A New York State of Mind
Posted on August 21st, 2007
By Fred in Commentaries, Second Amendment
When I was working in television, I spent quite a bit of time in New York City. There are lots of things about the place I like, but New York gun laws don’t fall in that category.
Anybody who knows me knows I’ve always cared deeply about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. So I’ve always felt sort of relieved when I flew back home to where that particular civil liberty gets as much respect as the rest of the Bill of Rights.
Unfortunately, New York is trying, again, to force its ways on the rest of us, this time through the courts. First, they went after U.S. gun manufacturers, seeking through a lawsuit not only money but injunctive control over the entire industry. An act of congress in 2005 blocked, but did not end, that effort.
Now, the same activist federal judge from Brooklyn who provided Mayor Giuliani’s administration with the legal ruling it sought to sue gun makers, has done it again. Last week, he created a bizarre justification to allow New York City to sue out-of-state gun stores that sold guns that somehow ended up in criminal hands in the Big Apple.
The lawsuit has been a lesson in out-of-control government from the get-go. Mayor Bloomberg sent private investigators to make “straw” purchases – illegally buying guns for somebody else. According to the ATF, NY’s illegal “stings” interfered with ongoing investigations of real gun traffickers.
Obviously, New York won’t get much cash out of the few dozen shops being sued in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia; so the purpose can only be political. Some of those sued have already buckled under the financial strain of legal defense and agreed to live by New York City rules.
Ironically, all of this comes at a time of historically low violent crime rates and historically high gun ownership rates nationally. States where it is legal to carry guns are also at an all-time high, up to 40 from 10 in 1987 by NRA reckoning.
While this attack by New York City on the Second Amendment reinforces the importance of appointing judges who apply the law as written, there is another important legal point. Federalism, though usually seen as a protection of the states from the federal government, actually grew out of the need to protect states from other states that interfered in free commerce beyond their borders – as New York is doing today. In this case, we need Federalism to protect states from a big bully in New York City.
See also: NY Times on Fred, 2nd Amendment and politics
From the NYT article: Mr. Giuliani was a strong proponent of gun control in his days as a federal prosecutor and later as mayor of New York. As mayor he called for a national system of gun licensing, and broke with many Republicans to back a ban on assault rifles.
But such views could put him at odds with some of the conservative voters who wield influence in a Republican primary — a tension that Mr. Thompson may have been trying to call attention to with his Web posting.
Mr. Giuliani’s campaign Web site calls him a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
The Web site contains a video of Mr. Giuliani discussing the issue. “My position is that whatever my personal view is, the Constitution of the United States decides this,” he said in the video. “The Constitution of the United States says that you have a personal right to carry arms, to have arms.”
As a Jew, I am always concerned when smug liberals tell me that the personal safety of my family and myself is limited to what the government can do to protect me. I am further concerned when that same government says, you can't have a firearm. Where have we heard this before? Why should I believe this nonsense given the course of Jewish and human history? Bear in mind, I am not apocalyptic nor I am paranoid, expecting a Cossack run at my house. But I do understand the lessons of history. And, I do understand how balance of power plays out in costs and benefits.
The Republican party has consistently supported the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution assures that Americans have a right to own firearms. This is not a debate despite the liberal think tank deliverables to the fading few who still listen to them. Despite the tear-filled eyes of vast numbers of Democrat party members, the debate is essentially closed. Americans have a right to own firearms.
Why then is it that candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, mayor Rudy Giuliani, an advocate for gun control wants my vote? What is the mayor's opinion of the attempt by a federal court in NYC to sue firearms salesmen in other states? Why does it seem that in regards to bellwether Republican party issues does the mayor have to repeatedly defer to the logic of 'it isn't my opinion that matters'?
According to the article Giuliani's website "calls him a strong supporter of the Second Amendment". Maybe the mayor's website and the NRA website should discuss this matter? And if the mayor has always believed that the Constitution guarantees the right to own and carry firearms, did he ever say so before his Presidential campaign? What happened to federalism? Why does he believe his personal beliefs are more important than the solemn rights of the people granted by the US Constitution? His history of stiff gun control policies would seem to answer these inquiries.
Please see the interesting comments and informational posters found on the A-Human-Right website. The writer was born in the old Soviet Union and is Jewish. He understands how the tyranny of authoritarianism/totalitarianism is dependant on disarming the citizenry.
From A Human Right website
Historic precedents of this kind are depressingly numerous. We cannot open a history textbook and pick even a decade in which genocide and government oppression of civilians were absent. Where most people are defenseless, even small numbers of ill-meaning agents of a government or an organized criminal group have murdered thousands with impunity.
Even the pretexts for the imposition of strict gun control remain constant. The 1938 German weapons control law, which stripped Jews of all weapons, including sticks, was enacted as a response to "Jewish terrorist activities". The 1968 laws adopted in the United States were based closely on the 1938 German law and cited very similar reasons for the enactment.