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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 09/ 1/2009

Gun Owners' Next Victory in D.C.

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Robert A. Levy
Washington


The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, declared that Washington’s 32-year ban on all functional firearms violated the Second Amendment. Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion, however, applied only to possession of guns in the home. The court did not address, and was not asked to address, firearms carried outside the home. That’s the issue posed in a new lawsuit against the District by Tom Palmer (disclosure: my colleague at the Cato Institute) and four other plaintiffs — represented by Alan Gura, the lawyer who successfully argued Heller before the court.

After Heller, the District relaxed its ban on residents seeking “to register a pistol for use in self-defense within that person’s home.” But D.C. law still states that “[n]o person shall carry within the District of Columbia either openly or concealed on or about their person, a pistol, without a license.” Currently, the city affords no process by which to issue such a license. A first violation of the carry ban is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to five years.

Does the Constitution mandate that the nation’s capital allow firearms to be carried outside the home? The right to bear arms, the court said in Heller, is an “individual right unconnected to militia service.” To “bear” means to “carry.” More specifically, when used with “arms,” the opinion said, “bear” means “carrying for a particular purpose — confrontation.” Nothing in that formulation implies a right that can be exercised only within one’s home.

Indeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, although she dissented in Heller, cited Black’s Law Dictionary to suggest in a prior opinion that the Second Amendment entails a right to “wear, bear, or carry ..... upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, ..... armed and ready ..... in a case of conflict with another person.” That language, says Michael O’Shea in the West Virginia Law Review, “reads like a literal description of the practice of lawful concealed carry, as engaged in by millions of Americans in the forty-eight states that authorize the carrying of concealed handguns.”

Of course, Second Amendment rights, like First Amendment rights, are not absolute. Scalia was careful to note that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” Lawyers call such statements dicta — a statement not necessary to the holding and, therefore, not binding in other cases.

Nonetheless, dicta can be important. Gura, for that reason, took pains to fashion his new complaint to fit Scalia’s framework. The Palmer lawsuit acknowledges that Washington “retains the ability to regulate the manner of carrying handguns, prohibit the carrying of handguns in specific, narrowly defined sensitive places, prohibit the carrying of arms that are not within the scope of Second Amendment protection, and disqualify specific, particularly dangerous individuals from carrying handguns.” Restrictions on carrying are permissible, but an outright ban is not. As Gura put it, the District “may not completely ban the carrying of handguns for self-defense, deny individuals the right to carry handguns in non-sensitive places, [or] deprive individuals of the right to carry handguns in an arbitrary and capricious manner.”

Proponents of a total ban have seized on another of Scalia’s pronouncements in Heller. He pointed out that 19th-century courts considered prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons “lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.” That statement, too, is dicta. Perhaps more significant, open-carry rather than concealed-carry was the preferred mode of arms-bearing in the 19th century. To be sure, some states prohibited concealed-carry, but only because they allowed open-carry — an alternative that the District probably would reject. An early Georgia case, for example, upheld a concealed-carry ban but struck down an open-carry ban. Ditto for other cases cited in Heller. Essentially, the Second Amendment demands that peaceable citizens be allowed to carry defensive weapons in some manner. The right to bear arms can be limited, but it cannot be destroyed.

Prediction: The courts will (and should) invalidate Washington’s unconditional ban on carrying, as well as similar bans in Wisconsin and Illinois, the only two states to have such bans. Regulations consistent with the Heller opinion will be permitted. But the Supreme Court has affirmed that the Second Amendment secures an individual right, expressly enumerated in the Constitution. That means government has the burden of demonstrating that its proposed regulations are necessary.

Robert A. Levy is chairman of the Cato Institute and was co-counsel to the plaintiffs in District of Columbia v. Heller.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 1, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

Mr. Levy: Thank You! So refreshing to hear an individual championing our Constitution. Keep up the good work. Individuals like you that sacrifice your money and time and commit your intellect to this cause are great Americans.

