to you and before you embarrass yourself further.

Age can bring great wisdom. It can also, sadly, bring great folly. There’s little joy in watching an American elder suffering from the latter as Mr. Gingrich seems to be suffering.

Related Reading:

Politics from A to Z
Spook Street (Slough House)
Self, Senility, and Alzheimer's Disease in Modern America: A History
Politics
The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted