Wyoming and 18 states defend 2nd Amendment against New Jersey, federal courts

From FNC:

19 states join legal fight against New Jersey’s concealed weapons law

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming is leading a coalition of 19 states asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let them submit a brief supporting a New Jersey man’s challenge to that state’s concealed weapons law.

The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, acting as lawyer for Wyoming and the other states, on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to grant a hearing to John M. Drake and others who are challenging a recent appeals court ruling.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last summer ruled against Drake’s challenge to a provision in New Jersey law that says people seeking permits to carry a concealed firearm must prove to police that they have a justifiable need. [Booo!]

The brief from Wyoming Attorney General’s Office says that Wyoming and the other states are concerned that if the appeals court ruling stands, it could threaten their less-restrictive concealed carry laws. [Booo!]

“This decision out of New Jersey impacts the right to keep and bear arms outside of the home,” Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said Wednesday. “So, I felt it was necessary to have the attorney general support a petition to the Supreme Court to hear this case.

“If the current decision stands, states providing greater protections than New Jersey under the Second Amendment may be pre-empted by future federal action,” said Mead, a Republican. [Booo!]

Wyoming is among the most pro-gun states in the nation. Although Wyoming still issues concealed carry permits to its citizens, the state in 2011 changed its laws to allow concealed carry without a permit.

Mead and other statewide officials this month approved $13 million in grants to help a Colorado producer of ammunition magazines for guns move its manufacturing operations to Wyoming. Magpul Industries of Erie, Colo., pledged to move out of Colorado after lawmakers in that state enacted gun control measures last year. [Hurray for Magpul!]

[...]

The Star-Ledger quoted Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, saying, “Law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to defend themselves beyond their front doorstep.” [Exactly.]

The other states joining in the effort are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. [If your state isn't on this list, perhaps you should make some phone calls.]

Yet another reason to appreciate Wyoming.

Speaking of Wyoming, if you are thinking about colleges, consider Wyoming Catholic College.  Click their ad on my sidebar.  When I was at the Legatus summit last week, I stopped at their display.  They still have this great t-shirt:

20140213-095437.jpg

And also speaking of Wyoming, when was the last time you refreshed your supply of …

[CUE MUSIC]

… Mystic Monk Coffee?

You know how it is, don’t you.  Every day you wake up, yawn, stretch and get out of bed thinking, “What did Pope Francis do this time that I am going to have to spend my day explaining?” Well, maybe that’s just the first thing I think.  What the rest of you out there think first off is, “What have those wacko liberals done to restrict my constitutional rights today?”  Right?  I’m right, aren’t I!

That’s when you pad off to the kitchen and make that first dose of strong coffee.

You’ll need that coffee, pal, because those liberals are crafty.  You need to stay alert.  You need to stay frosty.   Ohhhhh yes.  They’re coming for you and for your copies of the Constitution.  They know when you’ve been sleeping.  They know when your awake.  But unlike Santa, they take things away from you, like your civil liberties!   As a matter of fact, they’ve already sneaked into your house, no, slithered into your house and planted bugs in your phone and in your dog and in your …  your… coffee maker, too!  FIGHT BACK!  Just like the Devil hates holy water, liberals hate Mystic Monk Coffee.   Give ‘em a good solid punch in the nose each day when that fine dark roasted aroma spreads out into your living space and starts to interfere with their … their… secret liberal smello-technology bugging software device monitors and stuff.

Remember, it was a lack of Mystic Monk Coffee that brought down Tsar and caused the rise of Communism and eventually led to Notre Dame giving Pres. Obama an honorary doctorate!   In doctorate in LAW for pity’s sake!

And those same liberals are out there right now trying to take your coffee away!

The Carmelites have tea also, for those of you who like that sort of thing… even those goofy flavored teas.  Click HERE  It might be that a liberal will visit your house and you can offer her some herbal stuff with … eucalyptus in it.  That‘ll confuse them!  Heh heh.  She’ll wonder what you are really up to, but she’ll be so distracted by the chamomile and hibiscus flower that she’ll forget to tell her controllers where to find your stash of ammo.  ”Where’s that ammo!”, they ask her, but she’ll say, “Ummm… that Peaceful Monk infusion was so pleasant… maybe it’s okay for them to have ammo…. I dunno.”

You can get a grinder and also religious items and gifts through these traditional Carmelites out there in the wilds near Powell.  No liberals out there.  Nosiree.

And this month’s Coffee of the Month is…

Mystic Monk Coffee has been and remains swell and a great weapon in the fight against creeping liberalism.

Be a patriot!  Click now or lose your country forever!

And… have you ever noticed that WCC is CCW backwards?  Hmmm….

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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79 Responses to Wyoming and 18 states defend 2nd Amendment against New Jersey, federal courts

  1. Del says:

    I’m brewing some Mystic Monk Coffee right now!

    And thank you for reminding me: I have a young lady-friend who is studying at Wyoming Catholic College. She likes chocolate. Her roommate enjoys smoking pipe tobacco with a group of friends. I promised to send them some chocolate and samples of premium pipe tobaccos from my collection.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. OrthodoxChick says:

    Speaking of Wyoming Catholic College, does anyone know if their property will be safe from the federal government’s land grab of 1 million acres going on in nearby Riverton?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/12/wyoming-officials-prepare-for-court-fight-against-epa-ruling-that-gave-land-to/?intcmp=latestnews

  3. Andrew Mason says:

    Curious: Why do some conservatives think that it should be harder to get a fishing license than a firearm license (or that firearm licenses shouldn’t even be necessary)? [Could it have something to do with the 2nd Amendment?] Why do some people think that felons should be permanently banned from voting, but allowed to carry a deadly firearm anywhere they please? [You see, there you did it. You are allowing your ignorance of the issue to show. Who told you that felons are given CCW licenses? When you apply for a license or seek to buy a handgun, a criminal background check is made. As a matter of fact, yesterday I sent in paperwork for a Florida non-resident license. I had to go to the local sheriff's department for electronic fingerprinting to be sent to the FBI, etc. Keep in mind that the bad guys who don't give a damn about laws will carry a weapon anyway. So... you, friend, will be the one at their mercy.] As a resident of New Jersey there are plenty of things that I dislike about our politics (many of which will be everywhere else soon enough, thanks for the courts), but not having to worry that the guy I’m fighting with over a parking space is an armed felon and the cops won’t be able to stop him until he’s already shot me dead isn’t one of them. There are plenty of limits to constitutional rights, such as the oft-mentioned “no yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater’ thing,” and I don’t see why this shouldn’t be one of them. This isn’t the Wild West. [In some ways and in some places it is worse than the Wild West. And this comment is a little hard to take seriously.]

  4. I’m surprised Idaho isn’t on this list. Idaho has more guns per capita than any other state in the Union.

  5. Theodore says:

    @ Miss Anita at 10:59 am. So am I. I will send an email to Atty Gen Wasden to see what’s up. As to @Andrew’s question, there is no constitutional right to fish, there is a constitutional right of the people to keep (at home) and bear (outside of home) arms. As mentioned Idaho has a high incidence of weapon ownership and low rates of crime, which seem to be driven more by demographics than gun ownership. Vide, http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Boise-City-Idaho.html

  6. Theodore says:

    “Your comments have been submitted to the Attorney General.
    Today’s Date: Thursday, February 13, 2014
    Your message:
    Dear Gen Wasden, Is there any plan to join Wyoming and other states in the below referenced litigation? http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/13/1-states-join-legal-fight-against-new-jersey-concealed-weapons-law/?intcmp=latestnews Sincerely, T. Roosevelt, MD”

  7. Andrew Mason says:

    There is a constitutional right to vote, and yet many of the states that have lax or no gun registry requirements are the same ones that want to require everything short of first-hand testimony from your mother’s OB/GYN in order to vote. I’d personally prefer to see felons voting to having them walk into my place of employment with a concealed weapon. [There you go again about the felons. One track mind, I see.]

