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“While homelessness is a serious problem all its own, the defendant has offered no authority to support the idea that a person without a home may carry a firearm wherever he or she may travel or otherwise exercise a Second Amendment right free from the limits that restrict that right for every other person otherwise situated.” – Boston Assistant District Attorney Michael Kaneb in Homeless Woman’s Stun Gun Spurs 2nd Amendment Case [at]

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  1. This could become the case that overturns laws that restrict 2nd amendment rights to within the confines of a home.
    Nobody would ever argue the the first amendment rights if freedom of speech is confined to the home and that the homeless therefor have no right to freedom of speech. (Though more than a few Atheists have tried to argue that freedom of religion ends when we leave the home or church. )

    • I know some atheists follow the entire liberal line of insisting “public accommodation” for “protected classes” somehow includes not saying anything offensive to an atheist, but most I think restrict the complaints to government institutions’ endorsing of a specific religion. The complaints about a prayer before a city council meeting, or before a high school football game, etc., all have one thing in common: It’s a government body officially engaging in a religious practice. The argument here is that government should remain neutral on such matters; it should neither engage in a religious practice (for any of the thousands of religions in the world) or an atheist one (and there are as many different kinds of atheists as there are atheists), it should do nothing to uphold either.

      (If this seems too scattershot, like it’s intruding in every area of life, then perhaps the reason is the government does too doggone much in today’s society.)

      If you have examples of cases where atheists as a class (as opposed to a few radicals) seem to want to ban religious activities outside the confines of government, those would be worth discussing. In cases that actually do match that description, I’d tend to be on your side. But in my personal experience those are few and far between and claims that atheists want to ban religious expression outside the home and church are overblown.

      • Atheists whine and sue about any reference whatsoever to God or religion wheresoever. Their objections are not confined to government establishment of a religion.

        Atheists, the ones politically and legally active, are not at all the live and let live, areligious sort they pretend to be. They’re anti-religion zealots bent on driving all religion for all people from the culture.

        They’re the type who would suspend a kindergartener from school for biting a pop tart into the shape of a crucifix. It’s the same statist song, but a different Devilish verse.

        • Well, if your’re talking about a Christian practicing their religion. But there is not one peep from these atheists that I have heard about different school districts providing prayer space on school grounds for Muslims for their daily prayers.

          I heard it from some very honest Liberal/progressives when they were attacking me for my practicing my religion and I brought up how they are supposed to be about “tolerance” of those that believe differently than they.

          This one man said bluntly, “you’re not a minority or a recent immigrant, you don’t deserve to be tolerated”.

          That is pretty much Liberal/progressivism in a nut shell. They attack and tear down anyone and anything that supports a traditional America culture, whether it’s the Christian religion, gun rights, traditional marriage, small government, obeying the law and the biggest American tradition, personal responsibility.

          In their minds, they are at war with those that are against their “transforming society” into the “classless society” that provides all the peoples needs, with them at the top, of course, deciding what your needs are.

        • “Atheists whine and sue about any reference whatsoever to God or religion wheresoever. Their objections are not confined to government establishment of a religion.”

          Again I invite examples of legal action, of them getting a government to force suppression of religious expression outside of a government context. Your mere assertion that such happens doesn’t count.

          “Whining” doesn’t qualify. Anyone can whine, it’s their right. (I certainly hear enough of it from Christians, whining about private businesses that use “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” How dare a private business acknowledge that maybe not all of their customers are celebrating that particular holiday this time of year! They’re anti-Christian!!! It’s a War On Christmas!)

        • “Well, if your’re talking about a Christian practicing their religion. But there is not one peep from these atheists that I have heard about different school districts providing prayer space on school grounds for Muslims for their daily prayers. ”

          Why should they? You’ll be happy to do it for them. They have to fight the unpopular cause.

          But there is a sh!t ton of hypocrisy from Christians on this issue. It’s OK to direct state funds to religious schools, they claim… but when it turns out some of those religious schools aren’t Christian, the roof falls in. As evidence for this, how about this dingbat from Louisiana:

          So what made her think that somehow, handing money off for religious schools would automatically result in ONLY upstanding Christian schools getting the money? Government support of religion is a two edged sword.

