Slate is always good for seeing the left’s faulty opinions, and this article is no exception. My first thought when I read the headline: “The Supreme Court May Elevate the Second Amendment Above the First” was something along the lines of, “Oh, what fresh idiocy is this?”

The article begins by pointing out that there are numerous restrictions on the time, manner, and place of free speech. Examples include rules that a ensure that expression does not interfere with their normal use. Rallies interfere with picnics and family gatherings. Parades and picketing block traffic and access to homes and businesses. The author then asks if firearms prevent the public from use and enjoyment of public spaces before going on to say:

Individuals may be injured and even killed when firearms are misused, improperly handled, or even when they are used properly. Even when a gunshot strikes the intended target, others may still be injured because the bullet may pass through the target and injure someone else or because the presence of the gun and gunfire cause a panic.

This is flawed, because the mere possession of firearms do nothing of the sort, any more than mere possession of a bible, political literature, or other materials that some find offensive interfere with the public’s use of a space. What the author is doing is conflating possession with use. No one is saying that people should be permitted to fire weapons in the middle of the street. The above argument is nothing more than the tired, old “yelling fire in a crowded theater” argument.

The author goes on to say:

the plaintiffs are not demanding the right to merely carry the firearm; they are demanding the right to use the firearm for self-defense. Thus, the fundamental question is not whether the presence of firearms threatens public safety but whether their use threatens public safety. The answer should be obvious, and the lessons of First Amendment jurisprudence should apply.

I actually agree. You see, using a firearm for self defense means that the person using that firearm is doing so to protect his own (or another’s) life from the unlawful use of force from a person illegally using that force. Just as a judge may prevent me from yelling out and disturbing his courtroom, no judge would argue that I cannot yell out to warn the occupants that the building is on fire, or that there is a man about to strike the judge with an axe from behind.

The author actually goes on to make a great point, and one which I agree with in principle, but I am betting not in the way that he is intending:

According to the court, “the peaceful enjoyment of freedoms which the Constitution guarantees contingent upon the uncontrolled will of an official—as by requiring a permit or license which may be granted or withheld in the discretion of such official—is unconstitutional.” The same should be true for firearms, and, arguably, this is where New York’s law fails. The requirement that applicants must show “proper cause” may be insufficiently clear and objective, allowing officials to exercise an unconstitutional amount of discretion.

If the court adopts this approach, it will follow a clearly marked path that will force New York to reconsider its standards for restricting guns in public, but allow it to still maintain some such standards. If the public forum doctrine is good enough for those seeking to exercise their First Amendment rights, it should be good enough for those who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights as well.

My agreement here is that they should be permitted to require permits for concealed carry, as long as those permits are issued under clear, and unbiased criteria. I would accept shall issue- that is, anyone who completes a reasonable safety course and is not a prohibited person shall be issued a permit.

I am betting that isn’t what the author is thinking.

Categories: Antigun


SilverMiner · December 2, 2021 at 10:00 pm

How would you define a reasonable safety course prior to exercising your First Amendment rights?

    Divemedic · December 2, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    Similar to courses given to school children, teaching them that some things are not acceptable to say or do in public. Believe it or not, kids at some point learn that there are some things that are rude, or shouldn’t be said. Things like child porn, slander, and the like are taught to children by society.

    It makes sense in a nation that demands we all comply with laws that we aren’t aware of (ignorance of the law is no excuse, and all of that tripe) that the government bears some responsibility to ensure that citizens are aware of those laws.

    A similar course for the second would cover things like laws on brandishing, use of force, gun safety, and marksmanship. There was a time that such skills were taught in public school. Sadly, they no longer are, especially in New York.

Therefore · December 3, 2021 at 1:37 am

My concern is how restrictive those courses may become. And how expensive.

The class that one state wanted me to take was only offered during the week during business hours. Was 2 classroom days and a partial range day.

So three days of work plus the fee for the course. I’m addition they only offered the course once a month and in only a few locations. It would have required about $2000 including food travel and lodgings plus fees.

Additional I can set them adding stupid requirements…

“You must be able to put two rounds in each of two targets, reload and put two more rounds in each of two more targets.”

I have a friend that does carry. Racking the slide is difficult for her. Therefore she doesn’t intend to reload in that sort of situation or to reload with a round in the chamber.

I know others that carry a wheel gun for the simplicity of it. They aren’t planning on engaging multiple targets at once.

Our for you or I, what level of accuracy will they demand?

    Divemedic · December 3, 2021 at 5:24 am

    Of course they are going to play games. We need to understand incrementalism. If we hold out for 50 state constitutional carry, we get nothing.
    One step at a time. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Let’s get shall issue, then work on the rest.

E M Johnson · December 3, 2021 at 7:40 am

the restrictions on the 1st are basically unconstitutional anyway. I won’t give them a pass on that to base further erosion of the bill of rights. the gov cannot be trusted… fuck em

Don Shift · December 3, 2021 at 9:17 am

I think people are misconstruing what dive medic is willing to except versus what he would actually want. There’s nothing wrong with excepting a half measure now that gets us to somewhere better on the road too shall not be infringed.

    Skinnedknuckles · December 3, 2021 at 10:57 am

    Sadly, however, this is what did happen in Illinois. Because the court left it to the state to determine the requirements, without any limits, they ended up with a typical screw job for the applicants. IANAL but I don’t know of any law that requires a permit and training for first amendment rights or any other enumerated right. Providing free education in gun use and safety, i.e. through the schools, is great, similar to the Social Studies example, but I don’t have to have ever set foot in a school to exercise my right to vote or send a petitioning letter to my government. Again, we don’t want to make perfection the enemy of better but we don’t have to cede the field even before the battle commences.

    Divemedic · December 3, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    That’s my point. Refusing to accept an incremental increase in freedom because you do t get it all is the path to getting nothing

Jonathan · December 4, 2021 at 2:52 am

This reminds me of the recent post “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly”. You have to start somewhere, I’ll support small changes because they add up.
For example, look at how the changes are adding up in Texas. They’re not perfect, but they’re much better than a decade ago.

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