LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Strine made little sense on guns in parks

Chief Justice Leo Strine actually said this?

I read with a great deal of interest Craig Anderson’s story on “Why legal guns can’t be banned from state parks.” Knowing the ruling, I guess I was just looking to see if the reporting was accurate. What I found instead is that Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo Strine has more than a few screws loose.

I encourage everyone to listen to exactly what he said:

“When people come together in parks and forests for games and recreation, emotions can run high.

“When folks camp, they sometimes drink, including at events within the parks like beer and wine festivals. When folks drink and carouse, they sometimes get jealous and angry.

“When folks play or attend sporting events, spirits run high and sometimes out of control. When folks get emotional around guns, things can get dangerous fast.

“When folks camp, there are no gun lockers, and they are near other visitors. There are no natural boundaries in parks where goers can find safety from gunfire or natural barriers that stop flying bullets or arrows.

“These and other common sense reasons support the decisions of generations of governors and cabinet secretaries that the regulations advance the public purposes served by our parks and forests, and facilitate the safe enjoyment of these public spaces by families and children.”

I’m sure I’ve heard a more convoluted and hare-brained edict from courts before, but I just can’t think of one right now. It is embarrassing to think that such a statement by a sitting state Supreme Court Chief Justice can show up nationwide.

First off, I am insulted by his Obama classification of us in a legal opinion as “folks.” Homespun words and colloquialisms may be fine in public, but I’d expect a legal document to use formal wording such as the Second Amendment where we are “people”.

Secondly, I’d really like to know where the leap to “arrows” came in. A bow and arrow would be pretty poor choices for self protection and as difficult to conceal. The gist of this review was to decide if the state parks (DNREC) and the Department of Agriculture had overstepped their authority in banning firearms from legal gun owners and people with concealed permit carry licenses.

I would ask the judge just how many such scenarios with legal or licensed gun owners have played out in our state before his dissent. I’m sure what he said could be said about driving vehicles, so I’d assume he wants people to just walk in parks and not drive to them. There was absolutely nothing “common sense” in his opinion.

Thankfully, Justice Karen Valihura was a voice of reason. In particular, her statement concluding with the remark, “…outlawing possession of firearms in an area makes law-abiding citizens safer because criminals will, for some reason, obey the regulations” was a breath of fresh air and detailed exactly who these unauthorized “laws” were affecting. Thank you Justice Valihura.

George Roof

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