Me: “What’s the deal with Wayne Smith? More private gun owners is good thing, right?”
Some GOA grunt:
“Constitutional rights belong only to citizens. The ACLU’s logic can lead to tearing down our border – that there are no rights unique to American citizenship, so, hey, let everyone come in. That same logic allows the state to take away the right to keep and bear arms of a citizen. We have argued in court that only a citizen can lose his right to keep and bear arms by renouncing his citizenship. The current view that citizenship is no big deal has led to a progressive encirclement of the exercise of our rights. We gave gone from denying the right to keep and bear arms to felons, then to those with misdemeanors, now to those with certain medical diagnoses (and that without any due process).
“We must make the distinction between citizens and others.
“The American constitutional order is one of rights for citizens. Any enjoyment of those rights by non-citizens is a privilege in constitutional terms. The ACLU, as usual, is wrong in this case. It is for the state of South Dakota to determine whether legal non-citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. I don’t agree with their new policy, but constitutionally, they are within their power to so act.
“I have forwarded your comments to my supervisor.”
“As much as I appreciate Fox News, they misstated my position on the Wayne Smith case arising out of South Dakota. So let me break it down:
“1. As I have stated all along, I do not agree with what South Dakota is doing in denying the right to keep and bear arms to alien residents. Wayne Smith SHOULD BE ABLE TO OWN A GUN!
“2. Our fundamental rights do NOT come from government, the Bill of Rights or the Constitution … they come from God. Hence, law-abiding citizens should be able to carry concealed firearms as a matter of right (without permission from the government) and that is why GOA has consistently supported legislation modeled after Vermont’s successful permitless carry law.
“3. Aliens living in this country still possess their God-given rights. Note, however, that within our constitutional system of government, some rights of citizenship (such as the right to vote) are fully protected only for actual U.S. citizens. This is, perhaps, where the confusion has arisen. On the one hand, I argued that aliens should not be able to vote in our country. But fundamental human rights such as the right to self-defense as embodied by keeping and bearing arms, on the other hand, SHOULD MOST DEFINITELY extend to everyone, period.
“4. As for the xenophobia that some have accused me of because of the misunderstanding relating to Wayne Smith … well, that’s laughable. I’ve been happily married to a Central American immigrant for nearly 50 years — and I fully support her right to keep and bear arms as much as I support Smith’s … and yours.”
Me: Thanks, Larry.