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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Friday, December 30th, 2011

It’s a story that has played out before: someone thinks if their marriage license and their driver’s license are recognized by the State of New York, their license to carry a gun must be, too. A female medical student at the 9/11 memorial discovered otherwise, here:|maing9|dl4|sec3_lnk3%26pLid%3D123676

The plot thickened. Searching her purse after she tried to do the right thing and declare her little Kel-Tec P32, police found a glassine bag filled with white powder and, not surprisingly, sent it for analysis. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has made anti-gun campaigns his cause célèbre, publicly accused her of being in illegal possession of cocaine, here:

The medical student explained that the substance was powdered aspirin. Noo Yawkers don’t know what Southern folks know: powdered aspirin, notably Goody’s and BC Powders, are popular headache remedies south of the Mason-Dixon line, and the defendant and her pistol permit both hail from Tennessee.

For a hundred years, New York’s Sullivan Act has inflicted draconian felony punishment on those who carry or even merely possess handguns, even if they are licensed elsewhere. New York City won’t even recognize a permit issued in Albany or Buffalo. Google Plaxico Burress: even the rich and famous are not immune.

It is common for people innocently and honestly checking firearms at airports in New York to be arrested for felony illegal possession. A victimless crime, classic malum prohibitum, this has a ruinous effect on the lives of dozens of good American citizens every year, not to mention the waste in New Yorkers’ tax dollars.  The Tennessee medical student has drawn much sympathy from the general public, and even anti-gun politicians are urging authorities to go easy on the lady, for fear of creating a backlash in favor of House Resolution 822, which would require national reciprocity in recognition of other states’ handgun permits, as noted here:

And of course, some of my large-bore and Magnum-loving friends would say that since she only had a .32, it ought to at the very least be reduced to a misdemeanor.


My hope for the New Year is that HR 822 passes the Senate and becomes national law…that the med student gets a finding from the crime lab of “Yep, it’s powdered aspirin” and gets enough from her libel suit against Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York to pay her legal fees and compensate her for her suffering… and that some common sense gets restored to the gun law situation in the United States.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, productive and safe New Year.

61 Responses to “GUNS, GOODIES, AND GOODY’S”

  1. sofa Says:

    “infringing” is now allowed and enforced by people who supposedly took an oath to the Constitution. Until some do their duty and arrest legislators and enforcers and judges and prosecutors, the law does not exist.; the Constitution does not exist; we are truly “without rule of law” (WROL) until the law is upheld. Thugs do what they please, because they are backed by willing collaborators with guns.

    In the mean time, the 4th amendment is also being killed. Anyone who took an oath should look at current events and re-read your Constitution, and consider their role in unlawful actions.

  2. sofa Says:

    218 permit? 2A says shall not be infringed. Anyone participating in 218 ‘special privileges’ is participating in an unconstitutional segregation of rights.

    822? Unnecessary, as 2A already is in place.

    Without the Constitution, there is no government authority. Without authority under law, there are only men with guns doing what they are ordered to do. “Without the rule of law”, WROL.

    “All laws repugnant to the Constitution are Null and Void”
    -Chief Justice John Marshall, SCOTUS, Marbury vs Madison, 1803

  3. Mas Says:

    Sofa, if your middle school ever makes Civics 101 mandatory, you’ll learn that things don’t work the way you think they should. It’ll be much better for you to find that out in school than in the less-forgiving real world.

  4. MD Matt Says:

    While I appreciate the strength of your convictions, you may wish to reassess your assumptions re-constitutional “rights.”
    The constitution does guarantee/acknowledge certain rights. But, only to the extent that your exercising of said rights doesn’t impinge on other people’s ability to do the same. We have a judicial system to determine where that line is drawn. That is in fact one of the major checks and balances inherent to the three branch system of democracy. You have the right to free speech for example, but not to the extent that you can yell fire in a crowded theatre. Likewise, the second amendment exists, but only to the extent that legal precedent and local ordinance allows you to exercise that right. As for 2a, I wish it were otherwise, but that’s the country we live in. 2a, like the entire constitution, has hundreds of years of case law, rulings, and precedent which comprise what our legal system says 2a does and does not mean (whether or not you agree with said case law is beside the point.) As for your quote from Justice Martial, he’s right. However what is and is not “repugnant to the constitution” is likewise subject to judicial interpretation.

