DC Mayor in His Own Words!

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Malum Prohibitum, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  2. tace

    tace New Member

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    Translation, we know what the residents want but we don't care. We made a dumb ass choice that can't be backed by any reasoning but instead of admitting we are wrong, we will use the residents money to fight this thing out in court.

    Bravo! =D>
     

  3. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    For a bonus of ten points, what was the Miller court's definition of the "militia?"
     
  5. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

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    Miller court defined the Militia as the following:

    and interestingly enough

    Justice Hugo Black (one of the judges who decided Miller), commenting on the Second Amendment said,

     
  6. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

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  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Another 5 points for the source of that Hugo Black quote.
     
  8. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

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    Black, Hugo, The Bill of Rights, New York University Law Review, Vol. 35, April 1960.
     
  9. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, obviously "arms necessary to a well regulated militia" means that the prohibition is absolute as to the National Guard's armory.

    Right? :D
     
  10. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

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    "Arms necessary to a well regulated militia, as so contrued..."

    The prohibition is in regards to "shall not be infringed"

    ie "shall not be infringed" is the prohibition on the government.



    I know I know, bait bait

    I saw the smiley people
     
  11. viper32cm

    viper32cm New Member

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    Wrong! Miller was decided basically on the failure of the defendants counsel to actually even show up. It was a matter evidence before the court.
    Ergo, if it had been presented in evidence that short barrel shotguns were used by the military (which they were and are) then it would have been a violation of the 2nd Amendment to restrict their possession.

    Funny I thought you were supposed to fight for freedom.
     
  12. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

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    source
    from wikipedia, not necessarily the best source of untampered information, but a good one when independent sources are cited.

    There were no persons with standing to request relief from the Supreme Court, nor legal council representing them at the time of the decision.
     
  13. viper32cm

    viper32cm New Member

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    They won at the lower levels though the government initiated the petition for cert. On Westlaw you can download that government's brief, but not the defendant's brief. If, Miller had been brought forward by a non-criminal scumbag defendant I have no doubt that we would be living in a very different America right now, at least in relation to gun rights.

    It is somewhat perplexing to me that no one bothered to challenge the NFA with the proper evidentiary foundation. Another plaintiff and another sawed off shotgun would have made a difference. Maybe if GCO had existed back in the 30s and 40s. :D
     
  14. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    And if you do, you will see that there is a clear cut argument for the collective interpretation. There was no argument on the other side, and STILL the court did not buy this unopposed argument! :D
     
  15. viper32cm

    viper32cm New Member

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    Pardon my 3L ignorance but wasn't the case technically moot if the defendant died?
     
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    two defendants. Death was before decision issued but well after arguments. Second defendant plead guilty after the S. Ct. decision rather than present evidence.
     
  17. viper32cm

    viper32cm New Member

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    :censored:, he could have changed history.
     
  18. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

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    so we need someone to saw a shotgun in half?






    i kid i keed
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    People have tried many times and have been rebuffed in the Courts of Appeals. I posted on this previously when that Arkansas militia NFA arrest happened. I think that is the 8th Circuit. They have some terrible case law that discusses in great detail the issue of "militia" weapons and unorganized v. organized militia.
     
  20. zookeper

    zookeper Active Member

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    does this mean that only strong young MEN have 2nd amendment protected rights to keep and bear guns?