To see photos of me possibly carrying a concealed bazooka, Ashley with possibly illegal knives and baby Mena crying in front of the sushi counter at Kirala, click here.
Last night my daughter Ashley's boyfriend got 'jacked for his backpack and her iPod. "That iPod contained 35,000 songs and 25 DVDs," my daughter wailed. I freaked out! What if this sudden upsurge of bad guys was the wave of the future? What if this was just the tip of the iceberg for a huge future wave in crime that was being escalated by the tanking economy? What if this is a trend? What if crime is now on the rise and this 'jacked iPod is only the beginning and we will no longer be safe in our beds!
"Calm down, Mom."
OMG! What if they 'jacked Ashley's iPod using a handgun! And now that the next Great Depression is upon us, what if everyone all starts carrying guns for protection and there's gonna gangs and wars on the streets! But luckily for me, the Berkeley-Albany Bar Association came to my rescue (again). They had a professor at the UC Berkeley law school come and give us a lecture on the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms -- and gun control!
"In the case of Washington DC vs. Heller," said our speaker, "the Supreme Court dealt with the personal right of citizens to own firearms -- declaing that the Second Amendment ncluded the right to own and use some kind of handgun." The Washington law had stated that NO handguns were to be allowed in the District of Columbia but the Supreme Court had ruled that the DC law couldn't be justified under the Second Amendment.
Good grief! Did Ashley's boyfriend's mugger have a handgun?
"The Supreme Court decided that the personal right to bear arms DID include the right to bear handguns," the speaker continued, "because in 1776, officers in the Revolutionary Army had been encouraged to carry flintlocks." Apparently, under the Second Amendment, shotguns and rifles have always been freely allowed but handguns are more tightly controlled. "Why? Because handguns are concealable. And this concealability has amazing criminological consequences. A handgun is nine times as likely to be used in a crime than a shotgun or rifle. And it is 80 times more likely to be used in an armed robbery."
So. Is the flintlock a concealable weapon? "I had my research assistant measure one," said our speaker. "It was 16 inches long. With THAT in your pocket, nobody is going to be glad to see you." So using the flintlock as the basis for the Supreme Court's decision was apparently not such a hot idea because concealability was definitely not a characteristic of flintlocks. "Justice Scalia didn't make a historic argument for his case -- he made a public opinion argument."
And what does this mean? "Does this mean that there is now also a Constitutional right for Americans to carry bazookas, tanks and antique cannons," if the Revolutionary Army had once carried them -- or if you can get one under your coat? The issue in this case is not about the right to bear arms but rather whether or not a firearm is concealable.
"Sawed-off shotguns have been made illegal. Why? It's the concealability issue. If concealability justified the 75-year-old law against sawed-off shotguns, then why did Scalia ignore that law here instead of making sawed-off shotguns legal too?" Apparently Scalia will do anything he can get away with, in order to form opinions that he likes. "Roberts on the other hand will avoid making distinctions in a particular case that will get the court in trouble later on."
Does this mean that if Ashley's boyfriend had gotten 'jacked by a bad guy carrying a sawed-off shotgun, then if said bad guy is caught then he would now have a valid defense? That he was entitled to carry one under the Second Amendment -- because Justice Scalia said so? "
We need to restrict the use of handguns to people who have special needs for handguns," said our speaker. Let cops use them but not bad guys. And keep them out of the hands of Mae West!
"There is also another un-analyzed issue regarding concealability. If you use handguns in your home, then they are NOT concealed." Apparently this issue was also not considered in the DC law. "Whoever writes these gun control laws seems to come out of the slums of American constitutional law. The DC law was written sloppily, was a terrible law."
The speaker also got on the cases of conservative judges. "They claim not to be activists -- but this Supreme Court decision was more activist than even Roe vs. Wade, which was based on earlier precedence. But here Scalia just set this up out of the blue, with no close reasoning. It was a court going out of its way to go as far as it could go to make one single case set law. That's not conservative at all. The real damage and radicalization of Scalia's decision didn't take place in this case but in the precedence of using court decisions to make radical changes in American law."
So. What have we learned? That it's now okay for Ashley's boyfriend to get 'jacked by someone carrying a flintlock -- or even a bazooka -- if he can disguise it under his coat?