A grocery store clerk in Virginia can legally own a vast arsenal of deadly weaponry. Was he planning on shooting quail with an AK-47-style assault rifle? I guess that's what Glenn Reynolds would call his civil rights. Now, I'm sympathetic to the arguments against gun-control, but this kind of story gives me pause. I mean: surely common sense suggests that this kind of access to legal weaponry is, shall we say, "over-kill".Oh, where to begin...
First of all, I'd love to know what an "AK-47 style assault rifle" is. The Washington Post article that describes the weapon this way doesn't say anything else about it.
Second of all, I don't know if the "grocery store clerk," as we're apparently going to condescedingly refer to him as, was planning on "shooting quail" with this "assault weapon," and it's neither my business nor Sullivan's. The right to own weapons is not synonymous with the right to hunt birds. It's synonymous with the right to self-protection, and that's what makes it a civil right in the eyes of Glenn Reynolds. (I prefer the term "civil liberty," but tomayto tomahto. Calling it a civil liberty does have the added bonus of pointing out the ACLU's hypocrisy on this issue, though. And pissing them off, which is always fun!)
(By the way, the clerk is not the one who did the killing: it was his deranged son, who had broken out of a psychiatric institution and carjacked his way home.)
Third of all, does common sense "surely" tell us that "this kind of access to legal weaponry is, shall we say, "over-kill"? I dunno. Does common sense also tell us that while freedom of speech is usually a good thing, surely it's over-kill to be able to offend someone's religious beliefs? And really, what does a grocery store clerk need all that free speech for, anyway? Is he planning on using it to run for office?
Here's a fact that even the anti-gun Washington Post couldn't ignore (though Sullivan conveniently doesn't mention it):
The shootings shocked the county, which had never lost an officer in a line-of-duty shooting.So with lax gun control in Virginia, and all those evil assault weapons apparently floating around Fairfax County, no police county police officer had ever before been shot to death. Yet Sullivan wants to blame what happened Monday on the fact that a grocery store clerk was allowed to own an "vast arsenal of deadly weaponry."
Sorry, Andy. No sale.
Update: Welcome to all the 'lanchers, and thanks to Glenn for sending 'em my way.
Update Update: Jay at Stop the ACLU has some more info on the ACLU's hypocrisy when it comes to guns and individual rights.