Washington DC Gun Ban

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lerch, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

    Nov 15, 2004
    Been doing a little reading today and i saw where the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case involving the DC gun ban. For anyone that doesnt know the District of Columbia outlawed the ownership of handguns within their city limits in i think 1976. the federal courts have since overturned this saying it conflicted with the 2nd amendment and now she is heading to the big leagues to get the final ruling. Now DC said they banned the ownership of handguns to curb the violence within thier city. Now I spent 5yrs in college studying criminal justice and while i dont pretend to be a smart man i do know that Washington DC consistantly ranks as one of the most dangerous and violent cities in our nation. I am pretty sure at times they have led the nation in violent crimes per capita for several years since this supposed cure all for violence was inacted.

    Well just wanted to get that off my chest.

  2. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether the District of Columbia can ban handguns, a case that could produce the most in-depth examination of the constitutional right to "keep and bear arms" in nearly 70 years.

    The justices' decision to hear the case could make the divisive debate over guns an issue in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections.

    City officials said the law is designed to reduce gun violence, noting that four out of every five homicides this year was committed with a gun. Opponents of the ban pointed to the level of violence to make their case that Washington residents should be allowed to have guns to protect themselves in their homes.

    "This is clearly going to be one of the biggest ... cases decided this year," said Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett. "It is one of the very few times when the Supreme Court has the opportunity to interpret a provision of the Constitution ... unencumbered by previous Supreme Court rulings."

    The government of Washington, D.C., is asking the court to uphold its 31-year ban on handgun ownership in the face of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the ban as incompatible with the Second Amendment. Tuesday's announcement was widely expected, especially after both the District and the man who challenged the handgun ban asked for the high court review.

    The main issue before the justices is whether the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own guns or instead merely sets forth the collective right of states to maintain militias. The former interpretation would permit fewer restrictions on gun ownership.

    Gun-control advocates say the Second Amendment was intended to ensure that states could maintain militias, a response to 18th-century fears of an all-powerful national government. Gun rights proponents contend the amendment gives individuals the right to keep guns for private uses, including self-defense.

    Alan Gura, a lawyer for Washington residents who challenged the ban, said he was pleased that the justices were considering the case.

    Guns be regulated but not banned, Gura said. "This isn't going to let crazy people have guns or felons have guns," he said at a news conference outside the court.

    Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, noted that 44 state constitutions contain some form of gun rights, which are not affected by the court's consideration of Washington's restrictions. "The American people know this is an individual right the way they know that water quenches their thirst," LaPierre said. "The Second Amendment allows no line to be drawn between individuals and their firearms."

    Washington Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said city officials were grateful the Supreme Court took the handguns case and believed they would ultimately prevail. Fenty, speaking at a news conference in a District office building, called it "the most important court case the District of Columbia has been involved in and possibly the most important decision a city or state has been involved in for decades
    Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the Supreme Court should "reverse a clearly erroneous decision and make it clear that the Constitution does not prevent communities from having the gun laws they believe are needed to protect public safety."

    Barnett, the Georgetown professor, said that even if the court decides there is an individual right to have guns, it still could determine that broad restrictions short of a ban are legal.

    Such a decision won't "automatically determine the outcome of any challenge to any gun law," Barnett said.

    Arguments probably will be in March, with a decision expected before the end of June. A ruling could energize people on both sides of the issue for the fall campaigns.

    Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who as New York mayor sued the gun industry for letting criminals get guns, said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that the case "is a very, very strong description of how important personal liberties are in this country and how we have to respect them."

    Giuliani now says the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to own handguns and is not, as he previously argued, limited to the rights of states to maintain citizen militias.

    The last Supreme Court ruling on the topic came in 1939 in U.S. v. Miller, which involved a sawed-off shotgun. That decision supported the collective rights view, but it did not squarely answer the question in the view of many constitutional scholars. Chief Justice John Roberts said at his confirmation hearing that the correct reading of the Second Amendment was "still very much an open issue."

    The Second Amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    Washington banned handguns in 1976, saying it was designed to reduce violent crime in the nation's capital.

    The City Council that adopted the ban said it was justified because "handguns have no legitimate use in the purely urban environment of the District of Columbia."

