Who’s on First? The Second Amendment

[HTML1]

Sometimes I wonder why the Second Amendment wasn’t the First. How can the right to free speech exist if you don’t have the right to defend yourself against people who don’t like what you say—and reckon that killing you is the best way to get you to STFU. The counter argument: it’s the government’s job to defend free speech. The counter-counter argument: if you disarm the populace then criminals take over, the rule of law goes bye-bye and you can’t say boo to a goose without facing the business end of a gun. Once again, Mexico provides the perfect place to subject these ideas to field study. So let’s call singing free speech, assume the singers in question aren’t armed and see what happens when someone with guns doesn’t like what they’re hearing . . .

A number of performers of narcocorridos, ballads that recount the exploits and travails of drug kingpins, have been murdered in northern Mexico in recent years.

Last November, a singer-songwriter who performed grupero music and narcocorridos was gunned down along with two other people in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa.

Diego Rivas was killed by gunmen who opened fire at close range in Culiacan’s Lazaro Cardenas neighborhood, the Sinaloa Attorney General’s Office said.

Rivas, known for the hits “El amor no se vende,” “Los ojitos de mi Elena” and “Soy yo,” was drinking in the street with several other people when the gunmen opened fire.

Alfredo Herrera Gomez, a 24-year-old singer, was also pronounced dead at the scene.

Singer Sergio Vega, known as “El Shaka,” was shot to death while driving on a highway in Sinaloa on June 26, 2010.

Vega was driving to Alhuey, where he planned to perform with several other artists, when gunmen who had apparently been following him opened fire on the vehicle.

The 40-year-old singer was traveling with another person at the time of the attack.

Vega denied a few hours before his death that he had been the target of an attack.

The singer said he had bolstered his security in light of the attacks on musicians in Mexico in recent years.

Singer Carlos Ocaranza was gunned down on Aug. 16, 2009, as he left a bar where he had given a concert in the western city of Guadalajara and his agent, Jorge Altamirano Pelayo, was seriously wounded.

Ocaranza, who was related to a famous singer murdered in 2006, had just finished performing at the La Revancha bar in the city’s western section when two gunmen shot him and fled on a motorcycle.

Ocaranza was related to Valentin Elizalde, who was murdered on Nov. 25, 2006, in the border city of Reynosa by drug traffickers apparently unhappy with some of his compositions.

Elizalde and other singers perform what is known in Mexico as grupero music, a genre that includes so-called narcocorridos.

Reports claim that drug capos pay large sums for the ballads and more than a dozen grupero singers have been murdered since 1992.

In January 2008, Roberto Ignacio del Fierro Lugo, the publicist for Jesus Elizalde, Valentin’s brother, was murdered near a recording studio in the Guadalajara suburb of Zapopan . . .

In December 2007, a wave of violence was unleashed against various grupero singers, such as Sergio Gomez, 34, the lead singer of Grammy-nominated band K-PAZ de la Sierra, who was kidnapped and murdered after a concert, and vocalist Zayda Peña Arjona, 28, killed by a gunman who pursued her to the hospital where she was recovering from gunshot wounds.

That’s quite a litany, via borderlandbeat.com. My takeaway: if you want to speak freely live in a country where you can carry a big stick. First and foremost.

avatar

About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

41 Responses to Who’s on First? The Second Amendment

  1. avatarSilver says:

    “The counterargument: it’s the government’s job to defend free speech.”

    Wow…I haven’t laughed that much in a long time.

    It’s beyond me how people can’t see that we need to protect the right to free speech FROM the government, not put it in their hands. Believing the government will willingly protect rights is like believing that serial rapists should teach women’s defense classes.

  2. avatarRalph says:

    I hear mariachi static on the radio, see AKs flash outside my home.
    We’re up to our culos in dead bodies here in Nuevo Leon.
    Carmelita, call the federales, ’cause living here ain’t no fun
    And I got no way of defending myself since the PRI stole my guns.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Pablo, I told you the Zetas soon come,
      forget all de big screens and get you a gun,
      You say “Carmelita, the election will save,”
      I told you “no voting from six foot deep grave.”