    You are correct that the “low rates of crime” in lax gun law states are more about demographics than those laws. I cringe to think how much worse Camden, Trenton and Newark, not to mention smaller cities and high-crime towns, will get if every gang member and potential bank robber [You, sir, are a 'potential' bank robber.] can carry a gun without so much as a second look from law enforcement. [You have this weird idea that CCW laws permit convicted criminals to carry guns anywhere they please. Does that even make sense? You seem to have the idea that were the states to have no CCW licenses, people intent on committing crimes would suddenly say, "Gee, no CCW rights here. I guess I had better get rid of my weapons now." You have got to be putting us on. HA! Good one.]

  8. Clinton says:

    Andrew Mason, I suspect that felons will be carrying concealed firearms regardless of
    whether or not the state of New Jersey gives them its OK. Most felons are felons because
    they don’t care what the law says. The question is– in that situation, would you like to
    have the option to carry?

  9. AvantiBev says:

    Wow, Mr. Mason. As a 50+ year resident of Chi Town, I assure you those gang bangers DO have weapons. They don’t honor anti-conceal carry laws any more than they do drug laws or laws against murder, arson, robbery. Perhaps Trenton and Newark have kinder-gentler fluffy bunny gangs but our thugs in Chicago have NEVER let gun laws get in their way of terrorizing the rest of the unarmed population.

  10. AvantiBev says:

    And, Mr. Mason, showing a picture I.D. such as a drivers’ license or state issued I.D. is hardly comparable to your mother’s obstetrician testifying. Again Chicago invented the Walking Dead walking into the precinct polling place to vote. I was a poll watcher and my Mom used to be an election judge. MY RIGHT to vote and is compromised if someone shows up at the polls claiming to be me.

  11. Priam1184 says:

    @Andrew Mason Are you really so certain that the guy you’re fighting with over a parking spot isn’t an armed felon? Last time I checked felons tend to be people who don’t have all that much respect for the law whatever it is…

  12. Elizabeth D says:

    The pro handgun stuff does not belong on Catholic blogs. We do not need handguns to be part of our everyday life. [When your hate mail starts to include pictures of where you live, get back to me on that.] I really sincerely think this is unfortunate and reflects poorly and will tend to make people wary of us.

    [May I suggest that you calm yourself with a nice cup of herbal tea from Mystic Monk?]

  13. Andrew Mason says:

    @Priam: I’m not certain that he’s a felon, but I think that he’s less likely to be carrying here than in a state where he’s assumed to be doing so legally. Felons may not respect the law, but at least some of them respect its consequences and I’d prefer the cops being able to arrest him for having the gun to having to wait to be shot before they can intervene. Also, plenty of non-felons can be violent. Think about all the road rage and domestic violence incidents in our nation, and then think about how many of them would end worse if those involved were armed.

    @Elizabeth: Fr. Z includes plenty of non-Catholic stuff on his blog, such as guns and immigration and economic policy, and that’s his right. I console myself with the fact that most Catholics aren’t as far to the right as he is on these issues, including those like myself who are reliably conservative on the religious issues.

  14. lisebaur says:

    It seems like a Ron Paul quote is in order here: “Without the 2nd amendment, there is no 1st Amendment.” … or any other amendment for that matter.

  15. Sonshine135 says:

    Nothing in the 2nd amendment states you have to have a need to own a firearm or carry one. The right to keep and bear arms will not be infringed. End of story. All laws infringing on these rights are unconstitutional.

  16. MarthainCanada says:

    Loved your coffee commercial! So funny. I hope Mystic Monk makes a Tassimo version soon.

    [I assume that is another method like K-Cups. Right?]

  17. Andrew Mason says:

    @lisebaur and Sonshine: is there any constitutional right that is unrestricted? Is is a violation of freedom of religion to prosecute people who kill others during so-called exorcisms? Does it violate freedom of assembly to arrest people during riots, or do you violate a person’s freedom of association by illegalizing gangs? As for the Ron Paul quote, I’m not sure how much good your firearm would do if the President sent the military against your religious group. Unless, of course, you think that people should have the constitutional right to keep and bear tanks and cruise missiles. In an era of drone strikes and “shock and awe,” the idea that you need firearms to protect against tyrrany is quaint. [And the idea of not resisting tyranny is repulsive.] Obama could incinerate you without sending a single soldier within a thousand miles of your location. [Your solution would be to lie down and let the State do whatever it wants to you. Did I get that right? HERE ]

  18. Kathleen10 says:

    @ElizabethD. Really? It is unfortunate really, it truly does make me sad, that these disturbing topical issues have to be part of our lives now, I get your point about it being discussed on a Catholic blog. Sad, isn’t it. I think so too. But these are not incidental goings on, not our usual political or sociological situations. What we have now is a real threat to the physical security of Americans, a huge breach in the respect for our Constitutional boundaries as heretofore always respected by our president and political leaders. We see open threats against the practice of our Catholic faith, where our own government has, for the first time, make a direct attack against our rights to religious freedom, and put Catholics, Catholic institutions, even NUNS, in a virtual headlock and they clearly don’t want to let go! We are assaulted and will be more so by gay activists who’s intent is to break the grip Catholicism and/or Christianity has on our entire culture, and they are backed up by our virulently anti-Christian government and all it’s tentacles. Our right to defend ourselves in our homes and elsewhere, our right not to have home invaders come in and do what they will, is being removed, piece by piece, by so called American political leaders. When they confiscate our guns, we are really and truly helpless. They know it, and we ought to know it. We cannot afford to be complacent, or pretend this is not the situation. It is a unique historic time. It is unprecedented in the U.S., but European nations know where this all leads. They have had to see it or it is part of their country’s history. We must learn from them and be proactive before it is too late to do anything about it. This is an issue for every American.
    As far as making people wary of Catholics because we might be legally carrying a gun, in my opinion, good! I’d rather have predators consider carefully before selecting a Catholic church or parishioner as a target if that is the byproduct of the defense of our Second Amendment rights. I don’t think defending our Second Amendment rights in a blog would lead to that kind of skittishness but it’s fine with me if it did. Anybody that silly is probably not going to “get” Catholicism anyway, and we need people with spines and courage because true Catholicism is not going to get easier, it is going to get much more difficult. It would be easy to go along and pretend this is not the case but I thank Fr. Z. for not pretending, and for doing what he can to inform us as we trot along this merry path.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  19. Andrew Mason says:

    @AvantiBev: I’m not saying the gang members aren’t carrying illegal weapons, I’m saying that I like that the cops can arrest them for possession without having to wait for them to shoot up the store I’m in. As for voter ID laws being easy, tell that to older African Americans who never received a birth certficate and all those who would have to forego needed things to afford a driver’s license. [Did you know that the NRA helped black people defend themselves from the KKK when the local law agencies were sometimes on the KKK's side?] I work in a bank, and I see plenty of people whose only ID is from county social services. Frankly, I feel like my right to work would be “compromised” by having to worry that every customer who thought that I had done their transaction wrong could walk in, right past a cop, and shoot me in the face. [Yes, someone who is deranged could do that. But that deranged person isn't likely to be concerned about the law. Furthermore, if that deranged person wants to shoot everyone else in the store, she'll be able to, because - unless the cop is there in that moment - no one else will be able to stop her. People who want to hurt people go to places where they know there won't be any guns. By banning guns from your store, you make your customers less safe. So, I hope you have a LEO there at all times during your business hours.]

