Monday, January 10, 2011


In light of the shootings in Arizona, perhaps we should re-read this T&G article on Police Chief Gemme's interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and the lawsuit he faces from Hector Pineiro.  Mr. Pineiro's family has been the victim of a home invasion, and Mr. Pineiro fears for his safety outside of his Main South office.  His solution is a concealed weapon, which is an invitation to more violence.
"Many things have convinced him of the need for a license to carry a concealed weapon. When leaving his office at night, he said he encounters people involved in criminal activities and is asked for money by others."
Some people would say he hasn't been attacked at his office, and doesn't need a gun.  Others would say he hasn't been attacked....yet.  Either way, making decisions based on perceived threats and fear isn't the best way to live: remember, Mr. Pineiro can't point out a single instance where he was been threatened with violence at his workplace.  Sometimes the bogey man isn't what we imagine him to be.  Either way, everyone needs to remember the whole text of the 2nd Ammendment:
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
It would be unconstitutional for Mr. Pineiro to bear arms without any government limits, and unconstitutional for the government to deny him his right to bear arms.  That sound exactly like Police Chief Gemme's solution to Mr. Pineiro's request.
A few more thoughts about fear:

-Here's a great chart about things that our news media wants us to be scared of.  Be sure to toggle between total deaths vs. fear (bottom right corner).

-Glenn Greenwald has an interesting piece on governmental policies, WikiLeaks, personal freedom, and fear.


Will W. W. said...

An invitation to more violence? A rather amusing construal.
A gun is a deterrent.

If some say he doesn't need a gun, who or what will guarantee his safety in light of past, potential or purported threats against him. The WPD?

He did what “the law” required of him. That’s shows responsibility.

A gun does in fact guarantee peace of mind which is more than a piece of paper does i.e., laws.

A constitutional lawyer you're not. And neither am I. But your interpretation is narrow.

Good night and sleep tight. Lock your doors and windows.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has grown up learning how to use a gun (as a hobby) in a heavily regulated environment, I will say a gun is almost never a deterrent.

Ownership of a gun is a massive responsibility that requires sharp reasoning. It sounds like this man is requesting to carry a weapon as an EMOTIONAL response to an upsetting prior home invasion and a dislike of his interaction with panhandlers. Mixing his paranoia with a weapon is a recipe for violence.

Have you ever fired a gun when emotionally upset? It is a remarkably challenging task to control yourself in that situation. If the gentleman applying for his permit thinks (like Will WW) that a gun provides "peace of mind", than that is proving emotional (read: non-rational) attachment to the weapon that is destined for unnecessary violence.

Sean Dacey said...

Here's the firearms death rate per state:

I like having Massachusetts down at the bottom. Massachusetts has restrictive gun laws, doesn't have many militias, and a short hunting season. That gives us a low rate of death by firearm. Let's keep it that way.