Skip to main content

Maryland requires that before a person can be issued a permit to carry a concealed firearm, that person must demonstrate "good and substantial reason to wear, carry or transport a handgun as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger in the State of Maryland".  That requirement has been challenged by a group known as the Second Amendment Foundation in a case called Woollard v. Sheridan. According to the Wiki, this is the factual background:

In 2002, Raymond Woollard was the victim of a home invasion by his son-in-law, Kris Lee Abbot. Subsequent to this crime, he applied for and was granted a concealed carry permit in 2003, and a renewal was granted in 2006 after Abbot, having violated his probation from the home invasion, was released from prison. However, in 2009, a second renewal application by Woollard was denied on the grounds that Woollard had failed to provide evidence of a continuing threat to his safety. Woollard appealed to the Maryland Handgun Permit Review Board, and was again denied; the Board stating that Woollard "...ha[d] not submitted any documentation to verify threats occurring beyond his residence, where he can already legally carry a handgun."
The trial court found that Maryland's requirement violated the Second Amendment (full text of decision is here (.PDF)).  The key to the decision was that, in the court's mind, the state of Maryland chosen to simply reduce the number of firearms carried in a concealed manner:
A law that burdens the exercise of an enumerated constitutional right by simply making that right more difficult to exercise cannot be considered ―reasonably adapted‖ to a government interest, no matter how substantial that interest may be. Maryland‘s goal of ―minimizing the proliferation of handguns among those who do not have a demonstrated need for them,‖ id. at 40, is not a permissible method of preventing crime or ensuring public safety; it burdens the right too broadly. Those who drafted and ratified the Second Amendment surely knew that the right they were enshrining carried a risk of misuse, and states have considerable latitude to channel the exercise of the right in ways that will minimize that risk. States may not, however, seek to reduce the danger by means of widespread curtailment of the right itself.
I think the trial court got it right when it cautioned that First Amendment jurisprudence could not be readily ported over into Second Amendment uncharted legal territory.  But I think the court erred (BTW the case is on appeal) in, as it appears, assuming that there is any federal right to carry a firearm in public, concealed or not concealed, Scalia's 5-4 rant-o-rama in DC v. Heller notwithstanding, as that case involved possession of a firearm in a residence for defense of oneself in the residence.

I also think the court got it wrong in not focusing on the equal protection argument (had people with a similar situation been granted permits?) which would seem to have a bit more force to it.

According to our friends at the NRA, the Woollard case is one of several seeking a determination that the Second Amendment applies to firearms carried outside of the home (link):

Woollard is one of several cases around the country in which plaintiffs are seeking to make clear that the right to bear arms applies outside the home. Among them are the NRA-supported cases of Shepard v. Madigan (pending in federal court in Illinois) and Peruta v. County of San Diego, pending in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
It's certainly interesting that when it comes to Second Amendment issues, the right wing seems to welcome judicial involvement.  If the plaintiffs in Woollard and the other cases prove to be right, that there is a Second Amendment right to carry a firearm outside of the residence, the judiciary will become involved all levels of detail.  For example, can carrying of a firearm be prohibited on a bus, in a school, at a bank, or in a church?  Could a state require firearms safety courses as a precondition? Would service of a domestic violence restraining order sufficient to cause loss of the (supposed) right to carry firearms?  All these things and many more would presumably be addressed by the courts, even though it seems to me that the power of the NRA already gives guns sufficient rights vis-a-vis the legislatures.  (BTW, I love how it is that guns have rights.  As Mitt Romney might say, "Guns are people too, my friend."

Maybe I'm living in a dream world, but I don't find it necessary to go about armed to the teeth to be secure in this society.  

Not only that, but in all this discussion about the carrying of firearms outside the home, there is a strange lack of discussion about defensive raiment.  if the goal is to become one's own policeman, well, police wear body armor, yet I never (or at least very seldom) seem to read about such attire being worn along with the weaponry, with of course the 100 round magazine massacre in Aurora as a prominent exception.  From the Wiki (source of all knowledge):

About 30 minutes into the film, police say, around 12:38 a.m.,[6] he re-entered the theater through the exit door. He was dressed in black and wore a gas mask, a load-bearing vest, a ballistic helmet, bullet-resistant leggings, a throat protector, a groin protector and tactical gloves.[7]  
Indeed, it would seem to me that if one were really anticipating trouble, for appropriate attire one need look no further than those overzealous restribution artists Larry Phillips, Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu, the perpetrators of the highly unauthorized bank withdrawal that led to the North Hollywood shootout in 1997: Per the wiki:
In this case, approximately 650 rounds were fired at two very heavily armored men, who had fired approximately 1,100 rounds.[2] The responding police officers directed their fire at the "center of mass," or torsos, of Mătăsăreanu and Phillips. Each man was shot and penetrated by at least ten bullets, yet both continued to attack officers.
Now, I would call the ability to be shot 10 times and still return fire a significant advantage in a gun fight.  Even Don Quixote wore armor.  Our modern Don Quixotes of the Second Amendment don't seem quite so prepared as him.
Poll

Do guns have rights?

20%9 votes
16%7 votes
23%10 votes
25%11 votes
13%6 votes

| 43 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:39:05 AM PST

  •  Don't forget (5+ / 0-)

    the bullets - don't they have rights to?

  •  Body armor is less legal than many think. (12+ / 0-)

    And it is not easily concealed.

    •  I'm wondering why (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndieGuy, gerrilea, gramofsam1

      a purely defensive item should be illegal anywhere?  

