Gun Rights: The District is Forced to Respect Civil Rights

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

By striking down the District of Columbia’s draconian anti-gun law in D.C. v. Heller (PDF) today, the Supreme Court has at long last done its constitutional duty and forced the District of Columbia to respect the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment lives!

Brace yourself for a stomach-turning onslaught of hypocritical whining by D.C. politicians about the democratic rights of District residents. They’ll whine about how D.C. should be able to govern itself without interference – from the Bill of Rights.

These politicians, from Mayor Adrian Fenty and Marion Barry on down, are the same people who are only too happy to trample on the most basic right of all, the right to self-defense, so when you hear their apoplectic outbursts don’t feel so bad about your schadenfreude.

But despite today’s ruling in Heller, there is still some reason for concern. The majority opinion written by the brilliant Justice Antonin Scalia leaves intact the District’s ability to regulate firearms. Whether the District will make its law-abiding residents jump through bureaucratic hoops to register their firearms remains to be seen. Will D.C. send inspectors to gun owners’ homes to snoop on them? We’ll have to wait and see.

D.C.’s joke of an Attorney General, Peter J. Nickles, is already warning Washington residents that they will still have to register their guns. 

Mayor Fenty takes the legally dubious position that D.C. gun laws are still in force. “I’m disappointed in the Court’s ruling and believe introducing more handguns into the District will mean more handgun violence,” he said. “But I want to emphasize that at this moment, our gun laws remain in effect. It may be several weeks before there are changes to announce.”

Where does he get that from? At page 64 of the Court’s opinion Scalia writes:

“we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.”

So, there is no D.C. handgun ban. The law doesn’t exist anymore. It’s over. Is it so difficult for Fenty to understand the meaning of the word violates?

Something else that is worrisome is that the ruling consisted of a split decision of 5 to 4. It’s amazing that four justices don’t believe in the most basic right of all human beings, i.e., to self-defense. This is very disturbing.

Essentially, the four liberal justices sought to rule the Second Amendment, a duly adopted and ratified amendment to the U.S. Constitution, inoperative. Think about that: the four liberal justices found that the Second Amendment to the Constitution was outmoded and therefore unconstitutional. What incredible arrogance. Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer have no interest in upholding the Constitution and are therefore unfit to serve on the nation’s highest court.

This is all a frightening reminder of just how precarious our liberties are.

Meanwhile, here is a response to the ruling from the doltish Kristen Rand that offers interesting insights into the minds of gun-grabbers. Rand is legislative director of the George Soros-funded gun control pressure group known as the Violence Policy Center:

“Today’s opinion turns legal logic and common sense on its head. As measured in gun death and injury, handguns are our nation’s most lethal category of firearm: accounting for the vast majority of the 30,000 Americans who die from guns each year. Handguns are our nation’s leading murder and suicide tool. Yet the majority opinion offers the greatest offender the strongest legal protection. It’s analogous to the Court carving out special constitutional protection for child pornography in a First Amendment case.”

Rand completely ignores the constitutional issues. That’s what liberals do.

Matthew Vadum

The author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011), Vadum, former senior vice president at CRC, writes and speaks widely…
+ More by Matthew Vadum

Support Capital Research Center's award-winning journalism

Donate today to assist in promoting the principles of individual liberty in America.

Read Next