Ken Blackwell

On March 9, a good thing happened for people living in the central and inner cities of America: the DC gun ban was declared unconstitutional. The blanket ban on all operational firearms - and every handgun even if that gun doesn't work - was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. As a guy who lived in the projects, served as mayor of Cincinnati, and who serves as a member of the National Rifle Association's urban affairs committee, I say, "Three cheers for justice."

Many cities have bad gun laws, and the worst is the DC gun ban. Under the ban, you cannot have any handgun, even in your own home. What's worse, you can't even have a shotgun or rifle, unless it's locked away (unloaded) or disabled with something like a trigger lock. The end result is the same; you cannot have a functional firearm handy in your house. If something happens in the darkness of night, you cannot have a usable firearm to defend your house, your children, or even your own life. That's the outrage of laws like the DC gun ban.

Gun control laws hurt law-abiding people because they're the only ones who obey those laws. Criminals, by definition, don't obey the law. When you pass broad gun control laws criminals still get guns. What's worse, when you ban guns, the criminals know their intended victims are almost certainly unable to fight back.

And, what types of citizens are disadvantaged the most by these laws: low income families and poor people living in our inner cities. Many of my fellow African-Americans, Latinos, and other racial minorities are burdened under such laws. If some thug tries to pull a gun or bust through a door, there's little decent people can do to protect themselves.

Every man has the right, and the duty, to put his life on the line to defend his wife or mother or child. A single mother of any race shouldn't have to worry about protecting her little girl. A grandfather, regardless of where he lives, shouldn't fear for his grandson's safety when they go to bed. Women, the elderly and the disabled are the ones left most vulnerable by gun control laws. The inner city is full of them.

Gun control laws like the DC gun ban leave these good people defenseless.

That is not what the Founders intended. They put into the Bill of Rights an express provision to protect people: the Second Amendment. Declaring that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," the Second Amendment gives every American the right to defend their life, liberty and property against anyone who tries to take it away. The Second Amendment is an insurance policy to protect freedom for every citizen. That includes Americans living in DC.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Ken Blackwell's column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.