  3. avatarAharon says:

    Mexico? The USA? Canada? What are those places? We now live in the North American Union (NAU). Elder Bush flew south to sign the pact and the Nancy Pelosi Congress never fought it. Meanwhile too many nice folks are crawling along the trees and shrubs their eyes looking downward for worms to eat and unable to see the forest fire raging above.

    America isn’t a democratic republic with a multitude of political parties and in a practical sense there aren’t even two distinct opposing parties advocating for liberal and conservative valued Americans. The sheeple are enslaved and many are blissfully unaware though I suspect some people are slowly starting to realize the game being played on them.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Union with Mexico and Canada? With our luck, we’d end up drinking Mexican beer and eating Canadian food. Just kill me now.

      • avatarAharon says:

        I once ate honey flavored/sweet BBQ ribs (not so much tomato based) made in a famous (can’t recall name) restaurant in Montreal. They were really different and quite good. A native took us to the restaurant and told us that cooking style of ribs is the regional way to cook them.

      • avatarkarlb says:

        Bohemia is a pretty good beer.

    • avatarGhostwriter says:

      Speculation holds that the final stages of the first phase of implementing the NAU, ( the agenda involving a ‘union’ between the U.S., Canada and Mexico; establishment of a formalized supra-national government of appointed officials with taxing authority and a law-enforcement arm–with the ultimate goal being that of incorporating all countries on the N. American continent into the ’union’– ) is being impeded by the drug wars within Mexico and along the border.
      Part of the underlying intent in Fast and Furious was to increase the number of weapons held by a particular cartel in order for them to gain dominance over the others, which would provide a faction for the purpose of negotiations—in addition to having traceable guns to prove the necessity of enacting more gun control laws in the U.S. from the federal level.

  4. avatarST says:

    Mexico is a great case study in why government likes a disarmed population.

    Not only does an armed voting base have the final say on who runs the country , but an armed demographic cannot be exploited very easily. Criminals are just as helpless as a government against a home-grown insurgency. A gang cannot last long against determined resistance any more than a government army can.

    If the government disarms the voting base, then its free to ally with criminals to exploit the same without retaliation. The rule of law can now openly serve the armed & connected scumbags in ripping off the people for the politicians’ & regular criminals’ purposes.

  5. avatarjkp says:

    Actually….THIS was the original first amendment:

    “After the first enumeration required by the first Article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.”

    (It was never ratified.)

    This was the original second:

    “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

    (This was subsequently ratified and became part of the Constitution over 200 years later, in 1992.)

    Speech was down at #3. Arms at #4.

    Remember that the next time you hear someone draw some sort of analogy to the original ten amendments and the ten commandments or some such.

    • avatarDaveL says:

      Sometimes I wonder why the Second Amendment wasn’t the First.

      Probably because the authors of the Bill of Rights didn’t intend any particular meaning behind the order of the amendments. I mean, when’s the last time we had a genuine 3rd Amendment controversy in this country?

      • avatarCarlosT says:

        Pretty much never. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong there, of course. All it means it that no one has ever sought to make an issue out of it.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        The 3rd was raised two weeks ago, during SCOTUS oral arguments.

  6. avatarconcerned_soldier says:

    I am not so sure that even had they been carrying a firearm, they wouldn’t have been gunned down.

    The first thing they teach you and in Anti-Terrorism is, if they want you dead, they are probably going to win. The average citizen does not have the manpower or security to keep threats from getting to them.

    One of the reasons DGUs have a successful outcome is the victim has surprise on their side, the perp does not think their victim is armed, or they would have picked some other sheep. You have to sometimes look the part of the Sheep dog to keep the wolves at bay.

    As the saying goes, “An Armed Society is a Polite Society” Polite people don’t go around saying bad things about other people, well at least not publicly.

