Op-Ed By Alan Gottlieb
Obstructing justice normally lands one in deep legal trouble, unless you are the mayor, police chief or a member of the city council in the District of Columbia.
All of those people have been working overtime, it would seem, in their efforts to obstruct and obfuscate the process of allowing the city’s law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to have a gun in the home for protection, as affirmed by the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Dick Anthony Heller last June 26. That landmark decision struck down the city’s decades-old handgun ban as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.
More importantly, the high court finally defined the Second Amendment as protective of an individual civil right that was not connected with service in a militia.
Instead of complying with the court ruling, and allowing city residents to have operable handguns, rifles and shotguns in their homes, the city has thrown up one roadblock after another in its attempts to discourage the citizens it serves from exercising their constitutionally-protected individual civil right.
The city’s arrogant conduct over the past several months in adopting the most restrictive gun ownership guidelines it could conjure up smack of the cracker bigotry in the Deep South during the first half of the 20th Century that fostered “literacy test” requirements to prevent black citizens from voting.
It is not the role of government to obstruct the exercise of a fundamental civil right by any citizen. However, Mayor Adrian Fenty and Police Superintendent Cathy Lanier, and the city administration, evidently think otherwise.
That’s why the Second Amendment Foundation and three District residents have filed a lawsuit against the city, and Lanier as an individual. This nonsense must cease.
The District adopted an arbitrary “gun roster” for so-called “safe guns.” If the firearm you wish to own is not on their approved list, you’re out of luck. Perhaps the most egregious example of this arbitrariness surfaced with plaintiff Tracey Ambeau Hanson, an African-American woman whose pistol of choice was rejected under the city’s registration scheme for no other reason than its color.
Ms. Hanson wants a rather eye-catching two-tone model of the Springfield XD-45 pistol. The city, using California’s arbitrary standards, allows the very same pistol provided it is solid blue/black or OD green, but because Ms. Hanson’s pistol is a different color, she finds herself the subject of arbitrary discrimination.
Imagine that! An African-American woman in a city with an African-American mayor and council majority, can’t own a pistol of her choice – as guaranteed by the Supreme Court ruling – because it is (gasp!) the wrong color.
Our lawsuit will hopefully assure that in the future, the city will judge its citizens not by the color of their gun, but by the content of their character.