DC Gun Ban struck down by Federal Appeals Court

Discussion in 'National Laws, Bills and Politics' started by Foul, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Foul

    Foul New Member

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    http://www.drudgereport.com/04-7041a.pdf

    You can hear the Feds squealing like little pigs already.

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal appeals court overturned the District of Columbia's long- standing handgun ban Friday, rejecting the city's argument that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applied only to militias.

    In a 2-1 decision, the judges held that the activities protected by the Second Amendment "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued intermittent enrollment in the militia."

    A lower-court judge in 2004 had told six residents they did not have a constitutional right to own handguns. The plaintiffs include residents of high-crime neighborhoods who wanted the guns for protection.

    The Bush administration has endorsed individual gun-ownership rights, but the Supreme Court has never settled the issue.

    If the dispute makes it to the high court, it would be the first case in nearly 70 years to address the Second Amendment's scope.
     
  2. Purge

    Purge New Member

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    Clarification: I wish or pray that citizens could defend themselves and carry in DC.

    I think this is a bit scary. I can see only craziness coming out of it. But if it helps, great.

    First, The District of Columbia is a Federal jurisdiction and is not a State. If you live here and/ or born in the district you are considered a Federal citizen. Most of us are State citizens.

    “Judge Karen Henderson dissented, writing that the Second Amendment does not apply to the district because it is not a stateâ€

    I agree because the Constitution says,

    Article I Section 7: Congress shall have power to…
    Section 8: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square)…


    Unfortunately Congress can do whatever they want with DC law.
     

  3. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    But where in the Constitution does it say that the US congress is not bound to the USC?
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Purge, do you imagine that this empowers Congress to enact slavery in the District?
     
  5. rajl

    rajl New Member

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    Indeed. SCOTUS has ruled before, as referenced in the opinion, that constitutional protections affored to citizens living in states still apply inside DC, even though it is not a state.
     
  6. Purge

    Purge New Member

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    I received an email from Congressman Ron Paul today.
    He seems to have some worries as well.

    "The DC Gun Ban


    March 12, 2007

    Last Friday a federal appeals court in Washington DC issued a ruling that hopefully will result in the restoration of 2nd Amendment rights in the nation's capital. It appears the Court rejected the District of Columbia 's nonsensical argument that the 2nd Amendment confers only a "collective right," something gun control advocates have asserted for years.

    Of course we should not have too much faith in our federal courts to protect gun rights, considering they routinely rubber stamp egregious violations of the 1 st, 4th, and 5th Amendments, and allow Congress to legislate wildly outside the bounds of its enumerated powers. Furthermore, the DC case will be appealed to the Supreme Court with no guarantees. But it is very important nonetheless for a federal court only one step below the highest court in the land to recognize that gun rights adhere to the American people, not to government-sanctioned groups. Rights, by definition, are individual. "Group rights" is an oxymoron.

    Can anyone seriously contend that the Founders, who had just expelled their British rulers mostly by use of light arms, did not want the individual farmer, blacksmith, or merchant to be armed? Those individuals would have been killed or imprisoned by the King's soldiers if they had relied on a federal armed force to protect them.

    In the 1700s, militias were local groups made up of ordinary citizens. They were not under federal control! As a practical matter, many of them were barely under the control of colonial or state authorities. When the 2nd Amendment speaks of a "well-regulated militia," it means local groups of individuals operating to protect their own families, homes, and communities. They regulated themselves because it was necessary and in their own interest to do so.

    The Founders themselves wrote in the Federalist papers about the need for individuals to be armed. In fact, James Madison argued in Federalist paper 46 that common citizens should be armed to guard against the threat posed by the newly proposed standing federal army.

    Today, gun control makes people demonstrably less safe-- as any honest examination of criminal statistics reveals. In his book "More Guns, Less Crime," scholar John Lott demolishes the myth that gun control reduces crime. On the contrary, Lott shows that cities with strict gun control--like Washington DC--experience higher rates of murder and violent crime. It is no coincidence that violent crime flourishes in the nation's capital, where the individual's right to defend himself has been most severely curtailed.

