We know what people mean in a political context when they talk about ‘gun rights.’ And the Supreme Court has now said that there is an individual right, though not an absolute one, to own guns. But now an NRA boardmember in Arizona is taking it to a whole new level — claiming the guns themselves have rights.
Todd Rathner is threatening to sue Tucson police over yesterday’s gun buyback program, saying they have no right to destroy the guns themselves, despite the fact that the owners sold them ($50 gift certificate per gun) to the police to destroy them. In other words, the guns — not the people who have a right to own them — but the guns themselves, i.e., the metal and miscellaneous composites that make up the firearm, now have rights.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.