Just Plain Dumb

I just came across an especially strange argument (and that’s saying something) against going to court to vindicate the rights of American citizens to keep and bear arms in the District of Columbia. The author thinks that

A) the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states at all (he evidently rejects the 14th Amendment, so he concludes that the states may legally prohibit the free exercise of religion, shut down newspapers critical of the Governor, use torture, engage in unrestricted searches of “persons, houses, papers, and effects,” prohibit the possession of firearms, etc., etc.), and

B) the District of Columbia (which is a federal district and not one of the united states of America), “insofar as it behaves as a state, is properly treated as a pseudo-state by the Supreme Court.”*

The result of all that confusion?

Congress long ago delegated home rule functions to D.C., and it allows residents to elect mayors, city councilors, and a delegate to Congress. When it comes to the Second Amendment, then, D.C. is a state, and the Second Amendment does not restrict its policy-making discretion.

I’ve read and heard lots and lots of strained and implausible arguments against our lawsuit to vindicate the right to keep and bear arms, but few as risible as that one. But after my initial surprise that something so silly had made it onto the web, I noticed the author’s publications and the surprise vanished.

*If the District of Columbia is a “pseudo-state,” that means it is a “false” state, and if it is a false state, why should it be treated as a state?

51 Responses to “Just Plain Dumb”

  1. Kevin R. C. Gutzman

    Where did Marty get the idea that I think that the original intent of the Framers (his reference; I don’t care what the Framers intended, since they weren’t the ones with authority to enact) was that DC should be treated as a state? That’s not what I said.

    I also don’t know how a reference to what someone learned in law school was an answer to my argument. What one learns in “constitutional law” classes is what judges choose to do, not what the Constitution actually means. In other words, one learns to be a lawyer, not a historian or any other kind of citizen.

    My logic is bad? That’s nonsense. I’m insecure? That’s one I’ve never heard before. I’m one of “Lew Rockwell’s zombies?” Really? Did you know I’m banned from his site for having dared to criticize Tom DiLorenzo’s tone?

    Dick Clark seems the only other fellow in this thread with any idea what he’s talking about. The rest are interested either in insults or in any sophistry that will win them their latest court case; in that, they’re no different from other advocates of unlimited federal judicial authority. The Incorporation Doctrine is just one aspect of the ongoing assumption of control of all governmental questions by the Federal Government; it is also historically unwarranted.

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