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Voters in the city of San Francisco made headlines in November after approving a measure banning all handguns. Liberals instinctively fawned over the ballot results, quickly declaring a utopian peace would soon envelope San Fran, now that evil had been neutered and all of the bad people disarmed. Whatever.
The trouble with gun bans is the same as it is with liberals: neither deal with the realities of the world and both are fraught with danger. In cities where such foolishness has already been tried – New York City and Washington, D.C., for instance – murder rates are among the highest in the country.
Nevertheless, liberals continue to believe the end of crime is just one gun ban away until, that is, the gun ban begins to inflict hardship upon a class of citizens favored by liberals. Then, suddenly, they are only a good idea for the rest of us.
That brings me to the story of a California woman who is embroiled in the inanity of that state’s historic love affair with anti-gun laws.
According to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Joan Ryan, a woman she is calling “Rebecca” began carrying a concealed pistol last year because she was concerned her ex-husband and long-time wife-beater may harm her again. Though Rebecca had entered the California Confidential Address Program and had begun a new life under an assumed identity, there were indications last summer her ex-husband may have found her.
As disconcerting as that was, Rebecca at least was able to draw some comfort from the fact that she was packing heat, and doing so legally. She had gotten a restraining order against her ex- during the divorce proceedings and, under California law a person can actually carry a concealed gun legally who “reasonably believes that he or she is in grave danger because of circumstances forming the basis of a current restraining order.”
All seemed in order. But one day while at a grocery store, Rebecca inadvertently left her purse with the loaded gun behind. Clerks found it and discovered the gun inside, leading to Rebecca’s arrest. She was convicted by a San Mateo County judge for illegally carrying a concealed weapon, and sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months probation.
But wait, Rebecca argued. She had that restraining order and that should have been enough of a technicality to void most of the circumstances surrounding her arrest. Only, the restraining order Rebecca had thought was permanent expired shortly before she was busted.
Now, due to her conviction, the courts have stripped not only any future right to carry a concealed gun, but also her right to even keep a gun in her home – meaning, the sentence effectively renders her Second Amendment right moot, all over a state technicality. That in and of itself is deplorable but the injustice to society as a whole is made worse by liberal pretense.
To wit: In her column Ryan admits the state’s “law against carrying concealed guns makes good sense.” And she says Rebecca’s abandonment of a loaded gun in public, no matter how inadvertent, cannot be excused.
But then Ryan also took San Fran anti-gunners to task when she intoned, “I wonder whether San Francisco voters considered domestic violence situations when they voted in November to ban all handguns and what consequences women like Rebecca might pay.” And in a further ugly turn of feminism, she said Rebecca ought not be left defenseless (again) at the hands of a “bigger and stronger” man, noting her concealed gun “leveled the playing field” and hence could prevent her from becoming one of the 1,300 victims killed in domestic-violence attacks every year.
Which begs the questions – why should Rebecca be afforded special treatment? What makes her different – her vulnerability?
So Rebecca’s vulnerable – in today’s larger cities especially, who isn’t? Her dilemma is abominable, but no more so than the danger millions of other unarmed Americans face every day.
Anti-gun laws put every citizen at risk, not just a chosen few. Ryan – by taking up Rebecca’s cause – implies, however, that only certain classes of persecuted citizens are deserving of certain rights or, in the case of California anti-gun laws, certain exemptions.
That’s just bogus. No American should have to live in fear because they have been denied, by law, their right to carry a gun for self-defense.
But the most maddening aspect of this whole story is that there is no dearth of liberals who fail to see the hypocrisy of Ryan’s position.