Op-Ed Piece by Bloomberg Legal Columnist


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DataMonkey
March 3, 2010, 09:45 AM
All-

I have attached Ms. Woolner's column below. She is obviously doing Mike Bloomberg's bidding in the financial community. I have sent her an email to her Bloomberg email account inviting her to debate her gun control advocacy position provided she can use facts and sources, not emotion or hyperbole. Let's wait and see what happens.

Note: I've already pointed out several (not all) errors regarding the facts of her argument.






Give Us a Right to Be Free of Those Who Bear Arms: Ann Woolner
2010-03-03 02:34:59.948 GMT


Commentary by Ann Woolner
March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Second Amendment fans were at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday arguing that the constitutionally protected right to bear arms should kill Chicago’s gun law.
The court will probably do just that. But Chicago’s ban on handguns, along with one in suburban neighbor Oak Park, are the only laws that are so restrictive. They don’t reflect what is going on across much of the country.
The real problem is that state legislators want to give more people the right to buy more guns and carry them into more places.
In my home state, Georgia lawmakers are pushing a bill that would welcome handguns into bars and houses of worship, onto college campuses and state playgrounds. Subways would be fine places to bring your firearms, as would the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s. Political rallies, too.
Chicago’s looking better to me all the time.
In Virginia, a new law lets people with hidden guns take them where alcohol is served. Plus, legislators there are working to repeal a law that limits gun buyers to one purchase a month, the New York Times reports.
Twelve new guns per year per person apparently aren’t enough in Virginia, in spite of bumper stickers claiming Virginia is for lovers. That is fine until your multiply armed lover thinks you are flirting with someone else as he downs a few drinks at your neighborhood tavern. (Maybe that is why they are called shooters.)
Out West, Arizona and Wyoming lawmakers are pondering the idea of letting people carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Wild West

So eager are some states to let gun-toters tote guns that Montana and Tennessee legislatures last year voted to exempt the states from federal restrictions for guns and ammo that never cross state lines.
So while the Supreme Court seems poised to say state and local gun control laws can be limited by the Second Amendment, I’m headed in the other direction.
I favor a reverse Second Amendment. It would read something like this:
“Well-regulated firearms, being necessary to the security of the states, the right of the people to be safe from gunfire as they go about their daily lives shall not be infringed.”
I doubt the amendment would get through Congress, much less through even a smattering of states for ratification. Federal law now allows loaded guns in national parks, thanks to a bill President Barack Obama signed last month. He thus reversed a ban bearing President Ronald Reagan’s signature.

Suffering Setbacks

True, gun lovers have suffered setbacks, too. A federal appeals court sided with Atlanta last year for declaring Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport a gun-free zone despite a 2008 state law allowing firearms there. That decision is one of the reasons lawmakers want to take another run at it.
In Maryland, the gun-rights and gun-control forces are in a stalemate, says Mark Arthur, who stood in the cold on the lower plaza of the Supreme Court yesterday holding a sign favoring gun rights.
A 40-year-old restaurant worker, Arthur is among others trying to persuade the Maryland legislature to ease restrictions that now require people to show “good and substantial reason”
to get permits to carry guns.
“It’s an individual right,” he says. The Supreme Court said so in 2008 when it struck down the District of Columbia’s gun ban. He is hoping the Supreme Court will give his cause another boost by saying states and cities can’t interfere with that right.

Sounding Hopeful

But gun-control advocate Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, also sounded hopeful when he talked to reporters outside the court.
“The crucial thing here is to have the court endorse reasonable restrictions,” he said.
And during arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday, it was clear that was the most that gun-control advocates could expect. Still, it is something.
Even Justice Antonin Scalia, a duck hunter and the author of the 2008 ruling, has called reasonable gun restrictions presumptively legal.
He repeated the point yesterday. A lawyer for Chicago and Oak Park, James A. Feldman, was arguing that the decision on the District of Columbia, if extended to cities and states, still allowed bans on some kinds of guns.
“That’s fine,” Scalia said. “We said as much” in the
2008 opinion.

What Is Reasonable

So now we are down to what is reasonable and what isn’t.
The notion of attending a political rally where people angry over health care or anything else are packing heat scares me.
And there have been too many church shootings, including that of Alberta King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s mother, killed in my hometown one Sunday morning, to feel good about letting guns in church.
Arthur, who says he is a liberal who includes gun rights among the civil rights he supports, makes it clear he thinks the answer to gun violence is to let more people arm themselves.
“Just how would rendering me defenseless protect you from violent criminals,” asks his sign.
I get that argument. But the notion of everyone around me packing pistols wherever I go gives me no comfort.
Oak Park banned handguns in 1984 after a former policeman smuggled a gun into a post-divorce proceeding and shot and killed the judge and his ex-wife’s lawyer, who lived in Oak Park. Their killings drove friends and family to push for gun control.
Anyone for a reverse Second Amendment?

