Thursday, July 19, 2007

NH Supreme Court = Non Compos Mentis

When it comes to state firearms law, and the true nature of gun control legislation, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has demonstrated this week that it hasn't got the slightest freakin' idea what they're talking about.

Case in point:

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the state Constitution's right to bear arms can be restricted and regulated.

"As numerous courts in other states have recognized...

Oh, fucking great. So, the past rulings of the Massachusetts SJC are now some kind of judicial yardstick to be employed when reviewing and determining the validity of New Hampshire state law?

How to I go about getting my name and e-mail address added to the official "Reset Button" Notification Memo Distribution List?

...with respect to their state constitutional right to bear arms ... the New Hampshire state constitutional right to bear arms 'is not absolute and may be subject to restriction and regulation'," the court ruled.

Well, perhaps, those "other states" have state constitutions with textual contents that vary slightly from ours. Because, Article 2-A of the New Hampshire State Constitution clearly states:

All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.

Oh, wait, I see it now. Right there, after the word "state".

...unless a handful of activists judges, liberal busybody politicians, or statist prick police chiefs decide otherwise, without feeling any need to go through proper legislative channels or the procedures outlined herein to amend this document.

Got it. Clear as day. Sorry for the mix-up. Let's continue.

The court ruled in the case of Edward Bleiler of Dover who sued after the police chief revoked his concealed weapons permit. Bleiler's lawyer said they may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case arose from an incident at Dover City Hall in March 2006, when Bleiler displayed a loaded handgun in the city attorney's office. Bleiler did not threaten anyone, and said he used the gun as a prop to tell a story.

Then-Police Chief William Fenniman revoked Bleiler's concealed weapons permit, saying the incident showed unsafe and inappropriate handling of the weapon and citing other examples of reckless behavior.

Dover District Court upheld the revocation, and Bleiler appealed.

His lawyer, Richard Lehmann, argued Bleiler's state and federal constitutional rights were violated and that state law allowing municipalities to revoke concealed weapons permits for "just cause" is too vague and allows for arbitrary enforcement.

Bleiler inferred that Fenniman was acting on a grudge because Bleiler had filed a lawsuit over several city contracts.

The court rejected his arguments.

Though bearing arms is a fundamental right, the state still can put reasonable limits on it, the court said. The concealed weapons law "does not prohibit carrying weapons; it merely regulates the manner of carrying them," the court said.

Now this particular statement is true.

In New Hampshire, if a citizen is not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, he or she can carry a loaded handgun on their person, in plain view of others, and not be guilty of any violation of state law.

But, here's where the court does a Louganis off the brain boat and splashes down into the ever-perilous and turbid Sea of Irrational Thought.

"The statute has a reasonable purpose, it protects the public by preventing an individual from having on hand a (loaded) deadly weapon of which the public is unaware," the court said.

Oh, my. Where to begin?

1. Is the court saying that the state concealed carry law protects the citizens of New Hampshire, because it physically prevents criminals - individuals ineligible to be issued pistol licenses - from carrying concealed weapons?

If they are, they're fucking morons.

2. Is the court saying that a licensed individual, lawfully carrying a concealed weapon, is under some kind of legal obligation to make everyong around him aware of the fact that he has a concealed handgun on his person?

If they are, they're fucking morons.

If neither question applies, what the hell are they saying? That statement makes NO FUCKING SENSE!

That said, the statute does, in fact, have a (debatable) "reasonable purpose".

It allows the law-abiding citizens of New Hampshire to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon for the purpose of personal protection, regardless of how much money that person contributed toward the mayor's most recent re-election efforts, and without having to refinance one's house, or dip into the kids' college fund, to be able to afford to do so.

And, while, I'd prefer to see the state adopt Vermont-style carry laws (no license required to carry a concealed weapon), I do see the state's current licensing system as serving one very useful purpose for the armed citizen.

