Why outlaw firearms for the good simply because evil uses them too?
Essentially handguns can be ideal for the killing of would-be criminals by the just. Naturally every time a villain wields a handgun he can use it to harm innocents. Timothy Noah wields the twisted belief that the legalized ability for an innocent to own a handgun and use it on a criminal increases a criminal’s ability to own a handgun and use it on an innocent.
Timothy Noah apparently believes that it is a statistical destiny that handguns produced for reasonable commercial reasons of sport and defense will end up as weapons to end innocent lives.
This idea disgusts me.
Timothy Noah’s notion that Justice Scalia does not care about the innocents disgusts me as well.
Naturally, Mr. Ponnuru accurately addresses Mr. Noah’s character and expressions as “vileness”. What I think really aggravates Mr. Ponnuru is Mr. Noah’s moral assignment upon firearm usage: “a handgun’s convenience when put to good uses is heavily outweighed by its convenience when put to bad ones.” Whatever I could possibly do that is right and just with a firearm in Washington, DC is still wrong if whatever empowered me to do that also empowered a criminal with a similar tool. Never mind that criminals can arm themselves when and where a law-abiding citizen can not. If I have been enabled to kill a home invader and a rapist and prevent three horrific events it is an immoral empowerment to Mr. Noah because he expects that same sort of gun ownership to grant a criminal the power he used to murder his neighbor.
Mr. Ponnuru’s most legalistic criticism is of Mr. Noah’s hackneyed argument is simply
This might begin to be a cogent criticism of Scalia’s decision if the Constitution were neutral with respect to gun policy. It isn’t. Noah’s view of the balance of risks involved in liberalizing gun laws is pretty much irrelevant to the constitutional question.
Just because someone can misuse something is irrelevant to the right to use it properly.
Mind you, Mr. Noah also miscasts Justice Scalia’s majority opinion as “creating a right to convenience”, which if he was doing that, he would be pounced upon by Conservatives and originalists. What is more true to Justice Scalia’s character and Mr. Ponnuru’s character is simply thus
It would be closer to the mark, though not perfect, to say that Scalia ruled that constitutional rights should be defined in a way that made them meaningful, but that doesn’t make for quite as stinging an indictment, does it?
The Constitution has strength where it applies to the needs, rights, and burdens of the people. The same is true for all laws.