Several blogs are reporting on San Francisco's proposed handgun ban. A quick look around gives us Michelle Malkin, Clayton Cramer, Eugene Volokh, Publicola, and of course the Blogfather.
Very rarely will you hear me advocate violence against law enforcement agents or people in government. I'm not one of those folks who says they will shoot the mayor if he raises taxes again. But this really really bothers me. If someone came to my home to forcibly disarm me, I doubt I would go easily. This sort of thing gets really close to when I start to consider my government a tyranny in need of overthrow and start quoting Jefferson's "blood of patriots" remarks.
Self defense is a fundamental right. It is more important than even freedom of speech because defense is a guarantor of freedom of speech. It should not be so arbitrarily taken away. The SF ban not only bans all possession of handguns within the city limits (except for police and security personnel who are accorded a protected status). It also bans sales, transfer, and distribution of all firearms (not just handguns) as well. Which means that as the grandfathered arms wear out, it will likely transmute into a total firearms ban within city limits.
The good thing is that Frisco (not "San Fran") tried this in the early eighties when it was ruled by Diane Fienstien. For those that are into federal weapons politics, yes that Diane Feinstien. The one who opposes all conceal carry laws when she herself is one of only 10 Frisco residents with a permit to carry. Anyway the old law passed but was shot down by the courts for overstepping the authority of the city. It is likely this will fail as well. Thank God.
The rationale behind these things is flawed. The idea is that when a cop sees someone carrying a firearm they will be able to react proactively and arrest them for possession before anyone is hurt. The problem is that there aren't and won't ever be enough cops around for this to work. Most "civilians" don't see the gun until it is pointed at them. Furthermore (1) most criminals do not have guns legally and (2) the carry rate in California is low so (3) they can already use this tactic now. People are realizing this and so the lawmakers are hedging their bets by adding suicide and public health to their rationalizations. Both are poor arguments by the way.
When are we going to realize in this country that this sort of legalism is not the answer? Freedom is the answer. You have to trust that the good folks will outnumber the bad folks and you have to empower the good people to protect each other.