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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 5/4/2004 11:28:38 AM EDT
DEMOCRATS FOR GUNS
by Ted Rall

Why Kerry Should Stand Up for the Second Amendment
NEW YORK--"Law-abiding citizens of the United States have the individual right to own a firearm," Dick Cheney told the National Rifle Association's annual convention on April 17. Should the Democrats recapture the White House, Cheney warned, that right would be imperiled. "John Kerry's approach to the Second Amendment has been to regulate, regulate and then regulate some more." NRA first vice president Sandra Froman echoed Cheney's campaign pitch to gun owners: "There is no greater threat to gun ownership than John Kerry as president." If Kerry campaign officials thought their candidate's Vietnam resume or membership in the NRA--he enjoys hunting as much as any red-blooded American--would inoculate them on the gun issue, they were as badly deluded as the folks who thought Saddam had WMDs.

The polls are clear: The outcome of this year's presidential election hinges on the economy and the war in Iraq, not guns. And while most Americans believe that they enjoy the right to carry firearms, they also favor government regulation. Nevertheless, Kerry would be wise to break ranks with his party's liberal base by declaring his enthusiastic support for the Second Amendment.

A polarized electorate neatly divided between the two major parties has created a high-stakes political climate in which relatively low-stakes "values issues"--partial-birth abortion, flag burning, "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance--may determine the outcome of such weightier matters as whether the United States ought to wage preemptive war. Had Al Gore convinced 270 Floridians that he would have been more likely than Bush to allow them to keep their guns, after all, we wouldn't be facing a projected $6 trillion federal deficit.

Besides, abolishing handguns is a lost cause. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, roughly 70 million Americans own more than 200 million guns--with four to five million new weapons manufactured annually. Even if Congress authorizes police to break down every door in the country to confiscate them--a task our military can't carry out in occupied nations subject to martial law, like Afghanistan or Iraq, let alone in Wyoming and New Jersey--the gun genie is never going to get stuffed back into the bottle.

The best argument for coming out as a pro-gun nut relates to the need for an adjustment to the long-term strategy of the Democratic Party. For too long, both parties have treated the Constitution like a Chinese menu. Republicans whittle away at the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and smear opponents who exercise their First Amendment right to free speech. Democrats rail against the states rights expressed by the Tenth Amendment and absurdly argue that the placement of a comma reflects the founders' original intent to limit gun ownership to members of 18th century militias. Aside from its fundamental intellectual dishonesty, our politicians' take-some-leave-others attitude deviates from most citizens' belief that every section of the Constitution holds equal weight.

Constitutional purism lies at the heart of libertarianism, one of the three main strains of American political thought--the big ideas that unite the overwhelming majority of American voters no matter where they live or how they vote. Two other primary impulses, liberal compassion and fiscal conservatism, also resonate with the electorate. (Bush sold himself as a "compassionate conservative" to co-opt the Democrats on caring; Clinton balanced the budget to steal away GOP prudence.) A party capable of synthesizing these three grounding impulses could form a virtually invincible majority for decades to come. And Democrats, forced into becoming the de facto party of fiscal conservatism, are currently in a better position than Republicans to adjust to such a majoritarian strategy.

Democrats, however, still need to make the libertarian case. That's where guns come in. Accepting and promising to defend the Constitution as a whole, including the Second Amendment, could jumpstart the return of the American left from the fringe to the mainstream. Kerry's endorsement of gun rights would not only neutralize a key GOP values issue; it would serve as a cultural signifier that he doesn't view hunters and other gun aficionados with (as Democratic political consultant David Sweet put it) "an urban, sophisticated mentality that sneers at their way of life."

Link Posted: 5/4/2004 12:41:40 PM EDT

For too long, both parties have treated the Constitution like a Chinese menu. Republicans whittle away at the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and smear opponents who exercise their First Amendment right to free speech. Democrats rail against the states rights expressed by the Tenth Amendment and absurdly argue that the placement of a comma reflects the founders' original intent to limit gun ownership to members of 18th century militias. Aside from its fundamental intellectual dishonesty, our politicians' take-some-leave-others attitude deviates from most citizens' belief that every section of the Constitution holds equal weight.

Constitutional purism lies at the heart of libertarianism, one of the three main strains of American political thought--the big ideas that unite the overwhelming majority of American voters no matter where they live or how they vote.


I never heard of him and don't know anything more about him than the above paragraph, but his view on this matter is exactly like mine.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 12:43:26 PM EDT
Didn't he draw that anti-Tillman cartoon from yesterday?
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 12:47:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jon_C_:
Didn't he draw that anti-Tillman cartoon from yesterday?


