I do NOT support HR 1399, DC Personal Protections Act

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Thread: I do NOT support HR 1399, DC Personal Protections Act

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    I do NOT support HR 1399, DC Personal Protections Act

    As far as I'm concerned, passage of HR 1399 will give the SCOTUS an out to avoid ruling on the merits of the DC 2A case. I would rather the residents of DC sit tight while we wait for everyone's rights to be validated.

    http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactShe...ad.aspx?ID=216

    Souder-Ross, Hutchinson Bills Will Repeal D.C.’s Unconstitutional Gun Control Laws

    Federal Court of Appeals Rules That D.C. Gun Control Laws Violate Second Amendment

    On March 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled (in Parker v. District of Columbia) that certain gun control laws imposed by the D.C. City Council are unconstitutional. The laws prohibit the possession of a handgun, and the use of any gun for defense against violent criminals who invade a person’s home. The court agreed with the Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Justice Department, the Framers of the Bill of Rights, and constitutional scholars past and present, that the Second Amendment protects a pre-existing right of individuals, not a so-called “right” of a state to maintain a select militia, or a privilege to have guns only when serving in a select militia. The court also ruled that individuals have a right to possess handguns.

    U.S. Rep’s. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) and Mark Souder (R-Ind.) have introduced H.R. 1399, the “District of Columbia Personal Protection Act,” and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Tex.) plans to introduce similar legislation in the Senate, to repeal the laws that the court found unconstitutional, as well as D.C.’s firearm registration law, which was not at issue in Parker. It is important that these bills be passed soon, to decriminalize self-defense and Second Amendment rights, because appeals in the Parker case could take well over a year.

    Highlights from the Court’s Decision

    “[T]he Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad).”

    “[T]he phrase ‘the right of the people,’ when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.”

    In the Second Amendment, “the most important word is the one the drafters chose to describe the holders of the right—‘the people.’ That term is found in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. It has never been doubted that these provisions were designed to protect the interests of individuals against government intrusion, interference, or usurpation.”

    “The Amendment does not protect ‘the right of militiamen to keep and bear arms,’ but rather ‘the right of the people.’”

    “The modern handgun—and for that matter the rifle and long-barreled shotgun . . . passes [the Supreme Court’s U.S. v. Miller] standards. . . . Once it is determined—as we have done—that handguns are ‘Arms’ referred to in the Second Amendment, it is not open to the District to ban them.”

    Background

    In 1975, D.C.’s City Council imposed a multi-faceted gun control law unlike any in America. The “Firearms Control Regulations Act” prohibited the possession of a handgun not registered with city police prior to Sept. 24, 1976, and prevented the legal use of a gun for protection in the home, by requiring that guns at home be “unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a trigger lock or similar device.”

    The laws run counter to the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause and Congress’ intent in the Gun Control Act, which states, “[I]t is not the purpose of this title to place any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the acquisition, possession, or use of firearms appropriate to the purpose of hunting, trapshooting, target shooting, personal protection, or any other lawful activity and that this title is not intended to discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.”

    After the Parker ruling, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty falsely claimed D.C.’s gun laws “decrease gun violence.” To the contrary, D.C.’s murder rate rose 200% within 15 years after the laws were imposed, while the rate for the rest of the U.S. remained comparatively stable. And the District has become known as “the murder capital of the United States,” usually having the highest murder rate of any major U.S. city, and always far worse than the rest of the country. (FBI)

    More Reasons to Repeal D.C.’s Handgun and Self-Defense Bans

    Police are “not generally liable to victims of violent criminal acts for failure to provide adequate police protection.” (Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (1981))
    Allowing citizens to defend themselves deters criminals. A study for the Justice Department found that 40% of felons have decided to not commit one or more crimes for fear their potential victims were armed. (James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms, 1986, p. 155)
    D.C.’s self-defense ban increases the likelihood that crime victims will be injured. Federal crime surveys show that “Robbery and assault victims who used a gun to resist were less likely to be attacked or to suffer an injury than those who used any other methods of self-protection or those who did not resist at all.” (Gary Kleck, Targeting Guns, 1997, p. 171)



    Posted: 3/20/2007 12:00:00 AM
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
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  3. #2
    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002
    I would rather the residents of DC sit tight while we wait for everyone's rights to be validated.
    Or for everyone's rights to be repudiated.

    I think that with the current Supreme Court the odds are very much in our favor, but you never know for sure. There is unquestionably at least some possibility that they will rule that the DC court was wrong, and that the Second Amendment does NOT protect an individual right.

    We have a lot at stake at this point. We are either going to win a lot, or lose a lot. Either way, we should not fool ourselves into thinking that there is no way we can lose.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed Denver.

    With SCoTUS it can either go good for DC residents and good for all of us, or it can remain same for DC residents and go irreverseably bad with no appeal for the rest of us.

