So here I am at Rough Creek Lodge, toking on a six-year barrel-aged Camacho, depending on a cup of coffee and an Italian space heater to keep the Texas chill away. Constitutional scholar Glenn Reynolds and his wife are out shooting something winged (this way cometh). Earlier today, Glenn justified the junket with an extemporaneous talk about the Second Amendment. After chronicling the recent history of the Supreme Court’s pro-2A rulings, the Instapundit laid out his vision for extending and defending American gun rights . . .
“Now that gun rights are a matter of what I call ‘ordinary constitutional law’ it’s time to use legislation to move forward,” Professor Reynolds opined. To that end, Reynolds offered a four-point plan:
– A Federal Civil Rights law for firearms – Under the new law, the maximum punishment a state could inflict on someone for a minor firearms-related offense – for someone who has the right to keep and bear arms (e.g., not a felon) – would be restricted to “a couple of hundred dollars.”
– A tax credit for owning guns – “We should encourage an armed citizenry,” Reynolds announced. Looking around the room at a posse of wealthy gun owners, Reynolds quickly added that the credit should be capped ay $1500 – $2000 per year.
– A national law waving immunity for anyone depriving a citizen of their Second Amendment rights – “That’ll learn ’em” an audience member growled.
– National reciprocity – “Now that the Supreme Court has incorporated the right to keep and bear arms, gun owners should be able to exercise that right in all 50 states.” Someone asked if a state should be able to enforce its version of gun rights on an out-of-state gun owner (as it can now) under a national reciprocity law. “I’ve got two words for anti-gun leftists who say gun laws should be left to the states,” Reynolds said. “Gay marriage.”
Speaking of which, Reynolds reckons the gay rights movement offers a template for gun rights activists. The Instapundit believes that gun rights advocates should be just as vocal and organized as gay rights activists. “How many gays are there? Two percent? Five percent? No one screws with them.” (I resisted the urge to say “so to speak.”)
Reynolds’ plan reflects his belief that gun rights are in a far better place than they were twenty years ago. Safe, even. I attempted to throw cold water on his triumphalism, pointing out that millions of Americans in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and elsewhere are still gun rights deprived. If the state confronts their “Irish democracy” by confiscating firearms, there’s still a chance all hell could break loose.
“If the police try that, people should make the prosecutors’ lives miserable,” Reynolds responded. “They should do everything and anything within legal limits to shame them. Wanted posters, public demonstrations, everything . . . They should vote them out of office.” Reynolds’, um, optimism on the subject was a bit surprising, but I hope the Blogfather’s plan is realized. And my fears aren’t.