I’ve argued that defending the Second Amendment purely from a rights standpoint is not an ideal solution to the current threats we face. While it is our right to keep and bear arms, the issue is that too many people think that such rights should be curtailed, at least to some degree.
Instead, I think we should also be pushing how gun control doesn’t actually work. We should debunk the seriously flawed studies that suggest it does. We should fight on that battleground as well.
And we need to do just that because there are people like this law professor from Washington University in St. Louis.
SL: Can you talk about the significance of framing gun control as a question of the government’s legal obligations instead of as another piece of policy recommendation?
Sadat: The current focus in the United States is almost entirely on the “rights” of individuals wishing to purchase and wield arms, which they frame as “gun rights” guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the US constitution. I like to say there’s no such thing as gun rights because guns don’t have rights, people do. And that’s not just me being professorial, it’s a fundamental point. You have to look at the entire framework in which the Second Amendment is embedded. It is part of a Constitution premised upon the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and none of us experiences those rights if we’re shot or terrorized by gun violence.
Now, there’s a whole lot more there, but holy crap.
Seriously, can she not see the slippery slope she’s setting up here?
First, I challenge her to find where in the Constitution where it says the government can do whatever it wants so long as it can justify it as preserving the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I won’t wait, though, because it’s not there. The phrase itself never appears in the Constitution. That’s from the Declaration of Independence, and that’s a good thing.
You see, this line of “reasoning” here is such that literally anything could be passed if you can justify it as preserving any of that.
Banning fattening foods? Hey, we’re preserving your life, which is part of your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Literally anything can be justified that way.
Further, restrictions on guns don’t do anything to advance those things anyway. Criminals are known to obtain guns through illegal means. The rights we talk about when we mention “gun rights” are irrelevant when it comes to armed criminals in the majority of cases.
But she goes on:
Moreover, given the scope of the problem, we can’t just look at this through the lens of the rights of the shooters. We have to look at the effect on the victims. And under human rights law, countries have concrete obligations to prevent human rights violations even when they’re perpetrated by private citizens. The United States has clear legal obligations to protect the health and safety of its citizens. So the people who fixate on the Second Amendment are not looking at the United States Constitution in a holistic way, or at international human rights law which is binding on the United States under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. It is not consistent with the rule of law for individuals to claim that their right to have a weapon, whatever the weapon is, is more important than anything else, including the right to life and safety of thousands of gun violence victims and the millions of school children who are traumatized by gun violence.”
Your damn right I’m not looking at it from an international human rights law perspective, because outside laws cannot and do not supersede the constitutionally protected rights of the American citizen.
However, the professor is suffering from a problem here. She complains about us not looking at the Constitution in a holistic way, but she’s not looking at the gun issue holistically.
She’s focused primarily on the negative impact of guns but is clearly not looking at literally anything beyond that. For example, we know guns are used to save a whole lot more lives than they’re used to take.
As such, it stands to reason that restrictions on guns may well change that dynamic.
In other words, the law professor is like many others in academia. She’s so devoted to pushing an anti-gun agenda that she’s forfeited the ability to think.
However, because she is a law professor, she should know better than to push this nonsense. She needs to find her constitutional law professor and kick him in the junk for not doing a better job of teaching her about how the Constitution actually works because she clearly doesn’t get it.