Reader Mail

Gunning Around

Columbine avoidance syndrome. The Cracked-Up Crack-Up. More on Arnoldian dynastic succession. Also: The Miscorrector.

11.18.04

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THE SHOT HEARD 'ROUND THE SCHOOL
Re: Shawn Macomber's Yearbook Shots:

Just read the article about New Hampshire and its absence of both gun laws and crime. As a native Marylander who lived in NH for five years in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I had to chuckle.

The first year I lived in NH, there were about 18 murders in the whole state. In Washington, D.C., with its draconian gun laws, I think 18 people are shot every Saturday night.

I remember shopping at the Super Wal-Mart in Concord, where I could have purchased a 12-gauge shotgun, a box of shells, and a case of Budweiser and put them in the same cart.

Any state with, no sales tax, no income tax, and tax free booze is OK in my book.

The people of the Granite State have good common sense and don't abide the kind of nonsense you see so much of here in Washington, DC and other "blue states." If not for the six months of shoveling snow, I might have stayed.
-- John C. Duff
Olney, Maryland

Why should the local school policy be of concern to you? If the student was attempting to get his picture in wearing, say, a butcher's outfit or S & M paraphernalia, would you mind if the school saw it fit to block a photo of such a get up? No, you'd be on your soapbox hounding the ACLU or someone else for defending some perverts right to run roughshod over sensible school policy. Venting about the anti-gun sentiments of the administrator is a straw man argument, he is vested with powers of judgment that he can use or disabuse as long as the board that hired him sees fit to continue the contract. The schools have the right to make policy that needn't pass some constitutional muster. Fight for gun rights in the right places: in the legislatures and courts, and leave the school districts the right to establish policy. After all, it is against the law to have a gun on school grounds in every state! So why get worked up over such an obscure non-issue like that?
-- Jeremy Freedman

I understand the discrimination complaint. However, I am an ex-Marine, a current and avid hunter, and a father of 4 and a step father of 4 more. The picture shouldn't be the problem. If the photographer is of any quality, he will have props to get the hunter affect. I would think the issue should be that guns are not allowed in, near, or around any public place, like a school, unless you wear a badge. If these pictures are on school grounds or at a school gathering place, the right to bear arms is null and void. The only way anything like that could take place is with a disabled weapon and then there is still the risk of getting one slipped in that isn't. I see the level of teenage anxiety and the teen suicide rate. Columbine should have been enough to outlaw possession of all guns for all non-law enforcement people in all public areas. With all the video games training shooting and random senseless violent acts, these teens don't need any items to help them express any pent up social problems. There is nothing to stop another troubled person from bringing the live ammunition if they know this person is bringing the weapon. My children are a gift from God and I don't need one of them caught in the middle of a teenage hormonal psychotic episode that ends in a death because someone wants his dangerous weapon within public reach.
-- D.J. Prengel

Shawn Macomber replies: The pictures were taken by a professional, off-site.

AFTER THE CRACK-UP
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s The Liberal Crack-Up:

Senator Kerry's wife isn't balmy, she is barmy!
-- Michelle Scholz

Thank you, Mr. R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. I love printing out your entire name, it is so cool. I loved your column regarding the liberals' crack-up being history. I think it is sad, but true. After watching them throughout the campaign, watching them be so sure they were going to win. After all, they had it all going their way. The power of the left media, the money that poured in from many sources, including the best Bush hater of them all, one who spent millions to try and defeat him, the Hollywood glitter talking and singing up a storm, Michael Moore (MM) was there doing his quite harebrained documentary, the lack of integrity not being a problem at any time, and last but not least Mr. Kerry and his wife. When I saw them make such a fuss over MM's film I thought then they had simply lost it. Could they not see what this man is?

I think the first big clue they have not changed came today when they reacted to the story of the Marine as if he had actually done something wrong. Bingo, some ammunition for the coming impeachment they keep talking about, they might "get Bush" yet! However, I learned the liberals are big on threats, they seldom come through with them as they think the public forgets, but some don't forget.

Yup, it is still there, the lack of any real caring for their country, their troops' lives, the Iraqi people that would be left to the mercy of the Middle East leaders. They can not stop, they will not stop, they will not see what they are doing because they live in a world that is composed of the only people in the country that know the REAL facts. The feelings are leaking out, witness the treatment of Ms. Rice. Totally beyond the pale, cartoons that should have the people who penned them sent to a class on decency and integrity in the media. The sickness is showing, they cannot control themselves anymore, they have no real leader to say stop, they do not even listen to the big man Clinton. He knows better and has told them many times to stop and find some issues to work on to show the public they care somewhat about them.

They still believe that having the left media will bring them what they want, perhaps they did not notice they lost the election, smart as they claim to be. They do not seem to realize the voters do not hang on every word spoken by Peter, Tom, and Dan anymore. They lost their credibility with their own games played throughout the election. Times are changing, the truth comes out in spite of their never showing or speaking about it. They have become people who just are not respected as they once were, far from it. Even the stupid, classless, pick-up trucks with the guns in the back rednecks see through them now. Think about how it would be if they did not have the protection and half-truths the media spins regarding them? Imagine an honest news program that reported the good and the bad. Fox comes close and is far superior to them and has made a huge difference in how people see the overwhelming bias from the others.

The Kerry group, the left who have spent four years trying to destroy the president ... failed, not just failed but really lost the entire game. They will continue to behave in the same way, but will add bibles to the mix. I can not wait to see Hillary toting Bill's bible around, telling the world how she prays for wisdom, how she attends church very Sunday... it will be a riot! If they learned nothing else, they did learn the trick of becoming religious at the drop of a hat since the election. This is something that can be laughed at, they really do not understand that people see this, and laugh.

