October 18, 2005

My Twenty Minutes Later Syndrome

In this post you will find the transcript of a conversation between Hugh Hewitt, John Caile from CCRN & myself about Harriet Miers 2nd amendment views. It all started with this post of mine on Miers.

Geek With A .45 once told me that there's a thing I believe he called "20 minutes later syndrome". It usually occurs when you have a chat with someone & later replay the chat in your mind but this time remembering & inserting all the things that you feel would have made your side of the conversation better. If you've been a victim of this curious malady before then you'll understand what the rest of this post will be - a fisking of the conversation between Hugh, John & myself.

"Pub: Alright. Well basically all we have to go on as far as Miers' pro-gun street cred is concerned is the one paragraph from an article she wrote in 1992 & the fact that she may or may not still own a gun as she did at one point. Now...
HH: And that the article occurred when it was very very difficult - the context in which to defend gun ownership because of the massacre right?"

I hesitated. Hugh jumped right in there. Notice how his question leads. It's a good reinforcement of his position. Subtly (in substance at least) yet boldly drawing an answer that would almost (almost) contradict the position I was trying to lay out. Hugh wanted me to admit that she took a stand & therefore weaken my assertions that it was not conclusive of her support or view of the 2nd amendment.

"Pub: ah, quite possibly. I'm not too sure of all the details on the massacre. From what I've read it involved a shooting at a courthouse where two lawyers were killed; a judge & a prosecutor were wounded?"

Well I had to leave myself an out didn't I? :) Honestly it could have been difficult to voice anything remotely pro-gun. Then again all this happened in Texas. If she said it while in Massachusetts then he'd have had a stronger point. In Texas however any calls for more gun control could have very well backfired. But I go on to confirm the details of the shooting, using Hugh's term to describe it.

"HH: Yeah. I mean massacre is a big term but when it was very...it would have been easy not to defend gun rights in such a situation. She did."

He backs off a bit from "massacre". That's one of the things that gives me a little hope for Hugh; he does occasionally correct himself when he realizes he made an error. Course that's not to say he corrects himself when Bush makes an error & he defends it, but that's another topic altogether.

He states that it would not have been easy for Miers to stick up for the 2nd amendment & then states that she did stick up for it. He says it simply & plainly. It's very direct & the two word summation of her choice ("she did") leaves a strong impression on the listener.

"Pub: Yes it would but the thing that doesn't really convince me on this is not so much that it's not a good thing that she said - I mean undoubtably it is. It's a whole lot better than saying, you know, that we've got to get rid of them all right now. It's that that by itself doesn't really say too much. There are a lot of people who say that the 2nd amendment is an important thing but then they go on to qualify it. Like Ashcroft a few years ago when he said that the 2nd was an individual Right. Well everyone was, you know, all crazy about that thinking "hey - you know we're finally making some progress" but they failed to realize that he mentioned "subject to reasonable government restrictions" right after he said that, which - that kinda of gives it the same practical purpose as the opposition's opinion that it's not an individual Right. If you can restrict it for certain reasons then it just becomes a question of arguing what's reasonable or not."

Here is my first fumble of the day, though not the last. Brevity is not a skill of mine. Hell, I had to look up the word. to par it down to the substance of what I was trying to say -

You're correct in that it would not have been difficult in California to defend firearms Rights - but in Texas it's not such a feat of courage. Besides, what exactly did she say about the 2nd amendment? That the Right to bear arms was important Right among many? But without defining what that Right means she could have meant anything. There are gun control proponents who say the 2nd is an important Right but who have no problem with infringing on it to suit their whims. There are also those that consider themselves pro-2nd amendment who don't have a problem with most forms of gun control. It's not that what she said wasn't good as far as it went - it was that it didn't go far enough to be conclusive. Three vastly differing theories can agree that the 2nd is important, but two of them have the same practical results. The big question is which theory does Miers subscribe to?

Course I didn't say that.

