Why Support Self-Defense?

Justice Stephen Breyer encountered a machete-wielding intruder in his vacation home last week, so you’d think that he’d be a little more inclined to support the right of self-defense a bit more than he did in the days when he heard the Heller and McDonald cases. I doubt you’ll see him come around based on the history of which recent SCOTUS justices have been attacked and how they voted in the above cases. Fox News gives us an AP report with this background:

The last time a justice was the victim of a crime was in 2004, when a group of young men assaulted Justice David Souter as he jogged on the street in Washington.

In 1996, a man snatched Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s purse while she was out walking with her husband and daughter near their home in Washington.

In other words, experiencing an assault or robbery doesn’t seem to make them any more inclined to vote for a meaningful individual right to bear arms for defense.

18 thoughts on “Why Support Self-Defense?”

  1. “The U.S. Marshals Service is assisting local authorities and the Supreme Court Police with the investigation, Marshals Service spokesman Jeff Carter said.”

    The Supreme Court Police? I did not know that exists. I wonder if they have their own swat team.

  2. It’s been said that a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged. Clearly this is not true.

    On the Supreme Court Police, think about separation of powers. The Capitol Police report to the legislative branch and are not part of the Executive Branch (and have sole authority on the Capitol grounds).
    The Supreme Court Police are the same. The Executive has no authority on the grounds of the Supreme Court (or its staff and Justices).
    If you think about it for a moment, that protects the other two branches from the Executive.

    1. Re: the liberal who’s been mugged: I don’t think that works for those who buy into the victim-hood mentality, or at least the part where people view themselves as personally helpless in such situations, even if they were armed (needless to say most of these have never fired a (serious) gun (I’m not including the .22LR or airgun at summer camp). There’s also those who don’t believe they can trust themselves with such power (and they may well be correct!) and project that onto the rest of society.

      And it should be noted that the US Marshals Service, which is charged with among other things protecting the US federal judiciary, is part of the Executive Branch. So the Supremes having their own police force is entirely reasonable.

  3. None is more blind than those unwilling to see…

    I’m curious, what was the police response time for the incident?

    You would think that having this encounter with a home invader would change his views on gun ownership, just like there are not supposed to be any atheists in foxholes. [Oh no! Now I’m going to get flamed for that sentiment for sure.]

    1. In a place like the Bahamas, police response time probably depends on whether they were in cahoots with the intruder beforehand or only afterwards.

  4. This is from another forum and written by Ookoshi which I thought was perfect:

    “Now, I am just waiting for the next SCOTUS case to hit the Supreme Court, and for Alan Gura to say, “Justice Breyer… The problem with this interest-balancing approach is that, in an urban area, it would be constitutionally defensible to ban firearms from a person’s home, and as a result of this ban, they would not be able to stop, for example, a machete wielding intruder.””

  5. $50 says Gura does exactly that Mike…

    But I dare say that having your purse snatched is VERY different from having someone with a machete burst into your home.

    1. Indeed it would. The only one I know for sure who owns firearms is Scalia, who has taken Justice Kagan skeet shooting at least once.

  6. Supreme Police, they work in DC
    Supreme Police, weren’t there for ol’ Steve
    Supreme Police, couldn’t stop the ‘chete, oh noooooooo…

  7. I read somewhere that the FBI was investigating this, kind of odd having a US law enforcement agency investigating a crime in another country.

    1. Actually, as I understand it they’re generally the only law enforcement unit in the US who can do this, and they have many offices abroad.

      Read The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage, where hero Cliff Stoll, a astronomer grad student and really serious hacker (it’s not mentioned in the book but he programmed his paging system to inform him of events in Morse Code) who was between science grants and working as a sysadmin at a university computer center.

      The story begins with his trying to reconcile at 87 cent or so discrepancy between two of the computer’s accounting systems; at the other end was a group of German hackers of the bad sort who were being directed by the KGB. He got lots of attention inside the Beltway (the guy from the CIA was particularly interesting), but the FBI wouldn’t gave him the time of day, they were only interested if the crime involved a six figure theft (no doubt part of their publicity oriented DNA, bank robberies and kidnappings are particularly high profile and easy to solve).

      Unfortunately, for various jurisdictional reasons (probably including their responsibility for counterintelligence, which they’re almost never serious about, but the foreign origin was the big one), they were the only unit of the government that could actually do something. I forget if they ever did, but they did completely ignore the situation for years.

  8. Gun laws seem to work only on non-criminals. Restrictive laws allow a cop one more option to arrest a criminal, that is if the criminal is caught illegally carrying a weapon. Does that one small advantage offset the advantage of law abiding people to protect themselves?

  9. Kevin,

    Yup, though the cop -should- have reasonable suspiscion that a crime is occuring to even stop the illegally armed criminal in the first place, with further RS to frisk them for weapons. At that point, if they are truly dangerous, they likely will be a prohibited person of some type which will allow the cop to arrest on a felony charge instead of what in most places is a merely a misdemeanor unlawful carry/possession beef.

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