Skip to comments.D.C. gun ban clearly violates 2nd Amendment
Posted on 11/27/2007 2:58:46 PM PST by neverdem
For some 30 years, the District of Columbia has banned handgun ownership for private citizens. It was approved by that city's council in the wake of terrible gun violence and a rising murder rate in the nation's capital.
The ban has stood through this time with other council votes, but without any official review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sometime next year, the high court will make a ruling on whether that law is constitutional.
It is surprising to us that it has taken this long for the court to get this case. It would seem that it would have gone to the highest appeal long before now. We do not understand all the legal entanglements that must have kept it off the court's docket, but it is certainly there now.
And now, if the court is acting properly, the D.C. gun ban should be struck down.
This is a clear case of constitutionality, not politics, not conservative or liberal. If Constitution's Bill of Rights clearly allows gun private gun ownership anywhere and we believe it does then it allows it in the District of Columbia.
"The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," is what the Second Amendment says, and there seems to be little "wiggle" room in that statement.
In some instances Washington, D.C. being one of them we admit we despair of so many guns in the hands of so many people who would use them the wrong way, but the answer is not to abrogate the Constitution.
If one portion of the Bill of Rights can be limited by a local government, why can't another? There is no logic in saying on the Second Amendment is up for local review. To continue to allow this is to invite a city council or state legislature somewhere to decide that the First Amendment is too broad, or that the Fourth Amendment is too restrictive on law enforcement.
We know there are passionate arguments for gun control and that is part of the problem: The passion has blotted out clear thinking. This time the NRA is right. The law should go.
Parker v. Washington D.C. in HTML courtesy of zeugma.
We also note that at least three current members (and one former member) of the Supreme Court have read bear Arms in the Second Amendment to have meaning beyond mere soldiering: Surely a most familiar meaning [of carries a firearm] is, as the Constitutions Second Amendment (keepand bear Arms) and Blacks Law Dictionary . . . indicate: wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person. Muscarello v. United States, 524 U.S. 125, 143 (1998) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting, joined by Rehnquist, C.J., Scalia, J.,and Souter, J.) (emphasis in original). Based on the foregoing, we think the operative clause includes a private meaning forbear Arms.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
No, it doesn't.
The 2A wasn’t contingent on future emotions, body counts or hyped stats.
HAHAHHAA...but it does read that way, now doesn’t it?
Fixed it. The Bill of Rights, protects rights and reserves powers, it doesn't "grant" or "allow" anything.
You're right. It says "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".
A) everyone, you idiot!
C) all persons
F) the people
When the second amendment was ratified in 1791, who were "the people" the Founders were referring to?
A) Everyone, you idiot!
B) Well, not everyone. Not foreigners. Just citizens.
C) Well, not convicts or the insane or felons or children. Most adult citizens.
D) Hmmm. Women didn't have full rights -- they couldn't vote. Adult male citizens.
E) Oops. Not Negro males. Adult white male citizens.
Very good class. "The people" in the second amendment were adult, white, male citizens. Last question.
According to the Militia Act of 1792, who were the militia?
A) Everyone, you idiot!
B) Adult, white, male citizens.
In 1792, the second amendment only protected adult, white, male citizens, coincidentally, the only ones allowed to serve in a well regulated Militia. Isn't it possible that the U.S. Supreme Court may look at that and conclude that the second amendment protected the right of individuals to keep and bear arms as part of a Militia?
Could go the wrong way guys.
The Supremes could rule that the 2nd Amendment only applies to the Congress and that cities and states can legislate whatever they want.
Course, DC’s special status could also figure in.
This guy gets it.
Congratulations, you were just ibrp!
I think that interpretation would fall apart on the understanding that women and children were also allowed to own firearms. Slaves obviously weren’t, but they were legally defined as 3/5 of a person at the time (for unrelated reasons).
Bzzzzzt! Wrong. Not according to my copy of the U.S. Constitution.
Duh, actually THERE IS NO WIGGLE ROOM in that statement. "Shall not be infringed" is as clear as Hillary Klinton is a socialist's slut. We all KNOW how clear that is. Same thing. Clear as her intentions to turn this Republic into a Soviet Union West.
Cool...slaves could own 3/5ths of a gun...leave off the trigger and the barrel.
“Isn’t it possible that the U.S. Supreme Court may look at that...”
Sure. But are they then going to revoke womens rights and go back to the “3/5ths of a person” status for Negroes? You can’t take things back to 1792 unless you are willing to take everything back to 1792.
Yes, the SCOTUS has been known to act in an illogical and ahistorical manner such as you suggest.
However, if one uses logic and breaks the structure of the sentence down, the composition of the militia has nothing whatsoever to do with the amendment--which addresses "the people" in its independent clause. An analogy: "A well educated elite being important to maintain our independence, the right of the people to own and read books shall not be infringed" would protect all of the people, not just the elite. Without broad ownership, the militia doesn't become possible.
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788
Of course, that is just one of many indications that the right to keep and bear arms extends to us all.
Maybe your copy is not correct?
It's not wrong at all. It's not the whole second amendment, but it's correct.
See this official government site for the "official" version from the United States Statutes at Large but on the Library of Congress site. It's listed as Art. IV, since two other amendments were proposed by Congress at the time as what is now known as the Bill of Rights.