Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fool me twice...

Eric Holder, nominated by President-elect Barack Obama for Attorney General, is answering questions today from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Holder has a lot of explaining to do, notably about his role in Pres. Clinton's eleventh-hour pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.

Those of us who cherish our individual right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Constitution and affirmed last June by the Supreme Court in its landmark Heller decision, have our own concerns about the nominee.

This morning, committee chair Sen. Patrick Leahy questioned Mr. Holder about his views on the Second Amendment -- specifically, whether he believes that it confers an individual (not a collective) right. Here's the part of his response that was picked up immediately by the media:
"The Supreme Court has spoken. That is now the law of the land."
Don't be fooled.

I watched the confirmation hearing, and I can tell you what preceded Mr. Holder's perfunctory nod to Heller -- the assertion that he, among many others, had submitted amicus briefs to the high court in staunch opposition to any decision that would affirm an individual right. Today's statement was a clear and unambiguous expression of resistance to "the law of the land," making the prospect of Mr. Holder's confirmation anything but encouraging.

Like his boss-elect, Mr. Holder has a broad interpretation of the Supreme Court's allowance for "reasonable restrictions." His hollow recognition of Heller will unfold to transform the Second Amendment into just another rule that's meant to be broken, a Constitutional right that's there simply for his Department of Justice to trample.

To be clear: With Eric Holder ensconced as our nation's chief law-enforcement officer, carrying the anti-Second Amendment imprimatur of Obama-Biden, our individual right to keep and bear arms will be under attack as never before.

If we're to have a chance at winning the fight, we must embrace both the "eternal vigilance" of Thomas Jefferson and the "Μολὼν λάβε" of Leonidas -- no rest, no quarter, no retreat.

And no excuses.