So now I’ve had a chance to read Emily Gets Her Gun. It’s actually based on columns that Emily Miller has written over the last several years for the Washington Star. The book deals with three separate themes:
1. The usual collection of NRA-based bromides on Obama’s not-so-secret plan to disarm America with an assist from Mike Bloomberg and other anti-gun enemies and/or liberals (which is the same thing.) I’ve shot enough slings and arrows at the NRA that I don’t need to do it here.
2. Interviews with various personalities who have lit up the gun world over the last few years, including politicians, persons wrongly accused of firearm violations, gun shop owners, etc.
3. Miller’s personal odyssey through the bureaucracy that now exists for the purpose of buying and owning a gun in Washington, DC. It’s the last theme that I want to talk about in this blog, because on the one hand it’s pretty well written, on the other, it really exemplifies what’s both wrong and dangerous about the NRA approach to guns.
Miller claims that she decided to own a handgun because she was the “victim” of a “home invasion.” That’s not true. In fact, she admits that she was outside the house, returning from walking a dog to find a young man “coming from the house.” A ‘home invasion’ is an event in which someone is within their residence when another person enters the home without permission with the intention of committing a crime. Emily’s case was a simple B&E (breaking and entering) except there wasn’t even a break-in because Emily left the door unlocked when she took the dog out for a walk.
Following this untoward and admittedly scary event, Emily decided to exercise her 2nd Amendment right to purchase and own a gun. Except she wanted to do more than that because she also wanted to exercise her “Constitutional” right to carry the gun outside her home. I gave up counting the number of times that Miller categorically states that the Constitution gives her the “right” to carry a concealed weapon outside her home, but she is so adamant about the existence of this “right” that it must be true.
But it’s not true. And why do I have audacity, the temerity to challenge a noted legal scholar like Emily Miller on this fundamental point of constitutional law? Because there’s a real constitutional scholar out there named Antonin Scalia who also says it’s not true. And where does he say it’s not true? In the same District of Columbia vs. Heller decision that gave Emily her right to buy and own a gun in the first place: “Nothing [quoting the decision] in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places.” In the same section, Scalia states that the 2nd Amendment does not confer unlimited rights, including the right of concealed carry.
So for the moment, like it or not, poor Emily is stuck with only being able to protect herself with her gun if an invasion of her home actually takes place. She better hope that DC doesn’t pass a law prohibiting her from keeping a guard dog in her residence because she’ll be a lot safer with the dog around than with her new gun. Because what’s missing from her book, given how much it’s being promoted by the NRA, is any indication that she’s planning to engage in any self-defense training at all. She took a course in gun safety in order to qualify to own a gun, but the truth is that had the course not been required by the DC Police, she wouldn’t have bothered at all.
Less than a quarter of the 50 states require safety courses prior to the first purchase of a gun. Not a single of the 50 states that now grant concealed-carry privileges requires self-defense firearm training. Does Emily Miller really believe that with one trip to a shooting range in which she fired 50 rounds that she is ready to confront a home invader or a criminal out in the street with her gun? If she is, then she’s gotten her gun but he’s lost her mind.
- Emily Miller steers CNN gun control panel with facts (bizpacreview.com)
- MILLER: Bloomberg loses stop and frisk, and NRA gets blamed (washingtontimes.com)