Giuliani v. Bloomberg
New York Sun Editorial
September 24, 2007
"Mayor Giuliani's speech to the National Rifle Association is a reminder of one of the great things about democracy — the education it provides not only to voters but also to candidates. When Mr. Giuliani was serving as mayor he was inclined toward a crabbed, provincial view of the Second Amendment, which says that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed and which has been called the palladium of our liberties. He derided the National Rifle Association, the civil rights organization that focuses on the Second Amendment, and he launched a lawsuit against gun makers.
Now that Mr. Giuliani has been campaigning to transform himself from mayor of a northeastern metropolis to president of America, he's been getting something of an education on the issue. At the NRA in Washington, it was clear that a more mature Giuliani has emerged. His endorsement of the Tiahrt Amendment, which protects the privacy of certain data on gun sales but which is opposed by Mayor Bloomberg, sets up, as our Russell Berman reports on page one, a potential confrontation with his successor in city hall as the 2008 race unfolds.
Mr. Giuliani attributed his past errors to the intensity of his fight against crime in New York City. By our lights, the great victory that Mr. Giuliani achieved against crime covers a lot of sins. But we are by no means convinced that the war on crime would have been hurt by allowing law-abiding citizens to exercise the right to keep and bear arms that is guaranteed to them in the Bill of Rights. To establish, as New York has, a gun control regime that guarantees to every criminal the near certainty that the plump-looking target walking down the street will be without a gun has always struck us, as it did the Founders of America, as folly. In Washington on Friday, Mr. Giuliani called for a "renewed emphasis on the Second Amendment," but seemed to suggest, if only by implication, that the Second Amendment applied only in some regions, a point Senator Thompson called him on.
Mr. Giuliani hung back from focusing on the cutting edge of the debate — whether the right to keep and bear belongs to state militias or to individuals. He suggested focusing on the people he views as models for the Supreme Court. He cited, according to the report in the New York Times, Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Alito. All eyes are on the Supreme Court as the District of Columbia appeals to the high court a ruling that the right to keep and bear is precisely an individual right. The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to grant certiorari.
The best stand on the Second Amendment taken by a candidate speaking to the NRA on Friday was by Senator McCain, who debunked what he called the "hunting myth." Said he: "If you show your bona fides by hunting ducks or varmints or quail, it makes up for support for gun control. This myth overlooks a fundamental truth: the Second Amendment is not about hunting, it is about freedom."A spade's a spade, so good on ya, John. Julie will appeal to the fence-sitters who believe that "sensible" gun control is, after all, a good thing, so it's up to us to pitch in whenever we can and stand firmly behind the words of Senator McCain. No, I won't vote for him, too many photo-hugs with the likes of Ted (Dick-Em & Dunk-Em) Kennedy for me to disremember, but he might very well make someone a good VP.