Mayor Fenty has spoken...in predictable for him fashion!


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camacho
September 4, 2007, 01:27 PM
From todays Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/03/AR2007090300797.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

The following is full of 'gems' but my favorite one is: The more handguns a jurisdiction has, the more people die in homicides.

Also, it must be noted that that overwhelming majority of the comments are pro-gun. Maybe when he says "our handgun ban" he really means his and Linda Singer's.

Fighting for Our Handgun Ban

By Adrian M. Fenty and Linda Singer
Tuesday, September 4, 2007; A17

As mayor and attorney general of the District of Columbia, we were deeply disappointed this year when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declared that the District's longstanding handgun ban violates the Second Amendment. Today we are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision in that case, which we think threatens public safety and is wrong on the law.

The central meaning of the Second Amendment has long been settled in the courts. The last time the Supreme Court directly addressed the provision -- which reads, "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" -- was in 1939, in a case called United States v. Miller. The court said that the Second Amendment's "obvious purpose" is to ensure the effectiveness and continuation of state military forces (the militia mentioned in the amendment), not to provide a private right to own weapons for one's own purposes.

For decades, the lower courts followed that pronouncement. They repeatedly rejected claims that the Second Amendment provides a defense against laws regulating gun possession and use that have no connection with service in a state militia. Although gun proponents vigorously insisted that the Second Amendment protects their right to possess and use guns for private purposes, the courts recognized that their view lacks support in its language and history.

On a related note, the courts also repeatedly recognized that the Second Amendment is meant to constrain the federal government alone. Another longstanding Supreme Court precedent, Presser v. Illinois, establishes that the Second Amendment simply does not apply to state regulation of gun possession and use. The District should have authority just like that of the states, if for no other reason than to avoid the absurd result that the nation's capital alone would lack the ability to take the steps the local government believes are needed to keep its residents safe.

Against this backdrop, the D.C. Council decided in 1976 to ban almost all private possession of handguns, while allowing residents to possess properly registered rifles and shotguns. The council's reasoning was as right then as it is now. Because handguns are involved in crimes, accidents and suicides far more often than other firearms, it makes perfect sense to ask that residents who want firearms at home choose something other than handguns. Although only a third of the nation's firearms are handguns, these easily concealable weapons are used in far more killings, woundings and crimes than all other types of firearms combined. The more handguns a jurisdiction has, the more people die in homicides. Although handguns might still be trafficked into the District illegally from other jurisdictions, the last thing the District needs is even more handguns.

The handgun ban has saved countless lives, but this fundamental part of the District's public safety laws will be no more if the Supreme Court does not review and overturn this year's decision by the D.C. Circuit. Departing from the consensus of the courts, the court (in a 2 to 1 vote) decided that the Second Amendment is not about state militias after all but about personal gun rights. We think that ruling is extraordinary and wrong. Indeed, it is the first time a federal appellate court has used such a view of the Second Amendment to strike down any gun-control law.

The next step in the court's analysis was also extraordinary and wrong. On the basis of Supreme Court precedent, even this court agreed that the Second Amendment, however one reads it, is not infringed on by "reasonable restrictions" on gun possession and use. The court ruled, though, that banning any "type" of weapon is never reasonable. The idea that the Constitution forbids a government to ban any type of weapon regardless of the reasons is unsupportable. It is plainly relevant that the District allows residents to possess other perfectly effective firearms, especially given how much more death and misery handguns have caused than those other firearms.

We hope the Supreme Court takes the case and upholds the District's law, though we know that the outcome of any Supreme Court case is uncertain. We do not doubt that the District residents who are plaintiffs in the case brought this suit in good faith. But the District's government must choose what is in the best interest of the District overall. The council long ago made its considered choice on how best to save lives here. We believe that choice was the right one and one the council had every right to make under the Constitution. So we will fight.

Adrian M. Fenty is mayor of the District of Columbia. Linda Singer is the District's attorney general.

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JohnBT
September 4, 2007, 02:48 PM
The pic accompanying the article is funnier than the article. The caption says "A Colt .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun"

http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2007/09/03/PH2007090300993.jpg

Kharn
September 4, 2007, 02:59 PM
Due to English being read from left to right, images that point in that direction are preferred. Someone just got lazy about their clipart.

Kharn

Old Fuff
September 4, 2007, 03:02 PM
Well they are trying to help out disadvantaged south-paws by offering a left-hand version of Browning's famous pistol. They should be given the credit that's due... :neener: :D

strat81
September 4, 2007, 03:11 PM
But wait, if gun bans work, shouldn't there be no more gun crime in DC? I'm confused. :)

Loyalist Dave
September 4, 2007, 03:11 PM
While the actual SC opinion does say this,
The court said that the Second Amendment's "obvious purpose" is to ensure the effectiveness and continuation of state military forces (the militia mentioned in the amendment),

The anti-gunners, inclueless Mayor Fenty, often argue the following, but the opinion doesn't say this:not to provide a private right to own weapons for one's own purposes. .

