According to DC’s brief in the Heller case, the 2nd Amendment only applies to the Federal Government and not to the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It’s actually an interesting argument, as they pirate a bit of the pro-gun rhetoric in their brief.
In the brief, the district makes an additional argument: That the founding fathers’ concern in drafting the Second Amendment was to protect states from an overbearing federal government that might restrict access to firearms as a means of crippling state militias.
As such, the Second Amendment only restricts Congress, they argue.
“The primary goal of those who demanded (the Bill of Rights) as a condition of ratification to the Constitution was to control the federal government,” the lawyers wrote. “That is especially true with respect to the inclusion of the Second Amendment.”
It’s interestig because they used the long held belief of pro-gunners that the 2nd Amendment exists to protect the people from the federal government, and twist it to mean that the 2nd Amendment protects state militias from the federal government. It’s an interesting ploy, for certain.
Now, if you look at it in light of those other 9 Amendments in the Bill of Rights, then the District’s argument doesn’t really hold a lot of water; but it still remains in line with the traditional bi-polar nature of the left believing that the Bill of Rights applies to individuals…except the 2nd Amendment.
Alan Gura, one of the attorneys for “good guys” in Heller does point out the deepest flaw of DC’s argument.
The fundamental flaw, he said, is that the district is a creation of Congress and the federal government, so the D.C. Council would be subject to the same restrictions as Congress in passing gun-control laws.
I really think that DC is grasping at straws here; they’re feeling the ground erode from under their arguments. Hopefully that won’t amount to wishful thinking on my part.