Robert Rotberg has penned another lengthy post at the Town Meeting forum, trying to rally support for his gun ban, and it’s well worth a read.
First of all, we have no idea where this rumor of Article 34’s demise came from, but it certainly did not originate with us, as Mr. Rotberg implies. On the contrary, we want as much attention brought to this proposed ban as possible, not that it be ignored.
As for the rest of Mr. Rotberg’s post, it’s difficult to know where to begin. For now, I will content myself with two observations.
Mr. Rotberg makes much of the fact that the Supreme Court declined to grant cert for the Highland Park ban. A big reason for this, however, is that there was no disagreement among the Circuit Courts at the time, and therefore no contention for the High Court to resolve.
All of that changed earlier this month, however, as the Fourth Circuit demanded “strict scrutiny” for Maryland’s “assault weapons” ban with rather blistering language (we covered it here and here.)
Similarly, Mr. Rotberg assures us that his proposal “does not offend the Supreme Court’s Miller judgment that prevented the District of Columbia from banning hand-guns.” I can only assume that Mr. Rotberg is confused or misinformed. It was the 2008 Heller decision with ruled on D.C.’s handgun ban, not the 75-year-old Miller, which was primarily concerned with automatic weapons and sawed-off shotguns.
The Heller case, however, employed a “common use” test, which casts Article 34 in serious doubt. The AR-15, for example, is far and away the most popular rifle in America. It has been estimated that there are between 20 and 30 millions AR’s currently in circulation in the U.S. It is difficult to argue that these firearms are not in “common use” for self-defense.
There’s much more that could be said, of course, but I’d like to end on a positive note. Our conversations with various town officials have been noticeably more encouraging of late. We are having an impact. YOU are having an impact!! Keep up the good work. Contact your TM members. Contact the Selectman. Talk to your neighbors. As always, please keep it courteous and respectful, and stick to the facts. We can win this.