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 piece, State 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, 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, 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 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.” 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 I heard similar “officer safety” arguments from the opposition so I asked my friend if New York ever became a shall-issue state 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.