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The rights stuff

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, February 26, 2016 07:30 am

Hillary Clinton is getting a lot of grief for a little bit of nonsense she spouted in an interview with Steve Harvey about guns in America:

"We’ve got to say to the gun lobby, you know what, there is a constitutional right for people to own guns. But there’s also a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that enables us to have a safe country. where we are able to protect our children and others from this senseless gun violence."The nonsense is that the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" appears in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. The Declaration is a foundational document and asserts our justifications for independence, including those rights, God-given or natural, as you will, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but it doesn't guarantee a damn thing.

But this is more than Hillary getting confused and putting words in the Constitution that aren't really there. It's a misstatement of the nature and significance of the Constitution. And I don't think it's confusion. Progressives do it all the time, and I think it's quite deliberate.

The Second Amendment does not confer anything on us, which this critic fails to grasp or at least to say:

The Second Amendment allows free people the ability to defend themselves and their country, limiting the necessity of turning that power over to the state and thereby reducing or eliminating liberty. 

No, it does not allow us to defend ourselves. It recognizes the natural or God-given right we have, merely because we are human, to defend ourselves and declares that government may not abridge that right.

It's nice that Clinton has finally acknowledged that there is a constitutional right to bear arms, but her understanding of what that right means is obviously limited. When she asserts that the government can define what our happiness is and has the duty to impose that definition on all of us, she is asserting a positive power the Constitution really doesn't confer. As much as she, President Obama and other progressives hate it, the Constitution is all about negative rights, things we must insist that government not do if we are to remain a free people.

And of course she is all about what the government must do, not what it must not do. She's not confused at all. Just wrong.


Iowa is considering a bill that would allow children under 14 to handle guns, so heads are exploding in the gun-control crowd. But the aim of the bill is for those children to handle guns under adult supervision for the purpose of learning gun safety. Sounds like a good thing.

Uh oh, guys. They've gone and made us superfluous: Scientists claim they can create babies without men by injecting eggs with artificial sperm.

A supersize nation: Americans gained more than 500 million pounds last year. "The average American man weighed 196 pounds in November, according to Gallup, up 3 pounds from a year earlier. The average woman actually lost 2 pounds since 2014 and weighed 155 pounds." 

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox: I am not going to pay for that f——— wall. "Last week it was the Pope grumbling about Trump’s fondness for walls, now this guy. Next week al-Baghdadi will declare that electing Trump would be an insult to the Islamic faith, which will wrap up the election in a nice little bow." 

Crack Secretary of State John Kerry, on being told a released Gitmo detainee had returned to terrorism: "Well, he's not supposed to be doing that, and there are consequences." Oooh, consequences. Bet he's really scared.

When President Obama says his teen job of scooping ice cream was "brutal," it doesn't make the working class exactly feel a warm-and-fuzzy connection to him, does it?

The national disgrace confines: Persian Gulf veterans still having to fight for proper health care 25 years after the war.

I knew if I waited long enough I might find a decent reason to vote for him: Al Sharpton might "get out of here" if Donald Trump wins. Yeah, well, talk is cheap. Alec Baldwin threatened to leave the country of George W. Bush won, but I notice he's still hanging around.

Finally, researchers with too much time on their hands try to validate the "5-second rule" and find there might actually be something to it. "But it's still a bad idea to eat food off the floor." OK, good to know.


internecine (in-ter-NEE-seen), adj. — mutually destructive; of or relating to conflict or struggle within a group, as in: "By the time a GOP contender gets to the general election against Hillary Clinton, he may be too damaged from the internecine battles of the primaries to be effective against her."


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