Mary Margaret Penrose, a full time professor of Law with Texas A&M University, has called for the full repeal of the Second Amendment. Utilizing her unquestioned exercise of the First Amendment, the Texas Professor insisted the Constitution was outdated, and needed some substantial re-writing. Penrose was speaking in Connecticut (at a gun-control symposium) when she launched into her misinformed explanation of the Second Amendment; implying that our enumerated right to possess a firearm is largely responsible for the mass shootings that have cropped up in recent years.
Her argument, and blatant contempt for the Constitution (which she admits to describing as an “obsolete” document in her classes) is nothing new among the Left. Among her ramblings about the uselessness of our Constitution she managed to make a “state’s rights” case for the repeal of our Second Amendment right. Penrose argues that States should be able to make their own gun laws, without the burden of complying with that pesky document from the 1700’s.
“… Drastic times require drastic measures. I think the Second Amendment is misunderstood and I think it’s time today, in our drastic measures, to repeal and replace that Second Amendment,” Penrose explained. Well. . . I think she proved her own point about the Amendment being misunderstood. But it got better:
“The beauty of a ‘states’ rights model’ solution is it allows those of you who want to live in a state with strong restrictions to do so and those who want to live in a state with very loose restrictions to do so,” the professor explained.
Right. . . Because right now places like Chicago and New York have such relaxed restrictions. (Please… I’ll give millions for an effective Sarcasm font.) For the sake of brevity, I guess we can gloss over the very real fact that we already have a state-by-state fluctuation in gun laws. (A point of consternation for law abiding citizens who struggle to remain in compliance with local laws while traveling or moving.)
While I applaud the Leftist’s sudden (if inadequate) grasp of Federalism, she seems wildly unclear on the idea of federally protected individual rights. Our Constitutionally enumerated rights were added to our founding document precisely because our founders feared violation of such rights, if left to local jurisdictions.
By Penrose’s logic, perhaps we should allow states to determine their own “free speech” laws. Would the law professor from A&M be supportive of states determining, on their own, to outlaw or restrict certain religions? What if states mandated allegiance to specific churches? After all, if you didn’t like it you could simply move to another state, according to Penrose. Or what if we allow individual states to determine whether or not women can vote? Name a right (other than gun ownership) and Penrose would likely be opposed to its repeal on a state-by-state basis.
It makes one wonder if she (or for that matter, any of the anti-gun “experts” who spoke at the event in Connecticut) has ever considered what a “gun-free” nation would look like. Perhaps we should send them on a field trip to Mexico’s cartel-plagued cities for an up close and personal view of gun-control in action. In a nation with only one legally operating gun store, and virtually zero tolerance for illegal gun ownership, corruption and crime run rampant. Do you think, for even a moment, Ciudad Juárez’s cartel violence would be tolerated by the well-armed citizens of El-Paso, Texas? Despite the fact that the two towns are separated only by a river, they boast dramatically different gun-violence statistics.
Connecticut’s Governor, Democrat Dannel Malloy, was also on the panel. Malloy jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon by citing past transgressions against the Second Amendment as justification for future transgressions. According to the Daily Caller, Malloy referenced the restriction of fully automatic firearms:
“In the 1930s, machine guns were the weapon of choice for mobsters, and we collectively decided that machine guns should be illegal for private possession in the United States. We don’t see machine guns being used in the U.S. in crimes.”
Well, Malloy. . . First of all, not all “machine guns” are illegal for private ownership. They merely require a $200 tax stamp and some extra scrutiny from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. (The bureau of “All Things Fun.”)
Malloy was referencing the 1934 National Firearms Act, which places restrictions and excise taxes on various types of firearms. It was passed in response to the use of fully automatic firearms in a number of high profile crimes, such as the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago. (That corner of America seems to have always had a serious problem with “gun violence.” Maybe we should outlaw Chicago?)
The 1930’s gun control attempt was largely ineffective at reducing mob violence. It wasn’t until the Feds began to aggressively police the behavior of La Cosa Nostra, later in the century, that much of the violence began to subside. All the Act did in the 1930’s, combined with a secondary ban on automatic firearms passed in the 1980’s, was drive the price of legal automatic firearms through the roof.
The tactic of the 1934 gun control legislation is almost identical to the kinds of racist gun laws that were implemented in the deep-south after the Civil War. Permits, fees and taxes were placed on guns in an effort to price them out of the financial capabilities of average African American families following the Confederate’s defeat. As the Ku Klux Klan rose to power in both the Democrat Party and State Legislatures, gun control became one of their favorite tools to ensure the passivity of minority races.
But details about the 1934 Firearms Act aside, Malloy and Penrose articulated a clear belief that our founding document is outdated and inadequate for today’s world. “Why do we keep such an allegiance to a Constitution that was driven by 18th century concerns?” Penrose opined. I know it’s trite, but it is applicable: According to her logic, the first Amendment is outdated because our founding fathers never foresaw the power of the internet, broadcast or cable television, radio communication, or mass-distribution of printed materials.
Penrose, and the other gun-control advocates on the panel, represent the sizeable portion of Americans who believe crime is the result of inadequate laws. No amount of Constitutional disregard, Second Amendment tinkering, or violation of human rights will suppress all (or even a majority) of violent crime. (Click here for the latest fad among unarmed gang-oriented teenagers.) Penrose is representative of a liberal mentality that the Constitution is merely an obstacle to effective governance, when in reality the Constitution is an obstacle to over-governance.
Repeal the Second Amendment (good luck) and the God-given right to protect, with lethal force, one’s life and property will quickly vanish. The Second Amendment protects more than our right to own hunting rifles, shotguns, and handguns; it clearly articulates the people’s right for armed self-defense. It empowers women against aggressors, it protects the innocent from the criminals, and it keeps further violations of our rights largely at bay.
Penrose explained that “drastic times call for drastic measures.” That call for government action sounds eerily similar to the justification used by despots, dictators and Human Rights violators throughout history. A Law professor should be slightly more sensitive to the fact that criminality will exist regardless of our “drastic measures.” Eliminating the rights of the law abiding is little more than an act of oppression.