      "It is not, you fucking liberal prick." ..My RW friend Dave's last words to me.

      by rb608 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:40:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it might be like police scanners. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        43north, rb608

        In general, owning one and listening to one isn't illegal, but using one in the commission of a crime is looked upon with varying degrees of contempt by those with badges and robes.

        Fox News: Stupidity's Force Multiplier!

        by here4tehbeer on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:53:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Prior to 9-11 it was a crime to wear soft armor (8+ / 0-)

        in the commission of a crime.
        Just as "armed robbery" is a greater offense than "robbery".

        Post 9-11, you're more likened to a would-be, apprehended-in-the-commission domestic terrorist, than a citizen wearing ballistic armor.

        This of course doesn't apply to members of the press, judiciary, legislature, financial institutions, nor the very wealthy with ex-police officers as bodyguard/drivers.

        If you're feeling like "Dennis" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?  Good.  You've been paying attention.

        Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how'd you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.
  •  some rights being viewed as less equal than others (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, rb608, gerrilea, KVoimakas, oldpunk

    or marginalized by language or definitions deserve a thoughtful, objective assessment.

    I'd hope the terms of this discussion be taken out of the collective hands of the NRA and Brady, as they've consistently shown that they are not interested in facts, merely fundraising, and in the case of the NRA, supporting right-wing candidates.

    Have you hugged your Boeuf Bourguignon today?

    by wretchedhive on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:09:58 PM PST

  •  Body armor in high gun-kill nations (6+ / 0-)

    ...like the US makes a lot of sense and it should be an option. The well-to-do in Mexico buy fashion forward designer clothing with unobtrusive armor for themselves and their children. Kids backpacks are readily available with bullet proof plates.

    Many states in the US block the sale of protective clothing to citizens, while letting them carry weapons. This seems unconstructive and rather cowboy. Perhaps it's a cultural thing.


    A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

    by Pluto on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:44:09 PM PST

    •  Hell yeah it's cultural. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon

      Like wearing a head bandanna (only) on your Harley!

      "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

      by chuco35 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:52:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cultural, I dunno...but if you wish to give out (0+ / 0-)

      Darwin Awards, it sounds like a good plan.  Let them all kill themselves, less to control later.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 02:25:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only helps with some things (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pete Cortez, 43north, KVoimakas

    Body armor wouldn't help someone whose ex is breaking in and swinging a crowbar, smashing off the fingers of the friend who tried to intervene. Also won't stop an ex from strangling you. Both were real cases.

    An under-appreciated benefit, though, is that it can stop some knife attacks.

    •  I cover the murder-suicide beat. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, ichibon

      ...which is largely domestic. Happens once or twice a day in the US. Only one in fifteen does not involve a handgun.


      A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

      by Pluto on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 02:03:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In your particular city? (0+ / 0-)

        Conceivable.  Nationally, it's 1 in 4.

        •  Apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

          We are talking about a very specific subset -- not an average among all homicides. Furthermore, the new trend in murder suicides is to also take out the kids and the family dog these days. Additionally, some of these events are oddly reported between municipalities and the Feds.


          A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

          by Pluto on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 03:44:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh. Missed the suicide part. (0+ / 0-)
            •  Yeah, it's a strange gray zone. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ichibon

              These are not investigated as "homicides" locally, thus they may not find their way into national homicide statistics data. That is why I look at them apart from the issue of crime. It is very rare that those involved have any sort of criminal record, and they are seldom part of a demographic that might suggest a propensity for a criminal threat toward society.

              Finally, a surprisingly large percentage of murder suicides are mercy killings (and in many ways cannot be regarded as "violent") Guns and head shots are part of that quick mercy, which explains the common usage of hand guns by this subset. Other nations handle this differently.


              A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

              by Pluto on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:21:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Premise and dissection: (5+ / 0-)
    If the plaintiffs in Woollard and the other cases prove to be right, that there is a Second Amendment right to carry a firearm outside of the residence, the judiciary will become involved all levels of detail.
     
    They are already, and have been for almost 2 centuries.
    For example, can carrying of a firearm be prohibited on a bus, in a school, at a bank, or in a church?
     
    The State could preclude firearms possession on public conveyances.  You're not required to take a train or bus.
    Same holds for a publicly-funded school.

    Bank?  Private institution.
    Same for Separation of Church and State.  Law?  Try scripture:  
    Though shalt render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God that which is God's.
    Hire a fellow named Caesar to take all firearms and give a coat-check tag at the entrance to Church.

    Could a state require firearms safety courses as a precondition?

    Yes.  Many States already do.
    Would service of a domestic violence restraining order sufficient to cause loss of the (supposed) right to carry firearms?
     

    Already does.  The difficulty comes on cross-complaints.
    "He punched me in front-of the children."  "Yeah well she was stabbing at me with a knife."

    Which spouse comes back with the friend's borrowed gun and shoots the other?

    All these things and many more would presumably be addressed by the courts, even though it seems to me that the power of the NRA already gives guns sufficient rights vis-a-vis the legislatures.
    Guns don't have rights.  Prove me wrong:  "Colt Model 1911A1 vs. United States of America"
    That sort of thing.   "US v. Thompson-Center Arms" isn't it, as the BATFE wasn't charging a gun, but a manufacturer with willful violation of the NFA '34.

    The BATFE lost BTW, mostly due to Sandra Day O'Connor.

  •  And we must never forget what we all now know: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon

    Guns do not kill people. Bullets kill people.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site