Saturday, March 17

Pwning gun control?

Jen Sorenson's Comics rock.

Why do we blog? If we were really honest, ya know, we'd admit that it's because being a blogger makes you such an interesting party guest.

Had drinks, sushi, and dinner with a buncha Mr. Blue Gal people last night, among them author and historian Saul Cornell. His book, A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America, recently won the Langum Prize in American Legal History for 2006.

In the course of conversation, he mentioned that the counterpoint to his position on gun control (pretty much for it) is provided by, among other people, a guy named Glenn Reynolds.

I asked him to explain who this Glenn Reynolds guy is, and he started to, and I said, because there's a blogger, Instapundit, who is...

"Yeah, same guy."

"Oh. Lotsa people hate him."


Saul and I got along really well after that. We talked about blogging and his position (Mr. Blue Gal's too) that "as a historian" he find the blogs a little too instant and disorganized to be of much historical value, but (unlike Mr. BG) Mr. Cornell agrees that the blogs are the flavor of the moment and you can't ignore them.

BTW Gun Control is not a big theme on this blog, Blue Gal is more of a First Amendment blog than a Second Amendment blog, but if there's a blogger reading this who would like to blog about the history of gun control, particularly to put the current gun-control climate in historical perspective, I've got your guy and can get you in touch for an interview. He's more than willing; feel free to email me.

Turns out according to Cornell that the right wing blogs have it all over us lefties in terms of covering the gun control issue. Cornell says he thinks that's because pro-gun control guys (it's usually guys, natch) are rabid about it, while for lefties the anti-gun thing is just one more tent on the National Mall during the fifteenth peace rally since January.

Why don't more of us blog about gun control? We did get mad at Bush when he sympathized with the dead Amish kids without mentioning guns. Once.

And as it came up over pre-dinner drinkies last night (Okay, okay. Being Mrs. "Mr. Blue Gal" does have some advantages) there's actually a pretty major case that's just been decided that may change the whole course of gun control history. [Warning, lefty bloggers, thatsa George Will link.] Radical right wing judges (Reagan and Bush I appointees, anyone? anyone?) might just decide in the not too distant future that it's perfectly okay with the "well-regulated militia" thing for you to have a rocket launcher in the back of your house. Because of terrorism. Certain Republicans think "giving people back their guns" will help GOP election hopes. Yeah.

Not like this gun-control issue isn't pertinent or anything.


  1. Whats Wrong With the Border States?

    The fact that border states voted against their economic interest to support the Rebugs in the last two presidential elections has taken gun talk off the national table.

    Cities and States are now the front lines in gun control. Several law suits are working their way though the courts and if memory serves me correctly there was some legislation introduced in Congress to only allow the federal government to make gun policy.

    Net net bottom line, do you really have time for another cause celebre with all the current and future WH scandals?

  2. META Issue

    When I post I invariably have to enter the word verifaciton, name and pasword twice

    I am corious if others are expericencing this problem.

  3. Coming from a country where gun control is fairly stringent, I have always found the US take on it quite intriguing.

    Whenever I read the 2nd Amendment it always stands out more as a "States Right" than an individual one. The tone of that being set by "well-regulated militia". The true militia being the armed-force kept by the state, the regulation of the militia (armed citizens on behalf of the state) being provided by the legislature of that state.

    Am I reading it from too narrow an angle?

    Organicgeorge: That's blogger's famous time-out you are experiencing. Normally I have to enter the verification twice as well. If you manage to post a comment in under 30 seconds you can often beat the clock.

  4. I got a gun control theory.

    America has to change a lot before anything can be done about guns. If Democrats were to make guns a big issue again, it would cost them because culturally guns appeal to Americans in a big way. If Democrats stay off that subject and try to win on other issues, eventually things like better education, less poverty, less warfare, etc. will reshape the culture and when those things happen, then gun control will seem like a no brainer. Of course if the culture was more temperate, we wouldn't need gun control, so it's a giant catch-22.

  5. I tend to agree with station agent on this issue. With the GOP leadership currently doing a damned good job of shooting itself in the foot, there's no reason to open up this issue again.

    As for my personal view, I admit to being highly ambivalent about gun control. It works, to some extent, in the UK, but comparing the USA to the UK is much like comparing apples to oranges.

    There's a culture of violence in this country and particularly in red state America; there's a very vindictive, violent, old testament ethos that would object wholeheartedly to their guns being taken away.

  6. I hope to post about gun control soon.


    Why do we blog? If we were really honest, ya know, we'd admit that it's because being a blogger makes you such an interesting party guest.

    Not a complete justification because I don't go to any parties.

    Pretty boring, huh?

  7. I post about gun violence, but not often enough, I fear. This should remind me to get back to it.

    The only topics that draw more trolls to my blog than gun control is anything having to do with immigration or gay rights. Wonder why that is?

    By the way, what's a "dinner party"?

  8. *topics*... *are*

    Revising without re-reading. Not good.

  9. Anonymous11:46 PM

    "S OK, Dave, you're focusing on more important things, like content. And yours is always thoughtful.

  10. Anonymous11:49 PM

    My postings always work if I save the letter-match for last. Except when the mechanical half-wit that writes those things has an illegible script, so I mess up what I can't read!!

  11. I was thinking about my comment here, and I want to ammend it slightly.

    My theory is what I believe politicians should adhere to. Bloggers, however, have basically nothing to lose and according to Quaker Dave, we can gain trolls. So we most definitely should get out front on this issue. Who knows, maybe the country is quietly getting really fed up with kids getting shot in schools.

    I do see why politicians have to be pragmatic about the pace at which they push for change, and there probably is an order of operations that make social change more efficient.

    I think I should probably do some anti-gun posts now.

  12. I forgot to say, however, that some of the best troll bait out there is blogging about the Confederate flag. Call it "the flag of sedition" or something like that and watch them swarm...

  13. I'm intrigued by your friend's new book. There was a famous previous book arguing in favor of the historical-legal precedent for gun control, called "Arming America." It won the Bancroft Prize for History. Only, the author fabricated and lied about his sources. The prize was rescinded.

    I'm a liberal but am often accused of being "far right" on gun issues. Which strikes me as bizarre. After all, it is liberals who defend the other nine amendments of the Bill of Rights. Why do we, then, determine the Second Amendment, ratified before the liberally beloved Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments, to be a conservative Amendment? The Bill of Rights is liberal territory. And that includes the Second Amendment.

    As for why more liberals don't write about it, I suspect it's because at least a few of us are wising up to the obvious political ramifications. We can't win the West (much less the South) on a gun control platform. Furthermore, extensive gun control laws passed in many states, and by the federal government, have proved utterly ineffective at preventing violent crime. If a proposed solution doesn't work, you move on to a different solution.


I really look forward to hearing what you have to say. I do moderate comments, but non-spam comments will take less than 24 hours to appear... Thanks!