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Thread: Prior Restraint

  1. #1
    Regular Member's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Chandler, AZ

    Prior Restraint

    I am on another gun related mailing list an a gentleman made this post in relationship to gun laws leading to knife laws and so on. It is so well written I thought I'd share:

    It sounds as though you are wrestling with the question of when legal prior restraint is appropriate. Prior restraint prevents one activity or event in order to prevent a secondary, related activity or event. A law against murder is not prior restraint, but a law against carrying a knife/firearm/lead pipe in order to prevent murder is prior restraint.

    A law that makes it illegal to do something reckless is not prior
    restraint. A law that makes it illegal for a responsible adult to do
    something that is not reckless in itself, such as carrying a firearm, is
    prior restraint. There is a difference between DUI and carrying a firearm. DUI is the reckless endangerment of others. Therefore, a law that makes DUI illegal is warranted and not prior restraint, but a law making it illegal to carry a firearm is not warranted and is prior restraint. The law prohibiting the pointing of a firearm at someone without just provocation (reckless endangerment) is warranted and not prior restraint. Those who advocate prior restraint want the law to make it illegal to carry a firearm (the initial activity) in order to prevent someone from pointing a gun at another (the secondary, related activity). Another prior restraint law, Prohibition, made the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol (initial activities) illegal in order to prevent drunkenness, DUI, dissolution, and broken homes (secondary, related activities).

    A man who is not motivated by the safety of his 4-year-old son (a high motivation) to keep his firearms out of his son's reach will not be motivated by a law that makes leaving his gun unattended illegal (a low motivation). What's more, locking up the gun may have the unintended consequence of rendering the gun inaccessible in the event of a home invasion and may result in the deaths of everyone in the entire family. So a law seeking to impose this type of prior restraint (a law requiring that guns not in use must be locked up) is neither practical nor desirable.

    Children must be taught about the dangers in their environment. They don't know that hot stoves burn. They don't know that crossing the street without looking both ways is suicidal. They don't understand that gunshot wounds kill (and, worse, TV teaches them that good guys usually survive gunshot wounds). On top of all that, they don't comprehend the consequences of dying. (And many adults don't either.)

    Teaching children about danger takes a while, but teaching them responsibility takes even longer. Some handle it fairly well, some don't, but every young adult does some irresponsible things. So laws of prior restraint (regarding drinking, driving, gun possession, making legally binding decisions, etc.) are in force to limit children's access to these activities until their parents and/or maturity can impart to them some level of intelligent responsibility.

  2. #2
    Newbie protias's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    SE, WI
    Very well written.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

  3. #3
    Regular Member civilwarguy's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    elkhorn wi
    +1 good article paul

  4. #4
    Regular Member
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    Mar 2010
    North Central Wisconsin, ,
    Thanks for sharing the article. It was very well written. Another one "for the files".

  5. #5
    Regular Member johnny amish's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    High altitude of Vernon County, ,
    Quote Originally Posted by phred View Post
    Thanks for sharing the article. It was very well written. Another one "for the files".
    +1. Thanks Paul.
    "To sin by silence, when we should protest makes cowards out of men."
    Ella Wheeler Cox

    We must contact our lawmakers today, tomorrow and the next day to remind them of Constitutional Carry.
    Laws are not written because of the actions of many, they are wrtiten because of the inactions of many.

  6. #6
    Regular Member BrewTownBagger's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Wow, I really enjoyed that. Thanks for posting.

  7. #7
    Regular Member gazambo's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Cudahy, Wisconsin. United States
    Great article I enjoyed. Thanks for posting.

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