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.