CISPA and Gun Control →

Apr 19, 2013 •

I’ve made a sort of unofficial deal with myself to avoid link-posting as much as possible. Not because I don’t read a LOT of things worth sharing on the internet, but because there are a lot of ‘me too’ blogs posting links to the same things as everyone else and I don’t want to be just another one of them. With that said, I saw this article on Hacker News yesterday and when I got around to reading it I realized I needed to post something about it.

The author (whom I know only as Jeff or Rubbing Alcoholic) discusses what he calls the hypocrisy of opposing CISPA (which impacts our 4th ammendment rights) while supporting the gun control legislation the senate voted on today (which impacts our 2nd ammendment rights). Regardless of whether you agree with him, I think he makes an interesting argument, and one worth considering. In fact, there’s a lively (but so far as I can tell reasoned and respectful) debate going on over at Hacker News in the comments if you want to dig deeper into that. But what struck me the most was the following:

One of the most dangerous mentalities we face as a nation is that we clearly care more about our politics than our constitution. Whenever the constitution stands against our political goals, we have no problem interpreting it away, or supporting legislation that creates some bureaucratic backdoor solution to side-step it.

As he implied earlier in the article, this is not an issue limited to one particular political party or movement, and it’s what scares me the most. Obviously the constitution is not intended to be immutable1 but I believe that as a country we are far too cavalier with changes to the constitution. There’s a reason that such a limited number have been proposed2, and even fewer have been ratified. We should be wary of maneuvers that attempt to side-step that process.

  1. we’re discussing two of the first 10 ammendments after all (I know of course that the first 10 ammendments were in fact proposed only a few months after the constitution itself took effect, and two years and 8 days after the constitution was proposed)

  2. if I’m reading the wikipedia article correctly, a total of 33 - 27 ratified by the states and 6 proposed but un-ratified, 4 are actually still pending!