  20. Andrew Mason says:

    In response to comments from Fr. Z on a previous comment: the article linked to originally indicates that Wyoming doesn’t require a permit for concealed carry. How can they do a background check if you don’t even need to let them know that you’re going to carry? Also, after the VTech shooting it was suggested that concealed carry be allowed on all college campuses in VA. I also recall proposed laws elsewhere that would have allowed concealed carry in government buildings and churches. If some places are still off limits to civilians with firearms, it is only because of anti-second amendment “liberals” and over the objection of the NRA.

    [You might want to look at Wyoming's laws HERE. They make sense to me. Legal residents can carry without a permit unless they don't qualify. They are not permitted by law to carry if they are felons, or convicted of certain misdemeanors, or have certified mental problems, etc. Whether or not those people will abide by the law or not is another question.]

  21. muerknz says:

    As a Catholic from another country (New Zealand) I find the American obsession [?]with civilians having hand-guns designed to shoot people [No... guns shoot bullets. You, not the gun, determines where the bullet goes.]very disturbing. [Why non-Americans use hyperbole in such an obtuse way is very disturbing.]Here in NZ you are not allowed to own a gun for self-defence, [Because strongly worded letters usually do the trick?]only for hunting, sport shooting, and with a special licence people can have gun collections. The American constitution is just a man made document, not Holy Writ. The political and technological reality of current military practice means that a well regulated militia couldn’t guarantee freedom against a modern standing army. [That settles the whole thing then, I guess. Just give in.] It’s not 1780 anymore; drone strikes, carpet bombing, missiles, and tanks would decimate a bunch of civilians with guns. There is no way a civilian militia could maintain a free State against professional soldiers equipped with the full arsenal of military technology. [HA! You've never been to Wisconsin.]

    Why a priest of Jesus Christ would be keen on owning a hand-gun for self-protection is beyond me. [And it might not even be any of your business! I'm just sayin'...]Perhaps Christ could have avoided all that painful crucifixion stuff if he’d carried a weapon to use in self-defence like St Peter. [Silly. In the meantime, I am sad that Mystic Monk doesn't ship to New Zealand. Some nice hot coffee might do you a world of good.]

  22. OrthodoxChick says:

    The new Glock video makes the point. Caveat: it includes a girl at home in a cami and Daisy Dukes):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2gCFOtaZPo

  23. Kathleen10 says:

    I don’t know what kind of gated community or nirvana people are sometimes living in, wherever it is I wish I and my whole family lived there, but in our neck of the woods, there is crime. Real crime. I’m talking, woman and daughters followed home by rapist-murderers who then commit the unthinkable against them. Or a nice young man walking home from his workplace not bothering anyone and being jumped by a gang of thugs who stab him to death because they “were bored”. Do you live in this world too? I have a news bulletin for some people here.
    THE POLICE CANNOT BE COUNTED ON TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES. ["Why do you carry a gun?", he asked. "Because a cop is too heavy."]
    I know that’s shocking to some people but there it is. What the police DO is show up afterward, put tape around your dead body, and try to figure out which one of your relatives did it or who was the deranged random maniac in your vicinity who did it and why. This process sometimes takes time and you will be too dead to care much about the findings. Your survivors will be interested as well as your immediate community.
    It takes a criminal about five minutes to get into your home, more or less. Do you have a cop standing in your driveway? If so you may have a chance. If not, you might want to consider doing something to protect yourself. Studies have shown that screaming and throwing shoes at a rapist/murderer have been proven ineffective.
    There is a great column in the NRA’s periodical, that you get when you become a member and support the primary organization fighting these gun grabbing liberals. It gives real examples of real Americans who defended themselves against real threats by real criminals. Sometimes it is little old ladies who pulled the old switcheroo on thugs by shooting off a round of shot and thereby likely saving their own precious lives. Why should a thug be able to just waltz into your home or the home of some innocent person and be able to steal and create mayhem or murder? See that’s the difference. I don’t think they should be able to. You either think they should be able to, or not prevented from doing so. To me, and others who care deeply about our Second Amendment rights and see them as very worth protecting, we disagree. That there are so many uninformed and what appears to be very naive people who do not yet fathom why all this matters, it is just incredible. You also clearly have alot more confidence in the good intentions of our own government than seems sensible despite all the signs to the contrary. Anyway, God forbid crime should ever come to you personally, but if it does, I hope and pray before that time you have actually educated yourself on this topic, and done something concrete to protect yourself and your family. At least please allow those of us who don’t need an anvil to land on our heads to take note of the necessity of being proactive about our Constitutional rights and the right to defend ourselves if it comes to it. Women especially ought to be sensitive to this issue, as we are the primary victims of many types of crimes. Gun permit registration to responsible, law abiding women is through the roof nationally. Apparently there are millions of American women who comprehend the situation accurately.

  24. Andrew Mason says:

    Fr. Z: my solution would be to stop using “resistance to tyranny” as a reason to bear arms, which makes about as much sense as warding off a tiger with a damp paper towel. This isn’t the Civil War: any insurrection, even by an organized “militia,” would find itself taken down quickly and brutally with few if any military deaths and no risk to the established order. The response to that is to pursue every avenue at our disposal to change things politically, or if that fails to die like martyrs rather than traitors. [Traitors? So anything the State does is okay. Got it. You seem to be very much the statist.] Do you wish that St. Stephen had had a Glock, or Jesus an Uzi? [This is now silly. And I remind the readers of Luke 22:36.]

  25. OrthodoxChick says:

    muerknz,

    I realize that I and a few of my neighbors and kin are no match for a drone or the National Guard. I don’t fear a drone strike while living among my liberal brethren because a strike would take them out too. Hence, they might think twice before droning their own. But a home invasion by another private citizen is more than quite likely, and in that circumstance, I can and will defend myself. My right to do so is constitutionally protected, as is my right to protect myself and my family from a carjacking or other attack while we’re out going about our business.

    Why that same constitutional right wouldn’t also include priests and nuns is beyond me.

  26. muerknz: It was not Christ’s intent to avoid crucifixion (which was a part of the plan of salvation). But I sense that Fr. Z does hope to avoid being maimed or shot in his own home. I tend to feel that way myself.[And it would grieve me to learn that any of my readers were harmed by nefarious ne'er-do-wells either in their homes or out and about. It seems to me that women, especially, should have an equalizer that can help them ward off aggression.]

  27. Andrew Mason says:

    @OrthodoxChick: Think about this: lax gun laws may protect your ability to defend yourself (unless the perps are prepared, and get the drop on you, at which point your guns are more useful to them than to you), but it also lets the criminal do every step of the crime up to shooting you without notice from the cops. As far as the cops are allowed to think, those guys walking up to your front door with AR-15s could just be selling newspaper subscriptions. You may like that the cops can’t assume that you’re carrying for criminal purposes, but that works in the criminal’s favor too.

  28. Kathleen10 says:

    I’m practicing “commentary restraint”. :) See? I’m even smiling.
    @muerknz…A Catholic priest does not, as far as I know, surrender his Constitutional rights the moment he is ordained. He still fully retains them as an American citizen.
    And America is not New Zealand.

