J. Neil Schulman’s Stopping Power — Remarks to the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners
Stopping Power — Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns
A Book by J. Neil Schulman
The War to Bear Arms in
the City of the Angels
No one should have to choose between carrying the means for defending themselves and their loved ones against the criminally insane among us – and risking criminal charges – or obeying the law by leaving their means of defense at home and therefore being defenseless. This is the choice that people in most American cities have to make. Here in Los Angeles, I decided to do something about it. – JNS
Remarks to the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners
July 16, 1991
After Schulman identifies himself as speaking for the Committee to Enforce the Second Amendment:
Madam President and Members of the Commission, I do not sit before you seeking to make it easier for criminals and mental incompetents to carry firearms. They find it too easy already – far easier than I do, for they are not afraid of the law, and I am.
But the Los Angeles Police Commission’s guidelines for issuing licenses to carry concealed firearms is in clear opposition to the words of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Let me quote both:
The independent clause from the fourth paragraph of the “Board Policy Concerning Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons” states, “[I]t is the policy of this Board that ‘good cause’ for the issuance of any concealed weapons license would exist only in the most extreme and aggravated circumstances.”
And, the independent clause from the Second Amendment is, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The Second Amendment does not say the right of the militia, or police, or the National Guard. It says “the right of the people.”
The Founding Fathers, in their good sense, knew that a free society requires its citizens — the people themselves — to take responsibility for the defense of themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors, and that such responsibility requires being armed to fulfill it.
We live in a city where violent crime is epidemic and the police are incapable of protecting the citizens from it. Your own former police chief, Ed Davis, said as much in a well-publicized speech.
When you deny a citizen a firearms permit because in your opinion there is no “extreme and aggravated circumstance,” you take upon yourself a discretion that the Constitution does not permit you. The Constitution says you may not infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms. I think we can agree that leaves out convicted criminals and mental incompetents. Use your discretion all you can to keep them from getting and carrying guns.
But the Constitution forbids you from denying the right to carry firearms to the people — we honest, law-abiding citizens.
California Penal Code Section 12050 authorizes you to issue a license to carry a concealed weapon provided that the person is of good moral character and that good cause exists for issuance of the license. The “good cause” is the requirement of the Second Amendment that the people’s right to carry arms not be infringed.
I am calling upon you to fulfill your obligation under California law, and most specifically the highest law of the land, the U.S. Constitution, to revise your policy for issuing licenses to carry firearms, so that any sane, adult citizen may carry firearms for the protection of her or his life, loved ones, and neighbors.
Next in Stopping Power — Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns is The Case for a Concealed Weapon’s License in Los Angeles
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