Quote of the Day - They'll have to shoot me first to take my gun.
So here's where it started over 200 years ago: the Second Amendment, which reads "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Seems pretty straightforward, huh? But hold on thar, Nellie, it's not as easy as it looks.
The murder rate in Washington, D.C. was, at one time, one of the highest in the nation. Notice I didn't say states. That's because the District of Columbia isn't a state. It's ... well, a District. The governing body is Congress (even though DC doesn't have a Senator or Congressional Representative) and the Court system largely consists of the Supreme Court (of the United States, go figure).
So, pause here for a moment and think about the significance of D.C.'s payment of federal taxes, especially in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller.
I mean the taxation without representation part. Almost sounds like a constitutional issue, doesn't it? But I'm getting off track. I meant to talk about the Second Amendment to that same document.
The United States Supreme Court directly interpreted what that Amendment means when compared to Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban, the first time in its history that a Court had to decided what it meant. There have been other decisions dealing with it, but none directly interpreting it.
But think about 492 deaths in 1990, second only to New Orleans at the time, and in a much smaller area. That's why the District enacted a handgun ban. Since then, the "murder capital of the United States," as it was known, deaths have dropped. Some have argued there's a direct correlation to the number of people living (or not dying) and the ban.
But the Supreme Court - which sits in Washington, D.C. by the way and has to live with the apparent danger they've created by their decision - overturned the handgun ban as unconstitutional, banned by the Second Amendment, which trumps any "state" law. The justices who made up the 5-4 majority didn't base their decision on safety, however.
"Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct."
And extinct it is not, even after lying on the table in the National Archives for more than 200 years.
There's still life in that thar document.