Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Emily Miller Wins Another Battle

The war is far from over, but Emily Miller has won her second battle for the Second Amendment in Washington, DC.

As I described in Shall Not Be Infringed?, the Senior Editor of The Washington Times Editorial and Opinion Pages first fought and won a four-month battle to legally possess a hand gun in the District of Columbia. I followed up with DC's Plantation-Like Gun Control, a look at the District's unequal privilege of protection between the politically-connected and the lower classes, including crime statistics and demographics, finally noting "The disadvantaged of the District are legally kept as defenseless as the slaves on Southern plantations."

Now, thanks to Emily's continuing efforts, the first steps toward sanity are on the horizon.
After four years of trying to hide from the Supreme Court’s Heller decision, Washington realized its gun laws had to change. On Tuesday, the D.C. Council voted unanimously to relax firearm registration requirements. The process to fix the law started just a few weeks after The Washington Times began a series documenting the District’s excessive hurdles to gun ownership.

The proposal will eliminate the five-hour training course requirement, ballistics test, vision test and ammunition restrictions. It also delays for two years the new re-registration and micro-stamping requirements and allows the mayor to act as a gun dealer if there is no other federal firearms licensee in the city.
The good news is tempered primarily by the plantation-like attitude still apparent among the city's rulers, as evidenced by a comment from Judiciary Committee Chairman Phil Mendelson included in the article.
“I do think carrying has severe implications for the nation’s capital,” he told The Washington Times, citing the common rationale given by local officials. “We’re different from Maryland because we have motorcades, the president around town, members of Congress going to the supermarket unescorted.”
Perhaps Mr. Mendelson is unaware that an illegally-possessed handgun is no less powerful than one sanctioned by the state, yet motorcades and members of Congress in the supermarkets seem so far immune from the escalating violence visited on those less-well-connected who are living and travelling in the District.

Mr. Mendelson's statement expresses fear, not of criminals who ignore handgun laws as readily as any others, but of otherwise law-abiding citizens. What do those who work for the people's benefit have to fear from the people they represent? Equals have no reason to fear each other. It is only masters who fear their slaves. If that's the "common rationale" of local officials, it simply confirms what this Tireless Agorist has argued about the political class in other essays.

Nonetheless, these first changes signal that success is possible even in the nation's capitol. Congratulations to Emily Miller, and to the residents of Washington D.C. who will now face slightly less draconian infringements on their Second Amendment rights.

...and that's all I have to say about that.

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