Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 1, 2008
LAW/POLITICS: Second Circuit Dismisses Bloomberg Gun Lawsuit

In case you missed it yesterday morning - opinion in Bloomberg v. Beretta U.S.A. here. Basically, the court found that the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is a constitutional exercise of Congress' Commerce power, doesn't violate the 10th Amendment, and bars New York City's lawsuit seeking under state law to enjoin gun manufacturers' lawful firearms sales on the grounds that those sales resulted in diversion of guns to the black market.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:46 AM | Law 2006-08 • | Politics 2008 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Obviously, I am glad to hear about this and appreciate the post Crank. This is really quite the scratched record at this point, but if the Bloombergs of the world concentrate on prosecuting and incarcerating felons, and keeping them in prison for their full sentence, they'll find that gun crimes will decrease markedly. The waste of public resources by going after a corporation that is involved in legal commerce is just pitiful. Moreover, Mayor Bloomberg would be wise to investigate the effect on crime rate that shall issue concealed carry laws have had. Anyone with an open mind can pick up a copy of "More Guns, Less Crime" by John Lott. Other data collected since this early study have confirmed his conclusions.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at May 1, 2008 10:19 PM

The problem with that stance NRA is that you generally don't prosecute someone until after they have committed a crime, and therefore hurt someone. This suit was as much a publicity stunt as anything, but I would think a legitimate gun owner would want to make sure that crooks and crazies don't get guns.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at May 2, 2008 1:43 PM

Of course we do Daryl. When I buy something new, I first have to pass a written test, then undergo a 10 day waiting period while I am checked out for priors. I also have to fill out over three pages of forms. Believe me, the State and the Feds have a truly golden opportunity to see who I am and what is potentially wrong with me.

Getting a CC permit includes all of that plus verifable completion of a certified training course. The permit is isued by the Sheriff Dept. which again has every opportunity to see if the applicant is a danger or not.

Let's go back to the Mayor's suit. He was trying to prevent the sale of ther product. My point will always be that if a suit of this nature is successful, it will prevent only people like me from obtaining firearms. Criminals generally steal or buy on the street, so they are unaffected by the laws. I understand that a first-time jerk with no criminal record can fall through the cracks, but at least under my scenario, I will have the means to shoot back. Police are not crime preventers, they are crime responders .

Posted by: NRA Life Member at May 2, 2008 2:33 PM

I think what I would like to see is a gun dealer--and yours might be like that--have some moral responsibility toward the product they sell. Not just the letter of the law, but the spirit. We've made it a matter of law that a bartender cannot let an intoxicated customer drive, which is good and bad: you don't want a plowed driver with a 5000 pound death machine, but you have to rely on the bartender's judgement. Is that so wrong with a gun dealer?

It's that blink moment: in reality, even if the letter of the law is followed, you sort of know when it's wrong. And when you are selling a device that is designed to actually hurt things as a main role, you have a moral responsibility to the public.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at May 3, 2008 10:37 AM

Hi Daryl. First of all I want to thank you for maintaining a respectful tone of debate. It is not often that your polite level of discourse is seen on a blog.

First, Mayor Bloomberg implies that moral responsibility on the part of manufacturers is not possible. He also places blame on a manufacturer for misuse of a legal product after a sale is completed within complete compliance of all relevant statutes. Let's get some perspective as to to what are the causes of accidental death.

Check out this link http://www.nraila.org/issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=120
You'll see that accidental death by firearms is below that attributed to bicycles. Let's hypothetically apply your suggestion of moral responsibility to bicycle dealers. Have you ever had an experience where they failed to sell a bike to a kid because the kid has not been able to demonstrate that he/she can use it in a responsible manner? Compare that to everything I previously said about buying a gun legally.

I do not advocate handing out firearms as if they were grocery store coupons. I'm just saying that Mayor Bloomberg and other gun banning advocates are ignoring other more significant dangers to life and limb simply because they are living outside of the world that the rest of us inhabit. What do I mean by that? The Mayor is seriously wealthy and can afford all sorts of armed body guards, high tech security measures and other things that are far beyond anything I could ever use to insure my family's safety. Good for him, I say.