"HH: & the only person that - the only place to ever expand any sort of protections beyond the rule of reason - & arbitrary & capricious is a very low standard right Publicola? -Any state legislature can basically do anything they want with guns right now.
Pub: ah... more or less the..."

I admit Hugh confused me a bit with the way he started things off. That caused his question to catch me slightly off guard, which meant I did not have a chance to say anything strong enough to prevent an interruption.

The federal constitution is not a practical limitation on states imposing gun control. The courts have so far refused to incorporate the 2nd amendment via the 14th. What that means is that the 14th was to protect individuals from their state if their state passed a law contrary to or conflicting with any of their Rights or privileges. The courts however have decided that unless they give their blessing then a specific amendment does not fall under the 14th's protections. As of right now they have failed to recognize that the 14th makes the 2nd applicable to the states as well as the federal government. But what'd ya expect when the courts refuse to even bind the federal government with the 2nd amendment?

State constitutions however often do prevent the states form passing gun control. California - the state where Hugh resides - does not have a Right to arms provision despite the rather lengthy constitution there. Colorado does, as does North Carolina. In Vermont a court case from 1902 recognized concealed carry as protected by their Right to arms provision, hence no need to beg for a permit or pay a bribe. But in too many places the state courts have belittled or outright ignored the state constitution's acknowledgment of the Right to arms. Sadly Colorado is one of those places.

So the proper answer would have been that the states cannot do anything they want as most (but not al) are limited to varying degrees by their constitutions. It's the feds who are seemingly limitless in their application of gun control because the courts refuse to hold them to the language of the constitution.

"HH: More or less under the existing law. If that's gonna change - if you want the 2nd amendment to be given a status as a fundamental Right - which I'm sure you do correct?
Pub: Yes"

Of course I want it to be considered a fundamental Right. Hugh knows that by establishing points of agreement it makes him seem like he's looking out for both of our interests. We both want the same thing, so therefore his plan must be best for both of us. Not that I think he's being disingenuous. He's just a very skilled debater. That kinda happens when you run a 3 hour talk show over a number of years. Well if you still have said talk show after a number of years that is.

"HH: Not just an individual but a fundamental Right. Right now...first part of the battle is getting it determined as an individual Right because if it's a collective Right it has no status whatsoever. The once it's an individual Right you wish to have it protected as a fundamental Right & thus subject to more searching scrutiny whenever a state imposes a restriction on that. Doesn't mean restrictions can't be imposed it just means they'd have to reach a higher level of scrutiny & a substantial relatedness to the end being requested. That would be a good thing in your view, right?"

Note his caution in his description of what I, or the typical gun owner would want. He spells out a step by step plan (albeit an abbreviated form of it) but he is clear that it will not be an absolutist position - that some gun control will be acceptable.

"HH: Yes. &, you know, that would be a good approach to take if you were doing something like the NA- double ACP had to do back in the 30's. Basically, you know, create a Right where none existed before. Create the recognition of a Right where none existed before. But what we have now is a very plain document - you know the Constitution. The 2nd amendment's what - like 26, 27 words?"

Fumble No.2

What I should have said was:

It would be a good thing for the 2nd to be afforded the strictest level of scrutiny so that no prior restraint based laws can touch it. The idea of incrementally gaining recognition - first as an individual then as a fundamental Right - would be fine if it was not already clearly enumerated. What we need is not a step by step approach to build it up, but an outright reversal of 70 years of misinterpretation of a very plain sentence. Anything less would not be good enough.

But I didn't.

"HH: But Publicola I know what we have now & I know how it's been interpreted as do you. The only way to change that interpretation is to change the united States Supreme Court."

He again states a fact that is difficult to argue with - that the courts alone can correct themselves.

"Pub: Right. & you know I'm...Now don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that Miers is not pro-gun because of this. I'm just saying that her making that one statement in 92 is not really that conclusive."

