Wonders never cease – I agree with Scalia on a SCOTUS decision

CNN: High court strikes down gun ban (thanks to Sinister for alerting me to this story)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a sweeping ban on handguns in the nation’s capital violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The justices struck down the ban in a 5-4 decision, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing the opinion for the majority.

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty said he was disappointed in the ruling but will give the district’s police department 21 days to implement a process for registering handguns. It still will be illegal to carry handguns outside the home, and all pistols must be registered with police.

. . . At issue in District of Columbia v. Heller was whether Washington’s ban violated the right to “keep and bear arms” by preventing individuals — as opposed to state militias — from having guns in their homes.

“Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security and where gun violence is a serious problem,” Scalia wrote. “That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

I agree with Scalia (one of the few times you’ll ever see those 4 words on this blog). I think the second amendment does guarantee an individual right to bear arms and was written with the understanding that our nation wouldn’t always have a standing army, so that an armed citizenry would be necessary to provide for the common defense.

I also (assuming that the CNN story is correct, I haven’t had time to read the actual decision) think that the court did a good job of setting an appropriate balance, by allowing states to enact reasonable regulations on gun ownership but not allowing states to ban a class of guns outright.

I know that some of my liberal readers won’t agree with me on this, but I’m against gun control as long as the cops and military have their guns. I myself don’t believe in the morality of the use of lethal force against human beings, but I still believe in the right of others to choose to own a gun for the purpose of defending their families or their communities. (I myself have owned guns before, but now would only use them for recreation)

On a related tangent, it always surprises me that Scalia can be so literal in interpreting things like the 2nd Amendment, but yet pretty much ignores the 4th Amendment’s protections on search and seizure. It doesn’t make sense to me at all.

I bought a gun

I know many of my regular readers won’t believe it, but I did decide that I wanted to buy a .22 rifle for the farm. Partly because I enjoy shooting (I used to do some shooting in Boy Scouts… I even earned the shotgun shooting merit badge), partly because I might need to kill varmints (namely coyotes if they pester the dog I hope to get soon), and partly for defense.

On the last point, I guess I have to conceded that I’m not a pure pacifist. Jesus of course taught that we are to turn the other cheek and to not repay evil for evil, but to me non-lethal force is in rare cases justified. At the farm, law enforcement would take at least 30 minutes or longer to get there if I had problems, so having a gun handy might be useful, if for nothing else than to fire a warning shot or to shoot a home invader in the leg. — I still don’t think it would be right to shoot to kill though. Who is to say that a criminal’s life is worth less than mine?

Anyway if it sounds inconsistent, so be it. I think it was Emerson who said that “foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” and I think he is right.

As for the gun, I bought, I got a Marlin Model 60 .22 rifle (also see the Wikipedia article on the classic gun). It is 14 shot semi-automatic (the bullets are fed through the tube that is below the barrel). It’s strong to kill varmints and to shoot the crap out of tin cans but not enough fire power to be very lethal to humans or any big game. Based on it’s serial #, I think it is a 2006 model, which is pretty new since I bought it at a Lawton pawn shop.

Still though I think it will be good enough for my purposes. It is really fun to shoot and very easy to use.