2nd Amendment wins one in DC!

This is big news.  Via WaPo:

D.C. police won’t enforce handgun ban; stay of ruling overturning law will be sought

D.C. police were told Sunday not to arrest people for carrying handguns on the street in the wake of a judge’s ruling that overturned the city’s principal gun-control law.

However, the D.C. attorney general’s office said it would seek a stay of the ruling while the city decides whether to appeal.

In an order approved by Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, police were told that District residents are permitted to carry pistols if the weapons are registered. Those who had not registered their handguns could be charged on that ground, the instruction said.

The number of registered pistols is thought to be low.

Lanier’s instructions to police also said that residents of other jurisdictions without felony records would not be charged under the ban on carrying pistols.  [!]


Whoa! The 2nd Amendment wins won in DC!

Via Gun Watch:

Emily Miller reports:

STUNNING DEVELOPMENT: DC Police Chief Lanier just told force not to arrest a person who can legally carry a gun in DC or any state.

As of 6:24 p.m. on July 27, 2014, this is a welcome development. Many have said that the D.C. political establishment will ignore the judges order. This shows that Police Chief Lanier is, at minimum, unwilling to be found in contempt. Notice the broad extent of the order: no arrests for a person who can legally carry a gun in D.C. or any State.

With 30 states having open carry without a permit, [I wonder if these states are permitted or what is meant are people with the actual CCW license.] and over 11 million concealed carry permits valid in the[se] United States, that is a lot of people who may legally carry in the District.

It looks like DC just became a little safer.

Would that Chicago were next.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Elizabeth D says:

    I am for voluntarily not arming oneself, and teaching Catholics not to rely on guns.

  2. Uxixu says:

    Perhaps you should read St Augustine again, Elizabeth. We’re not obligated to be passive in the face of wicked men. Our Lord did not chastise St Peter for carrying a sword nor prohibit him from retaining it. Then there’s Luke 22:36.

    Ridiculous it went this long. You can see the Founders intent in Vermont (ordinarily a very politically liberal state, but has completely unfettered carry rights for non-prohibited citizens). Keep & Bear meant the same thing in 1791 that they mean in 2014. DC never even had the 10th Amendment wiggle room. 2nd is clear that it SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

  3. Elizabeth D says:

    When Jesus told the Apostles they need a money bag and a sack and sword, and if necessary to sell their cloak and buy a sword, they showed him there were already two swords. “It is enough,” He said. Everybody doesn’t need a sword, apparently. The Apostles are not an armed militia movement, and they aren’t about having tight defenses to prevent getting martyred. Jesus sends them out as lambs among wolves. They ALL get martyred except one. Can you drink the cup?

    I’ve never said I was against the second amendment and obviously Jesus isn’t. I just think it matters that that isn’t what is going to save us.

  4. Elizabeth D says:

    As Fr Z would say… go to confession :-)

  5. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Jesus Christ praised armed soldiers as much as he praised unarmed women, and vice versa. Salvation history is full of the armed and the unarmed both being called by God. It is proper to use prudence to determine one’s own proper path.

  6. incredulous says:

    Elizabeth, I strongly recommend a sign for your lawn touting “this is a gun free zone.” Also, another sign which specifically prohibits police from carrying guns on your property would be great too. [C’mon. That last part is silly.]

    Do you think the Pope is not protected by heavily armed guards? The Vicar of Christ?

  7. Elizabeth D says:

    Have I opposed police being armed?

    I live in an efficiency apartment with windows entirely full with religious freedom signs against the HHS mandate. If I had property and a lawn, I could put up one of those “re-elect Benedict” lawn signs. I could fence my lawn and have a pony. or a Corbinian’s bear. Who is going to menace me if I have a guard bear? If I had a yard I could have a grotto with a cement statue of Our Lady. Who is going to menace me if I have a grotto with Our Lady? Who saved John Paul II from that gunman? Was it the heavily armed guards… or Our Lady?

    Have no fear for me. I have 20+c+m+b+14 in blessed chalk over my door. And I go to confession.

