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Giuliani on the Second Amendment -- More Details, Please:

Giuliani's Web site reports:

Rudy Giuliani is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. When he was Mayor of a city suffering an average of almost 2000 murders a year, he protected people by getting illegal handguns out of the hands of criminals. As a result, shootings fell by 72% and the murder rate was cut by two-thirds. But Rudy understands that what works in New York doesn't necessarily work in Mississippi or Montana.

Naturally, I'm pleased that Giuliani at least expresses strong support of the Second Amendment (though I hope this isn't "the Second Amendment only protects the rights of states, and I strongly support that"). I also prefer "getting illegal handguns out of the hands of criminals" — assuming this means people with a preexisting criminal record rather than just people who are criminals because we've banned their guns — rather than "keeping guns out of our inner cities" (which on its face speaks of all guns, illegal or not, and inner cities generally, not criminals' possession in particular). [UPDATE: Note this endorsement on the Giuliani site from Rep. Candace Miller: "For example, on the issue of crime, let me use this example, the Mayor is a very strong supporter of the second amendment as I am, and one of the things that those of us who believe in the second amendment, we always say, is look we don't need any more new gun laws, what we need to do is just enforce the laws that are currently on the books that exist."]

Still, I'd love to hear some more details from the Giuliani camp. Among other things, note the disconnect between the second and third sentences in the official position statement and the last sentence: I'd think that getting illegal handguns out of the hands of criminals would be good even in Mississippi or Montana — in my experience, proposal for different treatment of guns in big cities vs. the countryside has generally had to do with restricting what law-abiding city residents may do. Can anyone point me to more specific discussions of Giuliani's platform on guns (or for that matter Obama's or the other candidates')?

Kovarsky (mail):
i would also note that it would be nice if both LEGAL AND ILLEGAL handguns were out of the hands of criminals.

i like how he didn't even mention texas.
5.10.2007 11:58am
Sebastian (mail) (www):
I dug up a bunch of quotes from Giuliani back in February.

My favorites:


"We need a federal law that bans all assault weapons, and if in fact you do need a handgun you should be subjected to at least the same restrictions — and really stronger ones — that exist for driving an automobile."

and

"The more guns you take out of society, the more you are going to reduce murder. The less you take out of society, the more it is going to go up."

His record is a real problem for him. I think the way he's been handling the issue has actually been hurting him. I would feel a lot better about Giuliani if he just came clean and admitted that as Mayor of New York, he supported gun control, and that he's not much of a gun guy, but that as a Republican president, he'll stay away from the issue. Trying to run from his record isn't going to work. We all know what he really thinks, and he's said it often in the past.
5.10.2007 12:02pm
therut:
There are so many anti-gun commments on the record for Gulliani it would make Hillary look like the President of the NRA in comparison. Also he was a big public supporter of the silly idea of suing gun manufactures. That alone tells me he is someone I do NOT want for President. It shows an overbearing ignorance and use of the law that is pathetic.
5.10.2007 12:12pm
Kovarsky (mail):
therut,

way to undermine the stereotype of gun people as single issue voters.

yes, i said "gun people."
5.10.2007 12:16pm
Sebastian (mail) (www):
I don't know Kovarsky, I'm not a single issue voter, and I voted against Ed Rendell for Pennsylvania Governor specifically because he was one of the architects of the "bankrupt the gun industry through lawsuits" strategy, despite agreeing with Rendell on topics like abortion and a few other things.

To me the issue wasn't so much just the impact those lawsuits had on gun owners, but the attitude towards our system of government in general. Ed Rendell and Rudy Giuliani believed that it was perfectly OK to use the legal system to bankrupt manufacturers of a legal product that are strictly licensed and regulated by the federal government, under this vague notion that guns were a public nuisance and a public health problem. They did this knowing full well they could not get their way legislatively. What does this say about their view of appropriate uses of governmental power? In my opinion, it's not good.

It's quite often not just about guns, but about what one's attitude toward them says about how a politician thinks about the use of governmental power, and how they view the citizens they are supposed to represent. I think you have to look at it in that context.
5.10.2007 12:29pm
Steve:
I think it's kinda cute how EV pores over the candidates' web sites as though they really give us insight into what they might do in office. I'm sure we all remember which candidate in 2000 pledged not to be a "nation-builder."

