f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 24, 2007

a little holiday argument over guns

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 5:07 pm

ooh In case you’ve already learned all you need to know about your rights as shoppers, and come to a consensus on the traditional Black Friday over-commercialization of the holidays issue, and the St. Nick vs. Santa debate, here’s a quickie post for readers who have run out of things to argue over pontificate about debate amiably discuss with gathered families and friends this Thanksgiving Weekend. As you surely heard, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to rule on the constitutionality of the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns, in the case of DC v. Heller. In Heller, the question will be:

“Whether the following provisions — D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 — violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?”

The New York Times noted in an editorial that the Court “has inserted itself into a roiling public controversy with large ramifications for public safety. The court’s move sowed hope and fear among supporters of reasonable gun control.” But,

“The hope, which we share, is that the court will rise above the hard-right ideology of some justices to render a decision respectful of the Constitution’s text and the violent consequences of denying government broad room to regulate guns. The fear is that it will not.”

The federal government has long opined that the right to bear arms was related to forming state militias and not a personal right, but the current Administration has signaled the Court that it supports a personal right, which could greatly limit the ability of states to regulate guns. Surely, there is something virtually everyone around your holiday table (or in the over-crowded Family Room) can differ about when it comes to gun control and the Second Amendment. To easily find lots of informative materials from the blawgiverse, we suggest two sources:

  • pilgrim hat The SCOTUS Blog Wiki on DC v. Heller, compiled largely by Lyle Denniston, where you’ll find analysis and links to important documents. Lyle reminds us: “Nearly seven decades ago, the Supreme Court analyzed the meaning of these words: “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.” Those are the words of the Second Amendment, written into the Constitution on Dec.15, 1791. The Court has not examined the meaning of those words since the ruling in U.S. v. Miller, on May 15, 1939. The debate over what the Court meant — and over what those words mean — has continued with growing intensity. Until now, the Court had refused repeatedly to resolve the constitutional debate. The case of District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290) is a pure, and outwardly simple, test of the Second Amendment — although there are complications that might limit the scope of any final decision.” And, The SCOTUS Blog DC Guns Blog Round-up and Commentary
  • The Volokh Conspiracy ‘s multi-layered commentary on DC v. Heller, which can be found collected on one page. For those who are really serious about studying before debating, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh has even given us the link to his formidable list of “Sources on the Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” Those who don’t need footnotes to bolster an argument can find lots more at the VC site: For example: Eugene Volokh reminds us what a great teaching tool the Second Amendment has been in law schools, since it has gone relatively untouched by the Supreme Courts until now, and Jonathan Adler brought together links on what the presidential candidates have said about the Second Amendment.

turkeySil For a gun control twist, see Ambrogi’s “The Right to Arm Turkeys,” at LegalBlogWatch. Or, for a completely different way to antagonize a relative or two, see Paul Gowder on Why You Shouldn’t Go to Law School, and responses by Kerr and by Froomkin.

I’ve got some relatives to visit across town (favorites ones, this time), and shall leave you with a bit of one-breath poetry for those who like guns and/or butter. [Please excuse any formatting problems; I’m working on the quick at Mama G’s computer, without many of my usual techno-shortcuts and crutches.]

pawn pawn horiz

high noon
the boys refill
their water pistols

…. by Tom Painting – July Selection, Snapshot Press, 2005 Haiku Calendar

midday heat

the staccato staccato

of a nail gun

against the rumbling
of the thunderhead:
his toy gun

pawn horiz ……………. Lee Gurga from Fresh Scent: Selected Haiku of Lee Gurga

midday heat“- tug of the current: rma 2004; Modern Haiku XXXV:1

delta autumn
the storyteller cradles
his gun

………………………… Peggy Lyles from To Hear the Rain (2002)

first autumn wind
not feeling the knife
slice my finger

. …. Jim Kacian – Modern Haiku (Summer 1996); lz Kamna pawn

door left open

there he goes

with his knife

pawn horiz

show me yours.

you first.

barn roof creaks

……. by Randy Brooks – from School’s Out (Press Here, 1999)

with a kitchen knife
choosing eels…
a cool evening

…………. Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

homemade bread

a pound of butter

softens by the stove

the narrow place pawn

between my neck and my collar

November wind

………………………. DeVar Dahl from A Piece of Egg Shell, (Magpie Haiku Poets, Calgary, 2004)

“homemade bread” – WHC World Haiku Review 3-2

april snow
a pat of butter
melts in the pan

…………….. matt morden – “april snow” – Mayfly #27

still learning
to chew slowly:
peanut butter on toast

drawn butter

and chardonnay —

he sets the trap

morning shadows – pawn horiz

the gunslingers wait

for high noon

………………………………….. by dagosan

……. “drawn butter” original haiga – at Haiga Online Spring 2007; and b&w: MPJF June 23, 2007

………. “morning shadows” – see the original haiga at haiga Online Autumn 2006 ]


  1. David:

    Loved your poem “drawn butter …”

    Don Wentworth
    Lilliput Review

    Comment by Don — November 25, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

  2. Thanks, Don. I hope you clicked the links and saw the haiga collaboration (originally in color and then b&w)with my brother Arthur that was the source of the poem.

    And, I hope your webserver problems have been resolved at your Lilliput Review weblog.

    Comment by David Giacalone — November 25, 2007 @ 1:59 pm

  3. I did click the links and the photograph is beautiful. Thanks.

    I’ve decided to move from Tripod to Blogger for the Lilliput blog. To many hassles with Tripod, plus has no annoying pop-ups or ads. So it will be “Issa’s Untidy Hut” instead of “Beneath Cherry Blossoms” for now.

    Am also thinking about an overhaul for the website. I’ll keep you posted.


    Comment by Don — November 26, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

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