Sometimes the good guys win

February 26, 2014
Roger Freberg

Roger Freberg

OPINION By ROGER FREBERG

It’s been an interesting year and its only February.

A landmark legal case decided by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on the 13th of February will have profound effects on California, New York and possibly Iran. Before we can talk about this case, here is a little background.

When grandma packs we feel safer

Three years ago, almost to the day, I wrote an article that discussed, guns, self- defense and conceal and carry permits in California and around the country. State laws are not uniform. Vermont residents can go almost anywhere with a gun strapped to their side while in New York, a 64 ounce soda represents a clear and present danger. Check out this greatness in journalism.

What is a “conceal and carry?”

Carrying and concealing a weapon, in particular a handgun, is considered “normal” in the majority of states in our country provided you have the appropriate training and licensure. This is not a license to use your weapon, just to conceal and carry it. If you find yourself in a situation where you used your gun, you’d be arrested as the criminal you may be until the truth gets sorted out. Those who care about you will be relieved that you survived a life threatening ordeal. As the saying goes, “it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by six.”

As I mentioned in my previous article, you should never buy a gun or obtain conceal and carry licensure if you cannot visualize ever using your gun. Training and practice are necessary to increase your comfort and proficiency.

Landmark case

You might have missed the recent landmark decision in California regarding conceal and carry if you’ve been focused on the many challenges in our world: the violence in Syria and the Ukraine, Obamacare or the further alleged sexual adventures of a couple of our local supervisors , Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson, whom I am almost sure are not an item, but I try not to judge.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Peruta, et al. v. San Diego County (February 13, 2014). The issue involved the existing conceal and carry permit process which made it virtually impossible to get a license. “Writing for the majority, Judge Diamuid O’Scannlain concluded that ‘San Diego’s good cause law permitting requirement impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense’” (Washington Times). The court said that San Diego’s requirement that an individual must prove a need to defend themselves before obtaining a permit was unconstitutional.

The ruling stated in part,”Thus, the question is not whether the California scheme (in light of San Diego County’s policy) allows some people to bear arms outside the home in some places at some times; instead, the question is whether it allows the typical responsible, law-abiding citizen to bear arms in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense. The answer to the latter question is a resounding ‘no.’”

Today in San Diego

So, you might ask, what is San Diego’s official response to all of this? On Feb. 21, the sheriff of San Diego published his decision and included a note to the county supervisors. The sheriff in his note stated that “the opinion provides clear guidance in the issuing of CCWs (Conceal and Carry License) in California.” However, he is buying time by saying that he isn’t going to switch to the new process until the court’s judgment becomes final. Not everyone is waiting. The sheriff of Orange County has already announced that she will comply with the ruling.

CCWs in San Luis Obispo County?

I had the opportunity to sit down with our Sheriff Ian Parkinson over coffee at the Nautical Bean, and he offered a candid appraisal of the CCW permit process, where he sees it going, and some of his concerns. Here are some summary points I made based on our conversation:

Ian is a supporter of the Second Amendment and has doubled the number of CCW permits issued during his watch compared to his predecessor. He has a dual concern: Citizens should have the rights given to them by the Second Amendment, but he is also working to keep everyone safe.

He believes that the job of law enforcement is to enforce the laws but not to write them. He will support the 9th Circuit Court’s decision when it becomes final.

Currently, the sheriff’s office processes a number of CCW requests that had previously been handled by some of our cities. When the court’s ruling is finalized, Ian plans to shift part or all of the process back to the cities. (I suspect it is a workload consideration.)

I asked Sheriff Parkinson if he had any concerns about the ruling. His concern seemed genuine when he said he worried about giving a license to someone who checks out fine, but who really isn’t.

Where do we go from here?

A couple of things we already know. First, the sheriff in San Diego has announced that he will not appeal the court’s decision. If you go to his department’s web site and check the news for Feb. 21, you can read all about it, plus his note to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Second, the Washington Times reported that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals believed their rulings would stand up to Supreme Court scrutiny, should anyone wish to take the decision in that direction.

It has been reported that the California Attorney General is not likely to cross the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling. One wonders if the California Legislature could pull itself together to adopt the CCW processes already in place in one of the other 34 states that have already addressed this issue. I suspect that some California legislators have placed themselves so far out of the mainstream on this issue, they’ll find it impossible to accept the opinions of a court of law. That’s what elections are for.

The Los Angeles Times suggested a novel solution–legalize “open carry.” This would allow citizens to wear their handguns openly as in the Old West. Although this sounds fun, the real benefit of conceal and carry to a community is that the bad guys don’t know who is armed and who is not. By the way, bad guys like to prey on places that are called “gun free zones.” Some recent examples include movie theaters (the bad guy passed a bunch of theaters in Colorado to find one with a gun-free sign), restaurants, colleges and schools.

I don’t know about you, but I am still uncomfortable about giving certain politicians the right to carry. I guess we have to take the good with the bad.

Stay safe.

