WRENN v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Whenever freedom nudges upward from the dark ooze of tyranny, we must pause and acknowledge. Sometimes, the burst of light that emanates from the darkest region comes upon us like a fiery blaze. Illumination… inspired by Divine Providence that completely burns away the chains and cables of tyranny in one glorious inferno.
Other times there are glimmers of of hope. Brief instances of enlightenment that remind us that freedom is the natural yearning of all suffering under the yoke of oppression. Often times, those momentary flashes happen and are quickly extinguished by the prevailing infrastructure of institutionalized tyranny.
Though, they are short lived… they remind us that patriots lurk in the background. Minutemen who always stand ready to protect our experiment in limited government and freedom. Even when others have become ambivalent.
If enough of these “freedom sparks” occur… there stands the real chance of a larger ignition, so we monitor and nurture these independent events.
Such as what occurred last Tuesday in the United Sates Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
The case is Wrenn v. District of Columbia… and it turns on a singular question: Can a government acknowledge that an individual enjoys an enumerated right… a right that pre-exists the formation of the government in question… but create a scheme where the individual must beg for permission to exercise that right, and for the most part have the government deny the request?
Judge Griffith in his decision answered the question emphatically: No.
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The District of Columbia has played an important role in our understanding of the Second Amendment. It was the District’s out right ban on the possession of firearms… even in the home… that was the core component of the famous Heller v. District of Columbia. This case provided the framework for the late Justice Antonin Scalia (may God rest his soul), to articulate the basic understanding of the Second Amendment that we all already knew: That the Second Amendment was not a “collectivist right” applying only to members of the National Guard… an argument that merited virtual know empirical academic scholarship… yet one that the “antis” had promulgated for years. Instead, he acknowledged that the Second was an Individual Right. More importantly, it was an Individual “Fundamental” Right… meaning that via the Fourteenth Amendment, the right to Keep and Bear Arms was not an exclusive limitation of federal intrusions… it had now been incorporated to each of the State Constitutions preventing State actions that would bar the ability of the people to exercise their Second Amendment Rights.
Tyrants… both local and national, being what they are cannot accept the idea of an empowered citizenry… so attempts were made both in the Judiciary, as well as in local governments to create a Byzantine bureaucratic maze that must be navigated for an individual to bear arms… that out of sheer desperation the individual chooses to give up. Courts also crafted “intermediate tests” to determine wether regulatory statues violated the Second Amendment. The “intermediate tests” are unheard of when it comes to the testing of an enumerated right… the appropriate level of review should be what is referred to as “strict scrutiny”… still, flouting the express language of the higher court they did so anyway.
The District of Columbia adopted a “Good Reason” standard that one must achieve before the Masters of City Government were to acquiesce to a mere citizen be allowed to leave their home with a concealed firearm.
“State your reasons succinctly… and if it pleases the Crown then perhaps, we will agree to it.”
Since the bearing of Arms by a citizen never “pleases the Crown”… it was highly doubtful that a permit would ever be issued. Empirical evidence of approvals vs. denials proved this out.
Judge Griffith stated enough was enough.
The Constitution had bee abrogated too long by petty tyrants. Hence forth, the “good reason” requirement was abolished.
The District of Columbia has a few days to appeal for an En Banc review. (Those of you how followed Peruta know how this can go). There is of course always the potential of an appeal before the Supremes. Though there is no guarantee that they would even consider the case.
Finally,… this case, bears little immediate concern to our own local and State tyrants. They are not bound by the decision of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Yet, it should give them pause.
While this little flicker of freedom may in fact quickly be extinguished, it could also merge together with other sparks, and quickly spread to a gloriously brilliant inferno.