The Right to Bear Which Arms? – 2A Interpretation and the Federalist Papers | The Truth About Guns

The 2020 presidential campaigns have just begun, but on the issue of gun control, we’re already hearing a common refrain from numerous candidates: The Second Amendment does not protect anyone’s right to own, as they put it, “weapons of war”…

Source: The Right to Bear Which Arms? – 2A Interpretation and the Federalist Papers | The Truth About Guns

But of course, as the linked essay accurately points out, this point of view is absolutely and categorically incorrect. In fact, it is 180° false and wrong-headed. It is precisely ownership of “weapons of war” that the Second Amendment does protect! As Mark Houser, author of this essay, puts it,

“The Second Amendment unambiguously protects our right to own ‘weapons of war.’ That is, weapons suitable not just for sport, but for combat.

“Many people find this obvious. It’s hard to imagine what else the Second Amendment could possibly be intended to do. James Madison wrote the Second Amendment in the aftermath of a bloody war for independence from a tyrannical empire. The first shots of that war were fired to resist disarmament. Can anyone truly believe that Madison wrote the Second Amendment with, say, hunting or target shooting in mind? It’s a preposterous notion.”

And he also correctly notes that

“Gun control proponents are quick to point out that Madison and his contemporaries didn’t imagine the sort of weapons that exist today. That’s probably true, but it’s irrelevant to the question at hand.

“We don’t say that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to typed or online publications simply because the Framers did not imagine typewriters or the internet. We don’t say that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to search and surveillance capabilities that the Framers did not imagine, such as GPS tracking.”

The Anglophilic Anglican adds: although that will be next, if we lose the 2nd Amendment – the one that guarantees all the others. Or maybe the 1st Amendment will be the next victim. By that point, it hardly matters… At any rate, Houser continues:

“Technological development doesn’t change the fundamental nature of the rights that the Bill of Rights seeks to secure.”

Amen. Read the whole thing. It’s worth it. We need to understand these matters, and be clear about them when it comes to political discourse! For too long we have let the Left define the terms of the argument. That needs to change.

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On the importance of civility, decency, and subsidiarity | Jonah Goldberg | National Review

“The idea that [civility and decency]… are what’s holding social conservatives back from ‘victory’ in the culture war strikes me as one of the most preposterous claims to be taken seriously by intelligent conservatives in recent memory.”

Source: Jonah Goldberg’s G-File: Endings & Beginnings | National Review

Goldberg takes a long while to get to the point (forgivable, since it’s a farewell column), but when he does, it’s a point I agree with:

“[The solution to the problems facing our country] isn’t to get the best right-wing technocrats to run the economy and the culture. It’s to deny the state the power to run either. Send power back to the communities where people live [emphasis added]. If North Dakota wants to be a theocracy, that’s fine by me as long as the Bill of Rights is respected. If California wants to turn itself into Caligula’s court, I’ll criticize it, but go for it.

“The enemy here is the state, because by aggrandizing to itself the power to tell people how to live, people put all of the blame on a far-off government in Washington — or even more distant ‘globalists’ — for their problems. Federalism, part of the forgotten portions of the Bill of Rights, is the only system that lets the most people live the way they want to live, in communities they have power to influence and direct. In a real community, there are no faceless ‘powers that be.’ There’s Phil and Sarah, or even Mom and Dad.

“And the glorious thing about this kind of pluralism — i.e., for communities, not just individuals — is that if the community you’re living in isn’t conducive to your notion of happiness or virtue, you can move somewhere that is. We want more institutions that give us a sense of meaning and belonging, not a state that promises to deliver all of it for you.”

This is (as Goldberg points out) precisely the Catholic social principle of subsidiarity, with which I also agree: the principle that things should be done by the smallest and most local group / organization / entity that is capable of doing them.

“Keep it local,” in other words. Respect difference and distinctiveness. Celebrate real diversity, not the ersatz, politically-defined version (actually identicality and sameness) I have often written against here. Allow people – no, not “allow,” recognize and embrace people’s right to – true self-expression, and self-determination… even if it’s not politically correct. Maybe especially if it’s not!

Goldberg is square on when he notes that

“It’s a cliché to say that nationalism’s resurgence is a response to globalization. Obviously, there’s truth to that. Less discussed is the fact that American nationalism — both on the right and the left — is a response to, well, nationalization.”

