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Ninth Circuit Strikes Down California Law On Carrying Guns In Public

gun-constitution

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling striking down California’s law regarding the circumstances under which gun owners may carry their weapons in public in a sweeping ruling that has the potential to vastly expand the legal understanding of the rights granted under the Second Amendment:

California must allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms in public, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, striking down the core of the state’s permit system for handguns.

In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said San Diego County violates the Constitution’s Second Amendment by requiring residents to show “good cause” – and not merely the desire to protect themselves – to obtain a concealed-weapons permit.

State law requires applicants to demonstrate good cause, as well as good moral character, to carry concealed handguns, while leaving the permit process up to each city and county. The ruling, if it stands, would require local governments to issue permits to anyone of good moral character who wants to carry a concealed gun for self-protection.

“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain said in the majority opinion.

(…)

In the same ruling, the justices said restrictions on carrying concealed weapons were “presumptively lawful,” meaning that they would be upheld unless shown to be unreasonably burdensome. But the appeals court said the county’s licensing system doesn’t pass the Supreme Court’s test because of the additional burdens California places on would-be gun owners.

California has long had some of the nation’s strongest restrictions on gun ownership, and, according to the court, is one of only eight states that allow local governments to deny concealed-weapons permits. The state formerly allowed residents to carry unloaded firearms in public, with ammunition in a separate container, but repealed that law at the start of 2013.

The ban on openly carrying guns made it impossible for most law-abiding citizens in counties like San Diego to “bear arms” for self-defense, O’Scannlain said in Thursday’s ruling. He said the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to “bear arms” must include the right to carry weapons outside the home.

The risk of armed confrontation “is not limited to the home,” O’Scannlain said. He invoked the situations of “a woman toting a small handgun in her purse as she walks through a dangerous neighborhood, or a night-shift worker carrying a handgun in his coat as he travels to and from his job site.”

C.D. Michel, lawyer for the National Rifle and Pistol Foundation and individuals who challenged the San Diego County system, said sheriffs in many rural California counties already comply with the court’s standard by issuing gun permits to anyone who wants one for self-defense. But urban counties require evidence of a special need for a weapon, the requirement that the court invalidated, he said.

“The right to self-defense doesn’t end at your threshold,” Michel said. He said the ruling is “probably the biggest Second Amendment win” since the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling and a follow-up decision in 2010.

SCOTUSBlog’s Lyle Denniston describes the ruling of the three judge panel (on a 2-1 vote) as “sweeping”:

 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit — the first to rule, ahead of the Supreme Court, that the Second Amendment right to have a gun extends nationwide — today issued the most sweeping decision yet on the right to carry a gun in public places.  The amendment means, the panel ruled in a two-to-one decision, that it is unconstitutional to confine the “right to bear” arms solely to the home.

Such a limitation, the panel ruled, would amount to a complete destruction of Second Amendment rights and cannot be justified on any constitutional reasoning.  Thus, it said, while government might forbid carrying a concealed gun in public, or carrying a gun openly in public, it cannot do both.  The right to have a gun for self-defense clearly exists beyond one’s home and hearth, the majority said.  And, it added, it has always existed, since the Second Amendment was put into the Constitution in 1791.

(…)

The Ninth Circuit ruling came in the case of Peruta v. San Diego County (Circuit docket 10-56971), and it struck down a county policy law that required a gun owner to get a license to carry a concealed gun in public and restricted licenses to those who could show “good cause” for the need to defend themselves. The mere fact that an individual was concerned about his own safety does not satisfy that requirement.

Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain wrote the seventy-seven-page majority opinion, joined by Circuit Judge Consuelo M. Callahan. Judge O’Scannlain was the authority of a 2009 Ninth Circuit opinion that was the first to extend the Second Amendment personal gun right to the state and local level (after the Supreme Court had recognized such a right at the federal level, in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008. The Supreme Court itself would apply Heller nationwide in 2010, in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago.)

Circuit Judge Sidney R. Thomas dissented from the new ruling, arguing in a forty-eight-page dissenting opinion that the decision conflicted with Supreme Court precedents and with every other federal appeals court decision on this issue, including the one by the Seventh Circuit going part of the way to extend gun rights beyond the home.

Judge Thomas contended that the ruling was so broad in its approach that it would strike down almost all of the California laws that restrict gun rights outside the home. California bars the open or concealed carrying of a handgun in public, but it does create a licensing regime for concealed carry. It has no similar licensing for open carry, so that is effectively banned across the state.

Judge O’Scannlain countered that the decision actually applied only to the concealed-carry licensing scheme in San Diego County. But his opinion did go well beyond that in concluding that government must allow some public carrying of guns for personal self-defense.

