Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dear Joe The Plumber: F___ Your Rights.

And, up on the soap box again.

I have said before and I will likely say many more times that I absolutely believe in the Second Amendment. I also believe in the First Amendment, which allows for free speech and permits you to be a narcissistic ass by making your statement about your rights to the grieving parents of youths murdered by a mentally unstable and deluded brat before he killed himself with the same firearm he used in a shooting spree.

I firmly believe in the Second Amendment and I believe, as I have already said, in the First Amendment. But you know what? I believe the interpretation might be a bit generous. There are occasions where the First Amendment has exceptions:

Incitement: Want to start a riot with your words? That's a no-no.

False Statement of Fact: That means the vast majority of politicians and most of the reporters for Fox News should all get their mouths washed out with soap. 

Obscenity: That means I censored a certain four letter word in my header. It's considered "obscene" by a lot of people. 

Child Pornography: Means some people are sick and should be locked away from children for all eternity (And just possibly used as targets at the local gun range, but some people might think that last bit is a wee bit extreme.).

Fighting Words and Offensive Speech: Remember "Incitement" up above? This is just another way of reminding us that picking fights with your words, even on a personal scale, is not legally protected. 

Threats: With the exception of situations that are obviously hyperbole like "Imma punch you so hard you go into orbit." Threats are not taken lightly and are not protected by the Bill of Rights. In fact in Georgia, if you threaten to kick someone's posterior, it's technically a "terroristic threat" and a felony. I don't know how that breaks down in the rest of the country. See, I'm a writer, not a lawyer or a plumber, so I might not understand all the shades of gray out there. 

Speech Owned By Others: Note how I'm not even quoting you here. Your words are yours. They might be disgusting, self-indulgent fecal matter that express how deeply important it is for you to own penis substitutes to newly grieving parents, but they are still yours. 

Commercial Speech: Truth in advertising. Lie enough and you could get in trouble again, especially if you are doing it to sell product. 

Governmental Control Issues:

 Government as Employer, Government as Regulator of the Airwaves,  Government as  Educator, Government as Subsidizer/Speaker,  Government as Regulator of the Bar, Government as Controller of the Military, Government as Prison Warden,  Government as  regulator of Immigration.  

Those are all exceptions to the First Amendment, an Amendment that I hold near and dear to my heart. 

Now, let's look at The Second Amendment, shall we? 

Here it is: 

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." 

Know what that means? Of course you do. 

Here's one for you, Joe: What about MY Right not to get shot? 

That would fall under the Ninth Amendment: 

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Your right to bear arms does not override my right to not get shot by a lunatic who had easy access to a weapon. 

Additionally the United States Declaration of Independence says we have three unalienable rights including "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

All of which is to say that I DO respect the Second Amendment. I also believe that if changes and justifications can be made to the First Amendment, they can and should be made to the Second Amendment as well and that those qualifiers and changes in no way, shape or form prevent you from defending your home. 

I firmly believe that proper screening, proper safety regulations and proper educations should all be required before anyone in this country is allowed to carry a loaded weapon outside of their own home or, frankly, inside of their home. (Just yesterday another toddler killed a younger sibling because the parent or parents were too careless or stupid to know not to leave loaded weapons where a toddler could get to it. I feel for the parents. I do. I also believe the owner of that weapon should be stripped of the privilege of owning a weapon and very possibly prosecuted for manslaughter. 

I also tend to think that since we have a very powerful military (possibly the greatest in the world, though I expect that's up to debate with some other countries) we could maybe acknowledge that we've got that militia part covered, but that's just me. 

And so on a side note, because I can and I have the right, I think you’re a moron and a loser and while I respect your rights, your lack of common decency regarding the grief that several families are enduring lowers my respect for you, low as it might have been.

And, off the soap box again.

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