Constitutional idolatry

swimmerguy's picture

I especially like that picture from 1:35-1:41.
Pretty fuckin hawt.

We had a Ball tonight for orchestra, and it was awesome, there was a lesbian couple there :P Pretty sexy.
This chick I've known for years, and then a chick from my English class. If she's in English, I'm in English, and we assume Jun, CAG, is gay, then that's 3 gay people in a class of 30 (or bi, I guess), I have a feeling that's high.
Or maybe I dunno.

Anyway, tonight, I wanted to talk about Constitutional Idolatry, which is something that I find rather odd.
A lot of Republicans get pretty asstight about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which I find rather odd.
Stephen Colbert did a segment on a proposed law that would require all new laws to have a strict, cited, Constitutional basis.
Then they proposed a new law, after that, which required a specific, cited, basis in the fucking Magna Carta, such as that section that says if a man dies owing a Jew money, then his wife doesn't have to pay back that Jew, right?

I find it rather odd, in reality, that people are so nostalgic about old documents. Yes, I think, as in setting up a country, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution do a pretty fucking good job, especially for their time (too good of a job, I guess, for most of the men who wrote it, owning slaves, while writing down "All Men are Created Equal"...)
And one of the best things about it is that it was, intentionally, I think, written vaguely. Who knows what "cruel and unusual punishment" is? Or "the right to keep and bear arms"? How many arms, and how powerful?

See, when people get into fights about The Constitution says we can bear arms! So that means you can't take away my 50-round clip for my automatic assault rifle, how the fuck am I going to live with only a 30-round clip?!", it's like the Constitution only says you get to keep and bear arms, it doesn't say how many.
And even if the Constitution did say Everyone can have guns and no regulations about guns can be made, cause guns R fucking awsum lawl, then I would say we should leave it.

Because, as good as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were in their time, they were written in a different time, and great as they were (well, smart, great is debate able), the Founding Fathers couldn't necessarily have predicted every issue the US would face, so how would we use the Constitution to regulate the Internet? "And, if at any time in the future, say about 200 years, some smartass decides to create a network of electric-y things, we'll regulate it thus:..."

So, the Constitution was done, I think, incredibly well, but just because it's old doesn't mean it's good, it's this odd nostalgia people have for tradition.

That's like the thing with oh we can't break with TRADITION, no, it's always been one man, one woman.
It's like, maybe, I mean, it hasn't "always" been one man, one woman, but whatever, but just because ideas have been held for a long time doesn't necessarily make them good ideas, just because society hasn't been blown apart yet.
Like the idea that the sun circled around the Earth was held for a long time, a tradition, you might say, and society, well, you couldn't say it was doing well, but it hadn't exploded, but that doesn't mean things couldn't be made better by a revision to the tradition.

And it was, by some noble people.

But sometimes, just because ideas have been held for a long time, doesn't make them good ideas, many long-standing traditions are completely false, and I don't understand why people seem to think that if something was written a long time ago, of if that idea has been held a long time, it's immediately good.

Conservatives seem to be the people who say We've done things like this for a long time, and we're not dead yet, so it must stay that way, and a liberal seems like someone who'd say Yes, society isn't dead yet, but perhaps it could be made better by attempting change. Maybe we can experiment a little, and figure it out, but if we never change we'll never find out if we're wrong.

Like George Bush senior, I like that he tried out tax cuts, assured that they'd pay for themselves, but when they didn't, he realized the experiment had gone wrong, and he raised taxes. Lost an election for it, too.

So yeah, that's a penny for my thoughts tonight.

G'night guys.


hellonwheels's picture


While I agree with some of this post, I don't necessarily agree w/ all parts of it. I mean, the ability to amend the constitution through legislation is there for us to modernize the country and to make changes to it, however...this can be a long, drawn out process...

but Chad, before quoting facts about guns, please know the facts. 50 round magazines have been illegal in all 50 states for many. many years. Legally speaking, one can only own a 30 round mag. but also, that could be the point you are trying to make. size shouldn't matter, but it does to many 2nd amendment supporters.

IDK, I think that changes do need to be made as we enter the digital age, but I think they will take a long time to get into place.

Mental wounds not healing, driving me insane, i'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train- the ozzman

Yamamoto's picture

Size always matters

Size always matters hellonwhells... :P Becuase if you miss with the first 30 then you still have 20 in the mag ready to go... and that is certianly useful when one as to fight off the zombie hordes :D :D :D :D :D

swimmerguy's picture

Well, still

Most of the point of my post is like how I remember Ron Paul said about the Lawrence v. Texas ruling (that struck down sodomy laws) in 2003, that while sodomy laws were ridiculous and he didn't agree with them, he didn't agree with the ruling because it wasn't based strictly in the Constitution, he said using the "right to privacy" in the 14th Amendment wasn't good enough, and the ruling shouldn't have been made.