Hypothetically, should a citizen ever have to use a lawfully carried weapon in self defense, having a state-issued license makes it a lot easier for the responding officers to assess the situation without having to run any background checks to ensure the individual with the gun is not a "prohibited person" under state or federal law.

So, instead of...

"Sir, we're going to hold onto this pistol and keep those cuffs on you for our own protection until we can verify your status as a lawful gun owner."

You're more likely to hear...

"Here's your gun back, Bob. Nice grouping."

It's because of ignorant judges spouting out baseless, vacuous statement such as the one above that the defeat of Senate Bill 44 last spring was so important. Any judge who would issue a statement like like, and actually believe it to be factual and coherent, should be removed from the bench forthwith, on the grounds of gross judicial incompetence.

I'll assume "publicly displaying ignorance of mind-numbing proportion like you read about" isn't enough of a reason under current state law.

As far as any future implications of this ruling are concerned, what are the odds that the Granny-staters in the state legislature, with a proven, perpetual hard-on for the trampling of individual liberties, will now be turning to the courts to achieve those political ends, which they know to be impossible to realize through legislative action alone (see Senate Bill 44) or by doing anything that even remotely resembles respecting the will of the people?

Here's more:

Lehmann also said the ruling goes against a 30-year-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling directing governments to apply strict scrutiny when regulating rights expressed in the constitution. Strict scrutiny is the highest standard of review.

"The hard thing to understand about the decision, is how they decide which constitutional rights they apply strict scrutiny to, and which constitutional rights they give governments a pass on," Lehmann said.

It's simple, really.

As long as the Democrats control the legislature, politically correct "rights" are to be defended at all costs (see Roe v. Wade) whether they actually appear in the constitution or not, while the civil rights of us gun-toting rednecks, which almost always run contrary to the Left's goal of creating their one-world, socialist Utopia, are to be shit upon at every turn.

Hope that clears things up for you.

The court said strict scrutiny need not be applied in all cases involving fundamental rights. For example, property ownership rights are fundamental, but zoning ordinances regulating them do not receive a strict scrutiny analysis, the court said.

Because no one's ever known a zoning ordinance to be improperly applied or enforced.

Like the gun regulations, zoning ordinances balance the property owners' rights against those of the public good.

Ahhhh, yes, the "public good".

As defined by whom, exactly?

Yes, these people honestly believe that by denying someone a pistol license, they have just prevented that person from violating the state laws against carrying concealed weapons without a license, should that person ever find himself walking out the front door with the intention of violating the state law against first-degree murder.

Nope, no disconnect from reality there.

Now, if you'll excuse them, Emperor Gogon is calling them back to their weekly meeting of the Bi-Lunar Council of Interplanetary Relations. And, from what I understand, you do not want to piss off the Emperor.

But, I digress.

Here's Money Quote #3...

"Strict scrutiny, with its presumption of unconstitutionality, is a standard of review traditionally used in areas where courts deem any burdensome legislation to be 'immediately suspect,'" the court said. "Gun control legislation, by contrast, with its legislative motivation of public safety ... is not inherently suspicious."

Again, where to begin?

"...legislative motivation of public safety"???

Anyone who honestly believes that needs to have their head examined, and their urine tested for mind-altering substances. These people are motivated by one thing and one thing only - the eventual disarmament of all law-abiding American citizens.

"...not inherently suspicious"???

Sure, not to the fascists sponsoring the legislation, it isn't. To them, it's all about "common sense". Or, at least that's what they'll tell their lapdogs in the media for dissemination to the unwashed masses.

I mean, just because someone like Ted Kennedy will sponsor a piece of legislation that would effectively seek to ban all centerfire hunting rifle ammunition, there's no need to get all paranoid about it.

And, just because the other senator from Gun Control Central (aka: Massachusetts) once co-sponsored a bill that would have essentially outlawed all semiautomatic shotguns and given the US Attorney General sole discretionary power to ban other types of firearms at will, with but a stroke of a pen, that's no reason to get all riled up.

Nope, nothing "inherently suspicious" there.

Eternal vigilance, my friends!