Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Living Constitution

Today Gail Collins notes that the NRA doesn't have much left to do. She writes:

Arizona, which has already passed absolutely every other law the anti-gun-violence crowd opposes, is currently considering a bill making it legal to carry guns on the campuses of public colleges and universities. The State Board of Regents estimates that administering it would cost the equivalent of 25 full-time faculty positions a year.
I'm not sure why it would cost money to "administer" a law allowing people to carry guns onto campus, but in any case I've blogged about this before. Arizona is actually fertile ground for the NRA, because as far as I can tell, Shannon's Law is still on the books. This law makes it a felony to fire a gun indiscriminately into the air.

To stay relevant, the NRA can argue that merely owning a gun can't be all that is protected by the 2nd Amendment - what good is it to own a gun if you can never fire it? The NRA could start lobbying for legalization of gun-use (in a sense, it already has - the NRA opposed Shannon's Law). For instance, I assume that in most states armed robbery is punished more severely than simple robbery. When the weapon used by the criminal is a gun, this seems like a backdoor attack on the 2nd Amendment.

Then, the NRA could extend its lobbying efforts to total de-criminalization of gun use. If you are robbing a liquor store, and you shoot the owner, isn't that more or less what guns were designed for? Aren't you just exercising your Constitutional rights? It seems as though, again, criminalization of this activity is an attack on the 2nd Amendment. The same goes for using a gun during a car-jacking, or a home invasion, or murder-for-hire.

If the NRA won't embrace these exercises of liberty, then maybe we'll see a splinter group emerge called the Real NRA, that will be unafraid of standing up for a substantive reading of the 2nd Amendment.

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