Gun Owners Need Not Provide ‘Good Reason’

Good news for those who believe in the Second Amendment:

Maryland residents do not have to provide a “good and substantial reason” to legally own a handgun, a federal judge ruled Monday, striking down as unconstitutional the state’s requirements for getting a permit.  …

“A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” Legg wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”  …

“People have the right to carry a gun for self-defense and don’t have to prove that there’s a special reason for them to seek the permit,” said his attorney Alan Gura, who has challenged handgun bans in the District of Columbia and Chicago as an attorney with the Second Amendment Foundation. “We’re not against the idea of a permit process, but the licensing system has to acknowledge that there’s a right to bear arms.”  …

“In addition to self-defense, the (Second Amendment) right was also understood to allow for militia membership and hunting. To secure these rights, the Second Amendment’s protections must extend beyond the home: neither hunting nor militia training is a household activity, and ‘self-defense has to take place wherever (a) person happens to be,'” Legg wrote.

via Fox News.

I believe the judge not only reached the correct verdict but did so with the correct logic.  At the end of the day, our right to defend ourselves is given to us not by government but by our creator. i.e. by nature for you atheist folks.

Before the McDonald case reached the USSC it was heard by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.  In that opinion J. Easterbrook wrote:

Self-defense is a common-law gloss on criminal statutes, a defense that many states have modified by requiring people to retreat when possible, and to use non-lethal force when retreat is not possible.  An obligation to avoid lethal force in self-defense might imply an obligation to use pepper spray rather than handguns.  A modification of the self-defense defense may or may not be in the best interest of public safety—whether guns deter or facilitate crime is an empirical question—but it is difficult to argue that legislative evaluation of which weapons are appropriate for use in self-defense has been out of the people’s hands since 1868. The way to evaluate the relation between guns and crime is in scholarly journals and the political process, rather than invocation of ambiguous texts that long precede the contemporary debate.

Easterbrook wrongly binds our right to self-defense to criminal statutes.  By this logic the right to self-defense simply did not exist at all until the criminal statutes were but into place.  This is of course absurd.

Our founding fathers knew this:

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolves the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, …

(You should be ashamed if you don’t know the source.)

The powers of the earth together with the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle each and every living thing to defend itself, its progeny, and its kind by whatever means available from any threat.  If you doubt this, go put yourself between a mother lion and her cubs.

Kudos to J. Everett Legg for at least bringing the self-defense argument front a center when it comes to the Second Amendment.