The Heller Decision

I’m not going to go into this in any depth, but I wanted to post something acknowledging that the Supreme Court handed down the right decision on something (not that rare even for this court).

No reasonable interpretation of the Second Amendment, based on its history, its language, the debate surrounding its adoption, or the other related measures debated and sometimes adopted for state constitutions, can possibly justify understanding it as anything other than an individual right to “keep and bear arms” for self-defense and any other lawful purpose.

One can sanely think this is a mistake, and thus favor fixing it; but to fix it requires a new constitutional amendment.  It’s been done before; slavery was thrown out, and prohibition was brought in and then thrown out, for example.

Justice Scalia’s decision goes into the historical and linguistic scholarship in some detail, and is also remarkably nasty to the dissenting opinions.  I haven’t yet read them; the two of them are bigger than the main opinion, and I just haven’t had time.

The decision (in PDF format) can be downloaded here.

There’ll be years of litigation, of course, trying to expand from this beachhead into a real, solid, acceptance of the most basic human right, the right to defend yourself.

Dyer-Bennet’s Fourth Law

“Don’t waste your time arguing about allocating blame.  There’ll be enough to go around.”

I believe there never was a third law.  The first and second seem to be lost (I vaguely remember that at least one of them was a simple theft of one of the classics).  If anybody remembers, or especially has or can find archived posts where I cite the earlier laws, I’d be fascinated to hear.

Thoughts on Christianity

I don’t “get” the religious impulse. It appears to be widespread, appearing in essentially all cultures, across recorded history and most likely back into the realm of archaeology (though we must remember the tendency to categorize anything not understood as “religious artifacts”). It’s quite possibly hard-wired into the human brain. But I still just don’t get it. I don’t understand why people want any religion, or why they pick the ones they do.

Continue reading Thoughts on Christianity