Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Supreme Court Will Hear D.C. Guns Case

I have been waiting for this showdown for a long time...
The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether the District of Columbia can ban handguns, a case that could produce the most in-depth examination of the constitutional right to "keep and bear arms" in nearly 70 years

The District is making several arguments in defense of the restriction, including claiming that the Second Amendment involves militia service. It also said the ban is constitutional because it limits the choice of firearms, but does not prohibit residents from owning any guns at all. Rifles and shotguns are legal, if kept under lock or disassembled

One argument that the D.C. lawyers will not be making is the effectiveness of the ban in reducing crime:
Washington D.C. ranked number 1 in violent crimes and murder per 100,000 residents for the years 2004 and 2005. For violent crime, D.C. had 1459 crimes per 100,000 residents almost double 2nd place South Carolina which had 761, 3rd place Tennessee had 753, Florida 708, Maryland 703. For murder, D.C. had 35 per 100,000, 3.5 times 2nd place, Maryland and Louisiana each had 10, Nevada and Alabama had 8.

More from the article...
Washington banned handguns in 1976, saying it was designed to reduce violent crime in the nation's capital.

Someone may want to let D.C. lawmakers know that since 1960, all of the lowest murder rates were pre 1976 and all of the highest murder rates were post 1976. That is some effective lawmaking right there.

The City Council that adopted the ban said it was justified because "handguns have no legitimate use in the purely urban environment of the District of Columbia."
Well how about this..."being necessary to the security of a free State"

As a commentator over at Ace's said:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The dependent clause at the beginning serves as a justification for the main clause, but does not limit it. It is a dependent clause. Also, the main clause says "the right of the people.......shall not be infringed". It doesn't say "the right of those people who join a militia.....shall not be infringed. It means "the people". All of them. Why would we expect "the people" in the 2nd amendment to be defined differently than "the people" who have the right to speak their mind, print a newspaper, or peaceably assemble as in the 1st amendment, or for that matter "the people" who elect senators in the 17th amendment.

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