March 10, 2007

"This is not Dodge City in the 1800s."

A DC Circuit panel adopts the individual rights theory of the Second Amendment and throws out the District's ban on handguns inside the home:
Tom G. Palmer, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and one of the plaintiffs who prevailed yesterday, said he once used a handgun to ward off potential attackers when he lived in San Jose. He said the ruling would help residents protect themselves.

"Let's be honest: Although there are many fine officers in the police department, there's a simple test. Call Domino's Pizza or the police, and time which one gets there first," Palmer said....

D.C. resident Kenny Barnes, who became a gun control advocate after his 37-year-old-son was shot to death on U Street NW, called the ruling "crazy."

"What kind of message are you sending?" Barnes asked. "This is not Dodge City in the 1800s."
The Dodge City image is one of guns in the streets:



This case is about guns kept at home to protect against intruders. How about a Hollywood movie image where someone with a gun kept in the home for protection goes all wrong?

My choice:



"No. I care. This is where I live. This is me. I will not allow violence against this house."

51 comments:

Troy said...

Actually Dodge City, Tombstone, et al. had pretty strict gun control regulations. Think Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" and the Gene Hackman character as an example -- "Hollywooded up", but not bad.

The understandable anguish Mr. Barnes feels coupled with his misinformation on the subject make it difficult to have compromise or even have a discussion. His son's killer would not, most likely, have followed gun control regulations in any case. His son, or a bystander might have been able to defend himself if he had had a weapon -- and been trained in its use as concealed carry permit owners are usually required to be.

Fritz said...

The Second guarantees all the rest. Sovereignty is to be held by the people. Iraq is the best example of what was meant by well regulated militias. Iraqis or DC residents having firearms is not a problem. The gangs & militias that roam the cities are. The government is within it's respective duties to heavily enforce restrictions upon them, not individuals protecting life & private property.

Patrick said...

Troy is right. The shootout at the OK Corral was a gun control issue. The Earp's were attempting to enforce a no weapons in town policy. The Clantons, fine supporters of 2nd amendment rights, disagreed with said policy.

The trial of Wyatt Earp is a fascinating look at the real politics of that era, which is oddly enough, not too different than politics now.

Bissage said...

For the uninitiated, “Straw Dogs” is a must rent absolutely brimming with valuable life lessons. It is exactly why I keep a triggered bear trap above the fireplace mantle and it is exactly why I keep a pot of boiling oil on the stove at all times. You never know.

Bob said...

You'll probably get a lot of comments on this one; it's an extremely divisive issue.

Take a look at the crime situation in Great Britain right now, Ann. The citizens - - oops, subjects there have been disarmed by their well-meaning government, and the results are that the violent crime rate has skyrocketed. The solution that the government has come up with is to disarm the subject even further, with draconian laws governing carrying of knives, even small pocket knives of the Swiss Army variety, and to make self-defense a criminal act.

*shakes head sadly*

Fen said...

The citizens - - oops, subjects there have been disarmed by their well-meaning government, and the results are that the violent crime rate has skyrocketed

There's also been a dramatic increase in "hot" roberries - the perps break in while the defenseless occupants are home, and not only loot the place, but help themselves to the Wife and Daughter.

Jeff said...

Molôn Labé!

Gahrie said...

1) For centuries, European ruling elites prohibted the possession of weapons in order to protect themselves from a popular uprising. The Founding Fathers knew this, and that's why the protected the right of the individual to own weapons, to allow the citizenry to oppose tyranny.

2) The "wild" west was not as violent as folklore and the movies would have you believe. People's behavior becomes much more courteous when you know everyone is packing.

3) Gun control never works, it just disarms the innocent and turns them into victims. Crime goes down when concealed and open carry laws are passed.

Freder Frederson said...

Take a look at the crime situation in Great Britain right now, Ann. The citizens - - oops, subjects there have been disarmed by their well-meaning government, and the results are that the violent crime rate has skyrocketed.

You know absolutely nothing about gun ownership, or the attitudes towards it, in Great Britain. Even before the current ban on the ownership of handguns, the restrictions on handgun ownership were very similar to those in D.C. Ownership for self-defense was simply not allowed. Handguns (and long guns for that matter) were permitted only for bona fide sporting purposes and you had to be a registered member of a gun club. If you kept your guns at home, they were required to be kept disassembled and unloaded in a locked case. And the police could and would stop by unannounced, at least once a year, to confirm that your guns were in that state.

There were only 168,000 handguns turned in when the ban went into effect. Much of the rise in violent crime was simply do to a change into the way the police counted crime. To say that the ban in guns led to the rise in crime that Britain is experiencing is simply to see a correlation where there is none.

