Editor's Note: Since publication of this piece, Patch has learned that many of the. The post remains on our site for reference and news purposes.
... Part 3 of 3 introducing readers to my proposal to allow unconcealed, unloaded firearms in city parks.
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." — Thomas Jefferson quoting the criminologist, Cesare Beccaria
This is not simply a policy issue, but one of our fundamental rights as well. The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), ruled that the Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment.”
Self-defense is a fundamental right. The U.S. constitution, the constitutions of 44 states, common law, and the laws of all states recognize the right to use arms in self-defense. Open carry laws respect the right to self-defense by allowing individuals to carry firearms for protection.
The Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876), recognized that the right to arms is an individual right, stating that it “is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” In Beard v. U.S. (1895), the court approved the common-law rule that a person “may repel force by force” in self-defense, and concluded that, when attacked, a person “was entitled to stand his ground and meet any attack made upon him with a deadly weapon, in such a way and with such force” as needed to prevent “great bodily injury or death.” In the Gun Control Act (1968) and Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (1986), Congress stated that it did not intend to “place any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the acquisition, possession, or use of firearms appropriate to . . . personal protection, or any other lawful activity.”
Furthermore, according to Article 11, Section of the California Constitution, San Juan Capistrano cannot ban open carry in local parks. Similar bans in other cities have been struck down by the courts.
Even if Article 11, Section 7 did not exist, California has enacted such a far flung and complex web of gun carry laws such that it has "occupied the field" and therefore has preempted local control of open carry as a matter of standard legal construction of local power.
The truth is that there is no gun control law that actually works. Gun control laws are wholly ineffective at reducing crime, suicide, or accidents. They cost hundreds of millions of dollars in direct and indirect costs to taxpayers leaving fewer resources available for truly effective prevention programs. Advocates of gun control are long on emotion, but short on results. Allowing any government institution to violate personal liberties out of a misguided faith is tantamount to disregarding our founding fathers who through their “toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood … transmitted” our right to bear arms “with care and diligence.” Gun control laws are ineffective, counterproductive, and to not try to overturn them would only violate my oath to our Constitution.
"All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife."
Song of the blog: I had planned on “Way Out Here” by Josh Thompson, however given the I would like to dedicate “Beer For My Horses” by Toby Keith & Willie Nelson to those who worked that fateful day. When you are ready I’ll meet you at Swallows, buy you a round of whisky and “We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces.”