PM Ethics Pie, 6/23/2022: Guns, Mostly

On this date in 1972, the eventual ethics train wreck known as Title IX was passed. Its stated purpose was to prohibit sexual desecration on federally funded campuses, but since most of that discrimination was against women, the law was eventually weaponized to be an anti-male measure, notably by the Obama administration and its pressure on schools to employ a presumed guilty approach to student accusations of sexual harassment and assault. Title IX or something like it was clearly needed, but the law stands as a useful example of how, when a failure of ethics makes it necessary for law to step in, the law too often mucks things up.

1. Pop Ethics Quiz!

That’s a fantastic duo-costume at a cos-play convention: Peter Pan and his shadow! But is it offensive? Isn’t that “blackface”? If not, why not? Of course it isn’t supposed to evoke minstrel shows or be denigrating to blacks, but neither was Laurence Olivier’s make-up to play Othello on film. Define the rule for me.

2. Good. The Supreme Court today ruled that law-abiding American citizens have a right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense with reasonable regulations.  This struck down a New York law requiring a “special need’ for such a permit. The ruling will probably end similar laws in five other states: Maryland, California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Massachusetts.

This was a 6-3 decision (you can name who was on each side) and widely predicted. Though the law struck down is an old one, it has long offended Second Amendment rights advocates because of the presumption that the state has the option of deciding when a citizen “needs” a gun. This is a virtual mantra among the anti-gun rights mob. Naturally Democrats are freaking out, because that’s what they do now when they lose an argument.

I’m enjoying the spin and deceit from the progressive media press; the choice is to laugh or cry. The Washington Post, for example, writes, “The court’s decision… follows recent mass killings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Tex., horrifying acts of violence that spurred Congress to advance bipartisan legislation strengthening federal gun laws.” The idea is to set up SCOTUS as ignoring the carnage of gun possession and opposing the public will and Congress. No, the opinion has nothing to do with the shootings. The law is the law, and the opinion (here) would and should be the same regardless of any recent events. In fact, it is almost certain that the opinion was written before either of those tragedies.

Clarence Thomas neatly summed up the core reason for the decision. “The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,’ ” Thomas wrote in his opinion for the majority. “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”


3. And speaking of anti-gun this innovative anti-gun piece from the Times. It’s a cognitive dissonance scale wonder. The idea is to simultaneously smear evangelical Christians and gun rights advocacy by tying them together. “Everyone knows”—well, Time readers anyway—that evangelicals are nuts, so the fact that they are pro-Second Amendment makes the amendment look worse, and everyone knows that guns are a scourge on American society, so that’s one more reason to fear evangelicals.

I was going to devote a whole post to fisking this garbage, which is full of dishonest and flawed reasoning using evidence like a Public Religion Research Institute study that found evangelicals have a higher rate of gun ownership than other religious groups. Obviously it’s their faith that makes them buy guns, right? Can you say “data-polluting factors”? Sure you can.

There are lot more misleading arguments in there, but my sock drawer beckoned.

4. Not unethical, exactly, just unprofessional. And slimy. And cowardly. And greedy... Former Solicitor General Paul Clement and Erin Murphy, two of the lawyers responsible for that pro-Second Amendment victory, are leaving Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis after it announced the firm would no longer handle Second Amendment litigation.

“We were given a stark choice: either withdraw from ongoing representations or withdraw from the firm,” Clement said “Anyone who knows us and our views regarding professional responsibility and client loyalty knows there was only one course open to us: We could not abandon ongoing representations just because a client’s position is unpopular in some circles.”

Exactly right. Clement is an ethical and traditional lawyer who believes that lawyers should seek to represent unpopular positions that have legal validity whether he personally agrees with their cause of not. Once, major law firm lawyers represented the Guantanamo terrorists, asserting that to do so wasn’t showing approval of their clients’ violent ideology, but because that’s what lawyers are supposed to do. Now the legal profession is both so greedy and so biased that a firm like Kirkland can’t mount the integrity to stand up to Democratic clients when they insist that the firm drop its work for non-conforming causes.

Yes, I am certain that this is what happened.

7 thoughts on “PM Ethics Pie, 6/23/2022: Guns, Mostly

  1. 2) I don’t know much about law but I do know I’ve had a conceal carry permit here in NY State since 1997. It wasn’t extremely difficult to obtain; I didn’t have to show cause but I did have to provide 3 references and it had to be approved by the judge and took about 6 months. Another point is that here in NY some counties are “friendlier” than others when it comes to obtaining a CCP. I currently reside in Chemung county and it’s relatively easy to get a conceal carry permit. Technically, it is a “may issue” state, but again, your county of residence is the biggest factor. I obtained my permit when I lived in Monroe county (Rochester NY) which is now a difficult county to obtain a permit as it is essentially a “may issue” county. This rulling should make NY a “will issue” state but the governor has already freaked out. I’m not sure what will make them comply when they are so resistant to the ruling.