With Obama, who's a bit of a blank slate, I can certainly understanding wanting to dig a little deeper. But Rudy Giuliani has an anti-gun record a mile long. We might speculate that he'd be less aggressively anti-gun as a national Republican candidate, but website pablum is just that.
5.10.2007 12:30pm
SayUncle (mail) (www):
Rudy apparently thanks there's some sort of 'densely populated area' exception to the second amendment.

Rudy on guns at the NY Post

More rudy on guns stuff here.
5.10.2007 12:34pm
AppSocRes (mail):
Kovarsky: As a "gun person" I could care less what anti-gun people -- yes, I said "anti-gun people" -- care about my motivations for voting for or against political candidates. I do want political candidates to know that I will not vote for them if there is any evidence they are in favor of further restricting firearms ownership and use. If Giulliani were to be nominated the Republican candidate for President, I and a lot of other "gun people" will probably not vote for him. It's a reasonable way to support strongly held opinions about how our Republic should be run. What's your problem with that?
5.10.2007 12:39pm
mrshl (www):
Re: Single issue voters, this is hilarious:

I don't know Kovarsky, I'm not a single issue voter, and I voted against Ed Rendell for Pennsylvania Governor specifically because he was one of the architects of the "bankrupt the gun industry through lawsuits" strategy, despite agreeing with Rendell on topics like abortion and a few other things.


I don't think there's anything wrong with being a single issue voter. It certainly simplifies things. For politicians, too. It seems Rudy has figured this out and is now pandering away to "gun people." But being single minded isn't the same thing as being dumb. My guess is that the gun people will quickly sniff out the pretenders.
5.10.2007 12:53pm
uh clem (mail):
So Rudy has a track record a mile long showing support for gun control and abortion.

Can we stick a fork in his GOP-presidential nomination yet, or have forks been banned in these here parts?
5.10.2007 12:59pm
Burt Likko (mail) (www):
Uh clem, you will need to register your fork and submit to a two-week background check and waiting period. If you pass, you will be permitted to purchase and possess your fork after you complete a sixteen-hour fork safety class, and upon demonstration to a Certified Silverware Inspector that you possess proper storage facilities for your fork(s), and upon payment of your annual Fork Registration Fee. Records of your fork ownership will be kept in the government's database for a variety of purposes which we decline to describe at this time.

We urge you to consider supporting proposals to expand these laws to keep spoons out of the hands of dangerous criminals as well.
5.10.2007 1:11pm
Steve:
Does he have a long history of hunting varmints? Maybe that would satisfy the pro-gun crowd.
5.10.2007 1:14pm
Kovarsky (mail):
AppSocRes,

Kovarsky: As a "gun person" I could care less what anti-gun people -- yes, I said "anti-gun people" -- care about my motivations for voting for or against political candidates. I do want political candidates to know that I will not vote for them if there is any evidence they are in favor of further restricting firearms ownership and use. If Giulliani were to be nominated the Republican candidate for President, I and a lot of other "gun people" will probably not vote for him. It's a reasonable way to support strongly held opinions about how our Republic should be run. What's your problem with that?

I just mean that, ya know, you single issue voting gun people are the public interest model for how congress is beholden to special interests. the only way you can justify single issue voting is - at least it seems logically - if you assign infinite value to a single policy position. that strikes me as flat out irresponsible voting, and so yes, i have a big problem with it.

that being said, i probably agree with your interpretation of the second amendment. don't get me wrong, i hate guns, i just acknowledge that the second amendment says what it says and not what i'd like it to say. so, you spend all your time grousing about the second amendment, and i'll spend my time equally productively making sure that all of our policy resources are devoted to promoting the principles behind the third.
5.10.2007 1:21pm
Burt Likko (mail) (www):
I agree with Kovarsky. Despite my sarcastic comment before, I actually prefer Giuliani to the other GOP candidates, for a variety of reasons and issues. This despite Giuliani's decidedly less-than-perfect track record on gun ownership rights.

I could care less about him wearing drag for a joke, his friendship with gay men, or his marital history. I'm pleased with his pro-military stance and his ability to cut bureaucracy and taxes while working with a wide variety of people from very different political perspectives than his own. Giuliani is also a leader, and the more ideologically "pure" candidates haven't led anyone across a crosswalk, much less through a crisis.

Politics is not about purity, it's about making the best choice of the choices available. So considering the whole packages offered by the various candidates, Giuliani is the best of the lot. Yes, I do wish the Giuliani campaign (or its candidate) would come up with something better on this issue.
5.10.2007 1:39pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Or if you assign a negligible value to the other issues, Kovarsky. I'm assuming they're finite because if no one talks about an issue, you really can't make a voting decision based on it, can you? It's also possible that you consider other issues important, but because there is a negligible difference between the candidates' positions on those issues, there is no reason to vote based on them.