    I personally would rather this not see time at SCoTUS as the risk is quite high relative to the reward which is not all that necessary considering we now have precedence not from one but two courts between DC and yesterdays NJ appelate court decision.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  5. #4
    Member Array MIKEV's Avatar
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    Jang,

    So what your saying is that "I am sorry for those of you in WI, IL, DC,CA....etc, but the chance for you all to gain is not worth the risk I have to lose my rights?"

    Aren't we all part of the U.S.A.? And, If we are are not we all entitled to the protections thate are supposed to be provided to us by the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION?

    If the battle is worthy, should we all not be prepared and willing to fight?

    Just my thoughts

    Thanks
    MikeV

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    No Mike thats not what I said or am saying, not at all.

    What I am saying is that WI, IL, DC, CA, et. al. now have very good ammunition to fight/refight their cases individually in court/appellate court as per the latest DC appellate court decision. That finding is pretty darn strong on it's own.

    The risk of going up to SCoTUS is great and not a guarantee that they'll A) Take it on nor B) Come back with a sensible/logical/positive to us finding. There is very significant and potentially expensive risk there.
    Meanwhile at the state level the individual states can fight this out and possibly win with less big picture cost to us all be it win, lose or draw.

    I personally am ecstatic about this DC win as I am born & raised native with most of my family and relatives living there current. They are psyched as well, even as many of them do and have been owning firearms illegally in their homes and/or carrying them on their person for decades even since before the ban back in '76. Why? Not because they are otherwise crime trade related persons.
    More so because they like you and I they are citizens of America and believe in the Constitution, the second ammendment, and the right to survive if not thrive.

    The battle is most definitely worthy and as part and parcel to preperation for any fight one must, or rather should, plan their process carefully and think of all conditions and considerations toward how they might apply themselves and the people toward the effort. Not to do so is a fools folly.

    SCoTUS as relevant to this subject is the equivalent of a nuke, it cannot be recalled and should be reserved for extreme worst case scenarios upon exhaustion of all other avenues. Nukes are not clean and fallout gets thrown up on everyone including even the good guys.

    My own thoughts in kind.

    - Janq
    Last edited by Janq; March 21st, 2007 at 04:31 PM.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  7. #6
    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    I agree that the battle is worthy. I guess I just want to be sure that everyone is aware of the huge risk that remains. Some people are talking as if it's a done deal. The DC court ruled and now all that's left is for the Supreme Court to rubber-stamp it. It's all over for the anti-gunners, and we've won the day!

    No. Sorry. Not even close. The Supreme Court never rubber-stamps anything, and they'll surprise you the most when you think that predicting how they'll rule is the easiest. This could still very easily go against us, and that would be a very, very bad thing.

  8. #7
    Member Array MIKEV's Avatar
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    Jang

    Thanks for the additioanl input. It did give me food for thought.

    I guess your right. For Example in MD the State AWB died in commitee. YAY!!! the bill to repeal the discretionary nature of our permit system made it out of the house and was debated in committe in the Senate today. We'll see how that went . (crosses fingers. I would hate to see that get passed and then see the Supreme Court decide on the side of Collective rather than Individual.

    But in the same breath I hate that I have "more" rights than those 20 mins south.

    MikeV

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed Mike, it's a got damn shame.

    As I sit right now in MA I've got a relatively spendy 1911 sitting in my range kit at my feet along with 200 rds. of ammo ready to go at my whim.
    I don't have to hide it, store the guns & ammo in an attic eave or under a floor board, nor do I have to buy a cheap/inexpensive gun because I very likely may have to toss it before the po-po come by.

    My friends and kin in D.C. can only dream of doing same, legally,or resort to storing their own kit at a friends/relatives home in MD or VA.
    A damn shame.

    We all even in 'free states' have a lot of work ahead of us toward getting things to be more equitable across the nation and ms. parker of D.C. has provided us with a flame, IMHO.
    SCoTUS takes the power and influence out of our own hands and is to my mind akin to taking a coin and tossing it in the air. Chances are at best 50/50 though with a subject like this it possibly could turn out to be less.
    A loss there for us would be damning.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Now I've heard that the Prez will likely veto giving DC a true voting rep in Congress because the Constitution says reps must be from States. Totally different issue, but similar argument. In the world of political intrigue, can these events be tied together?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  11. #10
    Member Array Sonic Misfit's Avatar
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    +1 Janq.

    You hit on a lot of the things I have been worried about concerning sending this to SCOTUS. It does seem likely that they will rule in favor of the lower court's decision, but it could be that they push the regulation of firearms back to local and state governments. Then we end up in a whole different quagmire, and the people of DC are back where they started.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    The issues are joined

    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Now I've heard that the Prez will likely veto giving DC a true voting rep in Congress because the Constitution says reps must be from States. Totally different issue, but similar argument. In the world of political intrigue, can these events be tied together?
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20070322/...shousedcvote_1

    From CQ Today: Gun-Rights Gambit Sidetracks House D.C. Vote By Jonathan Allen
    Thu Mar 22, 4:37 PM ET



    A GOP-backed effort to curtail District of Columbia gun-control laws blew a hole in Democrats’ plans to give the city’s representative in Congress full voting rights and create a new seat for Utah.

