Saturday, March 15, 2003

A friend of mine led me to a publication by The Communitarian Network entitled The Case for Domestic Disarmament. It argues that the then current proposed gun control measures were not the answer: disarming the entire civilian populace was.

David B. Kopel & Christopher C. Little of the Independance Institute offer Communitarians, NeoRepublicans & Guns: Assessing the Case for Firearms Prohibition in response to the previously linked paper.

I would recommend reading both when time permits, as they are lengthy. I would especially recommend those who do not believe there are factions that do see total civilian disarmament as a goal to read both of these documents very carefully.

"...Moreover, unlike drug rehabilitation, prison construction, and the training of more cops, domestic disarmament can be rapidly implemented." Amitai Etzioni
DA Hynes is now attempting to deny Mr. Dixon a trial by jury. Despite his assertions that since Mr. Dixon admits to having the gun there is nothing for a jury to decide, I would remind everyone that a jury is not solely to judge the facts in a case, but the law as well.

Although DA Hynes is trying to appeal to the public by reducing Mr. Dixons charge to attempted possession which carries only a 90 day jail term. Which you have to admit is a pretty generous offer, except for the fact that Mr. Dixon was exercising a Right & is being prosecuted for it.

For background, I direct you to previous blogs: here, here, here, here & here.
A man kills his estranged wife & commits suicide a day after he made a deal in court to stay away from her.

"According to the Washington Post, on January 25th, Ernestine Dyson wrote in a criminal complaint that her estranged husband had choked her and threatened that 'he was going to kill us both and that he had nothing to live for so as long as I was dead with him that was fine'."

Sadly deals like this are not uncommon. Also look here for another tragic story & a possible solution.

The NY Times has a 7 page article (on-line at least) that is devoted to damning Ashcroft.
The thing that I am puzzled about, is not their criticisms of the loss of civil liberties due to his policies, but the ommission of his threat to the Second Amendment as well as to the First, Fourth, Fifth, etc...
In one breath they claim he's in the NRA's pocket but the next they mention that gun crime prosecution is up 30 some odd percent under his charge.
Don't get me wrong: I don't fall into the Bush/Cheney?Ashcroft Triumvirate theory of world domination, but i do see a lot of the anti-terrorism measures as being dangerous to our Rights, just as I don't believe Ashcroft is as pro-gun as most believe. he gives good lip service, but I don't buy that he respects our Right to Arms as individuals when he clings onto the "subject to reasonable restrictions" qualifier.
So if the NY Times really wanted to roast Ashcroft, then they shoudl mention all the Rights he could be threatening, not just the ones they approve of.

Friday, March 14, 2003

I've heard that the Colorado House passed the NRA back concealed carry bill today. Hopefully the governor won't sign it, but since it's worse in many ways than the existing law, chances are he will. More on this later.

2:50 a.m.
It's later. There are stories here & here about the House passing both the preemption & concealec carry bills. Now it depends upon the governors signature.
The preemption law isn't terrible, but it's language is a bit weak & could be manipulated. The concealed carry bill is awful. In many ways it is worse than our current system. despite efforts by RMGO & a few pro gun reps to kill the bill or at least fix some parts through amendment it passed. No doubt due to the deal making abilities of the NRA.
To be fair, even if the other concealed carry bill would've passed I'd still be bummed. I fail to see how one could be glad over being told they had to pay money & wait for permission to exercise a right. Needless to say I won't be among those that the overtly anti gun people are worried about lining up for a permit. I'll carry when I feel the need, but I'll be damned if I am going to beg for permission to do it.
Sush is life though. Hopefully one day the people will wake up to this scam that compells them to get a permit to protect themselves. Unfortuanetly it probably won't be tomorrow.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Remember Omayra Soberal? I'm afraid that's all any of us can do now. Ms. Soberal has died as a result of her gunshot wounds.