US vs. Miller put the SC in a sort of bind, for the law did say Miller was still subject to the Militia Act, BUT the court also understood that Miller's record was such that they didn't want him, or other felons, to be using sawed-off shotguns. In the argument presented to the court, no proof was provided that such a gun was "necessary to a well regulated militia" so they found an "out". Sawed-off shotguns were not shown to be necessary so the state may ban possession of them, and so Miller could be found guilty.

Geez, if you extrapolate the logic, that IF Miller had been caught with an official arm used by the military, like a Springfield .30-06 or a Colt 1911, then they would've had to have found in favor of Miller. So then Miller, it might be argued, actually is case law prohibiting the banning of military style semi-automatic rifles, sometimes mislabled as assault weapons.

LD

SoCalShooter
September 4, 2007, 03:12 PM
The handgun ban has saved countless lives

I say tell them to prove that statement. Hard facts not just emotions. If they aint got the facts and the numbers to prove it then they have no use in banning them.

Dean C
September 4, 2007, 03:19 PM
Another thing to look at might be the fact that for them to magnify the
.45-caliber :eek: to look like 45-caliber ;), the image reversed.
dean

Old Fuff
September 4, 2007, 03:23 PM
I disagree with the Attorney General of Washington D.C., and her interpretation of the Second Amendment. But just for grins I wonder if she ever checked out what the Militia of the United States is comprised of.

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

This is THE militia alluded to in the Second Amendment.

Standing Wolf
September 4, 2007, 04:25 PM
The council long ago made its considered choice on how best to save lives here.

Ah. I knew there had to be a reason Washington, D.C. is one of the most dangerous cities in the nation.

romma
September 4, 2007, 04:32 PM
The council long ago made its considered choice on how best to save lives here.

By forcing it's citizens to be defensless to armed criminals. Wow!

Someone should wear shirts to the DC hearings with that new catchphrase that's going around here: When seconds count the police are just minutes away!

Deanimator
September 4, 2007, 04:33 PM
I read on a Chicago cop's blog today that fifteen people were murdered (presumably shot) in Chicago between Friday and Monday.

Since Chicago has a handgun ban, HOW could that POSSIBLY happen? Obviously either they were all shot with $10,000 trap guns or the whole thing's just a hoax...

otcconan
September 4, 2007, 04:36 PM
That whole militia thing has dogged us to this day. We here understand that the militia is the people, but it would have been better if the framers had just said, "The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed" and left it at that.

Still, the rest of the Constitution is just about perfect, and after all, these were people, and people make mistakes, especially when trying to come to compromises. Hell, they made a mistake with the 3/4 compromise as well.

Outlaws
September 4, 2007, 04:39 PM
So this guy is going to argue that the Feds have zero ground to make any gun laws, and only states have the right? So then both sides of this case will agree the Feds have no rights?

Are there any Federal gun laws even? I know there are the "commerce" laws, but other than maybe entrance into Federal buildings I am hard pressed to think of one off hand.

ptmmatssc
September 4, 2007, 05:46 PM
Are there any Federal gun laws even? I know there are the "commerce" laws, but other than maybe entrance into Federal buildings I am hard pressed to think of one off hand.

Hmm , let me see . FFL , the quaint form you need to fill out before purchase, "tax stamp" , etc etc

How about http://www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/2005/p53004/index.htm

Outlaws
September 4, 2007, 05:55 PM
Hmm , let me see . FFL , the quaint form you need to fill out before purchase, "tax stamp" , etc etc


I don't know about FFLs or the 4473, but the "tax stamp" is definitely a "commerce" law and would require another suit. It ain't going anywhere anytime soon no matter the ruling.

I am more interested in knowing what laws would immediately be null and void.

Flyboy
September 5, 2007, 11:02 AM
The handgun ban has saved countless lives
I say tell them to prove that statement. Hard facts not just emotions. If they aint got the facts and the numbers to prove it then they have no use in banning them.
Easy. Just think of all of the muggers, rapists, and other assorted detritus who weren't brought to heel by their victims. Gun control saves lives, I tell you!

K-Romulus
September 5, 2007, 11:14 AM
One that captures Fenty's characteristic butchering of the English language:

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=3557023

D.C. Takes Gun Battle to Supreme Court
District Appeal Could Pave Way for Supreme Court Showdown
By DENNIS POWELL

Sept. 4, 2007 —

The District of Columbia appealed to the Supreme Court today, asking to uphold its decade-long ban on private ownership of handguns, paving the way for a possible Second Amendment showdown in the high court.

Attorneys representing D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty petitioned the Supreme Court in an effort to save the district's gun law, arguing that access to a handgun would be a direct threat to D.C. residents: "Whatever right the Second Amendment guarantees, it does not require the district to stand by while its citizens die."

