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.

Killer Statistics

My blogging co-host Stacy McCain has a post up called Who is Murdering Whom? which deals with where in America homicides are really occurring. (The Gentle Reader will notice that Stacy gets the cases of his pronouns correct.) The short answer to that question is: generally in cities which have been run by the same party for decades.

The top five killing zones, along with their rates of murders per 100,000, are:

St. Louis 55.5 (about the same as Venezuela)
Detroit 45.0 (about the same as Jamaica)
New Orleans 44.4 (about the same as Jamaica)
Chicago 28.3 (a bit worse than Brazil)
Washington 19.9 (notably worse than Namibia and Mexico)

The U.S. national rate for murders is 5.3 per 100,000—which is below the world average of 6.2.

It’s worth noting that essentially all of the countries with murder rates worse that ours have very strict gun control laws. The countries with lower murder rates are a mixed bag, but two stand out. Switzerland, where there is a militia weapon in almost every household, has a murder rate of 0.69. Israel, which is awash in military weapons, has to include murders committed by Palestinian terrorists to get its rate up to 1.4.


Don’t Know Much About History

The kids marching in the Children’s Crusade for gun control this past weekend seem to believe that they are on the Right Side of History. I believe that they are misinformed. Indeed, they don’t seem to know enough about History to understand the dangers of being on its Right Side. There’s a good post over at Brickmuppet Blog that talks about some of those dangers.

There have been many Right Sides of History over the past 150 years or so. Social Darwinism justified racism. Postmillennialism led to a social gospel that brought us Prohibition. Marxism … well, Marxism is in a class by itself, being even more deadly than National Socialism. Most of the 20th-century was burdened by our betters trying to make one or more of these work in the Real World.

So by the 1930’s hopelessness and nihilism were universally accepted as the right side of history….

Well, not really, because those aging Fabians and their ilk had determined that history was still on the side of central planning, expansive government and direct solutions those annoying problems that confront us all….

…and so those on the right side of history wisely and virtuously gave support to various strong central governments uninhibited by voter interference who could deal with those issues, most notably the U.S.S.R., which people on the right side of history cleverly recognized as the last best hope.

It’s good that our betters figured that out, because it turned out that in the 20th century alone there were about 130 million people on the wrong side of history.

Actually, there were lots more, but the rest of the ignorant bastards got away …

That was then; this is now.

Today the right side of history is populated by those who wish to make the people safer by disarming them, those who take seriously the free flow of information and their responsibility to stifle it and, as always, those who acknowledge the utter sub-humanity and atavistic inferiority of honkies…well, the ones who aren’t well connected or don’t live in Tony zip codes.

Read the whole thing.