nra.jpgThe United States Supreme Court announced yesterday that they will consider the constitutionality of the District of Columbia’s 31-year-old complete ban on the new ownership of handguns in light of the Second Amendment. This will be the first time in over seventy years that the Court has reviewed a Second Amendment case.

The history of the gun ban breaks down like this: In about 1974, (when crime in the District wasn’t all that bad, by the way,) the newly liberated City Council passed a feel good ordinance giving everyone until 1976 to register their handguns. After that, simple ownership of an unregistered handgun in the District has been a felony punishable by up to five years in the clink. You can’t even inherit a registered handgun in the District. Upon the death of a registrant, you have a month to either get the gun out of the District, or take it to the police incinerator.

The ban has been enforced in an egregious manner, to the point where courts have acquitted defendants of justifiable use of unregistered handguns to stop violent crimes (like rape, murder, etc.,) and then, in the same cases, convicted them of felony handgun posession.

So, as you might have guessed in a jurisdiction five square miles in area, bad guys bring handguns into the city and terrorize the largely unarmed law abiding populace. And why not? If yo KNOW that just about EVERYONE in the city is incapable of defending themselves against an assault with a handgun, then, if you have lost that particular inhibition, this is the place to bring your gun and commit some crimes.

So, there where two guys (you might call them agitators, you might call them freedom fighters,) a few years ago that collusivly brandished unregistered handguns in such a way as to get them arrested with the intent of appealing the case in order to force the issue.

The Mayor and Police of DC Bravely Stand Up for Tyranny and Crime

They (of course) lost in the city courts (those judges are non-Article 3 federal judges recommended by the city and reappointed I think every ten years. The city loves its gun ban. It’s in the pocket of the liberal anti-gun police union.) They won the appeal, however, in the D.C. Court of Appeals (a federal court). Now the Supremes get a crack at it.

At issue is the whether or not the Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The gun ban lobby, ignoring piles of Constitutional and historical scholarship, insists that the right applies only to the state’s power to create militias, and that the people are only extended the right, insofar as they are mentioned in the amendment, “collectively” (as if there where such a thing as a “collective right.”)

Of course, this is all complete moonshine and hogwash, perpetuated by the limousine liberals who really think they know better than the rest of us, and that if we would just bloody well listen to them, we would all be better off.

The Second Amendment most certainly considers the militia which, in the minds of the folks writing the amendment, meant all the able bodied freemen of a certain age, that is, damn near everyone.

So, while I would not normally approve of judicial contravention of a legitimate legislative act, this ordinance is directly opposed to the Constitution and, therefore, justly invites judicial review and correction.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

piusxi.jpgIn other gun news, Fr. Z dug this out of the Vatican newspaper. Apparently, one of our late pontiffs of happy memory had a gun and never left home without it:

In the curriculum of Pius XI there is a certificate for being a first-rate shot

In L’Osservatore Romano for 20 November, … there stands out in the cultural page a bizarre headline: “the librarian with the pistol”.

We are not dealing with just any librarian, but with Achille Ratti, who became Pope with the name Pius XI.

And the gun?

Here’s the explanation of this oddity. When he was prefect of the Ambrosian Library in Milan, Ratti kept a a revolver close at had “as a deterent to keep off possible miscreants with gunshots in the air, or the like.”

Once promoted to the Vatican Library, he brought his gun with him. And when in 1918 Benedict XV sent him to Poland as an apostolic visitor, he sent to Warsaw via the diplomatic pouch, “a small revolver and ammunition”.

As Pope, we don’t know. But it occurs that he could have been a quick-draw, based on the motto he chose for his episcopal caot-of arms: “Raptim transit” , “it goes by swiftly”, a citation of Job 6:15.