Friday, July 17, 2009

The Right to Bear Arms and Proactive Imprisonment

Watching this little excerpt of the Sotomayor confirmation hearings, I had a bit of an epiphany regarding elected Republicans.

So, as an elected Republican, there are a few stances you are expected to take -- abortion is wrong, firearms are a fundamental right, poor people are bad -- but the firearm thing is kind of a nuisance, because people shoot each other with them. Nobody in the DC area was particularly tolerant of John Malvo, but if you think people's right to bear sniper rifles can not be infringed that sort of thing is difficult to stop.

The only way to maintain this unfettered access to all sorts of weapons is to develop predictive models about who might use them to shoot you or your constituents, and lock them up. John Malvo was an illegal alien, caught and released when he immigrated. If we kept all illegal aliens locked up indefinitely, he could not have killed anyone. If the Guantanamo inmates stay in Cuba forever, they're not shooting anyone here. Every moment that one in three black men spend behind bars, they're not exercising their constitutional rights to wander the Halls of Congress with handguns (Hey! Wait a minute! Even when the Republican Party was in power, that right was infringed. They've got metal detectors and humorless guards at the door! Cynthia McKinney was forced to strike one!)

While the GOP looks like histrionic cowards whenever they talk about law and order related issues, it's simply because they're trying to preserve everyone's right to take out a room full of people at a whim. You have to remove all the citizens who might do that for this to be a working philosophy.

1 comment:

mark said...

poor people ARE bad.... just look at me and the reprobates I hang with, but wouldn't it be nice if society were so cut and dry that all the nasty little names and motivations we hang on those we dislike were actually true? Ah, to dream, to perchance to sleep.