Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Heller v DC: commentary from CATO

Cato Unbound : Blog Archive : If this Is Defeat, We’ll Take It

I found an interesting commentary on the Heller decision from last year.

This is, obviously, "dated". But it's still pertinent considering that the District of Columbia, smarting over the Heller Decision, immediately attempted (and is still attempting ) to weasel-word itself out of the Supreme Court decision which REQUIRES the municipality to recognize Second Amendment Rights.

Cloaking himself and the Brady Center in the mantle of "reasonableness,” Dennis Henigan disclaims the statement of Brady co-founder Pete Shields and asserts that it "has never been” and is not now the policy of his organization to "make possession of all handguns . . . totally illegal.” Perhaps so. Perhaps, as Henigan says, Brady supports even laws, like the D.C. gun ban, that the organization "does not favor as a policy matter,” because "legislators should not be constitutionally barred from enacting the gun control laws they think necessary.”

If that's the view of the Brady Center, I respectfully disagree. A principal purpose of our Constitution is to restrain the excesses of the political branches and secure key rights against temporal majorities. But let's not quibble. Let's accept Henigan's statement that, from a policy perspective, Brady opposes the D.C. gun ban. Is it too much to ask for a citation to one corroborating article, one radio or TV appearance, one web posting, or one quoted statement by any responsible Brady official that says, in essence, "We think D.C. should repeal its gun ban, even though it is constitutional, because it is bad public policy”?

Now that D.C. officials, trying to circumvent the Heller decision, have proposed new rules that still ban all handguns except revolvers, still require all weapons in the home to be kept in a dysfunctional state, and still make D.C. residents endure a months-long process to register a weapon, can we count on the Brady Center, in a show of reasonableness, to publicly oppose those rules on policy grounds? Will the Brady Center support a temporary suspension for D.C. residents of the federal ban on interstate handgun sales because, otherwise, until D.C. licenses dealerships, residents cannot obtain a handgun either in or out of the city — a situation that is self-evidently unreasonable.

I mention this only to emphasize that there are still governmental organizations (municipal, state, federal) who are determined to undermine our Second Amendment rights.

Our High-School Civics Classes taught us that we, as Citizens rather than as Subjects, have both the right and the obligation to protest laws which undermine our constitutional rights.

But what it didn't teach us was that our Governmental establishments will almost inevitably fight our protests, and spend our (taxpayer) dollars in the effort to deny us (taxpayers) the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.

In the current administration, we see citizens frightened into a panic mode because of our justifiable fear that our government has a private agenda divorced from the Constitution and from our expressed will.

We are fortunate that there are lone citizens who will act as proxy for us all by standing up for THEIR individual civic rights ... such as Mr. J. Heller.

What are YOU doing this week to speak out for your civil rights?

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