Fumble No. 3

I should have said:

I don't have much hope in the courts, considering they got us in this mess in the first damn place & don't seem remorseful at all. They are not our only hope, just our only hope in going through the system. But for the sake of argument let us assume that the courts are our best hope & that'll they'll have the courage to correct the lower courts & their own mistakes - Hell, let's just hope they'll have to courage to stop ducking the issue like they have for the past 76 years. Miers may be helpful in that. Then again she may not. I simply have not seen any proof of where she stands on what she considers an important Right. A decision that it is an individual Right be should be afforded a rational basis level of scrutiny is no different than saying it's not an individual Right - at least in the practical applications. She simply does not have enough of a record to do anything but speculate.

But I didn't.

"HH: Well I'm just saying; a lot of gun activists disagree with you & you run a big risk if you're not on her side of getting someone in her place in the future who is not where you want her to be, or him to be."

I felt a tingling sensation when he spoke that first sentence. The same one I feel when I read a news story about how a lot of experts agree that guns were designed by Satan.

I've heard one person back Hugh on Miers being pro-gun. At least one person I could assume is a gun owner. Yet he states as fact that there's a majority or at least a significant minority - perhaps an implied plurality - of gun owners who disagree with me.

Hell, damn near everyone I know disagree with me on something. & in at least a few things I'm in a tiny minority of opinion holders. I never thought that was conclusive of the rightness or wrongness of a position.

But Hugh knows that peer pressure is still an effective tool. He also knows that implying bad consequences often goes a lot farther than outright stating them.

What he was saying was that he's just trying to let me know for my own good that a lot of my kind think that I'm wrong & it'd go bad for gun owners everywhere if Miers backs down & a gun grabber got appointed in her place.

Course that was all implication on Hugh's part, which as I said makes it very effective on many people.

"Pub: I…"

I was about to explain that the disagreement was not whether the courts needed people who respected the 2nd amendment, but that I thought Hugh was simply reading too much into Miers on this & it was still up in the air as to her views. But I didn't get the chance.

"HH: I think caution this instance...you've got a very good indication - she's not going to answer anything more specifically than that. & so my recommendation to people who are serious about the 2nd amendment like you is get behind her in a hurry."

Hugh presses his point. Course I must point out here that all we have is one paragraph (or possibly an entire article) from 1992 & since then not a damn thing. Her words then indicated she was a supporter of the Right to arms but there's simply been no elaboration on what she thinks that means. For all we know that could mean that we can keep arms suitable for bird hunting & home defense (i.e. shotguns & some handguns) but everything else could be banned no problemo.

The admonition though - if you like the 2nd amendment then vote for Harriet Miers - is a little been condescending. Does that mean that anti-gunners will oppose her? Or just that for not being able to read between the lines of a few dozen words from ten years ago we're making a horrible mistake in reserving judgment?

"Pub: Well, you know, another thing that you've mentioned a couple of times is that gun ownership pretty much equates to being pro-2nd amendment.
HH: Yeah."

I figured my time was short so I had best move on to the second point (of three) I intended to make that day.

Hugh agrees as I thought he would (since I heard him say it plainly a few times).

"Pub: & - I gotta point this out - Diane Feinstein has one of the very few concealed carry permits in California;
HH: Well that again I...
Pub: Chuck Schumer has a gun"

I know it was rude, but Hugh had made no qualms about interrupting me before so I had to press it a little. :)

"HH: I think you can find many many instances of hypocrisy, especially with high public profile - public figures - who have concealed carry weapons for their own personal protection. It's very very hypocritical. That however - that you have exceptions to a general rule does not mean the general rule is not true. I would think that if you lined up ten people & they're all gun owners that you're gonna find among those ten people nine or more who are pro-2nd amendment."

Which I will give this much to Hugh - what he says at the last of that paragraph is a common idea. After all doesn't it make sense that gun owners are pro-gun?

But the sad truth is it's not the case. You have the folks like Schumer & Difi who are not hypocrites in their mind. They simply see guns as something only the government should have. Since they're the government....

