If the 2nd and 14th amendments do not combine to offer some practical nationwide protections against allowing any single State or even ambulance chasing personal injury attorney to bankrupt the manufacturer of a single gun that happens to be used by a third party within the borders of that State, then we might just as well fold up shop and go home. I view this as analogous to federal laws that protect freedom of religion from local zoning that would otherwise make it impossible for an unpopular, minority religious group to build a house of worship. A mosque near ground zero offends a fair number of people. There are those who really dislike seeing an LDS temple or meeting house being constructed. There are some who are overtly hostile to all things religious. But the 1st amendment combined with the 14th, properly authorizes congress to exercise some power over State and local power to provide a nationwide protection to freedom to worship. In like manner, I believe the 2nd amendment and other related provisions also authorize congress to enact national legislation to protect RKBA from local or State-level attacks.
I have to reject Dr. Paul's analogy to medical malpractice because the constitution does not mention medical care at all. However, an individual right to own and carry firearms is specifically protected by the federal constitution, as is a delegated power to congress to train, arm, discipline, and call forth the militia.
I like the ideas that Ron Paul brings to the debate. We need to get back to a strict adherence to the Constitution, amending rather than ignoring or skirting it if and when we want the federal government to assume some new duty, power, or responsibility.
But I fear that his particular understanding of the 2nd amendment and other provisions of the constitution related to RKBA and the protection of individual rights against both federal and State infringement as well as the power of congress relative to the judiciary, has the effect of leaving the 2nd amendment neutered for all practical purposes. To refuse to use federal authority to protect an individual right against certain, effective nationwide elimination at the hands of the tort laws of a single State, when that threat is not merely theoretical but has been clearly manifest, is, IMO, not materially different than attacking the right itself.
Politics is the art of the possible. We regained the legal ability to carry guns in National Parks by a savvy Senator inserting language into an unrelated bill that many here likely consider to be at least bad policy if not outright unconstitutional. Politics is where theory must meet reality. And so at the end of the day, I don't care in the least why a politician has voted against my interests. A nice guy with supposedly really good reasons for voting against me has still voted against me. A jerk who hates me and votes to support my rights only to avoid losing his seat has still voted to support my rights.
As much as I agree with Ron Paul on many issues, as much as I appreciate his perspective even in those areas where I can't agree with him 100%, I have to directly challenge any claims that he is an effective supporter of RKBA. Whatever he may personally believe about RKBA, whatever he would do if he were king for a day, when the time came to protect the domestic firearms manufacturing industry from being bankrupted by frivolous suits in a couple of very anti-RKBA States, he voted the wrong way.
SANTORUM: ... And one of the most important things that we did in -- in -- in protecting the Second Amendment -- and I provided a leadership role on it -- was the gun manufacturers' liability bill. There were a lot of lawyers out there who were trying to sue gun manufacturers and hold them liable for anybody who was harmed as a result of the gun properly functioning.
And we -- we went forward and passed, with the NRA's backing, a bill that put a ban on those types of lawsuits. If that ban had not been passed, if that gun manufacturer's liability bill, removing them from liability from that, had that not been passed, there would have been no gun industry in this country and there would have de facto been no Second Amendment right.
Congressman Paul voted against that bill. And -- and that's a very big difference between someone who actually works with the gun -- Second Amendment groups for -- for legislation that can protect that right and someone who says they're for Second Amendment, has attacked me on my Second Amendment issues, which you just referred to, and here's a man that would have wiped out the Second Amendment by -- if his vote would have been -- carried the day.
BAIER: Congressman Paul?
PAUL: Hardly would that wipe out the Second Amendment. But the jurisdiction is obviously with the state. Even when tort law is involved with medical malpractice, which is a real problem, now, our governor worked on and our state has done a little bit on medical liability. I think that's the way it should be handled.
You don't have -- you don't have national tort law. That's not part of the process. That should be at the state level. So to argue the case that that does away with the Second Amendment, when I'm the one that offers all -- all the legislation to repeal the gun bans that have been going on (inaudible) everything else.
I mean, I've introduced legislation like that. So that's a bit -- a bit of an overstretch to -- to say that I've done away with the Second Amendment.
SANTORUM: No, I need to respond to that, because the fact is, if we did not have a national liability bill, then people would have been able to go to states like, say, Massachusetts or New York and sue gun manufacturers where they would not pass a gun liability bill. So unless you have a national standard to protect guns -- manufacturers of guns, you would create the opportunity for the elimination of guns being manufactured in this country and de facto elimination of the right to bear arms.
PAUL: Well, this is the way -- this is the way our Constitution disappears. It's nibbled away. You say, well, I can give up on this, and therefore, I'll give that, and so eventually there's nothing left. But, no, tort law should be a state function, not a federal function.