“To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason.
Washington D.C. — which combines some of the nation’s strictest controls on handguns with some of the nation’s highest rates of gun violence — provides proof for the old admonition that if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. And now Washington D.C. provides the test case for the biggest Second Amendment case in nearly 70 years, as the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on the constitutionality of Washington D.C.’s complete ban on handguns.
The Second Amendment is a right for all law-abiding citizens, not simply a collective right pertaining to militias. Moreover, restricting the rights of law abiding gun owners does nothing to reduce gun violence. As Ronald Reagan put it after he was shot with a handgun on the streets of Washington D.C. in 1981:
“You won’t get gun control by disarming law-abiding citizens. There’s only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and the criminals, lock them up and if you don’t actually throw away the key, at least lose it for a long time… It’s a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun controllers. I happen to know this from personal experience.”
I know it’s hard to believe that John Hinckley was not stopped cold in his assassination attempt by Washington D.C.’s handgun ban.
Nearly two decades ago Steve Twist and I authored a law journal article on the Arizona Constitution, and noted that the framers of Arizona’s Constitution intended the absolute right for the citizens to bear arms to exist, “without legislative restriction, even against the carrying of concealed weapons.”
Contrary to the beliefs of bureaucrats in the District of Columbia, a well-armed citizenry actually deters both crime and threats from our nation’s enemies.