    The District is making several arguments in defense of the restriction, including claiming that the Second Amendment involves militia service. It also said the ban is constitutional because it limits the choice of firearms but does not prohibit residents from owning any guns at all. Rifles and shotguns are legal, if kept under lock or disassembled. Businesses may have guns for protection.

    Chicago has a similar handgun ban, but few other gun-control laws are as strict as the District's.

    Four states _ Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland and New York _ urged the Supreme Court to take the case because broad application of the appeals court ruling would threaten "all federal and state laws restricting access to firearms."

    Dick Anthony Heller, 65, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home _ about a mile from the court _ for protection.

    The laws in question in the case do not "merely regulate the possession of firearms," Heller said. Instead, they "amount to a complete prohibition of the possession of all functional firearms within the home."

    If the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to have guns, "the laws must yield," he said.

    Opponents say the ban plainly has not worked because guns still are readily available, through legal and illegal means. Although the city's homicide rate has declined dramatically since peaking in the early 1990s, Washington still ranks among the nation's highest murder cities.

    According to the District's medical examiner, there were 177 homicides in 2006. Of those, 135 were firearm-related. In 1976, the medical examiner said that 135 of the District's 207 homicides were firearm-related, according to a Washington Post article from that era.

    The U.S. Court Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 for Heller in March. Judge Laurence Silberman said reasonable regulations still could be permitted but that the ban went too far.

    The Bush administration, which has endorsed individual gun-ownership rights, has yet to weigh in on the case.

    The case is District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290.


  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    Most Dangerous Cities

    1 St. Louis, MO
    2 Detroit, MI
    3 Flint, MI
    4 Compton, CA
    5 Camden, NJ
    6 Birmingham, AL
    7 Cleveland, OH
    8 Oakland, CA
    9 Youngstown, OH
    10 Gary, IN
    11 Richmond, CA
    12 Baltimore, MD
    13 Memphis, TN
    14 Trenton, NJ
    15 Richmond, VA
    16 Kansas City, MO
    17 Atlanta, GA
    18 Cincinnati, OH
    19 Washington, DC
    20 North Charleston, SC
    21 Reading, PA
    22 Newark, NJ
    23 Little Rock, AR
    24 San Bernardino, CA
    25 Orlando, FL
  4. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    I am going to get me a Desert Eagle 50 AE and carry it in one of those Tomb Raider type holsters and have about five magazines. I'll need five magazines because I can't hit anything with a pistol. I have heard that they make a lot of noise and a big smoke cloud:D.
  5. NYLES

    NYLES Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    BB, come on down I can fix your pistolero troubles...even with that monster you want! Never flat out say it often but brother "I CAN SHOOT A PISTOL".
    I dont max out the scores anymore(322 OF 330 last month), but I think that has to do with my right eye, stuff just isnt as clear as it once was past 20 yards(shot 10's till I got to 25 yards)....odd enough I still do a 20/20 on eye exams?

    Thanks for the time on that info!

    Oh while you buyin pick me up a baby eagle in 357!

  6. Ballistic64

    Ballistic64 Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    Will be interesting.How liberal is the court considered these days?
  7. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

    Nov 15, 2004
    When i was in college in criminal justice classes we used to get something like "victim analysis reports", im sure that aint the name but it was something along those lines. on those reports the ranking was decided on population and in several areas, for some reason im thinking rape was one, DC was always near or at the top. either way i bet someone with a concealed carry permit could have slanted the numbers in another direction!!!! oh wait, handguns have been illegal in DC for 30 yrs, then why hasnt the crime rate dropped?????????????
  8. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    There are a lot of ways of manipulating statistics. If one looks at cities by population of greater than 500,000, then DC rises up some as the smaller more violent cites are removed from the data set.

    I have seen the data for crimes before and since the gun regulations and pistol ban went into effects A person would have to run a multivariate analysis to sort out the effects because the numbers fluctuate all over the place.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2007
  9. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Here is a link to the crime stats (United States cities by crime rate ). The one above from BB, is based on cities with 75,000+ people. DC consistently ranks in the top 5 for as long as I can remember. There is a link in the wiki page to the FBI uniform crime report and all the stats. You can also find most of the "raw" data there, for your own analysis.

    If you really want to have some fun, combine the violent crime data, with data from the census bureau.