Well, the finally did it. I first mentioned it years ago, when this blog was in its infancy. So I guess now I should say, thank you Kay Bailey Hutchison. Thank you. By the time you take your ass back to Texas, there will undoubtedly be more guns on the streets of Washington, D.C.
The court’s 5-4 ruling strikes down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.
The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The 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.”
The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual’s right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said the Constitution does not permit “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”
O.K. conservatives. I’ve got some questions.
As far as I know, the ruling doesn’t affect D.C.’s situation on concealed carry. But, let’s face it. An awful lot of people aren’t going to be keeping their “piece” tucked away in the nightstand for home protections. A good many of them are going to be carrying them around for whatever purposes, some of them less-than-lawful. That’s actually on place where D.C.’s former gun law had the effect of helping police keep the streets safe, according to one of my readers.
As a former DC resident and current resident of Texas, I made a point of writing to KBH about this one. Here’s the really important point about the DC gun law: it lets police get people off the street for other charges. So if someone gets picked up for some medium-bad offense for which they might get immediately released until a trial date, if they have a gun, they can be kept behind bars. If KBH has her way, more of those folks will be out on the DC streets. Nice, huh.
The problem, of course, is that KBH doesn’t give a shit about DC; it’s just a way for her to score political points here in TX.
Now, I’m sure some conservative is going to pipe up that the Supreme Court decision will make the streets safer because more people will have guns. So, the next time there’s a shooting — as happened in Kentucky recently — there’s more of a chance that some armed citizen will stop the shooter and thus save lives.
But tell me this. Don’t more guns mean more crossfire? And doesn’t more crossfire mean more dead citizens? Hear me out on this. Let’s say I’m walking down the sidewalk on my way to take the Metro home, when someone starts shooting pedestrians. Now, it happens that more people have guns, and whether they’re supposed to or not, they have their guns with them. Besides, the “OK Corral” ideal isn’t possible unless people are carrying guns. Let’s face it. A gun in your nightstand doesn’t do you a bit of good if a shooting breaks out at the grocery store or the grade-school, right?
So, these armed citizens start shooting at the initial shooter, in the middle of a crowded sidewalk or playground. And one of them hits him. Lives are saved, right? Well, that’s if you don’t count the innocent bystanders that the would-be citizen gunslingers probably hit. I’ve lived in D.C. for about 14 years now, so I think I’m fairly qualified to say that most of the people who live and work here not likely to qualify as marksmen or snipers in the near future. In fact, if every other random person on that theoretical sidewalk had a weapon and tried to use it to stop the shooter, I dare say that more of them would hit their fellow sidewalk denizens than would actually take down the shooter.
So, my chances of ending up dead are actually better, depending on how you look at it. I don’t live in D.C. anymore, but I do work there, and I don’t think the Supreme Court made me any safer today. Not even a little.
My guess? There’s gonna be a whole lot more dead folks in D.C. And, given the demographic, more dead black folks.
And if you think I’m going to say what you think I’m going to say about the likelihood of D.C.’s black population increasing come January, just in time for this ruling to have taken effect … well, you’re crazy. And I’d be crazy to say it, right?
But I’m probably not the only person who’s thought of that.
[Gun Fighter photo via xandert.]