Quest Collaborative Law

Your Quest Is Our Goal

The web presence of Quest Collaborative Law and attorney Christopher L. Seaton, Esq.  All sorts of fun lies herein.  

Love them all or hate them all. Cherry-Picking doesn't work.

In the light of yet another tragic shooting, this time in Oregon, people are sounding off about the unending national debate on guns and gun control in America.  The reactions are typical, ranging from the "we have a second amendment that allows people to keep firearms" to the hysterical responses from people trumpeting former Supreme Court Justice Stevens' suggestion we amend the second amendment to redefine "militias" and services in them, the "give people more mental health options," and even now "We need a gun free society.  Just take all the guns."  

Shrouded in all of this is the fact that the Second Amendment--a long favored part of the Bill of Rights for conservatives, and a bane of liberal thought--is a thing that is part of our Constitution and we need to respect that.  Fortunately, my Fault Lines colleague and editor Scott Greenfield steps in with one of his reasoned, curmudgeonly respectable responses to this issue.  

I'll ask all of you to please go read the whole thing, as Simple Justice is a great morning coffee stop for edification and illumination in the world of the law, but I do want to pull one quote that particularly resonated with me.  

The Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, is a package deal. Either we accept them as the fundamental law of the land, the protection of individual freedoms from governmental impairment, or not. There is no legitimate argument that some rights are more worthy of respect than others. There is no valid contention that we need only respect the rights we like and can dismiss those we don’t.

If you think the Second Amendment can be ignored because you hate guns, then you have no cause to complain that the majority of Americans would like to dismiss the Fourth Amendment’s warrant clause because they prefer their safety. And the Free Speech of everyone is subject to the feelings of the most sensitive person in the country. Either we respect every one of the Bill of Rights or none of them deserve to be honored.

If you’re a supporter of the Constitution, then support all of it, even those Amendments that aren’t your favorites. If not, then remember that your favorite rights are no more sacred than anyone else’s. When they come for your favorites, remember that you enabled the position that rights are subject to public whim, your whim, based on individual sensitivity. Pick a side. Either you’re for the Constitution or you’re not. There is no middle ground.

And that's the central issue that I had problems externalizing this entire time.  Whether we love them or hate them, we need to respect the fact that the Constitution, and all of its parts that are onerous to our respective feelings and imagination, is the supreme law of the land.  There are mechanisms for changing the parts that we don't like as a collective whole, but those we don't like, until such time as they are changed, must be respected as the law.  If you are a part of the mechanism that demands laws be changed on a carefree whim, then know that when you start complaining about how your rights were violated you were part of the system that made this happen.  

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