Some kids are bright enough to look at a stove top, see the flame or the glowing coil and think “Hot!” and forget about touching it. Others just gotta touch it, in order to figure out that when you play with fire you get burned. I’m predicting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the D.C. City Council will find out that fire = hot = get burned, just as soon as their “assault weapons/hi-cap magazine” ban gets a ticket to a command performance by the Supremes.
I think I’m on pretty secure tera firma here. When it comes to gun laws, all I really need do is to look no further than the New York Times opinion page, and take a contrarian view. If I didn’t choose to think for a living, they’d still make my job ridiculously easy. Let’s see if we can pick apart what passes for “logic” and “reasoning” in their little love note to the Court of Appeals, shall we?
First, to the nitty-gritty. The District of Columbia, after being bee-yatch-slapped by the Supremes in District of Columbia v. Heller came back with a New! Improved! law that they felt might pass Constitutional muster. As if. The new law defines “assault weapons” to include rifles like the AR-15, and setting the maximum capacity for magazines at 10 rounds.
What does the Gray Lady have to say about the appellate ruling? “The appeals court ruling is careful and convincing on this heated topic.” Um…not so much.
Let’s start with the suggestion made in the appellate ruling that “assault weapons” are “designed to spray bullets at a rapid rate,” suggesting that the only place such weapons are appropriate are on a battlefield or in the hands of the police. They opine that allowing these weapons anywhere else is “an invitation to mayhem and puts police officers and all around at high risk.”
Okay, we’ve already beat the metaphorical “assault weapons” moniker to death, so we can safely gloss over that one, save to note that any time a judicial body adopts the contrived terminology of a left-wing, special-interest group, you gotta figure they have an agenda, and it’s not gonna be a good one. So we’ll give ’em “assault weapon” – for now. But their definition of same is priceless: designed to spray bullets at a rapid rate. I’m not one to suggest that passing a law is the automatic solution to what ails ye, but this wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve wondered if it wouldn’t be the soul of prudence to require that any judge hearing a case dealing with guns or gun laws actually knows the friggin’ difference between “semi-auto” and “full-auto” weapons. Maybe we need to find a “Mr. Rogers”-esque character and get the NRA to focus on gun education for the diaper set:
Hi, boys n’ girls. Welcome to Mr. Robinson’s Hood. Remember when I told you last week that when you hear bullets flying, the safest thing to do is to lie down on the floor? Or if you hear them really close, go get into the bathtub and lie down? Well today, we’re gonna talk about how to tell the difference between a fully automatic “machine gun” and a semi-automatic rifle, used for self-defense.
Yeah, dream on, Kozak.
So let me get this straight. The danger here is “spray bullets at a rapid rate of fire,” right? So it sounds as if the law would ban full-auto weapons. Only trouble is, that’s not what they’re banning. They’ve gone after the semi-auto market. You know, the very kind of gun you might really WANT, if you were living in the drug-and-crime-riddled war zone that is the D.C. metro area.
Likewise, they’ve decided that anything over ten rounds in a magazine presents a clear and present danger to officers of the law. Uh huh. So it’s not the first ten bullets “spraying” out of the gun. It’s that eleventh one that will kill ya. Got it. Of course, since none of the judges or council-persyns involved would know a magazine from a strip clip, or a speedloader from a breach-loader, it’s not too likely they’d understand the concept behind a tactical reload. (God help us all if someone screens a Jerry Miculek video for them – they’d all have to go on life support for angina.)
The appellate court goes on to speculate, “the evidence demonstrates a ban on assault weapons is likely to promote the Government’s interest in crime control in the densely populated urban area that is the District of Columbia.” Uh. Really? Evidence? WHAT evidence? They’ve had a ban on “assault weapons” for a very long time, haven’t they? How’s that workin’ out for ’em? If they are into social engineering, howza about giving the “arm the citizens” route for a change and see if that gets demonstrably different results than the who “disarm the sheeple” meme.
I can’t imagine that this law won’t be challenged, and challenged soon with a case filed with the Supreme Court. I’m not a lawyer, but I’d hope that somebody would make a case for “injunctive relief,” if that’s even possible, to prevent D.C. from enforcing the ban. But of course, once this law is thrown out, I’m sure the city council will keep coming back and trying again and again and again, hoping to wear down those who support the Constitutional right to self-defense.
The only real solution here is for the Supreme Court to define what is a “reasonable restriction” on gun ownership. The Court has historically been reluctant to do so, because it’s not their job to make laws, but to interpret them. The only Constitutionally, logically sound thing for the court to do, is to rule that there are NO Constitutional limits that can be applied to gun ownership, which is the only thing that would stop the D. C. city council from trying again.
I wonder if/when that will ever happen. Until then, expect the lawmakers in D.C. to keep putting their hand in the fire to see if it no longer burns.