Freder Frederson said...

3) Gun control never works, it just disarms the innocent and turns them into victims. Crime goes down when concealed and open carry laws are passed.

This tenuous conclusion was dubious when it was first made by John Lott and the data from the years after his book was published invalidated his original conclusions.

rightwingprof said...

"This tenuous conclusion was dubious when it was first made by John Lott"

Yet recent metastudies by the CDC and FBI have borne out the same thing, though whether it works or not isn't relevant. If firearms frighten you, don't buy or carry one. But that's you, and only you.

"and the data from the years after his book was published invalidated his original conclusions."

That is an incorrect statement.

Fen said...

"A well educated electorate being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and read books, shall not be infringed."

Seven Machos said...

Fred -- Stricter gun control means an increase in gun-related crime.

Omaha1 said...

Twas not a gun which caused this loved one's death
No evil weapon ended life and breath
Nor was it laws, permitting ownership
Of firearms or extra ammo clip
It was a man, who, having no respect
For law nor decency, his will unchecked
By mere morality, unrestrained, he
Brought grief to civilized society.
The hands of one so lacking simple grace
Might still caress a child's trusting face
Yet emptiness resides within his soul,
He lacks some quality that makes us whole.

AJ Lynch said...

Bissage said:

"For the uninitiated, “Straw Dogs” is a must rent.........It is exactly why I keep a triggered bear trap above the fireplace mantle and it is exactly why I keep a pot of boiling oil on the stove at all times. You never know."

Bissage -are you in advertising? Cause what you wrote makes me want to rent this movie and learn how to protect my homestead even better. Thanks for the tips.

SteveR said...

Ah the lovely Ms. George. In Sam Peckinpah's world the choice is easy. Alas this is an issue where facts and opinions are firmly planted in all directions.

Flail away while I think about Susan. I only have so much time so I am keeping my priorities in order.

Jimmy said...

"Let's be honest: Although there are many fine officers in the police department, there's a simple test. Call Domino's Pizza or the police, and time which one gets there first"

I'm sory but private isn't always better than public. Where I live the police show up within 5 minutes of calling 911. Dominos always takes 30 minutes minimum.

Fen said...

Still, many horrible things can happen in that 5 minutes.

The Drill SGT said...

I live across the river in Virginia. we have much more liberal gun laws, but also have a minimum 5 year add on sentence for any crime where a gun is used. The result is that we have much less gun crime even in our poorer urban areas than the upper end DC precincts. The difference? Criminals know that your average DC homeowner does not have a weapon. only the police and criminals have weapons in DC. and there is a huge amount of gun crime.

I have grandpa's 12 gauge pump, even without shells, I doubt anyone is going to call me on it, if I rack it back in the dark at the top of the stairs. If anyone then proceeds up the stairs, then they already intended death and mayhem anyway.

Tully said...

The police don't have to cook and box a pizza first...

C'mon, fen, you know that only applies to registered electors, not the people at large! THEY have NO right to read books.

I personally think it scares the hell out of liberals that the conservatives have most of the guns. :-)

joated said...

Omaha1 for Poet Laureate!

I forget whio said it but "An armed society is a polite society."

Only 5 minutes for the police to get there? That's a miracle! Didn't know you could drive anywhere in D.C.in 5 minutes. Even in a police car with the sirens wailing.

Even so, in 5 minutes our whole family could be dead. If you need to have someone else responsible for your safety...your NOT safe.

Jeff said...

Here's an even simpler test: if Domino's won't deliver pizza to your neighborhood, then the police aren't doing their job and you should probably own a gun!

Bissage said...

AJ,

Not advertising but law, which is something of a personal failure considering my childhood ambition was to grow up to be in advertising just like Darren Stevens.

I thought a career in advertising would be bewitching.

Bissage said...

P.S. I hope I didn't annoy anyone back there too much when I said "triggered" bear trap.

That's the best way I could think of to say "opened up with the latch set so it was ready to snap shut if something activated the latch release mechanism."

So, "triggered" it was!

*snap.*

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Jeff said...
Molôn Labé!


You Rang?...heh

Freder Frederson said...

Fred -- Stricter gun control means an increase in gun-related crime.

Oh right. That's why New York's and Chicago's crime rates crime rates dropped precipitously in the '90s and early 2000's. They repealed their gun control law. And of course New Orleans has such a high crime and murder rate today (it's murder rate is 30% higher than any other city in the country) because of the draconian gun control laws it has recently passed. And all the states with more lax gun laws and shall issue laws have lower crime rates than those without.

