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Thread: DC Gun Law Overruled

  1. #1

    Default DC Gun Law Overruled

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070310/...s/dc_gun_ban_7
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the city cannot prevent people from keeping handguns in their homes.
    Here is a somewhat interesting conflict of conservative values (to me at least).

    Does a local government have the right to decide they don't want handguns in their community? Or are hand guns a fundamental right that local government cannot deny? Which tops which?

    I realize the case isn't decide on those issues but rather on the definition of militia. Which to an extent is a valid question, but to me a lot the definition depends on which political view taken on the questions above.

    My gut is that I a community should be able to decide its gun laws although I'm not sure if I have thought through all of implications of militia as defined by DC.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  2. #2

    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    I'd say the right to bear arms covers handguns as well.

    Honestly, it's a vestigial organ, but technically speaking, you should be able to buy whatever you can afford. My main issue is that the law is in place so that if there is a coup and the government tries to go against the wishes of it's constituents, the people can rise up and overthrow that government. Considering that we can't even currently own automatic weapons under normal conditions, much less RPGs and other items that would be neccessary to overthrow our current military, it's kind of a pointless "right".

  3. #3
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    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    This is an example of an issue where the line between the right of a municipality to regulate and the right of individual citizens is very fuzzy. The court case means that any municipality may still regulate handgun ownership but must allow it. Then we get to the real nuts and bolts which is how much may they regulate it? What's reasonable? Is it reasonable, frex, to require anyone wanting to own a handgun to attend a 12-hour course and pass a written, closed-book test to own a handgun? I haven't read the decision but that would be my next move if I'm DC and really think regulation is important.

    I'm much more familiar with zoning which deals with the same issue - zoning, by definition, restricts what an individual can do with his or her property. But municipalities have the right to enact zoning, however there are limits which are continually being defined by case law.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  4. #4

    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    Wow, here we go again...

    I am trying to think of a few areas where the Militia clause would fit in in today's society, in the late '60's I remember, though faintly, the civil unrest and rioting.. .and PLEASE don't turn this into a racial post, I am just talking about history...anyway, there was a black panther march going down the road in front om the house I grew up in, they were marching to a small town that was ridiculously racist, and obnoxiously proud of it.. a lot of freaking tension, I do remember that, well, our families along that road, we lived very close to that small town, were prepared for trouble we owned, and bore arms, thank God, and I really mean that, there was not a bit of trouble, we were organized.. were we a militia?...

    another case that may fall into that category is the Minutemen, love them, or hate them, they are organized and have the right to bear arms..

    I don't know about all of this for sure, but if it is legal for you to bear arms, no felonies, not a nut case, etc. then it seems to me that you should be able to own a gun and have it in your home.. especially in this "new world" of terrorism, heck, there could be a radical show up on any street corner not likely but it could happen.

    sorry to post so long, I don't usually, I hope the others here can make some sense of all of my ramblings

  5. #5

    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    I think most can agree Americans have the right to have weapons at home. It's when folks carry loaded weapons in their car that I get a little nervous. :wink:

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    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    It's weird how we're supposed to believe that...

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    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    This is an example of an issue where the line between the right of a municipality to regulate and the right of individual citizens is very fuzzy. The court case means that any municipality may still regulate handgun ownership but must allow it. Then we get to the real nuts and bolts which is how much may they regulate it? What's reasonable? Is it reasonable, frex, to require anyone wanting to own a handgun to attend a 12-hour course and pass a written, closed-book test to own a handgun? I haven't read the decision but that would be my next move if I'm DC and really think regulation is important.

    I'm much more familiar with zoning which deals with the same issue - zoning, by definition, restricts what an individual can do with his or her property. But municipalities have the right to enact zoning, however there are limits which are continually being defined by case law.

    Almost all communities have ordinances prohibiting the discharge of a firearm within city limits. Now firing a weapon inside your own home for self protection would be a special instance, but having a license to carry does not make it legal to FIRE the gun.

    While I'm on here let me steal the thread for one of MY favorite gripes. Parents who buy all the equipment and suit up their kids for paintball. Then give them a gun (albeit loaded with paintballs) and tell the kids to go point that freaking gun at another human being and PULL THE TRIGGER!!
    That's how we should teach respect for a firearm ain't it?? Note the sarcasm.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    I am somewhat biased because I don't own or would ever consider owning a gun. So to me a right to bear arms doesn't feel like a basic human right to but rather a right provided by the constitution. I understand it is a right just the same because in this country that is how we decide rights but it is hard for me to get indignate about a gun law because I don't see it as a basic human right.

    So I lean towards believing that a local community's right to set its standards is more important than an individual's right to bear arms.

    As to the idea of militias I guess it depends on what the purpose is argued to be. If it is to overthrow the US government I think that's unjustified because 1) in reality that isn't remotely possible given the US military strength and 2) it isn't legal to plan to overthrow the US government so any act of to prepare for that eventuality is treason.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

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    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcadian View Post
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    I am somewhat biased because I don't own or would ever consider owning a gun. So to me a right to bear arms doesn't feel like a basic human right to but rather a right provided by the constitution. I understand it is a right just the same because in this country that is how we decide rights but it is hard for me to get indignate about a gun law because I don't see it as a basic human right.

    So I lean towards believing that a local community's right to set its standards is more important than an individual's right to bear arms.

    As to the idea of militias I guess it depends on what the purpose is argued to be. If it is to overthrow the US government I think that's unjustified because 1) in reality that isn't remotely possible given the US military strength and 2) it isn't legal to plan to overthrow the US government so any act of to prepare for that eventuality is treason.

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    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcadian View Post
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    I am somewhat biased because I don't own or would ever consider owning a gun. So to me a right to bear arms doesn't feel like a basic human right to but rather a right provided by the constitution. I understand it is a right just the same because in this country that is how we decide rights but it is hard for me to get indignate about a gun law because I don't see it as a basic human right.

    So I lean towards believing that a local community's right to set its standards is more important than an individual's right to bear arms.
    Not sure anyone would call it a Human Right, however under our constitution (how it's been interpreted anyway) it is a Civil Right. I'm not a legalist but I'm pretty sure nobody can pass a law which takes away someone's civil rights. You can regulate a right if it might infringe on others in some way but you can't entirely take it away.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  11. #11
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    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    Not sure anyone would call it a Human Right, however under our constitution (how it's been interpreted anyway) it is a Civil Right. I'm not a legalist but I'm pretty sure nobody can pass a law which takes away someone's civil rights. You can regulate a right if it might infringe on others in some way but you can't entirely take it away.
    Good point. Just make possession without a permit a criminal act with a mandatory prison sentence. You can also make acquiring a permit a difficult task.

    I'm not really in favor of either, though.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: DC Gun Law Overruled

    Hey, I just heard a kind of off-beat item related to this topic yesterday, did you know that in DC you can have a shotgun in your home... that would be cool with me... but my little 60 year old wife doesn't wield a scatter gun very well..... then of course there is the ammo...it has to be kept separately from the gum... and the other problem is that she has never taken one of those gunsmith courses from the back of a magazine, ya see, you also are required to store it disassembled... geesh, no wonder the murder rate keeps rising there...

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