The Founding Fathers would roll over in their grave if they could hear the nonsense being spout from the mouths of certain members of the DC council that refuses to abide by this pre-ordained right that the Constitution grants to all Americans.

Mr. Levy; I only wish you were on the DC council; it is in dire need of a person who understands US government and law!

Posted by: civilrightist | September 1, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Scalia's dicta is very troubling. The anti's will wield this to enact California style commercial regulation of firearms. If the anti's can't get an outright ban, they will work to make it *extremely* difficult to manufacture, distribute, sell, purchase, own, and use firearms. It will be interesting to see how lower courts see this dicta and whether it will be precedent for other cases.

Such things as ammunition taxes, microstamping laws, bullet serialization laws... they could all make their way on to the national scene.

I was truly disappointed with the way Scalia wrote Heller. He entirely ignored the "shall not be infringed" portion fo the amendment in his analysis. Furthermore parts of his analysis contain circular logic. (e.g. M16's can be banned because they are not in "common use"... yet they are not in common use because of bans.) The way, I see it, Heller is double edged knife. I don't know if he simply compromised his reasoning to get 5 votes or what. I would have expected better.

Although it would be *great* to get a win on the issue mentioned here, I think an even bigger win would be a reversal of the Slaughterhouse cases to put teeth back into the 14th Amendment's P&I clause. There is broad support out there from many interest groups to do that. Yet few if any are aware of that.

Posted by: alecdawson | September 1, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

One more thing...

Thank you, Robert, for all your efforts. You're a big hero of mine.

Posted by: alecdawson | September 1, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Second Amendment rights, like First Amendment rights, are not absolute. Scalia was careful to note that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and -- the -- mentally ill,

Define, if you can, "the" mentally ill, It sounds precisely like "the" Jews. It is, in fact, that precise metaphor. Who among "the" mentally ill may not? As who among "the" Jews may not?

There is a precise legal definition, Scalia did not employ it.

Harold A. Maio, retired Mental Health Editor
khmaio@earthlink.net

Posted by: khmaio | September 1, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

What about the individual "Right Not To Be MURDERED", by some Deranged Lunatic with a FIRE ARM. Washington, DC is the Capital of the United States of America, not Dodge City, or some Wild West Town.

Washington has more Police and Law Enforcement than most Countries, yet the NRA, and it's members are determine to "FORCE", their agenda on the City. It is a Major Tourist Attraction, and families with children are a good portion those who visit the National Sites yearly.

Since the Conservative Packed court are willing to do the bidding of the NRA, what about the Rights of Individuals, who would rather not be surrounded by people who are "ARMED TO THE THE TEETH", walking around the Nations Capital.

Washington, is also a place where such events as Peaceful Protest, Concerts, and most importantly The Presidential Inauguration, which takes place every 4 years. If President Obama is re-elected again, the Parade route will be like a "WAR ZONE", if the Court Rules in Favor of the NRA.

No doubt Gun Advocates will take offense about my comments. Oh Well, "I and many others like myself have RIGHTS as well". I don't oppose the 2nd Amendment, but I choose to have nothing to do with Guns, and I don't want them around me or my Family.

The argument that "Guns don't Kill People, but People Kill People", is a worthless claim.

If the High Court goes along with the NRA, on this case, which I'm sure the Conservative Majority will. They need to take the word "SUPREME", off and replace it with "KANGAROO COURT".

The Constitution was not for the Protection of the NRA, and it's Members Only. It also should, "Protect the Rights of the UNARMED as well as the ARMED."

Posted by: austininc4 | September 2, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Levy's article demonstrates the devolution of the Cato Institute into a little band of fearful men, intent on turning the United States into a shooting gallery. They forget they can easily become targets rather than constitutional loudmouths.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | September 2, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

"What about the individual "Right Not To Be MURDERED", by some Deranged Lunatic with a FIRE ARM."
Posted by: austininc4

Exactly the reason honest people should be allowed to carry firearms! As it is now only the lunatics in DC have guns.

