Sunday, January 03, 2016

Goldilocks Ruling in Washington Supreme Court on Knives as Arms

The Washington State Supreme Court issued an insane ruling on December 31st.  The ruling was written by Justice Charles Wiggens, pictured above.  The case was City of Seattle v. Wayne Anthony Evans.  I classify this sort of opinion as Goldilocks gun control.  While this case involves knives, the approach is the same.  Under Goldilocks gun control, guns are restricted under any imaginable restriction, until the ones that are left are such a small number that they are acceptable to disarmists.  Either guns are "too big" (.50 caliber rifles) or too small (easily concealable), too military (weapons of war) or not military (not suitable for militia use), too effective (no one needs a 30 round magazine) or not effective enough (not reliable).  In the end, no gun is "just right".  Here is Justice' Wiggins transparent and idiotic attempt to do the same for knives.  From the decision(pdf):
 This reasoning ignores the origins, use, purpose, and function of both knives. It is true that some weapons may be used for culinary purposes, as it is also true that many culinary utensils may be used when necessary for self-defense; but it does not follow that all weapons are culinary utensils or that all culinary utensils are weapons. Were we to adopt Evans's analysis and hold that a kitchen knife was a protected arm because it could be used for self-defense, there would be no end to the extent of utensils arguably constitutionally protected as arms. If a kitchen knife is a protected arm, what about a rolling pin, which might be effectively wielded for protection or attack? Or a frying pan? Or a heavy candlestick? "Admittedly, any hard object can be used as a weapon, but it would be absurd to give every knife, pitchfork, rake, brick or other object conceivably employable for personal defense constitutional protection as 'arms."' Montana, 129 Wn.2d at 591 n.2.
This argument is a red herring.  It is irrelevant to the case. No one cares if kitchen implements are protected arms or not.  No one cares if someone decides to carry a rolling pin for defense.  The law in question is a prohibition on the carry of dangerous knives and all fixed blade knives.   To claim that a knife that is carried for self defense is not a protected arm because it might be a kitchen implement is a laughable overreach in order to uphold an obviously  unconstitutional law.

Justice Mary Fairhurst writes a cohesive and well argued dissent.  Here is part of it from the decision:
I would hold that the SMC, as applied to Evans -a law-abiding citizen
possessing a fixed-blade knife for self-defense- is presumptively unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. I would hold that a fixed-blade knife is an arm under the Second Amendment and that the Second Amendment's protections extend beyond the home. Alternatively, I would hold that in similar factual scenarios to Evans', the SMC fails under strict scrutiny because it places too severe of a burden on one's Second Amendment right to bear arms. Evans' appeal is controlled by his federal challenge. Given that the Second Amendment provides greater protection, this court must reevaluate its holding in Montana, and that decision should be abrogated. 
An item carried for self defense is a protected arm under the second amendment.   This is obviously clear for knives, but also for swords, pole arms, clubs and other contact weapons, all of which were in use in colonial militias, and continue in use in military establishments, and by police officers and other civilians, to this day.  The idea that a law that prevents knives from being carried for self defense is presumptively constitutional, because the knife in question was described as similar to a paring knife, is the height of judicial arrogance and idiocy.

Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Arrogance and idiocy? Nope.
Just Tyranny.