Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Legislation that speaks volumes

But does nothing to stop violent criminals, and sounds like it kicks dust on the otherwise dead corpse of the right to bear arms in DC. Hey, at least they're doing something, right?
The D.C. Council on Tuesday adopted an emergency anti-crime bill that further tightens the city’s gun laws, raises mandatory minimum sentences for certain felonies and criminalizes riding in a vehicle where there is an illegal firearm.
And by illegal firearm, DC Examiner Staff Writer Michael Neibauer actually meant to say, but didn't, is that it includes every firearm; because carrying one in your car is illegal as far as I have heard.

So what about Americans who are on a peaceable journey with their firearm while on their way to states who still give a damn about the rights of their citizens; like New Hampshire? Oh, I'm sure there will be some exception for those folks. Sure, sure. There's no way that innocent people get ensnared in carefully calculated laws such as this. It's only for the criminals, you see.

Not all of the council members voted for the law. Apparently, they are acutely aware of the constitutional disaster that the anti-gang part of the legislation would have brought: allowing arrests of groups of people for assembling is a tough nut to crack indeed, but the same council members could care less about the constitutional right to bear arms; even after the smackdown they received last year in the Heller case.

Mendelson dismissed the argument that law enforcement lacks crime-fighting tools to battle the summer crime spike. There needs to be a legislative focus on “more effective strategies,” he said, not constitutionally suspect proposals that may not work.“

Between the police and the prosecutors, we have two volumes of the D.C. Code,” he said. “There are plenty of tools.”The emergency bill sets harsher penalties for using a stolen vehicle to commit a violent crime, creates a gun offender registry and eases the way for prosecutors to detain an allegedly violent criminal pretrial.

So now we see the two faces of the beast.

On one hand, DC has plenty of words written down on paper for their half hearted attempts to stop crime; in essence, there's no need to pass the part of the bill that's "constitutionally suspect." On the other hand, the council passes the bill with a "constitutionally suspect" part of the law because making something more illegal will surely stop crime this time.

It reminds me of what Kevin at The Smallest Minority always says: "Do it again, only HARDER!!"

I'm not imagining things here folks. The council members have selective hearing when it comes to rights, and it's almost like they have no idea of this phenomenon. Almost:

Critics argued that civil injunctions threaten civil liberties — innocent bystanders may be swept up by police and tagged as gang members by the courts, they said. The proposal, said Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh, was “gimmickry” and would lead to racial profiling.

“Once a young person is labeled as a gang member, whether they are or not, that is a tag that can never be removed,” said Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas Jr.

You don't say?

So there's no way that gun owners will be swept into this and be "tagged as gang members" by "gimmickry" gun legislation? And once they end up convicted of transporting their scary looking STI MatchMaster across the utopia of DC, you can count on them earning a "tag that can never be removed."

How does that not threaten civil liberties?
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