Monday, June 30, 2008

Games people governments play, in the middle of the night

(With apologies to the Alan Parsons Project)

Here's a few highlights of the ridiculous, arbitrary, burdensome and sure-to-be-struck-down-immediately in court requirements that the D.C. government is going to impose on its peasants who are trying to register firearms:

1. Only revolvers and long guns may be registered.

No semiautomatic pistols may apply. This requirement is easily the first to be successfully challenged, as semiauto technology is considered the "norm" today, regardless of the timelessness and reliability of the revolver format. Why is the D.C. government insisting on this type of arbitrary, nonsensical requirement? Do they enjoy being beaten like a drum in court?

2. All weapons must have a capacity of 12 rounds or less.

How did they arrive at that number? Who knows? Why anything? That number just sounded good, apparently. Maybe they pulled it out of a hat, or somewhere darker and more private. I sure hope the homeowner defending themselves and their family doesn't need 13 rounds.

3. Bring two (2) passport-sized front facing photos
Be fingerprinted
Pass a 20-question multiple choice test
Complete a notarized firearms eligibility statement

It sure is a lot of work to exercise one's Constitutional rights in Washington, isn't it? The government wouldn't possibly be trying to make the process so onerous and difficult (not to mention expensive) that a lot of people won't even bother to try, would they? Would they? Additionally, the registration office is generously staffed only from 7 to 3 Monday-Friday, except for Wednesday, when they graciously stay open until 6. Can't get there during these hours? Tough.

4. Anyone found guilty of any prostitution-related offense is disqualified from registering a firearm.

Ever get a misdemeanor ticket for being a john? You've just lost your Second Amendment rights forever in D.C. Again, just who is coming up with this stuff? I, like SayUncle, have never heard of something like this being a disqualifier anywhere.

5. Cost is $13 per firearm plus a $35 fingerprinting fee and it can take up to 14 days to get the registration through.

"We didn't want this, but since it's here, we're going to milk it for all the dough we can." Doesn't this requirement discriminate against the poor, the very ones who probably need to defend their homes the most? Why even make law-abiding residents register in the first place? What is that possibly going to accomplish, besides funding more of D.C.'s ill-considered and sure-to- fail lawsuits?

6. Must not suffer from a physical defect which would make it unsafe for you to possess and use a firearm safely and responsibly.

This one absolutely wins the stupidity prize. Is one going to have to show up at the registration office and demonstrate that all ten fingers are present and accounted for? Present a myriad of doctor's notes attesting to one's physical and mental fitness? Have to pass an agility test? The possibilities are endless.
If one is in a wheelchair, are they now prevented from defending themselves, even though they are probably more in need of firearm protection than someone more able-bodied?

Pissing off the handicapped lobby as well as the pro-carry people is not a good way to begin this, people. You'd better go back to the drawing board and start over, before you get stomped in court yet again.

(info from SayUncle via Tam)

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