Daily Archives: July 18, 2008

Spirit Be Damned, It’s the Loopholes That Count

The District of Columbia City Council met on Wednesday and devised a new gun law to get around the Supreme Court ruling in “District of Columbia v. Heller”, clarifying the Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms.“ At the same time we all should have been reminded of the foolhardiness of voting a lawyer into a legislative position when we have a choice otherwise. Mark Twain once said he read the Bible looking for loopholes. Modern politicians read law and the Constitution with the same purpose. The idea of looking for the spirit of the law rather than the letter is a concept lost on today’s political class.

Justice Scalia in writing for the majority of the Supreme Court made it clear the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” for self-defense was a fundamental, natural right that existed regardless of laws to the contrary. As he so eloquently pointed out, the right existed before the Constitution and does not depend on the Constitution for its validity. The Court decision was also very specific in pointing out that requirements for trigger-locks, gun safes, and keeping guns inoperative or unloaded in the home negated their primary purpose for self-defense and was also unconstitutional.

In spite of the clear meaning of the Constitution and the Supreme Court decision, the DC Council will continue to defy both the Constitution and the Court for as long as they are able. Under the new DC gun law a resident would be required to keep his weapon unloaded and trigger-locked or disassembled except when there was an “immediate” threat to a person in the home. Presumably, in the event of a home-invasion, the home owner would be allowed to call a “time-out” while they retrieved, assembled and loaded their weapon. Now all the council has to do is convince criminals to honor such an agreement.

If a homeowner sees someone slinking around outside his home, he cannot go out to investigate unless he leaves his weapon inside, unloaded and trigger locked or unassembled. Most DC residents who decide they need a handgun for the protection of their home will probably ignore the DC ordinance just as the DC Council chose to ignore the Constitution and the Supreme Court. So, in addition to ignoring the Court the Council is undermining the rule of law further in one of the most lawless cities in the country.

I have never heard of a public official being held in contempt of the Supreme Court, but then I have never heard of public officials so brazenly defying the court. Since Article One of the Constitution gives Congress the Power to “exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district [District of Columbia]”, Congress should immediately do two things: First, rewrite the district’s gun laws so they comply with the Constitution and with the Court ruling; Second, bring articles of impeachment against Mayor Adrian Fenty and all council members who supported this farce.

It is obvious the Mayor and the Council have violated their oath to “defend the Constitution” by their actions. If Congress does not take immediate action to rectify the situation then they are also violating their oath. Many other socialist/democrat controlled cities across the country will no doubt follow DC’s lead and defy the Court with ordinances that must be challenged in the courts by citizens attempting to assert their right to self-defense. Over the next few years there will be millions of dollars of taxpayer money wasted in legal actions that could easily have been avoided by politicians simply following the law. Government has no right to expect the citizens to respect the rule of law if they themselves do not.

News Articles
Washington Post: District Gun Bill Goes to Council
Washington Post: D.C. Tries to Finesse Gun Ruling by Columnist, Mark Fisher
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