    Better to go with “STFU”

    C_S

    • avatarkarlb says:

      I have never understood why people believe that “Armed Society” quotation. Nearly everyone was armed in late-medieval and early-modern Europe, and the murder rate was many times what it is in the US today.

      • avatarST says:

        For a modern example of the polite society-and its opposite-look at modern America. Shall issue Miami is much safer than non-issue Chicago;in fact the latter city is one of the most dangerous places in the country to be in. One is better off in the mountains of Afghanistan than the south 6000 block of Chicago these days.

        • avatarkarlb says:

          I do not think the problem is a lack of weaponry in the south 6000 blocks of Chicago. The murder rates are, according to the city’s crime statistic, over five times what they are in the rest of Chicago. I have no fear when I have an opportunity to visit this city . . . but that is because I am not in the dangerous parts of the city.

      • avatarPaul says:

        Your statement would lead someone to believe that what you say is true. During the time period you have used, there were many wars that were being fought by one province or another. The average farmer was not armed. Rather it was the soldiers/mercenaries that were armed. When peace broke out, these men were unemployed, and would form what we consider to gangs.
        They would pillage, plunder, rape and rob at will. The Barons of these fifdoms had little or no control over these people, as, it was they, that made them unemployed. Their main source of revenue had been taken from them i.e. war. As a result they turned to what they knew, murder and mayhem. The land owners maintained a small force of men at arms for their own protection, not to protect others. The peasant farmer had no real recourse in all of this. They were not trained in the use of arms. The Baron’s realizing that their source of income was being taken away, finally stepped up and went after these gangs, hiring one against another.

        An alligance to who was being served would develop, and loyalties became a real badge of honor, so to speak. Now what does this have to do with us? Everything and nothing. Today we hear someone say that they are a Republican, or Democrat, and we immediately know where their loyalties lie. At least we believe we do. Unfortunately, these same people can change with the tide.

        What it all boils down to is one thing, do you want to live in fear of your government, or do you want to have some semblance of control? If it is the former give up your weapons, and fall on your knees to be chained. If it is the latter, then you must stand up against ALL those who want to enslave you. The only one way to do this is have strength on your side, and that comes in the ownership of firearms. I once saw a woman at a gym with a t-shirt that read “Better to live as a slave and be fed, than live free and starve.” I choose to live free and NOT starve. The govt. we have right now, wants to chain the masses, and allow them to starve.
        As C. Heston stated, “…from my cold dead hands…”

        • avatarCGinChicago says:

          Beat me to it. From what I remember from my military history class only the ruling elite and those under them were allowed to be armed. None of the peasantry.

        • avatar"Dr."Dave says:

          For what its worth, I remember the Magna Carta saying something about men bearing arms.

        • avatarkarlb says:

          My area of knowledge is mostly in England, Anglo-Saxon through early modern, so what you say could be true in, say the German principalities which lacked a single king, but I do know this. In regards to England and France, there might have been occasional bouts of pillaging and lawlessness, but you very much overstate the dangers of the mercenaries (it is certainly true that the night held real dangers for people because of outlaws, but these were dangers more threats to the individual, not the so ciety). Peasants were not trained to fight . . . except for the English long bowmen in the high medieval period, and in the Anglo-Saxon period, peasants were often part of local militias.

          Your claim that the landowners protected themselves but not the peasants is a bit dubious, for nobles had to protect the peasantry–they produced the food and wealth for the landowners, so the gentry could not afford to have their peasants killed and their crops destroyed.

          Peasants were armed with all sorts of weapons: sickles, scythes, daggers, knives, bows and more (including swords). While these might not have been sufficient to have stop an armored warrior, it was plenty enough to kill. As has been pointed out many times here, knives are very dangerous weapons, and nearly everyone had one at his side.

        • avatarBLX says:

          At the viking ship museum in Oslo, Norway, there is a plaque with the “viking constitution.” Among the many “amendments” was that the definition of a free man was that they were armed. Slaves were not armed.