Then there are the fuddites (also see here & here). Those who think that owning guns for sport are fine (as in "wabbit" guns, hence the name), but start talking about surplus military arms or handguns that hold too many rounds & they get mighty squeamish on the 2nd amendment all of a sudden.

There are the pro-concealed carry folks who think that the 2nd just means they should be able to buy a permit to carry a pistol to protect against muggers & rapists. Some, but by no means all, see this as the purpose of the 2nd amendment & are okay with gun control such as registration, licensing, background checks, mandated classes, & bans on certain types of firearms that they couldn't carry concealed. They even occasionally turn on other gun owners.

Then there are the politically aware gun owners who are generally not inclined to buy into any sort of gun control except as a political expedient (as in concealed carry shouldn't require a permit, but right now it's better than it being prohibited).

Finally there are Absolutists such as myself. I'll admit right now that I'm in the minority (for now). In a nutshell I abhor any prior restraint based gun control.

So out of the five types of gun owner I listed only two have a real support for the 2nd amendment. The rest are supportive to one degree or another, but across the board they just miss the point. & I'd argue that you cannot really support something you don't understand.

Course I have no idea how the numbers of each respective group would play out, so it is possible that more than 9 out of 10 gun owners would support the 2nd amendment. But fro what I've seen that's doubtful - otherwise we wouldn't have the levels of gun control we have now.

Hell, between 77 to 90 million people own guns in the u.S. Out of a country of 280 million that's a sizable chunk. yet gun control laws keep getting passed. Those who push for those gun control laws keep getting elected (Difi, Schumer, Lautenburg, Boxer, etc...) The only way to rationalize that more than 9 out of 10 gun owners are pro-2nd amendment is that less than 2 out of 10 gun owner’s vote (which in some areas is probably being overly generous).

I'd say that most gun owners simply are not politically aware. & again you cannot be pro-something if you do not understand it.

"Pub: Possibly, but the exceptions..."

Fumble No 4.

I was going to try to explain that a lot fo gun owners are comfy with a lot of gun control but I was muscled out of the way.

"HH: Now let me bring on John from Minneapolis. John How are ya?
John: Hey Hugh. How ya doing?"

This was a bit of surprise. At first I thought he might have been talking about John Eastman - a weekly guest on his show. But it was John Caile from CCRN. He also runs a site called Have Gun Will Vote.com. I heard him briefly before on Hugh's show agreeing that Miers would be a good thing for gun owners.

So was I to be double teamed?

"HH: Respond to your friend Publicola, another gun activist."

Ayup. lol

Please note that a slightly different translation of what Hugh just said would be, "Bro - you best talk some sense into your boy 'for I go upside his head" :P

"John: Well I just wanted to give you a compliment; you did a very good job considering you say that you're not necessarily a gun guy. You did a very good job of describing the basic situation as it exists today."

Trust me; Hugh is not a gun guy. Hell, I even invited him to go shooting my Garand & he didn't even respond. lol

"HH: Well yeah but I teach Con Law so I know..."

Lord help us. lol

"John: There ya go
HH: I know...
John: Exactly
HH: I know..."

Now please note - that's how Hugh treats his guests who he's in agreement with, or rather thinks is in agreement with him. There's a lack of "hostile witness" tactics (or at least a reduction in them). Not that he was impolite to me (well except for the interruptions; other than that he was very kind to have me on for as long as he did) but there is a subtle difference in tone.

"John: Some people forget that the 2nd amendment is probably the best barometer of someone's approach to Constitutional law. &...most scholars today- the media doesn't really report this much but probably 80 to 90 percent of the scholars today, ya know, agree - no question it's an individual Right & that was what it was intended to be. You will still have however, you know, individual appellate courts who will approach it as if it is not. & the big issue that has never really been brought before a Supreme Court...& precisely because there's never been the confidence level to do so - is to bring a case that settles once & for all that it is A; an individual Right & B: that it is a fundamental Right ...& requires a much higher standard to be regulated by a state..."

