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Thursday, July 17 

When Is A Right Of The People Not Really A Right Of The People

Answer: When it's the right to keep and bear arms.

The 32-year ban on handguns in D.C. expired today, allowing people to attempt to jump through a million hoops to legally register their handguns. Including Dick Heller, of D.C. vs Heller. His application was, of course, denied.
Dick Heller is the man who brought the lawsuit against the District's 32-year-old ban on handguns. He was among the first in line Thursday morning to apply for a handgun permit.

But when he tried to register his semi-automatic weapon, he says he was rejected. He says his gun has seven bullet clip. Heller says the City Council legislation allows weapons with fewer than eleven bullets in the clip. A spokesman for the DC Police says the gun was a bottom-loading weapon, and according to their interpretation, all bottom-loading guns are outlawed because they are grouped with machine guns.
You can find a rundown on the new rules for attempting to legally owning a firearm in D.C. here. They are, to put it mildly, insane.
Registration procedures for a handgun purchased for self-defense in a District residence:

1. A District resident who seeks to register a handgun must obtain an application form from MPD’s Firearms Registration Section and take it to a firearms dealer for assistance in completing it.

2. The applicant must submit photos, proof of residency and proof of good vision (such as a driver’s license or doctor’s letter), and pass a written firearms test.

3. If the applicant is successful on the test, s(he) must pay registration fees and submit to fingerprinting. MPD will file one set of fingerprints and submit the other to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for analysis and criminal background check.

4. MPD will notify the applicant whether all registration requirements are satisfied. At that point, the applicant returns to the Firearms Registration Section to complete the process and receive MPD’s seal on the application.

5. The applicant takes his or her completed application to a licensed firearm dealer to take delivery of the pistol. If the dealer is outside the District, the dealer transports the pistol to a licensed dealer in the District to complete the transaction.

6. The applicant takes the pistol to the Firearms Registration Section for ballistics testing. When testing is complete, the applicant may retrieve the pistol and take it home.
There are so many things wrong with this that I don't even know where to begin.

Let's start with the easiest first. According to the Second Amendment, an individual's right to keep and bear arms, "..shall not be infringed". I think that's pretty cut and dry myself, as in the government is not allowed to pass laws restricting an individual's right to own and bear arms. You know, just like the government is not allowed to restrict your G-d given right to free speech, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of the press. Or here's another one for you, how about the right for all citizens of the United States to vote, regardless of race or gender? I seem to remember a time when local governments tried to restrict access to the ballot box by imposing taxes and making potential voters take a test to make sure they were competent. That didn't work out so well for them either, did it? Weren't the chief proponents of poll taxes mostly Democrats? And aren't the fascists in the D.C. council mostly Democrats? I'm starting to see a trend here.

I have an idea, from now on all journalists must pass a written exam, fill out an application requesting permission to report on the news, and then are limited to only print media of 1,000 words or less. The AP will be shut down completely, as it is the press equivalent of a machine gun, blasting news all over the world with a single click of the mouse. There is no way the founding fathers could have anticipated such an organization, so clearly we have to use our living constitution, which clearly allows us to regulate this new medium.

I mean, come on, there will still be reporters, but they will be responsible reporters; guaranteed to never show bias or misreport the news because we made them take a test first. Oh, and no felon will ever be allowed to be connected with the press ever again.

But back to the subject at hand.

Heller was denied his application because he has a semiautomatic handgun that holds seven rounds. D.C.'s new regulations require that handguns hold less than 12 rounds, because that must be the magic number that makes gun owners lose their minds and go on murderous rampages. Heller complied with that rule, but was denied because his handgun is bottom fed, and is thus lumped in with machine guns. Which, despite conventional wisdom, are not illegal in most of the country. They are just very, very expensive.

Along with the limited capacity requirements and the restrictions that basically limit you to owning a revolver, you have to keep your handgun disassembled, unloaded and with either a trigger lock or in a gun safe. These requirements, for all intents and purposes, render the firearm useless. The whole point of Scalia's majority opinion was that the constitution specifically guarantees the individual's right to self-protection. If someone is in the process of breaking into your home, do you think you will have the time to unlock the safe or trigger lock, assemble the weapon, load it and still hit your target? I seriously doubt it.

What D.C. is doing is, essentially, thumbing their noses at the constitution, the citizens of the United States, and the Supreme Court. They have decided that they know better what is good for us, even if that means trampling on a few of our individual rights which are constitutionally guaranteed.

And we're not even talking about a made up right, like abortion. They had to do some real verbal gymnastics to create that "right" out of the constitution. This one is spelled out in black and white, listed second (which implies to me that it's kind of important) that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms.

So now I expect Heller to start the process of challenging the current asinine rules, which will, of course, be overthrown. But along the way we will have several more years of government denying citizens constitutionally guaranteed rights.

But hey, at least all those terrorists in Guantanamo Bay get to have trials in federal court. I noticed no one had a problem enforcing that ruling, did they?

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