  5. Carl N. Brown Says:

    I am disturbed at the Mayor polluting the potential jury pool by declaring her in possession of (unconditional) cocaine, not even “alleged” or “suspected”.

    Disturbed but not surprised.

  6. dougR Says:

    NYC dweller here; been here 40 years and own 2 handguns legally (no law-enforcement background, just interested). Was relieved to see a theme showing up in the comments (poor gal, I feel for her, but she really should have checked local laws first). That’s really all there is to say. Will add that in 40 years here, I’ve been mugged twice, and in neither case would a gun have helped; rather it would have made a bad situation MUCH worse in a heartbeat. Also, I have to live here, and I’m content to do so without a bunch of minimally or not-at-all-trained but well-intentioned people around me packing heat; no offense to cc-trained folks who take the responsibility seriously, but the crowd density and building density are unbelievable here compared to anywhere else, far too many opportunities for a misdirected bullet to kill the wrong person. Finally, you stick to the regular tourist areas, you’re safer here probably than in your own town (except possibly from pickpockets), since violent crime here keeps going down. Not interested in engaging in 2nd Amendment philosophical discussions, just saying folks, you don’t need a gun in tourist NYC. (Not trying to sound smart-alecky either; once took an 8 week car trip around the US with a M1911 in the trunk, which I now realize exposed me to numerous opportunities of getting busted for an illegal/unregistered gun.)

  7. russ Says:

    There are several people who have said, she should have checked the local laws. But what if she had, based on her experience and many others in other States, that means she looked at the State level, not the City. In any State that has State Preemption, it would not be unreasonable for a person to NOT realize that some place else is different.

    Additionally, for anyone NOT from NYC, not even NYS, just the City, try to figure out where the City starts and end and where other municipalities do. Manhattan? The Bronx? Richmond County? Brooklyn? Yonkers? Staten Island? Essex County? Long Island? Tribeca? Westchester? Coney Island? Queens? Nassau County? Bergan County? SoHo? Red Hook? Harlem? Hudson? Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach?

    So it is reasonable, that she may have made a good faith to find and follow the laws and still been wrong.

  8. Bill Says:

    Retired from a County Shrfs Dept. One of my jobs was processing NYS Pistol Permits for my county. After having this assignment for 15 yrs, Range Instructor for 15 yrs, I wonder about NYS. You are finger printed for FBI, NYSDCJ, local PD’s checks, and reference checks, you still can not carry in NY City or out of state. I hope the new law passes so that everyone can cross state lines if you are licenesed to carry a handgun in your home state. Having worked with people moving from one state to NYS and seeing what other state requirements are this law should be passed. When my family travels out of state camping, and traveling, I may not have a handgun with me but my M1 carbine or Mossberg 500 with pistol grip was always close at hand in a motel room or in the camper. family members all know how to use them.
    I would like to see this bill passed, and I hope everyone here supports its passing and also support and join the NRA.

  9. Long Island Mike Says:

    While this is an aging thread, I didn’t want to clutter up more recent posts. Today I feel like I am in Bizzaro world from the old Superman comics. Two articles have me with my jaw on the floor.

    First the TSA detain Senator Rand Paul at the airport. Even though Congress critters are protected directly in the Constitution from detention while traveling to DC. The TSA is simply the best example of a rogue agency next to the ATF.

    Next I read this article from today that the NYPD tossed a Navy SEAL into the pysch ward at Bellvue Hospital for claiming he was a Navy SEAL. He also had a pistol in his car and will go to jail in Bloomberg country.

  10. حظ Says:

    Your web site doesn’t display properly on my blackberry – you might wanna try and fix that

  11. Mas Says:

    Your comment re: the Blackberry has been forwarded to the Webmaster, maybe he can help.

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