Actually it's the best barometer of how a politician views is job & his constituents as well.

& actually it's entire circuits that regard the 2nd as a collective Right.

The "big issue" was brought before SCOTUS - several times in fact. In Presser & in Cruishanks the court ducked the issue saying it was a state matter despite the 14th amendment (which lead to that idiocy known as "incorporation"). In 1939 we had u.S. v. Miller. The government argued ex parte that the 2nd was a collective Right. The court did not reverse the decision based on standing (which if the 2nd was viewed as collective it would have) but rather remanded on the merits as the court was unaware that the implement in question (a shotgun with barrels of less than 18") had martial value.

Arguing unopposed the government couldn't convince the court that the 2nd was a collective Right. SCOTUS has dealt with the question of it being an individual Right. It's the circuit courts since then that have warped & twisted Miller to mean that only the states could have guns. The problem is that ever since 1939 SCOTUS has ducked any direct 2nd amendment question. It's been mentioned in dicta quite a bit, but nothing binding since 1939.

Again I'd argue that Miller decided that the 2nd was a fundamental Right. However it is the circuit court treatment - or mistreatment rather - that has formed most of the case law on the issue since then.

So John would have been more correct to say that the big question that the inferior courts need to be reminded is settled - instead of saying that the court has never addressed either issue before because of the lack of confidence in them that I think we all have at this point.

"HH: Deserving of...
John: you know it...
HH: & let me explain standards of review for a moment John for the benefit of the audience. When for example a government - state local or national - uses race in any of its regulations that regulation is subject to strict scrutiny meaning it is almost always fatal - it almost always fails to pass strict scrutiny. There must be this compelling overwhelming argument why it must matter.
When a restriction is based upon gender it must pass intermediate scrutiny where it’s gotta have a substantial goal & the regulation must substantially advance towards that goal. I think gun owners are aiming for intermediate scrutiny not strict scrutiny cause strict scrutiny is simply never going to apply in the area of weaponry. & I think that would be enormous victory. Would it John?
John: I agree. Absolutely."

Hugh gives a very good explanation of the two higher levels of scrutiny. He loses it when he assumes that intermediate scrutiny is what gun owners want. Well assuming he means pro-2nd amendment gun owners. I'm sure the Fuddites would be fine with intermediate scrutiny - or even a rational basis test (although David Kopel makes a very persuasive case that most "assault weapons" bans would fail a rational basis test). I simply cannot fathom how anyone who claims to have an originalist, constructionist or anything except a living-constitution viewpoint can settle for less than strict scrutiny.

Let me try to explain it like this - how can "...shall not be infringed" exist peacefully with "...it’s gotta have a substantial goal & the regulation must substantially advance towards that goal”? If it were possible that the 2nd amendment was meant for less than a very very strict standard of review then I'd have assumed the framers would have included the word "except" followed by some other words in the 2nd amendment.

& I was mistaken not to bring that up right then & there.

"HH: & Publicola would that not be an enormous victory?
Pub: It would be better than what we have but I'm one of those absolutists who thinks that strict scrutiny should be applied."

I should have voiced it more strongly. I should have put Hugh on the defensive to explain how he can not be a constructionist or originalist if he thinks that intermediate scrutiny is all the 2nd deserves. I should have tried to broach the subject of prior restraint.

But I didn't. Hence that'd be fumble no. 5

"HH: I understand that but ya know what - that would then apply to tanks right?"

Tanks???? Freakin' tanks???? We're trying to discuss the level of review a constitutional amendment concerning arms has & he brings tanks into the picture? Why didn't he just go for broke & mention nukes?

First of all a tank is a vehicle. His implications may not bother you but Richard Petty & every construction vehicle driver should be shivering in their boots cause I think Hugh just said he'd be cool with heavy government regulation ( possibly even more than there is now) of powerful vehicles!