        • I’m an atheist and I’m also an anti-theist but I don’t give a damn what an individual believes on a personal level inside or outside the home. My problem comes in when people attempt to make official government entities endorse what should be a personal privately held belief.

          Sure, kids should be able to pray in school as much as their little hearts desire but the school should not lead or endorse the prayer. It should remain neutral to accommodate all religions or those with none at all.

          On a personal level I think religions are silly, nonsensical and make good people do bad things but I would never take away the choice of someone to believe in it. People have this contorted distorted view of atheists that I find quite hilarious. Most of us don’t give a crap what you believe as long as you don’t use the law and the political system to shove your beliefs down everyone’s throats.

          A message from Matthew 6:6 for those who claim to be Christian and want to constantly shove their religion in every nook and cranny:

          “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

          “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words

        • “I’m an atheist and I’m also an anti-theist but I don’t give a damn what an individual believes on a personal level inside or outside the home. My problem comes in when people attempt to make official government entities endorse what should be a personal privately held belief.”

          Pre-cisely, Brad. I am sure the majority of atheists are right there with you, and certainly the overwhelming majority of legal action by atheists has been trying to fight precisely this. (Still waiting for a counter-example to be supplied here–I don’t doubt that somewhere there is one, but it does seem to be rare.) Is it the case that people complaining about the “war on Christians” are truly blind to the distinction?

        • Well Stevein CO and BradN. Everyone has beliefs, some believe in a higher power, G-d if you will, or like Buddhists that don’t believe in a G-d per se. Others don’t believe in a higher power, or atheists. But it does not take a belief in a higher power to support mass murder in the practice of a belief.

          Those professing in no G-d, communists as an example, have the greatest blood on their hands in the last hundred years. Stalin, Mao, Pol-pot, etc. with over a hundred million deaths directly attributable to their beliefs. among many other examples of atheistic communist, marxist and socialistic despots. Then, of course, there is the mass slaughter of the unborn, over fifty million of the most helpless among us.

          The first amendment is very clear,

          Amendment I
          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

          ” Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

          I have no problem if a muslim wants to have a space at school to practice their religion, just as don’t have a problem that you don’t want to participate in a public prayer at school. But you are not willing to allow that; you want to force your belief in no G-d on the rest of us in public buildings that i helped pay for with my taxes.

          But it’s like I said that you completely ignored in the rest of my post. Liberal/progressives/statists want all aspects of traditional American culture destroyed because without that, they will not be able to bring in their dream of the “classless society”. Christianity is the biggest obstacle to that dream, which is why they focus on outlawing not just prayer in school, but also the outlawing of public nativity scenes, of the complaints of people saying “merry Christmas” to a stranger, of the shift from advertising for “Christmas Holidays” to just “the Holidays”. There is a war on all aspects of traditional american culture, Christianity just being one aspect of this war.

          I used to be an agnostic, until my eyes were opened to the reality of a higher power. I first explored that connection in American Indian teachings. It took time to open up to the Christ because of my conditioned hatred towards Christians in my Liberal/Progressive brainwashing on the west coast near the Bay Area.

          I have come to see that Liberal/progressives have a belief system not unique to today. This type of nihilistic ,self-centered and self-destructive belief system is common to most cultures that ends up causing the collapse of that culture, Rome as an example.

          If you as an atheists also have a liberal/progressive/statist belief system, then I believe you are a symptom of a disease that is common to most cultures prior to their collapse.

        • When one considers the Catholic Church has apologized for it’s historical abuses all in the name of religion, any negative remark against atheist is wholly laughable. I put those with a deep faith in the same category as MDA!
          Weak and lost. That of course is my opinion. Don’t like it, tough sh–!

        • “I have no problem if a muslim wants to have a space at school to practice their religion, just as don’t have a problem that you don’t want to participate in a public prayer at school. But you are not willing to allow that; you want to force your belief in no G-d on the rest of us in public buildings that i helped pay for with my taxes.”

          So riddle me this: How is a stance of “Please don’t use MY tax money to promote YOUR religion” in any way “forc[ing a] belief in no G-d” on you?

