Leave the law-abiders alone

Taking guns out of solid citizens' hands isn't the answer

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In the comedy Roxanne , Steve Martin is a fire chief of an incompetent department that's as likely to start a fire as put one out.

"I have a dream," he tells the men after dousing one of their own little fires. "It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream -- and I hope you don't find this too crazy -- is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."

Yes -- kind of like a city or state saying, "Whatever you do, don't let the law-abiding citizens have guns!"

That's bad, too.

Yet, cities across the fruited plain prohibit law-abiding Americans from owning firearms to protect themselves. It not only ensures that only criminals will be armed, but it's also quite unconstitutional.

One of the principles underlying the U.S. Constitution is that basic human rights don't come from governments -- they flow from the Divine. And there may be no more fundamental right than that of self-defense.

Government has no right, either under the Constitution or under the sun, to stand in the way of a man's right to defend himself and his own.

That principle was up for debate in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, during arguments over legal challenges to Chicago's sweeping handgun ban. The case could finally recognize -- not "establish" or "decide," but recognize -- that individuals have the right to bear arms.

"In court papers," said one news report, "lawyers for the city of Chicago pointed out that 402 of the 412 firearm homicides occurred with the use of handguns in 2008.

"'Handguns are used to kill in the United States more than all other weapons, firearms and otherwise, combined,, Chicago Corporation Counsel Mara S. Georges wrote."

So let's ban law-abiding citizens from having them? That will make it better?

That's just silly. As an Associated Press story noted, describing the view of one of the plaintiffs, a former police officer, the only people "hurt by the city's handgun ban are those obeying it."

Precisely.

Nor is it legal or constitutional to allow cities and other units of government to interpret the Second Amendment any way they choose. They're not allowed to do that with any other amendment or other facet of the Constitution.

This is not promoting a Wild West-type society, either. As Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the earlier case that struck down the Washington, D.C., gun ban, that ruling "should not be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

In other words, guns are still highly, highly regulated.

At least among the law-abiding. Criminals don't know from regulations or laws.

Comments (124) Add comment
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baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 03/02/10 - 07:38 pm
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The problem isn't with

The problem isn't with handguns. The problem is with the thugs and cretins who are supported by taxpayers, whether it be via copious amounts of welfare or via the overburdened and failing judicial and and corrections systems. Implement capital punishment for all convicted violent felons and crimes involving weapons will drastically diminish. Time to get a backbone America.

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/02/10 - 08:07 pm
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editorial right on the mark.

editorial right on the mark. --major supreme court case going on now. looks like a scared black man on chicago's south side, riddled with gangs not allowed to defend himself. i predict that he will win. the u.s. supreme court will make a statement heard around the land. the 2nd amendment means what it says.

Nat the Cat
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Nat the Cat 03/02/10 - 08:15 pm
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How 'bout this for backbone,

How 'bout this for backbone, which goes along with the Supreme Court case facts @ Wy. The vast majority of crimes are commited by recidivist (I don't know the exact percentage, so don't hold me to it), and it is against the Law [Federal and State] for a convicted felon to possess a Firearm. So manufacture a smart weapon that could not be discharged by a convicted felon....you know, a micro-chip in the convicted felon's hands and a coresponding micro-chip in the Gun. That's not out of this world, is it?

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/02/10 - 08:19 pm
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baron-convicted murderors

baron-convicted murderors have been on death row for 20 years. your post has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment. or anything else. just your constant welfare rant.

joehill
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joehill 03/02/10 - 08:22 pm
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flow from the divine? didn't

flow from the divine? didn't jesus advise folks to turn the other cheek? not sure where one finds a divine right to protect oneself with a gun. you think jesus would have been packing heat? if you want to defend your right to defend yourself, fine, just don't claim that it is rooted in any divine notions -- it is rooted in basic human instinct, about as far away from the divine as you can possibly get.

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/02/10 - 08:29 pm
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joehill-turn the other cheek,

joehill-turn the other cheek, call 911, when gang members break in. maybe 20 minute response time.

Nat the Cat
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Nat the Cat 03/02/10 - 08:31 pm
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Joehill, makes a good point;

Joehill, makes a good point; however, I think the author was reaching for higher ground by surmising that the notion of liberty and justice is derived from a higher power, rather than left-over instincts from a lower class of semians.

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/02/10 - 08:42 pm
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nat the cat- no burglaries

nat the cat- no burglaries here in wyoming. everybody has a hunting rifle. lowest crime rate in america. and joehill makes a ridiculous point.

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/02/10 - 08:51 pm
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baron-this appeals process

baron-this appeals process has gone on forever. and your long-winded posts bore me. calling me a simpleton-you call everyone who disagrees with you some kind of a name.

wyochuck
0
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wyochuck 03/02/10 - 08:55 pm
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baron-give me the facts- a

baron-give me the facts- a gun in the house in wyoming has nothing to do with a low crime rate. notice that you sneaked in the word "welfare" again.

baronvonreich
0
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baronvonreich 03/02/10 - 09:21 pm
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wyochuk - there are numerous

wyochuk - there are numerous studies and data sets that correlate demographics to crime, household income to crime, welfare recipients per capita to crime, etc. I'm not aware of any data linking the per capita of hunting rifles to crime. Please share it with us.

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/02/10 - 09:28 pm
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baron-you mispelled my name.

baron-you mispelled my name. data is not necessary when the police are coming to respond. lot of bad people in augusta. defend your home and family with a gun.-which is the subject of this editorial.

brimisjoshan
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brimisjoshan 03/02/10 - 09:36 pm
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Great article. I support the

Great article. I support the right of law abiding citizens to carry guns. Having my concealed weapon (I am licensed) saved my life and the life of my secretary once. People need to know how to use a gun and protect themselves. This does not mean a few exceptions of course: mentally ill, physically unable, criminals, etc. But the basic able law abiding citizen should be able to have guns and I believe that this is what it means in the "right to bear arms".

dani
12
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dani 03/02/10 - 10:44 pm
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I agree. Citizens have the

I agree. Citizens have the right to bear arms. I, personally, don't own or want a gun, but I respect the right to do so.

BetanInyoe
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BetanInyoe 03/03/10 - 12:58 am
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"Government has no right,

"Government has no right, either under the Constitution or under the sun, to stand in the way of a man's right to defend himself and his own." How about "....to stand in the way of a man's, or woman's, right to defend himself or herself...."?

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 03/03/10 - 01:49 am
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A well armed society is a

A well armed society is a polite society. If you don't want criminals to have guns, take away their hands, otherwise, let everyone arm themselves that wishes to.

nofrills
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nofrills 03/03/10 - 06:01 am
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Store owners should be

Store owners should be allowed to post signs in the front window of their stores that owner is armed and will shoot. Then maybe the robbers can get a family member who reads to read it to them. The goverment has tried to protect us for years with no luck. its time to put our safety back in to our own hands.

corgimom
36277
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corgimom 03/03/10 - 06:16 am
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How sad that there are so

How sad that there are so many posters who live in fear that armed robbers are going to break into their home. What a terrible way to live your life.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 03/03/10 - 06:32 am
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corgimom, being prepared is

corgimom, being prepared is hardly a terrible thing. Try it some time. You'll be surprised how easy it makes you life.

CobaltGeorge
169607
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CobaltGeorge 03/03/10 - 07:21 am
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Good Morning Corgimom, You

Good Morning Corgimom, You and I have had a few agree to disagree in the past, and you know what, I agree on about 80% of all your posted opinions. I applaud you on your non-PC opinions and feelings you make on the problems of our todays children, the education problems and family structures. It is only when you get involved with the gun issue that I strongly disagree with your feelings. Could you educate me as to why you feel like you do about honest, law abiding citizens carrying a sidearm. Don't reply with an answer that "Guns Kill" because they do but only in the hands of a human that truly wants to kill. I want to know your true feelings and I will respect what ever you say.

deekster
24
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deekster 03/03/10 - 07:28 am
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Turning the other "cheek" was

Turning the other "cheek" was a Jewish Custom. One could strike another only with the "right hand". So if you turned you head, he would have to strike you with his left hand, which by law he could not do. Fight over. Jesus was not referring to "not defending oneself", but rather to an establish custom that basically ended a confrontation. The rebuke of St. Peter for using his sword was in reference to St, Peter's act of anger and violence that was "interfering with Jesus Christ mission to die on the cross". For one to chose to be a "martyr" is very different from "taking another's life against their will".

CobaltGeorge
169607
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CobaltGeorge 03/03/10 - 07:42 am
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Corgimom, " only in the hands

Corgimom, " only in the hands of a human that truly wants to kill." Let me clarifiey that. If when my pistol is removed from its hoster on my belt, it will have only one intention, to Kill. There will always be a reason for it to be in my hand, not to commit a rober, made at someone how is messing with my gril friend, not to make a bad drug deal or to be able to kill a police officer while I am committing a crime. The 3 rounds used will be because someone is trying to hurt my wife or any member of my family, or is attempting to take any property that I own. I have only in 37 years drew my pisol and I have posted the incident in previous post.

Rhetor
1037
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Rhetor 03/03/10 - 07:51 am
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Well, there isn't a word in

Well, there isn't a word in the Constitution about God-given rights, so let's drop that argument. You must be thinking about the Declaration of Independence. I don't recall any religious scripture from any religion about a God-given right to carry firearms.

CobaltGeorge
169607
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CobaltGeorge 03/03/10 - 07:58 am
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Your right Rhetor, leave God

Your right Rhetor, leave God out of this issue.

disssman
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disssman 03/03/10 - 07:58 am
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Given the inability of the

Given the inability of the police to protect the citizenry, coupled with a staggering increase in violent crime, I think in the very near future everyone will be armed. And BTW you don't need a permit to be armed, a simple hunting license will do for a shotgun. I wonder if the kids who beat the Butler kid, would have been so brazen in a neighborhood that they knew was well atmed???

disssman
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disssman 03/03/10 - 08:01 am
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BTW I find a little truth in

BTW I find a little truth in Barons post. If I am not mistaken, every gun violance crime this year has been committed by someone on welfare. Not acusation, just fact.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 03/03/10 - 08:40 am
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Let's be very clear about

Let's be very clear about what this editorial demands. It demands that the United States Supreme Court set a precedent which will result in the striking down of hundreds, if not thousands, of laws passed by local officials and lawmakers elected by local voters, local officials and lawmakers whose political decisions are subject to review, approval or rejection, in the next election. The ACES editorial demands this precedent from judges who are unelected and whose decisions are not reviewable by "we the people." Conservatives have long howled about so-called "activist" judges, which they define as judges who interpret the Constitution in ways which allow them to set aside laws passed by legislators chosen to govern by the people themselves. The list of SC decisions made by a more "liberal" court which have resulted in cries of "judicial activism" is a long one, but now, when a conservative court is set to interpret the constitution in a way which will allow their own activism, there is not only no protest, but approval. Hypocrisy, pure and simple. When I hear you Tea Partiers rant about "principles," I just have to laugh.

dstewartsr
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dstewartsr 03/03/10 - 09:08 am
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That last was a knee-slapper-

That last was a knee-slapper- a rant against judicial activism by a self-proclaimed liberal. I will type this very s-l-o-w-l-y, e.e.l.; it is not judicial activism to use the plainly written black letter law of the land to rule in judicial matters.
It is when opinions based on 'penumbras,' on 'international customs and usages,' and on the dictates of foreign courts are used to decide cases in the United States, THAT is judicial activism. I still believe in that quaint notion that US law trumps UN law- at least inside this contry's borders; and to apply it as written is a good thing. The Constitution is the law of the land, not specious opinions of jurists who inject their biases and beliefs to substitute for it; this is why Dredd Scott was eventually overturned, and why someday the fatuous notion of a 'right' to abortion will be as well, and the matter decided as you would have it --assuming you really believe as you have written, which I doubt-- at the local and state level.
From your post, I must infer that you disapprove of the Federal courts negating local and state laws; specifically, how did you feel about Jim Crow; a set of laws, which were, as you wrote, "...passed by local officials and lawmakers elected by local voters, local officials and lawmakers whose political decisions are subject to review, approval or rejection, in the next election..."? For or against?

flipa
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flipa 03/03/10 - 10:52 am
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Every city or community where

Every city or community where handguns or some sort of firearm was REQUIRED to be in the hands of the PROPERTY TAX PAYERS has SEEN an IMMEDIATE drop in crime. ABSOLUTE, REPEATABLE direct observational scientific FACT. This is PROOF that when the PROPERTY TAX PAYER is armed crime plummets, no question or debate about it.. So the Anti-Americans lose this debate AGAIN.
Another historical FACT. EVERY government without exception from the beginning of earth's 5,000 yrs of written history that murdered its people; in mass TOOK all the weapons they held of any kind FIRST BEFORE the tax paid massecrered their citizens. Think about this EVERY TIME tax paid insists the taxpayer cannot have weapons yet the tax paid can..

ALL Tax paid are addicted to O.P.M. O.ther P.eoples M.oney. Don’t let confirmed addicts steal your rights then your lives. Tax-paid wouldn’t put up with being disarmed and neither should you. Just a few months back someone cut through RCSD’s fence and stole the shotguns & other weapons out of the patrol cars. Now the 25 yr old crack houses that completely surround 401 Walton way are armed to the teeth with the patrol cars weapons. When the tax paid give up ALL their weapons then trick the taxpayer into disarming the ONLY folk with guns will be the criminals and this is about what the tax paid say to keep their guns & so should you:o)

Join the National Taxpayers Union. Redirect your taxes back from being used against U.S as now, back to being used for U.S as claimed while we still can.

www.NTU.org

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 03/03/10 - 10:25 am
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EEL, your post this morning

EEL, your post this morning is just too funny for words. I was ROTFL laughing at your ridiculous rant. Once again, you have lumped most conservatives into one group, and labeled us all as hypocrites and having, iyho, no principles? That sir, is liberal hatespeak. You talk about hypocrisy? How about all the judicial activism and interpretations of our constitution by liberal JOTSC over the last 40 years that are just fine by liberals? IE: Roe v Wade? That, sir, is judicial activism! Where was your outrage then? Now, the court may simply overturn it's own decisions made after the civil war, to return to the original time-honored individual liberties we had during the first 100 years of our history. You call this activism? Horsefeathers! Let's be clear here. This case is simply about weather a law-abiding citizen in a crime riddled, gang infested neighborhood in Chicago, has a right to a handgun to defend himself and his property. He already has the right to own a shotgun, but has already been robbed three times, because it is hard to carry and use quickly. Why should he not have the right to have the same weapons as all the gang members carry in their waistbands? The SC has already ruled yes to this basic constitutional right in the Disrict of Columbia, but that is not a state. We are now talking only about extending the same rights to the other states. Tell you what EEL. A gang of thugs kicks down your door, and your family's lives and possessions may be lost in the next few seconds. I would hope and pray that you would have the means to defend yourself, as imho that IS a basic human right that should extend to all men. Yes, God help me, even you.

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