Piers Morgan

For all the talk of the decline of the British Empire, even the most red-blooded American has to admit that somehow, they managed to relieve themselves (dare I say excrete?) the creature from their brave little island, and we seem to be stuck with it.

If I were the Obama administration, I would blame this (as on all else, now four years since the end of his disastrous dictatorial reign) on George W. Bush, but sanity and honest compels me to lay it at the foot of the cable news network formerly, and currently known as the Cable News Network. Which is one of the many reasons that I (and judging by the ratings, many others) find it less than indispensable.

37 thoughts on “Piers Morgan

  1. Fletcher Christian

    One point made in the comments to the linked blog entry is (in my view) a valid criticism of the “gun nuts” view. Legal documents such as the Constitution (for example) have to be taken in the context of the technology and society of the time.

    One example is the agreed-upon limit on the 1st Amendment – the much discussed “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre” one. And another is the 2nd Amendment.

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. Well, two or three problems with that. The actual language is not clear as to whether the purpose is an integral part of the amendment or merely explanatory; the term “well-regulated” itself has changed in generally accepted meaning since the 1770s; and perhaps most importantly, “bearing arms” has changed in significance. I recall seeing, a number of years ago, a documentary about nuclear weapons. In which the presenter was filmed holding a (presumably dummy!) 500kt nuclear warhead under each arm. “Bearing arms”??

    Gun control, however much the enthusiasts might protest, is in practice a matter of where the line is drawn. After all, “bearing arms” covers various flavours of ATRL, MANPAD anti-aircraft missiles, backpack nukes, fragmentation and VX grenades and flasks of weaponised anthrax, and various sorts of landmines. Weapon rights are already limited.

    1. Edward M. Grant

      “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre”

      Anyone bringing up that silly quote as a justification for ignoring the constitution clearly knows nothing about its source and history. It’s a glowing example of the US government blatantly violating the constitution by restricting political speech by anti-war protestors.

      As for the second amendment, the constitution implicitly assumes the existence of private warships, so I doubt the people who wrote it would have cared much about anti-tank missiles.

    2. Jiminator

      FC, George Mason was the primary author of the 2nd Amendment. He wrote extensively about it, and I encourage you to read his works. Many of the problems/confusing points you cite in the amendment itself are due simply to contextual changes in the English language over the past 250 years and are quickly cleared up by reading what he wrote elsewhere.

    3. Der Schtumpy

      FC,
      I’ll play your silly game. If firearms issues, ‘have to be taken in the context of the technology and society of the time’ because the Founders couldn’t have imagined the weapons we have, then WHY should the 1st Amendment Free Speech edict be open to or have open access to the internet, radio and TV or even international daily newspapers?

      Did the Founders consider those items, but NOT the guns that might develop?

      This same old limitation argument is as hollow and ill thought out as anything the Left thinks is necessary for the future. Limiting guns has never made ANY society safer. As it is, the U.S has way more access to guns and more guns per capita than the grand majority of the world, but we don’t really have the most crime or murders, and that has been the argument as of late. In fact, just within our own borders it’s being proven that the tighter the gun laws, the more gun crime there is per capita!

      Look at what last years murder rate in Chicago was, vs the state of TX.

    4. CT

      The analogy is silly. What is wrong with yelling fire in a theater, if there is indeed a fire in the theater? It isn’t the word “fire” that matters, it’s the truth or lack of that does. Lying about many things is illegal, the constitution doesn’t protect lying. Neither does the constitution protect criminals who use guns, it does protect law abiding citizens who use guns.

      1. Larry J

        If you yell “fire” in a crowded theater, you run the risk of causing a stampede that can injure or even kill people. If there is no fire, then yelling “fire” isn’t protected speech. Of course, if there is a fire, then saying so is a good idea.

    5. DJMoore

      The First Amendment goes far beyond street corner harangues and hand-operated screw presses. So should the Second go beyond flintlock muskets.

      Also, the purpose of the Second is to allow citizens to defend themselves against their government. Thus, we must have weapons of similar potency to those that might be used against us.