And that's what I get pissed off, is when people like, know something should happen, but they refuse to move forward because it's not specifically in the Constitution. That's when the Constitution ceases to be a useful document, and instead becomes only a barrier to progress, when people refuse to be progressive cause they can't justify it with a 200+ year old document.
Like, Ron Paul also wanted to make every law need to have a specific Constitutional cite, so that means, sodomy laws would never have been struck down, because of slavish obedience to the word of this old document, unless we like, made a new constitutional amendment for it, which, rather than just being a law, requires much more support and has to be ratified by 2/3 of states, and is a much bigger hassle generally.

So, I'd say take a much looser, generalized idea from the Constitution, because it's stupid to do the wrong thing, just because the right one isn't expressly authorized by the Constitution.

Likewise, about gun laws, I hate the Second Amendment, because it was written in a different time, I seriously think we'll be in much bigger problems if we have to have an armed overthrow of our government, than that we don't have any guns.
Meaning, even with an assault rifle, if the government decided to kill everyone, they could. We'd have no chance.
Or, they'd step down willingly, in which case what point were the guns?

We don't need guns anymore for the purpose they authorized in the Constitution, to overthrown the government if necessary, we're not going to use them for that.

All I know is like, 4 states don't require a permit to hold a concealed weapon. That's fucking ridiculous.

Now, I understand, guns are fucking AWESOME, but from a practical standpoint, all you ever really need them for is hunting, target practice, or perhaps self-defence. There's no need for assault rifles with 50 or 30 or even 5 round clips for any of those purposes, I think there should be hunting rifles, and hand guns, given only after investigation into the background of the person wanting them.
I mean, people say guns don't kill people, people kill people, it's like, "well, does that make a fucking DIFFERENCE? People use guns to kill people, you can kill a lot more people with a gun, than with your bare hands. So fuck that".

With the 50, 30 round clip comment, I was just trying to be ridiculous, I actually didn't know that 30 round clips were fucking LEGAL. What the fuck does anyone, ever need a 30 round clip in an assault rifle for? FUCK.

As for your last sentence about needing to make changes, I'd say, if the changes will take a long time to get into place, why don't we just put them into place now, rather than allowing the Constitution to become a barrier to progress?

anarchist's picture

I loved that video.

Oddly, it actually made me feel less lonely, for some weird reason. I don't understand why you liked that one picture, though. I didn't see anything special in it.
And yeah, tradition sucks and stuff.

Yamamoto's picture

Silly boy... you obviously

Silly boy... you obviously don't know much about anything... they make up to 100 round drums for some weapons, so at that point your just getting ridiculous. :P

Frankly I don't see anything wrong with it, becuase no matter what people are going to be just as dangerous with guns anyway unless you completely take them away. I mean seriously let people have there fucking fun and go out and shoot targets with heavy firepower. :P You want people to stay out of your privite lives... so you should stay out of theres... I mean as long as someone isn't hurting anyone, then who gives a fuck if they have a 50 or 30 round clip...

If one human being wants to kill another they don't need guns to do it... I mean a car can do a hell of a lot of damage too.

swimmerguy's picture


People won't be just as dangerous with guns anyway unless you take them away, someone can do a lot more damage with an assault rifle than with a bolt action hunting rifle, that's just a fact.

And I want people to stay out of people's private lives as long as it isn't hurting anyone. Every law takes away someone's freedom, I don't have the freedom to murder you, you don't have the freedom to murder me, I consider that a fair trade off, and I think people should be allowed to use drugs if it isn't harming anyone, but guns can be used to kill people, you can't really run into a crowd and kill people with a bag of weed, but you can with a gun.

And see, yes, someone could kill a lot of people with a car, but cars have obvious and tangible benefits to everyone, huge benefits, everyone can get around individually and quickly, it's an incredible good to society, and so for the people they kill, we decide that that's an acceptable trade-off for all the good they do, which is why they're not illegal.
Guns, don't really do much of anything, except get used for target practice. The economy, and really society in general, would probably not be harmed at all if all guns disappeared.

Dracofangxxx's picture

Just a thought,

drugs can and DO hurt/kill people. Date rape with rufalin? you can slip poison in people's shit all the time to kill someone. It's a common way for housewives to kill their husbands, if I'm not mistaken. Just slip something toxic in his food..

