Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kenneth Quinnell's a Genius, Just Ask Him:UPDATE

Anti-gun activist puts up a list of ad hominems, character attacks and strawmen on how repetitive pro-rights activists are. Just to prove how right he is, he doesn't approve any comments. Here's one from reader LeagleEagle45 (long):

UPDATE: Well after several days, he finally got around to approving comments. Now we get to see if he bothers responding to the unwashed masses.
Kenneth Quinnell writes: “Fictional constitutional rights: One should never accuse any pro-gun person making a constitutional argument of being a constitutional scholar. ” Lets give it a whirl, OK? Kenneth Quinnell writes: “The text of the Second Amendment is: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Almost every pro-gun person leaves out the militia clause, which is there. I don’t, so let's continue. Kenneth Quinnell writes: “Almost every pro-gun person ignores the words “well regulated,” which explicitly authorize gun control. ” Mr. Quinnel, although this argument is frequently made by persons with little knowledge of the subject matter or used as an unstated argument by those who know better (letting the uniformed reader assume something that is untrue to obtain their agreement based upon a misconception), your assertion is incorrect. First, the term “well regulated” is an adjective which describes a certain type of militia. You seem to wish to read it as a “well regulated right of the people”, rather than as “a well regulated militia”. Secondly, the terminology describes something (in this case a militia) one which functions properly or efficiently. The term originated with the adjustments made to a pendulum clock. The action of turning the screw to adjust the length of the pendulum was known as “regulating” (some pendulum clocks to this day are called “regulators”). When a clock was properly adjusted so it kept the correct time, it was termed “well regulated”. The adjective quickly spread to describe anything that was functioning properly and is still used today in connection with not only pendulem clocks but also digestive systems… you eat bran and fiber to become well regulated. This is really not an issue amongst scholars of the 2nd Amend, regardless of which side of the argument you are on, as an amicus brief by Linguists and English Professors in support of the District of Columbia in the Heller case clearly demonstrates. See, Amicus Brief of “Professors of Linguistics and English, Dennis E. Baron, Ph.D. Richard W. Bailey, Ph.D. and Jeffrey P. Kaplan, Ph.D. In Support of Petitioners”, DC v Heller. See also, Hamilton’s Federalist #29 which states: “[T]he degree of perfection” through regular “military exercises that militia members had to achieve before they could earn “the character of a well regulated militia.” ” A contemporary usage as contained in the Journals of the Continental Congress: “That the strength of the Wabash Indians who were principally the object of the resolve of the 21st of July 1787, and the strength of the Creek Indians is very different. That the said Creeks are not only greatly superior in numbers but are more united, better regulated, and headed by a man whose talents appear to have fixed him in their confidence. That from the view of the object your Secretary has been able to take he conceives that the only effectual mode of acting against the said Creeks in case they should persist in their hostilities would be by making an invasion of their country with a powerful body of well regulated troops always ready to combat and able to defeat any combination of force the said Creeks could oppose and to destroy their towns and provisions.” Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 MONDAY, JULY 28, 1788. ” You do not really think that the Continental Congress thought that Creek Indians had better laws regulating their warriors than did the Wabash Indians, do you? What “a well regulated militia” describes is a military body composed of ordinary citizens that is an effective and efficient fighting force. Now let us substitute our respective definitions into the 2nd Amend: Your version: “A militia which has good gun control laws, being necessary to the security of a free state…” My version: A military body composed of ordinary citizens that is an effective and efficient fighting force, being necessary to the security of a free state…” I do not know about you, but I would rather be defended by the latter rather than the former. Kenneth Quinnell writes: ” Almost every pro-gun person adds the word individual to this text, despite it not being in there. There is no right here to kill anyone.” The 2nd Amendment protects a preexisting individual right. to have arms for self defense and for all other lawful uses. The core of that right is self defense and if that involves “killing someone” with the protected arm, so be it. See, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765)Book the First : The Rights of Persons, Chapter the First : Of the Absolute Rights of Individuals at 125. By protecting this individual right, the 2nd preserves the capacity of the state to form a well regulated militia from the ranks of its citizens regardless of anything the federal government might do, whether it be a failure to adequately provide for arms for the militia through benign negligence, or whether the federal government decides to extinguish the militia totally, for whatever reason. It provides an unassailable armory from which the well regulated militia can be resurrected and armed in the event of an emergency. Kenneth Quinnell writes: “There is no right here to use guns against the government.” There is no right contained in the 2nd Amend to use guns against lawful governmental authority. There is a right in the 2nd to use arms against governmental usurpations of power. See, Madison’s Federalist #46. Thus, for example, the use of arms to put down a military coup. This is what Blackstone referred to when he described the preexisting right as protecting and preserving a fundamental right of “resistance” (to prevent governmental usurpation) and “self preservation” (self defense). Kenneth Quinnell writes: “There is no right here for anything beyond the right of the collective “people” to bear arms as part of a militia.” All nine members of the Supreme Court found that the 2nd Amend protects an individual right and not a collective right. Your argument has been consigned to the ash bin of history, and for good reason…. From the dissent of Breyer in DC v Heller: “I take as a starting point the following four propositions, based on our precedent and today’s opinions, to which I believe the entire Court subscribes: (1) The Amendment protects an “individual” right—i.e., one that is separately possessed, and may be separately enforced, by each person on whom it is conferred. See, e.g., ante, at 22 (opinion of the Court); ante, at 1 (STEVENS, J., dissenting).” Id. at page 3 of the slip opinion. Kenneth Quinnell writes: “The Supreme Court changed this interpretation way back in 2008. Because Republican appointees who were activist judges decided that was what it meant. The decision wasn’t based on precedent or constitutional text.” Incorrect. Perhaps you may wish to cite prior cases decided by The Supreme Court which support your position? Since there is only one case in which the meaning of the 2nd Amend was actually litigated and thus necessarily decided the issue so as to have precedential impact, you must be relying upon United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). I suggest you read that case again and then read the case upon which Miller relies, to wit: Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154.
But that's all just 're-inventing the wheel' according to self professed expert on everything Kenneth Quinnell so he won't even bother putting the comment up.

Or maybe he's just a narcissistic elitist w/ a nice yellow streak when it comes to an honest debate.

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Bob S. said...

Ever notice how those constitutional scholars on the anti side leave out an important part of the Constitution?

The 9th Amendment:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

Even if the 2nd Amendment doesn't protect an individual right to keep and bear arms, to armed self defense -- the 9th amendment surely does.

Weer'd Beard said...

Also notice how Mr. Quinnell has nothing to respond to that well-written rebuttal.

Also notice that the rebuttal contains facts...something absent from Mr. Quinnell's article.

Thirdpower said...

He doesn't even remember half the stuff he says are 'facts'. Like when I chastised him for quoting the EFSGV(part of the CSGV) and he claimed he never said anything about them.

LE45 said...

@ Bob S.: A straight 2nd Amendment argument is much preferable to a 9th Amend one for a variety of reasons. A somewhat surprising and often overlooked argument in support of the 2nd Amend is to invoke the 10th Amend. The reason why is based upon the debates in the Virginia Ratifying convention and the Commentary contained Tucker's Blackstone concerning Article I, Sec 8, Cl. 15 and 16.

@TP Still no response. I also posted the same comment on Media Matters which contains a mirror of the Quinnell's comment here:


This was done on 1/31/2011 and it has yet to see the light of day.