This is what really gets me about people who believe that the Second Amendment means that we have a constitutional right to own a gun. I provided a whole bunch of statistics in this post about the cost of our love affair with guns in terms both of money and the impact on our lives, but yet, you choose not to address any of that. Instead, you pose a question which is completely unanswerable, as if that’s supposed to render everything else I’ve described as irrelevant, which it doesn’t by any means (and by the way, I have no desire to waste my time trying to find an instance like the one you describe).
As noted here, “in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court departed from over 100 years of judicial precedent and held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms for self-defense purposes unconnected with service in a militia (in the Heller ruling).”
Even the Cruikshank case you cite states that, “The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution.”
Individual states and municipalities should be allowed to regulate guns as they see fit, but I will never believe that there’s a Second Amendment right to own a gun (and, in Cruikshank, it sounds like Chief Justice Morrison Waite didn’t think there was either).
I responded with the following which apparently went through without moderation:
What really gets me about people trying to infringe up on our specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms is they only look at the downside of gun ownership. They refuse to look at the benefits. There are between 800,000 and 2,500,000 defensive gun uses in the U.S. each year. Most of those were without a shot being fired resulting in no injuries to anyone.
Another thing that gets me about people trying to infringe on our rights is they include legally and morally justified deaths and injuries from successful defensive uses of guns in their totals of dead and injured. They even include justified police shootings!
If you had read the actual decision you would have found that the question of an individual right was supported 9-0 in Heller. The 5-4 decision was about whether the D.C. law infringed upon that right.
If you had read the very next line in the Cruikshank decision you would have discovered “Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” The right to keep and bear arms is a preexisting right. The Second Amendment is a guarantee that it will not be infringed.
If you “will never believe that there’s a Second Amendment right to own a gun” then I guess there really isn’t any more to discuss. Facts and legal decisions are irrelevant to you. But I just have to ask, are you also of the same opinion in regard to the 13th Amendment as well? Should individual states and municipalities be allowed to regulate slaves as they see fit?
If you carefully read his comment above you will notice he has announced phase one of “Reasoned Discourse” (graphic stolen from Robb Allen):
Also note that he says Just One Question “is completely unanswerable”. Nice of him to admit that right up front.
I will not be surprised if phase two, deleting or blocking of comments, occurs shortly.
Have fun with the new toy I found for you guys. Play nice now. Be sure to share your toy with others.
Update June 10, 0800: More comments are coming in. His inability to pay attention to detail is remarkable.
Here’s some statistics on deaths and injuries caused by medical care: http://www.ourcivilisation.com/medicine/usamed/deaths.htm
(with links to supporting documents)
783,936 total iatrogenic deaths annually; 98,000 specifically from medical errors. From these numbers would you make a case that we should ban doctors?
When you look only at the “cost of our love affair with guns” and not the benefits you’re making a case for banning doctors due to the harm they cause.
Another question for you: are all deaths by gunfire bad?
When armed robbers, muggers, psychotic ex-boyfriends, etc. are shot and killed by their intended victims – is that a bad thing? Those people are counted in the statistics you cite.
The plural of anecdote is not data, but anecdotes are useful in understanding the data. See http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/blogger.html for defensive gun use anecdotes.
I took a look at the claytoncreamer site you linked to, and you’re right; you’re talking about anecdotes of people who defend themselves with their guns versus the statistics I presented in my post. I don’t know if the number of people in this country using guns to defend themselves matches the number of suicides/accidental shootings, but I have a feeling they don’t (have to leave it up to someone else who has the time to compile those stats, if they can).
I could find stories of accidental victims of gun violence if I had the time or desire, but Bob Herbert already noted them (happens all too often in Philadelphia, for example, followed by the predictable wailing and gnashing of teeth while nothing changes). And concerning the claytoncreamer site, I have no issue at all if the guns the people used to defend themselves were purchased legally.
Oh, and your suggestion that I would be in favor of banning doctors is so silly that it doesn’t deserve a response.
OK, I just saw the comment including the link to the Keszler study citing (allegedly) two million instances of defensive gun use. Good for you – you made your point.
Just make sure you communicate this information to the families and friends of police officers killed in the line of duty because they’re outmanned by thugs, or families and friends of school children killed by stray fire from drug dealers. God forbid that they impugn your right to own any gun you want whenever you want.
Sorry, I meant the Gary Kleck study – and speaking of which, you might want to look at this.
That criticism of Kleck’s study was published in 1997. A lot of followup studies have been done to address the concerns expressed there and elsewhere. The results keep coming up very close to the same.
Regardless of the actual number any honest advocacy of restrictions on weapons must take into account the benefits as well as the harm attributed to free access. Hence my Just One Question which you say you have no interest in answering.
I therefore can only conclude public safety is not your real objective. Just what is your objective with advocating restrictions on this specific enumerated right?
Update June 10, 0910: Phase two of Reasoned Discourse has been implemented:
Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.