It really is sad watching people who will just not grow up, who will carry their grudge to the end no matter who it hurts. The fact is, they are the ones who have lost the most, and they won't even see that, they are too busy at their happy game, "getting Bush." Have they ever come really close?
-- Carole Graham

Won't the "Liberal Crackup" be healed by Hillary's presidency and her husband's ascendancy in the United Nation's leadership?
-- Glenda McGee

HIDDEN MOTIVES
Re: George Neumayr's The Arnold Amendment and Reader Mail's A Sight for Soros Eyes:

C'mon now, why would Barney Frank be pushing a constitutional amendment for the benefit of Arnold Schwarzenegger????

They're really flying it under radar for the execrable Democrat Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, who was born in Canada.
-- Howard Hirsch
Dayton, Nevada

The Horatio Alger story that is Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise from rags in Austria to riches in America illustrates nicely the appeal the United States holds for scores of foreign born émigrés who have and will remove to these shores to realize what they understand is their fundamental right to direct their own fates. In these, we see anew our founders' fundamental understanding of what is written in the Declaration of Independence: that the notion of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness inheres in the nature of being human -- that this is the condition of our being, it is inarguable, and it is, indeed, universal.

The prohibition against a foreign-born President, however, is one that needs to be preserved.

It needs to be preserved because it is the best expression of the universality of the rights championed in the Declaration and the Constitution.

That is, Arnold Schwarzenegger may rise to the office of the Governor of California because the freedoms preserved in this country offer a reward for hard work and guarantee more hard work for the granting of that reward.

But we believe fundamentally that the rights we preserve and uphold in the U.S. are those also already being denied in other places.

If Mr. Schwarzenegger wishes to run for President of anywhere, then, perhaps it ought to be Austria.

Last time I checked, Europe could do with a dose of the enthusiasm for individual liberty that Mr. Schwarzenegger brings to the office in California.
-- Gregory Borse
Peru, Indiana

I have no love for either Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jennifer Granholm, and would not like to see either become President. Moreover, I share the general unease over amending the Constitution for the benefit of just one person.

Even so, I can't buy George Neumayr's arguments against allowing foreign-born U.S. citizens to run for President. First off, while I don't much like Schwarzenegger or Granholm, I have no reason at all to question either person's patriotism or loyalty to the United States. Second, we've already had at least two foreign-born Secretaries of State (Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright). If we trusted them with control of American foreign policy, it's hard to imagine why they couldn't be trusted in the White House.
-- John Leavy
Austin, Texas

There seems to be some unnecessary confusion among American Spectator readers on the point of where a prospective U.S. president can have been born. Let's go straight to the language of Article II Section 1 for the answer:

"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the Time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."

Alexander Hamilton qualified under the second part of the exception: after all, eight of our first nine presidents, though natives of Virginia, Massachusetts, or the Carolinas, were all born subjects of the British Crown but, like Hamilton, were citizens at the time of ratification. Anyone born here (obviously) or born overseas of American parents (think the offspring of military personnel stationed overseas: e.g., John McCain) qualifies under the first part.

This seems pretty clear to me, with one possible further exception: the only gray area that I see remaining might involve someone born overseas to only one American parent, though I expect that there may already be statute or case law that has resolved that question.

As for "the Soros Amendment"? Just let them try. Running on unpopular causes and calling their opponents bigoted are working so well for them.
-- Stephen Foulard
the first member of his immigrant family to qualify under Article II Section 1 in Houston, Texas

In your Reader Mail section entitled "A Sight for Soros Eyes," regarding George Neumayr's "The Arnold Amendment," two readers made reference to Alexander Hamilton as being the target of the constitutional prohibition on foreign-born citizens being eligible for the Presidency. Alexander Hamilton was not a victim of this provision; quite the contrary. If you read Article II, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, it states "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President" This provision was written precisely so Alexander Hamilton could become President, the operative phrase being "or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution." Alex was no slouch, and his fellow Framers were not averse to grandfathering him in to the presidential contenders club.
-- Stephen Cianca
Dublin, Ohio

Well, I'm not George Neumayr, nor do I presume to speak for him, but Frank Carcio's question about Alexander Hamilton appears to be answered in the U.S. Constitution's Article II, Section I, Clause 5:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Without bothering to check my American History textbook, I assume Alexander Hamilton qualified as a citizen at the time of the Constitution's adoption.
-- Phil Varsel
Corpus Christi, Texas

Arnold's libertarianism has a continental tinge, in case people have not noticed. I am more inclined to support a Mexican-born American for president than an Austrian or an Hungarian one. Or a Canadian one, for that matter.
-- John Schuh

Not to put too fine a point on it, but nobody seems to want to talk about the spectacular results the last time an Austrian rose to power in a country different from the one he was born in.

I'm just sayin'...
-- Michael Boegh
Nashville, Tennessee

I STAND UNCORRECTED
Re: Robert Kreiser's letter ("Specter's Lott") in Reader Mail's Silly Villains :

Mr. Robert Kreiser has written that my letter describing the Limbaugh/Specter colloquy was mistaken: the aforementioned discussion he reports took place on the program hosted by Mr. Sean Hannity.

When one reaches a certain age -- mine -- there are legitimate questions about the accuracy of one's hearing and memory, but senescence has not yet come to claim my faculties. Not yet.

On April 14, 2004, Senator Arlen Specter and Mr. Rush Limbaugh engaged in mildly amusing conversation which purported to clear the senator of receiving financial support from Mr. George Soros. That conversation, the transcript of which can be read in its entirety, demonstrates that Senator Specter did speak to Mr. Limbaugh.To my mind, during that tete-a-tete, Mr. Limbaugh served hanging curveballs rather than softballs, but de gust ibis non disputandem est. Hence, Mr. Kreiser's correction needs -- how to put it? -- a correction.

Factum est.
-- Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

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