Google news alerts led me to this post regarding the failure of the Thune amendment.
I actually had a pretty good discussion going with the author. Comments are moderated, but he was posting my comments and replying to them. I was lulled into a sense of security by the fact that he was engaging me and in a very civil manner.
Unfortunately, it apparently dawned on him that, not only was he not going to WIN the argument, he was losing it quite handily. At the point of that epiphany, he simply deleted the comment thread. Reasoned Discourse breaks out all over.
His deletion of the thread took me by surprise so I hadn’t saved it for posterity. I’ll recreate the general points here. Keep reading if you’re interested:
The point of his post that became the focus of our debate was the contention that supporters of the Thune amendment who purport to support State’s Rights were hypocrites. Although I actually agreed with him that Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty of hypocrisy in this respect, support for the Thune Amendment was hardly evidence of it.
In fact, the Thune amendment demonstrated the hypocrisy of those opposed to it, not that of those who supported it.
You see, the claim that this was a “State’s Rights” issue was purely an invention of the anti-gunners. It had no basis in reality and was nothing more than a straw man used to score cheap political points.
The Thune amendment was Constitutional under Article 4, Section 1:
Section 1.Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
A concealed handgun permit is a “record” proving the results of a “judicial proceeding” that occurs as a result of a “public act”. It is perfectly acceptable for the Congress to determine the “effects thereof” across state lines.
The author of the blog tried to argue that the constitutionality of the measure had no bearing on whether it is a “State’s Rights” issue or not.
Unfortunately for him, the entire concept of “State’s Rights” comes from the Constitution. The point is that, under the tenth amendment, the Federal government is restricted to those powers specifically granted to it by the Constitution. Whenever the congress oversteps those bounds, it is infringing upon the powers rightfully belonging to the States. That’s the whole POINT of the “State’s Rights” argument. Although I disagree with the terminology “State’s Rights” (governments don’t have rights, only people do…governments have Powers delegated to them by the people they govern).
Because the issue of “State’s Rights” is, by definition, a Constitutional issue, if a measure is clearly within the bounds of the powers granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution (as the Thune amendment is), it is, by definition, NOT a “State’s Rights” issue. Therefore, there is no hypocrisy involved in supporting the Thune amendment and, at the same time, purporting to support “State’s Rights”.
On the contrary, those who were trying to MAKE this an issue of “State’s Rights” (such as Barbara “JUST LEAVE US ALONE” Boxer) demonstrated their hypocrisy unequivocally. They opposed this issue under the premise that it involved State’s Rights. The fact that it didn’t is irrelevant…that’s the stand THEY THEMSELVES took. They opposed it because they decided it was a “State’s Rights” issue…even though they support other federal laws such as the proposed “Assault Weapons Ban”, “closing” the imaginary “gun show loophole”, and existing federal laws which DO NOT have a clear Constitutional foundation. Hey, Barb…what happened to “leave us alone???” The hypocrisy of the opponents of the Thune amendment was proven by this issue, not the other way around as they would have had us believe.
That was my argument. The blog author countered by citing the 1939 Supreme Court case of Pacific Employers Ins. Co. v. Industrial Accident Comm’n, 306 U.S. 493. He implied that his citing of the case was the result of intense personal research and his own vast legal knowledge, but I find it interesting that it happens to be one of the cases included in the Wikipedia article regarding the Full Faith and Credit Clause.
At any rate, I responded by pointing out that the case he cited had nothing to do with this application of the Full Faith and Credit Clause. In the case he cited, SCOTUS ruled that one state could not require another state to enforce its laws. This doesn’t apply to the Thune amendment because it specifically stated that concealed carry permit holders would be required to obey the laws of the state that they were physically in, not the laws of the state that issued the license…I pointed out the similarity to Driver’s Licenses in support.
That’s when he deleted the comment thread.
A little too much logic and reason for him I suppose. Or he just ran out of BS arguments.
Either way, here’s my reasoning, presevered for posterity. If anyone cares to debate the subject with me, I promise I won’t delete the thread, even if you completely disprove my points and I have to admit defeat…because that’s the way REAL reasoned discourse and honest debate works. It’s not about “proving I’m right”, it’s about getting to the truth in the matter. To paraphrase a similar concept: “You’re entitled to your own opinions, you’re not entitled to your own truth.” And if the truth doesn’t support your opinion…perhaps you should rethink your position.