    Understand that residents of DC can be convicted of a felony and put in prison simply for having a gun in their home, even if they live in a very dangerous neighborhood. The DC gun ban is no joke, and the legal challenges to the ban are not simply academic exercises. People's lives and safety are at stake.

    Gun control historically serves as a gateway to tyranny. Tyrants from Hitler to Mao to Stalin have sought to disarm their own citizens, for the simple reason that unarmed people are easier to control. Our Founders, having just expelled the British army, knew that the right to bear arms serves as the guardian of every other right. This is the principle so often ignored by both sides in the gun control debate. Only armed citizens can resist tyrannical government."
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Since the DC Circuit Court of Appeals is over federal facilities, what does this opinion say about carry in National Parks?
     
  8. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    I would think that this court would continue to allow guns to be banned from National Parks. Didn't the Parker case pretty much say that the gov't could reasonably limit places where guns are carried such as churches, polling places, etc?

    My guess is that they would find that National Parks are places that the gov't can reasonably restrict carrying firearms within.

    Most National Parks in the east seem to be small....out west they can be huge.....are there any National Parks where citizens reside? Now those people, if they exist, could have an argument.
     
  9. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Not a state? She never really bothered to examine the meaning of the word (rather than just assuming it meant one of the several states, i.e., 13 of them at the time, instead of a free country).

    Blackstone used this to mean a free country. From Volokh's blog:

    "Free State," Straight Outta Blackstone: A commenter in a thread below questioned the plausibility of the view that "security of a free State" in the Second Amendment could mean "security of a free country," as opposed to security of one of the States of the Union against federal oppression.

    Well, it turns out that talk of what institutions -- especially military ones -- are good for a free state is all over Blackstone's influential Commentaries on the Law of England. There, of course, Blackstone had to have been talking of state in the sense of country or nation (American states as subordinates in a federal system were a decade in the future). Consider, for instance, book 1, p. 408 (emphasis added):

    In a land of liberty it is extremely dangerous to make a distinct order of the profession of arms. In absolute monarchies this is necessary for the safety of the prince, and arises from the main principle of their constitutions, which is that of governing by fear: but in free states the profession of a soldier, taken singly and merely as a profession, is justly an object of jealousy. In these no man should take up arms, but with a view to defend his country and it's laws: he puts not off the citizen when he enters the camp; but it is because he is a citizen, and would wish to continue so, that he makes himself for a while a soldier.

    Or book 1, p. 415 (emphasis added):

    To prevent the executive power from being able to oppress, says Baron Montesquieu, it is requisite that the armies with which it is intrusted should consist of the people, and have the same spirit with the people; as was the case at Rome till Marius new-modeled the legions by enlisting the rabble of Italy, and laid the foundation of all the military tyranny that ensued. Nothing, then, according to these principles, ought to be more guarded against in a free state than making the military power, when such a one is necessary to be kept on foot, a body too distinct from the people.

    Or book 1 p. 417 (emphasis added):

    Nor is this state of servitude [created by excessively rigorous military discipline during peacetime] quite consistent with the maxims of sound policy observed by other free nations. . For, the greater the general liberty is which any state enjoys, the more cautious has it usually been of introducing slavery in any particular order or profession. These men, as baron Montesquieu observes, seeing the liberty which others possess, and which they themselves are excluded from, are apt (like eunuchs in the eastern seraglios) to live in a state of perpetual envy and hatred towards the rest of the community; and indulge a malignant pleasure in contributing to destroy those privileges, to which they can never be admitted. Hence have many free states, by departing from this rule, been endangered by the revolt of their slaves: while, in absolute and despotic governments where there no real liberty exists, and consequently no invidious comparisons can be formed, such incidents are extremely rare. Two precautions are therefore advised to be observed in all prudent and free governments; 1. To prevent the introduction of slavery at all: or, 2. If it be already introduced, not to intrust those slaves with arms; who will then find themselves an overmatch for the freemen. Much less ought the soldiery to be an exception to the people in general, and the only state of servitude in the nation.

