Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quadriplegic Wins Case to Bear Arms

UPI reports on the Somerville New Jersey man who won his case to be allowed to bear arms even though he cannot do so with his own limbs.

A wheelchair-bound, quadriplegic New Jersey man who waged a 2-1/2-year battle to buy a gun has the right to a firearm permit, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Superior Court Judge John Pursel of Somerville, N.J., ruled Wednesday that James Cap, who is physically unable to hold a gun or pull a trigger with his limbs, should be allowed to have a firearm ID card despite the opposition of a local police chief, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported.

"I hope you enjoy the use of your firearm," Pursel told Cap, an avid hunter, before signing an order allowing him to get a permit under the conditions that any guns he buys be stored in a safe and that only qualified people assist him with the weapons.

The newspaper said Cap, 46, puts his firearm in a special wheelchair mount and uses a mechanical device that allows him to aim and fire with breaths through a tube.

He sued the city of Manville, N.J. after its police chief, Mark Peltack, rejected his application. His victory was hailed by the National Rifle Association, which had objected to the chief's denial.

What do you think about this fascinating case? It touches on the very meaning of the 2nd Amendment, doesn't it? The idea that the bearing of arms is only for participation in the militia, certainly doesn't apply. Nor does the individual right to self protection. So, how does this man benefit from the 2nd Amendment exactly? Does it also cover the idea that he just wants to? Is wanting to have a gun enough reason to be entitled to have one,, according to the Constitution?

On the Daily Mirror site, they made specific mention of the right to bear arms.

Cap, of Somerville, New Jersey, had a licence bid rejected by police but a judge upheld his right to bear arms under the US Constitution.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. It is his right, and that is not subject to the whims of a police chief.

    Also, the 2A doesn't "entitle" him to anything. It codifies a right which is inherent.

  2. Google "legally blind" and CCW. There is someone who is legally blind who got his CCW permit.

    In light of the above, shouldn't we be giving driver's licenses to the legally blind?

  3. There was a similar incident a few years back which enabled paralyzed folks to aim and fire a weapon through a computer/mechanized "arm" so that disabled people could hunt their own game.

    Also keep in mind that there are some folks who simply collect firearms because of the history behind them.

    Some people hunt, some target practice, some own them primarily for self defense and some simply like building a little mini-museum.

    Some do all of the above.

    It would be interesting to see how this scenario would play out with the "Americans with Disabilities Act" bent to it.

  4. "Does it also cover the idea that he just wants to? Is wanting to have a gun enough reason to be entitled to have one?"

    Good enough reason to me. Why would anyone need to justify an unalienable right?

    How about this scenario: "Excuse me, I would like to apply for my free speech license.". "Sure, but first you have to tell us why you want it. What are you planning to say?"

    Sounds silly, doesn't it. Also justifying a need to someone that probably doesn't even understand the need is silly as well.

  5. Anonymous sai, "shouldn't we be giving driver's licenses to the legally blind?"

    I'm afraid that won't be possible because driving a car is not a right protected by the Constitution like owning a gun is.

    That's supposed to be sarcastic, emphasizing the absurdity of saying the Constitution does such a thing, but I realize most of the peopole reading this wouldn't get the joke.

  6. I've known a few people who were legally blind who had carry permits.

    Blind does not equal sightless.

    All of the people I knew could easily shoot a group at 10 feet or less. Also they walked with canes and dark glasses, which is very attractive to criminals.

  7. My grandmother is legally blind. Should she be denied the right to buy a gun to be kept in her home?

    Hell no. She may be legally blind, but she is still an American citizen.

  8. "I'm afraid that won't be possible because driving a car is not a right protected by the Constitution like owning a gun is."

    Small quibble here.

    Not simply is driving a car not a right protected by the constitution, it isn't a right at all.

    It is a priviledge.