Debate Magazine

Do Rights Have Limits?

Posted on the 21 October 2014 by Mikeb302000
Me:
All rights come with limitations, that's the point. Do you have a problem with that? In other words the "shall not be infringed" part of the 2A is not to be taken literally at least not in its extreme sense.
Anonymous:
My problem with your statement is that it is inexact, and that this lack of specificity leads to the erosion of rights. The government's ability to proscribe speech that directly incites violence or illegal activity is not because "the right to free speech is not unlimited" it is because direct incitements to violence are not considered protected speech.
The government can't stop asshole racists from calling for the elimination of the rights of other races because that still falls under the category of protected speech. Meanwhile, it can stop them if they are holding a rally and calling for the people at the rally to start lynching passers by.
Similarly, non-protected weapons, e.g. nuclear weapons, can be proscribed, but whatever weapons are protected, but whatever weapons are covered, for the sake of argument let's say at least muzzle loaders (though I think, and the court has agreed, it goes further), cannot be outlawed.
As for the felons issue, the constitution says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law--the prohibition on felons, as well as other aspects of infamy, attach to them by the operation of due process. This isn't a matter of the right not being absolute--it is a matter of them losing a right as a punishment for a crime they have been convicted of.
This is why I have this huge problem with your inaccurate, sloppy legal statements.

Mr. Anonymous is apparently being serious when he says the limits on free speech are "not because "the right to free speech is not unlimited."" That's got to be one of the best pro-gun spins I've ever seen. He goes on to explain that the reason is simply because those forms of speech that are not protected by the 1A are "direct incitements to violence are not considered protected speech." His circular logic boggles the mind.
Moving on to guns, he informs us that " whatever weapons are protected,""cannot be outlawed." I wonder how he understood the AWB before it was allowed to expire, or for that matter, the strict rules in places like NY and NJ.  How does "cannot be outlawed" work in those cases, I wonder.
About felons he has no problem for the simple reason that "due process of law" was followed.  By that logic, I suppose anything goes as long as it receives due process. Sounds like good news for the gun control movement.


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