(Ann Woolner is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)



For Related News and Information:
Top legal stories: TLAW <GO>
More Woolner columns: NI WOOLNER <GO>
More Bloomberg columns: NI COLUMNS BN <GO> and OPED <GO>

--Editors: Jim Rubin, James Greiff.

To contact the writer of this column:
Ann Woolner in Atlanta at +1-404-507-1314 or awoolner@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this column:
James Greiff at +1-212-617-5801 or jgreiff@bloomberg.net.

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meytind
March 3, 2010, 10:13 AM
*slaps forehead*

meytind
March 3, 2010, 10:15 AM
At first I thought it was satire, until I realized the writer actually felt that states lessening their restrictions on our fundamental rights was a bad thing.

Legionnaire
March 3, 2010, 10:15 AM
“Just how would rendering me defenseless protect you from violent criminals,” asks his sign. I get that argument.No, apparently you don't. Those who use guns illegally should be prosecuted and punished, not bailed and/or paroled. The whole reason for us wanting to arm ourselves is that we, based on years of experience, don't trust the justice system to deal with criminal behavior decisively.
I favor a reverse Second Amendment. It would read something like this: “Well-regulated firearms, being necessary to the security of the states, the right of the people to be safe from gunfire as they go about their daily lives shall not be infringed.” And how do you propose this "right" be enforced, given that the gunfire you worry about is already criminal? You really don't get it, do you?

627PCFan
March 3, 2010, 10:42 AM
This is a swiss-cheese article. Im not impressed.

Ohio Gun Guy
March 3, 2010, 10:46 AM
Dont waste your time...

To argue suscessfully you need a person who has some grasp of reality and common sense that utilizes logic and reasoning in thier thought process.

You will sooner get a tree in your back yard to agree with you than her.

CoRoMo
March 3, 2010, 10:52 AM
...the right of the people to be safe from gunfire...
No government can guarantee such a mythical right. None.
...the notion of everyone around me packing pistols wherever I go gives me no comfort.
News flash: Your feelings don't trump human rights. I don't feel comfortable unless I'm equipped with a modicum of security. We all, you and I, have a right to that.

svaz
March 3, 2010, 11:00 AM
I couldn't get past the histrionic babbling in the first few sentences. Someone let me know if she says anything approaching a reasonable argument later on. :banghead:

MTMilitiaman
March 3, 2010, 12:11 PM
Two things; first, since the article's author refers to GA pro-gun bills with such disdain, I suggest they research the effects of an old Kennesaw, GA law that required every household to possess a firearm, unless prohibited by religious obligation or certain other circumstances. I am not saying I support this sort of law. On the contrary, I feel legally requiring firearm ownership is as morally corrupt as legally forbidding firearm ownership. But it is interesting how one can take such a negative connotation on the thought of increased firearms ownership when there are well documented cases showing it to be very beneficial to society as a whole.

Secondly, might I ask the author to explain why she is so uncomfortable with the thought of increased firearm ownership, when according to all available 3rd party sources, record monthly firearm sales were recorded nearly every month since Obama took office, yet according to the preliminary FBI UCR figures for 2009, violent crime is down nearly 4.5% as a whole, including a drop of 10% for murder?

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/2009prelimsem/table_3.html

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2009/1223/More-guns-equal-more-crime-Not-in-2009-FBI-crime-report-shows.

Tommygunn
March 3, 2010, 12:14 PM
So now we are down to what is reasonable and what isn’t.
The notion of attending a political rally where people angry over health care or anything else are packing heat scares me.


Then don't attend these rallies.


Anyone for a reverse Second Amendment?

Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler et cetera .....

No one has a "right" to feel safe. Such a thing is not enforceable anyway. While some people may view it as "reasonable" when in social situations, what about people who don't feel safe when their 2A rights are infringed? How do you enforce rights when they conflict?
And what about people with unreasonable fears, like being hit by a meteor from space, for example? What do yo do about an Act of God?
I could go on ....

taliv
March 3, 2010, 12:21 PM
man, that brightened my day

wishin
March 3, 2010, 12:31 PM
The good news is that we don't have too many of these idiots in Georgia!

Novus Collectus
March 3, 2010, 09:24 PM
“Just how would rendering me defenseless protect you from violent criminals,” asks his sign.
I get that argument.She was looking at Oleg Volk's work and posters printed up in a collage on a posterboard I was holding which she quoted. I am the one she interviewed.

Thank you Oleg, your work which you gave a fellow Maryland activist permission to use has gotten quoted by a self admitted anti in her piece which has national attention and showed it may have worked towards making her reconsider her position someday maybe.

By the way, for the record, although Anne is anti RKBA, she is a nice lady and was completely up front with me on her positions when she interviewed me. She and I disagree on this subject, but she is a class act. in that regard.

rha600
March 3, 2010, 09:41 PM
I've said it once and I'll say it again.

If these people would stop crying over who has guns and what COULD happen and puttheir energy into something more useful like actually punishing criminals we'd be better off.

the problem isn't that criminals can get a gun. The problem is that if they do get one and use it they get a slap on the wrist. And when they do go to jail chances are that jail is nicer than where they were living to begin with.

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