atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4611: Next up: banning the Internet and fax machines

The Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that Mass. can ban stun guns because the founding fathers didn't envision the technology when they were writing the Bill of Rights.

Other technologies that the founding fathers did not envision:
Photography (especially film and video)
By this court decision, therefore, because those things weren't even ideas in the 18th century, the Bill of Rights does not apply to them. The same way the right to keep and bear arms is limited only to weapons that the Founders could imagine, the other rights can be similarly limited.

"Freedom of movement" is therefore restricted to where you can go on foot or horseback. Otherwise? "Papers, please."

"Freedom of the press" is limited to what you can do with a single-sheet, manual printing press; no computers, no Internet, no high-speed rotary presses, no TV or radio--just a couple of guys laying up type by hand from slugs, and cranking out pages by hand.

"Freedom of religion" only extends to religions that existed in the 18th century. (That means, incidentally, that Wicca is right out.)

"Cruel and unusual punishment" is limited only by the considerations of the 18th century, when execution was considered perfectly justifiable for certain crimes we no longer consider it for today. (We can't cut off hands or set people on fire, but we can whip 'em if we decide that'll do, or sentence them to hard labor.) Since the Founders didn't envision cable TV or weight machines, though, prisoners will have to entertain themselves with books or--more likely--spend most of their free time doing nothing, chained to the walls of their cells, unable to reach each other or even move very far.

I lack sufficient imagination to come up with other ways that progressive oxen can be gored with this horseshit, but I think I've made my point: any time you act to limit any of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, it has a chilling effect on all of them.

This ruling is not evenhanded just because it doesn't touch gun ownership. The ruling can be applied to modern firearms, including anything that uses a cartridge. At the founding of the USA, firearm technology was limited to muzzle-loaded guns, typically with flint or match ignition; by the logic of this ruling, then, firearm ownership could be limited to flintlocks without (theoretically) harming the right to keep and bear arms.

But the thing is, the Founders expected technology to advance even though they could not imagine how it might do so. That's why the second amendment says "arms", not "flintlocks" or even "rifles". They wanted to ensure that the broadest possible interpretation could be made with regard to what sort of arms the citizens of the USA could "keep and bear". This means that if someone were to manufacture a practical laser pistol, even though the Founders didn't even know such was possible it would fall under the broad definition of "arms".

The last thing any progressive wants, though, is for the individual to be able to defend himself. If you can defend yourself, you're not going to depend on government to do it for you, and self-reliance is anathema to progressives.

Well, the joke's on them: if you can't legally carry a stun gun and you want to be able to defend yourself, you'll probably get a handgun and the appropriate carry permit. That's actually better for you, anyway, because stun guns really aren't all that great as self-defense weapons anyway. You jab someone with the thing and it hurts them for a moment, but when the current stops they're hale and hearty again, only more pissed off, and in order to use the thing you have to close to melee range. Much better to pull out your pistol; if the sight of the gun doesn't make your assailant change his mind, a few rounds in his kiester might.

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