So no... it's not necessary to assign infinite value to a single issue to be a single-issue voter.
5.10.2007 1:40pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Does he have a long history of hunting varmints? Maybe that would satisfy the pro-gun crowd.


There are more than 60 million legal gun owners in these United States. There are less than 15 million hunters. Do the math.

I like hunting, personally. It's hard to find decent venison any other way. But it's a messy, time-consuming, and bloody job -- there are a lot of people with valid reasons to avoid it.
5.10.2007 1:44pm
Larry2:

We urge you to consider supporting proposals to expand these laws to keep spoons out of the hands of dangerous criminals as well.


Forks are, of course, dangerous because of their tines. But spoons can be made into dangerous weapons by pretty much anyone, with tools that are easily acquired (a file, which can be found at any hardware store). This reminds me of one of the arguments for banning semiautomatic rifles. They can be converted into fully-automatic rifles with parts that are easily acquired.
5.10.2007 2:10pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

This reminds me of one of the arguments for banning semiautomatic rifles. They can be converted into fully-automatic rifles with parts that are easily acquired.
Actually, federal law already defines any weapon that can be "readily converted" to fire full auto as a machine gun. BATF every once in a while discovers an example of such a weapon, and issues a regulation defining that particular semiauto to be a full automatic.
5.10.2007 2:18pm
rbj:
What about sporks?
5.10.2007 2:24pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"This despite Giuliani's decidedly less-than-perfect track record on gun ownership rights."

His track record is perfect. He's 100% against gun ownership. He has said so innumerable times including this year. Now he's trying to weasel out of his own positions. Now it's ok to regulate gun ownership despite the constitution, but he supports abortion, something not even in the constitution.

Try him on immigration. He says he's opposed to amnesty, but for "regularization," which of course is another word for amnesty. He lied about his sanctuary policies. He opposed the 1996 federal law prohibiting cities from adopting such policies.

His adultery should be held against him. Someone willing to lie to his family will lie to anyone. Does anyone actually think adultery is a sign of good character? Does anyone think character doesn't matter? Would you hire this man to run your business?

Let's face it; the Republicans are a bunch of empty suits. They have truly become the stupid party. They don't realize they have to break with Bush over the Iraq war. They don't realize the public opposes open borders. They can't seem to really take a stand on anything because they are either confused or craven. The sad part is now we have no one to protect us from the evil party, the party of Soros, and the party of death.
5.10.2007 2:24pm
whit:
"With Obama, who's a bit of a blank slate,"

not really...
he is for the BANNING *yes BANNING* of semi-autos and "keeping guns out of inner cities"

that alone is not much of a blank slate ...

"I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manfuacturer's lobby. But I also believe that when a gangbanger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels someone disrespected him, we have a problem of morality. Not only do ew need to punish thatman for his crime, but we need to acknowledge that there's a hole in his heart, one that government programs alone may not be able to repair. " - from the Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

Principles that Obama supports on gun issues:
Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms
Source: 1198 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test

voted NO on the bill to prohibit these ridiculous gun lawsuits
5.10.2007 2:29pm
Michael Zappe (www):
The ever reliable (sic.) NY Times
5.10.2007 2:29pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
In a job interview Paul gets asked, "how much is 2 + 2." He answers, "4." Sorry Paul you don't get the job. Rudy comes in for the interview, and gets asked the same question. He answers, "how much do you want?" Rudy gets the job.
5.10.2007 2:41pm
Michael B (mail):
It is not obviously "single issue," in the myopic/pejorative sense of the term, to acutely focus upon such an elemental issue and right, an issue that is indicative of and foundational to other rights and an issue that is succinctly, forcefully and eloquently addressed in the first two, mutually reinforcing articles of the Constitution's Bill of Rights. (Food has the ability to invoke an acute, "single issue" focus as well, and rightly so. People generally prefer survival over deprivation, subjection and death.)