Except of course none of that is true. Gun hating Massachusetts has about the same crime rate (and a much lower murder rate) as gun-lovin' North Carolina, and a much lower rate than pistol packin' states like Florida and Texas. Hawaii, with some of the most draconian statewide gun control laws in the country, has one of lowest overall crime rates. In fact all the states with crime rates over 600/100,000 (for 2004) are gun-friendly states (AK, LA, MD, NM, TN, SC, NV). Only DC is the exception.

Freder Frederson said...

Forgot FL too.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
August said...

Freder, MD isn't all that gun friendly and if how do you explain the cowboys in TX and UT having a low rate?

Freder Frederson said...

MD isn't all that gun friendly and if how do you explain the cowboys in TX and UT having a low rate?

The contention was that stricter gun control leads to a rise in crime, even if the opposite were true, it wouldn't prove the original contention. And the statistics don't even bear out your point. Of the two states you picked, UT does have a very low crime and murder rate, but Texas? Are you serious man? 541/100,000 overall violent crime rate with a murder rate of 5.1 is pretty damn bad (worse than NY--442 and 4.6-- or MA--459 and 2.6).

Freder Frederson said...

And what's really funny is that Texas and DC have comparable rates of property crime. One would think that burglars in TX would be afraid of all the gun-toting Texans while they would be running roughshod over the poor defenseless unarmed citizens of DC.

Seven Machos said...

New York, DC, and Chicago have the highest murder rates and the strictest gun laws. Period. The fact that the rates fluctuate doesn't mean that they still aren't the highest.

Also, crime rates generally have dropped, including murder rates. Draconian sentencing and broken windows has a lot more to do with drops in crime rates generally -- including murder rates -- than does strict gun control.

Gun control doesn't work. As an added bonus, it's a complete political loser.

hdhouse said...

ohhh i was sure that the second amendment boys would pile on this one and woowoo i was right. typical is the foolishness of

Gahrie said...
1) For centuries, European ruling elites prohibted the possession of weapons in order to protect themselves from a popular uprising. The Founding Fathers knew this, and that's why the protected the right of the individual to own weapons, to allow the citizenry to oppose tyranny.

2) The "wild" west was not as violent as folklore and the movies would have you believe. People's behavior becomes much more courteous when you know everyone is packing.

3) Gun control never works, it just disarms the innocent and turns them into victims. Crime goes down when concealed and open carry laws are passed."

Oh lord, were do we begin. Of course

1. The well regulated militia...well let's just forget that part of it....here you have a bunch of strict constructionists who hang on every word of the amendments trying to wring the last bit of original meaning out of them...and pooof...well, let's just ignore that.

2. "everyone is packing"....another idiotic observation. throughout history "everyone wasn't packing"...gun ownership wasn't as common as it was rare and for walking around with the 6 gun...geeeze way way way too many b-westerns.

3. This is my favorite. "Gun control never works"....and what is the death rate by guns in say ALL of EUROPE v. all of TEXAS? Care to guess?

The foolishness and the outright distortions presented by the 2nd amendment crackpots is just awesum in its complexity and design.

luagha said...

While I could rhapsodize on this topic from a number of different angles, my current scientific musing goes like this:

Gun control laws are proven to either have no effect on the crime rate, or to increase it.

Relaxation of gun control laws within rational limits (as in, generally law-abiding citizens have an easy time legally getting guns) is proven to either have no effect on the crime rate or to decrease it.

I don't get it; it seems obvious to me. You can dispute Lott all you want but there isn't any data out there that shows other than the above - if there is please send it along.

dick said...

Freder,

Then explain the problems in Philly and Boston with their draconian gun laws. As soon as the gun laws went into effect, the crime rate with guns went sky high. And Boston is now planning another "buy the guns" policy - the criminals will love that one. They will get to buy all those $25 guns and trade them in for $40. Meanwhile the city of Boston is fighting a losing battle with the criminals and shootings all over the city.

Freder Frederson said...

New York, DC, and Chicago have the highest murder rates and the strictest gun laws. Period

Simply not true. DC does have a very high murder rate. New York over the last ten years has been one of the safest major cities in the country. Chicago has been somewhere in the higher crime cities, but never the worst, although it has had great improvements in the last couple years. In 2005 DC had the 4th highest rate, Chicago the 19th (Nashville, Dallas, and Houston were 16, 17 & 18), and New York was all the way down at 49th. Honolulu, with its strict gun control, had the lowest murder rate. New Orleans was probably spared the top spot by Katrina.

This year New Orleans (which usually has a very high murder rate) is head and shoulders above all other cities.

