Posted by: Jay | March 26, 2008

Ignorance Is Bliss?

Not when it comes to government, constitutional rights and civics. Unfortunately for Heather Martens, she’s ignorant of all three.

Writing in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune she immediately starts off with a dose of nonsense:

As the Supreme Court considers whether to overturn nearly 70 years of legal precedent allowing gun regulation in this country, it should recognize the cost of doing so.

Once again, Miller did not set any precedent regarding whether or not the second amendment protects the right of the individual to bear arms. Don’t these people read?

Neily argues that the Washington, D.C., handgun ban violates a personal right to any kind of firearm for the purpose of self-defense — a new take on the Second Amendment that dismisses the idea that firearms should be “well-regulated.”

The second amendment makes no mention of firearms being “well-regulated” as that is applied to the militia. In addition, “well-regulated” according historians and legal experts had more to do with the militia being equipped, ready and trained. There’s an interesting post and comments thread here that discusses it.

But some states have substituted their idea of the “right to self-defense” for the “right to life” under “shoot first” laws, and the problems are becoming evident. Under these laws, when someone kills, the prosecution must prove, along with everything else, that the killer did not feel threatened. This change yields an unintended boon for sociopaths — a potent new tool for getting away with murder.

Here we go. A variation of the “wild west” trope. This time it’s people whipping out their guns and firing away because somebody looks at them funny. It’s interesting that they discuss all of these supposed problems yet can never actually cite any of them. While one example wouldn’t be indicative of any pattern, they could at the very least give us one. But they cannot.

He implies that handguns would make D.C. residents safer, but he doesn’t mention that the people getting shot are often the same people who carry handguns.

Yes, and the majority of those are street thugs who are going to carry not matter what the law says. 181 homicides in 2007 in Washington DC. 80% committed with a firearm. The ban has done wonders. Oh and nobody is asking to be able to carry. People are simply asking to have one in their homes.

He also fails to mention the dearth of cases of D.C. homeowners being killed by burglars for lack of a handgun.

Oh so a bunch of people have to start getting killed by burglars before it’s acceptable for people to have a handgun in their homes? Is this woman that stupid?

Being killed by a burglar is rarer than being struck by lightning, and even when faced with a burglar, there is no evidence that it’s better to have a handgun than a stick, a flashlight or a shotgun.

So because it’s rare to get struck by lighting, I guess people can throw caution to the wind when dealing with it. Out on a boat? Screw the lightning! Keep fishing! Golfing? Raise the 9 iron high to the sky while the lighting is flashing baby! After all, it’s a long shot that you’ll get struck. Oh and I’d like to see her bring a flashlight to a gunfight. Twit.

Neily also ignores the fact that gun deaths in this country rise and fall with gun ownership, and that keeping unsecured guns around carries tremendous risk to homeowners, their families and the public.

This is not true. The number of total gun deaths per year from 1999-2005 did not change all that much in total numbers and in no way can be directly linked to increased gun ownership.

The 2004 National Academy of Sciences report on firearms examined all the U.S. research data and found that there is no evidence that loose pistol-carrying laws reduce crime.

She’s a sly one isn’t she? Here’s what the report said:

There is no credible evidence that “right-to-carry” laws, which allow qualified adults to carry concealed handguns, either decrease or increase violent crime.

Now, I suppose it is hard to say whether or not more states adopting concealed carry laws directly contributed to declining crime rates, but the fact is, crime did decline, despite more states enacting concealed carry laws. Of course, Marstens leaves out that opposition to concealed carry laws has and always has been based upon the whole “wild west” theory, none of which has come true.

The Brady background-check law enacted in 1994 has prevented nearly 1.5 million gun transfers to prohibited purchasers and was followed by a decade of declining violent crime.

Oh so newer concealed carry laws had nothing to do with the decrease in crime. But the Brady Act certainly did, right? Wrong.

Meanwhile, the states that are laboratories for loose gun regulation — Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, South Carolina and Tennessee — topped all the states’ violent-crime rates in 2006.

This is a very broad and simplified statement. I don’t have time to go into it now, but I’m sure the numbers tell a different story.

This country must decide through the democratic process how to address our gun-violence crisis.

We don’t have a “gun violence crisis.”

I thought Martens was just some doofus report. Actually, she’s a doofus President of Citizens for A Safer Minnesota.



  1. […] From Jay: Not when it comes to government, constitutional rights and civics. Unfortunately for Heather Martens, she’s ignorant of all three. […]

  2. Heather Martens obviously lives by the old saying that goes; “If ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise!”

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