          This is the question I have NEVER gotten a coherent answer to, from any person who asserts his right to use the government to push his religion.

          The fact is, “Please don’t use my tax money to promote your religion” ISN’T forcing a belief in no god on anyone. And even if it were, it’s massively unfair to assert that you CAN use tax dollars to push your belief, but other people better not use them for theirs.

          Neutrality is the only equitable course for the government to take, and in this instance that means NO led school prayer *and* no led proselytization for atheism.

          I didn’t answer your point about progressives because it’s utterly irrelevant. I’m not one, I can’t speak for them and they sure as hell don’t speak for me. I’m just as irritated with their socialism, denial of the concept of personal responsibility, and attempts to kill off POTG as you are.

          So how about you come up with an example of a suit an atheist group has pressed that attempts to forbid religious expression outside of a government context?

        • I’m glad SteveinCO that you don’t support the liberal/progressive/statist agenda.

          You talk about neutrality with no push for a Christian view or an atheistic view in a public venue is being in denial. By denying even in the use of public property after hours by a christian youth group on school grounds, you are denying the “free practice” of ones religious belief system and the the support and ultimately the promotion of the atheistic view point.

          What public venue is there that hasn’t been paid for with our taxes; public streets, public parks as an example. By denying the use of these venues for the free expression of a religious belief, you are promoting your atheistic view point.

          Like I said. I grew up in a very liberal/progressive environment. There was no acknowledgement of G-d, in school, in my home or in my public venue. I was taught by all around me to see Christians as what was wrong with this country. I was indoctrinated into the atheistic belief system, very effectively; to look at all that believe in a higher power as being fools, and worse. I was taught to even actively hate what Christianity represents.

          I was wrong. But I can look back on my cultural environment as a child and I can now see the indoctrination into the atheistic belief system that was created by people like yourself. It is obvious to me now, but it took me coming back to the Christ and to I AM to see the “Obviousness of the Truth”.

          So no, SteveinCO, to say that the current political and cultural environment doesn’t “push” the current atheistic belief system is simply not true.

          And we as a country and a people are worse for it.

        • ” By denying the use of these venues for the free expression of a religious belief, you are promoting your atheistic view point. ”

          Wrong, in so many ways wrong.

          There’s a huge difference between saying this: ” ” (i.e., making no statement at all)

          And saying this: “There is no god”

          The first is NOT promotion of an atheist agenda. It’s merely the failure to promote any agenda whatsoever.

          Are you really incapable of seeing the distinction?

          Most if not all atheist legal activism (again you’ve yet to come up with a counter-example) is against people using government resources, paid for by ALL, to push the religious viewpoint of SOME of society. They want government to take no position whatsoever on religious matters.

          To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

          –Thomas Jefferson

          I expect you’re in full agreement with TJ when it’s atheism being promoted with your money. Or even when atheism ISN’T in fact being promoted–apparently to you the mere absence of a statement is equivalent to an explicit statement that there is no god. But you have a major problem understanding why other people might legitimately object with you directing tax dollars to promote your religious beliefs.

        • Thomas,

          It appears you want to live in a theocracy that resembles the likes of Iran or Saudi Arabia. A position of neutrality is not one of atheism. If I wanted the government to push an atheist point of view (which I don’t desire) I would want them to distribute literature and instead of opening schools with prayer we’d open it with the denunciation of faith and the embrace of the scientific method. A message that openly mocks and persuades people to use logic and reason instead of faith.

          Neutrality is not in opposition to religion. Also, it’s cute how you think communists killed people “in the name of no god”. Quite the contrary. The state was their god. When you are brainwashed into worshiping the state to the same degree that you worship a deity it is pretty much a religion at that point and those with authority within the structure of the government are going to get otherwise good people to do horrible things.

          At least I’m honest. If I do wrong I have to claim responsibility for my actions. I can’t claim that a demon, god or angel or the state made me do it or I’m just following some ancient code of “ethics”. If I do wrong to somebody I can’t just apologize to Jesus and all is forgiven. I have to apologize to the person directly, I have to make up for it on some material and emotional level.