Freder Frederson said...

Then explain the problems in Philly and Boston with their draconian gun laws. As soon as the gun laws went into effect, the crime rate with guns went sky high.

Provide some statistics or I will assume you are just bullshitting like seven machos and his assertions re DC, Chicago and New York.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder,

You are the one pushing deprivation of rights in trade for security. It is up to you to justify these laws, not the other way around.

This case revolved around the D.C. making it almost impossible to own a handgun in your own home there. Somehow it was assummed that the District would somehow be safer when the people were disarmed in their own homes.

It is up to you, given the case here, to show us why they were right.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Provide some statistics or I will assume you are just bullshitting like seven machos and his assertions re DC, Chicago and New York.

Freder has denied any statistics provided, and that any studies that refute his point, like those of Lott, have been discredited.

It is pretty easy to argue like Freder does. Denying anything any one else says, but never provide any proof or statistics of his own.

So, Freder, provide those statistics and studies, or I will assume that you are doing what you accuse everyone else of doing, bullshitting.

Seven Machos said...

You know what, Fred? You are right. I forgot to add Detroit and Philadelphia and other major cities with draconian gun laws that have huge murder and gun-related crime problems.

Bruce Hayden said...

"1. The well regulated militia...well let's just forget that part of it....here you have a bunch of strict constructionists who hang on every word of the amendments trying to wring the last bit of original meaning out of them...and pooof...well, let's just ignore that."

Let me suggest that before parroting second and third hand nonsense, you read the relevant case that we are talking about. The court spent a lot of time demolishing your point here, and if you want to argue it, you need to start with their opinion, not some stuff about strict constructionists. Also, Eugene Volokh has any number of articles on this very subject that you can get to from his UCLA law school site via his blog. (Ok, I will admit some incest here, as he was cited in the opinion).

2. "everyone is packing"....another idiotic observation. throughout history "everyone wasn't packing"...gun ownership wasn't as common as it was rare and for walking around with the 6 gun...geeeze way way way too many b-westerns."

Yes and no. People weren't running around the Wild West with six shooters on their hips. But almost everyone was armed, and knew how to use their guns.

One of the best examples of this was when the James Gang rode into town and got shot up by the townspeople.

Prior to the Civil War, gun ownership was common, but not ubiquitous. But those who didn't know how to use guns learned then, and taught their kids. So, at least throughout the second half of the 19th Century, long gun ownership was quite high, esp. here west of the Mississippi where it was almost universal.

As for that famous study a couple of years ago that purported to show that gun ownership in Colonial days was low, it was totally debunked. The author apparently used estate records from courthouses that had burned down decades earler, etc. In short, none of his research could be reproduced. None. He apparently picked it out of thin air.

"3. This is my favorite. "Gun control never works"....and what is the death rate by guns in say ALL of EUROPE v. all of TEXAS? Care to guess?"

And that is relevant how?

We have some quarter of a billion guns in this country right now, and I saw a study a week or so ago that some 95% (or was it 99%) of the guns used in crimes were acquired illegally.

You realize, of course, that every time an automatic weapon has been used (with apparently one exception) in a crime in this country over the last half century, the gun was first imported illegally, then sold illegally, and finally, possessed illegally?

AlaskaJack said...

Hey HD and Freder, you guys convinced me about guns and crime. I'm so psyched up now that I'm gonna hang a sign in my front window for all to see and it's gonna read:

THIS IS A GUN-FREE HOME!!

Boy, once those those burglars, robbers and home invaders see this, they'll run for cover.

You guys should follow suit. Make sure you make the letters real big so that you can read it from the street. Better yet, I'll sell you a sign for $500. The protection is well worth the price.

Daryl Herbert said...

“Straw Dogs” is a must rent absolutely brimming with valuable life lessons

I will rent it, but I won't promise to learn anything.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder has denied any statistics provided, and that any studies that refute his point, like those of Lott, have been discredited.

Umm, nobody on this thread has provided statistics except me. All you gun-rights supporters have just made a bunch of unsupported statements and outright lies ("New York, DC, and Chicago have the highest murder rates and the strictest gun laws. Period").

As for Lott, he has been shown to be a liar and a charlatan. Just because he uses the court system in an attempt to shut up people who disagree with him doesn't change the fact that his original research was shoddy, some if it possibly fabricated. That even if it was accurate, the conclusions drawn from it were not statistically sound. Furthermore, the drop in crime nationwide, and particularly in cities like New York, subsequent to his study, demonstrate that the correlation he found between loosening of gun laws and crime rates were illusory.

Freder Frederson said...