    Likewise, Blackstone refers to what is good for free states in discussing the liberty of the press ("The liberty of the press is, indeed, essential to the nature of a free state," book 4, p. 151), in discussing the value of popular government ("In a free state every man, who is supposed a free agent, ought to be in some measure his own governor," book 4, p. 158) -- and in praising what he saw as the calming force of the established Church of England (book 4, p. 104):

    [R]eligious principles, which (when genuine and pure) have an evident tendency to make their professors better citizens as well as better men, have (when perverted and erroneous) been usually subversive of civil government, and been made both the cloak and the instrument of every pernicious design that can be harboured in the heart of man. The unbounded authority that was exercised by the druids in the west, under the influence of pagan superstition, and the terrible ravages committed by the Saracens in the east, to propagate the religion of Mahomet, both witness to the truth of that antient universal observation: that in all ages and in all countries, civil and ecclesiastical tyranny are mutually productive of each other. It is therefore the glory of the church of England, that she inculcates due obedience to lawful authority, and hath been (as her prelates on a trying occasion once expressed itc) in her principles and practice ever most unquestionably loyal. The clergy of her persuasion, holy in their doctrines and unblemished in their lives and conversation, are also moderate in their ambition, and entertain just notions of the ties of society and the rights of civil government. As in matters of faith and morality they acknowlege no guide but the scriptures, so, in matters of external polity and of private right, they derive all their title from the civil magistrate; they look up to the king as their head, to the parliament as their law-giver, and pride themselves in nothing more justly, than in being true members of the church, emphatically by law established. Whereas the notions of ecclesiastical liberty, in those who differ from them, as well in one extreme as the other, (for I here only speak of extremes) are equally and totally destructive of those ties and obligations by which all society is kept together; equally encroaching on those rights, which reason and the original contract of every free state in the universe have vested in the sovereign power; and equally aiming at a distinct independent supremacy of their own, where spiritual men and spiritual causes are concerned.

    And life in a free state may also be reason to suffer some inconvenience, book 3, p. 423 (paraphrasing Montesquieu):

    But in free states [unlike despotisms such as Turkey] the trouble, expense, and delays of judicial proceedings are the price that every subject pays for his liberty ....

    Montesquieu generally used "a free state" in similar ways: "In a free state, every man, who is supposed a free agent, ought to be concerned in his own government: Therefore the legislative should reside in the whole body of the people, or their representatives"; see also the references to "a free state" in this, albeit later, translation of Montesquieu's The Spirit of Laws.

    "State" as "country" (or perhaps more precisely a self-governing nation) is of course pretty longstanding usage; article I, section 9, for instance, bars federal officeholders from accepting presents or titles from "any ... foreign state." Article III, section 2 and the Eleventh Amendment likewise use "foreign state" to mean foreign country. But beyond this, "a free state" as indicating what Englishmen and Americans should cherish and aspire to, is right from Blackstone and other contemporaneous writers.
     
  10. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    But we all know that "the key question is not what the Second Amendment may have been understood to mean in 1791, but what it means today."

    :puke:
     
  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/article3616.html
     
  12. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong but better so than not to be exercised at all."
    Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Any thoughts on this?

    There are a dozen areas under the National Park Service in Georgia.

    Is this important to anybody?
     
  14. Sine Nomen

    Sine Nomen New Member

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    Any thoughts on this?

    There are a dozen areas under the National Park Service in Georgia.

    Is this important to anybody?[/quote:378cg4u8]
    I find that very pertinent as I live only a stones throw from the Chattohoochee River National Receration Area and often run through/by there after dark.
     
  15. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I was just curious if there was much in the way of interest on this issue. It seems to me that this is another way to tackle the National Parks problem. Even if the Supreme Court does not take the Heller case (or the Parker case), there is favorable case law in the DC Circuit now, at least fot the concept that the Second Amendment is a right. And they did comment on carrying in the context of inside one's home.
     
  16. Mike from Philly

    Mike from Philly New Member

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    I'm interested. Are you suggesting it's HAMMER time?
     
  17. Tinkerhell

    Tinkerhell Active Member

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    Any thoughts on this?

    There are a dozen areas under the National Park Service in Georgia.

    Is this important to anybody?[/quote:pvpfjeme]

    It interested me for the same reasons it does Sine. I run & play in national park areas frequently.