    Since I live close to the state line, I also have a non-resident PA permit. It was similar to NY in PA for non-resident – I had to check which counties would issue. Many of the county web sites flat out stated they would not issue non-resident permits. I’m not sure of their laws on resident permits. Of course, you have to have a resident permit in your home state to get a non-resident PA permit. The county which I chose (Lycoming) processed me in about 15 minutes and I was on my way.

    With today’s atmosphere, I’m not so sure the states affected by the ruling will comply and what will happen if they do not. It seems like they have the attitude they can do as they please and then you’ll have to challenge the law again. Most people don’t have the resourses to do that. I can’t see CA budging on their “may issue” stance, however, I suspect the county by county permit issus stance varies similar to NY.

    It appears to me most of the people freaking out about the ruling don’t know the reality of the situation. The people they should be worring about are the ones carring concealed firearms illegally.

  2. On a related note I am wondering if a person whose weapons were taken under a red flag law has a cause of civil action against the person reporting him or her. It seems to me that a defendant in a civil trial would have to prove the accusation was true to avoid damages for violating someone’s 2A rights. The current Senate bill which will probably become legislation fails to provide a right to counsel to contest the seizure by law enforcement which was initiated by another who may be using red flag laws as a weapon.
    It would be hard to fight the government without legal assistance which can be prohibitively expensive and thus a bar for many to defend against a spurious charge. Civil litigation could be a way to prevent the weaponization of red flag laws.

    • “It would be hard to fight the government without legal assistance which can be prohibitively expensive and thus a bar for many to defend against a spurious charge.”
      That’s part of the plan, I believe.

  3. #2: “Hellboy” Ron Perlman (A serial imbecile on Twitter; Jack has featured him before on EA) was roundly mocked for tweeting “The latest Supreme Court decision on firearms neglects to say the one thing that they actually meant to say; for whites only.”
    Most responses, of course, referenced the fact that it was white guy Clarence Thomas who wrote the opinion.
    He deleted the tweet, but not before it was saved. People are now replying with a copy of it to anything new he tweets.

    • It boggles my mind when people state that there is a hidden implication that gun rights are for whites only. We see it in the comments and tweets of “If every black person would get a gun/AK-47/permit, THEN we’d see gun control measures pass!” Implied that the people opposing gun control are so racist, that they’d delight in seeing minorities being controlled by gun control measures, which could then be used in a racist fashion.

      Which also suggests that gun control laws are capable of being wielded in a racist fashion. Which we know is true, because they were set in place by the racists who wanted to keep the guns out of all the uppity minorities’ hands. Which is the same people who are even now insisting that gun control has gotten far too lax, and too many people are getting guns, and we need far more gun control. The Democratic party just figured out that white hoods and burning crosses weren’t the best way to actually convince people they were right. They just needed to switch to burning entire city blocks, instead, I suppose.

  4. # 2. To begin: I am not a gun owner, but I strongly believe in the 2nd amendment. I live in the Syracuse NY area in Onondaga County. For years It has been virtually impossible to obtain a concealed carry permit in this county. As much as I agree with the recent Supreme Court ruling, it will virtually not change anything. The first thing that will be required is the State and Counties will need to amend their laws and regulations…I’m sure they will get right to that. (Sarcasm intended.) Assuming they actually intend to comply with the ruling, I would be surprised if they completed the amendments in less than 12 months. Then State and County progressives will just slow walk all applications. I read recently that it takes over a year to process permit applications in Onondaga County. See the requirements below to meet with the Sherriff’s Department to submit an application. They are currently scheduling appointments 43 or more weeks into the future. The first, available appointment is April 18, 2023.
    Onondaga County
    Pistol License Appointment Requirements
    In order to proceed, you must answer YES to ALL of the following items:
    You are a resident of Onondaga County
    You have completed the New York State Pistol License Application including the following:
    All four (4) Character Reference Forms have been completed and signed
    All four (4) Character References have signed the State of New York Pistol /Revolver License Application PPB3 (original signatures required.)
    You have attended and received a certificate from one of the APPROVED Handgun Safety Course Certified Instructors (See the website for the most recent approved list.)
    Incomplete applications will not be processed at the time of your appointment. Your entire application will be returned to you, and you will be instructed to reschedule your appointment.
    Click here to proceed

    Since New York just passed a law requiring permits to own semi-automatic long guns, I would not be surprised if new permit applications will take 5 years or so to process. Personally, I would support more gun control legislation if the restrictions were applied universally, meaning security personnel guarding politicians, celebrities, and the elites could also not be armed.

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