Friday, March 09, 2007

Washington, D.C. gun ban struck down

I've missed a lot of things that I wanted to post about over the past month or so, but I might as well start here now that I'm back rather than inundate everyone with my take on old news. So instead, here's a story that just broke today.

Washington Compost, text of the court decision. (Warning: 195 kilobyte PDF.)

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (how's that for a mouthful?) overturned the decision of the District Court for D.C. (the full title of which is a similar mouthful) in the case of Parker v. District of Columbia, in which the plaintiffs were denied their Constitutional right to bear firearms by the lower court. The appeals court overturned the district court's decision, declaring Washington, D.C.'s 30 year old, near-total ban on firearms to be unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, the D.C. Circuit covers only Washington itself, not any of the states. (If Chicago's gun ban had been struck down in this manner instead, gun bans would be illegal throughout the entire 7th Circuit, but this covers only the capital city.) I don't really see the point of a circuit court that covers only one city (where do they circulate between? Courthouses on opposite sides of the District?), but there it is. Nobody ever expected government to make sense.

The city is likely to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court, but I don't know whether or not they'll agree to hear it. The Court has more conservative justices now, but to quote a friend of mine, "the Country Club Republicans especially tend to have a certain elegant disdain for the rabble bearing arms." We'll just have to wait this out and see.

In the meantime, I feel like celebrating a little. Party time.

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