The effects of gun violence on African-American citizens are particularly acute; in 2004 alone, all but two of the 137 firearm homicide victims in the District were African Americans, most of them between the ages of fifteen and twenty-nine years old.
The principal characteristic of the District’s firearms legislation that is being challenged in this case–a rule that prohibits handguns while permitting shotguns and rifles (see D.C. Code § 7-2502.02)–was enacted over 30 years ago, in 1976, after the District Council received substantial evidence that handguns were disproportionately linked to violent and deadly crime, and posed unique risks in an urban setting. See PA101a-04a, 112a. In sum, the District’s handgun regulations are reasonable, passed by a legislature, in line with long-standing historical practices and Supreme Court precedents, and recognizes the unique circumstances posed by the link between the District’s high crime rate and the prevalence of handguns.
Theodore M. Shaw
Brief of Amicus Curiae the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. in support of petitioners.
[I just don’t understand how someone smart enough to pass law school could overlook the dangers inherent in making such an argument. If African-Americans are particularly at risk (and although not mentioned are also the most frequent perpetrators) then in addition to concluding the violation of the 2nd Amendment is “reasonable” then one could make the equally abhorrent argument for “reasonable” violation of the 13th Amendment. That being, “Some people just can’t be trusted with their freedom. We need to put them back on the plantation where they will be looked after and safe.” And from the NAACP of all people.–Joe]