Hamblen says heâ€™s not surprised that he lost at the appeals court. But he says he is surprised that heâ€™s received no help from gun-rights advocates. â€œThey are treating me like Iâ€™m a skunk at the picnic,â€ he said.
As for his case, he plans to fight on. He says his lawyer is preparing a final appeal, a petition to the US Supreme Court. â€œWhy stop now? Iâ€™ve already done the hard part. Iâ€™ve already done my time,â€ Hamblen says. â€œAll they can do is say no.â€
My prediction is that the Court will refuse to take the case, leaving the Sixth Circuit decision on his conviction in place. Hamblen will remain a convicted felon. He shouldn’t be surprised being treated like a skunk in a picnic, because that’s generally what I would call someone who puts everyone else’s legal rights at risk because he’s right dammit.
I’m not outraged because I believe it’s correct to exclude fully automatic firearms from the Second Amendment, but because I think it’s wrong. If someday public and judicial opinion on the topic changes, we’ll need circuit courts where that issue is undecided in order to move a case forward. Wayne Fincher has already sealed up the Eighth Circuit with a bad ruling, and now the Sixth Circuit is closed off as well thanks to Mr. Hamblen. Others may venerate these men as heros, but I don’t believe they are. We all know what the law is, and if you’re going to force your case in front of federal judges, you owe it to everyone else who’s passionate about the issue to prepare a careful, thorough, and well put together case. Dick Heller is a hero. Otis McDonald is a hero. These men did it correctly. Skunks at a picnic? I can’t think of any analogy more apt.