If you have the right to do something, you shouldn’t need to provide the government with a “good and substantial reason” to exercise that right. You shouldn’t need to plead with bureaucrats to publish the book of your choice, marry the consenting spouse of your choice, or pursue the career of your choice.
Similarly, U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg reasoned, if you live in Maryland you shouldn’t need to give bureaucrats there a “good and substantial reason” to exercise your right of self-defense by carrying the handgun of your choice.
As The Baltimore Sun reports, Legg threw out the portion of a Maryland gun-permit law that restricts residents’ ability to carry a handgun outside the home if bureaucrats don’t think they have a good enough reason to do so.
As Legg confirmed, a person ought not have to offer bureaucrats a “good and substantial reason” to exercise his rights. Instead, Legg pointed out, “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”
America needs more judges like Legg.
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- Ayn Rand’s Theory of Rights: The Moral Foundation of a Free Society
- Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas by Andrew Bernstein
- Justice Holmes and the Empty Constitution