At a more technical legal level, the majority opinion abandoned at least for this case the two-step Second Amendment analysis that all federal appeals courts that have decided this question so far have adopted: first, inquiring whether the right at issue was part of the “core” of the Second Amendment, and, second, if it was, whether it put too heavy a burden on the right to have a gun for personal self-defense. (The Ninth Circuit itself had embraced that mode of analysis.)

Instead of that approach, Judge O’Scannlain declared that, if a gun control law goes so far as to effectively destroy that personal gun right, such a law must always be struck down no matter how it was analyzed because the impact on the right was just too great. Confining gun rights to the home does just that, the ruling declared.

As noted, this decision by the Ninth Circuit joins a decision last year by the Seventh Circuit that found Illinois laws regarding carrying weapons in public to be unduly restrictive and therefore unconstitutional. In response to that case, the Illinois legislature ended up substantially revising the state’s carry laws in an effort to bring them into compliance with the Court’s ruling. Since the legislature has gone ahead and done that, it’s unclear what the procedural posture of that particular case is at this point, although the time within which the state could have appealed the matter to the Supreme Court has likely long ago expired. Meanwhile three other Circuit Courts of Appeal, the Third Circuit, the Fourth Circuit and the Second Circuit have decided the issue differently and upheld state laws from New Jersey, Maryland, and New York regarding the carrying of weapons in public. This split among the circuits virtually guarantees that the Supreme Court will end up accepting a case for review at some point in the near future, perhaps soon enough for it to be heard during the same October 2014 Term that is likely to include a case or cases involving same-sex marriage as well.

In the end, it was inevitable that this issue would end up before the Supreme Court at some point. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court broke new ground ground in the area of Second Amendment law when it held that the amendment protected, at the very least, a right to keep a firearm in one’s own home for the purpose of self-defense. Contrary to what many critics of the opinion have said, this holding did not reverse any long history of Second Amendment case law, primarily because before Heller there was not a significantly large compendium of cases ruling 0n that part of the Bill of Rights. The number of Supreme Court decisions on the issue prior to that point could be counted on one hand and still leave fingers left over, and the lower court decisions typically involved issues that only tangentially raised core Second Amendment issues. It wasn’t until the parties involved in the Heller decision managed to put together a legal argument that challenged one of the most inanely restrictive handgun laws in the country utilizing the historical record that led to the Second Amendment that it was possible for Courts to even consider the arguments in the first place.

Once the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protected the keep a gun in one’s home for self-defense in Heller, and then ruled that, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment applied to the states in McDonald v. Chicago, it was inevitable that the day would come when the Federal Courts in general, and the Supreme Court specifically, would be required to rule on the issue of whether or not the right recognized in Heller extended beyond the confines of the home. Logically, of course, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, and while there is arguably a good case to be made that states should be permitted to create some reasonable regulations when it comes to the right to carry, whether it be open or concealed, it seems unlikely that a Supreme Court that still treats Heller as good law will decide that individuals only have Second Amendment rights inside their home. How far the right extends beyond that is something we’ll have to wait to find out.

Here’s the decision of the 9th Circuit panel, and the dissent:

Peruta Et Al v. County of San Diego Et Al by Doug Mataconis

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mu says:

    Won’t there be an en banc appeal before the Supreme Court?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Oh good, more gun-totin’ cretins in traffic, in bars, in schools.

    Guns are a disease in this country, a uniquely American cancer. But thanks to the astounding stupidity of our sainted Founding Fathers, there’s no remedy in law. The remedy is in changing hearts and minds. We need to stop pretending that membership in the gun cult is anything but a form of mental illness. We need to shun, shame and exclude gun people from decent society.

    In the last decade 703 children have died just from accidental gun discharge. Not from shootings, not from suicide, just from accident. 703 children.

    Owning a gun in a home with a child is morally equivalent to drunk driving. You endanger your own children, you endanger my children, and your sick fetishization of guns at the expense of dead children should be seen for the reckless, stupid and destructive behavior it is.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 16

  3. MBunge says:

    “In the last decade 703 children have died just from accidental gun discharge. Not from shootings, not from suicide, just from accident. 703 children.”

    I believe about 2,000 kids die every year in auto accidents. Should no child be allowed to ride in a car?

    It’s fun to vent but if we’re going to cure this disordered gun fetish in the America and the conservative judicial activism that threatens to send it spiraling out of control, we’ll need something more than hysterical, torch-wielding mobs chasing after the gun-ogre hiding in the forest.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  4. Ben says:

    @MBunge:

    I believe about 2,000 kids die every year in auto accidents. Should no child be allowed to ride in a car?

