Is the Constitution even taught anymore?

I hadn’t really planned to keep talking about Giuliani’s speech to the NRA (which I had mentioned here on Wednesday), but a few things I have read about that were said (a couple of them in Rudy’s speech, and another about it) are egregious enough to provoke me to lobbing a virtual rotten tomato or two.

Not many surprises in Rudy’s speech–it was pretty much what one would expect from a politician with a long, clear record of outright hostility to gun rights, who is now trying to pretend he’s a balding version of Charlton Heston. Reuters, though, quoted him as saying something worthy of a look:

“You should know I understand that the right to bear arms is just as important a right in that Constitution as the right of free speech and the other rights … It’s not going to change, unless something dramatic has happened to make it change, and then I’ll explain to you why,” he said. [emphasis mine]

“Not going to change, unless something dramatic has happened“? What the hell do you mean, “dramatic”? The Cubs going to the World Series? The world coming to an end (but I repeat myself)? It seems to me that the kind of “dramatic” events that would tempt a president to revoke the Second Amendment (which would be an act of treason, and a capital offense) are likely to be just the kinds of things that make the Second Amendment so essential.

Another interesting segment of his speech somehow escaped my notice, until I read about it at War on Guns.

“After all the second amendment is a freedom every bit as important as the other freedoms in the first ten amendments. Just think of the language of it — ‘the people shall be secure’ –let’s see, this is my wife calling…”

I agree with Stop the ACLU that “What Rudy was quoting was most likely the 4th Amendment.” But I’ll go a step further and charge that the “well timed phone call [that] saved him” was a transparent manipulation of the audience–some of whom dutifully applauded. My money says it was a staffer telling him he was entering a swamp of no return.

I realize that it would be too much for today’s Americans to ask that a person with aspirations to be president learn the entire Bill of Rights, but was it just too much work for him to learn the text of the Second Amendment before presenting a speech to gun rights advocates?

Speaking of mangling the Second Amendment, let’s go to something said about Rudy’s speech. This is from an article in RealClearPolitics, about a FOX News “roundtable” discussion about Giuliani’s speech. This is the part that caught my eye (and raised my hackles, and threatened to induce vomiting).

MORT KONDRA[C]KE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ROLL CALL: I saw a clip of the head of another gun organization saying that Giuliani’s problem is that he interprets the Second Amendment as applying differently in cities and in rural areas.

The Parker case, which is the D.C. case, where the court of appeals has thrown out the District of Columbia’s restrictions on gun ownership is going to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And I hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will say it says there “A well regulated militia being necessary to protect the country, the right of the people to own guns should not be impaired,” that they really think that a militia is part of the important thing, and will allow urban areas like New York under Rudy Giuliani to restrict gun sales, and that the Second Amendment does apply in different cases.

Of course, that is not the NRA position. They do have an extremist position. Any gun restriction on gun ownership is off the charts. Machine guns, bombs, whatever you want, you can have it, it’s your constitutional right. I don’t think that’s what the framers had in mind.

His position, while I find it contemptible, does not surprise me–he’s from Chicago, after all. What disturbs me is the absolute butchery he inflicted on the Second Amendment. I honestly don’t know if he really is that ignorant of the Bill of Rights, or if by misquoting it so badly, he was trying to make some kind of point (although what that point would be, I have no idea).

I do agree with Mort (and with Rudy’s old position, that he has now abandoned–wink wink, nudge nudge) on one thing, though–the NRA has become extreme. Extremely willing to compromise the rights of American citizens, that is; extremely conciliatory to the civilian disarmament lobby; and extremely committed to a policy of appeasement.

So when are gun owners going to get extremely fed up?

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5 Responses to “Is the Constitution even taught anymore?”

  1. straightarrow Says:

    Kondrake would be an idiot if he were smarter

  2. JR Says:

    “You should know I understand that the right to bear arms is just as important a right in that Constitution as the right of free speech and the other rights … It’s not going to change, unless something dramatic has happened to make it change, and then I’ll explain to you why,” he said.

    This is why I will never support Rudi. He does not just feel this way on the 2nd amendment, he feels this way on every portion of the Bill of Rights. That he can follow, or not follow them based on circumstances.

    He is a dangerous man and he scares me just as much as Klinton the Second.

  3. crotalus Says:

    I think we had “something dramatic” in the form of Katrina, so look for a lot more “dramatic event” confiscations.

  4. Don Gwinn Says:

    I wouldn’t worry about it. It would take something unimaginably big to change his mind. Like, if a natural disaster wiped out a major American city and there were hysterical tales of looters raping corpses. Or if terrorists somehow pulled off a large-scale attack on American soil with massive casualties, that might do it.

    But other than that, he’s ROCK SOLID.

  5. 45superman Says:

    What–you mean no one is going to say anything about my Cubs joke? I cracked myself up with that.

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