Thursday, June 26, 2008

Citizen's Arrest

Scalia noted that the handgun is Americans' preferred weapon of self-defense in part because "it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police."
Is Scalia's example using a rotary phone & dialing "O"? Or shouting, "Citizen's arrest, citizen's arrest" like Gomer hassling Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show? This heroic scenario is so rare that you'd be hard-pressed to find an example. Most commonly, burglar enters empty house & steals gun. Enraged, drunken husband shoots & kills wife. Child finds gun, shoots self or playmate. Sleepy gun owner mistakes sleepy family member for burglar, shoots family member. Keeping a convenient, loaded weapon around the house is inviting tragedy, not a Brave Citizen of the Year award.

The Supreme Court struck down an outright handgun ban in a federal district. Handguns are not banned in New Jersey; they are strictly licensed. I had thought private gun ownership a constitutional right (subject to a variety of restrictions), had no idea the High Court had never directly ruled on it, & was unaware of the D.C. laws being tested. I do consider it ironic that the people so willing to compromise other rights for the sake of "national security" are the same ones who chaff under laws that prohibit them from purchasing fully automatic Glocks at Walmart. The only reason I care about gun-crazy assholes in Texas is because too many of their guns end up with gun-crazy criminals in Jersey.


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