This is from a Jersey City Reporter article written the day after the shooting:

"Julio Reyes was always a perfect gentleman and a quiet guy," said Councilman E. Junior Maldonado. Maldonado said he had known Reyes for nearly 20 years.
"He should be remembered as a police officer and family man," Maldonado stated. "And not for the last few seconds of his life."

He should be remembered as a murderer. In fact, he should be resurrected so we can execute him.

This is from the article concerning her death. Jack Furlong is an attorney for the family of Ms. Soberal:

"The circumstances of Omayra's death were both tragic and avoidable," Furlong said in a statement. "Her death was unnecessary ... Unfortunately, domestic violence recurs in our community, despite all of our efforts. We intend to find out what happened, why, and what might be done to redress the problem."

What happened? A woman was murdered.

Why? Because as much as we try to deny it there are people in the world who will do harm to others.

What might be done to redress the problem? In Ms. Soberal's case, I'm afraid nothing can be done.

For society in general? Start teaching people that they are responsible for their own defense. Cops cannot help them. Neither can restraining orders. Learning about self defense can.

Start stressing that cops are human, subject to acts of good & acts of evil & acts in between.

Stop prosecuting people who do defend their life, even with unregistered arms.

Stop making it difficult for citizens to have the means of self defense.

& the first thing a judge should do when he deems there are grounds for a court protection order is not tell the potential victim everything will be o.k. now that the government is involved. The first thing out of a judges mouth should be, "Are you armed?".

The second should be, "If you're not & cannot afford arms we have developed a temporary arms loan program so you won't have to rely on us, because frankly we probably can't help you."

The third should be, " Several officers & private citizens have volunteered to teach basic marksmanship & self defense & are on call. Would you like some training right now? We recommend it immedietely & will provide transportation & ammo for you."

& the last thing a judge should say after issuing a court protection order is, " We'll notify the media to add this persons name to our Citizen Award fund. This is a program we've set up that publicizes the names of people who are prohibited from stalking or harrassing someone along with a list of prohibited addresses. Any citizen, including yourself who shoots & kills this person at the listed locations will receive $1000 tax free. If this person is shot outside the listed locations a review board will determine if you are entitled to the full amount or just a percentage."

Tomorrow, or later today the Colorado House will consider 2 gun bills: SB24 which is a concealed carry permit bill, & SB 25 which would forbid local jurisdictions from making certain kinds of gun laws. The Rocky Mountain News has a story on the proposed gun legislation.

For more info on Colorado's gun legislation I refer you to the following:

Letter from RMGO Feb. 25th

Rep. Dave Schultheis urges killing of gun bill

Comparison of SB24 (theNRA'sbill) & SB63 (RMGO's bill)

Some reasons why you shouldn't back any concealed carry bill that requires fees, permits, or registration.

Rights are absolute.
This is a very fun long range shooting simulator. Give it a try, but not when you don't have time to spare. Not that it's addictive....

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

The fifth story down is about a woman who received a notice that her abusive ex husband was to be paroled. She received the notice three days after she had shot & killed him. He apparently made a bee-line to her house, broke in & started beating her despite the restraining order she had against him.
Hopefully no charges will be filed against the woman. The shooting appears to be legitimate self defense, but the gun she used was bought on the black market & not registered, which is usually an unforgiveable sin in places like Illinois where self defense requires governmental approval.
At the risk of stating the obvious, no cop, judge, or piece of paper will protect you. You have to protect yourself.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Judge Edith H. Jones of the Fifth Circuit claims the legal system is corrupt beyond recognition. Definitely worth reading.
Remember Lautenburg? No, not the unconstitutional gun law that is also an ex posto facto nightmare. I'm talking about the (ahem) man behind the immoral legislation. Senator Frank Lautenburg. The one who won the election after he illegally replaced Torricelli. Well he's apparently not learned anything in his two years off as he vows to continue the fight for victim the expense of the Constitution.

"And aides say he his working with allied groups to propose new firearms restrictions, such as a federal ban on the high-powered ammunition used in the sniper shootings around Washington last year.

