Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Thursday, April 14, 2005

More on Professor Saul Cornell

I added an update to the post below, but this is important enough for its own post. Professor Saul Cornell is director of Ohio State University's John Glenn Second Amendment Research Center, funded primarily by the anti-gun Joyce Foundation. I first got involved in this when I fisked an op-ed written by Prof. Cornell that was published in several newspapers across the country. I emailed him a link, and he replied. His reply was, in my opinion, weak though very personally illuminating, and I wrote a post illustrating it. In the fisking I wrote:
Remember, Prof. Cornell is writing an opinion piece for a newspaper. He doesn't have to be right, he just has to be convincing. The ill-informed who read this piece think "Hey, he's an authority, he must be right." That's why his side has to keep repeating the big lies.
In my rebuttal to his reply I wrote:
You, an historian, have taken it upon yourself to distort history - something that you yourself claim is unacceptable. You claim that the Justice department's recognition of the "standard model" of the Second Amendment is somehow "well beyond" a "living document" re-interpretation. I'm sorry, Professor, but if you actually believe that you're delusional, and if you know better you're a bald-faced liar. I honestly cannot tell which.
In Randy Barnett's most recent entry on the topic at The Volokh Conspiracy he had this to say:
Saul asked in his reply: "Given that the gun lobby has plenty of money and places like CATO are strongly gun rights it seems a bit unfair to ask Joyce to fund your point of view." I do not expect Joyce to fund any point of view with which they disagree. It is not Joyce we are talking about, it is Chicago-Kent and Ohio State. Nor, to reiterate, do I have any problem with an individual scholar like Saul who agrees with Joyce accepting funding to support his or her academic research, provided the funding is disclosed. But Ohio State, like Chicago-Kent, is an academic institution, unlike Cato, or the Federalist Society. (I raised the Federalist Society because, even though it is not an academic institution, its programs have more balance than did Chicago-Kent's. (I did not compare the Fordham Law Review symposium to the Federalist Society—indeed, I did not mention that symposium at all in my post.)

Let me clarify this by posing the following question: Why did Joyce not organize its own conference, law review issue, or Second Amendment Research Center? The answer is plain: it wants its views to enjoy the academic respectability imparted upon it by the imprimatur of Chicago-Kent and Ohio State. It is that institutional imprimatur that enabled the Ninth Circuit to rely so heavily on articles published in the Chicago-Kent Law Review in his opinion in Silveira v. Lockyer. (BTW, the published opinion had to be modified later to remove its reliance on the discredited work of Michael Bellesiles.) This is what Joyce is buying from Chicago-Kent and Ohio State. This is what it is improper of these institutions to sell.


If Saul truly cannot distinguish between a "research center" at a university (and a public one, no less) and a think tank like Cato, an advocacy group like the NRA or Joyce Foundation, or a blog like the Volokh Conspiracy, then there is more trouble with the Second Amendment Research Center than the principal source of its funding. But the fact that he says he would include diverse opinions in his programs (paid for somehow by other funds) and tried - albeit unsuccessfully - to include divergent views in the Fordham Law Review symposium suggests that he can tell the difference.
(Emphasis mine.) The "delusional vs. bald-faced liar" question remains open, but I know which side I'm leaning towards.

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