I was having lunch with a client today.
There were four people there, myself included.
The client, a female of the age of somewhere between 40-50, the guy who brought me into work there, Chuck, and another guy who I didn't know at all.
The guy I know, Chuck, I have worked with for the past ten years. Staunch Ron Paul supporter. We've been to some pretty bad gigs, and we both like the Big Lebowski. So we have that much in common.
Sloppy Joe day at the cafeteria. And I have selected the onion rings with a giant cookie -- but just a glass of water, as I'm trying to cut out High Fructose Corn Syrup.
I sit down. Last. Almost like I was intruding on their space.
The chit chat starts up with the typical bullroar
about sports and pleasantries. Weight loss and basketball.
I throw in a quick quip that the client must have just graduated college. A
couple chuckles. "You can invite him back anytime..."
it's that kind of interaction. Uncomfortable and fake. I feel bottled up.
Then Chuck opens up, "Yeah, just don't get him started
I took pause. Thought it through real long. It's as though he has just dared me.
"Yeah.... SO... the Supreme Court just shut down the
DC handgun ban!"
The client immediately shot out, "oh no!"
Ahah.... I'm into it. I couldn't contain it any longer. As if the hot magma
of a long dormant volcano was about to spew into the
"The court has taken every single stanza of the second
amendment and spelled out the definition."
"So I take it you're FOR this?" The bait dangled in
the water. Much in the same manner the sloppy joe in
the corporate Aramark cafeteria had baited me not five
minutes earlier. I grabbed onto that worm with my
full, wide open bass mouth.
"The letter of the law says that the individual has
the right to keep weapons. The only argument against
the second amendment has been based upon comma usage.
That's a bit weak."
"What do you mean commas?"
"I mean, that a right that was granted by the Framers
of the Constitution, the Fathers of the country... a
right to the people was going to be taken away based
on comma usage? That is not enough of an argument to
take a freedom from-"
Chuckles decides to chime in a bit. Something about
the State isn't coming to take his gun... then ads
that he's fired "his gun" once. Inside, I did a
face-palm. Thanks for helping out with the point,
Somehow in Chuck's little interruption he mentions the
SCOTUS's grand decision to grant US rights to the
detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
The client can't wait to start discussing this. All
about the rights of the "People" and human beings.
Non-thought out liberal talking points that are all
emotion or feelings based, and not of logic. I'm not
arguing torture mind you gentle readers, only the right
for the US Military to take these "enemy combatants" to
Cuba. Those whom were lifted straight from the Afghanistan
theater of war. At least, in the context of this argument.
My points to her are that 1. These folks are not citizens of
the United States, but the SCOTUS had just granted
those rights to non-citizens. 2. They are enemy
combatants, and citizens of a third country, not native to Afghanistan.
3. Would it make her feel better if they were just killed on the battlefield, as they would have been by any other Army, at any other time, in the history of the planet earth?
But, now I was out of my element - I'm not well read on the
rights of citizens over non-citizens in the US Court
system. I assumed, and still assume that those rights
are in fact different. I'm not a lawyer, I don't even
pretend to be one on television... but I do not know
if these are extremely different things...
Her argument is that the detainees should be treated
"like human beings, with the same rights as us." which
is wrong, and was debated. Chuck threw in a couple pennies to steer
us toward his world view - as I was only debating the semantics of the argument.
Mostly, because that's how you WIN arguments.
You deconstruct your opponent's logic or framework of their debate.
"They could pick you
up and hold you
"No, they CAN'T..." I then cited the Jose Padilla
case, and the homeless gents in Florida who were planning to
blow up the Sears Tower. They are citizens being tried
in US Courts. Completely different.
Then she threw something I hadn't anticipated. "If we,
or you, believe in our court system as just- Then why
not just try them?"
Again, hers was a false argument, as it's not about
our courts being just, or that they shouldn't be tried
in the civilian court. I could have stated that we did
try Ramsey Youseff - and he's in a SuperMax prison -
but for all that trial did was broadcast to the 9/11 attackers
the mistakes that their team made.
But I didn't. Instead I didn't frame it right, and
instead lunged into some kind of made up story trying
to compare an illegal alien committing a bank robbery,
and killing some people - and then we gave him
citizenship so that he could be tried in the courts -
that would somehow be similar..." But I wasn't thinking about it
correctly as my sloppy joe was getting cold and I
eating food cold.
"Why does that illegal have different rights?"
I didn't have a good answer - as, again, I don't know
the legal differences between how our courts uphold
our laws to other citizens. I hope to look into
"Wouldn't you expect to be tried and not detained
without being charged?"
"No - Frankly, if I were in Afghanistan, and pointed a
weapon at the US Army - I would EXPECT to be SHOT."
Then this went into extending rights of nation's laws
to others - and I got her in a trap. She said
"the civilized world-" and I knew I had her.
I even told her.
"You have just defeated your argument. You said that
those first world nations - the Western world - you
assume would give their rights to other people. I
wouldn't expect that to happen in Zimbabwe!"
Her defense, "You wouldn't want those rights..."
"You're right! There AREN'T ANY." Then I brought up
how their Obama was forced out of the race and th-
Chuck steps in.
Chuck brings it back to gun control. He blabbed on an
on about the state coming to take his guns... he added
that if DC was to ban the guns, then it's up to DC to
protect him - and if they failed at that task, they
would be negligent and he'd sue the shiznit out of
them. Supportive, kinda'. Thanks, Chucky.
The client then shares a personal story of a friend of
hers who was killed by her father. She failed to
mention "accident" in the story. Her friend was home
from college, early, at night and unannounced. She had no key.
She "broke in" through a window. Her father shot her.
Dead. That's why she's against guns and she'll never be for guns.
She announces that, "She surrenders her right to bear
"Fine. You have that right. BUT DON'T SURRENDER MYRIGHTS!
"You freely surrender your right to the second
amendment. Fine. That is YOUR choice. Not mine. Do not
take my rights away from ME."
Chuck and the other guy - the other guy who hasn't
said ONE FUGGIN WORD the entire conversation - get up
with their empty trays.
"You can choose to have a gun or not, that's fine. The
slippery slope is that if you choose not to have a
weapon, it's typically assumed by people who make that choice
shouldn't have a gun.
That's my right granted to me by the Constitution."
"Just because it's in the Constitution doesn't make it
right. There's nothing in the Constitution saying
women can vote." We all walked to the tray
collection area and put down the uneaten foodstuffs.
"You're right and you DIDN'T until 70 years ago."
DING - The elevator has arrived.
I'm done. I assume I'm going to be asked to leave at
this exact point. Chuck has gone pale. He can't
believe I stood up to her - or that security hasn't
escorted me out of the building.
"Well, how often do you get to have a fun, lively
debate at the cafeteria?" I realize that my mouth
may have flapped a little to long and a little too hard.
We step into the elevator.
"On the bright side, the project I'm working on is
almost finished..." I toss out as the doors close.
Chuck says, "Nice segue!"
I will be surprised if I'm asked to work here again.Please click on some ads so that I can eat.
And if you hit the LINK here
it will give you the PDF of the SCOTUS decision.
All 156 pages of it.
It's an awesome nit-picking semantic argument.
Labels: court, guns, Modern Life, war