    That’s quite the false analogy there. In 99% of the country, traveling by car is an unavoidable necessity of living. Without driving in a car, it is literally impossible for 90% of the country to get to work, school, daycare, the doctor’s office, the grocery store, or anywhere else. And it is impossible to completely 100% avoid all car accidents if you’re driving.

    On the other hand, every single accidental gun death is fully preventable without any impact to owning a home or making a living.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    Laws won’t do it. Laws can’t do it. This is a propaganda battle at this point. Use education to reduce the threat these people pose. Marginalize them, that’s something we can start doing right now without recourse to government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  6. john personna says:

    When we were up at the Grand Canyon last month the visitor centers all had “no guns allowed.” Weird, like a “no shirt, no service” sign. Now the second weird thing is those were federal visitor centers on federal lands. So presumably national parks would have to take down those signs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Paul L. says:

    @michael reynolds:
    @Ben:
    To steal the abortion talking point
    If you don’t like Guns don’t have one.

    @Ben:
    Does your argument apply to swimming pools and buckets?

    “Between January 1984 and January 1995, the Commission has received reports of 247 deaths and 32 non-fatal incidents associated with 5-gallon buckets. The estimated annual average number of deaths for the years 1990, 1991, and 1992, is about 36, a slight reduction from the annual average estimate of about 40 for the years 1990 and 1991.”

    http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr95/95-29518.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  8. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    I believe the law permits the lawful carrying of firearms in the parks but it does not necessarily prevent the prohibitions of carry inside buildings such as visitor centers. Now if they tried it with external public restrooms, it might not pass muster.

    And the parks generally follow, state law so if the prohibition was permitted by state law, then..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. JKB says:

    @Ben: On the other hand, every single accidental gun death is fully preventable without any impact to owning a home or making a living.

    You don’t get out much do you? Never lived anywhere with wildlife? Or with dangerous criminal elements? You know, even at Newtown, a nice suburban town, it took the first officer 20 minutes to arrive at the school. Do you know how long it take a police officer who went to the hospital to complete an attempted suicide call to get back to his area if he gets another call?

    But what about those in law enforcement and security? They need guns to make a living. According to MR, their guns endanger their kids, your kids, everybody’s kids. Should only the unmarried without children be permitted into law enforcement and security? Should there be a radius as to how close they can live to houses with children? Should their family be able visit if they have children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  10. JKB says:

    @michael reynolds: This is a propaganda battle at this point. Use education to reduce the threat these people pose. Marginalize them, that’s something we can start doing right now without recourse to government.

    You do that. Indoctrinate, indoctrinate, indoctrinate.

    We’ll just sit back and let Hollywood promote guns on TV and in movies. Don’t forget those first person shooter video games. And the best way to turn people around on guns, let a criminal visit them, sometimes, the indoctrinate don’t even have to be home when the criminal comes calling to have a change of heart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  11. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Ok, but the uncomfortable meta question might be “why are rangers uncomfortable with visitors with guns?”

    (Answer: “an unfortunate percentage of visitors are idiots”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  12. al-Ameda says:

    “The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain said in the majority opinion.

    George Zimmerman or Michael Dunn could have written that opinion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  13. stonetools says:

    At a more technical legal level, the majority opinion abandoned at least for this case the two-step Second Amendment analysis that all federal appeals courts that have decided this question so far have adopted: first, inquiring whether the right at issue was part of the “core” of the Second Amendment, and, second, if it was, whether it put too heavy a burden on the right to have a gun for personal self-defense. (The Ninth Circuit itself had embraced that mode of analysis.)

    Instead of that approach, Judge O’Scannlain declared that, if a gun control law goes so far as to effectively destroy that personal gun right, such a law must always be struck down no matter how it was analyzed because the impact on the right was just too great. Confining gun rights to the home does just that, the ruling declared.

    I dunno. I find this some pretty skanky analysis. How is asking for good cause for carrying a gun outside the home “destroying” the personal gun right? Wouldn’t be surprised if it was reversed and remanded with instruction to follow the two step analysis. The result might be the same, but I doubt it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  14. Grumpy Realist says:

    Unfortunately, we can’t simply pass a law keeping guns out of the hands of idiots, which is what we really want.

    Or treating guns like wild animals. Strict liability for any damage you cause.

    The trouble with Stand Your Ground laws is that it puts all the power in the hands of the punk with the gun. Provoke a brawl, make sure you’re alone, claim you felt threatened, and shoot the other party. Now you can make up whatever story you like, exaggerate the amount of fear you feel, etc.