In other words, we have forgotten federalism, as expressed perhaps most precisely and succinctly in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, the last right enumerated (not granted: recall that we are “endowed by our Creator” – not the government! – “with certain inalienable rights”) by the Bill of Rights:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

We have lost sight of that, in our march “from sea to shining sea,” and the creation of an American empire (though without the name), and it is to our very great detriment!

We need to get it back.

 

‘Blue Wave’ turns out to be more like a ripple | NY Post

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President Trump called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi late Tuesday to congratulate her on the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives.

Source: ‘Blue Wave’ turns out to be more like a ripple | NY Post

Well, Election Day is over, and although not all the ballots are counted as of yet, it’s possible to make some overall observations. One of those is that Americans are still probably more moderate – even if that is defined only as “resistant to radical change and/or extremism” – that die-hard partisans on either side would like to admit.

The so-called Democratic “Blue Wave,” so touted just months ago, was already giving signs of ebbing well before yesterday’s election; to the point that some on the right-hand side of the political aisle were beginning to make hopeful noises about a “Red Wave,” instead. That did not happen.

The Democrats picked up +/- 30 seats in the House, giving them a majority there. This should come as a surprise to no one; historically, the party of the President nearly always loses at least one House of Congress – usually both – in the midterm elections. It would have been almost epochal, from a political perspective, if the Republicans had managed to hang onto both Houses.

What is a bit of a surprise is that the GOP not only held onto their Senate majority, but actually added a couple of seats to it. That is very unusual for a midterm election: for the governing party to not only hold onto the Senate, but increase their representation there. They also made gains in statehouses across the country, adding more Republican governors than they lost to the Democrats.

And even in the House, the much-vaunted “Blue Wave” was not much more than a ripple: as of 10:15 this morning, just a few minutes ago at this writing, the New York Times was reporting that the the Dems had picked up only 27 seats (28 as of 9:10 p.m., a bare 10 more than they needed to gain control). While there are still a few contests that are too close to call, compare this to the 63 seats the Democrats lost to the Republicans in 2010, the first midterm of Obama’s presidency, or the 54 in Bill Clinton’s.

Although gridlock can be bad, in that it prevents anything of significance from actually getting done, it can be good, at times, as it helps to prevent either side from going too far, too fast, in promoting its ideological agenda. I would like to think that the outcome of yesterday’s elections is a sign of America’s fundamental moderation, and impatience with extremism on either side, as I suggested in my opening paragraph.

And so it may be. But it’s also possible that it points, instead, to the the growing and hardening of the political gulf between segments of an American voting populace that is split almost down the middle between conservative / populist / traditionalist and liberal / globalist / progressive viewpoints.

If so, the challenges to our “American experiment” may be only growing, as well.

 

Election Day 2018 (U.S.)

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Today is the day of the midterm general elections, here in the United States. I took advantage of the “early voting” option to exercise my franchise last week, and as I commented at the time, I was very far from the only one!

But as I drove past Mechanicsville Elementary in Gamber, on the way home from work this evening at around 6:40, it was still busy, only a bit over an hour before the polls closed. And the same was true of every polling place I drove past, all day today, and I drove past quite a few of them.

Whatever else can be said about this election cycle, it’s got people stirred up! That’s more to the good than otherwise, I think, regardless of the outcome; in order for our representative, Constitutional Republic to operate effectively, it needs an informed, active electorate. Active they certainly seem to be, this time around – I just hope they’re also informed!

An Anglican clergyman friend of mine posted the following on Facebook today:

As I was driving away from the polling place today I was struck by the thought that I, a Christian monarchist, have resolved to be active in local republicanism. What can I say? There is no king, Christian or otherwise, running for office or who has a chance of being forcibly enthroned by holy reactionary forces. You gotta work with what you have in order to keep the modern Jacobins at bay, but it ain’t ideal.

I am an American Anglican. As an Anglican, monarchy is the natural polity, but as an American, I stand for the traditional rights of Englishmen that modern England and the rest of the UK and the Commonwealth have sold for a mess of collectivist, leftist and PC pottage.

King George III was right, I believe, about how the liberated colonies would come to suffer unduly for the lack of a monarchy, but England and the UK have given up the ghost. The House of Windsor is a vapid imitation of the Kings that went before it, and only in American republicanism is found the true tradition of the Anglo-Saxon kings of old, albeit in a diluted form.

I am an Anglican, and I therefore stand for the Monarch.