Posted by: nubeldorf1 | September 2, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

"Washington, is also a place where such events as Peaceful Protest, Concerts, and most importantly The Presidential Inauguration, which takes place every 4 years. If President Obama is re-elected again, the Parade route will be like a "WAR ZONE", if the Court Rules in Favor of the NRA."

Funny - it's not a "WAR ZONE" now with criminals bearing guns illegally, but if honest law-abiding citizens carry guns legally it is?

And is it a binary thing for you? Unarmed citizens or citizens "ARMED TO THE TEETH" with a single pistol for self-defense?

Posted by: cbjesseeNH | September 2, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see that as of 9:59EST there is only one anti-liberty post.

austininc4, there is no Right not the be Murdered, however there is a Right of Self-Defense. Use it or lose it.

Posted by: liberty_rocks | September 2, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I've been a life member of the NRA since 1959 (hence my UserID), and it annoys me no end when someone like AustininC4 makes completely uninformed comments about them. The NRA has NEVER "forced" their opinions on anyone in the country. All they have done, is ask that the govt be required to obey the law of the land. They were formed in the aftermath of the Civil War with a primary purpose of defending the rights of recently freed slaves to own and carry firearms, that's why they call themselves "America's First Civil Rights Organization." The original "Saturday Night Special Laws" as well as various other gun control laws, were enacted illegally in the southern states, specifically to restrict those rights. The NRA sticks up for the rights of EVERYONE, including those who don't want to carry guns. They have not been supporting bills that would REQUIRE anyone to own or carry a gun. They simply want the Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment, honored and followed, so that those of us who want the ability to protect our "unalienable right to Life..." can do so unhindered by unconstitutional laws. Yes, they are a powerful lobby, but only because they are a large organization, widely supported by the general populace, as well as by the Constitution. If the presence of guns in the hands of the public is so frightening to you, that it impairs your ability to go out in the general society, then you are suffering from an irrational fear known as "Hoplophobia." This is treatable with psychotherapy, and getting treatment will improve your lifestyle without interfering with everyone else's rights. If your dislike of guns is NOT sufficient to impair your ability to function in society, then you don't have a psychological disorder, but merely don't feel comfrotable around guns. Well I'm getting on in years, can't do all the things I used to be able to do as a martial artist, and I no longer feel comfortable without one. Why do you think YOUR preference should have any sort of priority over MINE? In fact, in any contention between our preferences, mine takes priority, because it was considered so important that it was specifically protected by the Constitution.

Posted by: Oldshooter | September 2, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

austininc4, you need to stop displaying your anti-gun comments publicly and keep them to yourself. you made a comment that the claim for guns don't kill people...people kill people is a worthless. since when did a physical tool become capable of harming people on its own without an operator? pencils misspell words on its own? cars hitting people and not the drunk person operating the car?

Let's be serious now, the 2nd ammendment has been around for several years for a reason. criminals do not walk into a gun store purchasing guns so that they can commit crimes. all the states need to understand that the 2nd ammendment is an individual right to keep and bear arms and that no state should restrict anyone from this. states should NOT be able to supercede the bill of rights and is in violation of this such as California and other states.

I honestly think that if you were in a critical situation where law enforcement cannot make it in time that you would change your mind about firearms. Calling 911 won't save your life when seconds count. Put yourself in a scenario.

I hope I am still around for the day the entire United States will have only one law that points to our 2nd ammendment. NO Registration and NO model restrictions and NO ammunition registrations and every citizen exercising their right to carry.

Posted by: glockmeister | September 2, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Austininc's comment is correct. Washington D.C. is not Dodge City. In the worst year of its Boot Hill violence, Dodge City had 3 fatal shootings. D.C., around 1994, had over 500 homicides and even with the recent significant decrease in homicides, the numbers are still in the hundreds.

