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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Verlyn Ventures Into The World

A New Yorker flies out to Minnesota and discovers - lo and behold! - there is a Second Amendment, Toto!

Once a Progressive State, Minnesota Is Now a Fief of the N.R.A.
By Verlyn Klinkenborg, The New York Times

A couple of weeks ago, I checked into a hotel in Bloomington, a Minneapolis suburb framed by the airport and the Mall of America. On the hotel door was a sign: “Firearms Banned on These Premises.” The next day I drove to St. Joseph, an hour west of the Twin Cities, where I saw the same sign. Slowly the logical conclusion sank in. If firearms are banned on these premises, then they must not be banned in other places.

... to me, owning guns and knowing how to use them properly was part of a civic bargain. I would leave the police work to the police, and they would leave the squirrel hunting to me. The notion that 38 states would have “concealed carry” laws in 2006 would have seemed insane, a regression to a more primitive idea of who we are.

The N.R.A. would argue that society has changed since those innocent days. But society hasn’t changed nearly as much as the N.R.A. has — or our ideas about the balance of individual and collective rights. (
Old Verlyn must not get out much.

Since I am the NRA, I feel I can speak for my 4 ("insane," "primitive," and "regressive") million co-members.

Verlyn, has the state of New York also banned history books?

So you know, the NRA would argue no such thing. Society hasn't changed all that much (except maybe for you New Yorkers where you thrive on banning things; had a good smoke in that tavern down the road lately?). Nor has the NRA. Nor has our individual right to protect ourselves (reread that Bill of Rights thingy; it was written more than a few years ago).

Sure, folks that travel in your crowd flirted with the idea of disarming the American people for a time but that's the same crowd - though perhaps before your time - that experimented with eugenics and sterilization of Negroes. Those social experiments failed (even though your anti-cigarette and anti-SUV crusader buddies are still at it).

Failed as well was your plan to remake the Constitution by trying to convince people that that little clause, "the right of the people" is somehow a "collective" right, meaning - and this is humorous - that the Constitution guarantees the right of the military (it was known as the militia in the day) to have weapons! Do you honestly think Madison had the military in mind when he hammered out the Bill of Rights? I know I'm not from New York, but color me doubtful.

It turns out that that right, by the way, that "right of the people," is found not just in the 2nd Amendment but in the 1st ("the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances") as well, and in the 4th ("The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated").


I guess, Verlyn, you would argue that an individual can't claim in a court of law that his car was illegally searched by the police because the 4th Amendment applies only to the American collective.

Anyway, I get a chuckle reading about some East coast liberal who makes his first foray into the world and finds freedoms that he didn't know existed. And to read that the America he thought he knew must be changing because it's different from the one - New York - that he's used to.

In fact, the real America - y'all refer to it as "fly-over country" - hasn't changed at all, Verlyn.

And by the way, you're welcome to stay a while. You'll eventually find us to not be the blood-lustin' gun totin' hilljacks you thought we were. While you're here, I recommend that you hunt down (pardon the expression) an honest-to-God NRA member and get to know him - or her. You might come away with a more enlightened attitude. I hear y'all are big on being openminded. Yes, that's what I keep hearing.

You will find though that we here in the hinterlands are serious about remaining free from government oppression - and from your kind for that matter, Verlyn, and that we intend to do whatever is necessary to stay that way. I suggest you learn to accept it or head on back to The Peoples' Republic of New York.