Thursday, June 26, 2008

A great day for freedom

The United States Supreme Court has affirmed that an individual indeed has an inherent, natural right to self-defense, and to that end may not be prevented from keeping handguns in one's home for that purpose, as well as for other legal uses.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion, used great logic in stating why handguns are the natural choice for protecting one's home:

"Scalia noted that the handgun is Americans' preferred weapon of self-defense in part because 'it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police.'"

Alternatively, Justice John Paul Stevens, who is old enough to have known many of the Founders, wrote a dissent which showed a disturbing lack of scholarship:

"In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority 'would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.'
He said such evidence 'is nowhere to be found.'"

Except in the Federalist Papers, where James Madison discusses the issue extensively and outlines exactly why the right to keep and bear arms is so critical to maintaining a free country. Stevens must have missed that resource in his extensive research on the issue.

Predictably, some liberal Democrat politicians have already decried the ruling,

"Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, criticized the ruling. 'I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it,' she said."

Pretty harsh words coming from someone who possesses a concealed handgun permit in San Francisco, one of the most anti-gun cities in the country, and therefore one of the "safest", to Feinstein's way of thinking.

Similarly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also demonstrated why she thinks the Constitution and its protections is just some more toilet paper to flush away, as one commenter opined on her statement about the ruling:

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says that despite the Supreme Court decision to strike down its gun ban, the District of Columbia will still be able to regulate firearms.
'I think it still allows the District of Columbia to come forward with a law that’s less pervasive,' Pelosi said at her weekly briefing Thursday. 'I think the court left a lot of room to run in terms of concealed weapons and guns near schools.'"

bzzzzzzzzz. Sorry, wrong answer, Ms. Pelosi. The Court has already struck down the Gun-Free School Zones Act as being an unconstitutional overreach by the Federal government in United States v. Lopez. Care to come up with something different? Oh, and by the way, the banning of carrying concealed weapons in certain states should be the next barrier to freedom that's struck down. Driver's licenses are honored by every other state. Why not carry permits?

This ruling is an extremely important example of why Presidential choices matter so much, and why one should hold their nose and vote for John McCain over Barack Obama. I imagine an Obama-packed Court would have produced quite a different outcome.

Time to go shopping, Dad. I'll call you later with some recommendations.

UPDATE: D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty has weighed in on the decision, calling it "unfortunate" and "disappointing". He also announced that the just-negated laws banning handguns in homes as well as requiring long guns to be stored disassembled and with trigger locks (negating their use as defensive weapons) will continue to remain in effect for the next 21 days while the D.C. Police scramble to come up with a registration scheme, and also determine which handguns will continue to be illegal in the District. (Apparently the cops there are able to make laws, as well as enforce them.) He also wants the City Council to begin drafting emergency legislation to address the storage issue, ensuring that even more city funds will be wasted on yet more laws that will also be subsequently thrown out.

I'm sorry, Mayor, but what part of "unconstitutional" don't you understand? I didn't see anything in the Court's ruling about a three-week grace period to come up with policies and procedures to deal with the decision. You should have already had such a plan written and waiting, particularly given that the broad consensus, even among the anti-gun folks, was that your draconian ban was going bye-bye. Nice job of being prepared, sir.

Next up: The handgun ban in Barack Obama's home turf of Chicago, Illinois. The lawsuit seeking to overturn that should be filed within hours, hopefully.

1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

The suit to overturn Chicago's gun ban was filed at 9:15 central time, about 15 minutes after Heller was released.

Rumor has it that with gangbangers there getting "acute lead poisoning" in the future, Mayor Daley is worried about the cuts he's going to have to make in his unionized police force. Hopefully he'll get rid of the 350lbs of donuts guys with 25 years on the force.

(chicago at least used to administer a PT test only when a cop joined the force.... you could tell how long someone had been there by his belt.