One other difference - D.C. has severe restrictions on firearm ownership and carrying.

Posted by: jreh | September 2, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

austininc4:wrote:What about the individual "Right Not To Be MURDERED", by some Deranged Lunatic with a FIRE ARM."
Posted by: austininc4
---------------
Where have you been? Chicago, DC, Milwaukee have the highest homicides and crime of any cities in the US....helloooo....they have gun bans. Comparable size cities, Minneapolis,Salt Lake City, Albuquerque have concealed weapons carry and have much, much lower crime and murders. Your logic isn't adding up just as most anti gun advocates.

You really need to study up. In fact...Utah has CWC on their University campus'. Not a single beer barrel gun battle, no parking spot gun rage, no professors being shot for handing out bad grades and no Cho's murdering 32 helpless and unarmed students as was the case at Virginia Tech. All emotional arguments and predictions by the gun cotrol ilk did not come to pass.

Have you ever been to Dodge City? You will find it much safer than DC.

Thank you Mr. Levy. The operative word in gun control is "control" and we all know it. The Supreme Court definition and ruling of "individual" right to bear arms are obviously being manipulated by DC politicians who cannot explain why their cities are rampant with gun crimes. Helloooo out there. Because the only ones there with guns are criminals who could give a rats a$$ about gun laws.

So austininc4. Maybe you can help the politicians explain why. You must certainly have basis for your opinion other than emotional fear of guns. And you certainly have that right. But you do not have the right to interpret the 2nd amendment. The Supreme Court did that for you already. And guess what?? The judges did their homework and based their decision on fact.....not emotional drivel. Google DC vs Heller. You can find the court transcript. Try reading it before you shoot your mouth off.

Posted by: Astonished2 | September 2, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm.We have an unbelievable amount of Black on Black crimes. Now it is Black Remove Black Rights time in DC.
We need not depend on the police to protect us from violent, instantaneous crimes. We need to protect ourselves at the grass-roots, at home level. To the Govt, we are simply a statistic, a very dead one.

Posted by: tripferguson1 | September 2, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

CAN'T CHARGE A FEE THROUGH A LICENSE TAX UPON A RIGHT. You're short changing MY rights by moving forward with this case...And I know you folks KNOW what you are doing. Wouldn't it be wiser to move a no license case FIRST and if that doesn't fly, obviously they have to allow carry under a license....Gee, that makes too much sense.

U.S. Supreme Court

319 U.S. 105 (1943)
MURDOCK
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
and seven other cases, including
JONES v. CITY OF OPELIKA, 319 U.S. 105 (1943)

"It is contended, however, that the fact that the license tax can suppress or control this activity is unimportant [319 U.S. 105, 113] if it does not do so. But that is to disregard the nature of this tax. It is a license tax – a flat tax imposed on the exercise of a privilege granted by the Bill of Rights. A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the federal constitution."

Posted by: DLRu | September 2, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, how Gun Advocates demand their Rights be Protected, yet they get up in arms when someone has an opposing opinion.

I wrote a comment expressing my views, because I have a "RIGHT", to do so. As I stated in my comment, I don't oppose the 2nd Amendment, and I stand by that statement. I do oppose the NRA, and it lobbying effects to force the Federal Government to bend to it's Agenda.

If their members object to my views, You have your rights, and I have my Rights. I won't trample on your Rights, in fact I spent many years in the Marine Corp, for that exact reason, to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. And rest assured that You will not in mo way Trample on my Rights.

As for my "FEAR OF GUNS", as one reader put it. Let me set your mind at ease, I am quite capable of using any Fire Arm, better than you could ever imagine.
Apparently, you individuals approve of people bringing their Fire Arms to "HEATED" Town Hall Meeting, and no doubt some would have no problem taking a Gun to Church.

If you they have nothing better to add to the conversation, than to Cherry Pick my comments, you really don't have much to say. I stand my believes, just as you stand by yours.

