One of my worst fears is starting to become reality: I’m quickly watching myself transform into a conservative. OK; it’s probably not that drastic. But in lue of my support for the recent Supreme Court decision on the 2nd amendment; favoring individual gun owners and my forgiveness of Senator Obama supporting the much disputed FISA bill, methinks that my liberal ties are not as apparent as they once were.
First let’s consider the former issue regarding the 2nd ammendment. As I’ve said time and time again, I agree wholeheartedly with this decision. The Constitution as it was written never predicted that crime-ridden places like Flint, Michigan would ever exist. I should also point out that though history likes to paint the founding fathers as all-knowing and postulated deities, not even they could foresee that the musket would be replaced with the uzi. Expecting them to draft 18th century legislation to address 21st century firearms is like expecting today’s Congress to enact energy emissions legislation for those flying cars we’ll have 100 years from now (We were supposed to have them today, but the Cadillac Escalade and Yukon Denali stymied those efforts. But I digress…).
Secondly, we must consider the research-supported thesis that crimes are not committed with nearly as much frequency by people who own guns legitimately than by those who own them illegally. This idea may have all the makings of an NRA brochure; but it’s true. You may have isolated cases where killers can be traced back to guns registered in their names (people killing their spouses, for instance). But generally speaking, crimes committed by firearms are usually perpetrated by people who (1) were engaged in other criminal activites beforehand and (2) obtained their firearms illegally.
Make no mistake about it: being a black male living but a mere hop, skip, and jump away from the cut of all cuts, I am most definitely conscious of the reality of gun violence. Though this is not a phenomenon unique to the ‘hood, it is prevalent when we look at the headlines. That said, I make no bones about being an advocate for legislative and judicial support of our rights to protect ourselves in counteracting the profliferation of violence against innocent and unsuspecting victims. But in the same vein, I also recognize the fact that it is high time that we ammend the Constitution to address some aspects of gun control. But that discussion should not — nor should it ever — include the question of whether or not law-biding, mentally stable people should be able to pack heat.
Speaking to the notion of Sen. Obama supporting the FISA bill, perhaps the simplest question is: Why not? If I were Obama (thank God I’m not), I would have likely employed the same strategy. Sen. Obama is looking to become the next POTUS. Plain and simple. For one, he is clearly trying to accomplish the feat of “bipartisanship”; which I would argue has become loosely defined as exchanging tits for tats. If Obama shows his GOP advesaries that he is willing to compromise some liberal ideologies for the sake of unification, I can think of few other ways to do so than by conceding to at least one staple of their platform. Besides, while I agree that the Constitution should never be viewed as a trivial document or as an inconvenience to the so-called “War on Terror”, the FISA bill is not even close to falling in line with the outright tortuous methods that the GOP endorse. Tapping into a phone sex discussion doesn’t have the same weight as…oh…let’s say…waterboarding.
Secondly, we have to be mindful that if Obama wins the White House he will have a Democrat-controlled Congress at his disposal. As such, he would be allowed to use his Executive powers — coupled with the Dems’ Legislative powers — to frame provisions in the FISA bill that will protect the civil liberties liberals are afraid will get trampled. I mean, we all know that an Obama Administration would have a completely different appreciation of the importance of protecting civil liberties than the current administration. In a nutshell; sometimes in order to change a system, you have to become a part of the one with which you have so much opposition.
I’ve cited these two particular stories just to point out how it is long past time that the Constitution be overhauled. We have gotten to a critical point in our nation where Conservatives hate everything about the spirit of the Constitution (the unalienable rights part really burns their noodle since it also applies to all ‘dem dirty A-rabs) while liberals would be willing to let a nutcase walk because the feds tapped his phone and he wasn’t Mirandized. Somewhere in this discussion, an equillibrium must be established. Frankly, the only way I see that happening is by allowing Puffy to get his hands on the Constitution. He’s remixed just about everything else. Why not let him have a crack at the Constitution?