Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reno redux

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, still warm from the confirmation oven, is making news. Plucked out of a speech today marking Black History Month, here are the words kicking up all the dust:
"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been, and we, I believe, continue to be, in too many ways, a nation of cowards."
Pish-posh -- I can't even bring myself to be mildly interested, much less offended. Hell, he actually may be right, though I'll grant that our nation's chief law-enforcement officer probably shouldn't engage in such rhetoric.

If we're able, just for a moment, to break our addiction to ah-ha! sound bites, we'll realize that these are the words that should be making news:

"Recognition of an expansive individual right to keep and bear arms for private purposes will make it more difficult for the government to defend present and future firearms laws."

"Argument: The Second Amendment Does Not Protect Firearms Possession or Use That Is Unrelated To Participation In A Well-Regulated Militia."

"...(the Supreme Court of the United States) should adhere to its view...that the scope of the Second Amendment is limited to furthering the institution of the well-regulated militia..."

Those are excerpts from Brief for Former Justice Department Officials as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioners, taking the side of the District of Columbia in the landmark Heller case, which last June resulted in the Supreme Court affirming that the Second Amendment to the Constitution does, in fact, guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms.

The first of the brief's 13 signatures belongs to gun-grabbing former Attorney General Janet Reno who, for Second Amendment advocates, needs no further introduction. The third signature is that of Reno's former Deputy -- Eric. H. Holder, Jr.

According to conventional wisdom, it's fear of Obama-Biden's gun-control agenda that's responsible for skyrocketing firearms sales. Just last month, the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System registered more than 1.2 million checks, an increase of 29% over January of 2008. In November, election results triggered a record 1.5 million checks, a 42% jump over a year earlier.

Although my family and I were prepared for the threat long before Election Day, the current buying frenzy seems to me to be a reasonable reaction (or at least a human one) to a clear and present danger. We know that the danger reaches beyond the White House -- as Clinton-Gore had its Reno, Obama-Biden has its Holder.

A nation of laws has installed yet another Attorney General bent on end-running the Constitution. Don't kid yourself -- Heller or not, we're in a heap of trouble.

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