 

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69 Comments

  1. rogerfreberg says:

    Well… it looks like we’ve had an interesting discussion on this issue and it may go on for a little longer… but we’ll see how it goes. It is very possible that the Supremes will not hear this case given the three cases they have passed on… it just seems like a stall tactic to me.

    As for our Attorney General… well… she may find it harder to seek higher elective office. She got her name in the news… but for entirely the wrong reason.

    http://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-appeals-ninth-circuit-concealed-weapons-permit

    ********

    BTW, I am working on an Article on one of my favorite topics… CAL POLY. You may have noticed that they went through a ‘regime change’ some time ago… and the current … ah… ‘leader’ has changed out virtually every top person in administration… except their legal beagle (which says something to me). In any event, I have been interviewing disgruntled folks who are somehow unhappy with the supposedly heavy handed nature of those now in charge. SoOooo, if anyone else would like to contribute something (scanned emails, videos of cavorting administrators) feel free to pass them along: rfreberg@charter.net

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  2. SuperDave says:

    Stare Decisis explained… Basically, under the doctrine of stare decisis, the decision of a higher court within the same provincial jurisdiction acts as binding authority on a lower court within that same jurisdiction. The decision of a court of another jurisdiction only acts as persuasive authority. The degree of persuasiveness is dependent upon various factors, including, first, the nature of the other jurisdiction. Second, the degree of persuasiveness is dependent upon the level of court which decided the precedent case in the other jurisdiction. 

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • Slowerfaster says:

      SO … stare decisis does not pertain to SCOTUS, as SCOTUS may overturn previous SCOTUS decisions.
      RE: Dred Scott, slavery, Brown vs. Board, prohibition,

      The Court evolves …eventually.
      Better minds succede the Taney’s, the Rhenquist’s, and the Scalia’s that end up in the dumpheap of history.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. SuperDave says:

    Expert opinions out the window- Today, Califonia’s Attorney General filed that appeal. She runs the risk of the Supreme Court taking the case, and agreeing that Every State should provide CCW permits. This game by Kahala Harris will sink her political future if she fails. High stakes for those with a hatred of Citizens having Constitutional Rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

    • choprzrul says:

      Correction, the AG filed a “Motion to Intervene”. CA AG was offered to opportunity to be a party to the original lawsuit, but declined, ergo, CA AG does not have standing to file an appeal.

      In simple terms, Harris is throwing a tantrum now since she didn’t like the decision.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  4. mkaney says:

    “He has a dual concern: Citizens should have the rights given to them by the Second Amendment, but he is also working to keep everyone safe.” He’s talking out of two sides of his mouth. First, it is not his job to keep everyone safe, it is to enforce the law. There is a difference. Second, what is the point of having a Constitution if it is not followed. He either supports the second amendment, or he does not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  5. Niles Q says:

    I guess given the responses here there is no hope for us to curb gun violence.

    The problem is that each state has it’s own set of laws, making for a hodge-podge of regulations that change simply by crossing a state line. We need federal laws that apply to everyone.

    The old nonsense about needing a gun handy and at the ready is stupid. you are much more likely to have it stolen or a kid getting ahold of it than ever defending yourself from a burglar. But clearly the gun advocates want zero restrictions, period.

    So quit complaining or being sorry the next time some teenager steals his daddy’s gun and goes on a rampage.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 33

    • Cindy says:

      “So quit complaining or being sorry the next time some teenager steals his daddy’s gun and goes on a rampage.”

      Niles, If daddy is going to get a permit to carry a gun, then daddy already owns a gun. The CCW permit makes you safer and places the power back into the hands of the upstanding citizens.
      When are you going to figure out that it’s the criminals who already have the guns and carry them without a permit that you have to worry about. A criminal holding up citizens on a bus or in a restaurant will think twice now that they know that the nice clean cut man in the corner might be carrying.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 30 Thumb down 9

    • miles archer says:

      Of course we can do something about gun violence. It begins by disabling political (money) lobbying by the NRA. Our leaders are so afraid to go against the NRA that they have become stifled, worthless and weak.

      I do have to laugh at the idea some suggest that having a gun in your belt makes you safer from crime. Do you honestly think someone who approaches you with a weapon is going to wait while you draw YOUR weapon, uncheck the safety, take aim…nope, they have already put a hole in your back/chest.

      People who want to carry guns are living in fear…fear of what might happen every day they step out their front door. Afraid you’ll get mugged or assaulted? Scared of dying from a gunshot? Waah-waah-waah.

      So silly…the odds are astronomical of that happening. In fact, you’re more apt to die in a car crash, get injured in a home accident or become ill from making poor health choices. Yet you don’t seem fearful of your car, home or the alcohol/drugs/tobacco you consume.

      Oh and yes, I AM a gun owner who does NOT feel the need to carry openly or concealed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

      • Slowerfaster says:

        Bravo Miles. I am, too. Matter of fact, I have a couple of personal experiences where I have used my wheel to deter violence. I won’t go into details, but suffice that no shots were fired, no one was hurt.

