Can we talk about guns?


I was in a daze when I heard the story the first time. I hadn’t had my coffee yet. I was still kinda asleep after a night of tossing and turning. But then, I heard it again. The story was real.

Let’s get some stuff straight before I launch into what I suspect will be a tirade. I like guns. While I don’t own one myself, I think that the general population should be allowed to own firearms, especially for home protection. No, I’m not one of those “Hey, let’s all Open Carry!” guys, and it’s unlikely that I’d stand up and argue for a Concealed Carry Permit in the District. But I am for the individual’s right to bear arms for self-preservation, and that’s my belief no matter where you are in the United States.

So, along comes the new District gun law, which seems designed to be one-way ticket right back to the Supreme Court. Despite having been reviewed by actual lawyers, some of whom I believe may have failed basic reading comprehension tests, the law seems to fail the tests set up by Heller, which means the lawsuit’s coming just about any second now.

Of course, responding to City Council is Congressman Mark Souder (R-IN. Of course.) who wants to cram a law down the throats of the District at-large to override the law that is being proposed by the DC City Council. Specifically, he’s against the prohibition of Semi-Automatic Weapons, the provision for licensure of the weapons, and the only provision he should even open his mouth about, the storage requirements in the home.

There is nothing more irksome and hypocritical than a Republican Congressman harping on the District’s laws. I mean, I understand you’re in Congress and it’s your job to make life difficult for the common man, but you’re really only supposed to do that for people in your home district. You’re now messing with people who didn’t even elect you, and for the most part live 456 miles from your District.

I suppose, though, that we deserve some credit for allowing such idiocy as the new Emergency Gun Legislation to pass, which bring about such lunatics as Souder, but seriously? This is stupid. This is beyond stupid. And it may yet cause me a stroke if we don’t make it stop before too much longer.

The Gun originally uploaded by Auraelius

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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8 thoughts on “Can we talk about guns?

  1. This legislation won’t go anywhere in a Democrat Congress. But can I ask what may be a rather obvious question?

    Regardless of anyone’s opinion of the Second Amendment: while I’m not a District of Columbia resident, wouldn’t a taxpaying resident prefer a result that avoided wasting tens of millions of dollars on legal fees to lawyers arguing a hopeless case?

    And is there any way to achieve that result other than the intervention of Congress to stop a City Council that seems hellbent on running shrieking through the chambers of the Supreme Court, middle fingers raised?

    I guess my point is that I don’t see another way to stop that.

  2. I’ve heard rumors (and I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t determine how true they are) that there is a question in the reading of the supreme court decision on the definition of “semi-automatic weapon”. Apparently the language about what guns you can “ban” isn’t very clear. So the lawsuit might have merit. It may force the Supremes to more clearly define what does – and does not – constitute a weapon which can be banned.

    I suspect the Supremes didn’t want to make that decision – why do now what you can leave until later?

    Anyone want to comment or clarify?

  3. That is certainly a problem, Ben, but it’s pretty clear that Rep. Souder is only doing this because he can, not out of some civic-mindedness that only Hoosiers seem to have.

    It is aggravating that Interim AG Nickles can’t recognize that his choice of legal wording will cost the District more money in legal fees, but there’s no excuse for going to Congress with this. DC Needs Home Rule.

  4. The only upside to the District’s grandstanding here is that I don’t think it’ll even get anywhere near the Supremes on this run. This is so on-its-face out of compliance with what’s in the majority opinion of Heller than it’s going to get the smackdown as promptly as it can make it onto the court docket.

    The only question is if they’ll manage to get it provisional continuance between then and when the Supremes refuse to hear the challenge.

  5. Hopefully we’ll get a Democrat in the White House come November, we can begin the long process of undoing the decades-long right-wing effort to subvert the Supreme Court, and the District will someday have the right to defend itself against gun violence restored.

  6. Here’s your answer. It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant DC residents are about the status of the district. As the seat of the Federal government, it is a creature of the Constitution and is not like any other city.

    Article I

    The Congress shall have Power . . .

    Section 8. To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States

  7. I don’t think DC is doing this on purpose, but it smacks of the Bush strategy — do whatever you want, it’ll take years to be decided in court.

  8. Hey Ted: Andrew Jackson observed that Congressmen could not be trusted to make laws for DC, a jurisdiction that could not vote them out of office, and he was not the first.

    Funny you put DC’s sttus together with guns. So did Arthur Capper, five-term Republican senator from Kansas and twice that state’s governor:

    In my State, if its 2,000,000 inhabitants were told that they could have no voice in the Government which they are taxed to support, I know what would quickly happen. An army would be organized, and it would march across the plains to the Capital of the country and enforce its rights.

    Sure you want to see DC armed?