Saturday, May 27, 2006

Esenberg Slays Screechin'Shirley, Queen of Hearts

You may have noticed that I didn't think too highly of Screechin'Shirley's asinine "ruling" on concealed weapons.

Esenberg, in a more refined way, makes the same point:

Given our constitution's guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms, you might ask, how can this be?

The answer lies in the creativity of clever lawyers, with which our judiciary is well populated. Rather than give full force and effect to the constitution's recognition of a right to bear arms for "any other lawful purpose," a majority of the justices have read the litany of specific reasons for the right to bear arms (i.e., for "security, defense," etc.) as restrictions on the right.

The threshold for the reasonable need of a concealed weapon for security purposes seems very high. The court hasn't said that you basically have to be a store owner in Little Beirut with the convocation of street gangs from the 1979 street noir classic "The Warriors" being re-enacted outside your window, but one does get the sense that unless you've recently had a drive-by, you are not yet in enough danger.

What I am suggesting is that the state Supreme Court has taken what is specified in our constitution as a right and turned it into a privilege. It has not done so by a technical application of lawyerly skills that only trained professionals could understand (and of which, therefore, can be the only critics) but by a cramped and less than obvious reading of a fairly simple English sentence.

To repeat: the Court has so ruled. Now let THEM enforce it.

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