  29. Clinton says:

    In an uncharacteristically off-the-script moment during the 2008 presidential campaign,
    Obama made a crack about middle-class Americans being ‘bitter’ and ‘clinging to guns and
    religion’. To me, that suggests that he sees those two constitutionally-guaranteed rights
    as (a) linked and (b) something to be done away with.

    Just saying.

    By the way, I live in Texas, and yes, I’ll be contacting my State Attorney General to see if we
    can’t add our state to the coalition of states defending the 2nd Amendment.

  30. Andrew Mason says:

    Fr. Z: “Legal residents can carry without a permit unless they don’t qualify.” Wow, talk about wishful thinking. How are the cops supposed to know who qualifies or who doesn’t? Do they stop people randomly and ask for their criminal or psych records? Do they just call everybody who doesn’t qualify periodically and ask if they possess a firearm? Basically, such a law creates an appearance of reasonable limitation while making enforcement impossible and facilitating the “prevention” of violent crime only after the fact. In practice, the concept of permits and background checks might as well not exist. [You have no clue that you are arguing against your own position. Law abiding people abide by just laws. Criminals and the deranged do not.]

  31. Sonshine135 says:

    @Andrew Mason
    Right are rights up an until they infringe on the rights of others. It’s the whole freedom incurs responsibility dynamic. If a riot breaks out, it results in the destruction of others property. If I yell “fire” in a crowded theater, it can result in injury to people and cause panic. Owning an AK-47, a Model 17, or carrying a .357 does not injure or infringe on the rights of others.

    Tyranny, by the way, is kept in check precisely because armed thugs do not know who owns firearms or how many are owned. Ever wonder why Hitler never invaded Switzerland? Look it up sometime.

  32. Theodore says:

    Speaking of the right to bear arms, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today invalidated California’s law which had the effect of severely restricting the ability to obtain a CCW permit by the average citizen. [Excellent!]

    To summarize the opinion:

    “The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Peruta v. San Diego, released minutes ago, affirms the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for lawful protection in public.

    California law has a process for applying for a permit to carry a handgun for protection in public, with requirements for safety training, a background check, and so on. These requirements were not challenged. The statute also requires that the applicant have “good cause,” which was interpreted by San Diego County to mean that the applicant is faced with current specific threats. (Not all California counties have this narrow interpretation.) The Ninth Circuit, in a 2-1 opinion written by Judge O’Scannlain, ruled that Peruta was entitled to Summary Judgement, because the “good cause” provision violates the Second Amendment. [EXACTLY.]

    The Court ruled that a government may specify what mode of carrying to allow (open or concealed), but a government may not make it impossible for the vast majority of Californians to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.” [Oorah!]

    Vide, this et seq: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/13/ninth-circuit-strikes-californias-restrictive-rule-against-licensed-carry-of-handguns/

  33. OrthodoxChick says:

    Andrew Mason,

    My response is similar to Sonshine135′s. Thugs and criminals are less likely to make trouble if they think everyone around them is armed too. They tend to prey on people who can’t defend themselves. That’s what makes them predatory. You’re more likely to see a shooting in a McDonald’s in California or NY where there are strict gun laws and unarmed patrons in the store. How many McDonalds in Wyoming have been held up? Probably few, if any, because any criminal who draws down there will find half a dozen barrels staring back at him – and he knows it.

    [I'm with Robert A. Heinlein on this one: "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life".]

  34. Andrew Mason says:

    @Sonshine: you don’t carry a firearm unless you at least theoretically plan to use it. If mere deterrance was intended, a prop gun would suffice. The constitution was written at a time long before the establishment of police departments, which by and large satisfy the needs for which the second amendment was written. Having a bunch of untrainedcpeople shooting wildly with rapid fire weapons does nobody any good.

    Hitler may well have avoided Switzerland because of guns, although I wonder if the NRA would accept mandatory gun training for all firearm owners. I also wonder if Hitler would have avoided the Swiss if he had been armed with drones.

  35. Andrew Mason says:

    @OrthodoxChick: you’re more likely to see gun crime in LA or NYC, but not necessarily in suburban areas. That’s the point: you can’t compare Casper to New York City because they’re completely different for reasons that have nothing to do with gun laws. There are lots of bank robberies in my suburban county, but few of them end in showing a gun even though we’re not allowed to be armed. Philly likely couldn’t say the same.

  36. incredulous says:

    Andrew,

    Vermont has no permitting. Period. Scare you?

    The biggest mass murders in the USA:

    2752 dead, Mohamed Atta, et. al, World Trade Center, Box Cutters, Airplanes
    168 dead, Tim McVeigh, Murrow Building Oklahoma City, Fertilizer and propane
    87 dead, Julio Gonzalez, HappyLand Club Bronx, Matches, Gasoline, Chairs.

    All common objects prohibited to NO ONE. Get real. What a psychotic phobia this rabid anti-gun sentiment is.

    Fact is that a license from one state should have comity in all other 58 (Obama-math?) states. The same as they try to jamb homosexual marriage licenses down the throats of all states or the way your auto license is applicable everywhere (not constitutionally protected right, BTW).

    But, nobody could ever accuse a liberal of being consistent.

  37. Suburbanbanshee says:

    As a non-tool-using American, I find it disturbing — this culture’s obsession with power tools, simple tools, and other dangerous implements of destruction. Chainsaws are clearly designed to kill people in extremely violent ways; woodchippers are the product of sick tree-hating, life-hating minds; hammers and wrenches are obviously designed for smashing people into pulp; and let’s not even talk about those horrendous power razors used for sheepshearing.

    And look how it creeps into an otherwise peaceful culture like New Zealand’s. Buzz, buzz, buzz, tap, tap, tap, wrench, wrench, wrench. Even in Paradise, there are naked shivering sheep and dominant fleece-raping shepherds, vulnerable shivering trees and dominant wood-ripping carpenters. And there are stores full of those horrifying, scarifying tools.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  38. Sonshine135 says:

    @Andrew Mason
    What is your point? Yes, if I concealed carry, I do plan on using the weapon if I feel there is an imminent threat to me or my family. It is my responsibility as a Catholic Man and Father to defend my family. Adam wasn’t there to smash the head of the serpent, and we see how bad that all turned out.

    Also, I know many people and they fit into two categories: Those who enjoy shooting and those who do not. I know of none that do not enjoy shooting that own firearms. So the idea of having a bunch of untrained people firing weapons is a straw man.

    Finally, the Constitution may have been written over 200 years ago, but isn’t it funny how the same old power-hungry tyrants exist today, repackaged in business suits, as they did 200 years ago? Also, when the government orders your local police station and officers to raid your house, tell me how well their protection worked out for you. Jewish Holocaust survivors probably remember quite a few officers in their local police departments who one day were nice on the streets, and a few years later, raided their home to send them to camps.

  39. Jack007 says:

    Many good, decent people suffer from hoplophobia. As some of the comments show, it is not confined strictly to spittle flecked liberals.
    Fortunately, it is one of the few disorders that can often be treated successfully. I myself have helped several afflicted individuals overcome it and go on to become even more productive citizens.
    Some phobias are exacerbated by ignorance, and thus education alone can be highly therapeutic. Most successful therapies involve education, and some one-one-one range time.

    How do you know if you may suffer from this disorder?
    Does the thought of being around a firearm make you uneasy?
    Does the thought of being victimized by a criminal sound better than being prepared to defend yourself with a firearm?
    Does the thought of your fellow Catholic parent of six home schooled children owning or carrying a firearm bother you?
    If you saw your local priest being attacked on the steps of his church by an angry mob who didn’t like his “hate and intolerance” of certain lifestyles, and doubt that you could pick up a firearm to defend him?
    If you can identify with ANY of the above, you may suffer from hoplophobia. You owe it to your fellow Catholics to seek help. If for no other reason, consider that you may become a burden on the rest of us, when we have to expend OUR resources protecting YOU!
    But, like so many other “difficult” things, you must make an effort to open your heart and mind.
    Please try and do it, before its too late.