      Which answers the age old question of why we need high magazine rifles with full-auto assault clips, nuclear grenade lugs, and shoulder things that go up: So we can clean the manure out of the brain pans of people who want to take them away from us.

    6. Edward Wright

      One example is the agreed-upon limit on the 1st Amendment – the much discussed “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre” one. And another is the 2nd Amendment.

      Nonsense. You don’t have the right to behave disruptively or talk during the movie because it violates the owner’s property rights.

      That is not a “limit” on First Amendment rights. The First Amendment says that Congress cannot regulate certain things. It does not say property owners cannot regulate those things on their property.

      No one has argued that theater owners cannot prohibit patrons from carrying guns, talking, or operating printing presses on theater property. The Bill of Rights is not intended to limit the rights of property owners but the power of Congress.

    7. George Turner

      Try figuring out the 3rd amendment.

      No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

      The last clause of that amendment pretty much nullifies the rest, since Congress could prescribe pretty much anything, down to how the housewife has to bring the soldier beer and leave him in charge of the TV remote.

    8. George Turner

      Try figuring out the 3rd amendment.

      No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

      The last clause of that amendment pretty much nullifies the rest, since Congress could prescribe pretty much anything, down to how the housewife has to bring the soldier beer and leave him in charge of the TV remote.

      1. Edward Wright

        No, it doesn’t nullify anything. It means that it requires that wartime quartering requires an act of Congress, rather than a mere order from the military chain of command.

        And since Congress never declares war anymore, you remote is pretty much safe anyway. :-)

    9. R7 Rocket

      If reliable and cheap backpack nukes existed, large central governments would become obsolete.

      Oh by the way, gun control is obsolete thanks to small 3d printers and computerized cnc devices.

    10. R7 Rocket

      Fletcher Christian said:

      Legal documents such as the Constitution (for example) have to be taken in the context of the technology and society of the time.

      And yet the gunbanners are completely out of step with the technology of the 21st century. Gun control is now completely obsolete.

      1. Ed Minchau

        Hell, you can make a gun with a lot less than that, just more know-how. The ability to make a receiver by 3d printing just makes it much easier – and the gerber files are protected by the first amendment.

        1. Larry J

          Take a look at the WWII British Sten gun or the American M-3 “Grease Gun” submachine guns. They were simple designs that just about any good machinist could make. A simple pistol like the FP-45 or the Deer gun would be almost child’s play for a good machinist.

      2. R7 Rocket

        Talk about gun control being obsolete:

        From the “New Asteroid Mining Company post on this blog.


        “The MicroGravity Foundry is the first 3D printer that creates high-density high-strength metal components even in zero gravity,” said Stephen Covey, a co-Founder of DSI and inventor of the process. “Other metal 3D printers sinter powdered metal, which requires a gravity field and leaves a porous structure, or they use low-melting point metals with less strength.”

        Mars missions also would be safer with a MicroGravity Foundry on board to print replacements for broken parts, or to create brand new parts invented after the expedition was on its way to the Red Planet.

  2. Raoul Ortega

    The same way “free speech” should be technologically limited to printing press, quill pens, lectures without any amplification and letters sent by sailing ship, right?

  3. Jim Breeding

    Interpretation of the Constitution requires using the meanings of words generally accepted in the 1770s when the Constitution was written. What is generally accepted as meaning today is not valid.

  4. Fletcher Christian

    Mr. Grant, when you show me a cannon (as used on said warships) that is actually useful in naval combat and can be carried by one man…

    1. Al

      Fletcher, go track down a history focusing on the Thirty Years War in the 1600s.

      1) Privateers are considered to be “bearing arms” even if they, personally, don’t carry a pistol. Their -ship- is “arms”. Pirates are accused of “bearing arms against -insert-country-here-“.

      2) Militia is used -very- broadly. And repeatedly. Generally before phrases like “And Magdeburg is sacked, again, because their militia didn’t have either enough arms or skill at using them.” While the bigger cities might have formal militias (groups of people that spend a weekend a month practicing), it quickly becomes -very- clear that the term is most-always used for “Anyone that actually shows up to prevent the town from being raped, plundered, pillaged, and razed.”