  8. RANCHER says:

    Chief Lanier is as “PC” as they come. She is only avoiding a contempt of court by her new found tolerance for armed persons. I’m willing to bet, as a retired police chief myself who keeps track of such things, that behind the scenes she is urging an appeal.

  9. RANCHER: Could be. But, in the meantime…

  10. Ed the Roman says:

    Saint Louis IX, pray for us.
    Saint Gabriel Possenti, pray for us.

  11. AnAmericanMother says:

    The problem, I think, is the “mythology of guns” that has been spread into all corners by the radical anti-gunners. People ascribe some sort of magical power to firearms, as though they can create crime or possess minds . . . . it’s media-induced hysteria.
    But a firearm is simply a tool: nothing more, nothing less. It can be dangerous if misused; so can many tools (think gasoline, or a car itself). But in many situations it is a necessary tool.
    For those who don’t want to arm themselves — if you are willing to die at the hands of a stalker or home invader, or from a dog attack, so be it. It’s not a martyrdom, it’s just a messy and unnecessary death, but that’s your choice.
    But how about your children, or your spouse?
    When I was a child, my father bravely defended me with *his* father’s trusty shotgun against a midnight prowler who was trying to enter my bedroom window (nobody was killed – he just had his hindquarters dusted with birdshot). More recently, I shot a rabid raccoon in broad daylight in our yard when he started advancing towards me. My children were in the house, but they could as easily have been outside.
    I’m glad Dad and I had the necessary tools to do what needed to be done.
    And in the overwhelming majority of cases, killing some hapless thug or even firing a shot is not necessary: when the bad guys become aware that you are not a helpless victim, they oftentimes surrender to wait for the police, or just flee.

  12. Imrahil says:

    Dear Uxixu,

    We’re not obligated to be passive in the face of wicked men.

    Nor to equip ourselves with possible means to resist them – if they attack, it’s their fault, not ours. In fact, if we haven’t obligation to others, we aren’t even obliged to resist them at all. (We are allowed to do so though.)

    We are, though, obliged to obey to public law controlling guns if in existence (and legitimate*), arguably, and it certainly is prudent to do so. [*They would probably to some extent be illegitimate under the present U.S. constitution, but there are other countries under other constitutions, and the 2nd amentment is hardly natural law.]

  13. Moral_Hazard says:

    “[I wonder if these states are permitted or what is meant are people with the actual CCW license.]” From Fr. Z’s original post. What’s meant is that 30 states allow citizens to carry a firearm openly, as opposed to concealed. without requiring them to get a permit. Many of those states had a de facto ban on open carry due to police policy, but many recent court decisions have nullified such policies.

  14. Ed the Roman says:

    WAPO reports that DC has been granted a 90 stay to pull something out of a hatdevelop a law consistent with the ruling.

  15. Mary Jane says:

    Elizabeth D, my husband and I also have 20+c+m+b+14 in blessed chalk over our door, and we go to confession regularly. Still, neither of us would hesitate to do what was necessary to protect our family. We hope we never need to “do what is necessary”…but we wouldn’t hesitate if such a situation arose.

  16. Kathleen10 says:

    Scripture gives us a blueprint but doesn’t cover every possibility and we are just going to have to wait to talk to Jesus to find out what he meant about this or that, specifically. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord, and be armed. They do not seem to be mutually exclusive. We live in crazy times with lots of crazy people. I think people assume torture and murder is what happens to other people. People ought not have weapons if they don’t feel comfortable with them anyway, but better to have it and not use it then need it and wish you had it. Someone kicking in your door at 3:00 a.m. is no time to realize you need a weapon. When we purchased our home 14 years ago we had a group of individuals crash a car on the next street and run. Having a helicopter shining lights into our yard and realizing our doors were made in 1940 gave me a conviction to be better prepared.
    A personal decision to be sure but pacifism can be overdone, it seems. On a broader scale we could say for example that Israel ought to disarm and walk single file through the tunnels into Gaza. What could we imagine would happen if they did.

