BREAKING NEWS -- Washington D.C. Will Appeal To Keep The City's Gun Ban!
As many know, the 30-year gun ban in the District of Columbia was overturned two months ago by a U.S. Court of Appeals. Just yesterday (July 15) on "Tom Gresham's Gun Talk," I interviewed Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, about this decision, and we speculated on whether D.C. mayor Adrian M. Fenty would appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Today, Fenty said, "We have made the determination that this law can and should be defended."
WHAT'S AT STAKE
This case hinges on whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution applies to people or to governments. In a twisted interpretation, several lower courts have ruled that the Second Amendment ("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") is the ONLY amendment which does not spell out rights guaranteed to people. For some reason, these courts have decided that the founding fathers, having just fought a terrible war of independence from a strong central government, wanted to guarantee that only the government had a right to have guns. Go figure.
When the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans stated (in the Emerson case) several years ago that the Second Amendment was an individual right, it stirred up a hornet's nest. Following that, the U.S. Justice Department under John Ashcroft adopted the position that the Second Amendment was an individual right.
This all came on the heels of 20 years of law journal articles which supported the individual right position, and even famed constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe changed his book on constitutional law to reflect the current thinking -- that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to firearms.
Now, the D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the individual right position, putting it in conflict with other circuit courts -- a perfect setup for this case to be heard by SCOTUS.
This is high stakes poker, friends. The Supremes could rule that individuals have absolutely no right to firearms. It could go the other way. Or, as some think most likely, it will rule to uphold the lower court decision (or refuse to take the case, letting that decision stand), and leave us with a better-but-uncertain outcome. Why? Because the D.C. court ruled that while the District's gun ban was unconstitutional because it was a total ban, that some gun control laws are legal, as long as they are "reasonable."
And there lies the challenge.
All sides of the gun rights issue will spare no expense to work on this case. This may be the big one that activists have wanted, and yet have feared.
You can bet we'll be talking about it on "Tom Gresham's Gun Talk" in the coming weeks, and we'll keep you up to date.
Keep your powder dry!