Lautenberg said his colleagues turn to him as a credible voice. 'Everybody knows I'm not afraid to fight for things I believe in," he said, "and I have the experience and knowledge to go with that'."

A federal ban on hi-powered ammo? Since when is a varmint cartridge considered hi-powered ammo? The .223 & 5.56x45mm cartridges he speaks of aren't legal for deer hunting in any state that I know of, yet they're hi-power now because some very disturbed person killed several people within 125 yards with it?

I wish he would not only gain some actual experience & knowledge of the subjects on which he purports expertice, but perhaps become more than passingly aquainted with the Constitution. ( all together now - Federal gun laws are constitutionaly prohibited)
Police in West Baltimore are investigating a killing as possible self defense. Two men broke into a home & one was shot as they approached the owners in their bedroom. They are searching for the other man.

Possible self defense??? Possible??? I wonder what their definition of definite would be? Oh, yes. definite self defense: any shooting they personally commit.
One thing bothers me, other than the obvious: in most shooting investigations the police wrongfully & illegally confiscate the weapon. Now let's suppose that this couple only could afford the one gun. That means they're defenseless while the partner of the man that was just killed is still ought on the loose. If the deceased's partner comes back looking for revenge & does any harm to the couple I would hold any & all officers involved with the confiscation of the weapon as accomplices. & if I remember Maryland law correctly, there's a seven day minimum wait & a safety course requirement to purchase a new handgun, & anything made after Dec. 31 2002 has to have a lock built into the weapon. So even if the couple was able to scrape together the cash needed (which would be a little more than if they resided in a state that respected their rights) they would also have to scrape together the cash for the "safety course', make time to take the course, & then wait at least 7 days to actually receive their handgun. So let's call it an optimistic ten days.
That's ten days & nine nights in which they are not only defensless, but they have a criminal on the loose with a motive for revenge who likely knows they are now defenseless.
I hope they are alright. If anything should happen to them though, I would kick & scream for the local DA to bring charges against anyone involved with their disarmement.

As an aside, the second story down tells of a man who tries to intervene with a couple whom he knows while they're having a fight. More accurately he tries to stop the man from beating the woman any more than he already had. For his troubles he was stabbed fatally in the chest. The couple fled & they are being sought. The reporter mentions that any info on the couple or their whereabouts would be most helpful & gives the appropriate contact info. However the reporter fails to describe the couple or mention their names, which probably means that few tips will be called in.
Two citizens helped out a wounded officer at a Wal-Mart. The officer had been shot several times. His assailant was trying to retrieve the shotgun from the patrol car after stabbing a security guard who attempted to subdue him. A 16 year old pulled the pistol out of the officers holster & handed it to the officer who then promptly shot the assailant.
Of course the article doesn't mention that they were ordinary citizens: it relies heavily on the terms "security guard" & "police cadet" lest any common folk get it in their heads that they are responsible for their own defense as well as society's.
One thing that bothers me though: why did the 'cadet' hand the gun to the officer who's wounds were so bad they prevented him from unholstering his weapon? If the shooting was justifiable, as it appears to be, then wouldn't it have been just as justifiable if a non-cop had done it? & considering the officers wounds, wasn't handing a gun to a man who's injuries were so bad he couldn't use his strong arm dangerous? Yes, it turned out alright but if the officer was in that bad a shape then it's conceievable his aim might have been way off (understandably) at best or at worst he could have lost control of the weapon to the assailant. Under the circumstances it turned out alright, but I would feel better knowing that citizens were encouraged to take an active role in protecting themselves & their community instead of dutifully handing the gun over to the cop.
One more thought: I wonder if the cadet will be prosecuted? After all, he is under 18 & he knowingly possessed a handgun. That's a no-no under Federal law & I'm sure California has one that's stricter. Of course I don't want to see the kid prosecuted, I'd much rather those assinine laws were removed. That way if it should ever happen again maybe the kid would have enough confidence to handle the firearm himself.
Are you a law student or lawyer who wants to do something to support the Right to Arms? JPFO has a project for you then, but it's time sensitive.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Larry Pratt's Livefire is usually worth checking out, this week especially so. It involves a Sgt. in the Reserves who was persecuted & prosecuted for possessing a handgun. Here's the link that'll open up Realplayer.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Being a news junkie has its downside. It is extremely difficult to not get depressed, or at least ticked off. There is seldom any good news concerning the second amendment & the various gun control efforts that seem to relentlessly attack our rights. The past few days I have been wondering why this is so. I could be wrong but I think I have a conclusion worth further consideration:

A misunderstanding of Rights.

