Thursday, October 14, 2004


"Washington, D.C. is becoming an All-American city. First the announcement was made that Major League Baseball would relocate the Expos to the capital. Then a few Congressmen said they would try to repeal the city's gun ban, one of the strictest in the books. It seemed that D.C., with the exception of L'Enfant's city plan, would finally wipe away its European tendencies.

Unfortunately, even if the gun ban was lifted, the city council could likely find some way to keep it in effect. After all, they've managed to get Marion Barry back into public service. And the reason D.C. would be able to keep guns out of the hands of city residents desperate for self protection is because of judicial inaction. Without a stringent definition of the Second Amendment, the courts have empowered states with numerous loopholes to water it down. And what many gun enthusiasts want to know is, does the Second Amendment mean firearm ownership is a fundamental individual right?

The rights of the Constitution have never been absolute. That's a given. Libel sets a reasonable boundary for freedom of speech, and as far as I'm concerned, murder laws are reason enough not to misuse a firearm. But with a definition that is constantly in flux, some states have been able to turn the Second Amendment into a privilege.

Perfect examples of states responding to a gelatinous Second Amendment are bullet laws. Ammunition laws are the spur under the saddle of gun owners in anti-gun jurisdictions. Look at a map of the U.S. and take a guess which two states have the most nefarious ammo laws? Surprise, surprise, it's California and Massachusetts. (New Jersey is a close third.) Those state governments allow their residents to own guns, but then impose license requirements, various fees, and transport regulations on bullets, essentially rendering gun rights useless. And that's because governments at the local level don't see the Second Amendment as an individual's issue.

More here


"A group trying to stop a bear hunt in Maryland sent 600 postcards to landowners in Garrett County claiming that 40 percent of the sportsmen with permits to take part in the hunt are alcoholics, drug addicts or mentally unstable.

The postcards were mailed out by the Institute for Public Safety, a citizens group from nearby Montgomery County, urging residents to exercise special caution during the state's first black-bear hunt in 51 years, which is set to begin Oct. 25. Earle Hightower of Rockville, Md., a real estate agent who serves as chairman of the institute, told the Associated Press that the group simply made up the statistic. "We were just working from general population figures," Hightower said. "If you get 200 people, a certain number are going to be somewhat undesirable."

The postcards drew a sharp response from Steven Christian, president of the Maryland Sportsmen's Association, who called the mass mailing "a cheap shot" that was done "in poor taste and totally without provocation." Christian stated that the vast majority of hunters behave safely and ethically, and he claimed the tactic was used to inflame anti-hunting sentiment before an Oct. 18 court hearing on a challenge by animal-protection groups to call off the hunt... "

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