Friday, March 29, 2013

NC's Burr reveals ignorance of the Constitution, concept of inalienable rights in Q&A about gun rights, same-sex marriage, etc.

Debra Morgan: Sen. Kay Hagan came out today in support of same-sex marriage. Where do you stand on that issue?
Sen. Richard Burr: I believe that marriage is a function of state law. It has no place in Washington D.C., and I think that as the Supreme Court considers the case in front of them, I think there's a likelihood that the Supreme Court will say, 'We should never even consider this because it will infringe on states' rights. I believe that 50 states would be required then to make a determination then on what the definition of marriage is in their states.
Why state law? Why not city law? County law? Federal law? Imagine a scale of legislative bodies, starting at a hypothetical world government level and sliding all the way down to the smallest municipality capable of passing an ordinance and ask yourself: where would it make the most sense to regulate the institution of marriage?

People all over the world get married, right? People get married in the same faith tradition in different countries, and people get civil marriages and unions without a faith tradition, but it all is -- or should be -- the same. Across the warp and weft of government and religion, marriage is a contract entered into by two adult persons to make a commitment to one another, define obligations to one another, and to enjoy certain rights and privileges thereby. Sure, if you want to treat married couples differently in terms of the benefits your level of government provides, go ahead and do so, but treat all marriage the same, as a marriage. Period.

If your concern is about religious marriage, then consider this, we don't all share *your* religion. Marriage, for better or worse, is a civil institution as well as a religious one. Go ahead and do your religion your way, but don't pretend your religion gets to make the rules for the rest of us. Not a Muslim? Do you think you should have to abide by Sharia law? No? Good, then we agree that when it comes to matters of law and civil institutions, there is no place of religion. (See, my Christian friend, you're a secularist and you didn't even know it!)

If you only care about marriages in the U.S., what damned sense does it make to give one state the right to decide whether another state's marriages are valid are not? Do you get Connecticut married or Mississippi married? No, of course you don't, not any more than you get straight married or gay married. You get married married. The idea that marriage is properly an institution decided from state to state (or city to city, or town to town, or subdivision to subdivision) is laughably stupid.

Was slavery an issue properly decided at the state level? No. Slavery is an issue of liberty and equality -- it's a question about human rights and is answerable at the universal level. Slavery is wrong; it is a violation of human rights and it is right and proper that it be outlawed universally. Likewise, because marriage is an institution that affords couples certain rights and obligations in our society, therefore equal access to the institution is a matter of equality. We are all equal under the law. That is what makes us, to the extent we are, civilized. When you advocate for denying a class of citizens right on the basis of something beyond their control -- such as skin color, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference -- you are advocating for barbarism.

Senator Burr, you reveal yourself to be profoundly ignorant of the concepts of equal protection and human rights when you result to the idiot's argument of  "states' rights". I get that you believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Fine. Nobody is going to make you marry a man. Don't tell anyone else they can't marry the person they love simply because that person happens to be the same gender. It's bigoted and unfair -- and more the point: unconstitutional.

Also, if you really thought marriage was an issue best left to the states, you'd be a proponent of repealing DOMA. If you're for states defining marriage, and for DOMA, you're being hypocritical.

Morgan: After the Sandy Hook shooting, there was a lot of talk about gun control. That's pared off a little bit. Where do you stand on gun control and what do you think Congress should do about gun control?
Burr: I think Congress should attempt to make sure the background check data that we have incorporates enough information to make an educated decision. Today, there's no health care data, there's no mental health data that's found in a background check. So really, all we're looking to see if somebody who's purchasing a gun has a record, maybe was convicted of a felony that might deprive them of that Second Amendment right. There's no attempt on the Hill to try to incorporate medical records. So to get at the heart of the problem at Sandy Hook, we're not on that pathway. I'm committed to make sure that the Second Amendment is not infringed on in any way, shape or form. And I don't buy the president's argument that an assault weapon was made to hunt. No, an assault weapon was made to allow an American to defend themselves and their property – the exact reason the Second Amendment was created by our founding fathers. They didn't create the amendment for us to have the ability to hunt. And anything we would do to limit the American people to have that right protected would be an infringement to the Second Amendment.
Reminder: the Second Amendment is explicitly worded to make it, not a matter of an individual's right to have whatever weaponry they deem fit, but possible for the state to maintain a well regulated militia. It's worth repeating, "a well regulated militia". The peoples' right to bear arms is expressly about a civic duty of the people: the duty to defend the state. You can be sure the Founding Fathers had in mind the defense of the state against an enemy like the monarchy from which we we had recently broken free.

Yes, yes, I'm very familiar with recent perversions heaped on the Amendment by an incompetent, malevolent Supreme Court; so, fine, we all have to live with those ridiculous decisions until the Court can get it right -- which won't be the Roberts Court, that's for certain. So spare me the lecture about your side of the argument has successfully twisted the Constitution into shape it was never intended. I get it. The Court says you have a right they made up for you because bloodlust. Congratulations. But let's get back to the matter of whether that "right" is limitless.

It is not. You can't park a tank on your lawn. You can't go out and acquire fissionable material to make a nuclear bomb in your garage because you feel menaced by the secularists up north. We all agree, even you (unless you are a lunatic), that it is right and proper for the state to regulate what weaponry a private citizen can own and carry around with them. So let's not pretend the Second Amendment is something it isn't, shall we?

Senator Burr, when you say that the "exact reason" the Amendment was created was to allow for defense of self and property you are, either willfully or ignorantly, getting it exactly wrong. What part of "well regulated militia" don't you understand? Your job is to legislate and regulate, and to legislate and regulate well. Do. Your. Fucking. Job.

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