"Pub: Ah, it all depends upon how you define arms. If you take what the...what the framers viewed as arms then there's some argument that shipboard munitions could be considered arms but most people would..."

What I was going to continue to say as I tried to stammer out of my disbelief at the turn of the conversation was that most people would be comfortable with defining arms as individually wielded weapons capable of discrimination in targeting. In other words something that could be operated by a single person & used against a single person - not a group. But if he wanted to, you know, actually apply the constitution as written then tanks would be fine as would warships. After all the constitution grants congress the power of issuing letters of Marque, which is basically government sanction for privately owned warships to attack vessels of a foreign nation.

But I didn't because I was interrupted.

"HH: Most Americans get heebee-jeebees about that...& so as a result I expect the court to follow the election returns & to eventually get to this intermediate scrutiny where most weaponry that most - the vast majority of Americans would ever want to own & to be able to conceal & carry as they want is in fact the law of the land. & John, do you see that promise in Harriet Miers?"

Hugh is in California, ergo it is questionable that he knows what most Americans think. But I should have reminded him of his Jefferson (course I get the feeling Hugh doesn't really like Jefferson that much)

"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion." Jefferson to William C. Jarvis 1820

If the American people do tremble at the idea of privately owned tanks then the solution would not be to acquiesce to their ignorance on this matter but to correct it. Jefferson makes another good point:

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock."

Even if a majority says that the 2nd does not involve the Right to own martial arms that is no reason to abandon the plain meaning of the amendment. To say that because a majority or even a super-majority of Americans would be uncomfortable with a literal interpretation of the constitution is to take the living-constitutionalists position. After all, their contention is that society should determine what the words mean, not the words themselves right? That since society has changed therefore the meaning of the words has changed. It is under that premise alone that a person can argue for results based interpretation of the constitution.

To go on & say that the court will follow the electorate - that's giving too much weight to democracy & too little to the proper role of an independent judiciary. Not to mention allowing that judicial activism/living constitution view to rear its ugly head again.

The proper way to interpret a constitutional amendment is not to look at what that would mean in practical terms & decide if we like the outcome, but to read the words & try to understand what they meant when they were written & how they can be applied today. We didn't have tanks back then. Neither did we have the internet. Most people are comfy with home publishing systems, but if they weren't would that be justification to regulate or prohibit a person from owning a printer for their PC?

I do believe Hugh fits into that camp which thinks personal defense against private actors is the nature of the 2nd amendment at least in practical application. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to assure the ability of the citizenry to effectively fight the soldiery, be it foreign troops or domestic ones. Burglars, rapists, thieves & murderers should be defended against by anyone who is attacked by them, but this was not seen as a Right endangered by the federal government at that time. It was like blinking. No one questioned the Right to blink so no one thought it necessary to mention it in the constitution. However martial arms were a concern as we had just fought a war that started with an attempt at civilian disarmament by our then-lawful government.

"John: Again I'm basing it strictly on the comment that someone who gets it right on the 2nd amendment - who expresses the belief that it is indeed an individual Right & if she would further express the belief that it is a fundamental Right - yeah I'd be comfortable with that. & I'd like one more on the court before I were to bring such a case to the court."

I'd like a million more on the court - but I'd settle for a case right now (for various reasons that I'll try to go into in another post one day).

Still note that John qualified his answer. That's a good thing in my view. I mean it may very well be that Miers is a 2nd amendment advocate & her version of the 2nd amendment is the same one that is in my copy of the constitution. Hell, she might even be an absolutist. But we don't know for sure. John expresses optimism about Miers, but I detect a note of caution.

Hugh doesn't ask me the same question he asked John. Probably because he knows my answer won't be in agreement with his thinking.

