Thursday, May 05, 2005

Be Careful With That Gun
We send our heartfelt thanks to Your Philosophy Sucks for calling our attention to the dissenting opinion in the United States Court Of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refusal to grant a rehearing en banc regarding SILVEIRA v. LOCKYER authored by Judge Alex Kozinski.

From the Keep and Bear Arms website dedicated to the case we learn: "Silveira v. Lockyer was filed in the Eastern District Court in California in the year 2000, by California attorney Gary Gorski. It argues for the individual right of the people to keep and bear arms under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. The case seeks to overturn California's arbitrary ban on semi-automatic rifles -- a gun ban based on the ergonomic and safety features the firearms possess.

The dissent referenced by YPS led to a Supreme Court petition which was denied in November of 2003 from what we can tell. Now, there isn't an attorney among us (say, maybe that's why we got picked up by The Washington Post before Hugh Hewitt has ever linked to us once), but the six dissenting Judges on the en banc appeal seem to be trying to tell us something as well as his peers on the Court.

Judge Kozinski seems to think that the majority has fallen prey to a delusion -- "popular in some circles -- that ordinary people are too careless and stupid to own guns, and we would be far better off leaving all weapons in the hands of professionals on the government payroll." Hear. Hear. Wait, there is more -- "But the simple truth -- born of experience -- is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people." Now, that makes sense to us.

The good Judge goes on to identify instances within U.S. history when such a right was necessary for the survival of citizens of the United States and highlights how the elimination of this right abroad allowed tyranny to have its way with its newly unarmed citizenry. We've talked about this issue before here and here and it's not our intention to rehash those arguments. We just want you to be aware of what is going on in your beloved US of A.

Take a look at the YPS post. They've got links to all the pertinent data. You should download the full set of dissents in this pdf file and read them. And, if you joined the NRA like we told you to do before -- come on join already, it's not that expensive ($35 for one year) -- you would have read President Kayne Robinson's explanation of why all these little fights must be fought and won.

You can read his note here and get a full view of how these little laws and regulations reduce the number of gun owners in a population until they are a minority -- like smokers -- who nobody has to listen to anymore. They did just this in the U.K. Enough said. Go buy a gun. Join the NRA. If you already own a gun, get a permit to carry the thing and carry it.

If you're worried about the gun getting into the wrong hands or your kids -- buy a gun safe and lock it up with plenty of ammunition for the day you need it. Our prayer is that you never have to open the safe. But, not all of our prayers get answered in the affirmative.

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