In just the second St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column ever written, we looked at St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom's claim back in early 2009 that, for the problem of protecting oneself and one's family from violent crime, "the solution is not more guns." Well, yes it is, Chief, when the problem is that the predatory thugs will only cease their predations when their intended prey makes that behavior too dangerous.
Chief Isom is gone now, but his attitude of disdain for armed self-defense for non-"Only Ones" is still alive and well in the office of the St. Louis Chief of Police (not to be confused with St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch, who has articulated a very enlightened position on guns and self-defense). The Riverfront Times makes that clear right from the beginning, in an article titled "New St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson: 'More Guns Is Never The Answer.'" "Gun control," says the article, will be "one of his top priorities."
A disappointing attitude, but hardly a surprise, given the fact that a big city police chief is more a politician, beholden to the mayor who hired him, than an actual peace officer--and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is one of Missouri's few "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" (about whom there are some interesting mathematical observations to be made).
It's when Dotson is asked about various legislative proposals in Missouri, to better protect gun rights, that it gets chilling (emphasis added):
"I understand the Second Amendment, and I understand everyone's right, or their belief that they have a right to bear arms," he says.
Hmm--our "belief that [we] have a right to bear arms"? That wording, which cannot have been accidental, rather strongly implies that Dotson does not share that "belief," which has now been established by two Supreme Court decisions as a settled point of Constitutional law. Dotson continues:
It doesn't give them a right to use that weapon.
Well, this time he is correct, if only by accident. The Second Amendment does indeed not "give" the right to use our Constitutionally protected arms to defend our lives and liberty. That right inheres to each and every one of us by virtue of our humanity, as a natural right, not contingent on being "granted" by any government or document. From the Supreme Court's Heller decision (drawing from the 19th century Cruikshank ruling):
We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed . . . .”
That, however, is clearly not the point Dotson is trying to make. Instead, he is grudgingly acknowledging the widespread "belief" in the Second Amendment's Constitutional guarantee of the fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms (as even the Brady Campaign's president Paul Helmke was forced to), but claiming that the right can legitimately be rendered useless, through laws that prohibit "using" it (Dotson should probably look up the difference between "rights" and "privileges," at this point).
Meet the new boss; same as the old boss--except that even the old boss doesn't seem to have been so brazen as to openly dismiss the Second Amendment's protection of the individual's right to keep and bear arms as no more than a "belief."
Don't be fooled again, St. Louis.
- When the solution is more guns
- Mayor Slay's bias against peaceable armed citizens
- St. Louis #1 in violent crime--and 'authorities' disparage armed self-defense
- St. Louis violent crime down--but keep your guard up
- St. Louis police chief wants federal gun laws to control local crime
- St. Louis mayor hopes to combat 'gun crime' with baseball
- St. Louis County police chief questions wisdom of schools as 'gun-free' zones
- Local police chief continues to reject 'gun control' for public safety