Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Your 2nd Amendment Rights and My 9th Amendment Right Not to Get Shot Because of Your Idiocy

"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." - Second Amendment of the US Constitution, 1791

As any of my international readers will have noted, we kind of have a gun debate going on here in the USA. By "kind of" I mean that a lot of people, including children people, are getting shot here on a daily basis and some whiny people think it's a problem. By a lot of people getting shot, I mean that this is the 300th day of the year and according to Gun Violence Archive there have been 280 mass shootings in the 300 days of 2015, and as of this morning, 10,834 deaths, and 22,025 injuries. 

That little anti-Republican conspiracy magazine known as Mother Jones keeps having incredibly subversive articles on the subject. Like the one that pointed out more Americans have died in the past 25 years than have died in all wars (combined) that the US has fought in since 1776. Then there's that liberal-fomenting bastion, Harvard, which keeps providing them with their extremely biased images like this one:

We even have unhelpful articles like Christopher Ingraham's recent Wonkblog post on WashPo, about toddlers getting a hold of their parents' or grandparents' guns and shooting themselves or their people, like that's a problem and not just natural selection. All this talk about gun locks and smart guns and proper storage and too many carry permits makes my head ache. I mean, look a the stuff Wonkblog is making us look at:

Anyway, as a lot of you know, I've got health issues. I've spent no small amount of time in doctor's offices what with my, and my mom's, health. Maybe that's why this little gem caught my eye yesterday. From the Beaumont NBC affiliate:

"A witness told KCEN's sister station 12News that a woman was in the waiting room of a medical office. When she reached into her purse to pull out some paperwork, a gun fell out of her purse causing it to discharge. The round went through a wall and hit another patient in the hip."

Well, it turns out that it was all fine and hunky-dory and that the other patient was only shot a bit and could be discharged right away after treatment at a local hospital. I would have to be just plain dumb to be unsettled at the idea of people getting shot accidentally in a doctor's office or outpatient clinic. Admittedly, I always thought my doctor's office would be a safe place to have to sit and hang out, waiting endlessly to be seen. I mean, way safer than a movie theater or a university or a Wal-Mart or a post office or a fast food restaurant. Because, you know, doctors heal and all. But it turns out that going to the doctor isn't just potentially dangerous to your wallet, at least in Texas. It can be dangerous to your person. Because some idiot got a concealed weapon permit from a place that evidently forgot to test whether the person knew how to put the safety on their fecking gun.

I keep looking at that second amendment and wondering what is "well regulated" about militias (which we don't really have) and guns in the USA? Is one amendment more important than another? Because, personally, I would like to invoke my unenumerated Ninth Amendment right not to be shot because of someone exercising their purported Second Amendment right to bear their stupid firearm they don't know how to use safely. I think the Ninth Amendment means they can't take away my right not to be shot by idiots, doesn't it? I mean, the founders didn't spell it out, but they clearly foresaw the need that there might be some rights that shouldn't be infringed on, that weren't enumerated. I'm calling this one my unenumerated right not to be shot. (Yes, I know Scalia et al will say this is a complete misinterpretation of what the Ninth is about, by the way.) Speaking of my right not to be shot, that cute little thing called the Declaration of Independence,* which was drafted back in 1776, has some examples of unalienable rights that speak to me. Life (definitely not shot), liberty (freedom from being shot) and the pursuit of happiness (so much easier to be happy when you're not worried about being shot) were envisioned by our founders. What the hell happened?

*Incidental irony- Independence from one of the countries with the lowest rate of gun homicide in the world, and one with a complete ban of handguns, etc. If you want to get really jazzed about firearm related deaths in the US, take a gander at Humanosphere's take, which is sooo 2013. Here's a closing shot of nice and shiny "facts have a liberal bias" graphic:

© Bright Nepenthe, 2015

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