Hello Patch readers:
I hope you'll take a few minutes to read this post by Republican Attorney General Candidate Ed Martin. It explains why he would take action in an important case from Maryland where our Constitutional rights are being infringed upon. Unfortunately, Current Attorney General Chris Koster has not done anything in the matter.
Gabe Jones - Communications Director, Ed Martin for Attorney General
In the state of Maryland, citizens have to convince a government official that they have a “good and substantial reason” before they are permitted to carry a firearm. Maryland resident Raymond Woollard had a permit to carry a firearm, but was denied a renewal ostensibly for not showing a reason good enough to some bureaucrat. The subsequent lawsuits have been making the case that a law-abiding citizen need not convince a bureaucrat of his or her need to exercise a constitutional right.
I believe this is the correct constitutional reasoning. The 2nd Amendment does not have a good and substantial reason clause, it simply states that the rights of of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Maryland’s law turns the American concept of rights on its head. The government has to show a “good and substantial” reason to infringe upon the people’s rights. Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is certainly speech, but there is a compelling public safety interest in punishing those who do. Even then, government takes action after the fact. Maryland’s law restricts freedom even before it is exercised in the public sphere.
While this case is between the state of Maryland and one of its citizens, all states have an interest in the outcome. It is important that elected officials, especially state’s Attorneys General to weigh in. While the Supreme Court ought to adjudicate correctly on a plain understanding of the text of the constitution, we have seen with the Obamacare decision what intellectual pretzels the Supreme Court can twist itself into so as not to offend perceived sensibilities.
Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is a good example of leadership. He has filed a friend of the court brief in this case, taking a stand for the rights guaranteed in the constitution. This is exactly the kind of legal leadership we need in Missouri. Chris Koster hews to the left on issues of rights, favoring state power over the rights of the people. In a tough election year, he’s not going to support Maryland in its attempt to deny citizens their right to keep and bear arms, but he is also letting an opportunity to support freedom slip by. There have been too many 5-4 decisions on our freedoms by the Supreme Court. We cannot afford to let those opportunities be missed.
The best way to fight bad law is to not pass them in the first place. Landmark cases like this have a far-reaching effect on society. Heller and McDonald put states on notice that they have to get out of the business of infringing on the rights of their citizens. Each win for freedom in the Supreme Court tells leftist legislators that their ideas for bad laws will not survive legal challenge. In turn, this keeps Americans from living in legal limbo while challenges to bad laws wind their way through the courts.
As Missouri’s Attorney General, I will actively provide leadership in the fight for freedom. When cases work their way through court that will have an impact on our precious freedoms, you can count on me and my office to lend support and let our judiciary know that Missouri stands for freedom.