          Do you know what a Dark Age is? A Dark Age is defined by a period in time in which the majority of the population can’t read. At least during the Roman Empire people were literate. Hell it was only after the adoption of Christianity by the masses in Rome did the empire fall. After the collapse the Christian leaders withheld literacy and reserved it for only the wealthy and privileged. They restrained scientific advancement and social progress. The empire fell for mostly economic reasons as it was not sustainable. It had nothing to do with this myth of “moral decay”.

          There is no “disease”. We live in a time where science permeates our every day lives in such a fashion that the legitimacy of logic and reason are overshadowing faith, as it should. I don’t need a government to force my ideas on people, nor would I want to. Science is already doing a good job convincing people and I welcome debate. I welcome criticism as my ideas aren’t sacred and if provided with proof and evidence I gladly change my mind. The only ideas that can’t up to criticism or people feel compelled to shield from it are ones not worth having in the first place.

          In the end I just want people to realize that the majority of atheists, while finding your personal beliefs reprehensible, illogical and in many ways holding back humanitarian progress and contributing to global violence due to the attempt to bring about the rapture and other such nonsense, we don’t want you to be forced to do or believe anything. You don’t mess with me, I don’t mess with you. Let’s not turn this country into a theocracy in either direction and let’s just go neutral.

        • I appreciate SteveinCO, your ability to discuss this topic without resorting to demeaning and derogatory comments.

          For me, I believe you are being honest in your attempt to show me why you disagree with my veiw point

          But it wasn’t until I stepped out of the atheistic environment pushed by the left that I saw how pervasive that belief is held by the left. It is like a fish that has been breathing water all their life, it isn’t until they are pulled out of the fish bowl that they suddenly realize that they were breathing water the entire time.

          So you really believe that atheism isn’t promoted in most main stream venues, in school. In universities, in everyday life. I would have said the same back in my agnostic days.

          But as BradN shows in his intolerance and hatefulness towards those, of us that do believe in a higher power, exemplified by the Christ, to be a Christian today is to be an object for attack, derision, contempt, and an active suppression of the ability to practice our belief in more than just our homes and churches; unlike atheists.

          But in the end SteveinCo, I’m a libertarian, I don’t believe in using government to push my belief or yours. Just as the early Christians practiced their beliefs without government support, let alone with active oppression;I believe people need to make their spiritual choices freely, without coercion.

          But at this point, in my view, the atheists have replaced the Christians in actively using government in pushing a belief system called atheism while using the power of government in suppressing the counter belief called Christianity.

          The church and the power structure in the past used Christianity to control the population and used the government to suppress those that had dissenting views.

          Now the current power structure uses the current belief called atheism and government to control the population and to suppress those that have a dissenting view.

          It is now a revolutionary position to be a confessed Christian. I have been freed from the straight jacket, the prison of the mind of those that promote the belief of no G-d
          And in the unconditional love of the Christ and Yaweh, I have been set free.

          I actually appreciate the fact that Christianity has been replaced by atheism as the primary state religion, because I can now see it’s true message, without the trappings of state control now placed on the atheist.

          But thank you for the discussion. It is always an unfolding in my deepening understanding of my walk in the Christ by having these types of debates.

        • -SteveInCO requests for evidence and proof

          -Jonathan – Houston responds with hyperbole and unsupported anecdotes.

    • Just keep religion out of government, public schools, and other taxpayer funded venues. Not all us atheists are liberal anti-gun pansies.

      • Yes. I catch crap from both sides of the aisle, because both sides insist that there is “no such thing as a conservative atheist.”

        Oh, and I like girls and guns too.

        • “As long as you’re not harming somebody against their will, I don’t care what you do.”

          And yet we’re labeled as nuts by both sides for having this point of view.

          I don’t want your guns. I don’t care what consenting adult(s) you marry. I don’t want to stop or force you to worship any religion. I don’t want to tell you what to do with or what you can/can’t put in your body.

          I would like the same treatment in return.

      • Why is it that (some) Christians seem to think it’s acceptable behavior to go around taking pot shots at atheists?

        I don’t go taking unprovoked shots at Christians, but I will respond when attacked gratuitously, and this was a completely gratuitous swipe, as others have noted.

