Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mariana Islands has Date for Second Amendment Hearing

The Federal court in the Northern Mariana Islands has set a date for the hearing on summary judgment for the lawsuit to uphold the second amendment in the Islands.  From mvariety.com:
THE District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands scheduled a March 12, 2015 hearing on the motion for a summary judgment on the constitutionality the commonwealth Weapons Control Act being challenged by a U.S. Navy Gulf War veteran and his wife.
From radionz.co.nz:
They want to be issued handguns for self-defence, following a home invasion which left Mrs Radich badly beaten.

Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says the Act is not expected to hold up against the second amendment of the constitution, which guarantees US citizens the right to bear arms.
Perhaps the writer is confusing U.S. jurisdictions with Israel or Switzerland, where guns are commonly issued to citizens by the government.  Crime rates are exceptionally low in both countries.

The correspondent in the Marianas correctly reports that the act is expected to be found unconstitutional.   One of the attempts at defense of existing law is that CNMI customs does not allow importation of handguns.  This is not an insurmountable obstacle, of course, but it would be an interesting situation, if people could legally posses arms, but not import them.  Perhaps a cottage industry manufacturing handguns would spring up.  The defendant in the case claims that the federal court lacks jurisdiction.  It is claim that seems unlikely to hold up in court.  From Marians Variety:
The federal court does not have subject jurisdiction over Count I of the complaint — violation of the right to keep and bear firearms — because handguns cannot be legally imported into the commonwealth, according to Deleon Guerrero.
The local elites in the Northern Mariana Islands seem as loath to give up their monopoly of force as Michael Bloomberg.  From the comments on mvariety.com:
We already have the 2nd Amendment in place, only with limitations. If we allow handguns for civilian use, we will surely set a precedent to allow other types of guns. We cannot let this happen. Handguns are nothing compared to high-powered firearms such an AK-47 (7.62 x 39mm NATO round) or an H&K MP5 (9mm) or a splatter-gun such as a 12 gauge shotgun. There will be no one class of persons to have just a handgun. Once we free one type, we free them ALL! NO TO ALLOWING ANY MORE GUNS!
 Those who want people disarmed, are, as usual screaming that there will be "blood in the streets".  It simply has not happened, and it will not happen in this case.  The people who go to the trouble of legally owning guns are simply not the problem.   If a society has respect for the law, the presence of weapons will have little effect.   If there is no respect for the law, the presence of handguns only levels the playing field a bit so that large, strong, men do not dominate everyone else quite as easily.

The biggest question is: Is there respect for the rule of law.  One of the clearest indicators of this is the willingness of a society to follow the restrictions placed on it by its written legal documents.   In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, that includes the Constitution of the United States.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

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