Saturday, December 08, 2012

A Constitutional Right to Loaded, Unlocked Guns in the Home

Americans have the right to keep loaded, unlocked guns in their homes. This constitutionally protected right was reinforced by the Supreme Court in the D.C v. Heller decision, and in turn applied to the states in the McDonald decision.

Here are the quotes from the Heller decision:


Here is the first half of paragraph 4 of part IV:

“We must also address the District’s requirement (as applied to respondent’s handgun) that firearms in the home be rendered and kept inoperable at all times. This makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.”

Here is the summation paragraph:

In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment , as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

This part of the Heller decision has not received the attention that it deserves. It effectively renders the current excuses given for infringing on the Second Amendment as a means of crime control, moot, dead, and buried. The modern fabric of misinformation designed to disarm the American people rests on a foundation that the purpose of the disarmament is to reduce crime. The vast majority of criminals obtain their firearms through theft, primarily by burglary. The guns are then distributed through the criminal distribution network, already robust from the drug war and street gangs.

The theory behind modern gun control is that if you make guns unavailable to most citizens, the criminal source of guns will dry up and you will have less guns used in crime.

Logically this theory fails on many other points, which I will not treat in this essay because of space limitation, but I will mention a few that each deserve articles of their own. These are, weapons substitution, home made guns, underground manufacturers, illegal importation, vast existing stockpiles, and the minimal number of firearms required for crime.

What the ruling in Heller does, is make it impossible to reduce the availability of guns to criminals by reducing the supply from citizens, because it accepts and recognizes the most basic and elemental of all natural rights, the right to life and by corollary, the right to self defense.

We now have a situation where the Supreme Court has ruled that the citizens have a constitutionally protected right to keep the 300 million plus existing firearms in their homes, loaded, unlocked, and ready for use in defense of self and others.

While this will undoubtedly assist in further reducing the crime rate, it also insures that criminals will have illegitimate access to the existing stock of firearms. These guns now are assured of being kept in the home... not in government armories as some anti-rights zealots have suggested. The citizens are assured of the right to keep them loaded, so ammunition will be available, not locked up separately as anti-freedom leaders have insisted. They cannot be required to be locked in mandatory safes as a means of keeping them out of criminal hands, because having them available for self defense is now a clearly recognized and constitutionally protected right.

Therefore, it is futile to attempt to restrict criminals access to firearms by restricting the citizens access to firearms. Citizens access to firearms is guaranteed by the supreme law of the land, and crime rates continue to fall.

I do not expect this elemental logic to convert many anti-freedom zealots. Their visceral hatred of an armed citizenry was never really about disarming criminals in the first place. However, there are many people who have simply accepted the anti-freedom propaganda without much thought. They may find this argument persuasive.


Anonymous said...

What about locking your guns up when you are not at home? When are most firearms stolen? When someone is in the home or the home is unoccupied?

Dean Weingarten said...

While a large number of firearms used in crime are obtained by theft, the BATFE says that 47 percent are obtained by straw purchasers.

I do not know if this data is from gun traces, or how the guns crime are defined.