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Stephanie Heck doesn’t trust her neighbors. She doesn’t trust high school seniors, college students, and young adults in general. She believes that anybody 18 or older, given the opportunity to exercise the natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right to own and carry the weapon of their choice without let or hindrance is a “profoundly absurd scheme” which will lead to “firearms anarchy.” Whatever that means.  She says so right here in her herald-dispatch.com pieceState doesn’t need ‘firearms anarchy’. Speaking of West Virginia’s constitutional carry bill . . . 

she starts out:

The current West Virginia, GOP-controlled legislature,

I’m not sure why she singles out the GOP since the bill passed the West Virginia Senate with a 32-2 vote (and there actually are more than two Democrats there), but we’ll just chalk that up to the ignorance for facts so commonly found among antis and carry on.

seeks to allow 18-year-olds the unregulated right to carry a concealed firearm without restriction. …

A little bit of repetitiveness there, but according to her LinkedIn bio she is a retired computer geek not a professional journalist so again, we’ll let that slide. What I will not let slide, however, is her assertion that under this bill concealed carry will be unregulated and without restriction, nor will I ignore her later comment

I do not want high school seniors bringing guns to school …

Not to worry Steph; there is a little thing called federal law[1], specifically the Guns Free School Zone Act that prohibits unlicensed possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. In fact the Guns Free School Act started the whole zero-intelligence, er zero-thought, uh zero-tolerance policies which lead to things like grade-schoolers being suspended for breakfast snacks and chicken fingers.

But setting aside those questionable Federal prohibitions my question is simply, so what? So what if 18, 19 and 20-year-olds bring their lawfully-owned and lawfully-carried guns to school? Ms. Heck obviously thinks that this will lead to rains of toads, human sacrifice, cats and dogs living together…utter chaos! More specifically:

I do not want high school seniors bringing guns to school, as this wantonly, and without cause, endangers teachers. I do not want armed college kids, who have been well known to refrain from sobriety, to be packing pistols.

That’s a real high opinion you have of your fellow West Virginians there. Projection much? Just because you don’t trust yourself to exhibit responsibility doesn’t mean that the state is full of would-be Heidi Yewmans. And if this isn’t a case of projection, if you believe that you would be perfectly responsible with a weapon, but all those other people can’t be trusted, then all I have to say is: How dare you?

How dare you propose to limit other people’s freedoms because you believe that they aren’t as responsible as you are? But if you don’t care for pop psychology, let’s go to empiricism. Stephanie, please point out to me the vast numbers of wanton shootings in Vermont, whose citizens have had “constitutional carry” since, well, since they were subjects? Failing that would you please show all the drunken campus shootings in Colorado, Idaho[2], Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin?

But getting back to Steph’s little opus:

… I very strongly support law enforcement for standing up against this profoundly absurd scheme.

Since Mountain State sheriffs earn $3,000,000 a year[3] by selling West Virginians permission slips to exercise their natural, fundamental, and inalienable rights, I am not surprised that they are opposed to killing their cash cow. But that doesn’t make them right.

I am very much opposed to the abolition of prudent and reasonable regulations by the state on concealed carry permits. I see this “wild west” proposal currently before the legislature as the overt abdication of the state’s responsibility to conform to constitutional mandate.

“Firearms anarchy” is no substitute for a well-regulated armed populace as required by the Second Amendment. 

To paraphrase the inimitable Slim Pickens, “Gosh darnit Ms. Heck, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore.[4] Yet for all her overblown prose Stephanie displays her fundamental (and willful?) ignorance of the Second Amendment by trotting out the well-ripened “well-regulated” red herring. The “collective right” canard should have been staked, beheaded and force fed communion wafers when the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously agreed that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. As the majority found in Heller:

The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. [emphasis added]

And as the four dissenting Justices stated:

The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an “individual right.” Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals. But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right. [emphasis added]

Stephanie drones on with her erroneous interpretation for several more paragraphs before finishing up with what she probably thinks is her ace in the hole:

Let us not willfully endanger our police officers in West Virginia by overtly irresponsible deregulation of deadly weapons, only for the sake of extremist right wing ideology.

