DC’s Mayor Fenty speaks out against citizen’s rights

| March 11, 2007

Everyone knows by now that, in a rare act of confidence in DC residents, the DC Circuit Court struck down the District’s draconian 1976 gun law that forbade citizen-owned handguns and only allowed owners to have rifles in their home (not shotguns, rifles) if the rifle was disassembled and separated from it’s ammunition.

According to Washington Time’s Tarron Lively and Daniel Taylor, newly-elected Mayor Adrian Fenty (that’s him on the left in the picture above) was “outraged”;

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said he was “outraged” by the court’s decision, which overturns a law that “has been unquestioned for more than 30 years.”
    “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.”

Scott McCabe of the DC Examiner quoted the new mayor;

“I am strongly opposed to the court’s decision,” Fenty said. “District residents deserve every protection afforded to them under District law.”

The District has banned handgun ownership since 1976. In 2004, a lower-court judge told six D.C. residents that they did not have a constitutional right to own handguns.

I’d remind Mayor Fenty that the longevity of a law doesn’t neccessarily protect it from challenge. Otherwise slavery and Jim Crow Laws would be common practice since they were unchallenged for decades. As for helping keep DC gun violence down, according to the Metro DC police’s own count, they’ve confiscated 9046 guns since 2002. I’m guessing that they’re only scratching the surface of illegal guns in the hands of criminals in the District. There have been 30 murders in DC already this year – that’s over 3 per week.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,  209 kids (between the ages of 0-19) were murdered by gun violence 1999-2004 in our nation’s capitol. Doesn’t sound like this law has been doing much good. Nor does it sound like the District can protect it’s half-million citizens with the eight thousand law enforcement officials on patrol from various local and Federal agencies in this city.

Crime has been on the rise over the past two years in DC and it’s largely because the law-abiding population isn’t armed and the criminals are armed. Car-jackings and home invasions are becoming more prevailant – two crimes that would virtually end if criminals weren’t quite so sure that their intended victims are unarmed.

We moved from Northeast DC last year because crime was becoming a daily event in our neighborhood – gun crime. Two people were shot on different occasions in our upscale apartment complex. Two carjackings at gunpoint and a home invasion at knifepoint finally drove us to the suburbs. Having my Ruger Mini-14 in the closet was some comfort, But not being able to brandish it in an emergency was becoming a concern. I can only imagine the nightmare of a trial I would be forced to endure if I’d actually shot an intruder.

And just because another court has never struck down a gun law on Second Amedment grounds, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be struck down. That’s what the Bill of Rights is supposed to do, Junior. It’s supposed to protect the minority from the ill-considered over-reactive policies of the majority.

The Washington Post does it’s level best to paint the plaintiffs in this case as right-wing gun nuts;

Gura declined to say how he assembled the plaintiffs, who came to the case with different backgrounds and motivations.

Some of the plaintiffs grew up with guns in and around their homes and belong to the National Rifle Association. A few are involved with libertarian organizations, including the Cato Institute, which provided legal assistance in the lawsuit.

To us on the Right it sounds innocuous enough, but to the Leftists in DC (who voted 90% for Kerry in the 2004 election) invoking the boogey-creatures the NRA and Cato Institute (which a DC resident recently explained to me was a front organization for the KKK) is fear-mongering. This case (to which I’ve contributed money since 2003) didn’t garner much attention outside the Cato Institute’s membership and the Washington Times until this court decision. I suppose it’ll take front-and-center in the gun-grabbing Washington Post’s columns from now on, though.

Yesterday, their editorial board called it a “Dangerous Ruling“;

IN OVERTURNING the District of Columbia’s long-standing ban on handguns yesterday, a federal appeals court turned its back on nearly 70 years of Supreme Court precedent to give a new and dangerous meaning to the Second Amendment. If allowed to stand, this radical ruling will inevitably mean more people killed and wounded as keeping guns out of the city becomes harder. Moreover, if the legal principles used in the decision are applied nationally, every gun control law on the books would be imperiled.

The 2 to 1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down sections of a 1976 law that bans city residents from having handguns in their homes. The court also overturned the law’s requirement that shotguns and rifles be stored disassembled or with trigger locks. The court grounded its unprecedented ruling in the finding that the Second Amendment right to bear arms extends beyond militias to individuals. The activities the Second Amendment protects, the judges wrote, “are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or continued intermittent enrollment in the militia.”

Never before has a law been struck down on that basis. The Supreme Court, in its landmark 1939 decision United States v. Miller, stated that the Second Amendment was adopted “with obvious purpose” of protecting the ability of states to organize militias and “must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.” Nearly every other federal court of appeals has concurred in that finding. The dissenting judge in yesterday’s opinion, Karen LeCraft Henderson, a Republican appointee like the other two judges on the panel, rightly lambasted the majority for its willful disregard of Supreme Court precedent.

Yep, never before has the court ruled that a basic God-given right of an individual is to protect his property and his family. Way to misinterpret the Constitution, goofballs. I wonder if any of the members of WaPo’s editorial board or Mayor Fenty own guns, or if any of the people who protect them have guns. Don’t the rest of us deserve the same level of security?

Category: Media, Politics

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