Yesterday KOMO reported that one of the first prospective jurors in the Raymond Fryberg federal gun law case being heard this week in Seattle was dismissed because “he said he didn’t think anyone should own a gun.”
Some might suggest that individual should be tracked down and given a copy of yesterday’s Reason blog headlined “An Honest Talk About Guns.” It might be something of an eye-opener.
Fryberg is being prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms in violation of a protection order dating back more than a decade. Yesterday, according to the Seattle Times and Associated Press, U.S. District Judge James Robart granted a request from prosecutors to prohibit Fryberg from claiming he wasn’t aware he could not have firearms because of the non-expiring protection order.
While the opening arguments are expected today, yesterday’s startling admission by the unidentified jury candidate that he believes nobody should have guns might alarm some people. The right to keep and bear arms is protected by the same constitution that protects the right to a fair trial with an impartial jury. The Second Amendment is just as important as the Sixth Amendment and the Bill of Rights is not a buffet, it’s an all-or-nothing proposition.
A careful read of the Reason blog, authored by A. Barton Hinkle, senior editorial writer and columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, might make it clear that gun control has essentially been a disappointment. He notes that background checks haven’t prevented any of the high-profile shootings that prompt calls for expanded background checks. He also reports that more people are murdered with blunt instruments than rifles, a fact long known to readers of this column, where the disparity has been discussed repeatedly.
There is no law against believing nobody should own firearms. That falls within the landscape of the First Amendment. In the Fryberg case, dismissing that potential juror was no doubt the right call. But this should serve as a reminder to gun rights activists and Second Amendment absolutists that not everyone agrees with them, and the fight to protect their gun rights is far from over.
It might be interesting to ask that dismissed jury candidate about an incident yesterday in Michigan during which a legally-armed private citizen shot an armed bank robber after the outlaw aimed a gun in his direction. The armed citizen shot the robber in both arms and one leg.
If that customer hadn’t been armed, there is the possibility that the robber might have opened fire and harmed other innocents. All reports say the armed citizen is cooperating with police investigators.
Hinkle’s article notes, “There are an estimated 300 million guns in America, and nearly one out of every three adults owns a firearm. The vast majority of gun owners will never hurt anyone with a gun.” As the case in Michigan demonstrates, there are times when owning a gun has a positive impact…on everyone but a would-be criminal.
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