Gun Fetishist Totally Clueless About Con Law

Tony Aliva is the former Director of Media Relations for Gun Owners of America, the far-right fringe group that thinks the NRA is too liberal. He’s also completely ignorant of constitutional law, but true to the Dunning-Kruger effect, that doesn’t stop him from blathering about it and making very silly arguments. BarbWire, naturally, was happy to publish them.

The headline on his absurd column is “Supreme Court Ruling Makes Islam More Important than the Second Amendment.” The ruling he is referring to is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., a case about hiring discrimination on the basis of religion. That company refused to hire a Muslim woman because she wore a headscarf and the EEOC filed suit on her behalf alleging religious discrimination. It was an 8-1 decision (9-0 in some aspects; Justice Thomas dissented in part and concurred in part), so it was pretty much a slam dunk case. Aliva makes some truly bizarre arguments about it.

On Monday, June 1, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who sued Abercrombie & Fitch on the basis of discrimination because they denied her a job because she refused the dress code banning head scarves while at work.

First of all, I wonder if the court would rule in the same way if the girl in question was a Christian and was denied a job because she refused to remove a cross from around her neck.

But I digress.

Since the overwhelming majority of religious discrimination cases filed by the EEOC involve Christians, this is a rather dumb thing to wonder. But I digress…

I’m going to forgo equating the hijab with saggy pants, tattered jeans or wrinkled shirts. I will accept that the hijab is not a fashion choice but a religious observance and as such should be protected under the First Amendment along with yarmulkes and crosses.

That is seemingly the basis on which the Supreme Court made their ruling. A violation of Elauf’s First Amendment rights…

And it is EXACTLY that point that I have such a problem with.

You see, I, along with 300 milllion other Americans have the right to keep and BEAR arms. As such, according to the ruling on Monday, any store, business, municipality or state that tries to infringe upon that right is discriminating against me.

By this ruling, the Supreme Court has set a precedent that says businesses cannot violate constitutional rights regardless of what rules or procedures they have established.

Nope. Wrong. Flagrantly wrong. You see, this ruling was not a constitutional ruling at all. It had nothing to do with the constitution, it had to do with interpretation of statutory law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids companies to refuse to hire someone due to their religious practices if those practices could be accommodated without “undue hardship.” The Supreme Court did not set any precedent that is even remotely similar to the one Aliva ignorantly believes they did.

And in fact, if they had declared that the Constitution forbids hiring discrimination by private companies, I’d be willing to bet that Aliva would be among those throwing a hell of a tantrum about it because that would also forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as well (which is not covered by federal statutory law at all). But no, the Constitution constrains the government, not private corporations. And a company does not have to allow you to carry your gun into their establishment if they don’t want to. And this ruling does precisely nothing to change that.

If Abercrombie & Fitch have to pay Elauf $20,000 because they wouldn’t hire her, how much am I owed for being kicked out of coffee shop or a book store for being a gun owner?

My observance and practicing of my Second Amendment rights are no less valid or important than Ms. Elauf wearing her head scarf and as such MUST be afforded the same protections by the Supreme Court.

But it is in this way that half the Justices have proven themselves to be Supreme hypocrites.

Nope, it just proves that you’re an ignoramus who shoots his mouth off about things he doesn’t understand.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Anna Elizabeth

    Stoopid Ammosexual says something stupid about something he isn’t equipped to understand. It must be a day with a name ending in “y”.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    “Nope, it just proves that you’re an ignoramus who shoots his mouth off about things he doesn’t understand.”

    I was really hoping there might be link to a youtube video of this gun nut literally shooting his mouth off. Rats.

  • garnetstar

    You’re not kicked out for being a gun *owner*, you dolt. You’re asked to leave coffee shops or book stores when you are *carrying* a gun.

    There is a difference between owning a gun and carrying it about with you every minute of the day. I guess that’s news to you, though.

  • scienceavenger

    First of all, I wonder if the court would rule in the same way if the girl in question was a Christian and was denied a job because she refused to remove a cross from around her neck.

    This is the achilles heal of conservative analysis. They “wonder” about relevant facts, and instead of doing research, they just assume what they wish to be true. They pretend this is “dealing with facts”, but its really speculation masquerading as facts.

  • theguy

    The big (and relevant) difference between a hijab and a gun is that one is an article of clothing, and the other is a weapon. Someone like Aliva would probably say there’s no difference. Someone who’d say that would probably say that because they see all Muslims as a threat.

    Let’s grant for the sake of argument that the Second Amendment gives each individual the right to own guns. They have the right to use those guns to defend their property. That sounds to me to mean that they have the right to dictate what guns and whose guns they allow on their property. If you use your guns to defend your property against armed intruders, you are (in part) saying you don’t want those people armed on your property.

