An Attempted Totalitarian Twofer

A New York Senate bill would, if passed into law, require that the purchaser of any firearm

consent to have his or her social media accounts reviewed and investigated pursuant to subdivision four of this section …

Such a law would clearly violate rights secured by both the First and Second Amendments. Eugene Volokh offers an analysis of the bills constitutional deficiencies here and concludes with these words—

But remember: No-one is trying to take away your guns, or your freedom of speech.

Read the whole thing.

High-Capacity Credit Cards

Andrew Ross Sorkin has an article over at NYT reporting that some people who have used firearms in mass shooting bought their guns using credit cards.

Well, duh. Most firearms cost at least several hundred dollars, and most purchases for items that expensive are paid for using either credit or debit cards. Fifty years ago, such purchases would have likely been paid for with checks. Either method is more secure than cash, but whether an electronic or a paper transaction, the funds would have been routed through the buyer’s and seller’s banks.

Sorkin seems to think that banks should be monitoring transactions related to firearms in order to … well, someone has to do something to keep those people in flyover country from buying guns. And if the government won’t because of that pesky Second Amendment, the banks should step forward.

<sarc>Maybe Sorkin is right. It could be that we have a problem with high-capacity credit cards falling into the wrong hands. The Progressive states limit access to normal-capacity firearm magazines to specially-approved individuals. Perhaps most people should be prohibited from possessing high-capacity credit cards and only be allowed debit cards with a ten-dollar daily limit. Anyone with a legitimate need to spend a larger sum can plan ahead and withdraw cash from his bank account in a face-to-face transaction that can be subjected to a proper background check.</sarc>

His 15 Minutes of Fame Just Ran Out

David Hogg’s usefulness as a progressive prop has not only expired, it has backfired. The NRA’s membership is spiking upward, and so are Laura Ingraham’s ratings. Now, polling is beginning to show that concern for gun rights is increasing the likelihood of increased Republican turnout for the fall elections.

Game over.

Justice Stevens v. The Bill of Rights

Retired Justice John Paul Steven’s recent op-ed calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment shouldn’t have surprised anyone. After all, it was he who wrote the dissent in Citizens United v. FEC. In that decision the majority wrote, “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.” He dissented in Heller v. D.C., the case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Justice Steven’s op-ed contains poor legal reasoning, but, from a Progressive’s historical perspective, correct political reasoning. If judges can’t interpret the Constitution to allow acceptable results, then Progressives will just have to amend it.

Progressives have worked to amend the Constitution when it got in their way in the past. That’s where the Sixteenth (Income Tax) and Seventeenth (Popular Vote Election of Senators) Amendments came from in the early years of the 20th Century. Some conservative commentators are reacting to calls for the repeal of various sections of the Bill of Rights by saying, “Go ahead. Try to get two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states.” Progressives will try, and they’ve been successful in the past. They were almost successful with the Equal Rights Amendment.

There’s a fight on the horizon, and it won’t only be about the Second Amendment.

Judicial Senility

Say what you like about Maryland’s judicial system, but it gets one thing correct. On the last day of the month of a Maryland judge’s 70th birthday, he reaches “judicial senility” and must retire. Retired judges may be recalled to hear cases when active judges aren’t available (vacations, illness, a surge in case load, etc.), but most trials and most appeals are heard by active, younger jurists.

Retired Justice Steven’s embarrassing recent op-ed in the New York Times is an example of why Maryland’s policy has some merit. DaTechGuy has a post over at his blog fisking that op-ed.

In 2008, the Supreme Court overturned Chief Justice Burger’s and others’ long-settled understanding of the Second Amendment’s limited reach by ruling, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that there was an individual right to bear arms.  And Brown vs Board of Education overturned long-settled understandings on race?  Did that make it illegitimate?  I was among the four dissenters.  You lost an argument, it happens.

And …

You know what’s really scary about this piece, the fact the realization that a person this out of touch was deciding the laws of this nation for decades.

Read the whole thing.