Standing Guard June 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA Executive Vice
"The Right To Ban
That March 14, 2007,
New York Times headline trumpeted an editorial excoriating the
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for declaring
Washington D.C.'s 31-year-old ban on handguns in the home as
unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.
The Times ranted that the decision "would imperil
needed gun controls in place ... ." But if the ruling imperils
anything it is the tyranny such laws impose.
In writing for the majority in the 58-page ruling in
Parker v. District of Columbia, Senior Judge
Laurence H. Silberman was unambiguous: "We conclude that the Second
Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear
"In determining whether the Second Amendment's
guarantee is an individual one, or some sort of collective right,
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
Guns in the homes of law-abiding Americans is the issue
here. Nothing more. And nothing less.
"It has never been doubted that these
provisions were designed to protect the interests of individuals
against government intrusion, interference or usurpation."
Juxtapose that with the Times' assertion about
the government's "Right to Ban Arms." How about a government
"right" to close down newspapers? A government "right" to deny the
vote because of race? What about denying rights for those
practicing religion? All of those actions were taken by oppressive
government and were stopped when protections of the people were
ratified by the U.S. Constitution and applied. But the enemies of
freedom do not care about that.
In its brief filed in support of the D.C.
gun/self-defense ban, the Brady Campaign's lawyers cited a
pre-American Revolution royal edict as an example of precedence for
gun control: "In the mid-eighteenth century, for example,
Maryland prohibited the ownership of guns by Catholics ...
." (Emphasis added.)
Yet that was the very reason the American
colonists fought and died to throw off the yoke of the English
Reacting to the Parker decision, the Brady
Campaign screeched that the ruling was "depriving D.C. citizens of
a strict handgun law enacted thirty years
The truth is that D.C. residents--good,
honest, hard-working families and individ-uals--were deprived of
their right to be safe in their homes.
The Times got one thing right: The
law the court struck down barred "residents from keeping
handguns in their homes." (Emphasis
This law was never about armed predators. It
was about criminalizing any prudent preparations for protecting
one's family and home. D.C.'s law punished the innocent and
encouraged armed assault, rape and murder. It created thousands of
victims. Since the ban, D.C. has consistently led the nation in
The Court of Appeals also nullified D.C.'s
self-defense prohibition that made keeping any long gun functional
and in the proximity of ammunition a criminal act. Unfortunately,
the court left the city's registration law unscathed. In truth,
registration as "crime control" is a fraud. It cannot be applied to
criminals--only to the law-abiding.
Haynes v. U.S., the seminal
January 1968 Supreme Court opinion on crime and firearm
registration, ruled: "We hold that a proper claim of the
constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full
defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm
... or for possession of an unregistered firearm ...
So the District's draconian registration law
only applied to those citizens who could lawfully own guns prior to
1976. When the D.C. City Council enacted the ban, a Washington Star
headline said it all: "gun law upheld, but no searches yet." Matter
of factly, the Star spoke about house-to-house searches and sweeps
by police, using firearm registration lists as a start for
D.C. is a shameful example of that insanity on
our shores. It is even more insane in light of what is happening in
the rest of the nation. The same day I read the "Right to ban guns"
headline in the Times, another headline stood in bold counterpoint.
It said, "New Orleans Residents Arming
Katrina. New Orleans. For American gun owners,
those words conjure the nightmare of government agents disarming
residents, then utterly failing to protect them and leaving good
people to the mercy of predatory criminal
Americans are not stupid. They will not
willingly become the victims The New York Times would like them to
be. Instead, in huge numbers, they are affirming the right of armed
self-defense--a right inherent in their overwhelming support of the
Second Amendment. This is a time when legislatures across the
nation--by wide margins--are enacting "no-retreat" laws, "Castle
Doctrine laws," and 48 states now affirm
Perhaps soon our hard-fought efforts to secure
a fair judiciary--one that interprets the Bill of Rights as it was
intended by the Founders--will bear the fruit of true