    Jack in KC
    PS. For those unfamiliar with the term and lacking some Google Fu skills:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoplophobia

  40. OrthodoxChick says:

    Andrew Mason,

    No one here said anything about people being untrained. When I got my gun, I was required by the state to take a gun safety course before I was issued a permit. I didn’t and don’t have a problem with that. Obviously, such training should be waived for people with police and/or military firearm training, but for the common person who’s never handled a gun in their life? Fine.

    And yes, when I used to carry my sidearm, I was fully prepared to use it if need be. Like the song says, “Our houses are protected by the Good Lord and a gun. And you might meet ‘em both if you show up here not welcome, son.”

  41. Andrew Mason says:

    @Incredulous: when 9/11 happened, the gov responded by banning box cutters from carry-on. When OK City happened, they restricted access to the ingredients. Would you accept such restrictions on guns?

    @Fr. Z: if I thought that the state could do no wrong I would see no need for political recourse much less martyrdom. I’m not a statist for saying so any more than you are for rejecting Cecile Richards’ (also constitutional) arguments in favor of state prohibition or regulation. Disagreeing with you doesn’t mean that I agree with the other guy.

  42. Andrew Mason says:

    @Sonshine: when the government comes for us, they won’t send local cops carrying Glocks. That’s too risky for them. Do they send local.cops against Al Qaida in Yemen or Pakistan? Unless you think that the second amendment covers RPGs and anti-aircraft missiles, your guns will do you little good if and when Obama decides to play Nero.

  43. Theodore says:

    As to resisting malevolent authority, Solzhenitsyn said it best:

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
    ? Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  44. majuscule says:

    Father Z, you wrote: “If your state isn’t on this list, perhaps you should make some phone calls.”

    As a California resident I thought making a call would be useless. Now I see a headline:

    “Court strikes California law limiting concealed weapons”

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Court-strikes-California-law-limiting-concealed-5232386.php

    I am stunned!

  45. Andrew Mason says:

    Something to think about: there are two responses that a criminal can have if he’s not sure if his victims are armed. The one is to call off the crime, the other is to get more and better weapons and go in shooting. [No, because these people are essentially cowards, they will go find a person whom they think is unarmed to victimize. They seek the defenseless.] I doubt that most criminals only commit crimes when they’re sure that they’ll be safe and successful. Plenty of armed cars get robbed, sometimes violently, in spite of the fact that the guards therein are well-armed and protected. [I get the feeling that you might live in an alternate universe.]

  46. Y’know, I have never gotten a satisfactory response to the following from someone who believes that I shouldn’t own or carry a gun.

    I am a 5’2″ woman. Let’s say that my husband is on an extended business trip of the sort on which he goes from time to time. Let’s further say that I’m woken at 2 AM by the distinctive sound of a window breaking, or my front door being kicked in. Obviously, I’ll call the police…but in my experience as both a private citizen and as a retail employee who’s had to call the police for various reasons in urban areas, I can reasonably assume that they won’t be here in less than five minutes. In fact, the fastest I’ve ever seen a cop respond–and that to a “there’s a big crazy guy threatening to kill my (female, 5′ tall, 60-years-old-with-a-heart-condition) store manager”–is about ten minutes after the initial 911 call. [Then call and order a pizza and see who get's there first.]

    Meditate for a moment, if you will, on just what might happen within those ten (or fifteen, or…) minutes. What are my recourses? Beg him not to hurt me? Beg him not to rape me? Plead with him not to kill any children I might have in the house? Well, if you’d like to pursue those courses of action, it’s your life. Me, I’d rather have the situation rather more equalized.

    Similarly, when I was in college, I tore my ACL and couldn’t afford the surgery to get it repaired. For those of you who have been fortunate enough not to experience that kind of injury, let me summarize it by saying that walking is quite painful, and that running is entirely out of the question. Being a broke college student, I lived in a horrible area of town–right in the middle of gang territory, to be exact. I had a bit of distance to walk between where I could park my car and where I lived, and generally got home after midnight due to my work schedule. Were I approached by a gang member, I certainly couldn’t outrun him. I seriously doubt that were he interested in raping and/or killing me, he’d really give much of a darn about the fact that it might be a felony for him to be carrying a gun or knife. And in this circumstance, I probably couldn’t even call the cops, who’d take 10-15 minutes to get there anyway. (“Excuse me just a moment, I know you really want to rape me, but could you give me a moment to phone the police first? I’ll be right with you. Thanks!” Erm…not really practical.)

    I quite agree that those who own and carry guns should be trained in their use, but what makes you think I wouldn’t be?

    As for intent in carrying and owning a gun…I can tell you that I pray I never, ever have to use a gun, but that I’d feel much worse for refusing to own a tool that might save me and my loved ones from hurt or death should the SHTF than I would for shooting someone who, as per a recent news story in my town indicated, decided in the midst of a home invasion to have “a little fun” with a mom while her children were in the next room . Or, God forbid, something similar, but with a child.

    Finally, I don’t live my life in fear. I do live in in a manner in which I try to be prepared for emergencies. I live in an area in which hurricanes strike every few years, so I keep supplies of storable food in my pantry, rotating them every so often. Most people would consider that common sense. I drive, so in preparation for breakdowns I have a small kit in my trunk which will fix minor issues with my car. Most people would consider that common sense. Unexpected expenses and events can occur, so my husband and I maintain insurance policies and a decent savings account. Most people would consider that common sense. Why would preparing for the possibility of a violent crime in the best way I know how be any different?

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  47. Sonshine135 says:

    @Andrew
    I do not care if the Feds send in Armies, Legions, Drones (which they won’t. It is still to expensive), or Local Police. Should it not be my choice to fight or roll over like a good dog and let them give me a belly rub? Maybe I will ask them politely to take my wife and daughters into another room too.

    It would be better to die with a gun in my hand, a gun in the hands of my wife, and a gun in the hands of my children with the 23rd Psalm rolling off of our lips, then to beg for mercy and give one of those Tyrants the opportunity to choose my time, place, and method of death.

    I’ll even make a deal with you: I’ll fight to my own demise for your right not to own a gun if you fight for my right to own and carry. That seems fair to me.

  48. OrthodoxChick says:

    Andrew Mason,

    There’s a third option for the criminal in your scenario. He can go in well-armed and shooting, only to be shot dead himself by a victim who refused to be victimized. Only the most “professional” (meaning well-seasoned, experienced) criminals will plan a crime against a target that is protected by armed guards. Most people who commit criminal acts aren’t seasoned professionals. They are acting on impulse, rage, or from a position of fear or desperation, even a perceived sense of strength and superiority (as is often the case with gangs). In those circumstances, they tend to pick easy targets – precisely because it seems easy. Once they quickly find out that it isn’t going to be so easy afterall, it becomes a different story.