Giuliani remains highly suspect, bare minimum he remains poorly defined in this area (and that requires a generous interpretation) and this area is pivotal and potentially revealing of other programs and interests.
5.10.2007 2:54pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Just to be clear, my issue is with single issue voters, not with pro-NRA types. It is the pro-NRA types that are also single issue voters that belong to the group of "gun people." And if we can use terms like "abortionist" and "partial birth abortion" and "death tax," I think I can say gun people.
5.10.2007 2:55pm
whit:
can we use the term "abortion people" then?

there are plenty of people who are single issue voters on this issue (feel free to peruse dailykos, democraticunderground, etc.) just like there are with guns.

so does this make them "abortion people"?
5.10.2007 3:01pm
Kovarsky (mail):
sure, you can use abortion people. every other pejorative term is already used to describe them. i would, however, note 2 further things. (1) i can't stand single issue abortion voters on either side either; (2) you seem to be missing the main point, which is that the fraction of single-issue gun people to pro-NRA types is much higher than single issue abortion people to pro-abortion types.

I'd also point out that "pro-gun" is much closer to an accurate description than is "pro-abortion." Nobody likes abortions, lots of people like guns.

Michael B, you know the rule, I don't respond to you unless you write without 55 nested dependent clauses.
5.10.2007 3:09pm
Sebastian (mail) (www):
I don't really have an issue with the term "gun people", or single issue voters either. A lot of people aren't really interested in politics otherwise, and only get involved for their pet issue. I'm not really sure that's a bad thing.
5.10.2007 3:22pm
Michael B (mail):
Kovarsky, it'll never happen. But I like the rule and hope you adhere to it.
5.10.2007 3:24pm
Stamboulieh (mail):
I can be described as a single issue voter for a few reasons. One being, if you are pretty close to what I personally believe (all things being equal), but opposed to citizens owning/bearing guns, then I will NOT vote for you based on that single issue.

I think that could be applied to most people too. Now, if it comes down to Hillary or Rudy... Well, I'd rather vote for Rudy than get Hillary. That is the real problem. We do not have viable choices... yet.

I personally find it offensive to cheat on your spouse, and would not vote for Rudy based solely off that. I completely agree with the previous poster that a husband who lies to his wife will lie to anyone.
5.10.2007 4:43pm
Bill Woods (mail):
rbj: What about sporks?

A euphemism for the dangerous category of 'assault spoons', which should of course be banned.
5.10.2007 5:10pm
Mark Jones (mail):
I'm a "gun person" too. Or "pro gun" if you like. (And I am--I think the existence of guns is a good thing. Otherwise, the big, strong and criminally-inclined have an unfair advantage over everyone else. "...Col. Colt made them equal.")

I'm not entirely a single-issue voter. Sometimes the issue of gun control isn't on the table. But it's definitely the biggest factor by far in my political calculus. When all else is equal, the guy most opposed to gun control (or, sadly, least favorable toward it) gets my vote. When all else isn't equal, the pro-control candidate has to have a huge advantage in other areas to outweigh that issue.
5.10.2007 6:03pm
Bee:
Yay! I for one am glad that VC has opened up the gun question to Guilanni as well as Obama. The dictomomy between record and current campaign plank is important here though, as it obviously seems to split both ways with regards to Rudy.
5.10.2007 6:53pm
Vinnie (mail):
Some single issues tell you a lot about a candidate.

"How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual… as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of." — Representative Suzanna Gratia Hupp
5.10.2007 7:22pm
Burt Likko (mail) (www):
Hey, no one is making you vote for Giuliani, Zarkov. You've got a choice. If you like Hillary Clinton better, for instance, vote for her and urge others to do the same.

Hillary has never been divorced and we have no reason to believe she has ever cheated on her husband.

She's earned Tom Tancredo's admiration for a tough stance on immigration.

She doesn't advocate actually banning guns, just licensing and registering them, which is about as conservative a position as any Democrat has taken in recent memory.

She's obviousy smart enough to more than competently run a business and I have no reason to think that if she ran my business, she'd steal from me. I think she'd demand a piece of the action for herself, but if she generated a profit, I'd also think she earned it.

Sounds like she's right up your alley.

Remember, I said I liked Rudy despite his track record on guns (which I think you're unfairly overstating). While that history is a negative, it's not a dealkiller for me, in part because there really isn't much a President can do about weapons without the cooperation of both a Congress eager to ban them and a Supreme Court willing to let that happen -- neither of which seem to be in existence. You've got to look at the whole package, not just one or two issues. If you think Rudy's package is inferior, well, that's your opinion.
5.10.2007 7:43pm
steveH (mail):
Kovarsky;

i would also note that it would be nice if both LEGAL AND ILLEGAL handguns were out of the hands of criminals.

I would note that there are no "legal handguns" for criminals.

