Will Liberals Really Take Away Your Guns?

In response to my previous posts arguing that at present liberals are far closer to libertarians than conservatives, some Republican-leaning libertarians have cited out dated ideas as to the views of liberals on the right to own guns. Some echo conservatives in arguing that liberals will take away their guns (but at least don’t repeat the conservative claims that liberals will also take away their bibles). We see evidence of the lack of such a desire among liberals in the reaction to the federal appeals court’s ruling on Second Amendment rights in Washington, D.C. While some courts have argued that the ambiguously-worded amendment only pertains to a right to maintain a militia, this ruling interprets the amendment as giving the right to own guns to individuals. I would assume that ultimately the Supreme Court will decide upon this issue.

In reviewing the reaction in the blogosphere it is clear, as anticipated, that intensity of support for the right to own guns is greater on the right. While this is a lower priority on the left, the sentiment is also with the rights of the individual. Even where bloggers have not commented it is noteworthy that there is no outrage over the court’s decision as would be expected if restriction of gun ownership was really a goal of liberals. Liberal blogs have expressed some of the following views:

Taylor Marsh:

Personally, I can’t imagine a city law banning all guns in private homes. It’s absurd. I believe it is also unconstitutional. As for my gun expert husband, he simply wouldn’t live where guns were banned by law. No American should be forced to; not with the Second Amendment as law.

Good for CATO…

It’s not over by a long shot, but I hope that the ruling stands and that D.C. residents get the right that all Americans deserve under the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Keep fighting.

Guns are not for everyone. If you don’t like them, don’t own one. Of course they need to be regulated, with background checks for owners mandatory. But they should definitely not be banned.

The Gun Toting Liberal:

Looks like they got it right, folks. It IS a “right”, and perhaps, even a responsibility to protect oneself and one’s loved ones via the “great equalizer” as well as one of our few civil liberties we have somewhat left to us. On top of it all, with the far-right’s attempts to install a theocracy all around us, we just MIGHT want to think about that little “tyranny” comment by Judge Silberman for a moment. While “tyranny” is not exclusive to the right, there is little doubt that the tyrants of the far-right are armed to the “T’s” compared to the tyrants on the far-left.

Talk Left:

Good news for those who, like me, believe the Second Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today holds it does.

Pro-Gun Progressive:

One of the more annoying arguments from the antis suggests that because no court has ever used the 2A as a basis for overturning a gun control law, the mere existence of the so-called “reasonable restrictions” we have in so many states indicates that the 2A has been gutted, for all practical and pragmatic purposes; while it might have been the case that the 2A had never been invoked against a gun control law, I certainly never saw how that meant the 2A had no teeth. It simply had teeth that hadn’t been brought to bear.

The Impolitic:

I don’t have the time or the inclination to read lengthy D.C. Circuit rulings but this appears to be good news for Second Amendment advocates. This is an issue I don’t know enough about to really opine on and I have to admit that some of these black rifle gunbloggers scare the bejebus out of me, but the one thing I feel certain about is we don’t want to allow our government to disarm law-abiding citizens.


I’m not a huge handgun fan, but requiring people to have trigger locks or having the thing disassembled sort of defeats the purpose, yes?

Now, concealment I’m not really okay with, but if somebody wants a gun in their home for protection, that’s their right.

The Mahablog:

Eugene Volokh seems to think this decision, which upholds an individual rather than a collective right to keep and bear arms, will impact the 2008 elections somehow.

I doubt it. The Democrats have pretty much conceded gun control, especially as it pertains to an individual’s right to keep a firearm in his house, which is (I believe) what the DC law was about. The only gun control laws anyone seems to care about — and even then, not much — are the sort of laws that might prevent a schizophrenic Islamofascist with a felony record from buying a truckload of assault weapons at a gun show without having to submit to a background check.

Matthew Yglesias:

Good news for DC’s wannabe gun owners (i.e., me) today, as a federal court rules that what amounts to a blanket ban on gun ownership in Washington violates the second amendment of the constitution

My feeling is that DC law has been working as hard as possible for the past few decades to try and demonstrate the maxim that when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns. I don’t write about this issue much because, hey, I don’t want to be a wanker, but you can certainly mark me down as glad that Democrats seem to have dropped gun control as a cause here in the 21st century.

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  1. 1
    k-romulus says:

    Thanks for the interesting post. However, I think a more accurate portrayal of the reaction can be seen in the various commentaries to the online news articles (like Link ) or at places like Washington Monthly (Link). Not to mention my personal experiences here in DC listening to people’s reactions, though that may be due to selection bias of being part of an upper middle class liberal crowd.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    I would think that the views expressed over a wide range of liberal blogs is a more accurate portrayal than anything in a comments section.

  3. 3
    Dean Berry says:

    Amdocs is blackmailing America’s “leaders.” That’s why they’re making such insane decisions: http://dinoberry.googlepages.com/home

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