  49. Geoffrey says:

    Would owning or carrying a concealed firearm be indicative of a lack of trust in Almighty God? I cannot help but think of the story involving St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer during the Spanish Civil War:

    http://linenonthehedgerow.blogspot.com/2011/10/guardian-angel-and-mangy-donkey.html

    Granted, such a miraculous story may be out of the ordinary, but it still makes me wonder…

  50. Andrew Mason says:

    @Pie: how would you feel if the criminal broke in without waking you up, and proceeded to get to the gun first? How would you feel if he would have otherwise just threatened you, but decides to shoot because you have a gun? How about if there’s a domestic disturbance and somebody in your family uses it against you? Having a gun doesn’t mean the a that you’ll always be the one using it. Criminals usually plan such crimes, which means that they’ll have the advantage.

  51. OrthodoxChick says:

    Fr. Z.,

    Tassimo is another brand of coffee maker that competes with Keurig. T-discs are not interchangeable with K cups. Tassimo can brew espresso, latte, and cappucino in addition to regular coffee. Let’s hope the good monks are working on T-disc Mystic Monk coffee. More info on Tassimo at this link:

    http://kcups-best-price.com/keurig-vs-tassimo.html

  52. OrthodoxChick says:

    Andrew Mason,

    “how would you feel if the criminal broke in without waking you up, and proceeded to get to the gun first?”

    He’d have to get past the German Shepherd first!

    “How would you feel if he would have otherwise just threatened you, but decides to shoot because you have a gun?”

    He’ll be dead before he has a chance to share his feelings.

    “How about if there’s a domestic disturbance and somebody in your family uses it against you?”

    That’s what trigger locks are for.

  53. Andrew Mason says:

    @Sonshine: Die with a gun in your hand? That’s Viking mentality, not Christian. I think that you’ve seen one too many action movies.

  54. acardnal says:

    “There is no way a civilian militia could maintain a free State against professional soldiers equipped with the full arsenal of military technology. [HA! You've never been to Wisconsin.]“

    Touche. Cheese heads rule!

  55. Andrew Mason says:

    @OrthodoxChick: Guns work on German Shepherds too, and you might not be the only person in your household who can open the trigger lock.

  56. OrthodoxChick says:

    Andrew Mason,

    Yes, guns work against dogs, but the commotion that would cause would prevent you from sleeping through a sneak attack by an intruder. Trigger locks have keys. If someone in your own household is so unstable that you fear they’ll use your own gun against you, then you would obviously take care to keep the lock someplace nearby but hidden. A garter belt comes to mind.

  57. muerknz says:

    Suburbanbanshee :

    You do realise that chainsaws, woodchippers, hammers et. al. are tools designed to work with things, not people. Whereas hand-guns are designed to shoot people (and yes, Father Z, with bullets), [No. They are designed to shoot what you aim at.] especially at close quarters. I’m not against guns, sport shooting and hunting are fun, but I’ve never heard of a tragic shearing accident when kids were playing with shears and they went off and shore their playmate to death. Nor have I heard of a dad shearing his daughter to death because she came home and he thought she was an intruder. True, we do have shearing gangs in NZ but they pretty much drink hot tea, and eat cheese scones, and their hands smell of lanolin.

    The thought that people carry around loaded, concealed guns in America is just mad. [You might want to stay in NZ. I am sure it is a nice place.] Here if you transport a gun it can not be loaded or left unattended in a vehicle, even the magazine has to be empty, and the bolt removed.

    The only reason a someone has to carry a loaded hand-gun in an urban environment is because they are prepared to shoot a person.

  58. Elizabeth D says:

    I stand by my view, bullies. [Whoa! Not good.]

  59. Adam Welp says:

    @Andrew Mason Die with a gun in your hand? That’s Viking mentality, not Christian. I think that you’ve seen one too many action movies.

    You might want to read up on your Catholic history. The Cristero War martyrs were anything but Vikings. And may God help you if you ever meet one in Heaven!

  60. Andrew Mason says: @Sonshine: you don’t carry a firearm unless you at least theoretically plan to use it. If mere deterrance was intended, a prop gun would suffice.

    Deterrence is a use. It would never occur to anyone in their right mind to carry a prop gun.

  61. Andrew Mason says:

    @Dr. Z: [Ummm... no.] What are criminals to do when everybody is armed, as would seem to be your desired situation? Do they give up crime, or just buy better guns and shoot quicker? Starting an arms race solves nothing.

    As for the armored car thing: http://www.newswest9.com/story/7170957/two-guards-killed-after-armored-truck-robbery-in-philadelphia . There was also another case in Philly some years ago where a guy was walking past an armored car and just decided to rob it for the heck of it, and still managed to kill both guards. High firepower and training don’t always matter. [Okay, your examples are getting weird now. I have better things to do.]

  62. wmeyer says:

    As I read through this thread, I could not help thinking that some people are stuck on stupid. (You know who you are.)

    The founders knew that governments evolve into tyranny. They wisely provided for a cure through an armed citizenry. Of course, if you wish to go unarmed, and place a target on your forehead, that is also a matter of liberty.

    As Fr. Z, said, Heinlein had a point. An armed society is a polite one. And as I look around, I note that discourtesy abounds in this country at this time.

    Now, it may be that pistols and shotguns are no match for RPGs, [Unless you are Marvin Boggs!]but on the other hand, countries with actual knowledge and experience still consider them essential for their citizens. See Israel and Switzerland, for example.

    Asserting that logical arguments are “quaint” is of no value whatever. Where is your constructive alternative? Shall we trust? Shall we just join the lemmings in their march to the sea? I would prefer not.

    And Elizabeth D., name calling is really beneath you.

  63. Theodore says:

    OK, I’m treading close to the Godwin’s Law line but consider this example from WW II:

    “I don’t think there’s any real need to analyze the [Warsaw Ghetto] Uprising in military terms. This was a war of less than a thousand people against a mighty army and no one doubted how it was likely to turn out. This isn’t a subject for study in military school. (…) If there’s a school to study the human spirit, there it should be a major subject. The important things were inherent in the force shown by Jewish youth after years of degradation, to rise up against their destroyers, and determine what death they would choose: Treblinka or [the] Uprising.” ~ A. Polonsky, (2012), The Jews in Poland and Russia, Volume III, 1914 to 2008, p.537

    And how are things going for the mightiest military in the world in the Middle East against armed Third Worlders who, however benighted their religion is, are willing to sell themselves dearly?

    While history doesn’t repeat itself, as Mark Twain said, it often rhymes.

  64. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “The only reason a someone has to carry a loaded hand-gun in an urban environment is because they are prepared to shoot a person.”

    Actually, we just had a case where two “pit bull mixes” killed and ate a nice maiden Republican lady after they got out of their yard. She was living in fear of the dogs who often got out and hurt people, but she didn’t carry any weaponry against them, even a stick, and that was foolish. The visitation’s going to be VERY VERY closed casket.

    Urban environments feature leopards, moose, poisonous snakes, and all manner of dangerous animal vermin that may occasionally need to be shot.

    [We shall for now leave aside interesting encounters with dogs in rural areas when biking or running.]

  65. Sonshine135 says:

    @ Geoffrey
    Would owning or carrying a concealed firearm be indicative of a lack of trust in Almighty God?

    Would going to a doctor when you are sick be indicative of a lack of trust in Almighty God? I don’t think so. I have always trusted in God, but I realize God gave me a brain as well. I realize that God is surely capable of protecting me, but how do I know if part of that plan for protecting me isn’t for me to protect myself? Also, God can heal the sick, but we would never have hospitals without modern medicine. How do we know whether part of God’s plan is to have hi-tech hospitals?

  66. @Andrew: If someone who resides in my home is so unstable or dangerous that he’d use the gun on me, then I am in part responsible for that because I am an adult and allowed that situation to happen in the first place. If I allow someone like that to live in the same residence as me, then I’ve neglected a pretty basic area of personal safety preparedness. If someone breaks into my house and I don’t notice, then he’s unlikely to find the gun before I get to it, and I’d certainly rather have the option of shooting him than the other options I described–i.e., beg him not to hurt or rape me.