        But here’s the deal … I’m a responsible owner AND I accept responsibility for my actions if I have to go further than a warning. I know that there would be consequences, if I were ever in that extreme situation.

        NOT so, the yeehaws that believe in only personal ‘rights’, but that have no respect.Those that carry TO shoot, or look for trouble. The George Zimmerman’s and Michael Dunn’s. To those like them, their supposed ‘right’ imbues an excuse.

        My grandfather instilled in me this intelligence and respect. He never fired his weapon as a peace officer …only on the firing range; and while chasing Pancho Villa’s bandito’s when they border hopped to rob USA banks.
        He got shot ! ( but obviously lived ).

        His son, my Dad, was not so lucky. He had to kill nazi’s in WWII. Most times with a carbine or grenades; but at least once close with his service .45 .

        After the war, he didn’t like guns. Didn’t even want me to have a BB rifle.

        The nexus of all of this, is that a smart society makes reasonable restrictions towards things or actions that could be hazardous…especially when potentially deadly.
        We DON’T let five year olds drive cars. Sometimes, we don’t let Grandma drive a car; if she is addlepated, infirm, or otherwise incapable of doing so safely.
        We restrict criminals ( as best we can ) and those of diminished mental powers.

        IOW …it’s not a ‘right’ . It’s a privilege.

        Those that think they are entitled here have no honor.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

        • zaphod says:

          He also said that when unexpected people arrive at his house, “I usually pull out a gun and run them off.”

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

              • @knifepoint_in_AG says:

                http://calcoastnews.com/2014/03/four-gang-members-accused-assault-robbery/

                I was the one they robbed. My CCW expired last year and I decided not to renew since I live in such a safe area. Instead I got beat up by 3 out of the 4 guys for 5+ minutes in the middle of Elm st. and Farroll. As I lay on the ground trying to comply with the robbery, I’m still trying to take my watch off but its become even more difficult since my brain won’t allow my eyes to lose focus on the knife I just spotted lunging forward repeatedly in my direction. Even though they all continuously called me their “homie” the entire beating… for some reason they only beat me harder and harder the more I asked my new found friends (homies) to stop. Maybe I should have explained more clearly about the issue I was having removing my watch. I guess it didn’t cross my mind at the time; being kicked and punched in the head seemed only a minor distraction to the potential of being stabbed.

                To end on a pleasant note, besides not getting stabbed it also seems I got the last laugh because they never got any of my real valuables but only because of their impressive devotion to providing an above average beating while selflessly forgoing the intended monetary gain they worked so hard for. I hope they enjoy the items they were able to take…. above all, the portion of my Purple Heart medal that you ripped from me…. Kind of ironic how I earned it and lost it for the same reason. I tried to be civil and comply immediately… We all would have come out ahead. I was never even able to get my watch off.

                Even if I were carrying my gun that night, I’m not looking to shoot some young kids fixing to make a mistake. I’m willing to be civil with or without the gun. The problem was/is that generally your attacker isn’t as willing as you are.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        • miles archer says:

          Agreed Slowerfaster.

          Funny enough, my father was a USMC small arms instructor out at Pendleton. By the age of 10, I was well versed in handling a broad spectrum of guns AND we both were members of the NRA.(Needless to say, I left the NRA long ago when they evolved into a political lobbying organization)

          My dad felt as I do now…beyond those with a specific need (law enforcement, military, security), he never agreed with the idea of private citizens carrying weapons.

          His argument was that there are too many people who are insufficiently equipped to safely handle a gun under stressful circumstances…and I don’t mean physical skill. Most people should NOT have the ability to reach out with one hand and take the life of another.

          Sure, we can monitor or regulate all the guns and ammo in the world, but nothing can guarantee the mental capacity of the person who pulls the trigger in anger/fear/retribution.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

      • choprzrul says:

        The odds are astronomical of my house catching fire, but I still have 3 fire extinguishers. Does that mean that I am living in fear of a house fire? Absolutely not. It means that I am being prudent and have the correct tool close at hand in the event of an emergency.

        It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

        .

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

        • r0y says:

          I have working electricity and lighting, but still own many flashlights and candles, too. Sometimes, I even take these flashlights with my (in the car, etc). Maybe I am afraid of the dark? …and all this time I just thought I was being prepared.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

        • Slowerfaster says:

          The question is having it and using it while not needing it.

          Oh, your fire extinguisher analogy is a classic false one..

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

          • choprzrul says:

            Do you apply that logic to all Civil Rights, or just selectively?

            California’s gun control laws schema is the 21st century version of Jim Crow laws oppressing the Civil Rights of law abiding citizens.

            .

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  6. BHirsh says:

    Slowerfaster, you wrote: “This 5-4 decision is so clearly wrongheaded and against the principles outlined in the Constitution that I am convinced that it will be reversed by a more competent future court.”

    Two words: stare decisis

    Four more: Don’t hold your breath.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

    • Slowerfaster says:

      Slavery, Dred Scott, “Separate but equal”, prohibition …
      Just a few examples where previous SCOTUS rulings were ultimately overturned.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

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