However, since I cannot afford these things, and also since the police will not provide 24/7 security for me on the public's dime, it becomes incumbent upon me to do it myself in a responsible and law-abiding manner. To do that, I need FFL dealers. Here is what they have to do in order to be able to sell the product
http://www.nraila.org/Issues/factsheets/read.aspx?ID=70

You tell me, is this more restrictive than what is required of a car dealer (65X the death rate attributable to firearms) or even the bike dealer (4X the death rate attributable to firearms).

Thanks again for your challenging thoughts.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at May 3, 2008 11:26 AM

NRA, I can't, and won't even try to argue the stats here. Maybe we can look at it this way then: when you buy a car, the dealer needs a copy of your driver's license. Which then gives them the assumption that you can drive properly (never mind, we all know when we drive we are the only non-idiots on the road); bike riders, well those morons seem to forget they have to obey car rules, and drivers don't care. I'm a woodworker, and all sorts of my tools can easily be used to injure and maim. It's my job to learn how to use them safely. But I digress...

Is the answer then to allow you to buy a gun or guns, if you have a state permit that lets you buy it? Like a driver's license. So the background check is already done. Yes, that's what we have now, but NUC has it's own rules, and you could argue that is wrong, it's a state issue. And that means licenses for types of guns. Say, a permit for a hand gun means you have to qualify for X; a rifle for Y. A semi-automatic, that one should be real hard, almost impossible. And of course, you do run into the second amendment also.

I think NRA, you buy that "type" of argument. That a reasonable person cannot have a right infringed under our constitution, while a non-reasonable one can have their rights of all sorts restricted. From jails to whatever. It's how that we can have a discussion. And realizing all the way that that nothing is perfect.

Remember Bernie Goetz? He was a hero here in NY, and most people didn't want him to serve time in jail. He wasn't allowed to carry a gun, was genuinely scared in a time when crime was rampant, and in fact, only used it on people who clearly had mayhem in mind. So most people here, fed up then with crime, thought he did no wrong. I am not against gun banning at all. I like venison too much for that anyway .

We've agreed and disagreed on all sorts of issues NRA, but I think we can easily keep it civil. Why not? That's just what our Constitution is for.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at May 4, 2008 11:17 AM

"I think NRA, you buy that "type" of argument. That a reasonable person cannot have a right infringed under our constitution, while a non-reasonable one can have their rights of all sorts restricted. From jails to whatever." Yes Daryl, I do buy your argument.

I certainly am in favor of checking purchasers of guns for priors and known mental instability. As a matter of fact, the NRA was a key proponent in the creation of the FBI Insta-Check program.

I also thought that Goetz was given a raw deal. On the other hand, NYC is just plain anti-gun, so I don't go there. Once Goetz realized that he was destined to be a victim and that the law was stacked against any sort of self-defense, he should have left forever. He seemed like a pretty intelligent guy, and he could have made a life for himself someplace else.

I would take issue with the idea that a right needs to be licensed or permitted, but that is the essential Originalist in me.

As I have thought out my views between posts, one essential difference between myself and Mayor Bloomberg has crystallized in my mind. I have the impression that the Mayor believes that people are essentially good, and that if enough laws are passed, we can all live in peace and harmony. On the other hand, I am more of William Golding type (author of The Lord of the Flies, if that means anything to you).

I believe that mankind is essentially evil. Our only hope is whatever morals were instilled upon us by our parents, Church, Synagogue etc. Without these moral rules and constraints, we will devolve into anarchy, and under those conditions, the strong will dominate the weak. Even under our current system of laws, this occurs on a regular basis (rape, murder of defenseless children or the elderly, assault etc.) Mayor Bloomberg can ban guns, but stronger people will use knives, clubs, fists and what have you to dominate weaker people.

This to me is where the right to own and bear arms becomes the great equalizer. The Founders saw this right (not license or permit) as the citizen's tool to avoid tyranny, so I think that a law-abiding person anywhere in the country should be able to buy and bear arms unless he is a criminal or documented as insane (unstable, mentally dangerous etc.).

Tyranny can come from an out of control king, or it can come from some bum that has prior felonies and is out on bail, like the killers at the Wendy's in Queens were back in 2001. If one of those dead people had been armed, or even if they weren't, and New Yorkers were not legally disarmed so the thought might have been in the killers' minds that one or more of the victims could be armed, maybe there would not have been any victims at all. They might not have tried to rob the place, or they might have gotten there just rewards when a victim surprised them by fighting back.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at May 4, 2008 11:26 PM
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