    This silliness will probably not get stopped. We love guns too much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  15. JKB says:

    @john personna: Ok, but the uncomfortable meta question might be “why are rangers uncomfortable with visitors with guns?”

    Answer: an unfortunate percentage of rangers are Progs who believe that only they should have a means to defend themselves. Here’s a tip, those visitors who are idiots and who might bring a gun, will bring one regardless of the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  16. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Thank you for that weekly antisocial paranoia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  17. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Here’s a tip, those visitors who are idiots and who might bring a gun, will bring one regardless of the law.

    … and those visitors who are idiots, and who bring guns, probably won’t be “progs,” right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  18. Davebo says:

    @JKB:

    Police in Newtown were on site 2 minutes and 41 seconds after the first radio broadcast of a shooting at the school.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    Remarkably stupid analogy. My abortion won’t kill your children. My gun might.

    Amazing just how utterly brainless the gun nuts are. You make anti-abortion nuts look like geniuses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  20. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: … and those visitors who are idiots, and who bring guns, probably won’t be “progs,” right?

    There is certainly no basis for that assumption. The guy how was a major force in the NY state gun control legislation after Newtown just got picked up for carrying a firearm into a school.

    A member of Cuomo’s administration brandished a firearm at foreign visitors but was just given a waiver.

    It looks like if an idiot brings a gun, it is going to be a Prog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  21. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    I have a nice easy starting point. Let’s get schools to publish lists of which parents possess firearms in the home so that other parents can make an informed decision on whether or not to let their kids play there. All completely voluntary, of course.

    No problem with that, right? Because it’s not like you people are secretly ashamed of your status, right? Okay, great, so let’s get those lists out there. I want to know whether my kid will be playing in close proximity to firearms. And as a proud gun owner I’m sure you’d like to have your name on the list. After all, it will scare off criminals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  22. JKB says:

    Just ask before you let you kid play at other people’s houses. Then they’ll know you care.

    But if you are into lists, well, let’s also create a list of parents or other house occupiers who smoke pot, take narcotics, are sympathetic to Marxism, etc. You might want to find out if they supported Ronald Reagan, read the Bible or go to church regularly.

    Or, like I said, you could just tell your kid that until you say otherwise, they are to stay out of other people’s homes. Then you can ask your kid specific list of questions and make an informed decision.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  23. JKB says:

    Dunn, in the loud music prosecution, was found guilty of 3 counts of attempted 2nd degree murder, one count of throwing missiles at a car. But the jury hung on the 1st degree murder charge so there will according to Angela Corey another trial. In any case, as it stand, he looking at 25 to life but could get 60 years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Which of those things result in little children with their brains blown out?

    Oh, that’s right: none. Only guns do that.

    But keep trying. I enjoy exposing your stupidity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  25. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    The guy how was a major force in the NY state gun control legislation after Newtown just got picked up for carrying a firearm into a school.

    I’m pretty sure that conservatives had no problem with that guy carrying a gun into the school, after all, it probably deterred some guy from shooting the place up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  26. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: really, but how many legal gun owners cause these problems? figure if the 9th can’t reel it in then it’s over for the gun fearing nut jobs?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  27. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Actually, he caused the school to be locked down for several hours as his act was a crime. and thanks to his effort in getting the new law passed a felony. But no worries, he’s got corrupt friends in high places.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  28. JKB says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Marxism has killed more children than all the guns ever privately possessed in the U.S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  29. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    703 children dead in gun accidents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Ooooh, it’s fun watching you try to think. It’s like watching a beached fish gasping for breath.

    What else you have?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  31. Stonetools says:

    The gun nuts here seem intent on trotting out every gun nut fallacy in the book . What’s interesting in a rather ghoulish way is they don’t realize how absolutely stupid send insensitive these arguments are. Of course they draw sustenance and affirmation from the enormous circle of like minded believers the same way that creationists continue to make arguments even after the case for creationism has been refuted. Both are best described as cults, really, that are devoted to discredited religious faiths.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  32. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: irresponsible parents, doesn’t mean the constitution get’s tossed. do you fret over late term abortions too? live babies killed on the slab and tossed in the trash….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  33. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    Ah, the constitution. But I’m not talking about laws, am I, Bill? No. I’m talking about hearts and minds. Reason. Logic.

    But the fact that you and your ilk inevitably fall back on your NRA brainwashing is very reassuring. You have no defense against anything that is not a legalistic attack. You are unable to defend your flanks. Your intellectual limitations are exposed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  34. superdestroyer says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    Would you be willing to trade a strict liability law for guns with a strict liability law for criminals. If anyone on probation, parole, or on bail commits another crime, surely the victims should be made whole by the government who put the criminal in a position to prey on the public.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. john personna says:

    @bill:

    As the loud music thing clearly illustrates, there is a scale of difference between getting mad, and getting mad while armed.