Part of the mayor's concern is that more handguns, even legal ones, would ultimately cause more problems. "The District of Columbia has too many handguns," Fenty said. "Putting more handguns, even quote-unquote legal ones, into the quote-unquote law-abiding citizens [sic] could get into the hands of people who are going to use them in the commission of crimes."

The petition asks the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court ruling from earlier this year that struck down the D.C. gun ban.

March Federal Court Rules on D.C. Gun Ban

The overturned law, which went into effect in 1976, banned residents from owning a handgun unless they already had a permit. In 2003 six D.C. residents challenged that law, arguing that the city violated their Second Amendment right to "keep and bear arms."

On March 9, 2007, the U.S.Court of Appeals for D.C. agreed. In a 2-1 ruling, the appeals court said the Constitution's Second Amendment protects a person's right to own a gun. (Federal Court Strikes Down D.C. Gun Ban by Jan Crawford Greenburg, March 9, 2007.)

The district will argue that the Second Amendment does not prevent the city from enacting reasonable regulations to limit gun possessions in order to protect residents.

The petition raises one question, "whether the Second Amendment forbids the District of Columbia from banning private possession of handguns while allowing possession of rifles and shotguns."

Lawyers for the district say that question could allow the justices to narrowly decide the case by saying D.C. law already gives residents the ability to protect themselves with other types of weapons.

D.C. Violent Crimes on the Rise

Labor Day weekend was a grisly one for D.C. residents.

Saturday morning around 3 a.m. police discovered the body of a young man in the southeast section of the city; he had been shot a number of times. By the end of the weekend there were five murders, three by handgun. According to statistics every 48 hours a person dies in D.C. by a firearm.

Sandra Seegars, a D.C. resident for more than 50 years, wants a gun to be able to protect herself. She said that with few police officers patrolling her neighborhood she feels threatened in her own home. Seegars said if you don't want to own a gun don't get one, "but don't stop me from buying a gun just because I want one in my home."

The mayor and D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer believe the gun ban will stay in place.

"We would not have filed this with the Supreme Court if we did not think we would win," Singer told ABC News.

If the justices agree to hear the case when the 2007-08 session convenes, it will be the first time the debate takes place before the Supreme Court.

For now, the D.C. gun ban stays in effect.

Titan6
September 5, 2007, 11:59 AM
But you are 8,675,987,442 times more likely to have your guns used against you then to defend yourself. I know because I just made that number up myself. But at least they are making it themselves loud and clear now:

"Whatever right the Second Amendment guarantees, it does not require the district to stand by while its citizens die."

Wait a sec... So there is a right? But the government is going to put a stop to all of that. Thank goodness somebody up there is watching out for DC residents.

Whirlwind06
September 5, 2007, 01:47 PM
Quote:
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

So what happens if the SC (or another court) applies this definition?
You turn 46 you have to sell your guns?

Robert Hairless
September 5, 2007, 03:06 PM
The District should have authority just like that of the states, if for no other reason than to avoid the absurd result that the nation's capital alone would lack the ability to take the steps the local government believes are needed to keep its residents safe.

If the District should have authority just like that of the states, unfortunate things happen to the District's argument that the Second Amendment does not apply to it because it is not a state.

If the District has assumed the duty to keep its residents safe, that duty should extend to the safety of each and every resident in the District, including those for whom the District has failed in its duty. Victims of violent crime within the District should be compensated by the District for its failure to fulfill the duty it has assumed.

Given a sufficient number of the District's failures to fulfill its duty to keep its residents safe, the District's Mayor and other city officials should be liable for their misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance.

The latest Bureau of the Census ranking of states by violent crimes would make the District the most violent state in the nation, with almost twice as many violent crimes for its population as the current leader in that ranking. No other state even comes close to the District in that competition, and when one considers the small geographical area of the District compared with the states, the violent crime rate in it is a scandal and a national disgrace. Instead of attempting to defend the indefensible, the District's administrators would do better to flee the country and hope for anonymity to protect it from a citizenry it has so badly wronged since at least 1976.

Feanaro
September 5, 2007, 03:35 PM
So what happens if the SC (or another court) applies this definition?

Bad things. But it would be dishonest to apply a standard created 200 years after the Second Amendment was written. So far, they haven't sunk that low.

cassandrasdaddy
September 5, 2007, 03:41 PM
robert you forgot to mention the plethora of local and federal police agencys that are in dc and unable to stem the carnage

Cosmoline
September 5, 2007, 03:43 PM
I don't know about FFLs or the 4473, but the "tax stamp" is definitely a "commerce" law and would require another suit. It ain't going anywhere anytime soon no matter the ruling. I am more interested in knowing what laws would immediately be null and void.

? The Commerce clause is not part of the BOR. It's an express grant of authority to the federal government. But just because a law is valid under the Commerc clause or another enumerated power does not mean it's valid under the BOR. If the DC ban is declared unconstitutional, nothing automatically happens to any other law. The impact of the ruling will depend on its wording.

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