There are far to many Guns in this Country, Legal, and Illegal. And, far to many Innocent Victims have been Murdered by Fire Arms. No doubt their Rights, nor mind don't matter to these out spoken Readers.

Posted by: austininc4 | September 2, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

the reason they don,t want you to carry a gun is they are afraid after the things they do against the people . the only ones that can carry is the criminals and they don,t care about the law and know the law abiding people does not have them so they ar not afraid to do what they want to

Posted by: mahye1935 | September 2, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

"An Unarmed people is an Enslaved People.
A Disarmed people is a Conquered People."
I will not be Enslaved or Conquered.
Death to Tyrants.
Constituional and Tea Party Rally 9/12 National Mall.
10 AM.

Posted by: thenewyorktomesisacomicbook | September 2, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"I Rest My Case."

Posted by: austininc4 | September 2, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Autistic4,
I'm not feeding into your B.S. You have no "case to rest". You embarrass even the anti-gun crowd. Try to read and UNDERSTAND what the 2nd Amendment means. Only then will you not post dimwit comments!

And,(on a positive note) To oldshooter....Well said!

Posted by: wotnot | September 2, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

{Quote} What about the individual "Right Not To Be MURDERED", by some Deranged Lunatic with a FIRE ARM. -austininc4 {/Quote}

Exactly why law abiding citizens (free men) want to carry a gun to defend themselves.
_______________________

Why I Carry a Gun


My old grandpa said to me son,' there comes a time in every man's life
when he stops bustin' knuckles and starts bustin' caps and usually it's
when he becomes too old to take a whoopin'.

I don't carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don't carry a gun to scare people.
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don't carry a gun because I'm paranoid.
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I'm evil.
I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the
world.

I don't carry a gun because I hate the government.
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don't carry a gun because I'm angry.
I carry a gun so that I don't have to spend the rest of my life hating
myself for failing to be prepared.

I don't carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and
not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don't carry a gun because I'm a cowboy.
I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a
cowboy.

I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man.
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the
ones they love.

I don't carry a gun because I feel inadequate.
I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am
inadequate.

I don't carry a gun because I love it.
I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful
to me.

Police Protection is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves.
Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the
crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.

Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to
take a whoopin'.

Posted by: glockrulz | September 3, 2009 4:50 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Levy conveniently left out some other statements by Justice Scalia in the Heller decision. Justice Scalia wrote:

"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues."

Justice Scalia later restated this thought, noting:

"The majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues."

Outright bans on the concealed carry of handguns are perfectly constitutional, even in the minds of the five conservative justices on the Supreme Court.

Alan Gura's lawsuit once again attempts to force D.C. residents to adopt weak gun laws they adamantly oppose. This time, it won't work.

Posted by: gritsjr | September 3, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Austininc4, You just contradicted yourself when you said you are for the 2nd Amendment of the Constituion and then you are against NRA. Well bud... in todays world... you can't have one without the other. The whole idea of the NRA is they fight hard for your Second Amendment rights so you don't have them taken away by your malicious government. Also in your previous comments... you mentioned quoting: "What about the individual right not to be murdered", again you contradicted yourself while speaking out against gun ownership of law abiding citizens by labeling it Dodge City. If you did some research, you would find that in states where there is very strict gun control, the crime and homocide rates associated with firearms are actually higher than states who reconizes an individual's rights.
For someone who claims to be a Marine, you sure don't sound convincing to me, but if you really are... well then thankyou for serving.

Posted by: jazon | September 3, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

An opinion was made that a SCOTUS decision would recognize a right to carry, "like 48 other states do". I would be interested in hearing an opinion from Mr. Levy (or anyone else)as to which standard would most likely be recognized as there are actually two.

I live in the state of New Jersey. Technically this state has a carry permit law on the books but it is completely discretionary to the police and can be withheld for any reason. In fact, you have to prove a 'unique and unusual need' to get one. Needless to say they are rarely granted.