For the pro gun control crowd this may seem obvious. They regard owning & using weapons as a privilege that should be conferred only upon the military & police. They simply do not trust the average person with the responsibility of exercising the Right to Arms.

But here's where things get complex:

The pro gun crowd has a fundamental misunderstanding of Rights, both in the legal & natural sense. They feel that while being a Right it is not an absolute Right & therefore can be restricted under certain conditions. This is their downfall, as once you concede that a Right is subject to reasonable restrictions then it really is simply a matter of bartering over the word 'reasonable' & more oft than not the pro gun side loses.

So I am going to attempt to do what I have been meaning to do since I started this blog, which is to explain what a Right is, what a Right isn't, how it pertains to the owning & possession of weapons, & why it is absolute.

A Right is something that is held in special esteem. It is more than a privilege, but somehow often viewed as less than a necessity. But what exactly defines a Right?
There are several kinds of Rights: Political (such as voting), Natural (such as being alive), Collective (such as the secession of one group from another), Individual (such as freedom of religion). The Political & Natural tend to be opposites, that is deriving from different sources but that does not mean that they must conflict or they cannot be complimentary of one another. The main difference is their source: Political Rights generally being agreed upon by the people & their government, & Natural Rights being presumed to pre-date any societal or political union. Collective & Individual have the same relationship as Political & Natural Rights do. One may say that Political & Collective are akin just as Natural & Individual are akin, but I believe there is a subtle difference. One may have a Collective Right w/o it necessarily being Political, & vice versa. One may also have a Natural Right that is not Individual & vice versa. But Political rights may fluctuate whether they are Individual or Collective. Natural rights however are constant, even though they may not be treated as such by individuals or collectives.
So where does the Right to Arms fall in? All of them actually.
In the U.S. the Right to Arms can be viewed as partly being a Political Right. The most vivid example that comes to mind happened a little over 50 years ago. It is popularly known as the Battle of Athens, Tennessee. Also look here & note the NY Times seem to have the same editorial philosophy concerning armed citizens.
It can be viewed as a Collective Right, both here & abroad. From the Minutemen of our Revolutionary War to the modern day militia of Switzerland the use of arms by citizen-soldiers can be a valued & necessary tool in defense of a city, or county, or state, or country.
It is a Natural Right. It is a Right that is not conferred solely by society or government. In fact its origins pre-date society & government. More on that in a minute.
It is an Individual Right. It is one of those Rights which apply just as much to the individual as to the collective. In fact the Collective Right could not exist w/o the Individual Right, although the reverse is not true.

The Political & the Collective parts of this Right do not concern us much, though they probably should. Nevertheless those are subjects to be pursued at a later time.

The Natural & Individual Rights are what seem to cause the most confusion, so let's begin there:

Natural implies in a natural state. Something that is & ought to be. Were man to exist outside of government & outside society then it would not seem unnatural for him to be armed. In fact at times it would be necessary. Wild animals have natural abilities that humans do not. We lack claws, sharp teeth, speed, stealth, etc... When compared to some animals, such as the bear or the mountain lion, it is obvious we are overmatched. Unless that is, we use our intelligence. Our reasoning & our ability to think have caused us to devise weapons which take away some of the advantages held by animals. At the minimum it can give us a better chance than we had.
Humans are also a danger to humans, & just as in the comparison of animal to man, man to man can be an unequal contest. Certainly it is not uncommon for women to be at a physical disadvantage when faced with men. But weapons & the skill to use them can negate our physical shortcomings & allow us an equal chance at survival. Thus weapons have a natural role in our lives.
But what makes them a Natural Right? Putting it as simply as I can, no government, nor society, nor creature gave us permission to have weapons. We invented them out of necessity. We used them out of necessity. & we kept them out of necessity, improving upon them over the millennia as best we could. For those of a religious mind, God granted us the Right therefore it is natural & not subject to any power less than God. For the non-religious the best explanation is that Nature granted us the Right the same as Nature made the claws of the bear so sharp, or the legs of the big cats so powerful. For the Art Bell fans let's just say some E.T's said we could. :)
No one would question a man or a woman living in the wilderness 100 years ago having a rifle. 500 years ago no one would have questioned a bow. 1,000 years ago no one would have questioned a sword or spear. It is only the illusion of civilization that causes some to question this Natural Right today. The nature of man & beasts has not changed significantly in the last few thousand years: there is still lust, greed, corruption, jealousy, envy, hatred, hunger & fear. Without a weapon to combat the inevitable consequences of these things then man places himself at an unnatural disadvantage & endangers a Right that few question: Life.
So a Natural Right to Arms was bestowed upon us by God, or if you prefer our very nature, our evolution if you will. Hence it is something beyond the reach of any law or any social prejudice, or at least it should be.
If it is a Natural Right then why are there laws prohibiting it? Mainly because lawmakers do not comprehend the essence of this Right or its importance. Or perhaps they do. Weapons prohibitions have been around as long as there have been societies. Or more accurately as long as there have been dictators. No tyrant or group of tyrants wants an armed subject who may revolt.
Does anyone remember the movie 'Braveheart'? Do you remember that among other things the subjugated Scots were forbidden to play certain tunes? Do you remember they were forbidden to gather together is certain size groups? Do you remember they were forbidden to wear certain kinds of clothes? Honestly I cannot remember if the movie covered all those prohibitions, but the next one I know was mentioned: Do you remember the Scots were forbidden to own & train with weapons? The last thing any tyrant wants is to have to deal with a people that have the means to resist him, so one of the first things a tyrant does when subjugating a people is to disarm them. Slavery goes so much easier that way. It has occurred from ancient times to the present day. From Ancient Israel to Nazi Germany to Communist Russia disarmament is one of the top priorities of any new ruler. For you etymologists out there (both of you, or half my readership) the word disarm dates from about the 14th century (roughly the time of Sir William Wallace) & can be traced back to the Old French. (Insert any French military joke here).
So the recognition of the usefulness of the Right to Arms was never questioned. It was well understood which is why civilian disarmament has been so popular with dictators & tyrants. It's their natural form of job security.
Present day tyrants & dictators have not forgotten this age old principle & it's the reason behind most countries disarming their civilians.
But the U.S. doesn't have a dictator & we have gun control. England is a democracy & they have an almost complete ban on weapons. So how does that fit in?
Easy: dictators don't announce their plans prior to the election. Neither do governments decide suddenly that they want to become a dictatorship. It happens gradually. In some places quicker than others, but a most useful tool to any tyrant when he comes into power is a network of gun control already set up by the previous form of government. Nazi Germany is a good example. Gun control started there in the Weimar Republic. When Hitler rose to power, he really had little need to disarm the whole populace. Instead he disarmed those he felt were a threat to him. But as he was a 'popular' dictator most of Germany could have arms under certain conditions. However he quickly outlawed the civilian possession of weapons in countries he invaded. The JPFO has some useful material on Hitler & the gun control laws of Nazi Germany.
The Jews however were not so lucky. Hitler wanted to kill them. Hitler being the observant little dictator he was realized that this would be easier if they couldn't resist him, so he turned to the ancient rule No. 1 of tyrants: disarm those who could oppose or threaten or resist you, hence 6 million Jews were murdered. It was easier for Hitler to do this because they were denied a Natural Right. (The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 is worth mentioning. Also look here.It was written by one of the survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto.)
In America we have had the same thing happen but on a more limited scale. After the War of Northern Aggression many states enacted gun control laws where none had existed before. This was due to the fact that black people were no longer slaves & thus their rights, both individual & collective, were recognized by law. So they denied the existence of rights to everyone for the sake of disarming blacks. In practice they'd wink at white people who broke the laws. & where was the oppression you ask? Actually it was partly governmental in that certain branches of government, particularly local government were abused, but mainly it was societal. Klu Klux Klan was probably the most recognizable persecutor of the black people, but there were other, less organized groups. No large segments of black society were wiped out all at once, but there were numerous lynchings, beatings, rapes, etc that were just as devastating to local communities. Again this was facilitated by denying black people their Natural Rights. After all a Klansman can't tie a noose if his hands are full of buckshot, so they minimized the risk for the Klansman. That's one lesson the NAACP seems to have forgotten: armed people aren't easily abused.
So that is a partial explanation of why a Natural right is often disregarded.
Now the Individual part:

Just as Arms are a Natural Right they are Individual. It is true that they can be considered Political for the defense of State or Government & Collective for the defense of community from State or Government, they are by nature Individual. The Individual makes up the Collective & in this case it is dependant upon the Individual & not the Collective. A Collective has this Right because the Individual has this right, not the other way around.

Again, if we go back to our previous example of the man alone in the wilderness outside of society or government we can see nothing artificial about his possessing weapons. We would never think that because he is alone there is something unnatural about his being armed. We'd never insist that he have a companion or two before he owns weapons. We would understand that he has to have weapons to defend his self, not just his community or his state, but his individual self. No one is going to do it for him. & again because the nature of man hasn't really changed, neither has the individual nature of this Right. No animal or criminal is going to pause while he summons a collective so that he may have defense from attack. Likewise I have never found any religion in which the Supreme Deity punishes an individual for defending his self by his self w/o waiting upon a collective or an appointed guard. Society is not obligated to protect the individual: only society in general. Nor can any government afford individual protection to each & every citizen. Defending your life is every bit as much a personal & individual responsibility & necessity as is feeding yourself. These things cannot be delegated to another person or to a group. & weapons are the most effective tools at our disposal for meeting this responsibility. They are necessary for the defense of Individual Rights such as life & liberty & are themselves part of the Natural, Individual Right to Self Defense.

But no right is absolute is it? Yes, there are some Rights that are absolute. Most are in fact. But the nature of Rights are misunderstood so they are easily confused as being limited rather than absolute.
Rights are absolute. Where restraint is called for does not pertain to Rights, but rather to abuse of actions related to Rights.
No one will argue that a person has the Right to choose his own religion or the lack thereof. At least most people in this country wouldn't, nor most people in Democracies. Society may to some degree be justified in trying to influence religion, but no person or group should force someone to believe or disbelieve a certain religion.
Does this mean we are to condone human sacrifice as part of a legitimate religious belief that someone holds? Isn't that a Right? Nope. The Right to religious belief is absolute: no one may forbid a person from believing in a religion that sees value in human sacrifice. What we may do is keep that person from acting on his religion in such a way as to interfere with the rights of another. In this case, the Right to life would be in jeopardy if we condoned human sacrifice. Sacrificing another human against their will is not a Right even if it is a principle theme in a religion. Believing in that religion is a Right. Acting upon it in a way that violates someone else’s' Rights is not a Right. But wouldn't that mean we could prevent any action associated with a Right, such as prayer? Nope, not unless the action directly interferes with the Rights of another. Having the potential to interfere with another’s' Rights does not justify the denial of a Right, only the actual interference. Believing in no God or twenty gods does not interfere with anyone else’s' Rights. Neither does praying in public or private. Murder does even if it is part of a religious belief. The belief is still protected, but the action which interferes with another’s' Rights is not. BTW, freedom from being offended in public is not a Right. In your home it's a slightly different matter as you can & should control the content of your home. You cannot & should not control the content of society except that you should be able to shut it out by staying at home. & there is no Right to be free from fear, not even in your own home. No particular reason, just thought I’d bring it up.