    Loads of people get mad. Shake fist. Return to normal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  36. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Remember the statistics. Guns are more likely to injure owners and family.

    Like anger, depression happens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  37. Tom Parker says:

    @michael reynolds: Michael I agree with you on a lot of issues but this isn’t one of them. There are a small percentage of stupid gun owners out of the millions who own guns no doubt. But 703 children killed accidentally in 10 years. At childhelp-usa.com they quote statistics of child abuse that are astounding. More than 3 million reports involving 6 MILLION CHILDREN EACH YEAR. A report is made every 10 seconds with more than 4 children A DAY dying. They estimate that more than 50% of deaths are the result of maltreatment not reported on death certificates. 70% of children that die from abuse are under 4 years old. Over 1/3 of all abuse cases involve substance abuse. Parents that abuse drugs and alcohol(a legal product) are 3 times more likely to abuse their children. Children that were abused are 9 times more likely to be involved in criminal activity. 14% of men and 36% of women in prison were abused as children. I agree that we need better education about guns but not the kind you have in mind. Most children don’t have a clue about the real danger of guns thanks to Hollywood and video games. A large percentage of those 70 deaths a year are from kids finding unsecured guns and playing with them(something that is preventable). You’ve got a good platform to do something about child abuse and substance abuse which would make a real difference to a lot more children than the 703 that you seem to be so concerned about. You don’t want a gun in your house fine but I’d like to have one in mine to protect me from those abused children that grow up with no regard for the law and no understanding of right and wrong. I live in a rural area and help isn’t coming for me or for them. That’s a concept I don’t expect you have the life experience to understand but its a reality for millions of law abiding hard working Americans that want the right and means to protect themselves. You want to educate people and marginalize them then go after the root of the problems in this country not those of us who are responsible gun owners.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @Tom Parker:

    1) The fact that there are more kids killed by, say, cancer, does not in any way, shape or form advance a case for killing 703 via completely avoidable accidents. Would you argue that we should avoid curing a cancer that killed that many, assuming we had a cure? Well, we have a cure for the 703. And of course that’s just the number killed accidentally. It doesn’t include murder and suicide.

    2) To argue that gun ownership is fine so long as every single person who owns a gun is educated, reliable, mentally stable, and that all members of his family are the same, is laughable. The same argument could be used to justify private ownership of Sarin gas or nuclear weapons. We cannot assume everyone is rational. If we could assume everyone was rational, well, we wouldn’t need guns now would we?

    3) Gun ownership is in fact the very opposite of self-protection as demonstrated many times by many studies. Bringing a gun into your home increases your chance of dying by gun. Period. Full stop. That’s the reality.

    Which leaves you, on this issue, holding nothing.

    See how easily I disposed of those arguments? It’s not because I’m terribly clever, it’s that the arguments in favor are absurd on their face. There is quite simply not a single logical argument for private ownership of guns. Not one. Not even a partial. Zip. Vapor.

    In fact the only reason anyone believes in private ownership of guns is because they have been systematically mis-informed. And because they have been brainwashed they are unable to re-examine facts without presuppositions.

    In short, a complete failure of both logic and imagination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  39. Tom Parker says:

    Like I said you don’t have the life experiences to form an educated opinion. What you have is an incorrect misinformed opinion of gun ownership and gun owners. You want to lump us all in one category based on the actions or in the case of your original example carelessness of a very small number of gun owners. There will always be death. Some are preventable. If you save those 70 children a year by denying responsible law abiding citizens the means to protect themselves from a growing criminal population how many of those same citizens will die a violent death at the hands of criminals. While I was waiting for you to respond with your opinion I had the opportunity to go and meet a stranger in a parking lot to sell an item I had listed on craigslist. Obviously I was armed and felt perfectly safe. He still has no idea I was carrying. By your original argument because of my mental illness( right to own and carry a gun) I was supposed to attack and kill him(didn’t happen). My 78 year old mother(who lives alone) has and carries a gun. She has had the need to show that she was armed years ago to protect herself and was able to do so without shooting anyone. She is alive today because I gave her a gun when I moved away from home. Your arguments are opinionated nonsense with no basis in reality. Yes we need cancer research and we need to teach children AND ADULTS about guns and their potential to kill. These things are not mutually exclusive. I know a lady that fell down the stairs in her home and died. Do we outlaw multi-story houses? Its absurd and has nothing to do with the subject. I don’t expect to change your mind and don’t care. I am simply objecting to your categorizing all gun owners as rabid deranged mentally ill people who should have their right taken away from them. You are entitled to you opinion and I am entitled to my guns. I was trying to make a point that the root causes of gun violence and violence in general can be changed when people like you that have a national platform invest their energy in solving those root problems. I suspect that you would rather spend your time insulting people that disagree with you. I’ve made my point and I’m done and still have my guns and legitimate reason to own them. A 2011 Gallop poll estimated that 47% of American households own 270 MILLION guns. You can rant on but you would have better success doing something about the root causes of why I feel the need to own a gun and like I said earlier YOU have a platform to do something about those root causes. Like you said “We can’t assume everyone is rational. If we could we wouldn’t need guns would we.” Your words not mine but thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  40. john personna says:

