March 3, 2010

Discussion from another blog

A couple days ago I mentioned a new blog I was following, then had to qualify my support because on the very next day it appeared like the blogger, a bloke calling himself Tao, was taking a shot at 2A firearm rights. Tao clarified that he was not a gun-grabber, and I've enjoyed responding to some challenges he tossed my way.

Yesterday I posted a long comment in answer to a series of comments and questions, then this morning I decided to make some observations on his closing comments, which I had not addressed in my first reply. Rather than pollute Tao's place with any more of my inane rantings, I figured I would bring it here.

In responding to my assertions that prohibitions of gun ownership by law-abiding citizens, Tao raises some issues relating to the Law of Unintended Consequences, and how striking the Chicago ban down on 14A grounds might affect other legal constructs.

Tao first asks…

"Then do realize that by using this argument to change existing thinking the Supreme Court will now have solidified Roe Vs. Wade and the anti sodomy laws that also used the 14th Amendment to overturn them. "

And then states…

"You will also find yourself in a few years with this very case being used to overturn any state bans on gay marriage and abortion."

My Response:

Tao. I spent some time trying to understand your underlying meaning in this assertion. Since I apparently misjudged your intent in the message to which I first responded, I do not want to be guilty of the same misstep again. But try as I may I cannot read between your lines. Are you indicating that you favor or oppose these local prohibitions?

In the very first message on your blog you indicated you wished to address truth, and avoid ideology. An admirable goal, but not necessarily one that is easily accomplished. Truth is in the eye of the beholder, and the local prohibition laws you reference are manifestations of what the locals consider truths. Others apparently disagree, or there wouldn't be challenges rising to the level of the Supreme Court.

It is my position, and I believe it was the base position of our founders, that every individual should be allowed whatever "truth" in which that individual chooses to believe, but that the individual should not be permitted to impose ideology on others against their will. Therefore, any and all controls on individuals should be behavior based, and reactionary in nature. Preemptory control of thought or expression, or prohibitions based upon possible behavior, would violate this philosophy.

As an example, the Chicago gun ban infringes on Mr. McDonald's rights, and does so without constitutionally allowed reason. Mr. McDonald is not a criminal. He has no record other than an honorable military record. There is no indication that Mr. McDonald is in any way mentally impaired. He presents no apparent danger, either to himself or others. The ban, which is based upon a majority vote, violated an individual right and is therefore unconstitutional.

So any prohibition of thought or expression imposed on unwilling individuals, or of behavior not directly and adversely affecting others, is a violation of that individual’s natural rights.

When the state, by the will of the majority, prohibits me from possessing a firearm, and this prohibition is arbitrary (not based upon condition or behavior), the state is in violation of law. The same would apply if I were prohibited from possessing a Bible, a copy of the Communist Manifesto, or a frying pan.

Equally heinous are laws prohibiting me from marrying another male simply because I am male myself, or a female from marrying another female, or prohibitions of certain sex acts and/or positions when the partners are of the age of majority and consenting. Prohibiting this behavior represents the imposition of ideology, and should therefore be ruled unconstitutional.

Abortion is a can of worms. Determining the point at which life starts; when the zygote becomes an individual, is a tough question and one which I am unprepared to address. Abortion disturbs me, but I do not really know why, and I cannot say that the practice should be illegal. I have insufficient knowledge to make an informed judgment, and thus will not impose my ideology-based opinion. I do not have that right, and neither does the state.

In summary, the laws you mention (with the possible exception of abortion) are infringements on individual liberties. Just like the Chicago across-the-board ban on personal ownership of firearms, they represent the will of the majority being imposed unconstitutionally upon a minority.


TAO said...

I think we blog not in an effort to change anyone elses opinion but rather to refine and or develop are own thoughts...

At least I hope! Changing the opinions of others is a wee bit more work than what I would plan to put into bloggin!

From a personal perspective Gun Control and Abortion are very similar issues. I don't own a gun but I acknowledge that you should have the freedom to own one...or as many as you want.

In regards to abortion, I find it apalling...

But, I find telling someone else what to do with their body, or in their personal life decisions, is even more against the grain of what I believe in.

Its an authority thing: I don't like authority and I do not like having authority over others...

I do believe that individual responsiblity is tantamount for the continuation of society and what we need to figure out is other ways to develop a sense of responsibility in individuals rather than replacing the lack of responsibility with laws.

I do fear this upcoming decision of the Supreme Court because it will give, if not written very tightly, lots of openings for the Federal Government to step in and usurp local and state government power.

The right to bear arms and the right to assemble are two areas where the supreme court has always given states latitude to do what they will. As an individual I can have more influence on local legislation than I can have on federal legislation.