    Rep. Lamar Smith (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, offered a motion to recommit the voting representation bill (HR 1433) and instruct a House committee to add language repealing the District’s ban on semiautomatic weapons and prohibiting other local gun-control laws.

    The strategy forced Democrats in an uncomfortable box and pushed the bill off the Thursday floor schedule.

    A portion of the majority caucus backs gun ownership rights and would have a difficult time opposing the GOP motion. But should the motion succeed, the bill would be sent back to committee and Democrats would be denied the chance to follow through on casting what Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) just minutes before had lauded as a historic vote.

    “This is a happy day,” Pelosi, D-Calif., had said. “It is an historic day. It is a day when the people of the District of Columbia will finally have their voices heard and represented.”

    The voting representation bill was set aside while the Democratic leadership regrouped.

    Before a vote is rescheduled, a leadership aide said, the Rules Committee will be asked to produce a new rule for
    consideration of the bill that would prohibit the GOP from incorporating gun language.

    Under the rule adopted for consideration of the bill, Democrats retained the right to put off a vote until an undetermined time in the future.

    Republicans have won several motions to recommit in recent weeks, but they have instructed committees to make changes and report the bill “forthwith,” meaning the House would immediately amend the bill and vote on the altered version.

    Under the gun motion, the committee would be instructed to report back to the House “promptly,” which aides and lawmakers said would send it to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee indefinitely.

    Senate Uncertainty

    Even if the bill ultimately passes the House — as had been expected before the GOP surprised the majority party with its gun-language gambit — the future of the bill was uncertain at best.

    There has been no indication that the Senate will consider it, and President Bush has threatened to veto it.

    The bill would give Utah a fourth, at-large House seat until after the 2010 census and establish a seat with full voting power for the District of Columbia, pushing the membership of the chamber to 437. Utah would gain a vote in the Electoral College, bringing the number of presidential electors to 539.

    Like other delegates, the District of Columbia’s representative current representative in Congress is allowed to vote on House floor amendments but not on any bill’s final passage.

    Democrats argued that District residents deserve full voting representation in Congress like other U.S. citizens.

    “Continued disenfranchisement of more than half a million Americans is unconscionable, indefensible and wrong,” said Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.

    With the exception of Virginia Rep. Thomas M. Davis III and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence (news, bio, voting record), Republicans railed against a rule that precluded their amendments from being considered and argued that the measure violates the Constitution’s mandate that congressional seats be apportioned “among the several states.”

    The nation’s capital is not a state.

    Wisconsin Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (news, bio, voting record) Jr., the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said District residents could win voting rights under the Constitution through a constitutional amendment, through admission as a state or by being absorbed by Maryland.

    “Those are the right ways. This is the wrong way,” Sensenbrenner said.

    Pence defended the bill as a matter of fairness. “The fact that more than half a million americans live in the District of Columbia and are denied a single voting representative in Congress is clearly a historic wrong, and justice demands it be addressed,” he said.

    Legislative History

    Both chambers passed a constitutional amendment giving the District full voting representation by the necessary two-thirds margins in 1978. But the amendment would have needed ratification from 38 of the 50 states, each of which would see its influence diluted by the addition of a state.

    In 1993, the House rejected a proposal to grant statehood to the District, a status that would have given the nation’s capital two Senate seats and one in the House.

    The current plan would almost certainly result in the addition of one seat for each party, as the District is among the most reliably Democratic areas of the country and Utah is one of the most reliably Republican. Because Democrats hold more than half the House, the addition of one seat to each side would be marginally advantageous to Republicans.

    Should the bill eventually become law over a threatened veto, special elections in the District of Columbia and Utah would be called to select the new representatives. The Utah seat would remain at-large until 2012, when congressional districts are reapportioned among the states based on the 2010 census.

    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (news, bio, voting record), D-D.C., has been talking to senators in recent weeks in an effort to have the bill considered soon in that chamber. She also urged Bush to reconsider his veto threat.

    Norton argued that Congress has the power to correct an injustice.

    “However you vote on the District’s voting rights, do not slander the framers,” she said. “For two centuries, the fault has been right here in the Congress, not the flawed vision of the framers.”

    Michael Teitelbaum and Susan Ferrechio contributed to this story.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    IIRC, the DC ruling was made by a three judge panel, not the entire court.

    I thought that the next step is to appeal to the full Appeals Court.

    After that, there is no guarantee that the SCOTUS will agree to hear an appeal. So what ever the full Appeals Court decides may be the final answer for the near future.

    As for HR 1399, the scary part for me about having legislation decide the matter is that by letting Congress decide the matter, it is then inferred that they have authority over the matter. Then when they decide against us in the future, it makes it harder to say that they don't have the authority.

    I am always scared when the Feds get involved in anything.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

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