Saturday, March 10, 2007


Gun ruling on target

Holy gunsmoke!

Washington - A federal appeals court overturned the District of Columbia's long- standing handgun ban Friday, rejecting the city's argument that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applied only to militias.

In a 2-1 decision, the judges held that the activities protected by the Second Amendment "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent" on enrollment in a militia.

Read all about it, from The AP via the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Read the Washington Post's editorial lambasting the decision.

It will come as a complete surprise to most people in this part of the country that the District of Columbia banned the personal possession of handguns in one's own home in the first place -- a revelation that will cause most people, myself included, to declare of the ruling: It's about damn time.

One other thing: Cold dead fingers and all that.


Totally off-topic, so I hope not deleted, but I have been meaning to make a suggestion for your reading enjoyment, as you seem a voracious reader. Do yourself a favor and pick up the book Sacagawea's Nickname by Larry McMurtry, a collection of hi review articles for the New York Review of Books. The books under review all have to do with the history of the American west, and the essays themselves show what a master of prose McMurtry is. Check out Amazon if your local dealer is obstreperous.
Dude, McMurtry is never off topic. :-)

Check these out:
Should we ever meet, I would dearly love to shake the hand that shook the hand of McMurtry. After his time reviewing histories, NYRB gave him a gig reviewing books on books and publishing, seeing as he is an antiquarian books dealer and something of a bibliophile. I remember the very first essay he wrote in that series; it was the most beautiful love letter to the printed word I have ever read.

As to the topic at hand, as I do not know the specifics of the case, I do not feel like commenting. I have always felt at loggerheads about guns and gun control myself. I used to hunt (used to fish, too, for that matter), but I want nothing to do with the "sport", because most hunters I know are either phony, wannabe survivalists who are really nothing but kids who like things that go boom, or drunken yokels who shoot their friends and hunting partners in the face with shotgun blasts. On the other hand, there is a difference between regulation and restriction, and the DC law clearly passed a line into the area of restricting hand gun ownership. On the third hand, when one compares the murder and accidental death rate by gun shot in countries that have liberal gun laws with those that are more restrictive, you find that we in the US lead the world in something . . .
I guess all this says my mind is confused on this topic, and quite honestly, I don't know what to think.
i'd never call for the repeal of the second amendment, and i do believe people have the right to bear arms, but the handgun must go. statistics have shown (to my satisfaction, anyway) that handguns serve one primary purpose; the killing of americans.

banning handguns areas plagued with gang violence gives law enforcement an extra weapon in their arsenal. they my not catch culprits in the act of commiting their crimes, but theres no denying possession, nine-tenths and all that.

they sent capone to the slammer for tax evasion. it's all they could get him on, but that was enough to end his reign.

The ruling ain't gonna mean nothin. The District of Columbia is ruled by the Legislative Branch of the Constitution not the Constituion itself. So the SCOTUS will wiggle out of it that way.
Hey ER and friends,
It is nice to see a liberal who appreciates gun ownership and rights. I am one of those relaltively young guys who is a liberal in most areas, but also of hillbilly stock. I don't enjoy the NASCAR so much, but the huntin', fishin' and shootin', I like. I am convinced of three things about gun control: 1)it hasn't been shown to work by any reasonable, reliable and unbiased study that accounts for economic factors as well as law enforcement factors and 2) short of building a magnet over america and sucking the metal out of her, gun control doesn't do much to pull the guns out of the hands of criminals and 3)both sides in the debate have abused the meager data and used scare tactics. The result is a frozen, ridiculous debate. I live in Europe now, and sure there are fewer shootings and fewer guns. But it is easy to get rid of guns under military occupation and the social system here keeps everyone on a fairly even playing need to steal when you gotta steady job, formula one and soccer every weekend, not to mention that the GOOD beer costs 79 cents for half a liter!

Also, I just recently found out that my mother's cousin (who is closer to me than the distant relation might indicate) has been buds with McMurtry for ages. Hoping for a chance to meet him sometime, but, as I said, I live in Europe now. For me, it is the ability as a story teller. Any high on his horse MFA that didn't like Lonsome Dove or tells me that it wasn't literary enough to win all the accolades it won has loss site of what it is to be a story teller.
Doing away with the Bill of Rights would give law enforcement more tools in its arsenal.

Regulation, yes. Restriction, no.

But, if the gubment can find a way to ban their manufacture, I guess I'd be cool with that.

Drlobo may have a point. SCOTUS has plenty of wiggle room, the DC gubment being basically a creature of Congress.
There's got to be some logical middle ground for the problem of hand guns etc.. The NRA has gone dipshit over everything and the gun-coward-crowd has done likewise. The stats say that most guns kill the gun's owner or one of his family. That's a type of gene pool cleaning if you ask me.
One of the things that used to make America strong was our ability to reason things out and come to a consensus or a compromise. Seems like that isn't possible any more.
Even John Wayne made the cowboys check their guns at the edge of town, and surely I don't begrudge the D.C. citizens from wanting handguns off their streets.
But last Saturday I spent a couple of hours with my son at one of his friend's farm shooting up targets on a concrete block old dairy barn with our black powder pistols and the friend's other pistols, rifles, and an semi-auto AK-47.
The sound of emptying a 30 round clip of the AK brought out his nieghbors to check it out even though they lived at best a half mile away. I don't want anyone telling me I can not shoot guns like that. Nor do I want anyone down here in the heart of OKC doing that in their backyards within range of me.
There has to be a balance.
N.J. wants to ban 50 cal. weapons in their state. Well of course no one needs one of those aromor piercing 50 cal. sniper rifles for hunting. The only prey sporting enough for one of those things is a tank.
But on the other hand last Saturday one of the pistols we were shooting was a 50 cal. black powder Kentucky cap and ball pistol. That gun would be illegal under the new law with-in New Jersey.
Balance, reason, compromise.
Maybe step one would be to get the NRA and the reactionary gun controllers (RGC) to simply shut up and not be involved in the negotiations.
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