    @Tom Parker:

    A local doctor was gunned down by a well liked member of the community and longtime gun owner. Until that moment the gunman had been a model of responsibility. It was over in a flash.

    And now other longtime gun owners say “well he was just a criminal, an exception.”

    And then we wait for the next longtime gun owner to flip.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  41. Tom Parker says:

    @john personna: A new paper from the Violence Policy center states that from 2007 thru 2011 that 338,700 people used a gun to protect themselves from a violent crime. That’s 67,740 per year. Had your doctor had a gun that figure would be 67,741. Whats your point? There are more guns in this country and the world than you can ever confiscate. And even if you try you will only take them from the people who would defend themselves. The aggressors will still have theirs. Addressing the root causes of violence is the only answer that works. As long as I have a reason to believe that I need to protect myself from violence then I have a legitimate need and right to own a gun. By the way those are the lowest self defense by gun figures that I could find. The problem is not guns but instead it is law abiding citizens NEED TO PROTECT THEMSELVES. Solve that problem and guns are no longer necessary. Until then I’ll continue to own and carry a gun. You can continue to attack me but it doesn’t change the problem. There were almost 32,000 gun deaths in the US last year. Almost 20,000 were suicides. 850 were accidents. Some of the remaining 11000 were killed by the police or people defending themselves. 2 1/2 million people died from other causes last year. A few sensationalized cases are blowing the problem out of proportion and the problem is still not the gun. Why didn’t your Doctor just call 911 and wait? Because he got killed first. Guns are not the problem but it would have been a life saving solution for him just like it was for my mother 20 years ago. And for the record she hit 3 bullseyes with the 38 I gave her last year. I taught her gun safety and she shoots with me regular. Now she has 2 guns. Does that make her twice as mentally ill. God help the idiot that trys to harm her. Helps not coming for her or the idiot either.

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  42. john personna says:

    @Tom Parker:

    I think you just made a strategic error.

    You admitted that more guns create the need for more guns.

    A doctor gets shot in a scheduled appointment? The doctor should be armed in his exam room.

    Brilliant.

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  43. michael reynolds says:

    @Tom Parker:

    Dude, I’ll be sixty in July. I’ve fired .22, .32, .38, .44 mag, .45, .270, 30.06, and in shotguns from 12 gauge on down. Personally owned a .410, a 30.06 and a .45 colt automatic. Held but did not fire a Chinese light machine gun, a grease gun, a German Schmeisser submachine gun and an AK.

    My wife was pistol-whipped (caliber unknown.) I fired a .45 in a room with my then girlfriend, my sister and my uncle. Was held up by what I suspect was a nine.

    In terms of exposure to crime more generally, I’m a former criminal (burglary) have spent a total of 11 days in jails (Contra Costa County and South Lake Tahoe.) I’ve also been a street person living under a freeway, and lived every stage of wealth between trailer park on a Florida panhandle bayou up to and including a home in Tiburon, California. My jobs range from waiting tables to cleaning toilets to making a million dollars a year as an author.

    I’ve lived in California, Texas, Iowa, Florida, Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia, North Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, the D of C. Also France, Portugal and Italy. More than 50 homes.

    Tell me again how I don’t have life experience so I don’t understand.

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  44. michael reynolds says:

    Oh, and I actually took the NRA gun safety course. Forgot that. First gun I fired was a Ruger Blackhawk, 44 magnum. Knocked me on my ass. I think I was like eight or so, I don’t recall. And I used to melt lead and fill cartridges with my dad, a career soldier.

    What all that experience tells me is this: there is not a single good reason for a private citizen to own a gun in the United States of America. None. And you don’t have one. You got vapor.

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  45. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    And remember the statistics on the percentage of convicts on probation or parole who commit another crime. If the government wants to take on 100% of the responsibility of defending people from criminals, then the government should be 100% liable when it fails.