        • Exactly. Don’t start none, won’t be none. Most of the behavior of atheists is a reaction towards the faithful. We’re on the defensive here, not the offensive. I don’t even think about religion until someone brings it up and accuses me of contributing to the “moral decay” of the country. It’s very insulting and quite arrogant of certain individuals to assume such things about matters they have no understanding, behavior that one could say is congruent with the gun grabbers.

    • Freedom of religion means not having that religion control the law or the people. We tend to not give a shit who you worship otherwise.

  2. So, the homeless have no right to petition their government for the redress of grievances, then? If a cop abuses a homeless person, it doesn’t count? They don’t get to vote, or not be compelled to give testimony against themselves, and we can just up and enslave them?

    I hate to sound like a silly bleeding heart here, but it sounds like this guy is saying that, if you want to enjoy the rights of a citizen, then you need to have four walls and a roof.

  3. I’ll point out the obvious and remind everyone that the 2nd Amendment says nothing about guns, it says “arms”, meaning armament or weapons. Any weapon that is suitable for personal defense is protected. A stun gun is certainly suitable for personal defense. It’s lightweight, compact and non-lethal. It may or may not be effective in many instances but having nothing is always ineffective.

    Oh, and the 2A also says “keep” and “bear”, meaning own and store in the home, and carry when out and about. Homeless people are always out and about.

    • Just think, all of those cowboys back in the day with no permanent address, open carrying daily…probably had a boot gun concealed as well. Boy would they be in trouble today.

    • I agree with this, and was going to say it if no one had beaten me to it.

      The automatic confluence of “arms” with “FIREarms” is frustrating. The first “arms” I ever had was a pocketknife. The second I ever had was a walking stick I carved with that same pocketknife. Actually, I take that back — the second I had was a walking stick I picked up in some woods, and was taking home TO carve — but a cop saw me walking along with it, stopped, and asked me what I was doing “with that club”. I was a tad confused, as I didn’t think of the 5-foot tall walking stick as a “club”, but he pointed at it and said “that, that club you’re holding.” He was of the impression that a) any stick was automatically a cudgel, and b) any cudgel was automatically criminally possessed, and c) I meant to do someone imminent harm with it.

      I explained that I liked to have a stick when I hiked, it was good for leverage, for poking into bushes, that sort of thing, but he told me to throw it away, or he’d arrest me. I was 16 at the time, and “arrest” was awfully close to “kill and feed to the dogs” in my mind, so I threw the stick away. He hung around to make sure I didn’t just pick it back up when he left, and I walked back the way I came. Through the same woods I had found the first stick in. Within 5 minutes, I had a replacement, and went home by a different route.

      I’m not dense, I know a stick can be used as a weapon, but I was trained in the use of a blade. It didn’t immediately occur to me that I could use my knowledge of bladework with a stick. But a 5-foot walking stick requires techniques of a totally different sort than a sword, so I started carrying a cane instead of a hiking staff. Several years later, that cane saved me from getting knifed by a mugger in a parking lot at 2am. He pulled a switchblade and demanded money. I disarmed him, breaking his wrist in the process, then poked him in the solar plexus, and left him retching in the gutter. I broke his knife against a curb, got in my car, and drove off before he could do more than gag and wheeze. In later years, I augmented my knowledge and skills of bladework with medieval rapier combat and several forms of martial arts, culminating in Aikido most recently. Back around Y2K, I got my first firearm and carry permit, and the rest, as they say, is history.

      Over the decades, I’ve learned that anything can be a weapon. Anything you can use as a weapon should be covered by the Second Amendment. But what you need to remember is that, in actuality, YOU are the weapon. The tool you choose is only a force multiplier for your own ability to cause discomfort, injury, or death, at a distance, or up close and personal. It’s not the tool that is in actuality protected, it’s the set of concepts, skills, and talents that allow a human being to shape his or her environment into one that protects them from harm, supplies them with food, or, in some cases, extends — or protects — one’s territory. Yes, a gun is a weapon. But so is a knife. So is a stick. And so is a fence or a wall — defensive weapons, both. Your house is a weapon, inasmuch as it is shelter and defense; it multiplies your own force in keeping the elements and enemies at bay. Everything is a weapon. That’s why despotic governments try so hard to control or confiscate just about everything.