Seriously? You believe that someone who is willing to murder a cop will be dissuaded by the requirement to have a permit to carry? You think the drunken punk who killed Detective Terence Green was carrying legally? You believe the twisted POS who ambushed Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Bed-Stuy was carrying with a New York City permit? You think the cowardly pissant who seriously wounded two cops outside a police station in Ferguson a few nights ago was a law-abiding citizen carrying a weapon in accordance with all federal state and local regulations?

Not to put too fine a point on it, what color is the sky where you live, Stephanie?

Let me flog this dead horse one more time. My best friend growing up was a cop in New York City for over 20 years. When Minnesota was passing “shall-issue” the first time[5] I heard similar “officer safety” arguments from the opposition so I asked my friend if New York ever became a shall-issue state[6] how that would change police procedures. “Not at all,” was his reply. “Every time we approach someone we assume that they are armed.”

The sky in West Virginia — the blue one — is not falling Ms. Heck, nor will it if this bill becomes law. Everything will be all right. Really. Just as it is everywhere else in the country with similar or even less restrictive laws. 

[1] And no, I don’t agree with these laws, but they are there and I am not letting some hoplophobe get away with ignoring them just to throw up a straw man.
[2] Yes there was a campus shooting in ID, but it was not a drunken frat-boy, it was a professor who hadn’t learned Col. Cooper’s Rule 3: Keep your booger hook off the bang switch until you want it to go bang.
[3] An average of $43,600+ per department after the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund takes their 20% cut; numbers from the West Virginia Citizens Defense League
[4] And no, I am not intimating that Ms. Heck is a whore, I am mocking her effusive, excessive, inflated and pretentious verbiage.
[5] Long story: The short version is that the law was so nice that we passed it twice.
[6] Yes I know that this is about as likely as the Vikings winning a Super Bowl but hey, a guy can dream, right?

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58 Responses to Attention Anti-Gunners: Freedom ≠ Anarchy

  1. I honestly don’t get the hysteria. If you have ever actually been to WV (I have) you realize constitutional carry is already the de-facto situation (except maybe in the “metro” areas). So is “constitutional” driving, along with a whole host of other things people do without – egads- permission.

    • “I honestly don’t get the hysteria.”

      As well you should not because hysteria is by definition irrational, nonsensical, illogical “thinking” — if you can even call it “thinking”.

      Keep in mind that many gun grabbers don’t have any real argument anyway … rather they keep hurling verbal snippets until something sticks. The entire strategy is to brow-beat you into submission rather than reasoning with you and persuading you.

    • I agree, if there were ever a state where Constitutional Carry makes sense it is West Virginia. Gun ownership is simply a way of life there and at any given time I’d wager somewhere around half the populace is within 10 feet of a firearm.

  2. Not only should those inmature 18 year old seniors not be allowed to carry a gun but what about those 18 year old juniors? Those kids were obviously held back at some point in their academic career so there is no way they are smart and mature enough to pack heat.

    And don’t even get me started on those 18 year old 3rd graders they have there in the hills.

  3. She doesn’t want 18 year olds carrying firearms? I hope nobody tells her about this little thing called The Army.

    • And I hope no one spills the bean about this mountainous state where school all but closes on the first day of deer season. When lots of minors are out using “high-powered rifles.”

    • And I hope no one spills the beans about this mountainous state where school all but closes on the first day of deer season. When lots of minors are out using “high-powered rifles.”

  4. Unfortunately for us, there is only one Bruce Krafft and all too many weak-minded bags of estrogen like Stephanie Heck.

      • Indeed.

        He had another good one:

        “[6] Yes I know that this is about as likely as the Vikings winning a Super Bowl but hey, a guy can dream, right?”

        Miracles in pro football have happened.

