If Guns Kill People, Do Pens Misspell Words?

A coyote emerged from the brush in pursuit of a lighthearted Labrador puppy who was jogging with his master  — Texas Governor Rick Perry — leveled and discharged a .380 caliber laser sighted Ruger pistol, loaded with hallowpoints. Perry, after saving his daughters dog, left the dead coyote and kept jogging. “He became mulch,” Perry said.

Once reported by the Huffington Post there was over 3,000 comments, most of them in a mocking tone, or just shocked that the Governor packs heat. But, of course, no one could — or would — mock the young and famous Canadian folk singer who was killed by a coyote on a hiking trail. Kevin Williamson with National Review in their latest issue points out, “Coyotes may be an occasional menace, but the predators most commonly stalking Central Park, Westchester County, or the Austin suburbs go on two legs, not four.”

The Supreme Court ruled (5-4) in McDonald v. City of Chicago (June 28, 2010) that regardless of local laws, all citizens have the right to bear arms as protected in the Second Amendment in the Constitution and is incorporated through the Due Process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment.

David Ignatius with the Washington Post said, “My biggest worry with Monday’s Supreme Court decision is that by ruling, in effect, that every American can apply for a gun license, the justices will make gun ownership much more pervasive in a society that already has too many guns.” I find it interesting that Ignatius is so concerned about “too many guns” in the hands of law abiding citizens. Also, Ignatius seems to find it dangerous that “every American can apply for a gun license”  not necessarily meaning every citizen will get that license.

Ignatius concludes, “[T]he Roberts court might also want to take a look at the ‘well-regulated’ reference in the second amendment. That might at least slow the rush to the gun stores.” But that was the point of the incorporation through the Due Process clause:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” -U.S. Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment

The court ruled (as they should) that we have the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. By adding a “well-regulated” reference, that would be abridging “the privileges or immunities of citizens” without “due process of law.”

There seems to be this assumption in Ignatius’ article that if we slow down the rush at gun stores, there will be less crime than if more people bought guns. But criminals don’t care whether or not guns are legal, criminals don’t care where they buy their guns. Criminals break the law. The only people anti-gun laws restrict are law abiding citizens. This logic is only reinforced by the fact that cities and states with gun control typically have more crime than cities and states that have gun rights. Gun controlled areas might as well put a big target on themselves that says “unarmed victims here” for criminals.

Kevin Williamson with National Review concludes,

Just as state schooling is not about education, but about the state, gun control is not about guns: It’s about control. A citizen who can fend for himself when the predators come or the schools fail is less inclined to look to the state for sustenance and oversight in other areas of life. To progressives, that’s an invitation to anarchy. To the men who wrote the Second Amendment, it was a condition of citizenship in a free republic. It’s what free men did, and do.” Kevin Williamson with National Review‘s July 19th, 2010 issue.

The right to bear arms is one of many Constitutional rights which may not be abridged by any government. So the next time a coyote comes for your puppy, or a criminal comes for you — and there isn’t any police officer around — you have the right to defend yourself (or your puppy.)

-Ben

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