      I’m reminded of a favorite quote from Richard K. Morgan’s “Altered Carbon”…

      “A weapon is a tool,” she repeated, a little breathlessly. “A tool for killing and destroying. And there will be times when, as an Envoy, you must kill and destroy. Then you will choose and equip yourself with the tools that you need. But remember the weakness of weapons. They are an extension–you are the killer and destroyer. You are whole, with or without them.”
      ― “Altered Carbon”, quote from Virginia Vidaura, Envoy Trainer, UN Protectorate

  4. If they are homeless due to drug addiction or mental disease, think passing a NIC check would be difficult.
    Of course that is infringement in and of it self, but good luck getting that overturned

    • It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The argument we’d LIKE to see considered is that someone should not be deprived of his gun rights simply because he or she has no home to keep the guns in. If it instead turns out that the plaintiff can’t own a gun for other reasons, then this first argument won’t even be at issue any more.

    • …and yes, I agree NICS is an infringement, and like you, I don’t see much prospect for getting it overturned or repealed any time soon. We are more likely to see an end to NFA bullcrap for everything other than full auto, than to see the background checks and the concept of a prohibited possessor disappear. Too many people think those latter measures are reasonable and effective, even if we here on TTAG know better.

    • I’m not aware of any background check requirement for a stun gun. Only restrictions that I’m personally aware of on stun guns and pepper spray is that misusing them can be a felony in CA.

      • The quote is coming from Boston. They need a Firearm ID card to purchase pepper spray and stun gun. The firearm ID require a full history background check.

        • MA law was recently changed — no FID is required for pepper spray. However, stun guns remain illegal. Why? I have no idea.

    • “If they are homeless due to drug addiction or mental disease, think passing a NIC check would be difficult.”

      Plenty of drug addicts (and alcoholics) are high-enough functional to never have a reportable interaction with the legal system. They hold jobs and advance in their professions.

      Plenty of mentally ill are just different, eccentric, mean, or just plain assholes. They also will have no record.

      And there are the really off-the-chart brilliant folks who stubbornly defy any classification.

      These are the ones who fit any combination of the above.They can be a blast to hang out with. (When not passed-out under the table drunk or stoned or insulting you to your face)

      And I have no comment as to how I know that from personal experience.


  5. “…free from the limits that restrict that right for every other person otherwise situated.”

    I find this phrasing greatly insulting.

    • It is accurate as far as Ma. law is concerned. I believe (Ralph would know for sure) that the Ma. high court has not had a carry case since before Heller, and the last decision was inimical to 2A rights, refusing to recognize an individual right, much less a right outside the home. The “right” is sole exercisable in the discretion solely in the discretion of the government. At the current time, a Taser is a firearm by statute (why I have no idea either), and thus one must have a home to get the permit to purchase or possess one.

      So basically what this argument says is that plaintiff is arguing for a right to possess a Taser without getting a background check, unlike everyone else in Ma. What he is trying to do is characterize her as asking for a special dispensation not granted to “regular” citizens, and that there is no basis under law for her to receive special treatment. It is logical, if you accept the underlying premise that the 2A is not an individual right, as described by their highest court.

  6. I was thinking the same things BLAMMO stated. Maybe there’s a legal challenge in this issue that could benefit all Arms owners.

  7. A constitutional right is a constitutional rights regardless of housing status.

    Except for perhaps the third amendment, I suppose the homeless don’t have to worry about that one too much

    • I’ve made the same basic argument about the 2a and CA a number of times. Our rights under the constitution and BOR are not restricted by our zip code.

      Either the constitution is the law of the land or it’s invalid and we have no individual rights other than those granted by the majority.

  8. So much for liberals being the advocates for the poor. It’s cases like this that prove them to be oppressors of the poor.

      • In fairness to the Democrats they never claim to the party for the rich. Of course the Wall Street money all goes to the Democrats so they’ll pass onerous regulations on the little guys and drive them out of business so the rich can get richer, but in their defense they claim to be the party that helps the poor not the rich. Either way they’re hypocrites.