But I also stand for the Bill of Rights, which is an enumeration of the rights of Englishmen, and that’s why I will assist in leveraging the republican way here in Henderson County, North Carolina against the forces of American Jacobism and Bolshevism and the clueless “liberals” to their right.

He speaks, in large measure, for me as well. Until the King comes again, the form of government bequeathed to us by our Founders (“A Republic, Madam… if you can keep it!” as Franklin put it) – and to the greatest extent possible, as our Founders bequeathed it to us – is our best available shot at keeping the forces of darkness at bay.

But this election is a concerning one. Those forces of darkness are very strong, and although the mask is slipping, that also means they are relieved of the moderating effects of pretense and subterfuge. We live in trying times…

Woman admits she didn’t write anonymous sexual-assault claim against Brett Kavanaugh | Business Insider

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Justice Brett Kavanaugh, right, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, left, arrives to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 4, 2018. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

“The Committee is grateful to citizens who come forward with relevant information in good faith, even if they are not one hundred percent sure about what they know,” Grassley said. “But when individuals intentionally mislead the Committee, they divert Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations and materially impede our work.”

Source: Woman admits she didn’t write anonymous sexual-assault claim against Brett Kavanaugh – Business Insider

This is why one cannot simply and uncritically “believe the woman” (or anyone else, for that matter), as activists stridently chanted during the Kavanaugh hearings. Even good-faith allegations may still be in error – incorrectly remembered or simply mistaken. And then you get this sort of thing!

This should also be a cautionary tale about the idea that “if there’s enough smoke, there must be fire somewhere”: additional uncorroborated allegations do not corroborate the initial uncorroborated allegation. #metoo…? Well, this woman said “me, too” – and she lied. And unfortunately, like the proverbial “boy who cried wolf,” such false accusations actually harm women who have genuinely been assaulted, by calling into question the veracity of their accusations. Continue reading “Woman admits she didn’t write anonymous sexual-assault claim against Brett Kavanaugh | Business Insider”

Trump’s Critics Are Wrong about the 14th Amendment and Birthright Citizenship | National Review

Donald Trump’s critics are wrong. Birthright citizenship is not mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Source: Trump’s Critics Are Wrong about the 14th Amendment and Birthright Citizenship | National Review

President Trump’s iconoclastic (from the standpoint of the currently-dominant – and socio-politically Left-wing – national narrative), or classic (from the standpoint of history and, I would argue, right reason) stance on immigration issues is not limited to stopping caravans of border-crashing migrants, but also overturning the doctrine of “birthright citizenship”: the idea that anyone born within the borders of the United States is thereby a citizen of the United States.

This concept is a powerful draw for illegal immigration, since it means that the child of illegal immigrants, if born in America, will be an American citizen – and it thereby becomes both legally and morally difficult, if not impossible, to deport the parent(s) of an American citizen.

Thus the concept of “anchor babies,” since the child then provides an “anchor” tethering the illegal immigrant to the United States. The President, and many others (myself included), see this as unjust and unfair to present American citizens, including of course legal immigrants who have done the hard work of gaining their citizenship.

But what is the law, and what does the Constitution (the highest law of the land) say on the subject? That is where the debate rages, especially now that the President has returned to this campaign theme. Continue reading “Trump’s Critics Are Wrong about the 14th Amendment and Birthright Citizenship | National Review”

Trump will keep America safe by blocking migrant caravan at border | USA Today (op-ed)

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Members of the Arizona National Guard in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 9, 2018 (Photo: Caitlin O’Hara/AFP/Getty Images).

Trump will stop the caravan, defend our border, keep out criminals, and protect America. Democrats want to abolish ICE and keep a weak asylum system.

Source: Trump will keep America safe by blocking migrant caravan at border

“Another ‘caravan’ of several thousand illegal aliens is marching towards our southern border, and the Democrats want to lay out the welcome mat…

“These Central American caravaners make it very clear that they want to enter the United States, and they don’t really care what the people of the United States have to say about it. Singing their national anthems and carrying their national flags, the would-be invaders scoff at the notion that immigration laws apply to them.”

Precisely so. I will be honest, here: I would be a lot more inclined to welcome these people if they were waving American flags and singing “God Bless America.” But they are not. This is a clear challenge to our borders, to our territorial integrity, and therefore, to our national sovereignty. They are, in fact, invaders. Continue reading “Trump will keep America safe by blocking migrant caravan at border | USA Today (op-ed)”