January 31, 2013

“A Debate: The Future of Firearms Laws in the U.S. “

“On Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at Cornell Law School, Alan Gura, a partner in Gura & Possessky P.L.L.C., and Michael Dorf, the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law debated the 2nd Amendment and state gun control laws. Professor Dorf is a constitutional law expert who formerly served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Mr. Gura, a Cornell University undergraduate alumnus, successfully argued the landmark 2nd Amendment Supreme Court cases DC v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010. This event was organized by the Federalist Society and Cornell Law 2nd Amendment Club.”

Lengthy but very interesting, if only because it gives you some clear insight into the way “interpretation” (and what it is we believe ourselves to be doing when we claim to be interpreting) — often (mistakenly or cynically) presented as neutral, but frequently used actively by those whose goal it is to justify or strike down policy, and “reason” backward from a predetermined conclusion — plays the most crucial role in settling law. At least, that’s the subtext.

Everything else is a political game that is enabled by a failure to provide a proper framework for establishing meaning by way of establishing intent.

There’s nothing “fundamentally unserious” about noting this. In fact, it’s been our failure on the right to accept the seriousness of the issue that has greased the skids for a perpetual slide leftward.

Via William Jacobson (h/t newrouter)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 9:55am
7 comments | Trackback

Comments (7)

  1. Mr. Gura, a Cornell University undergraduate alumnus, successfully argued the landmark 2nd Amendment Supreme Court cases DC v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010.

    Both 5-4 decisions, it should be reminded. It’s a very thin reed we cling to.

  2. It’s a very thin reed we cling to.

    The 2nd Amendment does not grant a right; it merely recognizes a self-evident truth. I refuse to see myself as clinging to a thin reed; rather, I prefer to think that the State is the party in peril. On the day that the 5-4 decision goes the other way, the lid comes off Pandora’s Box, and the helplessness of the State to resist tens of millions of free citizens — hell-bent on remaining free — becomes manifest.

    Even if I’m off by a factor of 100, and it’s not 80 million or 8 million but a mere 800,000 who refuse to submit, it’s still more than enough to make life hell for our would-be overlords. God help the Left should their grand plans ever come to fruition. “Careful what you wish for” won’t begin to cover it.

    The Court is not protecting my innate rights. It’s protecting the State’s illusion of supreme power.

  3. The 2nd Amendment does not grant a right; it merely recognizes a self-evident truth

    Unfortunately, while true, that is not how our ruling elite see the thing. A plaque on the new IRS headquarters in Maryland:

    “The Bill of Rights was not ordained by Nature or God.
    It’s very human, very fragile.”

  4. I refuse to see myself as clinging to a thin reed; rather, I prefer to think that the State is the party in peril. On the day that the 5-4 decision goes the other way, the lid comes off Pandora’s Box, and the helplessness of the State to resist tens of millions of free citizens — hell-bent on remaining free — becomes manifest.

    We’ll find out when that day comes. It’s going to be ugly and I’m less certain of the outcome. Have you seen us lately?

  5. The 2nd Amendment does not grant a right; it merely recognizes a self-evident truth

    Unfortunately, while true, that is not how our ruling elite see the thing. A plaque on the new IRS headquarters in Maryland:

    “The Bill of Rights was not ordained by Nature or God.
    It’s very human, very fragile.”

    The growth of this kind of outlook was Hamilton’s principle for opposing the Bill of Rights in the first place, as I recall.

  6. If you establish a principle that limits power, the very first job of those who seek power is to undo those limits, whether by force or guile.

    Among the first tasks of the legal profession was to “reinterpret” our founding documents to limit their application.

    They won’t stop. I don’t know how to “fix” that. A “divorce” won’t work, because it’s not like you can sort out people who seek power, and if you did they’d come at you from the outside.

    Freedom isn’t something you *have*, it’s a constant, unremitting, annoying fight against domineering grafters, grifters and thieves.

  7. What seemed to jump out to me was in particular in the brief intervals when either the audience in questions or the two interlocutors chose to address the issue of arms bearing for purposes of resistance against a government gone sour or tyrannical; for as it seems to me, the issues raised by that mere situation are matters best addressed to lawgivers (founders, as we call them today) as opposed to law-makers (legislators, us, the founders followers on).

    We just aren’t, for the most part, either educated or equipped by occupation to deal with the primal questions lawgivers must consider (their being an extremely rare bunch, most especially if represented by the more successful such). Hence, we tend to shy away from delving any deeper than we might were we in the lawgivers’ rarefied if not lofty position.

    Far better, from our point of view, to stick to the mundane givens and try to apply a narrower set of experiences — like precedent or circumscribed histories — to the questions at hand. Which in turn makes such instances relatively easy pickings for demagogues playing with a susceptible audience (“look at these loons! they actually think to start over!”) to turn the discussion aside from consideration of the fundamental problems of human life.

Leave a Reply