“Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor suspends a constitutional right?”
He was talking about the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, of course.
Thomas was right to raise the question, since even though all of our rights have been demoted to conditional privileges, the 2nd Amendment is under special attack these days.
And despite Thomas, our Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot-leaning SCOTUS ultimately decided that, of course a misdemeanor is sufficient to suspend a constitutional right. What isn’t?
I’m not a “gun nut” by any stretch. I love almost every other kind of gadget, device, machine or app. But I’m not a fan of guns. I’m not fond of what they do.
But the 2nd Amendment isn’t about guns. It’s about violence, and trust. I hate violence, and I definitely don’t trust politicians with a monopoly on it. It’s THEIR guns that most need restraint.
But humans, particularly in groups, are very emotional creatures. Where there’s a conflict between fact and feelings, feelings almost always win.
…Because it’s not the emotions of love and loyalty and empathy that drive humankind’s political governments.
No, it’s fear, and greed and envy and sloth and…all the evil stuff.
Our politicians, under that abstract incantation we call “government.”
It’s politicians – specifically our own politicians, invoking and blaspheming the common good while fanning the flames of all our worst emotions – that take away the freedom that’d be ours if left alone.
And it’s why people even consider the catchy but crazy “no fly, no buy” talk in the US Congress.
Yes, The Home of the Brave is terrified; so much so that The Land of The Free is surrendering even more of its tattered freedoms to promises of security from our entrenched, corrupt, arrogant, lying, thieving, heavily armed and violent ruling class.
While there can be some reasonable debate whether more guns mean less crime, or what the 2nd Amendment is really all about, there’s really no denying that gun control laws don’t work as politicians claim they do.
As the gun control debate has been going on for centuries now, there’s plenty of objective evidence demonstrating that, considering that some cultures are just more violent than others, gun control laws are, at best, ineffective. The pro-gun control arguments I’ve ever read or heard so far rely on either post hoc ergo propter hoc or false-choice logical fallacies, or disgorged-from-the-gut emotion. And only the purely emotional arguments for gun control suggest that gun laws would actually work.
No Fly, No Buy is No Different in terms of any promised effects.
I’m not objecting to the No Fly, No Buy marketing campaign just because of that; or because our increasingly militarized empire is pushing for a political monopoly on weapons, or because it’s another example of bureaucrats with too much power. And it’s not just that we beleaguered taxpayers are expected to arm everybody on the planet except ourselves.
I’m more concerned with how our political emotions work on the fundamental, psychological and even religious level.
We excuse the deceit, transgenerational theft, corruption and destruction inherent in politics because our fear, hatred and envy lead us pray to the false gods of politics for protection and vengeance. Wise people knew this to be unwise, so we’ve got some very excellent constitutions, state and federal, to keep a leash on our tendency to, for example, sacrifice our children to the whims of state.
But that wisdom has been discarded, and our government is now completely ungoverned. The regulators are unregulated, and the police are unpoliced.
The No-Fly, No-Buy canard isn’t just the abrogation of the enumerated rights to arms and due process; it stomps on the whole point of constitutional rule of law –
Our government has always kept secret lists of people, and there’ve been secret, but less-formal no fly lists for decades, enough has been said about the No Fly list as it exists today. The FBI and TSA denied it existed for the first 2.5 years of its now-acknowledged existence, which is plenty to lead us to suspicion about this embarrassment.
But the fear and loathing represented by this list are not only our nation’s recurrent gestalt, it’s what’s been, through the past one hundred years nurturing, fomenting, exacerbating and elevating to godhood a costly military industrial complex and thieving, murderous racket.
I’d recently written about our Middle East Madness; and by now we all know that our own government creates, trains, arms and funds our enemies such that we end up in war against ourselves all over the world.
I’ll wrap this up with some context:
Our militarized police anti-constitutionally/criminally take more property than do all other criminals combined; and you’re 58 times more likely to be killed by cops than by terrorists. But it’s politicians who’ve increasingly put police into their ever-more adversarial role. And as already mentioned above, our politicians lie about pretty much everything all the time. They’ve destroyed their moral authority to issue speeding tickets; they hardly deserve any trust with a secretive, heavily armed, and globally aggressive crony network with control of nuclear weapons and our sources of information, education, food and water.
I say we run, not walk, in the opposite direction.
Over two thousand years ago Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “The more laws, the less justice.” We know that the “War on Terror” has dramatically increased terrorism. I think facts support the notion that the less politics we tolerate, the more security, prosperity and of course, freedom, we’ll enjoy. So I suggest that instead of more laws, we nullify our way out of this corrupt and complex tangle we’ve made of our nation, and try, at long last, what our wisest founders hoped we’d actually become; a nation where all are equal under law, and where prosperity and security come from liberty, and justice, for all.