For Release: March 18, 2008
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11
Black Activist Asks: If Courts Can Gut Second Amendment, How Can We Assume 13th Amendment Ban on Slavery is Safe?
Washington, D.C. - As the U.S. Supreme Court considers its first major case involving the definition of the 2nd Amendment's protection of gun rights in almost 70 years, black activists with the Project 21 leadership network assert that government should not be allowed to pick and choose what constitutional protections are honored and enforced.
"As a black American, I would be horrified to hear a state or local government enacted legislation or regulation that gutted the 13th Amendment's prohibit on slavery or the 15th Amendment's guarantee that all races could vote. Why aren't more people outraged when the 2nd Amendment's guarantee that individuals can protect themselves is infringed?" asks Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli. "Besides violating the 2nd Amendment, this case involving the District of Columbia's gun ban is a violation of the fundamental rationale of law as well as immorally denying citizens the right to protect themselves."
In the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, to be heard at 10:00 am Eastern on March 18, the justices will consider arguments about a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last spring that struck down the 1976 law that banned most gun ownership in the nation's capital. This particular case is important from other recent gun rights cases heard by the Court because the nature of the case touches the core 2nd Amendment protection of an individual's right to own a firearm.
"In Washington, criminals know that an unarmed citizen is easy prey. Right now, the criminals are winning because the city's gun ban is effectively protecting the plunderer and punishing the property owner," added Project 21's Borelli. "The lower court verdict to restore power to the people to legally possess a suitable firearm will make criminals think twice about their actions, and it is something the Supreme Court should affirm."
Borelli's column on the case is available at http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVBorelliGuns90507.html.
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. The Center for Equal Opportunity is the nation's only conservative think tank devoted to issues of race and ethnicity.