I hinted at this in the past few weeks; one of the hard parts about being a Second Amendment supporter is that it feels a lot like the movie Groundhog Day. Every time the left goes through one of its spasms of gun-grabbing, they bring up the same, exact, precise points every single time. There is nothing new, ever, under the sun when it comes to anti-gun “arguments”. Never!
And yet every single liberal, especially in the media, receives the same threadbare worn-out arguments from their elders during every spasm of this debate, as if they’ve discovered some new logical Killer Anti-Gun App. And they trot them out with all the pride of a toddler that just made a good pants, repeating the moldy meme with a nod and a knowing, condescending wink, as if they think you’re lucky they suffer fools like you.
And you – me, in this case – shake your head, and re-muster facts that you’ve been deploying since before your children were born, and feel a little like the burned-out gunfighter in a Clint Eastwood movie; I’ve lived this day, or at least this argument, more times than I can remember. I know these facts backward and forward. There is not a corner of the left’s argument that I can’t make better than the lefty I’m wasting my time with.
And on you go.
Fortunately, we’re not alone.
The problem with Eric Black isn’t that he’s a lefty who’s been getting steadily more “out” about it for years, in the “pages” of the MinnPost, whose focus has been sliding away from “legitimate journalism” toward “being a DFL Public Relations organ” for this past year or so.
It’s that he believes, and reports, so much that is just not so.
Yesterday, he – oh, God, it’s that Groundhog Day endless repetition thing again – dragged out the theory by the gloriously-occuponymous Dr. Carl Bogus, that the Second Amendment was written to protect slave-owners.
I read it yesterday, and thought “even in monster movies, there’s only so many times you have to kill the critter before the movie ends”. So with the esteemed Carl Bogus.
Fortunately, Joe Doakes from Como Park – an actual lawyer – took over. I’ll add the odd bit of emphasis to Joe’s email:
God, not that old chestnut again. Carl Bogus? Really?
Okay, facts: Bogus was indeed a law professor. He wrote a law review article for UC Davis in 1998. He admitted there was plenty of evidence the Founders intended the Second Amendment so ordinary people could resist tyrants. But he argued Southern slaveholders probably wanted to keep ordinary people armed to prevent slave rebellion. Therefore, the Second Amendment might have served two purposes: resist tyrants and oppress slaves. Bogus’ explicit argument is that ordinary people couldn’t have resisted tyranny and oppressed slaves acting alone so when the Founders said “the people” they must have meant “state militias.” His implicit argument is that since slavery is bad, the Second Amendment is tainted so we can ignore it.
Bogus’ arguments were immediately rebutted by other legal scholars, see for example “The Approaching Death of the Collectivist Theory of the Second Amendment” by Douglas Roots, 39 Duq. L. Rev. 71.; and “The Supreme Court’s Thirty-Five Other Gun Cases” by David Kopel, 18 St. Louis U. L. Rev. 99. The Supreme Court cited several of Bogus’ works in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008) but the majority opinion expressly rejected his collectivist legal theory. Bogus was mentioned in Justice Stevens’ dissent in MacDonald v. Chicago, 130 S. Ct 3020 (2010) as the source for a single statistic on handgun violence, but not even Stevens endorsed Bogus’ collectivist legal theory. Nobody endorses his secret slavery theory.
Bogus’ legal theories are not taken seriously by Constitutional scholars, only by gun-control advocates hoping to rent his diploma to give the appearance of credibility. That’s why Bogus was appointed a director of Handgun Control, Inc. and served on the advisory board of the Violence Policy Center. That’s also why Eric Black cites him. It’s as if the Flat Earth Society suddenly learned of this brilliant mathematician named Ptolemy who PROVED the Sun does indeed revolve around the Earth and thus vindicated what they’ve believed all along. Sorry, fellas, serious scholars have moved beyond that hoax.
I’m thinking; is there an issue besides guns where a journalist can get away with so much guileless incuriosity as the gun issue?
And wrap that incuriosity in so much misguided-yet-inflammatory rhetoric?
Feminist dogma patrol, maybe, and even that doesn’t generally impact the Constitution.
Mark Dayton’s mental health? That’s not so much “incuriosity” as “a gentlemans’ agreement between journalists and the DFLers who own them”.
What is it about Second Amendment issues that makes so many journalists act like journalists think mere partisan bloggers act?
Nothing against Eric Black, of course. He’s doing his job, which these days seems to be “advancing the DFL and Democrat Parties’ narratives”. It’s good to have a gig.
But the mainstream media in the Twin Cities has gotten a free pass on their habit of just slopping whatever crap fits the DFL’s narrative in front of the public for far too long.
Comments welcome at Shot In the Dark.