You realize, of course, that every time an automatic weapon has been used (with apparently one exception) in a crime in this country over the last half century, the gun was first imported illegally, then sold illegally, and finally, possessed illegally?

And this is a good argument for even less regulation of firearms how?

hdhouse said...

AlaskaJack said...
Hey HD and Freder, you guys convinced me about guns and crime. I'm so psyched up now that I'm gonna hang a sign in my front window for all to see and it's gonna read:

THIS IS A GUN-FREE HOME!!"


Ahhh a droll NRA respondent...I have some suggestions for you as "Gun Free Home" seems a bit crazy...

"This is a funfree gunfree home?"
"Check firearms and brains at the door"
"I may be braindead but I won't be disarmed"
"People don't kill kids, guns do"

and Freder....you will notice that these NRA toadies are so full of misinformation and made up statistics that even LaPierre would envy them.

Johnny Ringo said...

"1. The well regulated militia...well let's just forget that part of it....here you have a bunch of strict constructionists who hang on every word of the amendments trying to wring the last bit of original meaning out of them...and pooof...well, let's just ignore that."

Let's not "just forget that part of it", Bruce. I won't even "hang on every word of the amendment".

Instead, let's look at the US Code here.

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.


Exemptions here.

I'm not a lawyer, and I do not work in law... but this appears to be extremely clear.

Every man between 17 and 45 is automatically a part of the militia unless they are exempt... which isn't the majority if you read the exemptions linked above.

If you want to get just "forget that part of it", then you're "forgetting" that a great number of us are actually in the unorganized militia already, albeit unknowingly. According to the 2nd Amendment & the U.S. Code, we are specified as those having the right to both keep and bear arms.

That's not nitpicking, that's how the US Code & SA are written.

To, as you would say, "hang on every word", every place in the Bill of Rights where the phrase "of the people" is uttered, it's accepted to mean "all US citizens". The only place where there seems to be any disagreement about that is with the SA & the anti-gun people's interpretation of the SA. They want to claim that only the militia (who in their opinion is only the National Guard) has the right to keep and bear arms.

THAT seems like nitpicking to me.

-JR

Johnny Ringo said...

GREAT POSTING ASSHOLE. HOW ABOUT WOMEN? YOUR CITE IS SPECIFIC TO MEN.

Wow hd. That's some rage issue you have there. I still don't see where it ever mentions women, other than those in the Guard in your newer link. 312 is still worded in the exact same manner. Don't blame me for that... I've even made note of the omission of women on my own site and stated how that needed to be fixed. This had nothing to do with me, because I didn't write it the way it is written. I just commented based upon the info actually in the US Code.

What about being 18 to purchase a gun "legally"?

Being 18 to purchase a gun appears to be a law passed by those not following the Constitution and US Code. As I've stated before, I am not a lawyer. I'd expect one to set me right if I were mistaken though, especially since we're on a law blog.

How do you square that claptrap with a number of states who make restrictions above 17? What about men over 45?

Yet more insults directed at me for the document's contents. My 'claptrap', as you so eloquently put it, 'squares it' by stating the law as written. What part of comprehending the US Code is so difficult for you? I never even attempted to go into state laws, but I'd think if they conflict with the Code's intentions that there is a problem to be addressed... like we're seeing in DC.

Honestly, how do you get so upset about my bringing the US Code and it's contents to people's attention? The only thing I could possibly guess is that the facts scare the hell out of you. Sorry, hd. I wasn't aiming to offend, only to add some facts to a debate... not spewing insults at people who disagree with my opinion.

You might want to give that a whirl sometime.

-JR

hdhouse said...

no insults johnny ringo....just a friendly reminder that your us code cite deals with federal control over state militias as in the president ordering an armed Arkansas national guard into Little Rock as the well regulated militia is under state control generally...i'm sure you just left that part out by accident.

Johnny Ringo said...

Actually, I was only showing the definition of the two types of militia recognized by the federal government. I wasn't trying to show who was in control of the militia, only that there is a large portion of our society actually in the militia. I did that for the benefit of those who like to claim that the SA gives the right to keep and bear arms to the militia only. Even if that argument is used, there are still millions who do have the right to keep and bear arms, per the Code & the SA.

I truly believe that the best law to curb violent crimes with guns is the one that automatically tacks on extra years for using a gun in a crime. It only punishes criminals, and it doesn't make more criminals out of the lawful because someone wants to own a gun.

-JR

Charles said...

DC should pray that it becomes Dodge City circa 1800's

Dodge City, Kansas, only exceeded five (5) shooting deaths in a single year (1876).