  9. Boston’s Assistant DA is correct, but what he doesn’t understand is that the problem with his position is not that the homeless should have the same restrictions on their rights as homeowners, but that these infringements on the RKBA of all people is fundamentally and fatally flawed.

    • Bingo. I must question whether the Massachusetts high court will reach this issue, or will deal with it any differently than it has in the past, but the case sets up a nice SCOTUS scenario if the court maintains the status quo.

    • Spot on — the very same thought I had.

      A good comparison would be shelter from the rain, in terms of a law restricting the carry of umbrellas.

    • Clearly anyone who is still homeless is obstinately refusing to be helped by those that will help you whether you want it or not. They are therefore socially suspect and should be deprived of their rights.

      (Just in case it’s not clear to everyone: /sarc!)

  10. My brain started to go down the” if they’re homeless they got other problems” line but seriously which other civil rights are conditional?

    • Not necessarily. The homeless don’t have much worth taking, but their lack of a permanent address means that they are uniquely vulnerable. Frankly, I’d argue that the homeless probably have the greatest need for firearms out of any segment of the populace.

      • In the case of the homeless and indigent, I think that their person IS their home (i.e., the clothes on their back and whatever their belongings).

        • Let’s follow that line of thought.

          A homeless person takes his home with him, so (since firearms in the home are guaranteed by recent SCOTUS rulings) they get to carry their weapons with them, since they are really leaving them at home.

          Someone with an actual domicile, on the other hand, has to leave his arms at home since the right to carry arms outside of the home has (not yet) been recognized by SCOTUS.

          This leads to an absurd contradiction, needless to say, which is resolved by the realization that “keeping” (at home) and “bearing” (even away from home) are just two aspects of the SAME right.

        • Exactly!

          I spent some time homeless, though I had a truck with a canopy I lived in, and this argument actually worked with a police officer, that my truck was my home (not a firearms issue, though).

        • @Roymond my understanding is that that is the law in CA. If you are sleeping in your car or a hotel room that is your “domicile” and firearms within are to be treated as if they were in your home. I would not count on avoiding arrest by that argument, though, but I say that it of sheer mistrust.

  11. The homeless have full protection under the Constitution, same as any other citizen. The only issue I see is storage of said firearm when not carried legally.

    • Safe storage is not an issue when carried on the person. So logically a person with no home has no were there could be “safe storage” or the obligation to do such. Circular logic says, “homeless guy has no home, so must always carry his gun on him, to avoid violating safe storage laws.” Normally circular logic is wrong but, this time, it seems sound to me.

    • Storage is an issue that highlights major problems with government infringement. A long time ago, I was homeless. IMHO, Bearing arms was easier back then in my state. I can’t imagine trying to bear arms today in Ohio as a homeless person. Although, I do know of one locally that was armed. He couldn’t go to the local homeless shelter because they were a “gun free zone”, AFAIK without firearm storage. There are so many “gun free zones” without firearm storage and Ohio has required concealed handgun licenses to cover a handgun since 2005. It would be quite impossible to be homeless and reasonably exercise the right to keep and bear arms in Ohio.

      Got a court date and are an armed homeless person in Ohio? You’re screwed.

      • Easy enough to deal with.

        Contract out a company that has those coin operated small lockers. Toss your piece in the locker, a quarter in the slot releases the key.

        Do your court business and on the way out the key opens your locker.

        Same with the homeless shelter.


        • I agree, that particular issue is indeed solved easily. Unfortunately, Ohio doesn’t solve it. 😉

          (A pay system won’t quite do it for some of the completely destitute homeless.)

  12. +1 Steve in Co. I and my family have been very close to being homeless. No drug, booze or mental issues. Business reversals. And it ain’t going great now. But I’ll be damned if I’ll be disarmed. LOTS of good people in the same boat. Such is life for the self-employed. You shouldn’t lose your rights because of no address.

  13. I love how the prosecuting attorney for Boston has separated those who have homes to those without homes for the possession of the basic tenets of the bill of rights. smacks of going back to the late 1700’s and early 1800’s in our history with all of the baggage entailed too.