Would a right to carry decision require D.C. to adopt a 'shall issue' standard like most states or would it be able to 'get away' with a discretionary standard that technically recognizes a right but doesn't in practice?

If it forced D.C. to adopt a 'shall issue' standard, would it also require the nine states that have discretionary licences to switch to 'shall issue' as well (assuming incorporation as per the 14th amendment succeeds)?

Posted by: ewaldpust | September 3, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

austininc4, I know this will fall on deaf ears. Go to the closest mirror. Do you see a person equal in will and inteligence to Ben Franklin. How about Thomas Jefferson. I didn't think so. That is not meant as a slam. Gotta admit the framers were intelligent and brave men.

Ever wonder why the Japanese didn't continue to the American mainland after laying waste to our Navy at Pearl harbor. Just think about it. The Japanese Imperial Navy, the most powerful navy in the world at the time and they turned around and went home without continuing the war to our shores. Doesn't make sense does it. Starting a war then giving up when the enemy is weak and crippled. It was not because the Japanese Imperial Navy felt sorry for us and did a hit and run to teach us a lesson.

Yamamoto, the Japanese commander had studied in the United States. He knew every household in the United States had a gun. Privately owned shot guns, rifles, pistols, etc. When interviewed Yamamoto said the US could instantly form a trained army of civilians. He thought he would lose the battle so he did not continue with crushing defeat.

Present count of gun owners in this country is 80 million. Pretty formidable army don't you think? Have you ever been shot by one? Still don't think the 2nd amendment has value for legal carrying citizens. Thank god the framers found value or sushi would have been a staple and not a delicacy. Yamamoto today would have started his war beginning with DC.

No one is telling you to carry. You are telling us not to because you are afraid and you are trying to force your ideals on an unwilling audience. Trust me. The law abiding citizen is not going to shoot you. Who you refer to, and the media highlights, is the non law abiding. I refuse to take the blame for criminal use of a firearm, so lay off the gun wielding crazy talk. It isn't me you refer to. I would never forgive myself for not being prepared and have to watch my daughter be raped. You bet. The guy would be dead. Now. Go to DC or Chicago and tell me how much safer you feel when rapists know they have no fear of retribution. Go in peace. Stay on well lit streets or be with someone who carries.

Posted by: Astonished2 | September 3, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Your words are well put Astonished2!

Posted by: glockmeister | September 3, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, some of this stuff you right-wing gun nuts are coming up with is just flat-out whacky.

Yamamoto wanted to invade the U.S. mainland on the day of Pearl Harbor but didn't because American citizens had gun in their homes?

I salute you. Even in a universe populated by bizarre conspiracy theories, that stands out.

I'll take my chances with the criminals and rapists. I don't want you "law-abiding" gun enthusiasts anywhere near me or my family with a concealed handgun. Period.

Posted by: gritsjr | September 3, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, some of this stuff you right-wing gun nuts are coming up with is just flat-out whacky.

Yamamoto wanted to invade the U.S. mainland on the day of Pearl Harbor but didn't because American citizens had gun in their homes?

I salute you. Even in a universe populated by bizarre conspiracy theories, that stands out."

Sorry gritsjr, it's absolutely true that Yamamoto was against an invasion of the mainland US because of the large number of guns owned by regular citizens.

One of his most famous quotes was "You cannot invade the mainland United States...there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."

Posted by: joefrank64k | September 4, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

The real beauty will come when we challenge the TYPES of weapons that are allowed. In the Miller decision, it was ruled that a sawed-off shotgun did not come under the Second Amendment because it was not a military weapon.

Posted by: narceleb | September 4, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

gritsjr, I guarantee you that you would eat your on words if you and your family are seconds away from death and a "law abiding" citizen with a concealed permit sees the threat and saves your life before law enforcement is even notified.

You need to remember "law abiding" citizens are not the enemy. Anti-gun laws hurt the innocent and help the criminals and rapists.

