What happened to Robert Levy? Back in 2007, the chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute was the organizer and financier behind District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court Case that established the Second Amendment as affirming an individual right to gun ownership.
Today Robert Levy is waxing ridiculous about Second Amendment compromises gun owners and gun rights advocates should consider.
The short answer to that CATO Institute report inviting Americans to consider grounds for compromise on gun control is a simple, short “No.”
As if we haven’t been compromising and getting our rights shredded for decades!
Second Amendment rights are not absolute, Levy says.
Yeah? What does “shall not be infringed mean?”
“Everyone understands that children can’t carry automatic weapons to school,” he claims.
Yeah? “Can’t” and “shouldn’t” are different things. And if a child carries an automatic weapon to school, but harms no one with it, threatens no one with it, and merely bears this particular arm, as specified in the Bill of Rights, whose right is being violated, other than the child’s? This reductio ad absurdum is stupid and unworthy of a libertarian scholar.
“Assault rifles” are common and regularly used for hunting and shooting sports. Attempts to buy them back would backfire, like they did in the past, he admits. But yet, Levy identifies these rifles as a major area for possible compromise.
Now about NO! We tried that whole ban thing once. You know what happened during it? Columbine! Law abiding citizens dutifully stopped purchasing these weapons. Murderers intent on causing harm got them anyway.
Homicides with firearms were already on the decline prior to the implementation of the 1994 ban, and they continued to decline during and after the ban.
No! There’s no compromise that is acceptable to relieve people of their rights – especially for absolutely no benefit.
Some weapons can be banned, Levy says. After all, machine guns have been banned for all intents and purposes since 1934, right? No, you clueless traitor to the Constitution, who has never owned a gun. People still own them. They just have to jump through a myriad of expensive, bureaucratic hoops to legally do so. And they’re barely ever used in crimes. Again, what part of “shall not be infringed” is not clear?
And yes, the courts did say some regulation is legal. But if, according to Levy, “the government bears a heavy burden to justify its regulation. Government must show (a) public safety requires the proposed restrictions, (b) they will work, and (c) they are no more extensive than necessary,” show me where the hell these three requirements are being met!
Maybe we should compromise on high-capacity magazines, Levy says.
How about NO!
According to Gun Facts, The number of shots fired by criminals has not changed significantly even with the increased capacity of handguns and other firearms. The average magazine swap time for a non-expert shooter is 2-3 seconds. In the case of the Newtown Sandy Hook massacre, the murderer performed 10 magazine changes before the police arrived. A 10 round restriction would have saved nobody.
So why compromise away the right, if it will help no one, save no lives? Once again, none of the requirements to meet the government’s burden to justify its regulation – the test that Levy puts forth as grounds for regulation.
And then there are the universal background checks, which Levy admits felons easily avoid by either purchasing firearms illegally or stealing them, but still thinks gun owners should compromise on.
…even staunch Second Amendment proponents might be receptive to background checks for private (non-dealer) sales at gun shows, over the Internet, and through published ads. The key is quid pro quo — concessions to gun rights advocates in return for closing the “gun show loophole.” That was essentially the deal offered by the 2013 Manchin-Toomey bill, which garnered 54 Senate votes, but not enough to meet the 60-vote threshold.
How about HELL NO?
There is no “gun show loophole,” since less than 1 percent of guns used in crimes are sold there.
There is no such thing as a “legal” Internet purchase without going through a federal firearms license holder, who is obligated to run a background check before handing you that gun you just purchased on the webz.
What they’re really talking about is outlawing private purchases. Period. (Which, by the way, will disproportionately affect the poor, who will have to pay more than they normally would to legally purchase a tool of self defense from another individual, because they would have to absorb the cost of an FFL performing a background check.)
Oh, I’m sorry. Rich lawyers don’t care about the poor.
Since when does CATO have so little respect for private property that it advocates abolishing it for a specific set of purchases – constitutionally protected ones?
I suspect my buddy Miguel is correct when he says that the libertarian intelligentsia is so desperate for relevance, they’re willing to take a large, steaming dump on the rights they once held dear. I guess they’re tired of being known as “extremists,” and they would rather compromise on their basic principles than be waved away as some radical zealots who are unwilling to negotiate away their fundamental rights.
Rights? Meh. They’re anachronistic, antediluvian tripe.
Looks like CATO would rather be taken “seriously” by those who despise individual rights and freedoms and would sacrifice them at the altar of “common good” in hopes that the alligator will eat them last than stand up to protect what is right.
What a damn shame.