The rest of the conversation is between John & Hugh joking about Hugh wanting the Minnesota Supreme Court position that just opened up. But I have to point out the last word from Hugh:

"HH: You now it'll bring tourism to the state. Alright thank you two. It's always good to talk to ya. Have Gun Will Vote.com & Publicola.com"


Before we really started talking Hugh talked with me briefly just before a hard break (the top of the hour where the news & such went on for about 7 minutes). He asked if I could stick around & asked for me to plug my site so his listeners could catch up with what I had wrote about Miers. I told him the url & he seemed to have troubling grasping the domain name. I even mentioned "munuvians" but apparently Hugh didn't grasp it as he suggested folks just google me. lol

But I assume Hugh has been to my site before. He even linked to me once. A friend submitted that he may have just been trying to rattle me but I'm not so sure. It doesn't seem like Hugh would resort to those tactics over something as trivial as simply not thinking his case was conclusive.

Still – Publicola.com???? Look at the top of the page. You see any "com"? lol Still i won't hold it against him. I don't agree with him on many things but it's always interesting to check out HughHewitt.net.

Of the three things I intended to mention I got two of my points out, albeit not as concisely as I'd have liked. The first being that one paragraph or article from 13 years ago is not enough to convince me of Miers being strongly pro-2nd amendment in substance. The second was that owning a gun does not mean you're a 2nd amendment advocate. The third I was hoping we'd get to but didn't (Hug pays the bills, therefore he controls the conversation). That third point was simply to plug the lovely, talented & accurate miss Annika's post about the direction of presidential trust. Not only does she make a very important point, but I know she gets ticked when her friends are on the radio & don't mention her. Considering the way her target practice is coming along I don't want to take any chances. But ultimately I have a genetic disposition that prevents me from not sucking up to a lady with a pretty smile. Or at least attempting to.

One thing I must mention here is that pro-gun leaning folks have it tough. It's tough against anti's & it's even tough against more moderate pro-gun folks. Why? Because the argument for an anti-gun or moderately pro-gun position can usually be made in under ten words or under ten seconds. The pro-gun or absolutist side is typically measured in paragraphs & minutes. In a format like talk radio that puts us at a disadvantage. Couple that with trying to overcome decades of public ignorance concerning the technical & philosophical aspects of the Right to arms with the losing battle over the language & I think you'll agree that any pro-gun argument is tricky to make.

Overall I wasn't happy with how I handled things. That's mainly due to thinking I could have done better. But then again with Hugh controlling the conversation (as a good talk show host would) perhaps I did as best as I could under the circumstances,

I was disappointed in the substance of Hugh's comments. A result based reading of the constitution? That's nothing more than judicial activism that caters to republican desires & should be equally abhorrent to those who agree with those objects. The end does not justify the means.

Hopefully a few of his listeners will give the subject more thought - not just Miers but the Right to arms. & hopefully next time I'll do a better job at representing our side.

Posted by Publicola at October 18, 2005 07:45 AM | TrackBack

Considering the environment you were operating in, I think you did fine.

I have found your ideas to be well thought out and well written. You hit the nail on the head that this subject is not amenable to 10 second sound bites -- especially when faced with someone a skilled as Hugh at pushing his side.

Re: doing better. Kind of like getting to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice.

On the off chance you have not seen it, check out John Ross's piece "mistakes". The idea being that we can anticpate many of the "anti" positions and have well thought out, philosophically correct, responses ready to go.

Thanks for the good work you are doing.

Posted by: Bob at October 18, 2005 02:24 PM

This is another reason the written word is where the thinking man will always win. Too many talking points, word pictures, (tanks???), and one UPing.

You did just fine and did not come off like a nutjob, which he attempted to make you into, (get's better ratings).

We are surrounded by those who know right and wrong but won't stand like a rock in matters of principle.

To hell with it. If a slave had to wait on the slave master for permission to gather arms that would eventually be used against the slave master...... long wait indeed.

Yet, we still have the chance to "politely" chat about ways to change our courts/system. Now is not the time to swim with the current.

Posted by: FishOrMan at October 18, 2005 04:12 PM
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