The N.C. Supreme Court drew national attention a few weeks ago as the country's first court to rule that a convicted felon has a right to own a gun.
Yes, they did, although it really didn't draw much attention outside on North Carolina. Now, at the risk of alienating some of the readership (all four of you), I'm going to tell you that I agree with the ruling. For quite a while I've believed that if someone commits a crime, is caught and is given a sentence, then once that sentence is served, they're done--their debt is paid in full. They should get welcomed back into the community of citizens with all their rights intact.
(I also believe that if they make a habit of that pattern of behavior, then we need to lock them up and throw away the key. We need people to clean up toxic waste dumps and so on. The habitual felon sounds like an excellent candidate for those sorts of positions.)
Others disagree with me, especially those who would use any excuse they can to take away our civil rights. One particular sad little panda at the Brady Bunch is a short step from a major bout of PSH over the ruling:
"I don't think gun dealers should be deciding the constitutionality of gun laws," said Dennis Henigan, vice president for law and policy at the pro-gun-control Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington.
Yes folks, NC Supreme Court Justice Edward Thomas Brady is an FFL holder. Oh my, the sky is falling!
Let's take Mr. Hegigan's idea a bit further. Using his "logic", a justice who owns property could never rule on a case involving property. A justice who belongs to an organization could never rule on a case by an organization. Or as former NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Burley Mitchell says, "I've got a driver's license, but I regularly ruled on cases involving automobiles and driver's rights. If a judge starts recusing over connections that remote, you'll have a judiciary that can dodge every difficult case."
Somehow, I just don't think this would work in our society.
Another sad little panda takes another route to Messy Pants-land:
Gene Nichol, a UNC Chapel Hill law professor, called the ruling "the most aggressive gun rights decision" in the country. "Then you read that the highly-activist opinion is written by a gun dealer and manufacturer," he said. "It sure smells."
Some one at UNC-Chapel Hill who doesn't believe in civil rights he disagrees with. Now there's a shock. Apparently Mr. Nichol, he who professes law at UNC, hasn't heard of a little thing known as "the Heller decision". I bet he's going to be downright livid when he gets wind of that one.
I'll give Mr. Nichol credit for one thing--at least he got closer to an argument that could hold water. However, since the plaintiff lost his rights due to a 2004 action by our wonderful legislature, and Justice Brady apparently didn't get into the business until 2007, it sort of falls flat. Oopsie.
The lesson that should be reinforced here is that "gun control" isn't about guns. It's about control. Those who believe themselves better, smarter and more enlightened than we think that gives them the right to force us to live by their rules.
As one of my favorite fictional characters once said, "I do not hold with that."