More Evidence That It Isn’t “Gun Safety” The Anti-Gun Forces Are Gunning For, But The Second Amendment Itself

anti-gun cartoon

Those who are confident that Donald Trump can’t be elected President might want to contact Hillary Clinton and advise another one of her well-timed policy position reversals. She has aligned herself with those who want nothing less than to eliminate the right of Americans to own guns and be able to defend themselves, and that means she is spitting into the gale of core American values and culture.

And the Constitution, of course.

A clear-thinking and principled United States District Court judge just condemned a sinister anti-gun law that embodies the anti- Second Amendment animus. Judge Richard J. Leon’s 46-page ruling in United States District Court declared illegal a law that gave the police the discretion to grant concealed-carry licenses only to those with “good reason” to do so, such as a specific and reasonable fear of attack  or other reasons, such as having a job in which they carried large amounts of cash or valuables. A citizen wishing to carry a pistol must demonstrate “a special need for self-protection distinguishable from the general community as supported by evidence of specific threats or previous attacks that demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life,” the law says.

Wrong. A citizen wishing to carry a gun should only have to show that he or she is a law abiding citizen, and that he or she is trained in gun safety and how to use a firearm.

Judge Leon wrote, “Given the textual and historical evidence, I have little trouble concluding that under its original meaning the Second Amendment protects a right to carry arms for self-defense in public…Given that the Second Amendment’s central purpose is self-defense and that this need arises more frequently in public, it logically follows that the right to carry arms for self-defense in public lies at the very heart of the Second Amendment.”

It also follows that the government deigning to grant the Constitutional right to those few individuals it deems worthy is a direct Second Amendment breach. It is frankly frightening that other judges have ruled differently. If ever citizen has a Constitutionally protected right, a law cannot say that the right only applies to you if the government says so. Laws restricting rights must describe legitimate circumstances that justify the restriction, not presume a restriction on everyone except a sufficiently terrified few. It is up to me to decide whether I need a gun, not D.C.’s police chief.

Judge Leon treated the arguments in favor of the law with clear-eyed disdain.He wrote,  “Defendants maintain that the longstanding tradition of banning public carrying in urban areas is so broad that the District’s comparatively less restrictive ‘good reason’ requirement does not even infringe upon a Second Amendment right. Please. Put simply, this argument strains credulity and flies in the face of prior litigation.”

The District argued that the right to carry a gun for self-defense in a city is so peripheral to the amendment’s purpose that it is not appropriate to apply “strict scrutiny,” the standard that requires the government to rebut the presumption that the challenged law is unconstitutional. Judge Leon responded with another virtual “Please”: “Defendants point to no textual or historical evidence as support for their through-the-looking-glass view that a citizen’s right to carry a firearm for self-defense falls outside the ‘core’ of the Second Amendment because the citizen lives in a densely populated and dangerous city where the need for self-protection is elevated.”

Bingo. I think the rising murder rate in the District creates a prima facie case for self-defense.

Incredibly, the District argued that even if the “good reason” requirement is inconsistent with the Second Amendment, an injunction is not justified because the plaintiffs are not suffering any real harm. This ridiculous claim rated an escalation from a Please to a Poppycock:

“In defendants’ view,'[i]f no occasion arises where a handgun is needed for self-defense,’ the denial of the Second Amendment right to bear arms ‘cannot cause harm.’ What poppycock! Just because present plaintiffs ‘have not identified a single instance when their inability to carry a handgun caused them injury,’ does not mean they have failed to demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable harm. Once again, defendants, sadly, miss the point. The Second Amendment protects plaintiffs’ right to bear firearms for self-defense—a right that can be infringed upon whether or not plaintiffs are ever actually called upon to use their weapons to defend themselves.”

While the ruling temporarily stops the offensive law from being enforced, it is headed to other forums, conceivably The Supreme Court itself. Good. The D.C. law, like the earlier one struck down in in District of Columbia v. Heller, forces the law’s defenders and Second Amendment opponents to stop speaking in code, as when they say that “those who will use guns for criminal acts shouldn’t be able to acquire them.” There is no way to stop bad people, crazy people, homicidal people and irresponsible people from acquiring guns that won’t also stop everyone else from arming themselves too. Thus the anti-gun zealots are mounting an emotion-based campaign to make the Second Amendment itself the villain.

Above is a recent example from Louisville Courier-Journal political cartoonist Marc Murphy,  published in a tweet over the weekend to coincide with the opening of the NRA convention in the city.

Oh, nice. This is an irresponsible and incompetent political cartoon, which as a genre have become increasingly  extreme, dishonest and unfunny. It conveys only anger and hatred, appeals to emotion, does nothing to enlighten or explain, and aims simply to demonize the Second Amendment. It is dishonest punditry on a level that would never be permitted in a column, both ignorant and inflammatory. So far, Clinton is courting fans of the cartoon.

Most Americans, thankfully, understand the Second Amendment better than that.

____________________________

Sources: Newsbusters, New York Times, Reason

10 thoughts on “More Evidence That It Isn’t “Gun Safety” The Anti-Gun Forces Are Gunning For, But The Second Amendment Itself

  1. I use to believe that some compromise could be had with the gun control crowd but quickly changed my mind when I saw that they did not see it as compromising but instead they saw it as a slow progression of eating away at gun rights bit by bit until they would eventually get what they desired , the elimination of personal gun rights.

    That’s and 99.99999% know nothing about guns and just parrot the talking points that they hear and read so its impossible the have an intelligent conversation with any of them.

    Not that some of the people on the other side are any better. Some have delusions that if someone with a weapon walks into a place they are in , that they will be able to stop them in their tracks. Forgetting that the person coming in has a plan too.

  2. Attempting to take away a citizen’s right to protect themselves by requiring them to prove they absolutely need a gun would have been an awful precedent. Hillary apparently doesn’t care about the Constitution except when the provisions fit her agenda.

  3. Well written and great judicial outcome. I hope the anti-2A people do focus on the 2nd Amendment. That is the proper course. Respect what 2A is and it’s authority. If you don’t like it, lobby to change it. Good luck with that.

  4. Can you just see how this procedure could be applied to other Amendments?

    Sure, you can have freedom of speech…just prove that you have something important (or acceptable) to say.

    Freedom of Religion…once you prove your deity exists.

    Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure…prove you don’t have anything illegal in your house.

  5. Jack,

    Justice Thomas made much the same point during oral arguments in Voisine v. United States — quite steadfastly, in fact. Unfortunately, the 2nd Amendment question was not one before the Court, so it will have to remain an open one until a later case.

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