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I mildly like firearms, and kinda like the Second Amendment

By brittketchadmin | Posted in News, Uncategorized on Friday, October 2nd, 2015 at 8:58 pm
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So, I am new to this blogging thing.  I had a nice idea about trees to post.  Then, some dope shot up a school in Oregon.  I was flipping around last night looking at dour faces on the TV using the tragedy to push limits on Second Amendment Rights.  I’ve heard reasonable proposals for licensing and background checks.  Much of what I’ve heard is stupid.   I’m NOT an NRA member or supporter, but on the other hand, I don’t want to get into a discussion with an anti gun activist about where the commas are in the Second Amendment either.  I don’t shoot often, but when I do, I really, really have fun.  I’d hope that I could use a firearm in defense of my family and home.

What I was thinking about when I saw the death toll go from 9 to 10, however,  was the proud, liberal sanctimony of the oft-heard phrase (concerning our justice system)  “We’d rather let 99 guilty people go free than convict one innocent person” or as Blackstone put it 200 odd years ago “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”  I suspect inflation has that effect on everything, including cliches.

Political hubbub and Media focus on the costs of our Second Amendment rights, but not the costs of our other rights under the Bill of Rights.  They trot out the specter of the grieving families as if to say “tell these grieving families about your right to bear arms.”  But Guess What?  The 99 guilty people who go free because the presumption of innocence, requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and Amendments IV, V, VI, and VIII of the Bill of Rights cost human lives just as assuredly as the firearm in Oregon.  Let’s just take a quick look at the constitutional provisions that prevent state and federal  gendarmes from kicking down all of our doors and hauling us away:

Amendment IV  The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…

Amendment V  No person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

Amendment VI In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Amendment VIII  Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted

Now assuming the coppers will only go after the bad guys and the mentally unstable, nothing would cut down on crime quite like some unreasonable searches and seizures, compelled confessions, being locked away without due process, trial without counsel, all topped off by excessive sentences or some nice cruel and unusual punishment.  It’s also apparent that, if we’re going to solve a problem by tinkering with constitutional rights, we’d get plenty of bang for the buck in this area.  The Bureau of Justice statistics, in 2014, reported that 68% of 405,000 prisoners released in 30 states (in 2005) were arrested for a new crime within three years, and 77% within 5.  71% of violent offenders were recidivists.  I found those statistics in about two seconds from a CBS news report in 2014.  I’m sure I could turn that into rapes and murders per year with ease.  But, it is sufficient for my point that all of our constitutional rights come at a cost in lives.

However, after some mentally unbalanced nut shoots up a school, the politicians and the media can’t get any mileage with press conferences or presidential addresses calling for the curtailing of constitutional rights for the mentally ill, or cruel and unusual punishment (which, btw, in our jurisprudence includes excessively long prison sentences).   There’ll be no panel discussions of whether the government could test us all and lock away the  coo coo birds.  That’d be unconstitutional!  It’d be like making everyone take an IQ test before they exercise their right of free speech! (which you’re probably thinking is a good idea right about now).

As my good friend Judge Quetsch used to say: “the constitution is not a technicality” and “If the government can kick a criminal’s door down at 1 in the morning, they can kick your door down at 1 in the morning.”  The point?  If you start to erode the rights you have in the constitution, nothing protects you from the government.  The Bill of Rights was meant to provide serious protection from the federal constabulary.  Those rights should be treated as sacrosanct.  The Second Amendment too.

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