March 15, 2013

Obama statement vs. the Constitution

The president issued a statement yesterday regarding gun control, or as the president put it, gun violence.  Let's for a second disregard the fact that a gun is incapable of violence, it's just a tool that can be used for violence just as it can be used for defense and security.

We've entered the matrix?
Here's the president's statement in full.  I've added the emphasis for discussion purposes.  It is not emphasized in the original.
I thank the Senate for taking another step forward in our common effort to help reduce gun violence by advancing a bill that would reinstate and strengthen a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons and set a 10-round limit for magazines. These weapons of war, when combined with high-capacity magazines, have one purpose: to inflict maximum damage as quickly as possible. They are designed for the battlefield, and they have no place on our streets, in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers.

The Senate has now advanced legislation addressing three of the most important elements of my proposal to help reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country. Now the full Senate and the House need to vote on this bill, as well as the measures advanced in the past week that would impose serious penalties on anyone who buys a gun as part of a scheme to arm criminals, improve school safety, and help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, people with a severe mental illness, and others who shouldn’t have them. Each of these proposals deserves a vote.
The highlighted section sounds powerful at first blush, but not as powerful as this, the Second Amendment to the Constitution:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The part people tend to focus on is "shall not be infringed".  Infringed: Act so as to limit or undermine. Seems like the president's proposal (notice he takes credit for a liberal plan but won't take the blame for his own liberal failures?), tends to infringe the public's second amendment rights.

But what about "being necessary to the security of a free state"?  It is quite necessary that weapons that are in fact designed for the battlefield be available to the people.  Whether the framers were arguing that the security is to face an external threat or to the face an overbearing domestic government, does not matter.  The intent was to allow people to both keep and bear (carry) arms.  Further, if the purpose is to raise a militia when needed, then should not the arms suitable to a battlefield be not only available but indeed required?

The president seems to view the Constitution, at best, as malleable or unequally applicable.  At worst he sees it as archaic and not up to snuff.  He did  say at one point that the Constitution was a document of negative rights.
“We still suffer from not having a Constitution that guarantees its citizens economic rights.” By positive economic rights, Obama means government protection against individual economic failures, such as low incomes, unemployment, poverty, lack of health care, and the like. Obama characterizes the Constitution as “a charter of negative liberties,” which “says what the states can’t do to you (and) what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf.”
Disdain for the Constitution is unbecoming for a Commander-In-Chief.  The president is as agenda driven as he is political, and as much as he is eager to take credit and eschew blame.  This simple release, shows once again each of those first three points.  He's attempting to sound-bite himself into convincing the public to support his 'perfectly reasonable' position.  He is eager to take credit for the work being done by Senate Democrats.   And finally his agenda is a pure liberal agenda.  Rolling back gun rights is a progressive liberal wish list item, and Obama is fully on board with it.

As for eschewing blame - he's had over four years of track record showing that.

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