We recently reported that pot dispensaries were deemed essential businesses by the city of San Jose. Needless to say, San Francisco quickly followed this example. But now San Jose has found a non-essential business: gun shops. Oh, wait, make that a gun shop. The Bullseye Bishop is the lone firearms vendor under the tender loving care of the San Jose city government.
We suspect this is a violation of the second amendment. But in the state of California filing a lawsuit over this is a fool’s errand. A major barrier lies between potential plaintiffs and the U.S. Supreme Court: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most liberal of all the circuit courts.
According to San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo, the problem was … well, let the mayor speak for himself.
‘We are having panic buying right now for food,’ Liccardo said Wednesday. ‘The one thing we cannot have is panic buying of guns.’
I don’t recall seeing a constitutional right to food. But there is such a right to bear arms. The mayor was responding to queue’s extending around a city block outside the Bullseye Bishop. No one reported any actual panic. Like most gun owners, gun buyers tend to be very polite. As the late Robert Heinlein put it,
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
A few potential customers voiced their displeasure.
Outside the shop, San Jose painting contractor Joshua Wolfe, 37, who was buying ammo, said he believed the gun store had every right to remain open.
“Essential? It’s our right to arm ourselves,” Wolfe said. “Toilet paper is essential, right? People are going nuts for that, right?”
Everyone is “on edge,” he said, “because people don’t know the truth of this whole situation. If they’re short on supplies, they’ll come after people who are prepared.”
J.V. Sumabat, 31, of San Jose said he was worried about the same thing.
“I’ve seen people fighting over toilet paper. I’m worried what they will do out of desperation,” he said. “When people start looting stores and they don’t have access to food, they could come into the homes of those they feel are vulnerable. I’d rather be prepared.”
Several other businesses were deemed non-essential, including three smoke shops, a pet grooming business, and a flower shop. Apparently no citations were issued to any of these firms.
- Susan Jones (March 19, 2020). “San Jose Shuts Down Gun Shop in First Action Against ‘Nonessential’ Businesses.” CNS News Service. Available at https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/susan-jones/san-jose-shuts-down-gun-shop-first-action-against-non-essential-businesses. Accesses March 21, 2020.
Robert Salonga (March 18, 2020). “Coronavirus: San Jose orders gun store to close in one of first enforcement against businesses open under shelter order.” San Jose Mercury-News. Available at https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/18/coronavirus-san-jose-orders-gun-store-to-close-in-one-of-first-tests-of-essential-under-shelter-order/. Accessed March 21, 2020. ↑
- Robert A. Heinlein (1942). Beyond This Horizon. Quote from Goodreads.com. Available at https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3240292-beyond-this-horizon. Accessed March 21, 2020. ↑
- Robert Salonga, op.cit. ↑