Sunday, April 7, 2013

What? Governmental Overreach? Say It Ain't So!

By Dave Dargo

Jonathan Swift once said,
Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.
From KFI AM 640 comes this story of a father who has had his pistol license suspended because of something his 10-year old son said.

The first issue I have with this is the concept that one should need a permit in order to own a handgun, but that's New York.  The general concept of requiring a permit in order to exercise a fundamental right is, on the surface, a ridiculous notion.  There have been cases settled by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding permits for parades and protests.  The balance struck by the courts is that permits can be required when public spaces are to be occupied by the parade or protest but the issuance of the permit to any particular group can not be based on the discretion of the government official.  There needs to be clear, objective criterion for the issuance of the permit.  Additionally, the only real reason for the acceptance of the permit requirement is because there are competing interests for the use of the public space.

Nassau County, New York web site showing a 6-month wait for a permit to exercise a fundamental right
In the case of owning a handgun, there is no good governmental interest in requiring a permit.  What you own in your own home, especially when what you own is a fundamental right for which the government is prohibited from infringing, should never have a need for a permit.

Yet, here we are where the state of New York requires a permit to own a handgun in one's home.

In this particular case, John Mayer, of Commack, N.Y. had a permit for handgun ownership and had handguns.  His son got into "trouble" in school because he and two of his friends talked about going to a another boy's house with a water gun, "paint gun" and a BB gun.  No real threats were made, but the 10-year old boy was suspended from school and the police were summoned.  The police, in their infinite government wisdom, decided to suspend the father's permit - in effect, suspending the father's fundamental rights.

At what point do we stop this governmental overreach?  For how long will we permit the government to exercise police powers which are not theirs to exercise?

We've had children suspended for eating a pop-tart into a shape a teacher "thought" looked like a gun.

At what point will we become so fed up with ignorant government officials that we will actually turn them out of office and allow ourselves get back to a bit of sanity?

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