Category Archives: 2nd Amendment

The Liberal Theology of Gun Control

Yep, change the subject!
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How does a man who entered the White House vowing to restore science to its proper place tell us that gun control is the answer to terrorism?

After all, California already has strict gun control, as does France, which just had its second terrorist massacre this year. Not to mention that the one time when terrorists with assault rifles and body armor were foiled, it was because an off-duty traffic cop in Garland, Texas, was carrying a gun—and used it to shoot the two heavily armed Islamists before they could kill anyone.

Or that “common sense gun control” would have done nothing to stop Richard Reid (the unsuccessful shoe-bomber); the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston (pressure cookers) or the 9/11 hijackers (box-cutters). Maybe the president should be demanding common sense pressure-cooker control.

Yet while the critiques of the president’s antigun pitch are correct, they are also beside the point. Because liberal calls for gun control aren’t about keeping guns from bad guys. It’s what you talk about so you don’t have to talk about the reality of Islamist terror. And focusing on the weaponry is part of a liberal argument that dates to the Cold War, when calls for arms control were likewise used to avoid addressing the ugly reality of communism.

Understand this, and you understand why Senate Democrats reacted to San Bernardino by putting forth antigun legislation. Why the New York Times ran a gun control editorial on its front page, and the Daily News used its own cover to feature the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre underneath San Bernardino killer Syed Farook—labeling them both terrorists. And why President Obama used Sunday night’s address to whine about those resisting his call for gun measures that would not have stopped any of the shooters.

Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them.

Not that there aren’t measures society can embrace to keep the innocent from being shot and killed. The best example may be New York City from 2002-13, during Ray Kelly’s last stint as police commissioner, when the NYPD was bringing the murder rate to record lows through America’s most effective gun-control program: stop-and-frisk.

This was gun control for bad guys, under the theory that when you take guns away from bad people—or at least make them afraid to carry guns on the street—you reduce shootings. But it was savaged by liberals. Because they don’t want just the bad guys’ guns. They want yours.

So they demonize guns while fighting approaches that try to identify threats, whether from mentally ill individuals such as Adam Lanza, who went on a murderous rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, or terrorists such as Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. Surely the key to distinguishing between the millions of law-abiding Muslims and those who mean us harm is intelligence.

Nevertheless, the urge to blame the weapon has deep liberal roots. It was particularly pronounced in the latter years of the Cold War when Ronald Reagan was president.

Even as Reagan was applying the pressure that would ultimately bring down the Berlin Wall in 1989—from arming the Afghan resistance to supporting Poland’s Solidarity movement to rebuilding America’s defenses—liberals derided him as a warmonger. Two things especially irked them: He’d called the U.S.S.R. the Evil Empire, and he was skeptical about arms control for the sake of arms control.

So when the Gipper walked away from the 1986 Reykjavik summit because Mikhail Gorbachev insisted his price for a nukes deal was the end of missile defense, Reagan was derided as a dunce. But his decision proved one of his finest moments: Scarcely a year later the Soviets caved and Mr. Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Bad regimes are like bad guys in this respect. They’ll take a deal they know has no teeth. But they will accept a genuine arms reduction only when the good guys put them in a position where they have little or no choice.

This helps explain why, for example, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi turned over his entire nuclear program to George W. Bush—and why the Iranians happily agreed to a deal with President Obama that puts them on the path to a bomb.

Meanwhile, we’ve just endured what may be the first successful ISIS-inspired attack on the homeland. And like her former boss, Hillary Clinton is demanding the government “take action now” on guns.

Back and forth it goes. Instead of debating the antiterror policy of the past seven years—the wisdom of ending the National Security Agency’s metadata program, whether ISIS can be knocked out without any ground troops, how the lack of nerve on Syria fed this mess, or whether Islamist terror can be defeated so long as our leaders refuse to call it by its rightful name—we’re all arguing over gun control.

Then again, if you were Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton, isn’t this the debate you’d prefer?

Write to McGurn@wsj.com

Source: The Liberal Theology of Gun Control – WSJ

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How Colorblind Justice Prevailed in New Orleans

By MIKE WEINBERGER
New Orleans June 6, 2014 6:42 p.m. ET

At 2 a.m. on July 26, 2013, Merritt Landry, his pregnant wife and small child were asleep in their house in New Orleans when their dog started barking. Someone had climbed over the locked front gate of their property and was rattling the window shutters. The noise awakened Mr. Landry, whose house in the Marigny neighborhood had been burglarized multiple times. Calling 911 might bring help, but far too late. He took his legally owned handgun and went into his tiny front yard, hoping to keep the intruder from breaking through one of the windows.

After spotting the intruder he said he yelled for him to stop, but the young man made a sudden move. Mr. Landry fired one shot that seriously wounded the trespasser, then called the police. They arrested and charged him with second-degree attempted murder.

Merritt Landry, then 33 years old, is white. The intruder, Marshall Coulter, is black and was then 14.

The episode raised an important question. In a majority-black city like New Orleans, can the justice system handle such a case impartially, or will racial politics cause it to malfunction? Today we have the answer: The system can render justice, especially when a coalition of black and white citizens demand it.

