Thursday, September 6, 2007

Does He Have Any Idea What His Position Is?

Back to the debate. Giuliani was asked whether college students should be permitted to pack heat (ok Wendell Goler said "carry weapons" but I'm going for drama). Giuliani answered:

I think states have a right to decide that. I mean, states have a right to decide their gun laws. The second amendment grants you the right to bear arms.

We have a federal system. A lot of these issues work in America where we have people of different views and different conscience because we are a federal system. We allow states to make different decisions.

Wha? His position appears to be the general federalist conception of letting states do as they will. But what's with the third sentence? If I have the right to bear arms, federalism is irrelevant. So I presume he paraphrased (and over-simplified) the 2d Amendment in order to prove to the skeptical right-wing of his party that he knows what it says. He can't claim as his own the right-wing's absolutist position on gun rights, however. If he tried to adopt the absolutist position, he would be labeled a Romney flip-flopper. So instead we get his self-contradictory answer.

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