Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beating Swords Into Plowshares

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

This is a sculpture called, “Guns Into Plowshares,” in Washington, D.C.’s Judiciary Square.

Its significance was pointed out today when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a 1976 law prohibiting the private ownership of handguns in the nations capital.

In the case, District of Columbia, et al., Petitioners v. Dick Anthony Heller, the high court will review the Second Amendment.

“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Gun control advocates argued in the lower court that the Second Amendment means that states may have militias and only citizens, as part of such militias may be armed. Gun owners argue that the original congress that drafted the Second Amendment’s language feared big government and wanted citizens to freely own and carry weapons.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

This is a detailed section of the 1997 sculpture made from guns obtained in an amnesty buy back program to get weapons off the streets of the District of Columbia. The sculpture is based on “Swords Into Plowshares,” a biblical quotation.

This is a statue by the same name, near the rose garden at the United Nations that was a gift from the Soviet Union.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the outright ban on gun possession. The Supreme Court has not visited the issue of gun possession, in almost 70 years, since ruling on United States v. Miller 307 U.S. 174 (1939).

This should be a very interesting case.

It may have little effect in New Mexico and up to 43 other states that have the topic of gun ownership in their constitutions.

The Constitution of the State of New Mexico’ Bill of Rights, Section 6, right to bear arms, says, “No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.”

1 comment:

michelle meaders said...

The Constitution of the State of New Mexico’ Bill of Rights says "...nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons."

So how did Albuquerque allow carrying concealed weapons a few years ago without a constitutional amendment?