Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Second Amendment

Gibson notes that today is the one-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. We'll tie that to the discussion about guns here in the presidential debate. Good job, Charlie Gibson, for making sure that that crazy gunman lives on in infamy.

Back to business.

What can the feds do to combat the crime wave in Philly? Hillary goes first. Um, wait -- I didn't see a cheesy transition with anything from the Constitution about the crime wave in Philly -- or the cops program, or any "public relations" program. She supports reinstituting the assault weapons ban. Now we're talking about mental health issues. She says we can balance gun owners' rights to own and use their guns with making sure that we keep those guns out of the hands of the wrong people; current policy "doesn't respect the common sense of the American people," she says.

Obama is asked about the D.C. weapons ban; is it constitutional? As a general principle, Obama says he believes that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms, but that local governments can constrict it, much as zoning ordinances are constrictions on the right to own property. Good example. (Hey, Barack; how about a constriction on the right to privacy -- for the unborn???? ANYWAY ...) Obama says he's never favored an all-out ban on handguns. "Mentally deranged?" Of course those folks shouldn't have guns ... but how to institute that policy? Therein lies the rub, as they say. That's where the rubber meets the road.

Clinton is asked about the D.C. ban: "You know, George," blah blah blah. She doesn't answer the question. It's a simple yes or no; does she support the ban or not? "What I support is sensible regulation that is consistent with the constitutional right to bear arms." She says that "a total ban with no exceptions might not be, but I don't think that should blow open a hole in the idea that local government can't make rules governing ownership." She can't even answer the question about whether she supports registration of handguns. She can't answer a simple, direct question. Thank goodness I never had to diagram a Hillary Clinton response when I was in grammar school.