    As for OrthodoxChick’s German Shepherd…well, no one would want something to happen to a no-doubt excellent dog, but the racket the GSD (or any halfway-decent pack dog) would make before the shooting–to say nothing of the shooting of the dog itself!–would certainly alert anyone in the house to the the fact that Something Is Wrong.

    I am an adult. I am responsible for my personal safety and for the safety of those entrusted to me. If someone breaks into my home at 2 AM, I do not have the time or the physical advantage to discuss his precise intentions. He is responsible for the outcome of his actions, just as I am responsible for the outcome of my actions or my lack thereof. It would be nice to assume that he just wants my credit cards, but I don’t have that luxury. If I assumed that and he proceeded to rape or kill me or mine and I did not do everything in my power at that time to stop him, I’d be partly responsible for the results. Would I rather have the police deal with the situation? Oh, a hundred times over! Practically speaking, though, they’ll get here in time to refer me to a trauma counselor, and that’s about it. Assuming, of course, that I can even use the services of a trauma counselor at that point.

    @ muerknz: “The only reason a someone has to carry a loaded hand-gun in an urban environment is because they are prepared to shoot a person.” Absolutely, couldn’t agree with you more. Thing is, your average would-be rapist isn’t particularly interested in the fact that his victim doesn’t want to be raped. I suppose in the situations I described above, I could politely say, “Thanks, but I don’t feel like being raped today,” but I’m not entirely convinced it would stop him as effectively as, say, several rounds from a .357 at close range. My point is twofold: first, a person should not carry a gun without having considered the possible ramifications (i.e., that yes, one could be responsible for the death of another human being), and second, that sometimes a violent action is the only effective means of self-defense. Why, for example, do police carry loaded handguns in urban environments? Certainly not because the majority of them strap on their gun belts in the morning and think, “Y’know what’ll make this day really great? Shooting someone!”. They carry handguns because handguns are more effective as defensive tools than briskly-thrown donuts or harsh language, and they have to deal with Bad Guys on a fairly regular basis. My reasons are similar: I live in an area where Bad Guys do Bad Things from time to time, a gun is a much more effective defensive tool than a well-aimed knickknack or the sort of language that would earn me a stiff penance next time I went to Confession (though I do think a reasonable priest would give me a pass in this kind of situation…just sayin’ ;) ), and, finally, I don’t even have the physical abilities that most cops do.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  67. Rancid says:

    Andrew – you seem to be completely hung up on a notion that the police have to allow criminals to carry guns and won’t be able stop them if there are CCW laws. [That was my read of him too.] Apparently the “CONCEALED” portion didn’t get your attention. If a weapon is properly concealed, the police aren’t going to know that someone is carrying it whether they are a criminal or a CCW permit holder. Your obsession seems to be focused on someone waving a gun at someone and thinking that the police won’t be able to do anything because they don’t know if the person has a permit. Well, ANY illegal activity is still illegal and permit holders are going to be under even more scrutiny than the criminals as to whether their use of their weapon was legal or not. (last time I checked, waving a gun at someone was illegal pretty much everywhere and the police aren’t going to ask if you have a permit before they take you down). Also, you stated “you don’t carry a firearm unless you at least theoretically plan to use it”. This is a false statement. You must be PREPARED to use it but most definitely DO NOT (in most cases) plan or hope to ever use it in a self defense situation.

    Geoffrey – your question about this indicating a lack of trust in Almighty God brought to mind a story I’ve heard. I’ll probably butcher it but here goes:

    A town is in a flood and as the water is rising the sheriff drives the streets telling everyone to leave town. A man stays in his house and says that God will take care of him. The street fills with water and a boat comes by and offers to save the man from his second story window. He says “no thank you, God will take care of me”. The flood waters continue to rise and the man is sitting on the peak of his roof slightly above the water. A helicopter comes and lowers a rope to the man. Again he refuses. The water continues to rise and he drowns. As he is dying he calls out to God asking why he didn’t help him. God answers “I sent the sheriff, then I sent a boat, then I sent a helicopter but you refused to accept My help.”

    Yes we need to trust in Divine Providence but God also expects us to do our part and accept the assistance that He sends to us.

  68. The Cobbler says:

    @muerknz said, “Whereas hand-guns are designed to shoot … especially at close quarters.”
    I’m not sure how that was relevant, but for what it’s worth, it seems to me that the clearest advantage a gun has over swords, knives and martial arts is that it’s not limited to close quarters. Get within throwing range and you can treat knives as little different from guns where aggression and self-defence goes (perhaps the biggest difference is psychological/tactical: they are less alarming, but also don’t make a bang that alerts everyone on the block). Get within tackling range and whether somebody is (secretly or not) carrying any weapon becomes just a part of the considerations.

    Personally, I think that weapons of some sort are probably an extension of the right to self-defence (which comes to us from something far older than America), and guns certainly have their advantages, but focusing on guns one way or the other might not be taking a full view of the issue. As Robert Heinlein put it in Starship Troopers, “There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous men.” (Mind you I disagree with Heinlein on more than a few things… but this is one one-liner I think he should be quoted on as often as is relevant.)

  69. edwardswyco says:

    Living my whole life in the Socialist Republic of New Jersey, I would LOVE to see us finally get some of our freedoms back. My brother years ago applied for his handgun license and he asked the cop about conceal-carry; the cop shook his head and said, “Unless you’re in security, I wouldn’t waste my time – you’ll never get it.” My brother moved to PA shortly thereafter and he had no difficulty – night and day.

  70. kimberley jean says:

    Everytime the word “gun” is used people act like incontinent puppies. It’s ridiculous. A gun is just a really efficient tool. The man or woman who uses it is what’s important.

  71. Midwest St. Michael says:

    With a little trepidation and, well, walking on a few eggshells…

    I offer to the thread the story of St. Gabriel Possenti, patron saint of handgunners (um, marksmen?), feast day coming up on February 27th!

    http://www.gunsaint.com/130307.asp

    I now wade out of the… cross-fire.

    MSM

  72. mddelala says:

    I don’t live in your country so I guess that I’m missing quite a few cultural details on this discussion… Gun ownership in my country is strictly regulated. And I really like it being that way.

    But what I don’t exactly get here is if this is a discussion about some state/judge passing over your Constitution on some norm (so it’s not quite ao relevant the content of that law but the fact that the Constitution is being violated) or if this discussion is about the right to have a weapon and to carry it wherever you want (so that this conatitutional breach just adds another argument to a certain position).

    Even tjen, and even though I’ve been to the states a few times, I’m just unable to understand why would anyone on a fairly safe country want to defend the right so that anyone can carry a concealed gun. I’m sorry… But my country suffered a period of almost 30 years of violence fueled by a very large ammount of weapons in the hands of extremists (we had a military regime for 16 years that was able to fix this problem)… And research proved that although terrorists were able to bring illegal weapons from abroad, still the largest part of weapons in the hands of criminals were stolen from law-abbiding citizens.

    So as far as I can see, and if my country’s experience helps to illuatrate anything, it’s a fact that crime feeds from legally obtained weapons. And it’s also a fact that gangs are better armed and better prepared to fire at you than you are to fire at them.

    So, even though I would admire anyone who deffends their country’s constitution from anyone that unlawfully tries to breach it, I don’t support an ample right to have weapons in a generally safe country…. That kind of rights will shoot back at citizens sooner or later.

