Tag Archives: gun

The Cinch Review

“If someone pointed a gun at you …?” – Mayor Bloomberg’s interesting question

In a press conference this week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York was defending the actions of the police officers who shot the gunman outside of the Empire State Building last week, killing him but also wounding nine innocent bystanders.

Now, I don’t condemn the police for the wounding of those people, simply because I know how densely populated is that area with tourists/commuters/people-selling-things-to-tourists and you name it. Simply put, if you point a gun straight-away in any direction there and fire it the bullet is going to find someone’s body, whether within close-range or down the block. The choice of the gunman to point his gun at the police took away their option not to fire. Using semi-automatics, they fired 16 rounds between them. Yes, they should have been able to do the job with less, but it’s difficult to seriously fault them given the abrupt and terrifying circumstance. I’m assuming at that close-range that many of the bystanders who were hit were hit by bullets or fragments of bullets which had already passed through the killer’s body. The video doesn’t show the officers firing wildly all about. Again, given the density of human flesh in that neighborhood, injuries to bystanders were inevitable. Thank God no one else was killed.

But that’s not why I’m interested in what Mayor Mike Bloomberg said at this press conference. In response to some critical question about the actions of the police officers, the famously pro-gun-control mayor is quoted as saying the following: “Let me ask you this: If somebody pointed a gun at you, and you had a gun in your pocket, what would you do?” It’s a rhetorical question, of-course, meant to defend the actions of the police officers.

It is a funny question on more than one level, coming from him. Firstly, due to the strictness of New York City’s gun control regulations (which he would only be inclined to make stricter) it is almost impossible to conceive of a situation where that reporter would legally be able to have “a gun in [his] pocket.” Merely getting a permit to own a handgun and keep it locked up, unloaded, at home, is a matter of enormous difficulty in New York City, and the authorities are under no obligation to issue it to you at all, even if you jump through every hoop successfully. They can simply say, “Ah, we don’t like your face,” or, “We don’t feel like it today.” It is in their discretion.

And getting a permit to actually carry a loaded handgun on your person in the city is many times more difficult again, and the city actively discourages people from even attempting to do so. It’s long been a matter of contention among those who are interested that you pretty much need to be a Hollywood star, some other kind of super-celebrity or mega-wealthy character in order to be anointed with such a permit. No doubt there are exceptions, but the deck is heavily stacked against any Joe or Jane Schmo, and the Second Amendment be damned (as indeed it is in New York City).

So Mayor Bloomberg’s question —If somebody pointed a gun at you, and you had a gun in your pocket, what would you do?—is kind of ludicrous on the face of it. The answer is: “Mr. Mayor, I wouldn’t have a gun in my pocket, thanks to you and your ilk, so I guess what I would do in that situation is die.”

And indeed, many people have died and do die in this city and others like it for the want of being able to defend themselves against murdering thugs.

Mayor Bloomberg’s question is also funny because it presumes, you’ll notice, that there is a moral right to pull out a gun and defend yourself if someone is threatening your life with one. “If somebody pointed a gun at you, and you had a gun in your pocket, what would you do?” The question presumes not only that anyone would use their gun to defend themselves in that situation, but that it would also be the right thing to do. Continue reading “If someone pointed a gun at you …?” – Mayor Bloomberg’s interesting question

The Cinch Review

Two Home Invasion Stories; Two Highly Contrasting Conclusions

Making the comparison between the following two recent stories might be a very obvious thing to do, but sometimes the obvious just cries out to be highlighted anyway.

The first story is so horrible that it is extremely difficult even to contemplate. It’s the kind of story that makes you shake your head and then, understandably, want to just turn it away. A court in Oklahoma will nevertheless have to focus on all of the details at some point. On March 13th last, a perpetrator invaded the Tulsa home of 90-year-old Bob Strait and his 85-year-old wife Nancy. Nancy was beaten and sexually assaulted. She died two days later. Bob, a veteran of World War II who fought on D-Day and earned a Bronze Star, was also injured in the attack and he passed away just about one week ago. The house was robbed and the next day a 20-year-old man was picked up by police driving around in Bob Strait’s car. He is currently being held on charges of first degree murder, first degree burglary, armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon. Bob and Nancy Strait had been married for 65 years. Continue reading Two Home Invasion Stories; Two Highly Contrasting Conclusions

The Cinch Review

Supreme Court recognizes 2nd amendment

From my cold, dead handsThe headline from the AP is: “Justices extend gun owner rights nationwide.” This, as distinct from their more narrow decision in the D.C. case in 2008. But just to correct the headline: The right always existed, and will continue to exist even if some later more perverse court should fail to recognize it. The fundamental rights of Americans do not and must not rest on the passing whim of any elite.

More details via the WSJ:

Monday’s ruling elevates the Second Amendment right to bear arms to the status of a fundamental right that states can’t abridge.

“It is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty,” wrote Justice Alito in his majority opinion.

The full text of this judgment is available from the Supreme Court at this link, in .pdf form.


The Cinch Review

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition

From the LA Times: Justices signal they’re ready to make gun ownership a national right.

Most of the Supreme Court justices who two years ago said the 2nd Amendment protects individual gun rights signaled during arguments Tuesday that they are ready to extend this right nationwide and to use it to strike down some state and local gun regulations.

Since 1982, Chicago has outlawed handguns in the city, even for law-abiding residents who sought to keep one at home. That ordinance was challenged by several city residents who said it violated their right “to keep and bear arms” under the 2nd Amendment.

[…]

All signs Tuesday were that five justices saw the right to “bear arms” as national in scope and not limited to laws passed in Washington.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy described the individual right to possess a gun as being of “fundamental character,” like the right to freedom of speech. “If it is not fundamental, then Heller is wrong,” Kennedy said, referring to the decision two years ago that struck down the handgun ban in the District of Columbia. Kennedy was part of the 5-4 majority in that case.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. called it an “extremely important” right in the Constitution. Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr. echoed the theme that the court had endorsed an individual, nationwide right in their decision two years ago. The fifth member of the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas, did not comment during the argument, but he had been a steady advocate of the 2nd Amendment.

Well, it will be months before there is a decision here, and part of my breath will be held until this incredibly important ruling is actually issued, but, I must say, this is highly pleasurable stuff to contemplate.