Monday, February 03, 2014

How Would Jon Stewart Play This?

Jon Stewart might start with this quote:

"'We are locked in a struggle with powerful forces in this country who will do anything to destroy the Second Amendment,' said Richard Venola, a former editor of Guns & Ammo. 'The time for ceding some rational points is gone.'" [Quoted in NYT]

(Host looks into camera, with a "Here we go again" look)  I mean...that's just SUCH B.S.  They are trying to scare people.  The quote above comes from this story, where a guy got fired for even considering the possibility of regulating firearms ownership.  Nobody is "after" your gun rights, folks.

Then cut to:

"Movie producer Harvey Weinstein announced for the first time on Howard Stern’s radio show that he is making a full feature drama to try to destroy the National Rifle Association...'I shouldn’t say this, but I’ll tell it to you, Howard,' he said. 'I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take this head-on. And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.'" [Washington Times]

(Host stares into camera, struck dumb, mouth flapping...Big laughs all around!)

That actually sounds pretty rough.  Is ol' Harvey going to kill someone, or just make them want to kill themselves?

Two more points:

1.  The reason ol' Harvey W gets to make a "full feature" movie expressing his personal political views is that the "Citizens United" case was CORRECTLY DECIDED by the Supreme Court.  This is going to be a 2 hour political ad, one that costs millions of dollars to make.  And the money is going to come directly from corporate treasuries.  And none of it will have to be reported as a political contribution.  Because CU was CORRECTLY DECIDED.  I'm not sure why no one understands this.  The Citizens United movie about Hillary was protected political speech.  So is Harvey's piece of crap movie.  That's what the CU decision was about.

2.  My own view on guns are actually very close to those of Dick Metcalf.  The 2nd Amendment says "well-regulated," folks.  So, I may agree, on the merits, with a lot of what ol' Harvey W wants to say.  And I certainly want to defend his right to say it.


Michael said...

Dr. M, I don't have any issue with your position, but there's one detail of it I find flawed.

"Well regulated" does not mean that it comes with government regulations; it means disciplined and in proper working order. This phrase was picked apart in the Heller Supreme Court case as well, and while a supreme court majority doesn't prove a metaphysical truth, it does lend it credibility.

Adam Dynes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

CU rightfully permits corporations to make Independent Expenditures, which are EXPRESS Advocacy, which is probably not what Weinstein is going to do; he's going after the NRA, not a candidate (e.g., Hillary). Of course if HW links gun control to specific candidates and desired electoral outcomes then CU carries the day.

Anonymous said...

Even if "well regulated" does mean government regulations, it doesn't necessarily mean heavily regulated. It certainly doesn't mean that new, poorly thought out regulations should be piled on top of existing poorly thought out regulations. It means that the regulation should be done well, but guns aren't well regulated. They are heavily regulated, more so than any gun control advocate is willing to admit, but that regulation and many proposed new regulations are more often guided by bigotry than reason.

Squints said...


It's not the "regulated" that causes concern. It's the "well."

The would-be banners behave dishonorably and unreasonably, then are aghast that anyone questions their good faith.

Squints said...

Now, me, I don't own one. Having the good sense to know I'd put my eye out, kid.

But I guard jealously my right to own one.

Luke Adachi said...

Mr. Munger:

FWIW the constitutions primary champion, Publius, goes to great lengths explain that the militia is the people is the militia is the people. And, states quite plainly that the response to usurping of national power is to be met with armed resistance. therefore: I figure that the NRA guys are closer to the mark.

Russell said...

What the Supreme Court asserted in Citizens United is that it had no way to distinguish between media corporations and any other corporation. If the NYT and NBC can editorialize about candidates, so can any other corporation. That seems correct to me: the 1st amendment explicitly protects "the press."

I also agree with Heller and McDonald rulings. There must be some club for the dozen or so of us who agree with all three?

What I find laughable about the NRA is the notion that gun owners are somehow important to America's political freedoms. To the extent that gun owners have political expression today, they fall on the authoritarian side of every question other than gun ownership. Whether it is gay marriage or immigration, torture or reproductive rights, they are for state control and against the individual civil liberty. That makes sense, given America's peculiar history. Not so much, given their rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Russell - you need to get out more.

Anonymous said...

Most of the recent research on the 2nd amendment confirms that it was meant to protect an individual right to own firearms.

I'm sure you would prefer living in a gun-free paradise (well, gun-free except for criminals).

Nathan Sumrall said...

I agree on the merits of CU and your characterization of the film, but I think you draw a blatantly fake equivalence between killing an organization and killing its members when you describe his goal as deadly violence.

Christopher T. Mahoney said...

The 2nd amendment was intended to allow the people to revolt against the government:
Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #29, 1788:
"If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens little inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens."