Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yes We Can! (Take All Your Guns)

As we all know, no law enforcement agency in the USA from the FBI down to your local cops is legally responsible for protecting you or your property.

If there is someone breaking into your house, you call the police and it takes them an hour to show up (or if they don't show up at all) you can't sue them. Well, you can, but you'll lose, according to every court that has ever heard such a case. The ones to check are Warren vs DC, DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, and Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Department.

In the Warren case, two women in a DC townhouse called the police several times after hearing their roommate being raped two floors below. After about 30 minutes, when the screams had stopped, the two women went downstairs, assuming the police had come, as they'd been assured.

The intruders were still there. "For the next fourteen hours the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands of their attackers," according to court documents.

The three women then sued the District of Columbia but D.C.'s highest court decided in favor of the police, saying that it is a "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen."

I argue that is tyranny for the state to refuse to protect us and simultaneously refuse to allow us the means to protect ourselves.

And now I come to the point. Eric Holder, President-elect Obama's choice for Attorney General, is one of the guys who want to take away your ability to protect yourself.

I haven't reviewed Holder's entire record, but it looks like he's fallen in love with every gun control law he's ever seen.

He signed an amicus brief in the recent Heller case backing DC's handgun ban and denying that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right, he's supported national gun registration and mandatory trigger locks.

This is not the guy that Americas gun owners want as Attorney General.


Jack Nutting said...

I can understand why people want to own handguns, but what's so bad about trigger locks? Seems like an easy way to avoid all sorts of accidents; Kind of like keeping a closed lid on your gas tank, and keeping high voltage electric power lines out of reach.

MeatAxe said...

Trigger locks are fine. I own several, and if I didn't have two gun safes, I'd probably use them a lot. I don't have any problem with a gun manufacturer supplying a trigger lock with purchase, and my local PD gives them away for free.

The issue is not supplying trigger locks but requiring their use. This is dumb for two reasons:

1) It makes it very difficult to use a firearm for self defense, something that Americans do quite often -- I can find you the statistics if you are interested.

2) It's not enforceable, but if it was, it would create another way for government to make criminals out of law abiding people.

I'll throw in a third one for good measure, although this is more of a philosophical point. There's a saying in the gun community that the most effective safety on any firearm is between your ears.

Making a trigger lock a mandatory element means that the government is taking the position that safety should be guaranteed by mechanical means. I'd rather see an emphasis on safety through education and training.

Jack Nutting said...

Those stats on firearms'n'self-defence would be interesting, thanks.

Re: "between your ears", that's a good point, but the problem is that there are other people out there. I might be perfectly safe handling my own gun at all times and can therefore leave it lying with the safety off, loaded, on the kitchen table, but what if a kid wanders in? Just like driving: The reason for me to wear a seatbelt is not that I think that *I'm* going to crash, but that someone/something else outside the car might plow into mine.

cnick said...

Personally, I've never seen convincing evidence that the number of damage prevented/lives saved by gun owners acting in self-defense outweighs the amount of damage caused/lives taken by accidental shootings from gun owners. In fact, anecdotally I've heard many more stories of "guy accidentally shoots his kid" than "guy shoots a robber."

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