What Effective Activism Looks Like

I’m very happy to see that Jason, EVC for Pennsylvania’s 19th Congressional District, and fellow blogger, engaging in some smart activism:

But Jason Epperson, who lives in Spring Garden Township close to the city line, said the proposal won’t do any good unless criminals are prosecuted and jailed.

Show up to the meeting, get mentioned in the press.  That’s a good day as a pro-2A activist.  It looks like the City of York is aiming to pass an resolution, calling on the legislature to act, rather than an ordinance.  This is at least not a violation of state law.

But they are still promoting something that, even based on abstract legal theory is wrong. Straw purchasing is a crime in Pennsylvania. Transferring a handgun without going through an FFL or the County Sheriff is a crime in Pennsylvania. Both serious. If the state is unable to meet its burden in proving either of these crimes, lowering the burden is not an acceptable solution.

Many people, particularly poor people, who are more likely to live in bad neighborhoods where theft is a problem, who are unlikely to keep track of current developments in state law, are going to be the ones that end up unfairly prosecuted under these laws. Middle class people will report their guns stolen. They have insurance, and presumably feel good about the relationship between their community and its police force. That’s not true for all neighborhoods and all demographic groups.  The Second Amendment is not qualified with “the right of the middle and wealthy classes to keep and bear arms.”  It’s also a right for the guy stuck in a crappy, crime ridden neighborhood, and working two jobs to keep his family’s head above water.  Who can’t afford a lawyer, can’t afford a fine, who might not be aware of the law, and might not feel that remarkably comfortable talking to the police.  He should not be punished because he was the victim of a crime.