Scratches

Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

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Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Them's fightin' words

Comments about the Second Amendment aren't going to persuade anyone contr'ry minded. Until we grow up as a nation let's just take that as a given.

It doesn't mean we shouldn't comment.

Wayne LaPierre, the official bigmouth of the NRA, is fond of the slippery slope argument, saying that any restriction on the Second Amendment is a step down the slippery slope to disarming the populace. In the 1990s,  he also called  ATF agents "jack-booted thugs" in the aftermath of the Waco and Ruby Ridge incidents. Less known is that he signed a letter to NRA members containing similar sentiments around the time of the Oklahoma City bombing. That was, arguably, a case of speech protected by the First Amendment. It was also the occasion of me parting ways with the NRA.

Such sentiments fall under the original tests of  legal principle called the Fighting Words Doctrine. That doctrine has been modified over the years to apply only to speech that explicitly threatens violence. One wonders  whether the doctrine should apply to numerous Second Amendment defenders abroad these days, who in their zeal to defend the Second Amendment, falsely believe that the First Amendment enables them to say anything, no matter how menacing. The aftermath of LaPierre's "thugs" remarks in the 1990s was resignation of NRA members in large numbers, demonstrating one consequence of provocative words, fighting or not.

If I were to be present when LaPierre was speaking,  I might be tempted to offer up another demonstration of provocative words, which hopefully would provoke and open up another test of the doctrine.



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1 Comments:

Blogger massmarrier said...

What, you want honor and logic?

The gun/ammo absolutists certainly do understand the slippery slope. They relentlessly both pushed and pulled the public down into their pit. Now we have over 300 million circulating guns. The huge pit of weapons gets the NRA leaders and prepper types to say smugly, "Give up."

I refuse. Yes, they forced us into their armed camp down that slippery slope, but we can slowly, steadily crawl out with what are being cleverly set as gun-safety laws and regs.

11:54 a.m.  

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