Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

January 11, 2008

DoJ and DC Gun Ban

by Jason Pye

The Department of Justice has filed an amicus brief on behalf the District of Columbia. Yes, you read that right. The Bush Administration is supporting DC in the upcoming case on that will have a major impact on gun owner’s rights.

Here is the analysis from David Hardy:

As I read this, the (Bush) Dept of Justice is asking that the Court hold it to be an individual right, but not strike the DC gun law, instead sending it back down to the trial court to take evidence on everything from how much the District needs the law to whether people can defend themselves without pistols and just what the DC trigger lock law means. THEN maybe it can begin another four year trek to the Supremes. That is, the DoJ REJECTS the DC Circuit position that an absolute, flat, ban on handguns violates the Second Amendment, and contends that it might just be justified, it all depends on the evidence.

There was a saying during my years in DC that the GOP operated on two principles: screw your friends and appease your enemies. Yup.

The DoJ brief is here. You can view other case filings here. You can read more about the Heller case here.

This is bad news. The lower court decision to overturn the ban was very well written and address the heart of the issue head on:

To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment’s civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia.

I don’t see what part of the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed is so damned hard to understand.

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  • uhm

    I wonder what philosophies these people hold where they don’t respect people’s natural rights.

  • Greg

    I don’t see what part of the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed is so damned hard to understand.

    [Bush]Because the Constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper[/Bush]

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    I can’t say I’m surprised…Bush is a nanny-stater and this action is completely in line with how he views us:

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/09/02/card_says_bush_sees_us_as_a_child_needing_a_parent/

  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Chris

    Honestly, I doubt Bush ever heard about this brief; but that doesn’t excuse it.

    The fact is, both the democrat and republican parties server their true constituency: The Federal Government.

    A blanket ruling here would be a huge blow to government power as a whole. Affirming a right of the people, without burden of repressive regulation, sets a precedent that the government does not want set.

    From a purely practical standpoint, the DOJ knows, that based on such a ruling, they would have to fight an appeal on every single possession only gun charge since the dawn of time; and most of the “unlawfully modified” and “unregistered” charges. Yeah, most of them would be tossed out, but it would be expensive and time consuming.

    If the court instead delivers a limited ruling, it would leave out most of these grounds for appeal.

    It would also, of course, preserve a lot of jobs for federal agents (not just the ATF).

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Sometimes these articles really depress me.

  • Amy

    Isn’t amazing as all the sheeple argue over the actual author of Mr. Constitution’s 15yr old ghost written racists remark, the machine is implementing the Real ID and taking a way gun rights….

    Sing along everyone!! Only in America!!

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