9th Circuit Court Rules People Have NO RIGHT To Openly Carry Firearms

P. Gardner Goldsmith | March 30, 2021
Font Size

In a 215 page majority “opinion,” the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled last week not only that there is no right to keep and bear arms, but also that the Second Amendment does not say what it actually says when it explicitly prohibits all levels of government from infringing on that right.

The 7-4 majority issued the ruling March 24 in the case of “Young v. Hawaii,” a suit brought by a man named George Young challenging the Hawaiian government’s prohibition against virtually any form of civilian “open carry” of a firearm outside the home. Young actually experienced the state tyranny way back in 2011, but the case only reached the 9th Circuit in September, when former Obama administration “Acting’ Solicitor General Neal Katyal argued the Hawaiian government’s case for them before the 11 judges on the court.

Indeed, it took a decade for this case to reach just the Circuit Court. (There’s nothing quite like the wonderful state view of due process and a speedy trial.)

And, back in 2011, the government of Hawaii denied Mr. Young “permission” to get a firearm because, according to its tax-funded-and-backed-by-government-guns bureaucrats, he “failed to identify the urgency or need to openly carry a firearm in public.” 

In other words, he had to ask permission from the state to exercise his natural right, which means the state was infringing on his right, which means the state was operating contrary to the Second Amendment, which means the Hawaii statute is void and of no substance.

Then there’s the added insult of the state saying that, once Young groveled before them to ask “permission,” he had to ask in a certain way.

Like the cult that they are, the priests of the state demanded that Young pray to them with the right spell, offer the magic phrasing, claim that there was “urgency” of “need.”

The state said he didn’t show them his “need” or “urgency,” and the majority on the 9thCircuit Court agreed, writing:

Appellant George Young applied for a firearm-carry license twice in 2011, but failed to identify ‘the urgency or the need’ to openly carry a firearm in public. Instead, Young relied upon his general desire to carry a firearm for self- defense.

And here we see the non-starter. 

The court majority blithely overlooked the baseline harm, which was the state demand that ANYONE ask them for a “license.” The nuances of “how” a resident should ask, or the reasons for which the state might, possibly, deign him worthy of being able to buy a gun – those are additional insults thrown atop the foundational infraction. But the majority in the Ninth Circuit assumed the baseline to be fine and then ruled on whether the plaintiff adhered -- doglike -- to the secondary behavioral control techniques.

The en banc court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of an action challenging Hawai‘i’s firearm licensing law, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes § 134-9(a), which requires that residents seeking a license to openly carry a firearm in public must demonstrate ‘the urgency or the need’ to carry a firearm, must be of good moral character, and must be ‘engaged in the protection of life and property.’

It’s a classic Hegelian Dialectic, offering a false dichotomy of “ask the state for permission this way, versus, ask the state for permission some other way,” when both options assume the immoral and unconstitutional baseline of the state telling people they have to ask to exercise their natural rights.

Related: Court Strikes Down Trump’s Executive Order Banning Bump Stocks

In their ruling, the majority claimed that the American colonials took with them, “English sensibilities over the carrying of arms in public,” which not only is a blatheringly amorphous phrase that means nothing when one actually studies the story of firearms among the various Anglo-Saxon societies, but which also overlooks the glaring, in-your-face, reality that it was the British Government’s April 1775 attempt to take stores of personally owned firearms at Concord, Massachusetts that instigated the battles of Lexington and Concord.

As Kahn Academy notes:

The British soldiers and rebel militiamen raced to Lexington during the night; they confronted each other at Lexington Green—a village common area—just as the sun was rising on the morning of April 19. Captain John Parker, a veteran of the Seven Years' War, led a contingent of 80 Lexington militiamen, known as minutemen because they had to be ready to fight at a minute’s notice. Years later, one of the participants recalled Parker’s words right before the deadly skirmish: ‘Stand your ground; don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.’

The government of Hawaii, and the majority in the Ninth Circuit stand in opposition to all of the principles for which those men fought.

A member of the minority on the Ninth Circuit, judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain said it well when he:

…called the ruling ‘unprecedented as it is extreme’ and said that the majority ‘undermines not only the Constitution’s text, but also half a millennium of Anglo-American legal history,’ two major US Supreme Court decisions, and ‘the foundational principles of American popular sovereignty itself.’

Precisely right. On every level, the Hawaiian government is wrong and operating as a tyrannical system no better than the 18thCentury British government, and the majority on the Ninth Circuit are supporting said tyranny.

Meanwhile, violent crime in Hawaii continues to rise. 2020 saw a 16 percent increase in violent crime, and on the island of Oahu alone, gun-related crime increased so much in 2019 (26.8 percent), that even the popular press took note of the problem. How unexpected.

Hawaiian government threats directed at people who want to defend themselves with guns were of no concern to people with criminal intent. As was the case with plaintiff George Young, those threats merely disarmed potential victims and made it easier for criminals to engage in their aggression.

It’s important to remember that aggression is not merely the purview of street thugs. It’s also exercised to ever-more dangerous degrees by agents of the state -- including judges like those in the majority on the Ninth Circuit -- people who are paid with tax cash, and then rewrite history to rule that the aggression of government is perfectly fine.

Until more Americans stand up for their rights, teach their families and friends, and embrace the courage of their ancestors, this aggression only will get worse.

So, how about today, one recommend to others that they read the US Constitution and some history, that they stop changing the meaning of words, and that they understand Natural Rights?

Freedom makes little victories in face of this tyranny, and it can do so one mind at a time.

Related: Intellectual Ammunition: Mythology v Facts of 'Gun Control'