  73. dominic1955 says:

    Why does the mention of “guns” bring out the worst of emoting verbal-incontinence? Sheesh…

    This is why we’ve pretty much lost the “culture wars”, too many of our own people even have stopped being able to actually think, to really understand the “why” and “how” of things. Worst of all, too many have made religion into pantywaist hand-wringing moralism. Guns invoke the above explosive emoting from folks who’ve shown they cannot think rationally, and this somehow scares the rest of us into likewise feeling bad about such things since we’re religious people? None of this is “Catholicism” and I am flabbergasted and the amount of nonsense that gets spewed around these comboxes everytime our gracious host says something about guns and/or the 2nd Amendment.

    The other issue of resistance to tyranny being “quaint” is enormously naive. Lets imagine some future POTUS decides to really clamp down on things, impose martial law and all that sort of thing. Set up an totalitarian system, the whole shebang. He gets some stout resistance, so he’s going to call in the military. While we know people do have an abundant ability to just stupidly follow even immoral orders, I would think it would be awfully hard to get the military to just happily go along with this. A military coup, or attempted coup would not be out of the question. Rarely do tyrants get the sort of unresisted support that could even allow the best case senarios for them, usually its much less. When those sorts of things get thrown into the mix, the whole wundervappen thing can evaporate considerably and then America becomes the next Middle East.

    As the quote from Solzhenitsyn illustrates, the best way to allow tyrannies to really flourish is to go hide in a corner and hope that the Stasi, or Gestapo, or whomever is the next incarnation of these evil groups, is going to somehow pass over you and leave your little beige life relatively unmolested.

    I’d like to just say a few things about this line of thinking.

    “Hitler may well have avoided Switzerland because of guns, although I wonder if the NRA would accept mandatory gun training for all firearm owners. I also wonder if Hitler would have avoided the Swiss if he had been armed with drones.”

    The NRA provides lots of firearms training for anyone who would like to take them up on it. I would bet the problem would be with “mandatory” training designed by the same kind of dolts that mess up or over-complicate any other government program.

    The wundervappen you speak of aren’t as magical as you imagine. Even the most crazed megalomanic isn’t going to start lobbing the sorts of ordinance that will turn a target into a self-illuminating parking lot and in turn, vaporize every living thing within a considerably large radius. Why? If nothing else, it makes that land useless and then often dumps the sorts of pollution on you that makes your own lackeys get weird cancers and start growing extra parts.

    Also, if you’ve paid any attention to the happenings in Afghanistan since the Soviets tried their hand at pacifying the place, you can see where “conventional” majik bombs and whizbang planes, tanks, and other fun gubment toys just do not have the kind of total dominance that you seem to think they do. The Afghans have none of those things, yet the old Soviet Union AND America could not do what they wanted with impunity. The Taliban is still there, still slinging a lot of WWI-WWII era boomsticks.

    The old joke was that the Kaiser once was visiting Switzerland and asked one of the Swiss officers what they would do if he would bring his army, easily double the size of theirs, to Switzerland to invade. The officer said, straight-faced, “We’d have to all shoot twice.” If Hitler had drones, the Swiss have mountains to tunnel into and seeing how inventive the Swiss are, they probably would have developed ways to track and shoot them down. Drones are just small unmanned airplanes, not some sort of unstoppable demonic force.

  74. muerknz says:

    Pie and Palestrina:

    “Why, for example, do police carry loaded handguns in urban environments?”

    In NZ it’s rare for police to carry handguns. The senior sergeants will carry firearms in their car boots (trunks) and we have an armed offenders squad who deal with, well… armed offenders.

    The Cobbler:

    Handguns were designed as military weapons to be used one handed, they are harder to aim than longer barrelled weapons like rifles, and far less powerful, which is why snipers don’t use handguns. Handguns are far better in close combat whereas a rifle for example would have less manoeuvrability and the target is nearer so the lack of power and accuracy is mitigated. My point is that handguns are designed to kill people, rather than say sport firearms designed for hunting. Obviously there are target sport pistols, but you don’t need to carry them around loaded.

    Rape has been mentioned a lot, but do people realise that women are far more likely to be raped by someone they know?

  75. Dienekes says:

    Wyoming resident here. Also long-time gun owner, retired law enforcement, and firearms instructor. When the blanket CCW without permit law was first proposed some years back I was against it. Well, it passed anyway, and experience since then indicates that my apprehension was misplaced. To the best of my knowledge there have not been any cases in which that has led to ONE incident. Maybe people have more sense than our “betters” credit us with. We’re not perfect; but neither are we truant children needing constant supervision by a nanny state.

    You would be hard-pressed to find a household here without multiple firearms, a vehicle without one, and it’s doubtful you could walk a block without running into someone carrying. No big thing. Don’t tale my word for it–ask any LEO.

    Seems to me that some peoples’ fears about this stuff reflect their own doubts about acting responsibly, and projecting that onto others…

  76. Suburbanbanshee says:

    People shouldn’t get the wrong idea about the US; the only times my family has shot in anger have been during wars. (And the Sioux Lake Massacre, in which some relatives got chopped up because they didn’t have good defenses.) But there are always guns in the house, just like there ‘re always tools and cooking utensils. Statistically, the cooking knives get used in anger a lot more than guns would ever be, in the US.

    I don’t get worked up about a welding torch in somebody’s garage, or a gun in their house.

  77. dominic1955 says:

    “Handguns were designed as military weapons to be used one handed,”

    Or two handed, dueling pose is kind of a crappy stance if you want to hit what you’re aiming at in a high stress situation.

    “they are harder to aim than longer barrelled weapons like rifles,”

    They also usually do not have stocks, which makes it more difficult.

    “and far less powerful, which is why snipers don’t use handguns.”

    Sky is blue, more at 6…

    “Handguns are far better in close combat whereas a rifle for example would have less manoeuvrability and the target is nearer so the lack of power and accuracy is mitigated.”

    Handguns are a last resort weapon in military use. That is pretty much the last weapon you’d choose in most combat situations.

    “My point is that handguns are designed to kill people, rather than say sport firearms designed for hunting. Obviously there are target sport pistols, but you don’t need to carry them around loaded. ”

    Is that by their objective nature or somesuch? What about those intended for defense against dogs or tigers? Is there some sort of objective nature that exists to designate handguns designed to kill humans versus those designed to kill something else? Same with any other firearm.

    No, its a tool. You can shoot pop cans with pistols all you want with no intention to kill people. They do not have the same intentionality behind their design as, say, a hammer.

  78. bookworm says:

    Regarding the potential for a new civil war: I agree with some other posters that any attempt to re-create the secession of the Confederate states will be ruthlessly crushed by the federal government and therefore is a non-starter. However, “civil war” doesn’t necessarily have to consist of organized armies clashing along a defined front. It could very well consist of numerous unorganized individuals or groups, i.e. guerillas, death squads or whatever you want to call them, carrying out small-scale attacks against particular individuals, groups or communities, followed by retaliatory attacks by groups of opposing affiliation, and so on. Think along the lines of “Bleeding Kansas” in the 1850s or the Troubles of Northern Ireland in the late 20th century. It is in just this kind of situation — which can happen just about anywhere that societies become too highly polarized — that possessing and knowing how to use personal firearms would be essential to survival. (For that very reason, abolitionist settlers in Kansas in the mid-1850s were supplied rifles dubbed “Beecher’s Bibles” by emigrant aid societies, shipped to them in crates marked “Bibles” to avoid detection.)