Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just "Ideas?"

"Again, for the slow class, constitutional “rights” are just ideas, they are NOT self validating...."

- Commenter Dorian Gray

I'm pretty sure I remember reading something about being endowed with certain inherent, inalienable, pre-existing rights. I'm also damn sure that the Bill of RIGHTS codified specific limits upon the powers of government. It's pretty amazing that someone could have such a poor grasp of history that they could actually say Constitutional rights are mere "ideas."

Think any self-respecting liberal would say the same if the topic were freedom of speech, press, religion, or jury trial rather than guns?

As far as things being up for interpretation. The term "bear" is pretty self-explanatory. Whenever I hear folks suggest banning CCW I can't help but laugh and think "well it's going to be quite the shock when everyone who used to have a CCW now open carries since they're left with no choice in the matter."

By the way, where are abortion or the right to "privacy" in the U.S Constitution? There's no explicit "right to travel." Does that mean I'm not free to move about between states or within my state? Oh, and why'd they throw that pesky 9th Amendment in there anyway?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Stop going to that useless site already.

2. They are ideas.... whenever they are inconvenient to liberals. If those liberals can exploit them to their own purposes, however, they are sacrosact and unassailable.

3. There are no "Constitutional rights". The Constitution recognizes and defends certain rights, but there are no rights granted by the Constitution. Claiming otherwise indicates marked ignorance on Dorian's part.

Anonymous said...

1. Stop going to that useless site already.

LMAO...ha, you can't quit us can you. LMAO

2. They are ideas.... whenever they are inconvenient to liberals. If those liberals can exploit them to their own purposes, however, they are sacrosact and unassailable.


they are ideas, if the constitution wasn't then we would still have slavery, because, after all it was in the constitution.

LMAO...you guys are so pathetic.

3. you guys are funny and sad at the same time.

ahhh mike, come back! we need you. arent' you commenting?

Rustmeister said...

they are ideas, if the constitution wasn't then we would still have slavery, because, after all it was in the constitution.

Umm, so is the 13th Amendment, banning slavery.

Mike W. said...

Don't want to comment. No need. I read because I actually find some of it interesting, even informative at times.

For example. There was a post somewhat recently about gun control which I found interesting on a variety of levels.
For one, Mike Matthews showed me that we REALLY need to win the battle of terms & misinformation. Mike's a smart guy, I read his blog, but it was obvious that he was badly misinformed on whatever he was discussing. I think he was confusing "assault weapons" with full auto NFA Items. You'd be amazed at how many folks seriously don't know there's any difference. (and not just the "useless idiots" of the left, but actual thinkers.)

Also, in that post Nemski linked to a gun control group I've never heard of. In fact, I wanted to do a post based upon what I read in that DE Lib post but never got around to it.

Guesswho - Know thy enemy.

They are much more than just Ideas.

Anonymous said...

The notion that it is "self-evident that men are endowed with unalienable rights" comes from the Declaration of Independence, which, while quite stirring prose, has no force of law. And, to be honest, a claim like "we hold these truths to be self-evident" is rather lame; it's a cop-out not to have to argue your case.

That said, "rights"--be they constitutional, civil, or human--are indeed "ideas," but at the same time, they are ideas that are so appealing and consequently widespread that they can not simply be dismissed.

Personally, I believe "rights" derive from the principle espoused by both Rabbi Hillel and Confucius (independently of each other) of "do not unto others as you would not have them do unto you." Nobody wants to be told they can't say this, or believe that, or be arbitrarily deprived of their life, liberty or property; when we as a society agree, even implicitly, that if we want these freedoms for ourselves, it's only fair that we don't get to impose our beliefs on others either, we get what is called a "right." It's a social contract, only not between government and the governed, but between the citizens who get to elect the government. If the Big Endians (to use the Gulliverian example) gain control of the government, they can't impose their religious beliefs on the Little Endians, in exchange for which the Little Endians don't get to impose their beliefs on the Big Endians.

The RKBA is simply an extension of the commonly held notion that people have the right to fight back if someone tries to unlawfully/unjustly deprive them of life, liberty or property; the extension being that the RKBA grants the individual citizen access to the most effective means to fight back.

Regarding the right to privacy, no, it's not mentioned explicitly in the Constitution. But the Bill of Rights in particular doesn't make sense without it. Why do the people have the right to be secure in their persons and belongings against unreasonable search and seizure (per the Fourth Amendment), if not for an implicit right to privacy? Why is there a right to freedom of religion (not formulated in those exact words in the First Amendment, but the prohibition on "restricting the free exercise thereof" boils down to the same thing) if not because people have right to their privately held beliefs?

For the record, I'm an atheist, a liberal, and a gun owner. Admittedly, to my mind, the right of private citizens to own firearms does not require constitutional backing. The fact that government in America, in legal case after legal case, has asserted that it is not responsible for protecting the individual citizen, means that it cannot legitimately deprive those same citizens of the means to protect themselves. I'm willing to accept gun control the day that every level of government accepts liability for every unarmed citizen who is unlawfully harmed in life or limb.

Mike W. said...

"Admittedly, to my mind, the right of private citizens to own firearms does not require constitutional backing."

Agreed. It seems so basic and logical that since all humans have a basic natural right to self-defense we also have an ancillary right to possess & carry an effective means of self-defense.