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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to just post this for everyone to peruse. No comentary at this time as it is late:

You could almost hear a collective gasp in some quarters last week when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take a case that goes to the heart of the national debate over gun control. This is a rare chance for the court to plow nearly fresh ground on a constitutional issue, given that the last ruling on the subject was 68 years ago.

At issue is Washington, D.C.'s total ban on handgun ownership, which has been in place since 1976. A federal appeals court ruled that the ban goes too far, violating the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Gun-control advocates worry that this ruling, if upheld, would interfere with gun laws nationwide.

But despite all the worries about such a politically divisive issue coming during an election year (the ruling is expected some time next June), this decision ought to be a fairly simple and obvious one. Set aside for a moment the absolute failure of the ban to affect crime rates in the District of Columbia â€" the year it went into effect there were 135 firearm-related homicides, which is the exact same number as in 2006, according to the Washington Post. A total ban on private gun ownership is an obvious violation of the Second Amendment.

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Lest our readers be confused, we have at various times endorsed limits on guns in Utah. We have supported bans at college campuses, in churches and in schools. Those are reasonable restrictions in the best interests of an orderly society. So is a concealed-weapons law that requires people to demonstrate proficiency with a gun. So are restrictions on particularly powerful types of firearms.

But there can be no reasonable reading of history, and particularly of the Founding Fathers' discussions concerning the Bill of Rights, that supports a total ban on common weapons.

The Second Amendment is probably the most poorly worded of all amendments. It says, "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." For years now, one side has claimed the amendment applies only to a state's right to arm a militia, while the other side has focused on the "right of the people." In fact, both are right.

Plenty of evidence exists to show the founders were worried about four particular things when drafting the amendment. They wanted to place the military under civilian control, they wanted states to maintain militias as a check on federal power, they did not want a standing, professional army during peace time, and, yes, they wanted individuals to have the right to bear arms. Several state bills of rights, and suggestions given for drafting the Second Amendment, incorporated these ideas separately. The final product was a rather awkward way of putting them all together.

But there can be no confusion on the intent.

Washington's lawyers will argue that the ban does not affect all types of weapons. People still may own rifles and shotguns, if kept locked away. But even the last court ruling, in 1939, said weapons "in common use" should be protected. No one could reasonably argue that handguns are not in common use in Washington.

In fact they are everywhere. Given the evidence, it's amazing anyone would try to defend a ban that has been utterly ineffective. Firearms, as even some early American leaders said, can be restricted in limited ways because of a danger to public injury. But a total ban on common weapons clearly goes too far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Eutakae, disected and torn apart better than I could have done.
 
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