For those "anti" bill of rights folks on here, if you want a country with no guns then move out of the United States.

Posted by: glockmeister | September 4, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Austininc4 (and others):

"what about the Rights of Individuals, who would rather not be surrounded by people who are "ARMED TO THE THE TEETH", walking around the Nations Capital."

Just a reminder:

You do not have a right to be in a public environment that is free of the things you don't like. What if you don't want to be around Democrats (or Republicans) in the Nation's Capital? What if you don't want to be around Jews or Blacks or Whites? You do not have that right.

What if you want an environment free of "damaging opinions" being discussed around your children when you visit the Nation's Capitol? You don't have the right to a First Amendment free zone around you and your family when you visit; neither do you have a right to a Second Amendment free zone.

One right you do have:

The right to be free from violence against you and your family. How you choose to protect yourself and your family is (or should be) up to you. Firearm, pepper spray, taser, club, or karate is up to you; that choice is the also the choice of the individuals around you and you have no business interfering with their choice.

Now for the facts:

Concealed weapons holders are not the problem, they are the solution. For the facts to back that statement up, visit:

http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

Every fact listed on this site has its source documented. Pay particular attention to the crime rates in Florida vs. the United States after Florida passed its concealed permit law (near but not at the top of the page under the heading "Right-To-Carry Laws").

Last Reminder:

The SCOTUS has determined that the police are under no obligation to protect you from crime or violence. They have specifically noted that such protection is YOUR job. You do it your way, and let me do it my way.

Air Force Veteran.
NRA Life Member.
Physician.
Concealed Carry Permit Holder for 20 years (in multiple states).

Posted by: peter58 | September 5, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

There is one factor, that those who wish to carry a handgun on their person in Washington, DC, have not considered. Years ago, I read that a shopping mall, being private property, can ban any person, they want regardless of that person’s legality. For instance, if a person were to deliver a speech, pro or con, on the health care question, the security police would warn him to stop and, if the speaker continues, he can be escorted from the mall or delivered to the police. The same provision applies to the carrying of hand guns. Just as I can legally deny entry into my house to a private person with a hand gun, concealed or not, a mall can also deny entry to a gun carrying citizen regardless of the legality of his action. Similarly, any private property owner can deny entry to anyone they consider undesirable, for whatever reason.
The reason that this is interesting is that I, for one, would not feel comfortable in a restaurant if I saw that one of the other patrons had a handgun. I would not know whether it was legal or not. I am certainly not going to ask him. I know enough about the underground economy to know that his gun could have been purchased with a fake ID or it could have been bought on the street from a burglar who stole the gun. He may even have bought it at an estate sale. There is no way for me to know if this patron is exercising his Constitutional rights, if he plans to rob the restaurant or if he is waiting to assassinate someone.
Any store, or restaurant, owner in the District would also realize that he would lose customers if other customers wander about with a gun. If he owned the building, he could place a sign on the outside notifying gun carriers that they were not permitted to enter. A business that rented a space could apply to the building’s landlord for the same right. In our country private property trumps personal actions.
How would he travel about the city. Could he ride on Metro? A privately owned cab would not be willing to transport him. 
 Eventually, the gun carrying citizen would be excluded from all private property and forced to find Federal or District buildings that would allow him entry.

This does not pertain to the above. In the 18th century, arms could be just about anything that helped one person injure another. Rich areas might have muskets. Poor areas armed themselves with a step or two above pointed sticks, old, for them, muskets, pitchforks, axes, etc. After a battle, combatants combed the battlefields for superior weaponry to use or to sell.
One of the reasons for lower mortality rates in the wild west and in the south was the poor quality of handguns and ammunition. Not all of the shooters were as accurate as the good guys in old Western movies. The industrial age was still in its infancy. Someone, somewhere, counted all of the spent cartridges used at the fight at OK Corral. I forget the number. but it was much larger than you would suspect.

Posted by: FAFWill | September 7, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

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