    Extending that logic, a private business could say they don’t want other people’s guns on their property. Of course, this isn’t an exact comparison between two different situations involving armed people.

  • Synfandel

    It’s right there in [Mr. Aliva’s understanding of] the Constitution:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of mentally unstable loons to wave loaded guns around in coffee shops and book stores shall not be infringed.”

  • https://usmiechkota.wordpress.com Mariusz Butrykowski

    A quick and simple fix for that issue: If you want the right to bear arms, you have to beat a bear in single hand-to-hand combat. Problem solved.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    The most fundamental problem with the “gun rights” crowd is that they’re just flat-out LYING about what the Second Amendment actually says. It doesn’t say we have a basic right to bear arms, equivalent to our basic right to free speech, privacy, jury trial or equal protection of the laws; it merely says we have the right to arm ourselves, both individually and collectively, for the purpose of protecting the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is, in fact, the only right in the Constitution that is explicitly set forth as a means to an end; and the extent of that right is limited by its stated purpose in a way that no other right is.

    The Second Amendment is the most easily memorized single sentence in the entire Constitution; and these gun-nuts keep on leaving off the FIRST HALF of that sentence. Why should we trust a “law-abiding citizen” to own a gun, when he lies about the law?

  • Anna Elizabeth

    @theguy #5

    ~ A slight quibble: A hijab is indeed clothing, but to Ammosexuals like Aliva, a gun is a health aid.

    You know, because he can’t function without his prosthetic penis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.criley jason the cripple

    “First of all, I wonder if the court would rule in the same way if the girl in question was a Christian and was denied a job because she refused to remove a cross from around her neck.”

    In fact they would. I remember a story, it had to be over 10 years ago, and it didn’t get to SCOTUS, but the clothing chain Hot Topic tried to change their dress code to ban all religious jewelry. That included pentagrams, Stars of David, and yes even crosses. The court ruled they couldn’t do that.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Raging Bee, you fell into the same trap that you ascribed to others: you totally ignored the key word in the prefatory “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.”

    Notice it didn’t say, “necessary to the security of a State” and certainly didn’t say, “being necessary to the security of a slave State.” It’s all about protecting the free, as in “not slaves,” citizenry (against the slaves, in particular.)

    No slaves => no more need for military weaponry in every bedroom.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Wow, DC, that response was more intelligent-sounding than any response I’ve heard from the gun-nuts. You may need to get a lawyer, in case the NRA steals it.

  • Numenaster

    The argument here seems to be that the rights granted by the Second Amendment trump the rights granted in the preamble. That is, the gun owner’s right to _bear_ arms supersedes the property owner’s right to decide on rules for their property. Somehow I doubt the writer believes that I can come on their property and exercise my First Amendment rights at the top of my lungs right over the owner’s objections.

  • Numenaster

    And ninja’d by Raging Bee. Sigh.

  • howardhershey

    What this poor beleaguered gun-owner has to do is form a new religion that worships guns and requires that its adherents fondle them in public at all times, all while murmuring about how much you love guns and want to use them. [I know, he already does.] And he should do this in blackface.

    BTW, it is reasonably clear that the Southern wing of the Christian Founder’s of our country did not include certain persons (those considered property and valued at 3/5th of a ‘real’ person) in their understanding of the 2nd amendment and often produced draconian laws forbidding these pieces of property access any form of weapon (and also forbade (in MD) Catholics from being members of the local militias). In the South, militias were organized primarily to catch runaway property.

    The real intent of the 2nd Amendment was to prevent the Federal Gov’t from forming a large standing professional army during times of peace, which they, quire rightly, considered a real threat to democracy. See U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Sec. 8, where funds for an army, but not the navy, are limited to two years. The local well-regulated militias were to be formed to “execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions” [Article 1, sec. 8 line 15]. IOW, not to protect the States or its citizens *from* the Federal Gov’t, but to protect our Federal form of Gov’t. from enemies foreign and domestic (they were federalized for use in the Whiskey Rebellion). Article 1 also states which features of militias were reserved to the states and which were federal functions. Sounds to me like the founders knew what the word “militia” meant and it doesn’t seem to be “any idiot with a gun fetish”.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    The real intent of the 2nd Amendment was to prevent the Federal Gov’t from forming a large standing professional army during times of peace, which they, quire rightly, considered a real threat to democracy.

    It was also intended to ensure that people, at the state and local levels, could organize their own response to whatever security threats they saw, without having to depend on a national standing army, or wait for the national authorities to get wind of the threat and make a decision (“circumstances that will not admit of delay,” as was said elsewhere in the Constitution, such delay being potentially catastrophic in the time before telecoms).

  • Zmidponk

    garnetstar #3:

    You’re not kicked out for being a gun *owner*, you dolt. You’re asked to leave coffee shops or book stores when you are *carrying* a gun.

    There is a difference between owning a gun and carrying it about with you every minute of the day. I guess that’s news to you, though.

    I guess a gun really is a penis replacement then – in both cases, it’s perfectly OK to have one, it’s perfectly OK to be proud of it, but it’s not OK to go waving it around in public.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    There is a difference between owning a gun and carrying it about with you every minute of the day.

    That’s just silly. Next you’ll be telling me there’s a difference between owning a car and driving it into coffee shops and bookstores.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    Part of the problem with the second amendment is that for the FF, the militia and the general citizenry were one and the same. Now that they are split into a standing army and civilians, its not clear which ones the FF would have wanted armed. They do say “well regulated”, which in that context would not have meant a pile of rules, but rather organized and skilled, which rather implies the military was what they were thinking of. On the other hand, a firearm of some sort was such an ubiquitous tool in most rural households of the day (the majority of them, then) that it may not have occurred to them to protect private ownership. That would be rather like protecting the right to own a horse, or a well.

    .

    It wasn’t unheard of for taverns and such to require patrons to check their weapons before entering. Guess this dufus doesn’t care much for the rights of a small business owner to make decisions for themselves.

  • typecaster

    I do wish that people would stop using the term Ammosexual. It’s a captivating phrase, but is, I feel, inaccurate in several respects. It’s based on a term used to indicate sexual orientation, which would imply that these people want to have sex with ammunition. I frankly doubt that this is the case. And while some of the gun enthusiasts may get a bit of tingle in their naughty bits when they pick up their bang toys, it’s not at all certain that such an effect is universal across the whole group. For these reasons, I find that I much prefer to use the term Gundamentalist. I feel it better describes their attitude towards firearms, and their mental flexibility in dealing with any challenge to that attitude. And by avoiding any reference to their sexuality, it allows the discussion to focus on their beliefs and actions without diverging into fruitless speculations.

  • Synfandel

    The right to bear arms, expressed in the second amendment was not to protect against slaves or an overly powerful domestic standing army. It was, as Raging Bee stated, to protect against ‘enemies foreign and domestic’.

    The foreign enemy that was on their minds at the time was Great Britain. The potential domestic enemy was disgruntled loyalists—especially in New England—who weren’t keen on the new republic.

    There was a pervasive and credible fear at the time that Britain might try to re-acquire its lost American colonies. If Britain hadn’t had its hands full first with revolutionary France and then with Napoleon Bonaparte at the time, it might well have made the attempt. A ‘well regulated militia’ was the fledgling republic’s best defense against a reversal of the revolution by the world’s most powerful military force.

    What seems to elude nearly every American these days is that the re-invasion has been called off and it might be prudent to repeal the second amendment.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Part of the problem with the second amendment is that for the FF, the militia and the general citizenry were one and the same.

    No, they weren’t. That’s a romantic fantasy, right up there with Mao’s blithering about the People’s Liberation Army being one with the people. For starters, it’s based on a vision of the “general citizenry” that’s basically homogeneous — one ethnic identity, one class level, one set of social interests, and thus no disputing which interests and priorities “the militia” was supposed to enforce, or whose “identity” it was supposed to reflect. Add ethnic or class differences into the mix, and suddenly you have real questions of whose interests “the militia” really serves; and the possibility of different class or ethnic groups forming OPPOSING MILITIAS — which is not at all good for the security of a free state.

    And none of this is really a problem for the Second Amendment either — as long as we’re reading it honestly (as in, reading the whole sentence), and using common sense to determine what is best for the security of a free state.

    They do say “well regulated”, which in that context would not have meant a pile of rules, but rather organized and skilled…

    It meant BOTH: a militia has to be organized and skilled, but it also has to comply with a pile of regs as to whose orders they obey, which laws they enforce, whose needs it exists to serve, when it’s okay to use lethal force, etc. etc.

  • colnago80

    Re Synfandel @ #21

    I think that’s correct. In fact, after the Battle of Waterloo, the British Government offered the command in America to the Duke of Wellington. Fortunately for our side, he turned it down. Had he been in command, the Battle of New Orleans might have gone the other way and the British Government would have been sorely tempted to tear up the recently signed peace treaty and reconquer the colonies.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    The foreign enemy that was on their minds at the time was Great Britain. The potential domestic enemy was disgruntled loyalists—especially in New England—who weren’t keen on the new republic.

    Given all the Founders’ talk of how hard it is to keep a republic going, and to prevent majority rule from becoming mob rule or majority tyranny, and to ensure that all people respected majority rule even when they were in the minority (and also given how the Constitution was written in response to a rebellion), I’m pretty sure the Founders were thinking of far more potential domestic enemies than disgruntled loyalists.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    “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 unhinged.”