Owning & possessing arms of any type is a Right. By Arms let's say anything that can be used by one person against an individual target. This negates nuclear weapons from our definition as well as field artillery, but includes automatic weapons & large caliber weapons. Grenades are debatable but for the moment let's ignore them. The mere possession of arms does not directly interfere with anyone else’s' Rights. Ah, now I remember why I brought up the no right to be free from offence/fear subject. If someone merely owning or possessing arms bothers you, offends you, scares you, upsets you, etc... then that is a problem you must deal with. It is in no way justification for restricting someone’s' Rights. You never know when your boyfriend is going to tell you your favorite pants make you look fat, or you're unpleasant, or he's leaving you for someone else. Those are all horrible things for him to say, but the chance of him saying it or the fear of him saying it would not justify you taping his mouth shut (no matter how tempting) & denying his Right to Speech. Similarly most men are physically capable of doing grave bodily harm to most women. Psychologically they may not be, & hopefully morally they won't be, but physically they are indeed capable. But just because a man possesses the means to do damage to a woman (strong arms, quick reactions, boxed in high school, etc) would not justify the woman in killing him, thereby denying his Right to Life. Even if the woman is scared that he may do so his Right to Life trumps her desire to be free of fear. (Now the situation would be changed a great deal if there was an actual justification for her fear, such as him threatening her verbally or by physical action, but let's assume our example is only afraid because he has the physical capability & not for any other concrete reason.)
Merely owning or possessing Arms does not present any direct danger to the Rights of anyone else. It is therefore absolute.
Walking down the street firing indiscriminately at people, or in a crowded room pointing the gun at people for no justifiable reason is not a Right. It is threatening behavior that directly interferes with or has the very definite & immediate possibility of interfering with another’s' Rights. Such behavior can & should be prohibited & may be stopped by the use of force.
This is where most pro-gun people get tricked, by assuming that since you can prohibit a person from walking in a mall & shooting randomly then the Right to Arms is not absolute. In fact they are conceding that dangerous behavior which only has a vague connection to a Right can not only be prohibited, but can be justification for prohibiting the Right itself which has little if anything to do with the behavior. Once they start down that particular slippery slope, there's little hope of turning back. If they only realized & appreciated the difference between the Right to Arms & the dangerous behavior that is confused with it, then they could stand on firmer ideological ground & not be conned into conceding as much as they usually do. Groups like the NRA are of no help, since for one reason or another they seem to buy into & promote this erroneous regulation by association. As a result most people would automatically say the no Right is absolute, when in actuality all rights are absolute, but all behavior does not constitute a Right.
Ohio is a prime example: There have been two rulings in the last year that confirm that under Ohio's constitution the legislature may not prohibit the carrying of concealed arms, as it is a Right. Yet instead of demanding the legislature respect their Right, they are currently lobbying for the legislature to grant them the privilege of concealed weapons permits. Instead of asking for a privilege license system in which conditions may be set, fees imposed, permits revoked or denied, etc. they should be demanding the their legislature make no laws interfering with their Rights. There are political forces at work behind this effort of otherwise pro-gun groups to take a step backwards, but I fear the main cause is simply their lack of understanding of what a Right is & isn't.

To sum up owning or possessing weapons, even carrying them concealed or openly is a Right. Using a weapon unprovoked upon an innocent or defenseless person when there is no direct immediate danger to yourself or someone else being caused by that person is not a Right. The Right to Arms is a necessary derivative of the Right to Self defense which is itself a necessary derivative of the Right to Life. All three are inter-related & inseparable. All three are Natural in source & Individual in nature. All three are absolute.

Until we educate the people on what Rights are, & perhaps more importantly what Rights aren't, then we will continue to lose the battle for our Rights: not because the enemy has superior numbers or a morally just backing, but because we let them con us into submission.

For related reading please look here, here, here, here & here