      3) The liberal idea of allowing the peasants to “bear arms” comes in (again) during this period as well. It’s a particularly rough patch of time to be a peasant -or- a city-dweller in Europe. And it isn’t just “Ok, the non-nobility can wear a sword in the street!” It extended to warhorses and armor. One (of many) reasons the richer merchants were always running around attempting to beg, borrow, or steal a patent of nobility.

      If you need a ‘bright line’ to prevent insanities like idiots with nukes, here’s one:
      Random Joe, who is a citizen in good standing (no mental or criminal convictions), should be allowed to buy, sell, possess, transport, procure, wield, store, and manufacture anything that the police use.

    2. wodun

      You are drawing some sort of distinction by what a person can actually physically carry? I don’t think that was a restriction set by the founders.

      Also, a rifle does not equal a nuclear weapon and restricting the ownership of nuclear weapons should not mean rifles should also be outlawed.

      You are right to say that there are limits on our rights and the argument is where. Taking away the right to own a rifle is over the line.

      1. Rob Crawford

        Considering the Founders also allowed for the issuing of letters of marque and reprisal, which assumes the existence of privately owned ships capable of conducting commerce raiding, I think it’s safe to say they believed the 2nd covered heavy weapons as well.

    3. Rob Crawford

      Look up “swivel guns”. Ships had small cannons for use to repel boarders and damage other ships rigging.

  5. Der Schtumpy

    “The president of the United States espoused exactly what I’ve been saying for the last five weeks. No one can tell me we haven’t had an influence.”

    What an arrogant little poncy poof he is! As if Obama needed HIS opinion on this issue, the avowed anti-gun Lawyer became an avowed anti-gun President and we all knew his attitude LONG before Morgan ever showed his lat idiot mug on TV here.

    It’s not like Morgan moved Wayne LaPierre to the Brady Gun Control side of the issue after all.

  6. wodun

    It was surprising that CNN hired Morgan. It is not like they didn’t know about all his baggage. But aside from Blitzer, they really don’t have any journalists. I guess they have Jake Tapper now too.

  7. Fletcher Christian

    Al, I’d go with what you say in your last paragraph. For us in the UK as well, BTW. I would, however, like to add a requirement for training. Not just plinking targets at a range, either; perhaps some sort of popup target range such as the cops use. The reason? Target discrimination.

    wodun, I really don’t know what else “bear arms” could be said to mean. As for naval guns; well, technically it’s the ship bearing them and the ship (as a whole) has some status as a semi-independent entity in law.

    CT; as I understand it, the original quote was intended to be in the context of a “no fire” situation. Incidentally, it isn’t necessarily a good idea to yell “fire” even if there is one; there have been many cases of people being crushed to death in the ensuing panic.

    1. Rob Crawford

      Fletcher, I suggest you actually educate yourself before you start spouting off about training standards.

    2. M Puckett

      Fletcher, it is already illegal to shoot randomly into a crowded theatre.

      The analogous limitation on the use of arms has pretty much always existed, even before gunpowder itself. It is called laws against unjustified homicide.

    1. McGehee

      The fact you are unable to educate yourself about firearms because your government has outlawed them, ought to tell you what banning firearms has actually achieved: enforced ignorance.

      That’s why we have a Second Amendment, so the government can’t prevent us from knowing how to use guns.

    2. Larry J

      You can learn a great deal about guns with nothing more deadly than a library card or Internet access.

  8. newrouter

    Legal documents such as the Constitution (for example) have to be taken in the context of the technology and society of the time.

    yea because those idiots/founders couldn’t see technological progress so they added the patents stuff just for fun. statists: clowns whose view is: “don’t let the crises go to waste if you can grab power”

  9. DaveP.

    “Legal documents such as the Constitution (for example) have to be taken in the context of the technology and society of the time.”

    …says the (irony-impervious) guy using an intercontinental Internet link to comment on a weblog.

  10. R7 Rocket

    If someone is going to make a historical epic movie based on the American Revolution, they should offer Piers Morgan a role as King George. No writing of a script will be necessary, all Piers Morgan has to do is repeat his bullshit antigun talking points over and over again as King George.

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