Quote of the day—Frederick J. Scullin, Jr.

The fact that an individual may be able to demonstrate a greater need for self-protection, and therefore meets the “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement, does not indicate, in any way, whether that person is less likely to misuse handguns or may be less dangerous. See Drake, 724 F.3d at 454 (Hardiman, C.J., dissenting).12 Nor does the District of Columbia’s “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement make it less likely that those who meet this requirement will accidently shoot themselves or others or engage in criminal activity than those who cannot meet this requirement. See id. The fact that a person may have a greater need for self-protection says nothing about how limiting the carrying of handguns to such individuals would result in a reduction of risk to other members of the public or reduce violent crime. Is the Court to conclude that people who do not have a heightened need for self-protection are more likely to commit violent crimes?

Frederick J. Scullin, Jr.
May 18, 2015

[H/T Firearm Policy Coalition (BREAKING: Washington, D.C. “May Issue” Handgun Carry License Law is Unconstitutional, Rules Federal Court Today).

The decision as a whole says “may issue” carry is probably unconstitutional and pending the actual ruling a preliminary injunction is granted against the highly restrictive D.C. “may issue” law. There are other jurisdictions that are going to have to take notice soon!

Others will have a lot more to say about what this means and the likely response of D.C. See for example see what Sebastian has to say about this ruling. But I really wanted to point out is that in the last sentence I quoted above the judge is calling the anti-gun people out on merely making “reasoning sounds” rather than a logical argument. He’s mocking them!

I especially like the part where the court agrees the plaintiffs should post a bond to cover the costs if the preliminary injunction was improperly granted. The plaintiff have to put up a bond of $1000.00. I regard that as a slap in the face for the tyrants of D.C.—Joe]


7 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Frederick J. Scullin, Jr.

  1. It’s interesting but to even get to the point of arguing over who is or is not more likely to abuse, or who does or does not have a compelling “need” for self protection is to dive deeply and willingly into social engineering.

    No, Young Grasshopper! Reject the premise of government as social engineer. All such arguments should be dismissed out of hand, immediately. The only legitimate issue for the courts is whether or not someone’s rights are being infringed, which of course they are in this case. The proper focus of any mockery then would be to point out the various and ridiculous attempts at molding and shaping society as though the government’s job is that of farmer and husband while The People are reduced to the status of livestock.

    The very thinking behind any government social engineering scheme is insane, and yet since there is no shortage of it, we have endless basis for successes in the courts.

    • Falsely yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater is not protected free speech because of the potential for injury. The government has an interest in protecting life and property and can therefore balance benefits versus risks of protecting free speech in this instance.

      A similar case can be made for the bearing of arms. Can the government legitimately make a law requiring guns to not spontaneously discharge at random times or when bumped against a wall when worn on someone’s hip? I would say that probably is constitutionally valid because it doesn’t meaningfully restrict the bearing of arms in general.

      D.C. was trying to make such an argument but their brains are so muddled they were only able to make “reasoning sounds”, not a reasonable argument.

      • Neil Smith has the right answer: No, in fact you have the perfect right to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater — and take the consequences afterwards.
        The issue here is prior restraint and approval of speech by government agents. No such restraint is authorized at all; any claims to the contrary are unconstitutional inventions. But the fact that speech is free does not mean you’re absolved from the consequences. If you harm people, you’re liable. If you slander people, you’re liable for that. And so on. But the laws of slander do not authorize prior restraint.

      • The proper response to “you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater.” should be; YES you can, BUT, there better be a fire or you deserve to be hung out to dry by your crown jewels……

        The reasoning of prior restraint is also a valid argument. No one who enters a theater is forced to leave their vocal cords in their vehicle or at home in order to protect the public from nefarious misuse of free-speech. Abuse can only be punished after the fact. The government attempt to prohibit damage by prior restraint opens up government power to all kinds of abuse at the expense of personal liberty, which is exactly what the anti-liberty forces hope to achieve.

  2. I’m fuzzy on the whole “plaintiff’s bond as a slap to D.C. tyrants” bit.

    Does it mean that SAF et al. pays D.C. $1,000 now, and if the injunction is found to be improper, D.C. and Cathy Lanier have to pay them back, thereby imposing an actual (if relatively minor) cost to attempting to continue the abridgement of citizens’ civil rights?

    • Essentially correct. SAF et al. puts up a $1000 bond. If the good guys lose the actual rulling D.C. gets the $1000 for damages caused by the preliminary injunction. If the good guys win the actual ruling then they get the $1000 back.

      My amusement with this is that the judge is saying, “The potential damage going from a extremely restrictive may-issue situation to a shall-issue situation can be covered by $1000.”

      • It’s a bit like the impressive novel QB VII, where a guy brings a lawsuit for libel. In the end, the jury agrees, and awards him damages of one half penny.

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