This was the HEADLINE
in the Herald:
"Shots fired at cops after robbery at Starbucks."
Were those shots of espresso?
It's actually a very poor joke.
How many officers in Broward County have died in the line of duty this year? 4? 5? And one deputy recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.
There is an epidemic in this country, and it is death by handguns.
The US Supreme Court has never directly addressed the question of whether the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to possess a firearm in his/her home.
There is now a request for cert. pending before the court in 07-290 (District of Columbia v. Heller) which addresses that very issue. The case was financed and brought by a wealthy individual at the Cato institute who intended to engineer the case to bring the question to the Supreme Court.
A decision in 1939, United States v. Miller, held that a sawed-off shotgun was not one of the “arms” to which the Second Amendment applied.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Asked during his confirmation hearing what he thought that sentence meant, soon to be Chief Justice Roberts responded that the Miller decision had “side-stepped the issue” and had left “very open” the question of whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right as opposed to a collective right. (We obtained this quote from the
NY Times article of November 13, 2007).
We rarely get beyond questions of interpretation of the disorderly intoxication statute, but to our eyes it seems pretty clear that the right to arms relates directly to the creation of a Militia.
Despite our President's misuse and wasting of military resources, we don't think the 3rd Armored division will soon be in need of our somewhat rusty rifle.
Law enforcement types tend to be the sort of right wing "law and order" Republicans that drive around with bumper stickers stating "when it is a crime to have a gun...only criminals will have guns."
However, as they get gunned down at record rates in Broward this year, just how many more tragedies will it take before something is done? How many millions of unregistered and illegal firearms are on our streets?
We know this is a hot button issue. But here is what we also know: when those thugs who robbed Starbucks started firing at police officers, none of the customers drew their own firearms and shot the latte larceny perpetrators dead.
We guess it's possible to live in a world where everyone walks around with a sidearm. And we agree if that were the case, the principle of mutual assured destruction would probably reduce gun violence.
But absent the arming of the entire population over the age of 18, we think the solution is less guns, not more.
We like to quip that the framers made a typo when drafting the second amendment, and that what they intended was to guarantee our citizens the right to wear short sleeved shirts (bare arms-get it?) But nothing is funny about what has happened in Broward this year.
See You In Court.