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  46. Rick DeMent says:

    @Tom Parker:

    My 78 year old mother(who lives alone) has and carries a gun. She has had the need to show that she was armed years ago to protect herself and was able to do so without shooting anyone. She is alive today because I gave her a gun when I moved away from home.

    I can guarantee that I could disarm your 78 year old mother from her pistol without even breaking a sweat. Anyone who is trained can easily disarm an untrained person (of which 95% of gun owners are) and a trained person can disarm another trained person about 50% of the time. Your mother is lucky that she ran into a fool with her gun or she would be dead today but then again what people do in their home is their business. What I have a problem with is concealed carry.

    Constitutionally the 2nd amendment is about defense of the country and supplanting the need for a standing army. Any activity outside that context would be considered novel by the founding fathers. The 2nd amendment does not consider the issue of concealed carry because no one at the time would have thought to carry a loaded muzzle loading pistol in their coat. The regulation by the government of concealed carry is right and proper because to do otherwise infringes on my right to be secure in my person in public by not being around those foolish enough to think that carrying a gun is anything but a nuisance and a danger to me (there is enough of a problem with criminals doing it but statistically that is an extremely low probability occurrence). This is a public safety issue and while I do not disagree that the 2nd contains a personal right to bear arms that right is only operative in the context of what is necessary to defend the country and to avoid the need for a standing army. As soon as you enter the public sphere then your right to bear arms is subordinate to the safety and well-being of the public. The right of states to insist that CCW permit holders be well trained, bonded, and able to demonstrate that they can actually hit a target should not be call into question by the courts.

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  47. JKB says:

    @Rick DeMent: Anyone who is trained can easily disarm an untrained person (of which 95% of gun owners are) and a trained person can disarm another trained person about 50% of the time.

    That’s funny. Did you make that up yourself? First you have to get within arms length, then you have to do your ninja skill thing. Not impossible but if someone let you do the first, they’ve already revealed a reluctance to use deadly force. But in the use of a firearm for self defense, i.e., to stop an imminent threat, they attacker’s first realization you are armed should be when they feel the searing pain of a bullet passage through their innards. “Stop or I’ll shoot” makes good television but poor self defense. Not to mention, on occasion can result in criminal charges if you don’t shoot.

    Now you went to bonded which is the gun grabber’s big idea to make exercising one’s 2nd amendment right really on available to financially well off. Nice, what about the poor and downtrodden? As for hitting a target, well, you really can’t hold a private citizen to a higher standard than you do the “professional,” at tax-payer expense trained police officer. And more often than not, the cops shoot up the whole neighborhood when they exercise self defense. But rapid fire at near targets is a common requirement for carry permits. As is basic firearm handling instructions along with self defense law.

    The fact is, the latter is likely to remain for carry in public (not transporting). The only real court case on the issue is from Tennessee in the 1890s (I believe), in it, the right to keep and bear was upheld, which meant moving the firearms for practice and maintenance over public areas. However, carry, as in readily available for use, was held to be subject to reasonable regulation. The latter was eventually added to the state constitution

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  48. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Tell me again how I don’t have life experience so I don’t understand.

    Once you decided to live in a socialist hell hole, Tiburon – a place with views of Mt. Tamalpais (aka Mt Lenin) – you revealed yourself to be a person with shallow and immaterial life experiences. I know the feeling, I grew up in Marin County and worked hard to put myself through one of the best public universities in the world – I’m still stigmatized by that.

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  49. Jack says:

    The estimates of defensive gun uses in America are between 500k and 3 million per year. Even if one discounts the high numbers, one cannot discount the study conducted by the US Department of Justice….that estimated 1.5 million defensive gun uses per year.

    And for all those who bleat…”The answer is NOT more guns, and easier access to them”…….

    Statistically speaking……THEY ARE WRONG. In the last 20 years, gun sales have skyrocketed. Over 80% of states now liberally allow concealed carry of handguns for self defense. Yet, during that time….violent crime has dropped by almost 50 PERCENT, across the board. EVERY type of violent crime has fallen. Rape, murder, robbery….all of it down…..with far more guns in circulation, and astronomically more people legally carrying them.

    The “logic” of the gun control extremists is an utter failure. One need only look at the skyrocketing crime rates in Britain and Australia to see what happens when people are not allowed defensive tools.–Salty Dad

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  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    One need only look at the skyrocketing crime rates in Britain and Australia to see what happens when people are not allowed defensive tools

    Speaking of “logic” … Australia’s homicide rate has been declining since 1999. Also, the homicide rate in Great Britain is about 30% that of the murder rate in America. But of course that doesn’t stop The Blaze and other conservative websites from somehow interpreting the data to mean that because of gun control crime rates are skyrocketing.