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. I agree guns are dangerous, but it's the jackass people that use them wrong, and would kill using anything else if they had the chance (be it fists, bottles, knives, etc).
That's redick!

swimmerguy's picture


I'm not disagreeing with the "people don't kill people, people kill people" thing, yes, there are assholes who kill people.

But that's like saying, and I know this is hyperbolizing, giving out atomic bombs, "just because people will kill other people anyway, because atomic bombs don't kill people, no, people kill fuckin people".
Yes, I know, a gun doesn't, on it's own, get up, and kill people, a guy has to do it.
But then, the person is using that gun as a tool, as a weapon, and with that tool, that weapon, they can kill more people than with a bottle, I could much more effectively kill a crowd of people with an assault rifle, than with a broken glass bottle, I'd get overpowered after like the first strike, with an assault rifle, there ain't no bitch gettin in mah way.

Which is why the argument "oh well weapons don't kill people on their own, that's what people do" is a fallacy, just like "cranes don't build skyscrapers", or any other variety of using tools to accomplish a task, yes, the tools don't use themselves, but they allow people to do a much better job of it.

And when I talk about "drugs", generally I'm referring to recreational drugs, you can poison someone with arsenic, yes, but no one really just does arsenic cause they can.
Which, in general, don't hurt others, and are done privately.
(This is one of the reasons I believe in judicial discretion, if someone's just smokin a blunt by themselves in their own home, I think it'd be different if someone got high, violent, and injured others under the influence of drugs).

Between you and Hell, yes, I realize now, that I was being a little harsh on gun laws in the journal. It is, in ways, comparable to drugs, in many ways.
But I think even drugs should be, while legal, regulated, and pretty heavily regulated, rather like booze today, and guns should be too, even more so, because guns are, in my opinion, significantly worse than drugs because they can be used for mass murder, and various other violent crimes while break-ins, where you can't really break into someone's house and threaten them with a joint (although, I admit, there is rufalin).

So, while, perhaps I was being harsh on guns, for one, I think the 4 states that have no requirements for concealed weapons permits are insane, and I'd prefer to have a little more discretion in giving those out, as well as tighter controls on assault rifles, although, I now realize, banning them would be very likened to Prohibition, and the Drug War, too, which were and are both miserable failures, so they shouldn't be banned outright.

Moral of the story, gun laws are still too lax, I think, but I was definitely being more harsh than prudent in the journal, as we've learned from Prohibition and such, trying to take things away from the people doesn't work.

angel syndrome's picture

tradition should be

tradition should be irrelevant, it just seems lazy to me.

hellonwheels's picture

While I agree with you on the point of the constitution...

Sometimes hindering progress, I don't agree at all on the fact that guns do nothing for our society other than cause harm. In the troubled economy of the past ten years, the number one selling item in the country has been firearms, followed closely by alcohol and cigarettes. Guns, the sale of ammunition, and the jobs that they create, believe it or not, stimulate a large portion of the US economy.

Also, I have been to places in the world, Chad, and seen the Need for large capacity magazines in rifles first hand. Lebanon, where my mother way in 2006, and Israel and Saudi Arabia, where my dad was on deployment @ one point, both use guns of that size daily.

Also, in response to your earlier point. that is ludicrous. An assualt rifle still requires a single pull of the trigger. So does a bolt action rifle. Anyone trained highly enough with a high caliber bolt action could do serious damage, potentially more so than an AR-15...consider the example of Kennedy's assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald used a rifle w/ a 10 round clip, but if he was skilled enough with it, he could have done a great amount of damage.

I know in the middle east, I saw farmers, locals, and people just using everyday shotguns, hunting rifles and the like to blow holes in the sides of buildings repeatedly, so don't underestimate what can be accomplished with them in times of war.

as for the well regulated militia and all that, you are right. Somewhat. If the US government truly wanted to take us out, they could. No question. That is true of all governments.

But on the other side of the coin, a well-regulated militia could still be of importance to the country. ever see the movie red dawn? That scenario, although far-fetched, is certainly possible.

Also, if you lived in the southern most states of the US, you might have a different view of firearms entirely. Not only are high powered rifles essential for hunting varmints from a distance to maintain your land, but the influx of drugs and related violence from our neighbors to the south are causing more folks to take up arms as well.

I know, I never seem to be able to structure an argument very well by typing it out anymore, and I need to work on my ability to communicate via the written word, but let me just leave it on the note that I disagree with you that it is not essential to keep and bear arms as a people.

I think it is just as important today as it ever was then. I will leave you guys with this link of what happened in the UK as a warning. They now have the highest property and violent crime rate in the world!

Mental wounds not healing, driving me insane, i'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train- the ozzman