2nd Amendment Heads to Supreme Court

Apparently our nation’s capitol has a very strict gun law:

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The Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 was passed by the District of Columbia city council on June 26, 1976.[1] The law banned residents from owning handguns, automatic firearms, and high-capacity semi-automatic firearms, as well as prohibited possession of unregistered firearms. Exceptions to the ban were allowed for police officers and guns registered before 1976. The law also required firearms kept in the home to be “unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a trigger lock or similar device”[2], thus amounting to a prohibition on the use of firearms for self-defense in the home.[3]

Now, I can fully understand the part about high-capacity semi-automatic and automatic guns. I don’t think the average citizen actually needs an uzi or machine gun. But basically banning handguns? Since if you own a handgun you have to keep it UNloaded, and/or disassembled basically renders the weapon useless for protection. I can understand trigger locks, especially if you have children in the house. But really, it’s 3 a.m. and you hear glass breaking downstairs, how much time do you think you’ll need to find the gun, re-assemble it, and load it in order to protect yourself? Do the lawmakers really think that if you ask the intruder nicely he will gladly give you the time you need to defend yourself?

Exactly what part of “the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” that is part of the second amendment, don’t lawmakers get. Especially given the fact that the police have NO duty to actually protect the individual and that courts appear to believe that victims should have been better prepared to defend themselves (see here to read “why we need to protect our ‘right to own and bear arms‘ ).

Well apparently someone has finally chosen to challenge D.C.’s overly restrictive law:

D.C.’s Gun Ban Gets Day in Court
Justices’ Decision May Set Precedent In Interpreting the 2nd Amendment

By Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 16, 2008; A01

Despite mountains of scholarly research, enough books to fill a library shelf and decades of political battles about gun control, the Supreme Court will have an opportunity this week that is almost unique for a modern court when it examines whether the District’s handgun ban violates the Second Amendment.

The nine justices, none of whom has ever ruled directly on the amendment’s meaning, will consider a part of the Bill of Rights that has existed without a definitive interpretation for more than 200 years.

“This may be one of the only cases in our lifetime when the Supreme Court is going to be interpreting the meaning of an important provision of the Constitution unencumbered by precedent,” said Randy E. Barnett, a constitutional scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center. “And that’s why there’s so much discussion on the original meaning of the Second Amendment.”

The outcome could roil the 2008 political campaigns, send a national message about what kinds of gun control are constitutional and finally settle the question of whether the 27-word amendment, with its odd structure and antiquated punctuation, provides an individual right to gun ownership or simply pertains to militia service.

“The case has been structured so that they have to confront the threshold question,” said Robert A. Levy, the wealthy libertarian lawyer who has spent five years and his own money to bring District of Columbia v. Heller to the Supreme Court. “I think they have to come to grips with that.”

The stakes are obviously high for the District, which passed the nation’s strictest gun-control law in 1976, just after residents were granted the authority to govern themselves. It virtually bans the private possession of handguns, and requires that rifles and shotguns in the home be kept unloaded and disassembled or outfitted with a trigger lock.

This is a case we need to keep a close eye on. Given that a few of the justices are bush appointees, it’s questionable indeed.

The Preamble of the Constitution clearly states:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

So, given that the police have NO duty to protect us, that gun control laws seem to prove that they do NOT reduce gun-related crime/death (note, DC has the strictest gun control law in the nation and the HIGHEST death by firearms rate since even with the law in place), you have to wonder WHY our elected officials don’t want us to have the ability to protect ourselves. Do they really think most law-abiding citizens will suddenly go ballistic?

Why are they so afraid to let us be armed and protected? Why are our elected officials who all swore an oath to honor and protect the Constitution, trying to twist and dismantle it? For me, those are the million dollar questions.

We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;
—Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. Memorial Edition 16:45, Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
—Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.


~ by swfreedomlover on March 17, 2008.

5 Responses to “2nd Amendment Heads to Supreme Court”

  1. Damn! Excellent piece! A pleasure to read!

  2. I didn’t know it was called “Castle Doctrine”, but I’ve been told by the police when I’ve told them “Ok, but if he comes back I’m shooting him” to “be sure I drag him in the house first” LOL

    I’ve always kept up in the right ot bear arms. I don’t understand why a private citizen needs 6 automatic weapons, but I don’t condone even eliminating their sale. I’m afraid that that would be a short step to interfering in legitimate gun ownership.

  3. I fear that IF the Supreme Court declares D.C.s ban to be constitutional it will open the door for banning guns all over. I hear 2 more states are looking to enact the same D.C. gun laws in their states (I have to look it up again as I don’t remember which two states).

    I think the government needs to be reminded that the Constitution is NOT a living, breathing document…………our founding fathers knew exactly what they were doing, showing incredible foresight, in drafting the Constitution. I’ll be doing a piece on that soon, just have more research to dig up and read first.

    The bottom line is that our founding fathers were quite adamant that the ‘people’s right to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed’.

  4. I enjoyed reading the articles leading up to the present pro and con arguments about the 2nd Amendment. It is unfortunate that some oversights have taken place by the majority of the people. Three basic principles overlooked are: 1. That the Bill of Rights is written to preserve liberties and rights; 2: That the Constitution was designed to define and limit government power and; 3: That the people have the power to amend the Constitution, not judges. However and even though justices and most people ignore the usurpations suffered at the hands of the self-indulgent judges now in control of the 3rd and most iimportant branch of government, that branch has endowed itself with the power to eliminate not just the peoples’ of Washington, DC right to own and bear arms, but the peoples’ of all the states as well. Basically, the judges are arbitrarily eliminating the peoples’s choice in deciding if they are voluntarily willing to relinquish their right to bear arms and other rights preserved by the first ten amendments. This same scenario may be witnessed in the Kelo v. New London decision, where it was ruled constitutional, without a 7th Amendment priviledge being knowledgably stamped out, that private property may be taken by the government and redistributed to others for private use, although the 4th and/or 5th Amendments specifically prohibit such practice.

  5. DuGood, I’m glad you enjoyed the reading. The direction we are heading in is not a good one, that’s for sure. We need to start standing up and taking back control of the government. Like an errant child they have gone too far and need to be reigned back in.

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