Breathing is Reason Enough

Once again, DC’s leaders are told that they too must do more than provide a nod to the US Constitutions’s much maligned Second Amendment.

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a key provision of the District’s new gun law is probably unconstitutional, ordering D.C. police to stop requiring individuals to show “good reason” to obtain a permit to carry a firearm on the streets of the nation’s capital.
“The enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table,” Leon wrote in a 46-page opinion, quoting a 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision in 2008 in another District case that established a constitutional right to keep firearms inside one’s home.

Not that this will stop those who believe that freedom is other people doing what they instruct them to, but it’s a bright spot nonetheless.

Crazy in California

Court says that carrying a gun which is hidden from sight is considered “open carry.” (No word on whether it’s now a violation of open container laws in the same state to transport sealed alchoholic beverage containers.)

This particular case seems a bit less than cut and dried, given the stated precedents, but the truth comes right at the end

Deputy District Attorney Scott Collins, who represented the prosecution, said California courts have recognized that the goal of all firearms laws was “simply to enhance public safety.”

Talk about outta sight …. Remember, it’s not the result that matters, just the good intentions.

Czech out those Finns!

I know, I know. But it’s been at least a 4 hours since my last pun. In truth, this isn’t at all funny. It would seem that the EU is all in favor of making it hard for criminals to get firearms, though the firearms used in the recent terror attacks in France were not acquired legally, to the best of my knowledge. Nonetheless, the EU unwilling to let facts get in the way of passing more laws:

Europe is trying to make it harder for weapons to end up in the hands of terrorists. Hence, the European Commission’s November 18 call for a stronger coordinated European approach to control the use of weapons and fight against the trafficking of firearms.

The Commission proposes amending the EU Firearms Directive to make it more difficult to acquire firearms in the Member States. The EU Firearms Directive defines the rules under which private persons can acquire and possess weapons, as well as the transfer of firearms to another EU country.

Remember, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution came about because of a precursor to the EU Firearms Directive (aka King George).

However two countries, Finland and the Czech Republic, oppose the stricter measures, arguing that their unique national policy would be detrimentally affected as a result.

“We support the directive, but we have a national defence-related concern that should be resolved over the course of the process,” said Finland’s Interior Minister Petteri Orpo after the November 20 meeting in Brussels.

Finland and the Czech Republic have both submitted their reservations about the proposed amendments to the EU. The Czech Republic has a long history of permissive gun control, permitting citizens to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense.

Sweden has also said it would have difficulty accepting a decision that would limit the kinds of firearms people can use for hunting, a concern Finland also shares.

Finland is known for Sako, maker of Sako and Tikka firearms. The Czech Republic is known for CZ. I don’t currently own any Sako made weapons, but I do have a CZ or so. In light of this, I believe it would be good to invest in some Finnish hardware.

Despite what these two countries may do, the truth is that such a move is likely to cause some EU residents to feel safer, but it will do nothing to actually make anyone safer. Stopping the transplantation of the goodly portion of the Middle East population to the EU would actually increase safety, but doing that would require far more work by the EU leadership–work which it is currently unable to countenance.

3 Things The President Got Wrong on Guns

Our peripatetic president shared a few thoughts yesterday on shootings, violence and gun laws. In the space of less than 2 minutes, he managed to get at least the following completely (empirically) wrong. No, this is not a question of politics or perspective. It is a matter of hard data.

  • Strike 1: “Our levels of gun violence are off the charts.” Except that the country’s own
    Department of Justice has noted that gun violence levels were at a 20-year low last year. No reasonable person would find that view that as “off the charts.” Gun-related homicides dropped by 39% and gun-related crimes of other sorts dropped by 69%. Just what kind of chart are you talking about, Mr. President?
  • Strike 2: “[We need everyone to wants to buy a gun to] go through a fairly rigorous process so we know who you are, so that you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semi-automatic weapon.” Mr. Obama obviously borrowed that shotgun, rather than buying it, or he would be intimately familiar with a 4473: a form that everyone who purchases a gun from a dealer (aka “store”) must fill out before having a background check run on him/her by the federal government.
  • Strike 3: “[Since they put a number of tough gun laws in place, Australians] haven’t had a mass shooting.” Well, the new laws went into force in 1996. In the time-honored tradition of the Clintons, we could argue about the definition of “mass.” Or, we could talk about the murders at a college in 2002. And another in 1999. Not to mention the mass slayings by non-gun methods (the most common seeming to be by fire).

Other than that, I though the president presented a well-thought out, cogent argument against citizens owning guns.