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DC District Court overturns the DC gun ban.

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As I noted Friday, the Federal District Court for DC ruled for some DC citizens seeking to be able to have *serviceable and usable* firearms in their homes - something the DC gun law prohibits, requiring what weapons the DC council reluctantly allows citizens to own to be disassembled or gun-locked, with the ammunition stored separately from the weapon. In other words, the most common peaceable use of a firearm in your home - self-defense, is defacto prohibited.

The ruling observed, "The Second Amendment would be an inexplicable aberration if it were not read to protect individual rights as well."

The three judge panel split 2-1 on the issue. Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote the majority opinion, which was supported by Judge Thomas B. Griffith. Of peculiar interest is the tortuous logic of the dissenting judge, Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson.

She asserted a legalistic defense of the statute, using a variation of the "depends on what the "meaning of is" is, argument, so nobly advanced by President Clinton while lying to federal officials during an investigation of a non-crime (oops, conflating my annoyances, aren't I?): She essentially argued that the Second Amendment doesn't apply to the District because it isn't a State. So, I guess the DC council can start censoring the Washington Times now, too. And block access to Fox News in the District. Not to mention the DC National Guard can be quartered in citizen's homes, Liberalism can be established as the Official Religion of DC, and the DC police could implement those warrantless searches (hey, send 'em to Representative Jefferson's office - oh, wait, he's a Dem, never mind), put Ronnie Earl in charge of the Prosecuting Attorneys office, so that they can try people as many times as it takes to finally find a jury that will convict (or implement a Star Chamber and skip that whole jury thing anyway), suspend that Habeas Corpus, set million dollar bails for Republicans with parking tickets, break gun-owners on the wheel in front of City Hall, disparage other rights not mentioned and arrogate unto itself ultimate executive power, except, of course, when utilizing the rotating executive position of an anarcho-syndicalist commune when it suits their purpose.

(gasping intake of breath).

Gad, one wonders how she managed that with a straight face. Well, she didn't, really - they dumped that out on Friday and she probably skipped for the Hamptons.

Significantly, to my eye, in terms of the nuance, she seemingly surrenders (albeit reluctantly and mounts this rear-guard defense so she'll still get invited to the "good" parties or something) on the merits of the individual right.

DC Mayor Fenty is predictably outraged that the court dare overturn a law that had been "unquestioned for over 30 years." He added, "Today's decision flies in the face of laws that have helped decrease gun violence in the District of Columbia," he said. "The ruling also turns aside longstanding precedents and marks the first time in the history of the United States that a federal appeals court has struck down a gun law on Second Amendment grounds."

Heh. Applying the Mayor's logic, slavery would still be legal in the District. I know, low blow, but sometimes "reductio in absurdum" is a useful analytical tool. I'm also not sure that he's correct on the last bit, either. And if it *is* true - I am moved to say, "Yeah? So?" There has to be a first time for everything, and I would note that when it's not his ox being gored, he and his party are happier'n pigs in poop when Federal courts do things like this for the first time. Sauce for the goose, Mr. Mayor.

Given the statistics on DC gun violence, one has to wonder where the Mayor finds support for his assertion that those laws helped reduce gun violence in the District.

The District has some of the nation's strictest gun laws. Those statues forbid ownership of most guns that were not registered before 1977. Rifles and shotguns must be kept stored unloaded, disassembled or with a trigger lock. The ammuntion must be stored separately.

Yet people still shoot people. Oddly enough, the people who do most of the shooting are people not known for, um, obeying laws. Strangely, despite the admonishment of the DC Council, they continue to act as they see fit, anti-social or not. One would think they were purposfully violating the law for some reason, and not properly in awe of it. Obviously, passing another law telling them that it's illegal to not obey laws, would be an appropriate response.

In 2005, 157 of the District's 196 homicides involved guns. That's, what, 80 percent? That percentage has remained relatively consistent since 2001.

FBI crime statistics for 2005 show 10,100 of the country's 14,860 homicide victims, or 68 percent, were killed by guns, making disassembled/locked-gun DC a haven of safety. Oh, wait - it's not. And the police are saying that violent crimes involving guns in the District are on the upswing, while all other violent crimes are decreasing. One would also like to know who is shooting whom... therein can lie many clues as to which strategies, including tool control, might better attack the issue. If it's gang-bangers shooting gang-bangers, then perhaps addressing those issues which cause gang-bangers to shoot each other (and catch innocents in the cross-fire) might be a better approach, rather than just passing another law that only the lawful will obey...

I think I like this comment best, however...

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, blathered that the decision represents "judicial activism at its worst."
"By disregarding nearly 70 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, two federal judges have negated the democratically expressed will of the people of the District of Columbia and deprived this community of a gun law it enacted 30 years ago and still strongly supports,"

Heh. Hoist on your own liberal petard. Note for Mr. Helmke - this is *exactly* the template the Progressives have followed when they couldn't get what they wanted legislatively.

Sauce for the gander, Mr. Helmke.

7 Comments

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, blathered that the decision represents "judicial activism at its worst."
Following the Constitution is judicial activism? BTW What is judicial activism at its best? -- Forget it, I don't want to know.
 
Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 03/12/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.
 
Historically accurate interpretation of the Constitution is NOT Judicial Activism. Re-interpreting some word to mean something it means now and didn't mean then is in fact Judicial Activism.
 
Though not far behind in its liberalistic excesses - Maryland. I was very glad to live just a stone's throw away from that fetid swamp upon the Potomac.
 
In Kansas city, they just announced (I'm trying not to laugh) that our upswing in violence is likely drug gang related. Okay...laughing now. I mean, who doesn't know that? If you didn't know that guys running around the last two years with converted AK-47s shooting up the place and each other were "drug gangs", you would be a moron. I just can't believe they are just now acknowledging it.
 
I'm glad to hear that the government power to use offensive coercion has been limited in any way. Although, I think the anti-"liberal" vibe is scary. Governments gain power through such divisive outlooks. I support self-defense!
 
Gangs are a pandemic. But limiting gun ownership by citing gang-banger drive-bys as the reason is like banning flatware in diners because Hannibal Lecter might stop in...