        The Tampa bay Buccaneers proved that…

  5. The large footnotes… why? If you’re going to try to be all academic and use fancy footnotes, use them like you would see them in a paper.

  6. Well Stephanie, you can opposed to whatever the hell you want to be opposed to and I can be opposed to why firearm safety isn’t taught in our government indoctrination camps (i.e. public schools), starting in the first grade.
    I’m outraged as well.

  7. Firearm anarchy…pretty good.

    How about, Firearm armageddon! Maybe two exclamation points? No, three!!!

    Or perhaps: Firearm apocalypse!!!

    Or even: Firearm genocide!!!

  8. Why does she think anyone should care what “she wants”? Even if we do, I’m betting that someone who is going to shoot up a school doesn’t.

    She should stay on her property so she can control what people do around her.

  9. Oh no, West Virginia is in danger of becoming like….VERMONT!

    18 year olds can drive, vote and carry an automatic rifle into combat, so we can certainly trust them with their Constitutional right to carry here in the US.

  10. Well what she doesn’t realize is that this bill will only allow anyone over 21 to conceal carry. They amended it to make it where I cant protect my self the same as my dad can.

  11. What about the Coal and Chemical Industry anarchy in WV? If you are talking about dangers to people that might be a better place to start.

  12. You know, I recommend everybody check what their individual state laws define as the unorganized militia, for instance, in West Virginia:

    Ҥ15-5-19. Unorganized militia.
    The unorganized militia shall, at the call of the governor, be available for duty with the emergency service forces of this state. For purposes of this article, the unorganized militia shall consist of all able-bodied men and women between the ages of sixteen and fifty.”

    Yep, that’s right, all able-bodied men AND women age 16-50

  13. Robert , I am dissapoint …Please give us a warning when posting pictures like that .
    Does she have a carry permit for that face ?

  14. Column was written about a week ago–what is the status of the bill? Is it any closer to giving the Stephanie Hecks of the world the terminal vapors?

  15. There’s really no call for her angry, condescending tone. The whole of her argument rests on her personal opinions and misperceptions. Well.

    We’re all entitled to our own opinion. However, nobody is entitled to his own facts. Her screed is replete with factphobic denials of reality, slathered in an unsavory and unnecessary snideness. She’s polutting public discourse with her verbal anarchy.

  16. So tired of all the pretzel logic. Message to all anti’s; BITE MY BUTT! Not much class, but short and too the point.

  17. I do not want high school seniors bringing guns to school … Why? Kids bringing guns to school or having them in their vehicles in the parking lot was very common when I went to school. Really, it was no big deal.

  18. She means “chaos” not “anarchy”. They are not the same thing. Most people live their lives in a state of benign anarchy. Adding an armed government employee to any situation usually introduces chaos.

  19. Well now I’ll never have to wonder what Flounder from Animal House would look like in drag after seeing that mug.

  20. To these commies, its always either anarchy, or big govt. Things like small limited govt and one nation under God are so painful for their evil minds to even consider. They are like the vampires in movies who burn when exposed to Holy Water or sunlight.

  21. Re: “well-regulated”

    The harridan said “well-regulated armed populace”. One needn’t even go to Heller to shoot this down, one needs only to apply the rules of English grammar and usage.

    The term “well-regulated” modifies the noun, “militia”, not the noun, “right” nor the noun, “people”. It is the militia that is to be well-regulated, while acting as a militia. The modifier and the latter two nouns aren’t even in the same clause of the sentence.

    The right is declared in the independent clause as preexisting, of the people and sacrosanct, with no modifiers whatsoever. No conditions. Concise. Succinct.

    I really wish that this analysis would be the first line of argument against the “well-regulated” nonsense instead of the last. Citing precedent complicates things unnecessarily, and referring to the rules of English grammar would short circuit the opposition’s argument immediately.

  22. “with no gun contro It’ll be like the wild west!”

    “The wild west was actually quite peaceful.”

    “That’s because they had gun control!”

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