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  51. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda: By any chance…are your parents related? Do you have webbed toes? A third nipple? Is reading comprehension a problem for you? I said “the skyrocketing crime rates in Britain and Australia to see what happens when people are not allowed defensive tools.” I didn’t say homicide rate. In Australia and Brittan, there is no need to kill you victim when you know they are unarmed and have to roll over and let you do as you please.

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  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    You are sooooooo not in a position to be questioning anyone’s intellect.

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  53. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: Thanks for your input, cupcake. If I wanted you to vomit all over the internet I would have told you to.

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  54. Rick DeMent says:

    @Jack:

    The crime rate has been falling for over 20 years, try again.

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  55. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    By any chance…are your parents related? Do you have webbed toes? A third nipple? Is reading comprehension a problem for you?

    I said “the skyrocketing crime rates in Britain and Australia to see what happens when people are not allowed defensive tools.” I didn’t say homicide rate

    A few points:
    1. My parents? Check with your sister tonight when you go to bed, she might know the answer, or if that doesn’t work, roll over and ask your niece.
    2. Yes Jack, it is okay for you to post a link to support your assertion that crime rates are skyrocketing in Australia and Britain (and probably are still far less than crime rates in the gun-obsessed United States, another matter another discussion.)
    3. I didn’t realize that homicide wasn’t part of those “skyrocketing” crime counts in Australia and Britain. I apologize.

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  56. Rick DeMent says:

    Also while gun sales are up, the number of gun owners are in decline, so your idea that this is what is contributing to the falling crime rate is nonsense. It’s about a bunch of people who are too scared to go outside without their depends on that is driving the sale of firearms. For those of us who can add we don’t need gun to make us feel safe, we just use our head. Much easier.

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  57. Charles says:

    I await the day when judges and legislators who are so eager to see more armed citizens remove the metal detectors, x-ray machines and guards from the places they work. Why are they afraid to allow Americans to exercise their second amendment rights in courthouses, state legislatures, and the halls of congress?

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  58. al-Ameda says:

    @Charles:

    await the day when judges and legislators who are so eager to see more armed citizens remove the metal detectors, x-ray machines and guards from the places they work. Why are they afraid to allow Americans to exercise their second amendment rights in courthouses, state legislatures, and the halls of congress?

    Exactly, who doesn’t want a bunch of armed second amendment bozos down at city hall, in the courtrooms, in our statehouses, or walking around the halls of Congress?

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  59. R. Kevin Hill says:

    “and then ruled that, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment applied to the states” is a mistake, and “the rest” should read “most.” The right to be free from soldier-quartering, the right to a jury trial in civil suits, the right to be free from excessive bail or fines, none of these have been definitively incorporated by the Supreme Court. The process of incorporation was incremental, and continues.

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  60. Dennis says:

    I want any judge who rules in favor of expansive gun rights to be required to give up the metal detectors outside his/her courtroom.

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  61. agorabum says:

    @stonetools: It’s almost as if there is a lack of understanding about a “well-regulated militia.”
    Letting someone own guns in their home, but needing good cause to walk around brandishing your shooter? Well regulated.
    Not lightly regulated – well regulated.
    The people of the community made a decision that if you want to walk around the city with a gun, which only has the purpose of killing others, you need to show cause and obtain a permit. Reasonable. Well regulated.

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  62. JKB says:

    Hey, how’s that making guns socially unacceptable going?

    In 20 or so years we can ask Colt, or Remington, even Ruger.

    In 2002, only 194 babies were named Colt, while in 2012 there were 955. Just 185 babies were given the name Remington in 2002, but by 2012 the number had jumped to 666. Perhaps the most surprising of all, however, is a jump in the name Ruger’s (America’s leading firearm manufacturer) from just 23 in 2002 to 118 in 2012. “This name [Ruger] is more evidence of parents’ increasing interest in naming children after firearms,” Wattenberg writes. “Colt, Remington, and Gauge have all soared, and Gunner is much more common than the traditional name Gunnar.”

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  63. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Hey, how’s that making guns socially unacceptable going?

    You’re exactly right, the Cult of Gun Ownership in this country is powerful.

    As for parents naming their kids after guns, well … some people just can’t help themselves.

    I thought about naming one of my daughters Surface-To-Air-Missile (SAM), and my wife kind of liked Machine Gun Kelley, but we could not agree, so we settled on a more traditional female name (you know, a name like Sarah, Caroline, Marie, Emily or Clare). No regrets.

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