There is something gone terribly awry in our democratic system when decent hard-working legislators can be recalled simply because they are not 100% pure on any particular issue near and dear to the hearts of the world’s zealots.
That’s the only take away one can have from the recent recall in Colorado of two solid public servants who though basically supporters of the Second amendment’s qualified right of an individual to keep and bear arms, had the temerity to support something a majority of Coloradans support - namely universal background checks.
It’s the first time ever in all of Colorado’s political history that two legislators have been recalled. Sadly, the National Rifle Association is claiming credit for its role in this travesty and abuse of the recall provision, saying it illustrates once again their message of “don’t mess with me and my guns.”
The NRA would have one believe the Second amendment is an absolute unqualified right for an individual to have most any weapon he wants short of a small nuclear device to defend hearth and self. This is simply not the case.
In point of fact it wasn’t until recently that the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Heller vs. the District of Columbia, in a stunning move led by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, reversed two hundred years of settled law and affirmed the right of an individual apart from service in any sort of militia to have and bear arms.
Despite this precedent-shattering, five to four majority opinion written by Scalia, one has to wonder if Supreme Court Justices had to stand for election every so many years whether the NRA would even support him. Why?
Well even the great Scalia wrote that the Second amendment was a qualified right, not an absolute right. Near the end of his opinion he wrote these qualifiers: (more…)