22 July 2008

Levy:Looking Ahead To Heller's New Paradigm

Robert Levy, who bankrolled much of the Parker/Heller lawsuit against the District of Columbia looks ahead.

"A few observations: First, the so-called Heller paradox depends on demonizing the gun lobby. That bogeyman may be rhetorically useful for Henigan, but it wasn’t the gun lobby that filed the lawsuit, picked the right time, provided the lawyers, identified the issues, selected the plaintiffs, chose the venue, decided on the legal strategy, wrote the briefs, argued in court, and won the case. The NRA can speak for itself, but our goals were not grounded on wedge issues or a cultural base. First and foremost, our interest was to ensure that the D.C. government complied with the text, purpose, structure, and history of the Second Amendment. For us, Heller was about the Constitution; guns merely provided context.

"Second, if there are extreme elements within the gun lobby, trying to exploit the cultural aspects of gun control, that criticism is no less valid when applied to gun controllers themselves. According to Glenn Ivey, state’s attorney for Prince George’s County, a D.C. suburb: “Democrats and others were frequently unwilling to recognize any right to gun ownership and motivated their constituents, especially those in urban areas with high crime rates, by claiming
that the NRA would flood our streets with weapons that would wreak havoc.” One tactic was to arouse urban residents with dire predictions of streets running with blood, awash with military-style weapons. Ivey continues: “To some, it seemed that no civilian should ever own a gun and that the government should ban gun ownership or impose as many restrictions as possible on it. It didn’t matter that an owner had never committed a crime or demonstrated mental or emotional instability.” That’s the way it was, and still is, in Washington, D.C."

A very good read.

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