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Thursday, April 23, 2009

S.F. Court Finds Gun Shows, Scottish Festivals Not the Same Thing

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 1:59 PM

click to enlarge Firearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrms!
  • Firearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrms!
"It's SHITE being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the

fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash

that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don't.

They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers.

Can't even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We're ruled by

effete assholes. It's a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL

the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference!" -- Mark "Rent Boy" Renton, Trainspotting.

Not quite, Mr. Renton. There is a bit of fucking difference between the state of being Scottish and other things -- specifically gun shows. San Francisco's own 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it to be so -- and they're hardly wankers.

Earlier this week, the federal court upheld Alameda County's 10-year-old ban on holding firearms shows on its county fairgrounds (a move made in the wake of a 1999 shooting at a gun show). Gun show proprietors Russell and Ann Nordyke had cried foul and filed suit -- and claimed, essentially, that the Second Amendment forbade a government from regulating gun possession on its property.

In doing so, however, they made an odd claim: The Nordykes felt they should be able to have large firearm shows on public property because The Scottish Caledonian Games has been granted an exception to the ban allowing revelers to stage historic Scots battles involving  ferocious, red-bearded, kilted men toting period firearms loaded with blanks.

Writing for a three-judge panel, Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain -- who may have attended a festival or two celebrating the heritage of the British Isles in his time -- noted that firearm shows and caber-tossing Scots festivals aren't exactly the same thing. There's less haggis at the gun shows, for one thing.

"The Scottish Games, with their historical re-enactments, are a very

different kettle of fish from the Nordykes and their gun shows," wrote the judge. "Crucially, the Nordykes have not argued that they could meet the exception's requirement that firearms be secured whenever an authorized participant is not actually using them. No wonder. They have admitted that the very nature of gun shows, in which the vendors show weapons to prospective buyers and admirers, makes it impossible."

The gun show owners were also shot down on a number of other Second- and First-Amendment arguments (that did not conjure up fantastic mental imagery of staged Scottish battles fought in the Bay Area for the pleasure of haggis-munching onlookers).

You can read the 43-page ruling here.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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