Sunday, March 1, 2009

Senate Votes to Repeal Unconstitutional DC Gun Laws

After the Heller ruling, while officially the DC gun ban was gone, the District Council simply created a moving target by passing equally draconian measures to effectively continue the ban. In short, their goal was to do an end run around the Supreme Court because the DC Council, in its arrogance, believed it had the power to legislate away the rights of law-abiding Americans in the city. Some examples of the ridiculous requirements were cited in a recent NRA-ILA article:

“After the Heller ruling, the D.C. city council passed a law requiring would-be gun owners to pay a registration fee, pass a 20-question multiple choice test, take a five-hour training course, undergo an invasive background check every six years, re-register any firearm every three years, and finally, submit all handguns for ballistics testing. Current D.C. law also bans an overwhelming majority of firearms commonly used for self-defense.”

Momentum has been gathering to give DC’s representative in the House of Representatives voting rights. A bill passed the House, and recently came up for a vote in the Senate (S. 160). I honestly think that this is a great idea as every American deserves a say in the Federal Process, otherwise the Republic fails. However, an amendment was proposed with bipartisan support that would effectively repeal the unconstitutional restrictions imposed by the DC Council in defiance of the Supreme Court decision.

The amendment, proposed by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) was passed by a large margin 62-36, which is already causing political difficulties for the DC council. The House version of the bill was passed with no such amendment. The Washington Post article cited above has one of the ubiquitous “unscientific polls” attached to it asking, “the tradeoff: If most of the District's gun laws get repealed in the course of gaining a vote in the U.S. House, is it worth it?” The choices and responses are interesting so far since The Washington Post covers DC, Northern Virginia, and Southern Maryland:

Yes, democratic representation is critical: 24%

No -- what good is a vote if we're not safe? 19%

Yes, both measures reinforce my Constitutional rights. 19%

No -- the District doesn't merit a House vote at all. 31%

Other (explain in comments). 4%

Talking about a biased push poll! First, representation in the House is not “democratic” Representation (even though the representative will most likely always be a Democrat) because the United States is not a “democracy”. The United States is a Constitutional Republic – a “democracy” is mob rule with no protection for the minority. Second, DC’s gun laws don’t make people “safe.” The murder rate skyrocketed after the gun ban and is still well above pre-ban levels. The notion that strict gun control equals safety is one of the biggest lies perpetrated on the American public today. However, it is interesting that less than 20% think the gun laws are the most important facet and that 31% of the individuals responding think DC doesn’t even deserve a seat.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox had these comments:

“Today’s vote brings us one step closer to restoring the Second Amendment freedom of law-abiding D.C. residents. It’s ludicrous that good people in our nation’s capital continue to be harassed as they try to defend themselves and their loved ones in their own homes. This vote reinforces the historic Heller ruling. NRA would like to thank the lead sponsor, Sen. John Ensign for his efforts to reform D.C.’s gun laws and enable folks to protect their property and their loved ones. It’s time for leaders in Washington to wake up to the fact that the Supreme Court decision is now the law of the land.”

Hopefully the pro-Second Amendment provisions will survive negotiation with the House. Given that the House has a strong pro-gun majority, I’m hopeful that the final bill will include these provisions. Unfortunately the cynic in me fully expects that the DC council will try to find ways around these restrictions as well to carry on their perverted agenda of disarming the public and making the city safe for gangs and predators, but if they do, we will be here to challenge them yet again.

Until next time!!!

No comments: