“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

just so you know, they're still not allowed in my house

I've shot both rifles and handguns at targets. It was kind of fun, not as much fun as popping your own fireworks, certainly not as much fun as going to a good concert.

Hunting sounds like horrible living hell for me. I fished a couple of times, and it was almost, though not quite, as boring as a baseball game. I imagine that hunting would involve some of the same nightmarish tedium of waiting and waiting and waiting, only to be interspersed (if you're successful) with blood-filled horror.

I think people who keep guns in their house "for protection" are idiotic. Either you keep your gun loaded and ready to go, or you follow the safety rules and keep the ammunition locked up in a separate place from the locked-up gun. With the first choice, your gun is far more likely to accidentally shoot your three-year-old nephew or your drunk uncle than any crook. With the second choice, what are you going to do? “Pardon me, Mr. Home Invader while I find the keys to my gun cabinet, and then find the keys to my ammunition box. Yes, sir, I plan to shoot you dead when I find those items. Just hold on a sec.”

That said, it seems like the Supreme Court made the only possible decision. I think they made the correct decision to the point that, when I saw the headline, I did a double take. It sounded like a paraphrase of the Second Amendment. What was so "groundbreaking" about that?

I guess they were affirming that the right to bear arms was not tied to having a militia. That's good, because I'd hate to think that Timothy McVeigh types were the only people who were allowed to have guns.

I'm a Bill of Rights absolutist myself, and I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who say the Second Amendment was written for its time but should now be adapted. The main reason I don't feel sympathetic to that position is that I don't want people saying that the First Amendment was written for a time before the Internet existed, or for peacetime only, or making some other stupid argument that abridges the rights I use.

I'm not a big fan of guns, and would paraphrase what Bill Clinton said about abortion. I wish guns were safe, legal and rare. With the rules as written, however, I see little choice but to let the gun nuts have them.