Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ancient English Legal Precedents at Heart of US Gun Control Tussle

The Telegraph

America's fierce debate over gun control usually takes place against the backdrop of the second amendment of the US constitution - seen as enshrining the rights of all citizens to bear arms. 
Now a different precedent is being cited by advocates of tougher restrictions - a 700-year-old English law dating back to before guns had even been seen in Britain. 
Lawyers fighting a challenge to limitations on who is allowed to carry concealed weapons on the streets of Washington will point to a law passed in 1328 during the reign of King Edward III when the case comes before a federal appeals court on Friday. 
The law strengthened a statute passed more than 40 years earlier making it a crime "to be found going or wandering about the Streets of [London], after Curfew…with Sword or Buckler, or other Arms for doing Mischief".


  1. Not sure which of the two identical posts to leave this comment on, so I guess I'll leave it on both.

    So what's your position on this, Mikeb? Do you agree with those who cite the ancient law, that a 700-year-old law (a law that belonged, by the way, to a foreign country--the very country whose authoritarianism became so intolerable as to induce the Founders to go to war against the most powerful nation in the history of the world at that time, in order to get out from under that authoritarianism) has relevance to current U.S. law? If so, do you still think that the 225-year-old Second Amendment is "obsolete"? Good luck with those mental gymnastics.

    Oh, I suppose that those who point to the 14th century English law as justification for hyper-restrictive regulation of firearms in the present-day U.S. would also have to drop the silly argument that any protection of arms ownership provided by the Second Amendment is limited to arms of the late 18th century, since the ancient English law never mentions firearms (for the quite understandable reason that firearms were unknown in England at the time). You won't like that much, will you, Mikeb?

    1. What mental gymnastics. I think it's all pretty silly.

    2. What mental gymnastics. I think it's all pretty silly.

      In perceiving the silliness of it, you've avoided the necessity of such gymnastics. Good for you--I'm pleasantly surprised every time you find an argument for "gun control" too ridiculous even for you to stomach. Happens rarely enough.