    FTFY

  • some bastard on the internet

    @typecaster #20

    I second this. ‘Gundamentalist’ is definitely a better word for this.

  • Al Dente

    I vote for gundamentalist as well.

  • Anna Elizabeth

    I prefer “Ammosexual” because it’s more insulting. You use the terms you wish to use, and I will use the terms I wish to use.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/LDORIGINALS Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Kermit Sansoo

    Now that they are split into a standing army and civilians, its not clear which ones the FF would have wanted armed

    On the contrary, it is entirely clear. Every state has got a well-regulated militia. It is called the National Guard, and is quite adequately armed and fully capable of defending the U.S. from all extant potential military threats. It is also the only standing land military authorized by the Constitution, if that’s important to you.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    It is called the National Guard… It is also the only standing land military authorized by the Constitution, if that’s important to you.

    Actually, the Constitution neither authorizes nor forbids any particular internal security or law-enforcement organization. The Founders spoke of “the militia,” but that was merely the common generic word for local security or law-enforcement forces that was in use at that time. The Founders most likely expected the people, at all levels from national to local, to organize their own security/law-enforcement forces, through their elected lawmaking bodies, according to their own needs, in response to whatever security threats they saw in their time — something the Founders probably knew they could not predict. That’s basically what the Second Amendment does: allow people, at levels other than the national government, to organize (and REGULATE) their own security, both individual and collective, in response to changing circumstances, without having to rely on any pre-existing Federal force or legal mandate.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    PS: I too vote for the word “gundamentalist,” or “gundie” for short. This word implies a simpleminded religious belief that overrides facts and reason — which pretty closely describes the observed behavior and mindset of the gun-nuts. “Ammosexual” implies a sexual orientation, which should never be confused with a mindset. And a person’s mindset, not his/her sexual orientation, is a proper target for attack and ridicule, because it’s the mindset that is most likely to cause harm to others.

  • Anna Elizabeth

    Everyone, I understand what you are saying. However, I am a woman familiar with firearms and with a life-long interest in military history, technology, and wargames.

    I often get males that find my interests so “cute”, that they then try to impress me with the minute detail of military and civilian weapons -usually getting many details wrong – so my use of “ammosexual” and “ammosexy” is a calculated strike to the heart of their pretensions and shortcomings, and I will continue to use these terms.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Well, yeah, if a guy is trying to use his guns, or (alleged) knowledge of guns, for machismo or pickup purposes, then I guess “ammosexual” would be the appropriate word.

  • Childermass

    I think that’s correct. In fact, after the Battle of Waterloo, the British Government offered the command in America to the Duke of Wellington. Fortunately for our side, he turned it down. Had he been in command, the Battle of New Orleans might have gone the other way and the British Government would have been sorely tempted to tear up the recently signed peace treaty and reconquer the colonies.

    Treaty ending the War of 1812: Dec. 1814

    Battle of New Orleans: Jan. 1815 (the combatants had not gotten the news the war was over)

    Last U.S./British fighting: March 1815 (ditto)

    Napoleon escapes Elba: March 1815.

    Battle of Waterloo: June 1815

    Oh my, at Rochefort, Napaleon did surrender: July 1815

    Your statement is false assuming that Jonathan Strange did not take him back in time. 😉 In any event putting Napoleon away was not finished until long after the Battle of New Orleans. And while those in America who wanted territorial expansion the war was a failure, the American did do good enough to demonstrate that an attempt to re-conqueror them was not worth the cost.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    @Childermass:

    I’ve read several accounts of the Battle of Waterloo and they have all convinced me that “Victory” is somewhat capricious. Whether Wellington needed a “Wayback”machine or not, I’m not able to say without doing more research than my current semi-besotted state will allow. However, getting from Old Blighty to Nawlins and getting your invasionmojo workin’ would almost cerainly take a good bit longer than a month or two.

  • llewelly

    Synfandel:

    The right to bear arms, expressed in the second amendment was not to protect against slaves or an overly powerful domestic standing army. It was, as Raging Bee stated, to protect against ‘enemies foreign and domestic’.

    You are assuming the two reasons are mutally exclusive. They are not. For the southern states, it is very well documented that fear of slave revolts was a real motivating factor. Furthermore, while they knew slave revolts could and did arise independently, they also knew there was potential a foreign enemy might try to provoke one. So the two fears naturally go together.

    In the north, slave revolts were not seen as important, so they focused on Great Britain. And ever since the civil war, people have overwhelmingly preferred to rely on the northern justifications, because one of the southern justifications is quite embarrassing.