          The vikings were not only marauders and plunderers like modern history would have you believe, but also merchants, farmers, politicians, artists, you name it.

          Go to Iceland and see the “allthing,” the first norther European parliamentary body. You;d be surprised how much the vikings influenced what is now thought of as Anglo-Saxon. They went all over, from Newfoundland to Turkey, possibly further. Many (to be) Swedish vikings served as bodyguards – Secret Service if you will – in Konstantinopel, and reiterd back home often with small fortunes in tow.

          Meanwhile, at home, the women more often than not, ran the day to day operations while the men were conducting business abroad. Thus many women became quite astute managers, and often very influential. Hagar the Horrible is a caricature, but not too far from the truth.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        In medieval times they were still working on making the society polite. It was working fairly well until the peasants started to get itchy, acquire weapons. Now in Europe they’re working on fixing that little problem. Ruling from a castle on a hill (or from Brussels) is not a simple job. Recall Martin Luther, who complained of “thieving hordes of murderous peasants.” Nothing like hunger, poverty, and oppression, to motivate those damned peasants. A fella needs a reason to be polite.

    • avatarBlake says:

      So, best to just give up and not even try to survive? I mean, heck, if terrorists want you dead, might as well make it easy on them. No sense anyone else get hurt in a gun battle….

  7. avatarBarbarossa says:

    Actually, the First and Second Amendments (as we know them today) were actually the Third and Fourth Amendments on the original Bill of Rights. The first two articles (the first had to do with congressional apportionment, the second was on congressional pay) were not ratified.

  8. avatarborekfk says:

    The Second Amendment came second probably because after writing the First, the Founding Fathers thought it was probably a good idea to put in an insurance policy to ensure that the First, and really the entire Bill of Rights could be protected from anyone. Including an over bearing government the idea of which they feared and disliked

  9. avatarkoolaidguzzler says:

    This is one of the most absurd articles I’ve read in this site. How many more crimes and social infractions are going to be chalked up to gun control?
    Uh oh, I just got a parking ticket. Maybe if I was visibly armed, the govt would have declined to cite me.

    • avatarBlake says:

      And you’ve made one of the most absurd “arguments” I’ve ever seen.

      What does carrying a gun and parking tickets have to do with the disarmed population of Mexico that is gunned down with impunity by drug gangs and corrupt cops?

      FLAME DELETED

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      I chalk up your post to gun control

      FLAMBÉ DELECTABLE

    • avatar"Dr."Dave says:

      It would, if you could legally shoot them.

  10. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    The reasoning for the order of the rights recognized in the Bill of Rights can be seen in the Federalist Papers. I highly recommend people read them, or re-read them if it has been awhile.

    Second, people should study up a bit on the Scottish Enlightenment and the political ideas that sprang forth from there, which influenced our Founders quite a bit.

  11. avatarRalph says:

    Narcocorridos singers in Mexcio got shot. Biggie Smalls and Tupac got shot. I’m sensing a pattern here.

  12. avatarTom says:

    I usually tell the Antis that after the 2A goes, the 1A will follow shortly.

    As far as the 2A keeping you from a parking ticket, I think the Founding Fathers had a little larger fish to fry in that regard.

  13. avatarRoadrunner says:

    If you get a chance, read a little further down on the borderlandbeat.com page, and you’ll find a short debate on how Mexico’s gun control aggravates the problem, countered with some weak swipes at the NRA as the culprit. Without weighing the arguments, it’s a little encouraging that the discussion is even happening.

    On another subject, Mexican food and Canadian beer might make a good mix.

  14. avatarGhostwriter says:

    The First 10 Amendments to the Constitution as Ratified by the States December 15, 1791
    PREAMBLE Congress OF THE United States.
    “THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution..”

    Amendment II “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.”

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
    *****

    “Evil is an absence of Conscience, Hell a place devoid of all Reason.”
    Gw.
    “Do No Harm / Successfully Defend.”
    Gw.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.