Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Individual Gun Rights or Not

Bill Mears, writing for CNN’s Washington Bureau held my attention with a lead story, “The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether the District of Columbia's sweeping ban on handgun ownership violates the Constitution's fundamental right to "keep and bear arms."” The case is expected to hit the court sometime in March with a final decision around June or July, just in time to be a hot topic prior to the presidential elections.

Quoting directly from the Mears article:

“City leaders had urged the high court to intervene, saying refusal to do so could prove dire.

"The District of Columbia -- a densely populated urban locality where the violence caused by handguns is well documented -- will be unable to enforce a law that its elected officials have sensibly concluded saves lives," wrote attorneys for the city.

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and other officials held a public rally in September, with the message that more handguns will only mean more serious crime.”

Did I read that correctly, “violence caused by handguns is well documented”? That’s interesting; I always thought violence was the result of humans without self control, and that is well documented. Handguns, if left alone are harmless and only hold the potential for violence when placed in the hands of humans. I suppose that Mayor Fenty could be correct seeing as how so many criminals reside in the Washington, DC area; and that would include folks who are not members of Congress as well.

The issue at hand is whether or not individuals have the right, something which is God given as opposed to an entitlement which is granted by the power of government, individuals have the right to bear arms for defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is what the United States Supreme Court will be looking at.

I took a few minutes to read what the ScotusBlog had to say on this issue and came away with a much more informed article; sorry Mears, I’d rather have facts than pap. I don’t hold my hopes too high when it comes to letting the “Men in Black” weigh in on important issues; look what happened to individual property rights with the Kelo decision.

“The city of Washington’s appeal (District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290) seeking to revive its flat ban on private possession of handguns is expected to be heard in March — slightly more than a year after the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that the Second Amendment right is a personal one, at least to have a gun for self-defense in one’s own home. (The Court took no action on Tuesday on a conditional cross-petition, Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia, 07-335, an appeal by five District residents seeking to join in the case. The absence of any action may mean that the Court has decided not to hear that case. If that is so, it will be indicated in an order next Monday. The Court also may simply be holding the case until it decides the Heller case.)”

I have little faith in government representatives to rule against the government, the temptation to usurp powers not granted them by the very Constitution they claim to revere has proven, at least in the past, too great for these far from perfect human beings we have given ourselves over to. Thank God I don’t live in Washington DC!

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