Today, the Washington Post's Ann Marimow and Aaron Davis published a rather celebratory piece on the Metro section front page claiming that a federal court panel's upholding of Maryland’s restrictive "may issue" concealed carry law is a “decision seen as [a] victory for public safety.” "'This is huge' for advocates of gun control," gushed the headline on the jump page, B8. Ever since Newtown, the Washington Post's editorial board has reinvigorated its push for fresh gun control, and ostensibly objective reporters at the paper have also done their part to stack the deck in how they color news related to gun rights issues.
A three-judge panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit -- comprised of jurists appointed by Democratic presidents -- ruled on March 21 that the law passed constitutional muster. Clinton appointee Judge Robert B. King wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel:
That the state has ‘clearly demonstrated’ that such a requirement ‘advances the objectives of protecting public safety and preventing crime because it reduces the number of handguns carried in public.’
How so, Judge King? What empirical incontrovertible evidence, other than your political opinion, convinces you that this will reduce crime? Chicago has some of the most anti-gun laws on the books, and they’re drowning in their own blood from the bodies related to their homicide epidemic.
Speaking of Chicago, Marimow and Davis failed to mention that in December, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently found unconstitutional the Land of Lincoln's ban on concealed carry, finding that it did, in fact infringe on the rights of Illinois residents in their ability to defend themselves.
Writing for the Court, Judge Richard A. Posner noted Chicago's infamous reputation for violent crime, and connected a right to concealed carry with the right to bear arms. As the Chicago Tribune – which isn't conservative – reported last December, Judge Posner said,
...a Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk in a rough neighborhood than in his apartment on the 35th floor of the Park Tower. A gun is a potential danger to more people if carried in public than just kept in the home...but the other side of this coin is that knowing that many law-abiding citizens are walking the streets armed may make criminals timid.
Alan Gura, an attorney who argued on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation, noted that the Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment deals with a fundamental right to self-protection, and that law-abiding citizens don’t need to tell law enforcement officials their reason for carrying in public. Gura plans an appeal.
In essence, the ruling legitimizes the notion that residents of Maryland have to ask the state "pretty please" for the right to defend themselves with a firearm outside of the home. Yet to the Post, this is simply an unmitigated win for "[t]he state" which "wants to ban assault weapons and require gun buyers to be fingerprinted" and can find itself heartened by the decision as a green-light to further restrict its citizens gun rights.