Thursday, April 18, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #104 - Part 2

Good news #2: Gun nuts lose one

Another bit of good news comes in the matter of guns, where there has been precious little good news of late.

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York which upheld a century-old New York state law stating that people who want to carry a handgun in public must show a special need for protection.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the restriction does not violate the Second Amendment, noting what it called “a longstanding tradition of states regulating firearm possession and use in public because of the dangers posed to public safety” and declaring that outside the home, “public safety interests often outweigh individual interests in self-defense.”

It was a smackdown to the gun nuts and the Nutzoid Rabbit-brains of America. Unfortunately, it may be just temporary because federal appeals courts are divided on the issue: Another federal appeals court recently upheld a Maryland law that requires “good and substantial reason” for having a handgun in public, but a third struck down an Illinois law that barred most people from carrying a loaded weapon in public, saying it violated the Second Amendment. Sooner or later, the Supreme Court is going to have to take up the issue to resolve the conflict.

Just as a footnote, in 1981, just three states - Maine, Washington and Vermont - let typical residents carry guns in public without showing a need. Today, about 40 states do.

We are either going to turn into Somalia or at some point some future Supreme Court is going to say that the decisions that opened these floodgates were wrongly decided and reverse them.


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