  17. jflare says:

    “I am for voluntarily not arming oneself, and teaching Catholics not to rely on guns.”

    I think this an unusual statement. I’m hard pressed to think of the last time I saw a group of Catholics–large or small–depending on firearms to defend themselves.
    Quite the contrary. I receive e-mails from TFP Student Action, Saint Paul Street Evangelists, a few other groups, and have joined in prayer protests near abortion mills. In my own experience, I’ve watched people drive by, shouting obscenities, flipping “the bird”, or demonstrating many other forms of disgusting behavior. I’ve watched videos of a TFP banner being slashed in half, literature being stolen and burned, a TFP member had a water bottle thrown at him from a moving car, and so on.

    In all these, I have never once heard of even one Catholic who so much as raised a fist to fight back.

    Not only that, but I saw an article today from Unfiltered Patriot (http://unfilteredpatriot.com/doctor-saves-liveswith-his-gun/) that demonstrates what the right to carry movement is about: A man grew enraged with his caseworker, so he shot (and killed) the caseworker. A psychiatrist, intended as the man’s next target, also drew, shooting the man, thereby eliminating the threat to the remainder of the clinic. Remarkably, for my understanding, he didn’t kill the gunman.

    I think these sorts of circumstances are precisely why we need to loosen gun laws a great deal.
    As the saying goes, nothing stops a bad guy with a gun as easily as a good guy with a gun.

    We’re not trying to build an army in the traditional sense, Elizabeth. We’re trying to ensure that we who’re innocent of committing various “crimes” may fight back against those who wish to inflict bloodshed and hate.

    Remember: ISIS has the ability to inflict harm in Iraq in no small part because the areas they’ve taken have ultimately failed at fighting off the aggression. Even if Syria is aiding ISIS, ISIS would still have more trouble if more Iraqis posed a greater tactical or strategic threat–if they were armed.

    I don’t mind the idea of being martyred, but I think we need to consider whether being martyred is entirely necessary. I don’t believe anyone is precisely obligated to die if they have the ability to fight back with a legitimate chance to win.

  18. Dienekes says:

    I think that there IS a certain duty incumbent upon us to protect ourselves and those who rely upon us, albeit in reasonable fashion. The exact means is a matter of judgement, but it’s hard to beat the practicality and convenience of a suitable handgun under most circumstances. It gives the young, infirm, and handicapped a counter to predatory people. In many cases it does not even have to be fired to accomplish its purpose.

    Some years back my wife and daughter were planning on a trip to Kentucky just after a particularly heinous multiple murder–nice family coming home from church, etc. We had been undecided as to whether they should carry (illegally) back there. After reading about that incident, we unanimously decided that they should take the guns along–and they did.

    Natural law, divine law, and Canon law don’t forbid self-defense. In the crunch, that’s good enough for me. Anyone is free to make up their own minds–just don’t impose your choices on everyone else.

  19. jflare says:

    “the 2nd amentment is hardly natural law”

    I’m not entirely certain that we’re talking about the quite the same…idea…here. I’m a little shaky perhaps on precisely where natural law ends and theology begins, but I’m hard pressed to explain how we come to compare these two. I understand the second amendment to be the expression, encoded in law in the Constitution, that explicitly declares that all persons shall have the right to keep and bear arms, that all persons shall be allowed to adequately defend themselves–and others for whom they’re responsible–against aggressive or malicious conduct.
    Seems to me that if natural law explains how God created the universe and all in it to be good, and if evil exists primarily, even exclusively, as a detraction from the fullness of the good that God created, then evil would typically seek to detract from the good inherent within natural law. If that’s true, it would seem to me that a person would have the right, naturally, to defend oneself against imposition of a detraction from the created good.

    Seems to me that even if the 2nd Amendment isn’t an explicit declaration from natural law, it certainly would seem to be derived from it, even if not directly.

  20. AgricolaDeHammo says:

    This just reminds me how bad NYC is… which is why part of me dreads the eventual move to the city for work. (of course I do look forwards to being closer to Holy Innocents, presuming it remains open)

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