That's what I was thinking.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 12:50:46 PM EDT
yeah, I found this story off a link on his web site. I found it amusing that a POS like that recognizes gun control as a losing strategy for Democrats.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 12:53:35 PM EDT
This guy makes a living sneering at others. As someone aptly put it, "he knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" He especially disdains the military.

I'll count this as the effort of a blind squirrel. Libertarians will not buy a Democrat over the gun issue. Rall is selling Kerry and probably is a Moveon.org type who really believes in Anyone But Bush.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 12:53:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jon_C_:
Didn't he draw that anti-Tillman cartoon from yesterday?

Unless there's two Ted Ralls - that's him.

And I don't give a fuck HOW pro-RKBA that cocksucking sack of shit is - that means NOTHING to me. He's still a Fifth Column/Useful Idiot maggot undermining the very same brave Americans and military institutions that are protecting his sorry juvenile-minded journalistic ass.

Yeah, the Black Panthers and militant American-Muslim groups are pro-RKBA too - doesn't mean shit.

Link Posted: 5/4/2004 12:56:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By Jon_C_:
Didn't he draw that anti-Tillman cartoon from yesterday?

Unless there's two Ted Ralls - that's him.

And I don't give a fuck HOW pro-RKBA that cocksucking sack of shit is - that means NOTHING to me. He's still a Fifth Column/Useful Idiot maggot undermining the very same brave Americans and military institutions that are protecting his sorry juvenile-minded journalistic ass.

Yeah, the Black Panthers and militant American-Muslim groups are pro-RKBA too - doesn't mean shit.


Good enough for me. Thanks, Mac.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 1:51:03 PM EDT
Tim McVeigh was pro-gun too. Allies like him and Ted Rall, I can live without.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 2:00:52 PM EDT
Ted Rall is definitely without class; but he has a good point if the Dems bother to listen. Though it is too late for Kerry to heed it since his 20 year record of perfect agreement with the Brady Campaign and the vote in March to kill gunshows, ban semi-autos and ban all centerfire rifle ammo pretty much mean that he wouldn't have any pro-gun credibility with me if he stood on a podium waving a beltfed over his head and screaming "From my cold dead hands!"
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 2:22:52 PM EDT
If anyone should be pro-gun these days, its Ted Rall.

I suspect he has received more than one death threat in the last few days.

He has to be watching over his shoulder everywhere he goes.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 2:26:41 PM EDT
Ted Rall is a Cheeseweasel.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 2:31:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By slefelar:
If anyone should be pro-gun these days, its Ted Rall.

I suspect he has received more than one death threat in the last few days.

He has to be watching over his shoulder everywhere he goes.



Ha! Good point!
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 3:33:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2004 3:38:07 PM EDT by raven]
Ted Rall is a little more observant than most Liberals. He's noticed that Democrats' shrieking over Bush, the Iraq War, and many other issues (including gun control) has alienated them from millions of voters. The numbers don't lie. Democratic Party membership is the lowest it's been since the 1930's, Democrats haven't had this few Congressmen and Senators in office since the 1920's. They used to virtually own Congress.

He wrote a new book about this, called Wake Up, You're Liberal: How to Take This Country Back From the Right

His new book has two points: First is a delusion I've heard Michael Moore and Janeane Garafolo say before. Most Americans ARE Liberal, they just don't know it (or are too stupid to know it. They're getting dumbed-down and brainwashed in public schools....oh wait, public schools are dominated by Liberals and the Teachers Unions, I forgot)

Second are suggestions to triangulate and make make appeals to trick people into voting Democrat. This essay by a hard Left radical against gun control is a prime example. Liberals now seem to be exploring hitherto unknown territory for them, COMMON SENSE, in the quest for more votes. Big government giveaways and paying lip service to national defense doesn't seem to be working, especially with Bush spending freely as any Democrat and his complete ownership of the national defense issue. So what do Democrats have? Class warfare never seems to push peoples' buttons except for the losers who want government to meet all their needs. Environment? It keeps getting cleaner, lower and lower levels of pollution despite all the accusation Bush is destroying the planet. Affirmative Action? This appeals to minorities who vote 90% Democrat anyway. How are you going to appeal to white men when you preach a message that might cheat them out of a job they're qualified for because there aren't enough minorities in the company or public service? Or they are rejected by the college of their choice in the interests of having a more diverse student body?

They're in a tough spot, Democrats.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 4:03:34 PM EDT

If Kerry campaign officials thought their candidate's Vietnam resume or membership in the NRA--he enjoys hunting as much as any red-blooded American--would inoculate them on the gun issue, they were as badly deluded as the folks who thought Saddam had WMDs.


Kerry's an NRA member?
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