The Unpopular Amendment
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck a huge blow for personal liberty and the integrity of the Constitution in March when it ruled in Parker v. the District of Columbia, in essence, that the Second Amendment says just what it says: the right to keep and bear arms, just like the other amendments, are rights conferred upon the individual and not some anomalous collective (analysis from my RedState colleague Pejman Yousefzadeh).
One great thing about dealing with liberals is their inability to cut their losses. The same assumption of moral superiority that lets them legislate whether or not you can have a cigar after dinner and the type of oil used to fry your food (is frying still legal in Montgomery County?) when they have the power also leads them to overplay really weak hand. To wit:
The District of Columbia will ask the United States Supreme Court to hear its appeal of a decision in March that struck down parts of its gun control law, the district’s mayor, Adrian M. Fenty,announced yesterday.
The decision in March, from a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was the first in the nation’s history to hold a gun control law unconstitutional on the ground that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of a right to bear arms protects the rights of individuals, as opposed to the collective rights of state militias.
After the full appeals court refused to rehear the case in May,officials in the District of Columbia, apparently wary of putting the nation’s gun laws at risk given the current composition of the Supreme Court, deliberated for more than two months over whether to appeal.
In a statement yesterday, Mr. Fenty said, “We have made the determination that this law can and should be defended, and we are willing to take our case to the highest court in the land to protect the city’s residents.”
There really is more below the fold.
I was ecstatic when the DC Circuit punted some of the most exotic legal theories ever argued in a US court (the Constitution doesn’t apply in the District because the District is not a state?) in favor of a fairly simple exercise in English grammar and reading comprehension.
In the twelve years I lived in the District for twelve years I was a cheerful and shameless scofflaw keeping my arsenal of eight weapons, three being pistols, in my home. I am of the “better judged by twelve than carried by six” philosophy when it comes to home defense (no one killed or injured despite keeping them fully assembled and without trigger locks). The idea that I am not allowed to defend myself and my family because the city government is trying to protect me runs counter to the spirit that founded this nation.
When Parker was handed down and it was clear that the decision was on broad Constitutional grounds rather than a narrow procedural ruling I thought for sure the DC government would punt, re-draft the law, and kick the can down the road another decade or so.
Fortunately, Mayor Fenty is convinced of the righteousness of his cause and the case is on the way to the Supreme Court. Few, if any, people on either side of the Second Amendment argument believe that the District has much of a chance. From the Washington Post:
But the D.C. Circuit’s decision, written by Senior Judge Laurence H.
Silberman, is not without merit — and that’s where the risk comes in. The idea
that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right to bear arms is not
exclusive to right-wing gun nuts, as adversaries sometimes call them. Some of
the brightest liberal minds in the legal community have come — albeit
reluctantly — to the same conclusion.
When the Supreme Court rules, assuming they, too, rule on the Constitutional issue and not some narrow point, it is time for us to dismantle the gun control regime in Maryland. Current laws make the transportation of a pistol problematic:
It is unlawful for any person without a permit to wear or carry a handgun,openly or concealed, upon or about his person, or to knowingly transport a
handgun in any vehicle traveling on public roads, highways, waterways or airways
or upon roads or parking lots generally used by the public.
Although there are permitted exceptions to this rule, no citizen should have to “demonstrate” any reason, whatsoever, for carrying a handgun. Most odious is the concealed carry law which amounts to an overt prohibition:
The permit may be issued if the Secretary finds that the applicant: […]Has, based on the results of investigation, “good and substantial reason” to carry a handgun, including a finding that the permit is “necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.”
Those state which have established “shall issue” concealed carry laws compare very favorably with those of states with restrictive concealed carry laws, you can find any number of interpretation of the statistics. At a minimum it demonstrates that concealed carry permits are a null set and gives the lie to the argument that the issuance of these permits begets carnage in the streets.
Every small step we can take towards dismantling the state that pretends as though it knows what is better for us than we do is a step in the correct direction.