Doesn't seem to slow them down much, though.
5.10.2007 8:02pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
I'd like to think that one could make two generalizations:
trend 1: You can't win the GOP nomination unless you support gun rights.
trend 2: you can't win the general election if you deny the reality of evolution.
However, historically i'm probably wrong on both counts.

This might not be the right post to raise this topic, but I've been wondering:
The First Amendment doesn't protect speech, it protects the "freedom of speech", which ties into a historical basis of which speech is and isn't protected.
The Second Amendment is similar in structure. It doesn't protect keeping and bearing arms, it protects "the right to keep and bear arms." Is "the right to keep and bear arms" a phrase with a historical or logical meaning that would exclude a lot of what we want to protect? I'm loosely familiar with the way the term derives from the 1679 billof rights and the history of religious warfare in the UK, but I'm guessing people here can point me to more specific scholarship.
5.10.2007 9:00pm
Vinnie (mail):
"I would note that there are no "legal handguns" for criminals."

Am I the only one who thinks that this would be a much shorter argument if we put the criminals in jail?
5.10.2007 9:05pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
Giuliani supports the second amendment for rural white men,and supports banning guns for urban black men. That might lose him the votes of a few libertarian types like EV who prefer logical consistancy, but it will gain him the votes of millions of people who answer polls.
With Hillary or Obama as a likely opponent, Giuliani becomes a plausible candidate who can run as the lesser evil. Similarly, Hillary or Obama can then run on the basis that they aren't Giuliana. Each side races to the bottom. Hillary can run on the motto "Vote for the crook - it's important."
5.10.2007 9:07pm
whit:
"sure, you can use abortion people. every other pejorative term is already used to describe them."

i don't see that as any more pejorative than gun people. the point is that there are single issue voters for both issues, and the terms are equally (non)descriptive.

"i would, however, note 2 further things. (1) i can't stand single issue abortion voters on either side either; (2) you seem to be missing the main point, which is that the fraction of single-issue gun people to pro-NRA types is much higher than single issue abortion people to pro-abortion types."

and you know this how? seriously. i just have no idea if that's true or not. i do know (having been to NARAL meetings, and perusing leftwing and democrat boards) that there are TONS of people who are single issue abortion voters. iow, they will not ever vote for a person who is pro-life (i'm pro-choice myself but vote repub usually), and find that to be disqualifying for a SCOTUS appointment as well.

i just don't see the relevance of your point, nor any reason to believe it's even true.

"I'd also point out that "pro-gun" is much closer to an accurate description than is "pro-abortion." Nobody likes abortions, lots of people like guns. "

well, i think that's arguable, that NOBODY likes them, but i agree that more who support abortion rights are turned off by abortion vs. guns.

the point is that gun rights advocates are best described as GUN RIGHTS ADVOCATES. and abortion rights advocates are best described as ABORTION RIGHTS ADVOCATES.

those are descriptive and non-pejorative.

you could also have polygamy rights advocates. same sex marriage rights advocates etc. works GREAT.

fwiw, there are a fair # of people (larry tribe comes to mind) who think that gun rights are a constitutional issue (as they are, and he accepts the individual rights issue finally) but personally detest guns and are certainly not in love with them.
5.10.2007 11:08pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Hillary has never been divorced and we have no reason to believe she has ever cheated on her husband."

Who would Hillary cheat with? Remember when Bill said, "I never had sex with that woman- [pause)] Lewinsky." He had to add that "Lewinsky" so we didn't think he meant Hillary."

But on a more serious note what is the difference between Giuliani and Hillary?
5.11.2007 12:47am
Vinnie (mail):
Giuliani looks better in a dress?


Ok, I apologize.
5.11.2007 2:30am
Yellowking:
I don't trust Giuliani on the 2nd Amendment, and he won't be getting my vote because of it. Period.
5.11.2007 9:23am
Ray (mail):
"we have no reason to believe she has ever cheated on her husband."

With a man.
5.11.2007 9:27am
JMaverick:
I will not vote for a person who seeks to remove any of the natural rights re-affirmed by the Bill of Rights. That is not special interest, it is common sense.
5.11.2007 9:40am
geekWithA.45 (mail) (www):
His current platform is vagueness and obfuscation on 2A.

His previous platform was a bit more crisp:

Here's a Rudy press release in 2000: http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/2000a/pr238-00.html

Here's his press conference on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs5DxwzEXHQ , wherein he blames NY's murder problems on the "lax gun laws" of the rest of the country. (You know, what works in NYC doesn't necessarilly work in Missippi or Montana. Unless, of course, you blame Missippi and Montana for NYC's crime problems.)

