Friday, June 27, 2008

The right decision

The Second Amendment of the Constitution, as it applies to Americans' ownership of guns, has always been a subject of widely varying interpretations, but it's hard to argue with the Supreme Court's decision Thursday that killed a ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. Do-gooders and grandstanders can talk all they want about the need to get handguns off the streets, but the absolute fact of the matter is that only law-abiding citizens lose their guns when such a law is imposed. Do you really think that the thugs who rule the streets in some D.C. neighborhoods and parts of most other big American cities are going to surrender their (often stolen) guns so that they can comply with a law? Get real. In his dissent Thursday, Justice Stephen Breyer said, "In my view, there simply is no untouchable, constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas." Of course not. People should just cower in their homes, waiting for some crackhead to break in, kill them and steal all their stuff. Now, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is suggesting a plan to require people to register their handguns. Again, this is something that law-abiding people should not be subjected to, and it seems unlikely to me that members of the low-life scum segment of D.C. are going to show up at the police station, saying, "Yes, officer, I would like to register this handgun that I stole in a burglary last month." It may be trite, but there's a lot of truth to the saying, "When guns are criminalized, only criminals will have guns."



Blogger Ellipses said...

I think very few people will argue with the core issue in both the supreme court's ruling and your post on the issue.

What will become an issue (already are, sorta) are the following:

1. Citizens have a right to firepower... but to what extent?

2. Citizens have the right to own firearms... but for what reason? Is it so they can hunt... Is it so they can protect their lives and property... or is it so that the federal government doesn't have a monopoly on lethal power?

3. Who determines if a militia is well regulated?

4. Which state are they referring to? Pennsylvania, et al or the US? The US is technically a state, which is simply an area that has considers itself politically singular and sovereign...

5. Does the militia have the "right" to be as powerful as the US military? Considering the military should defend us from aggression domestically and from abroad, what purpose does the militia have if not to protect us from the military, should we ever need that...


June 27, 2008 at 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A gun advocate on NPR yesterday said, of semi-automatic weapons, "pretty much everyone has two or three of those." That's scary.

I have no problem with a homeowner pulling a gun on a burglar. I don't want the police to be armed more poorly that the criminals. But I also dread the thought of someone yanking out a legal handgun and shooting me in the head because I cut him off in traffic. Sometimes Joe Public is less stable than Joe Maniac.

June 27, 2008 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Anonymous... I agree that I don't want to be the victim of a random act of violence... But washington DC was the exception to the rule... in 99.9% of the rest of the country, anyone who wants a gun has one... whether they are legally able to or not.

And on the police being "out gunned" (which probably should be hyphenated)... the police should have armor piercing bullets available to them. The playing field is relatively even at that point. Figure it this way... you have a .22 and I have a 50 caliber. You are outgunned... but your gun will still kill me, thus neutralizing my gun. So training (suppression fire, accuracy, etc) is more important than the police having the biggest and baddest guns.

But like I said... anyone who wants a gun has a gun... I believe that, even before the supreme court decision, DC had said that if you defended yourself with a gun (which would be illegal to possess), you would not be charged. So... the actual decision by the court is a moot point... The real issues are what will come later as the "arm everybody" movement builds momentum.

This should resonate with me on a more visceral level... but I am having a hard time mustering up any real emotions or passionate feelings about it. Maybe someone should shoot at me...


June 27, 2008 at 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my lifetime, I have had four people die because of hand guns and none of those deaths had anything to do with crime. One committed suicide and three others were accidentally shot.

I guess I would be more upset if I had not given up hope that we would have a way to control the spread of hand guns, which I am pretty sure were not around when militias were first formed.

There are more weapons than automobiles in this country and there are people out there, law-abiding people, who I would not trust with the remote control on my television. But they are still permitted to "pack heat." A scary thought.

I just hope that I can stay out of the way.

June 30, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I agree that there are some people who have guns that shouldn't be allowed anywhere near firearms. The people who recently shot the hunting dogs come to mind. I'm actually surprised that they didn't gun down the hunters, too. But it's almost impossible to impose gun controls without harming law-abiding, responsible people. The criminals and the crackpots don't give a damn about laws governing anything. They're sure not going to register or hand over their weapons.

June 30, 2008 at 11:19 AM  

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