  14. Look at how government has shifted the burden of proof off of itself. We are now relegated to arguing each individual type of “arm” is protected under the right to keep and bear arms. We must then argue that bearing this arm is allowable outside of our homes. What the hell ever happened to government having to prove its case that a particular law is not an infringement of the individual right to keep and bear arms? The People have allowed government to make this shift from the very plain language of the Second Amendment. Unless the American People refuse, on a massive scale, to allow government infringement, our liberties will bleed to death from a thousand cuts over the generations.

    Government preventing a homeless person from bearing a stun gun doesn’t even pass a common sense test.

    • None of it does.

      As for your larger point, this is NOT a new development. It has been the general rule since day one, unfortunately, that the government first passes a law. Then someone who has been harmed by that law has to show that he has been harmed by it (otherwise he doesn’t have “standing” to sue), then, once he satisfies the court that he has been harmed by that law, he can THEN argue that the law is unconstitutional.

      There’s no provision for “just anyone” to immediately sue to overturn an unconstitutional law; you pretty much have to be arrested and convicted of violating it first.

      Like I said this is nothing new. But it IS thoroughly jacked up. We had a guy run for congress in Colorado who wanted to pass a constitutional amendment that (among other things) would have given ANYONE standing to try to overturn an unconstitutional law.

      • Yes, I am very familiar with standing. It just seems to me that government doesn’t even try to thinly veil their abuse of power in the courts when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms. The People are left begging for their own government to abide by a document that was intended to protect the individual from this sort of government abuse.

        The government is openly nickeling and dimeing to death the individual right to keep and bear arms.

  15. As a practical and realistic matter, however unfortunate it is, the truth is nevertheless the truth and the truth is, homeless MORE OFTEN than not, suffer from mental and substance abuse problems. There is a reason they are homeless and living on the streets. Ask anyone who works in ANY jail and ANY prison what percentage of the inmate population has substance abuse issues AND OR mental issues. The answer is most.
    I have met many transients and I never met one that wasn’t a drug addict alcoholic or suffered from significant psychological problems.

    Practically speaking though, I doubt there are many homeless that qualify for CCW permits where required or possession rights . Arizona for instance, that has constitutional carry, I could see people possessing firearms that probably due to circumstances, should not be in possession when other state laws are considered. IE substance abuse and mental health problems.

    • Mark, it’s too much of a blanket statement. Even if 99% of the homeless in our country have addiction and mental health issues it’s against the rules in our country to simply ban all of them from owning a gun based just on them being homeless.

      All of our rights are individual, not group rights. On a case by case basis if you wish to ban homeless person x from owning firearms make your case based on facts other than that x is homeless.

      Freedom tends to get messy.

  16. I dunno why exactly, but I think somebody messed up and we are about to see another affirmation of Second Amendment rights down the road. Part of my optimism, I guess, is the utter stupidity of arguing someone has the right of self-defense, but only in their own home.

  17. When I go camping my tent is considered my home even though it’s a temporary residence. Now does a homeless person’s cardboard box signify this is their “home” even if it’s just for overnight use?

  18. For a real-life example in a park in my own neighborhood last April, please google for:
    “John D Morgan Park” “Ivan Diaz” “Todd Tharp” Campbell

    Mr. Tharp, a homeless man, was assaulted by Mr. Diaz and five of his associates.
    While being severely beaten, Mr. Tharp produced a knife and swung it wildly at his attackers.
    Mr. Diaz was stabbed, and died shortly thereafter.
    Mr. Tharp was initially arrested on suspicion of murder, but persuaded the prosecutors he had acted in self defense.
    The physical evidence corroborated his story and he was released.
    The five surviving attackers were arraigned on murder and other charges under the “provocative act” doctrine.

    Under what possible system of just laws should Mr. Tharp have been prohibited from defending himself against these feral youths? One five-inch blade was an adequate force multiplier – this time. A stun gun, pepper spray, or firearm might have been more effective in this situation, or might be in future such incidents. Who can justly deprive Mr. Tharp of his choice of means to defend himself?

    Who can justly deprive any human of his or her choice of means to defend him or herself?

  19. I hope that this case helps cement the right to keep and bear arms especially since a gun owner should not be stripped of their 2nd amendment right simply because they lose their home.

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