He then goes on to assert a (false) correlation between the number of guns in society, and the murder rate: "When police are not seizing guns at a certain rate in a certain time and area, the murder rate goes up."

Of course, the police sure in heck weren't going door to door seizing guns in an effort to reduce the overall number of guns, nor does the seizure rate of guns tell us anything about how many guns there actually are in a given area.

The police were seizing guns in the context of arrests, often the result of an agressive policy of terry frisking everyone eveny vaguely suspicious they came into contact with, aka "increase police activity".

In other words, Rudy fails to make the case that the number of guns correlates with murder, but he DOES make the case that increased police activity impacts the murder rate.

The gun correlative in this scenario is very different from what he asserts.

Gun are carried in NYC by three broad classes of people: a slim minority of the elite and annointed with carry permits, who would not be subject to arrest or confiscation after the terry frisk, a small number of otherwise honest people who chose to carry despite lack of permit, whom Rudy would define as "criminal", and of, course, the bona fide criminals, for whom the law proved no deterrent.

As is always the case, gun control laws are routinely and casually ignored by the bona fide criminals, and impact the honest person negatively, either by subjecting them to excessive legal risk for the temerity of providing for their own defense, or by rendering them defenseless.
5.11.2007 9:53am
geekWithA.45 (mail) (www):
Oh, good grief. Mississippi. Not Missippi. Necessarily, not necessarilly.
5.11.2007 9:56am
submandave (mail) (www):
Kovarsky, when it comes down to it, most people end up being a single-issue voter, it just may not be the same issue for each candidate. It is also natural that most people weight the relative importance of issues differently. What I believe you object to is a pathological and possibly destructive obsession on a single issue that impairs the voter's judgement on other issues, and it is your perception that this behavior is more common among "gun people." It is within these terms that I address your point.

I contend that it is only natural for one to believe they are correct. If, therefore, I care deeply about the price, quality and availability of coffee it may seem odd or pointless for another to worry about the price of tea in China. I am assuming you are not a "gun person," and therefore it is natural for you to perceive a strong interest in gun rights as being abnormal. Given this bias, what among "gun people" might be considered a passing or reasonable concern looks, to you, more as an obsession. Likewise, if you are pro abortion rights (an assumption on my part, but one based upon the general tenor of your words) then it is entirely natural that you would perceive another's similar concerns as less "single-issue" and more balanced, hence your assesment of lower signle-issuedness in that camp.

But I think Sebastian makes a very good point that for many "gun people" the issue is often less about the individual firearm and more about the politician's understanding and handling of the Constitution. Like it or not, the Second Amendment very specifically speaks to the matter of keeping and bearing arms, so it is not unreasonable to question a politician who advocates public policy that attempts to subvert this though backdoor means (e.g. the lawsuit strategem). What other "bad" parts of law or the Constitution might they also choose to subvert in the interest of the greater good (e.g. fairness doctrine, campaign finance reform, etc.). If you like, many gun rights advocates see the Second Amendment, arguably one of the least popular article in the Bill of Rights these days, as a canary in the coal mine. By our governmental model individual politicians of judges do not get to pick and choose the parts of law they like and ignore or subvert the others. While whit doesn't quite go this far, I think in discussing the relative importance of gun rights and abortion rights one must consider that the Second Amendment specifically address the former, while there is not even a Constitutional article specifying the "right to do with your body whatever you want" to support the latter.

Oh, and geekWithA.45, you obviously have never visited the state. "Missippi" is the correct pronunciation down here.
5.11.2007 12:07pm
Happyshooter:
"we have no reason to believe she has ever cheated on her husband."

Wasn't there a loud rumor that she was close friends with Vince Foster (Fort Marcy Park man)?
5.11.2007 12:19pm
Kevin Murphy:
Someone needs to ask the next debate panel, point blank: "Does the second amendment protect a basic, individual right?" Both parties.
5.11.2007 1:14pm
whackjobbbb:
There is an acceptably-nuanced position re the 2A, but he hasn't ever embraced one. Giuliani favored the misguided effort to go after the gun manufacturers, and so he implicitly holds that guns are in and of themselves a problem, and must be inhibited just because of this (seemingly) self-evident fact, which is anti-2A and thus anticonstitutional... he goes against the Constitution. He thus disqualifies himself for higher office (much like every other NY City mayor, none of whom have ever advanced beyond that office... never in history... ever.).

The Constitution is as good a single-issue test as I can come up with.
5.12.2007 1:10pm