Initially, this wasn’t so clear. Hours after his arrest, Mr. Landry was suspended without pay from his job as a city building inspector. Homeowners in New Orleans, where violent crime is a terrible problem, were deeply worried. It seemed as if the right to defend your family was being taken away. “This is a game changer,” one of them told me.

A few days after the shooting, Nadra Enzi, a black conservative, went on a popular radio show and urged the black community not to rush to judgment. He called for “color-blind common sense” and explained that this was simply a case of a homeowner trying to defend his family. Jeff Crouere, the show’s host and a friend of mine, arranged a meeting where the three of us began working to make sure this homeowner was treated fairly. We operated under the banner of the Home Defense Foundation of New Orleans, an organization I had founded before the shooting incident.

On Aug. 6, we held our first rally to support Mr. Landry. More than 70 people, including blacks, whites and citizens of Asian descent attended. The Big Easy isn’t known for intense citizen involvement, so that was a significant turnout. A middle-age black man told a TV reporter that if someone climbed over the gate at his house in the middle of the night, he would also have been shot.

Our group asked for a meeting with the New Orleans district attorney, Leon Cannizzaro. For more than an hour he listened courteously and professionally as we made our case that Mr. Landry was simply trying to protect his family.

At a second rally in front of the Landrys’ house, one attendee, who was black, told Mr. Enzi and me that his house had been invaded several months earlier. He said that he shot and killed the intruder, who was white, but was not arrested. Louisiana has a law protecting homeowners who use fatal force to stop an intruder, but a loophole left them vulnerable to prosecution if the intruder, like Marshall Coulter at the Landrys’ house, was only wounded.

Although some black citizens asserted that Mr. Landry had overreacted, many others understood his situation. At one meeting Al Mims, a black retired Orleans Parish civil deputy sheriff, said Mr. Landry was defending his family and had done nothing wrong.

Our efforts seemed to be having an effect. Instead of moving ahead on their own, prosecutors announced that they would take Mr. Landry’s case to a grand jury. Meanwhile, Messrs. Enzi and Crouere expanded our efforts to reform Louisiana law about homeowners using force during a break-in. The law needed to be changed to protect those who wound but don’t kill an intruder. We began rallying support to change the law and we met with key legislators.

In February 2014, a grand jury voted not to indict Merritt Landry. Prosecutors sent the case to another grand jury, which also declined. But neither grand jury voted for exoneration, so the case was still open. Then on May 2, about two months after the second grand-jury vote, Marshall Coulter was arrested on suspicion of breaking into another house. The crime, caught on videotape, was broadcast on local TV. Mr. Coulter was booked for attempted burglary, and police confirmed that they had also booked him the same day on the charge of aggravated burglary during a home invasion in June 2012.

On May 15 the case against Mr. Landry was formally dropped. Seeking privacy, he made no statement. But he has returned to his job with back pay. A few days later, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a law, passed overwhelmingly in the legislature, that gives homeowners who shoot and wound a home invader a presumption that their actions were lawful. The new law will largely protect future Merritt Landrys.

Mr. Weinberger is a retired attorney who lives in New Orleans. He is a past president of the New York City chapter of the Federalist Society.

Mike Weinberger: How Colorblind Justice Prevailed in New Orleans – WSJ.

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5-year-old Interrogated by School Until He Wets His Pants

We probably don’t know half of what is happening…
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By Bobby Eberle May 31, 2013 11:58 am

Ok, come on. It seems like school officials are going nuts these days. Kids can’t play “Cowboys and Indians,” because that could lead to gun “violence.” (Not to mention that the game is so un-PC.) Kids can’t think of a gun, draw a gun, or even hold their fingers in the shape of a gun. So imagine what happened when a 5-year-old child brought a cap gun to school.

As reported by The Washington Post, “a kindergartner who brought a cowboy-style cap gun onto his Calvert County school bus was suspended for 10 days after showing a friend the orange-tipped toy, which he had tucked inside his backpack on his way to school”

The child was questioned for more than two hours before his mother was called, she said, adding that he uncharacteristically wet his pants during the episode. The boy is 5 — “all bugs and frogs and cowboys,” his mother said.

“I have no problem that he had a consequence to his behavior,” said the mother, who asked that her name be withheld to protect her son’s privacy. “What I have a problem with is the severity,” she said, and the way it was handled.

According to the story on The Daily Caller, the boy brought the gun to school “because his friend had brought a water gun the previous day. He later told his mother than he ‘really, really’ wanted his friend to see it.”

So… the boy brings a orange-tipped, cap gun to school and gets suspended for 10 days and gets “questioned” by school officials for two hours. Two hours! Schools have gone completely overboard. But get this… consider what would have happened to the little boy if the cap gun has actually been “loaded.” The Washington Post reports that “it would have been deemed an explosive and police would have been called in.” An explosive? Has everyone gone insane? Would they have sent in the bomb squad to “disarm” this device?

“The school was quite obviously taking it very seriously, and he’s 5 years old,” she said. “Why were we not immediately contacted?”

The family’s attorney, Robin Ficker, said that the age of the child is important and that the incident could have been used as a teachable moment. “Kids play cowboys and Indians,” he said. “They play cops and robbers. You’re talking about a little 5-year-old here.”

… if there are any penalties enforced, they should be against the school officials. Let’s have some common sense for a change!

5-year-old Interrogated by School Until He Wets His Pants… Because of Cap Gun.

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