Ash Moore, Resident Blogger (’14, University of Oklahoma College of Law)
The recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has created a lot of reactionary political push from the left for more gun control. I own multiple guns. I believe the second amendment is broad and sweeping. I believe it is one of the secured rights that makes this country unique and legally superior. However, I also think the implicit right to privacy in our Constitution that is necessary to fulfill the promises of the second amendment and others, is also an important secured right.
This right is what Roe v. Wade was based on. After the recent 40th anniversary and discussion about the ever-increasing restrictions and regulations, Newtown got me thinking. The right wing trusts every American who can walk and chew gum with guns. But they don’t trust an educated woman to make choices about her own body and family (including but not limited to abortion). On the other hand, the left wing wants the government to trust every American who can walk and chew gum with decisions about the most important building block of society, the family.
I remember coming to law school thinking of Justice Scalia as a cold-hearted, heinous Justice who sought to disenfranchise the American people (my parents are pretty liberal criminal defense attorneys). But the first case I read in law school had an opinion by Justice Scalia that I agreed with. I immediately called my mom in tears thinking something was wrong with me. She consoled me, but was obviously upset by the news. She asked me what the name of the case was and when I told her it was DC v. Heller, a gun rights case, she sighed some relief and said, “calm down, Idiot. That’s different.”
Before too long I realized she was right, but I still don’t understand why. Why is it encouraged for political parties and individuals to tailor their arguments to the outcome they want? Why is it encouraged for politicians to flip-flop their reasoning but not their outcomes? There is a lot I don’t understand in this world. I don’t know why they leave chip bags two-thirds empty or how they get those ships in those bottles. But I thought I understood the Constitution.
I know argument exists over the proper way to interpret the Constitution. But I didn’t know people reasoned backwards to get the result they wanted out of it. I believe the political parties should take a stance; you either trust the American people to make their own choices and properly exercise their rights, or you don’t. But you don’t get to pick and choose which rights they get control over. Whether the discussion is about gun or reproductive rights, the argument will always turn to the power over life and death. But I think all the mudslinging and buzzwords cloud the bare bones arguments. Probably intentionally.
The only thing better than being a Texan is being an American. There are a lot of things wrong with my state and my country. But as a patriot, it is my job to question when appropriate and defend when needed. I am a second class citizen in a lot of ways. But I believe in this country and in the people who make it up. That’s my stance. What’s yours? Do you trust me and others, or not?